Lost in thought, Abe ran a loving hand over Ariana’s swelling belly, then grinned
when she stirred from sleep and blinked lazily up at him. Wrapping his mind
around that – not only had she been his wife for over three months, but was
also carrying his child – was too much of a dream come true, one he never wanted
to wake up from.
“Good afternoon, Mrs. Cambridge. It’s fifteen after one.”
Nuzzling closer to him, Ariana yawned and let her eyes drift shut. “Five more
He snickered against her hair and then kissed her forehead. “Take all the
time you need, baby, but I have a feeling Becky and Janie will—”
Quick and persistent tapping on the chamber door cut off his words and had him
rolling his eyes in irritation.
“—knock on the door soon,” he finished through a clenched jaw, his mood swiftly
turning sour at the lack of private time the island’s residents allowed him to
have with his wife. “I can kill them, you know. Nobody will find their
bodies. I swear it. Did I ever tell you that I’m a shark whisperer?”
Ariana giggled as she pushed against his body, and when he tried to grab her, she
threw a pillow in his face and scrambled out of bed.
He fell back to his own pillow, defeated. “We are going on vacation. No cell
phones. No knocks on the door—unless it’s room service—and, best of all, no
Laughing as she opened the door, Ariana greeted her friends with a hug and took the
coffee Janie held out with a sigh and a gracious smile. “I love both of
you so much.”
Abe huffed as he glared at them. “You just saw them yesterday. And you don’t
need that caffeine; it’s bad for the baby.”
Ariana took a long sip and winced as the heat bit her tongue. “The only thing
that’s bad for the baby is my blood pressure going up when his or her father
fusses over me too much.”
Abe blanched, and started to throw back the comforter to go to her, but thought
better of it once he caught sight of Becky and Janie looking at him. Unlike
Ariana, he hadn’t dressed after making love the night before.
He exhaled in relief as he studied the growing smirk on his wife’s face. She was
the only one who could, quite literally, drop him to his knees with only a few
words. He kept waiting for the spell she had him under to wear off, but with
each day that passed, he had only grown more mesmerized by her charm.
Abe raised an eyebrow. “Come here, devil woman.”
“Abe,” Becky said, laughing. “There’s no time—er… take all the time you need,
Your Highness,” she said quickly, when his mouth flattened into a thin
line and his teal eyes locked on her, daring her to say one… more… word.
He would burn that damn clinic to the ground before he would allow anyone to take
even one more minute with her away from him. She already worked too many hours
as it was. It had started out being only five, but then had swiftly moved up to
six, then seven. He had drawn a line at eight, but, more times than not, Ariana
stayed at the clinic up to ten hours, even against his wishes and constant
He tore his piercing eyes away from Becky and they softened as he met Ariana’s
She set the cup down and crawled up on the mattress and into his awaiting arms. She
stared into his eyes as her fingers brushed back the hair hanging over his
ears, reminding him it was time for a trim. That would take all of fifteen
minutes, so what would he do with the other four-hundred-sixty-five minutes she
would be out of his sight?
He had some ass-chewing to do, that’s what, and he was going to do that first.
“I’ll be back before you know it, Abe,” she said sweetly, almost convincingly,
but he knew better; she’d been telling him that every day since she’d started
working, and it had never, ever been true.
Even though he knew arguing would get him absolutely nowhere, he still pleaded his
case. “Stay here,” he whispered. “Take the day off. I could use
a little healing myself.” He grinned devilishly.
The only answer he got was a small smile and a long kiss. Abe wrapped his arms
around her and pulled her across his body, rolling with her until she was lying
on her back and he was looking down at her beautiful face.
He knew she wouldn’t concede to his wishes today, but that wouldn’t stop him from
trying. He had faith that one day she would.
“Sunset, Ariana. Please. I have something I want to show you.”
She laughed. “I just bet you do.”
He tucked a strand of blond hair behind her ear and softly kissed her lips.
Lingering a breath away, he spoke so only she could hear. “It’s sort of
important and special. It’s been in the works for several years, but it’s almost
complete now. I didn’t want to mention it until Roger said you could see it. He
sent me a text last night, but you were too exhausted after work, so I didn’t
say anything. I don’t think I can keep from telling you what it is until your
next day off, so please don’t overwork yourself today, and try to get out of
there by eight.” He paused for a moment. “And eat light for supper;
I’m taking you out afterward.”
