A Love Worth Saving (Forever Yours Book 2)

BOOK: A Love Worth Saving (Forever Yours Book 2)
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Table of Contents

A LOVE WORTH SAVING

FOREVER YOURS TRILOGY - BOOK 2

ANNA JAMES

SOUL MATE PUBLISHING

New York

A LOVE WORTH SAVING

Copyright©2015

ANNA JAMES

Cover Design by Leah Kaye Suttle

This book is a work of fiction.  The names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.  Any resemblance to actual events, business establishments, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

All rights reserved.  No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the publisher.  The only exception is brief quotations in printed reviews.

The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law.  Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials.

Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

Published in the United States of America by

Soul Mate Publishing

P.O. Box 24

Macedon, New York, 14502

ISBN: 978-1-61935-
938-3

www.SoulMatePublishing.com

The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

For my sisters with all my love.

Acknowledgements

I want to thank my family and friends for all their love and support, my editor, Debby and all the others at Soul Mate Publishing who helped bring my Forever Trilogy to life. And a big THANK YOU to: The Connecticut chapter of Romance Writers of America (CTRWA, Charter Oak Romance Writers (CORW), and Romance Writers of America chapter of Contemporary Romance for your friendship, support, and good advice.

Chapter 1

Reed McNamara crept into the master bedroom of his hi-rise condo in downtown Chicago. Moonlight streamed in through the uncurtained window, bathing the room in a soft glow.

Ashley slept peacefully in their king-sized bed. Her soft lips parted and long, silky auburn hair fanned out over the pillow.

Ashley. His wife.

Eight weeks into the marriage and those words still felt strange coming out of his mouth. He, the self-proclaimed bachelor for life, married, with a baby on the way.

He smiled. If his fraternity brothers could see him now, they probably wouldn’t believe their eyes.

Oh, he didn’t love Ashley, or any other woman. Why invest emotionally when love never lasted? It was here today, and gone tomorrow and wasn’t worth the hassle, as far as he was concerned.

No, they didn’t love each other. Theirs had been a mutually-agreed-upon, nothing-serious affair, full of fun and good times, and they’d only married because she got pregnant.

His fault. He shook his head. He’d known she wasn’t on the pill. Couldn’t take it for some medical reason. So, how the hell he’d forgotten to wear a condom was beyond him. It wasn’t like he didn’t have one with him. He did. Always. Hell, he’d never had unprotected sex in his life. Yet he had with her. Still, he couldn’t bring himself to regret the mistake.

He’d insisted they marry. A kid needed both parents. And he’d be there for his, no matter what. Because the kid mattered.

He walked into the bathroom, undressed, stepped into the shower, and let the hot water cascade over him and wash away the stress and tension of the long day.

He put in long hours every day. The downturn in the economy meant paring down the staff at Paradis and McNamara, the construction management company he now owned outright, since he bought out his half-brother, Max, two years ago.

And with Nicole Bradford, Ashley’s older sister, gone to pursue her passion, designing wedding gowns, he’d been forced to get back into the everyday nitty gritty of the company. Not that he was complaining. He enjoyed getting back onsite where all the action went on. It reminded him of the old days when it had been just him and Max. They’d worked endless hours and built the company into the business it was today.

After toweling dry, Reed strode back into the bedroom then pulled on a pair of sweatpants and an old T-shirt.

Ashley stirred.

He waited a beat, but when she didn’t awaken, he finished dressing, then went into the living room. After dropping down onto the plush sofa, a new addition to the place since Ashley moved in, and a hell of a lot more comfortable to relax on than the ultra-sleek, hard-as-nails, divan the interior designer had insisted he purchase, he hunted for the remote control.

Papers and pamphlets littered the top of the coffee table. Reed searched, finding the remote hidden among them. He grabbed the controller to flick on the television and noticed the letter addressed to Ashley.

The University of Chicago Law School logo topped the page. He began to read.
Dear Ms. Bradford, we are pleased to inform you—

“You’re home.”

