Authors: Molly E. Lee
I shrugged. “I tried to track down who bought it but couldn’t find much on the guy. I guess he travels a lot.”
“Hey, we’ll check it out. If nothing else we can at least go for a small hike in search of your old friend.”
The idea brought a smile to those gorgeous pink lips of hers, and I couldn’t wait until I could set my mouth on them again.
I’d barely stopped kissing her since she’d showed up on the excavation site in Israel two months ago. We’d spent our days unearthing more of King Solomon’s treasure, and more of his writings, which is what excited us both the most. And our nights, well, I spent those worshiping her body until we both collapsed from exhaustion.
I’d told her in the seclusion of the hotel room in the village one night what’d I’d found in the depths of the cave’s center. She’d been both awed and nearly unbelieving as I further explained that no one could ever know outside of me, her, and the
I trusted her with everything I was and would never, ever lie to her again.
Well, except maybe now, but this was for a good reason.
We’d decided to make the trip out here after we’d reburied Harrison’s remains in the site her and her mother had designated all those years ago. In many ways, it felt like righting a wrong, knowing respect had been paid and that he wasn’t broken and alone in the depths of that cave anymore.
“It looks the same!” Rain squealed as I parked the Jeep in front of the cabin. We got out, and I stretched my arms from the long drive as she bounced on the balls of her feet. “It doesn’t look like anyone is home, though,” she said, her shoulders dropping instantly. “Can we find a hotel close by and stay a couple days? Come back and hike every morning?”
I took her hand. “Sure. Let’s take a walk.”
She followed me into the brilliant green forest that surrounded the cabin, and I took the path I knew by heart. I’d walked it enough times between expeditions, when I’d returned to home base to decompress. After a comfortably silent walk, we made it to the spot where I’d made love to her before we’d been approached by the damn bear she’d instantly fallen in love with.
I scanned the area, searching through the trees in the direction where I normally spotted him. Rain sat down on a large rock next to a wide tree. “This is incredible.”
“Of all the places I’m going to take you to, this is the least exotic.” I sat next to her.
“It’s my favorite. Always has been.”
We were the same in so many ways. I took her face in my hands, reveling in the knowledge that she was finally mine—after all the years, all the secrets. She was finally, truly
. Well, almost. I kissed her gently, my fingers trembling as I dug for the box in my cargo pocket. I’d repaired the wood as best I could, but it was clear the box had been partially smashed.
“What’s this?” she asked as I handed it to her.
“I was carrying this the day Harrison and I went into his cave.” I took a deep breath. “Remember how I told you we’d switched packs?”
She nodded, and I saw her swallow hard. “What is it?”
“Open it,” I said and slid off the rock as casually as I could, dropping to one knee as she managed to get the lid open.
She gasped, bringing a hand to her lips, her beautiful blue eyes jumping from the ring to me and back again.
“I’d planned on asking for his blessing that day, Raindrop. I’m sorry it took me years to rework the courage to ask you . . . but I’ve always wanted to spend the rest of my life with you.” I took the ring out and held it up to her left hand. “Are you with me?”
“Yes,” she whispered. Tears glistened in her eyes as I slipped the ring onto her finger. She threw her arms around my neck, the force from the motion so fierce it knocked us both backward. I held her to me, taking her lips with mine, allowing her to place her claim on me as I had just her. She tasted so damn good and felt like heaven pressed against me. I grabbed a handful of her perfect ass, pushing her into me harder, showing her how much I wanted her.
“Here?” she asked between my lips.
“Wouldn’t be the first time.” I gently bit her bottom lip and slid my hand underneath the hem of her shirt to feel her skin. She ground against me in response, eliciting a growl from my lips.
An altogether terrifying growl took over my own, and we froze. I arched my head backward as she looked up, setting eyes on our old friend. Fuck, he had the worst timing.
“Brownie,” she whispered, only allowing her lips to move.
Taking great care, I shifted us in slow movements until we sat on the rock again. The old bear was as massive as ever, and though it’d only been a few months since I’d last seen him, he looked more gray than brown.
“Just stay still. He doesn’t care as long as you’re on the rock.”
Rain didn’t take the time to question me. She remained motionless and tracked Brownie’s moves as he padded through the trees to the stream that flowed nearby. He was a creature of routine, and I knew this was the time he liked to go fishing for his dinner. She watched him for an hour until he disappeared to the other side of the forest, and I had watched
, drinking in her happiness.
I took her hand after we’d lost sight of him. “Come on.” I tugged her off the rock and back down the path toward the cabin.
“Where are we going now?” she asked, holding her left hand out and gazing at the ring on her finger.
It looked damn good there. A wonderful seal that claimed her as
My soul filled with a replenishing drink I didn’t know I’d craved until it was satisfied.
“Home,” I said, pulling her up the wooden porch steps of the cabin.
She tilted her head as I fished the key from my pocket and slid them into the lock. I pushed the door open before sweeping an arm underneath her legs, cradling her to my chest as I stepped over the threshold. Realization clicked in her eyes before more tears glittered in them.
“How long have you lived here?”