Ariana’s eyes narrowed to thin slits, but there was amusement in them that she couldn’t
hide behind her fake anger. “You know how much I hate surprises.”
Abe knew she could have searched his thoughts in one instant, so he quickly rifled
through his memory for the lyrics of Mary Had A Little Lamb, just in case. Mindreading was one witchy trait that
could be both a blessing and a curse, but thankfully Ariana tried not to use it
too often. For that, he was grateful. It was bad enough that he couldn’t keep
his hands off his wife for more than five minutes. Keeping his thoughts off her
would be downright impossible.
He kissed her quick and moved away, so she could get up and ready for work. The quicker
she left, the quicker he could let out his aggression on someone who couldn’t
paralyze his vocal chords. “You’ll like this one. I promise it won’t
“Can we come?” Janie asked, the petite girl nearly jumping up and down at
hearing about something new and exciting on the island.
Abe chuckled. “Yeah, you can come. Bring someone, if you like,” he said,
knowing that Janie had been spending quite a bit of time lately with Ryan from
maintenance, and would more than likely want to bring him along. It was killing
Lance to see her with the guy, but since he had been the one who let her go,
there wasn’t a whole hell of a lot he could do about it but mope.
“Who else is going?” Becky asked with a sneer.
Abe shrugged nonchalantly, but he knew she was inquiring whether Will, his brother,
was going to be there, and possibly be with Katrista, the girl who had flown to
the island on the back of a minion from Hell under the orders of Apollyon, the
demon who damn near took Ariana away from him in more than one way.
Just thinking about that night made him want to wrap Ariana in the tight cocoon of
his arms and never let her out of his sight, but that had been almost three
months ago, and they hadn’t seen or heard from the guy since his descent back
into Hell. Gloria, their personal guardian angel, was checking in on a regular
basis, but she hadn’t sensed any evil hanging around the island, either. It was
still a struggle to relax, but Abe knew how Ariana hated to be smothered, so he
forced his worry from his features, for her.
“I’m not sure, Becky, but if you think I’m going to tell my brother he can’t go just
because you’ll be there, then you don’t know me very well.” He ignored the
hurt look in her eyes and slapped Ariana’s butt when she crawled over him to
get out of bed. He chuckled when she yelped.
After hearing the shower come on, he looked back to the two girls standing in the
middle of his bedroom. “Would the two of you mind leaving? I’m about to go
shower with my wife, and Ariana threw my boxers across the room last night.”
He smiled as the two girls immediately avoided eye contact, their faces turning a
bright shade of pink in embarrassment at being in the same room with their
“Go on. Ariana will call you when she’s ready to leave. I can’t promise you’ll be
on time for work, so you may want to leave without her.” He stopped and
huffed when they only stood there with sullen expressions. “What? She
isn’t yours; she’s mine. Go!”
Tripping over their feet, both girls turned and ran for the door.
With a smile on his face, Abe threw back the cover and jogged to the bathroom. He
could only see the top of Ariana’s wet head, leaned back into the steamy shower
spray, eyes closed as she basked in the warmth of the water. He tiptoed around
the tiled wall that separated the shower from the rest of the bathroom, and had
her in his arms before she even opened her eyes.
Ariana smiled as he touched his lips to hers, and Abe noticed that he couldn’t fit his
body flush to hers any longer, not with his young growing so rapidly within her
He ran one hand over the soft skin of her belly and pulled her mouth to his with
his other by the nape of her neck. A low moan escaped her mouth and he drank in
the ecstasy like a wino who had just found a forgotten bottle of
eighty-year-old wine in the cellar.
She gasped for air when he released her mouth to devour her neck and that little
spot below her ear she loved for him to kiss.
“Abe,” she panted. “I’m going to be late for work.”
An approving growl rumbled from his chest as her hands slid down to his hips.
“Damn right, you are. I told Becky and Janie to go on without you, that
you would be there when you damn well got there.”
She laughed against his mouth when he claimed ownership once again. “You are
such a king.”
Lowering his head to explore more of what she had to offer him, he looked from one
tempting mound to the other, and finally decided to take the left rosy nub
between his lips and softly massage the other with his hand. Decisions,
decisions. It was a tough job being a man in love. He often thought he needed
at least one extra mouth. Wondering vaguely whether Ariana might be able to
witch it on his body, somewhere, he focused on the task in hand.