Ashley’s voice, husky from sleep, scraped over him in a most satisfying way and his groin tightened. A typical response when it came to his Ashley. The sex was good between them, damn good. It was part of the attraction. “Sorry I’m late. Work took longer than expected.” He had a mountain of paperwork to get through after a long day onsite managing the crew for one of the smaller projects Paradis and McNamara handled.

“Congratulations.” He waved the letter in the air for effect. “You did it.”

Ashley grinned. “Yes.”

“So, you’ll start school this fall.”

She shook her head. “I deferred my admission for a year. The baby is due right before the end of the first semester. I won’t be able to concentrate on my studies with the birth forthcoming.”

He nodded. Her law school applications had gone out before they’d learned junior was on the way. “Have you heard from any of the others where you applied?”

Ashley snorted. “No, not that it matters one way or the other. Harvard is on the East Coast and Stamford on the West.” She patted her belly. “No way do I want to be away from this little guy for even one second let alone the three years it would take to get a law degree.”

A stab of guilt knifed through him. Harvard had been Ashley’s dream. It was his fault she had to give it up.

“There’s leftovers in the fridge, if you’re hungry.”

His stomach grumbled and he glanced at his watch. Ten o’clock. He hadn’t realized it was that late when he left the office.

“I can warm them up if you want.”

She glided toward him. Yeah, glided sounded like a chick word, but it was the only one he could come up with to describe how she moved. As if she floated on air.

“I made lasagna.”

The woman could cook like no other. She even rivaled his grandmother. “Sounds great.”

The neck of her oversized nightshirt, one of his T-shirts she’d commandeered eleven months ago when they’d started dating, slipped revealing a creamy white shoulder and the swell of her breast.

A slow smile crossed his face. He stood, ambled over to her, then drew her into his arms. Her warm body molded against his and he shuddered. “On second thought, I’d much rather have you, instead.”

Heat shimmered in her wide green eyes. “Then what’s stopping you?”

It was all the encouragement Reed needed. His lips crushed hers and he drank in her sweetness like a man dying of thirst.

She did that to him. Sparked this frantic, urgent longing deep inside. No one else had ever come close to touching him the way Ashley did. He’d never let anyone.

Her arms clamped around his neck, and the passion that always seemed to ignite when they touched, flared to life once more.

Ashley kissed him back with a hunger that not only matched his, it surpassed it.

“You have too many clothes on,” she complained and set out to rectify the situation.

In seconds she’d stripped off his shirt, and then her hands were roaming over his shoulders, back and chest, her fingers teasing his nipples, then tracing a path through the swirls of hair that arrowed below his waistband.

“Mmm,” she murmured.

He shuddered. God, he loved it when she touched him this way. Like she couldn’t get enough of him. She made him feel . . .

Shit.
It was only sex between them, and he enjoyed it. Plain and simple.

She gripped his face between her palms and dragged his head back to hers for a long, slow, drugging kiss.

God, that mouth, what it could do to him.

A soft cry escaped from her parted lips when he pulled away a moment later.

He gave her a wicked grin. “My turn.” He dipped his head and pressed tiny kisses down the elegant column of her neck to the hollow at the base of her throat. Her pulse thudded and he laved at the throbbing beat.

“Reed.”

His hands slipped under her shirt, eased it up over her head, and tossed it on the floor. Her panties followed a moment later.

He stared at her naked form, fascinated with the subtle changes that had already taken place in her body from the pregnancy. High, firm breasts a full size bigger than they’d been before and her abdomen had the slightest swell to it. He let his fingers glide over her in lazy circles. “God, you’re beautiful.” He placed a kiss on Ashley’s belly, then brushed his lips over hers.

Her warm smile touched him deep inside.

Ashley gazed into the stormy sea of emotion swirling in Reed’s eyes. The man had a tender side to him that took her breath away. If only . . . No. It was only sex between them. And it was exactly what she wanted. No emotional commitment. No getting hurt.

Okay, things had changed since she got pregnant, but . . .

Reed glided his hand over her belly, up her ribcage, and then, cupped her breast. “Oh,” she gasped when he took her nipple between his thumb and finger and gently squeezed.