I glanced around the place as I carried her to my bedroom.
bedroom. “This has been my home base since the first paycheck I ever earned from the show.”
Her perfect pink lips popped into the shape of an O. “That’s how you knew about Brownie,” she said as I set her on the king-size bed that took up half of the room.
“Oh yeah, we go way back.” I settled myself between her thighs, kissing her over her clothing, up her stomach until I reached her lips.
“I love you, Compass.”
“I love you, Raindrop.”
We both laughed, our past, present, and future combining in one overwhelming flood of emotion. And I buried myself in Rain, her scent, her lips, her touch, finally claiming the most priceless treasure I’d ever sought—the find of my life—her heart.
I LIKE TO
always start with
first, my dear reader. Thank you for taking a chance on this book, and on me. You are the breath behind my characters and the pulse behind their journeys!
Thanks must go to my incredibly supportive and intensely passionate husband, Daren. Without you I would not be able to create the heroes I do, or write as much as I like. I can’t thank you enough for your constant belief in me, even when I can’t see it for myself. You’ve given me the two most beautiful children in the world, and one awesome bulldog, and there aren’t enough words in the world to tell you how much I love you.
To my family:
Dad, I dedicated this book to you for many reasons—one of which is you introducing me to some of my favorite movies of all time. You unknowingly set the bar in which I hold my own heroes accountable, and I really appreciate that. I also can’t thank you enough for your belief and support of this dream of mine, and how you never flinched when I sent you a bad story. You’re constantly in my corner and I’m beyond lucky to have a dad like you.
Mom, thank you for never denying me books, at any age. Thank you for our Friday night trips to Barnes & Nobel that we conducted for years, and for going to midnight book release parties for novels you’d never read, for standing in line with me for hours . . . just because. You are the most amazing mother—and LaLa—in the entire world.
Sister, thank you for all the work you’ve put in behind the scenes for the Love on the Edge series. Thanks for always spoiling my babies, and for making sure I have the best accessories for signings.
To Rebecca, Golden Goddess, for giving me a crash course on the business, and for creating books so wonderful I’m always striving to be as good as you! For the phone calls, the vent-sessions, and the unbelievable times we have at signings . . . I can’t even with how much I love you!
To Sam, for reading books on short notice, and catching things I’d never see! Thank you for your unflinching support, for naming Easton’s show, and for letting me read your work before anyone else does :) It’s a treat!
To Esther, the hot-mama of all hot-mamas . . . my life was enriched the day I met you and I don’t know how I got so lucky to have a BFF like you! Remember, gnocchi is spelled with a G!
To Mindy Ruiz, Brenda Drake, and the #PitchWars crew! Because of the competition, I’ve met some of my very best friends :)
To Cora Carmack, for the endless advice I cherish, the amazing insight, and for encouraging me to constantly fight for my dreams. I heart you so hard!
To Molly McAdams, for taking a chance on a stranger’s book, and for being utterly awesome. I’m so honored to have met you, and can’t wait to take an epic Molly Squared photo soon!
To all the authors who continue to inspire me to be a better writer, to push my creative mojo past its limit: Kimberly Derting, J.K.Rowling, Cora, Jay, Molly, Sam, Mindy, Rebecca, Lizzy, Cindi, Rachel, Megan . . . the list could go on and on!
To the Mayhem Members and all the amazing bloggers out there, thanks for being awesome and making releases and takeovers so much fun! I heart each and every one of you! Micalea, Imani, Amber, Ashley Elizabeth, Katie, Becky, Brandy, Tina, Christi, Lindsay, Natasha, Vilma, and so so many more . . . thank you all for going out of your way to make a release feel nothing short of an overdue party!
To my awesome and genuinely badass PR team, Sassy, Savvy, & Fabulous: Linda . . . I have a question for you . . . and you always have an answer! I’d still be lost in production without you!
To Karen Grove, my editor extraordinaire, a thousand thanks to you for helping make this novel (and its title) the best it possibly could be. Without your sharp eyes, insightful notes, and general epic advice, I have no clue where this would be :)
To Nichole and Christine at Perfectly Publishable, thank you for making this sparkle in ways no one else could! You are both incredibly talented and consistently create amazing things!
To Regina Wamba and Yuli over at MaeIDesign, I don’t even know where to start. You are both such fantastic human beings, wicked talented ladies, and I’m beyond lucky I get to collaborate with you both! This cover . . . well, I gasp every time. Y’all are that good! And thank you to Noah and Lauren for playing the roles of Easton and Rain perfectly!
And once more, with feeling, thank
, reader, for picking up this book and giving my characters a chance to live their journey through your eyes.
MOLLY E. LEE
is an author best known for her debut novel EDGE OF CHAOS. She writes New Adult Contemporary featuring strong female heroines who are unafraid to challenge their male counterparts, yet still vulnerable enough to have love sneak up on them. In addition to being a military spouse and mother of two + one stubborn English Bulldog, Molly loves watching storms from her back porch at her Midwest home, and digging for treasures in antique stores.
Read the first book in the Love on the Edge series