Ariana’s lips parted, and he smiled when a rush of pleasurable sounds echoed off the
walls of the bathroom.
With his other hand free, he ran his long fingers over the cheek of her ass, down
the back of her thigh and pulled her right knee up to his hip. He wasn’t
worried about her getting off balance and falling. He had her. He had all of
His head jerked up and he crushed his mouth on hers just as he slid through the
soft folds of her sex and into his most favorite place to be.
His jaw clamped shut and his hand shot out to brace them against the shower wall
when her muscles tightened around his erection.
“Yeeees!” The cry escaped her throat and her nails clawed the skin on his back, but he
pumped into her, keeping a steady rhythm and watching her expression as the
orgasm threatened to rip through her body. “Abe…” she said, winded,
and grabbed his biceps, squeezing the thick muscles and making him grin,
“I know, baby. Just let it go.” He jerked his hand from the wall, pulling her
other leg up, and just like a pro, she hooked her ankles at the small of his back
and took all of him. His knees damn near buckled.
Aiming to get his own release by the time Ariana’s climax was over, Abe growled and
quickened his strides. Her body quaked all around him. He was almost there. He
“Take my vein,” Ariana whispered.
Pulling a bit back from the rush, he blinked the water out of his eyes and looked down
at her in confusion. Sure enough, her head was tilted to the side and her wet
hair was moved away, baring her neck and that throbbing vein to him. He jerked
his head away, trying to ignore the instant bloodlust and the anger that was
quickly boiling up inside him.
“No,” he said shortly.
“Abe, please. You need it. I want you to.”
He stopped moving inside her and set her feet on the wet tile. Grabbing a towel
from the hook on the wall, he threw it around his waist, tying it extra tight,
so just maybe it would cut off the circulation in his erection and deflate the
“Abe! Where are you going?”
now, Ariana.” He threw open the bathroom door and walked into the bedroom,
and wasn’t a bit surprised to hear she had followed.
“What did I do? I don’t understand why you’re acting this way. Talk to me, damn
you!” she shouted when he only stood at his closet and shoved hanger after
hanger to the right. Hell, he wasn’t even sure what he was looking for.
He stopped and let his arm fall, but didn’t turn around. “You know how I feel
about using you as a meeker while you’re pregnant. We’ve had this discussion
before, Ariana. Hell, we’ve even fought about it a few times, but you don’t
seem to understand or maybe you just don’t care; I don’t know—”
“You think that I don’t care about my child?” she said, and Abe turned around,
the muscles in his jaw doing the same workout they did every time their
conversation led to him feeding from her. “How can you even say
that?” she snapped. “If I felt, in any way, that you taking the
amount of blood from me that you need would hurt the baby, I wouldn’t ask you
to do it.” She pointed to her chest, and fury burned throughout Abe’s bones.
“I know it won’t hurt the baby—”
“But I don’t!” he roared, causing her to flinch. He shook his head and reached
into the closet, grabbing a random shirt and a pair of jeans. When he looked
back at her, he was a little calmer, but not much. “I don’t know what is
good or what is bad for the baby, Ariana, but I can’t imagine taking anything
from you that the baby needs could ever be a good thing. I won’t do it.”
He ripped the towel away, and to his delight, either the terrycloth or his pissy
mood had done the job, because Mr. Happy wasn’t so happy anymore. Without
wasting time going to the dresser for boxers, he just shoved one leg at a time
in the jeans then buttoned and zipped the fly. After throwing the shirt over
his head and pushing his arms through the armholes, Abe finally made his way to
the dresser to grab socks.
“Abe,” Ariana whispered, but he didn’t look at her. He couldn’t look at her when he
was this mad, especially when it was her that he was mad at. “Abe, look at
me. I have to go to work, and I don’t want to leave you upset.” He still
didn’t say anything.
Abe put his socks on and located his boots by the bar. Tying the sons of bitches
wasn’t going to happen with his hands shaking so badly, so he just shoved his
feet in, grabbed his keys from the bar and headed for the door.
“Abe! Where are you going? The sun is out!”
“Go to work, Ariana. I’ll see you later.”
He jerked open the door, then slammed it shut behind him.