He dragged his hand away and stared up at her, care and concern etched in those chocolate-brown eyes. “Did I hurt you?”

She shook her head and smiled up at him. “No. Not a chance.” Her breasts were ultra-sensitive now that she was pregnant and even the slightest touch from him brought incredible pleasure.

He lifted her into his arms. She pressed her breasts against the hard wall of his chest and clamped her legs around his lean, narrow hips as he strode to their bed. “Now Reed, now. Please.” She couldn’t wait. Needed to be one with him. It had never been like this with anyone else.

He stopped in mid-stride, pressed her back against the cool wall, then his hot mouth was on hers again. He plunged into her with one swift stroke, the whole hard length of him deliciously deep inside her.

He carried her, while still inside her, to the bed and tumbled them down on it.

“I don’t think I’ll ever get enough of you, Ash.”

She gazed into those amber eyes swirling with emotion. Her heart skipped a beat. “Same goes.”

He drove into her again, with a demanding, wild passion that overwhelmed her.

Only this man could bring her to such heights of ecstasy. Could kindle a fiery passion deep inside.

She matched him thrust for thrust as they soared to the heavens.

Release came in a shuddering surge of ecstatic pleasure as they tumbled over the edge into oblivion together.

Reed rolled onto his back and gathered her close to his side. “I’ve got to say that was pretty amazing.”

Indeed it was. The sex got better and better every time they came together. “I’ll say.”

He eased away and got out of bed. Ashley stared at his lithe form as he strode naked to the bathroom. Dear lord, the man was male perfection personified. Strong, solid shoulders. Hard, tight abs, and, oh, the soft, silky dusting of hair that covered those firm pecs . . . She loved how he shuddered when she ran her fingers through the swirls. Loved how he lost control.

Reed reappeared a few minutes later, a towel wrapped around those lean, narrow hips. Drops of water glistened on his smooth skin. Her insides tingled.

Oh my, she really did have it bad for him, but hey, who could blame her? Reed McNamara was sweet and sexy all rolled into one smoking hot man. And he was all hers.

He pulled on the T-shirt and sweats he’d worn earlier, dropped a kiss on her lips, and then walked toward the bedroom door.

Ashley frowned. “Where are you going?”

He turned and flashed one of those grins that turned her insides to mush.

“I have some paperwork I need to go over for a meeting with Zoning and Planning in the morning.”

“But you just got home.”

He shrugged.

She sighed, got out of bed and put on her silk robe. “Okay, but don’t stay up too late.” She brushed her lips over his.

“I won’t. Now, go back to bed and get some sleep.” He glided his hand over her belly and dropped a quick kiss on it. “I don’t want you overdoing it.”

She smiled and tried, unsuccessfully, to stifle a yawn. She was exhausted. In a good way. “Don’t forget to warm up some of the leftovers. Knowing you, you probably haven’t eaten all day.”

“You’re right. I haven’t.”

She shook her head. “What am I going to do with you?”

He grinned and pulled her into his arms. “I’ve got a few ideas.”

“You’re incorrigible.”

He scooped her up into his arms and strode toward the bed. “You love it.”

Yeah, she did.

He placed her down on the cool cotton sheets and sat down beside her. She yawned. He laughed, pulled up the sheets to cover her and gave her a gentle kiss.

“Sweet dreams, Ash.” He stood.

“Wait.” She grabbed his hand and hauled him back down beside her. “I almost forgot to tell you. Your mother called again. She wants to know if we’re free for dinner tomorrow night.”

His lip tightened into a thin, white line. “No.”

She placed a hand on his shoulder. “Reed.”

“I’m busy tomorrow night.”

“You’re busy every night. What’s wrong, Reed? Talk to me. Maybe I can help.”

“There’s nothing wrong. I told you. I‘m busy. I have a business to run.”

“I’d have to be blind to miss the tension between you.”

He shrugged off her hand. “I don’t have time for this now.”

“You’re going to have to make time sooner or later,” she said quietly.

He turned and glared at her. “Stay out of it, Ashley. It’s none of your concern.”

BOOK: A Love Worth Saving (Forever Yours Book 2)
10.3Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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