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Authors: Alannah Carbonneau

all good things absolved

 

 

All Good Things Absolved

 

By Alannah Carbonneau

 

Copyright 2013 Alannah Carbonneau

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was purchased for your use only, then please return and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

 

Table of Contents

Prologue

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Epilogue

About the Author

Other Books by the Author

 

Prologue

Some say your life flashes before your eyes when you're mere moments from walking through deaths doors. But that's not what happened for me. For me, my life flashed before my eyes when I heard the news. It was earthshattering, groundbreaking, shiver inducing and plain old frightening.
I was freaking terrified.

But not only did my life flash before my eyes - every memory I had lived up to this moment - every detail of my life - significant or not - raced through my mind as though I were sitting and watching them pass by on a big screen. All my life I'd longed for freedom. And just as I stepped on the platform, feeling a breeze in my hair and a weight lift in my heart - my future flashed before my eyes. It was filled with restraints, responsibilities and a lot of late nights and exhausted mornings. In a moment one might consider blissful - my every dream was robbed from me. Every delusional, fabricated image I'd crafted of how my life would play out was shattered. I was left completely stripped of all my hopes and dreams by a life growing inside of me. A life I should cherish with all my being. A life I couldn't seem to accept.

 

Chapter 1

Fear turned quickly to revulsion as I stared at the little life-altering stick David held out to me with wide eyes. I hated that stick. I wanted to scream and cry and stomp on the stick, but instead, I stood against the clinic bed completely exempt of all possible movement. Beside me, I felt Jace reach out for the stick. His hand came into my line of sight. His fingers closed around the little white staff and he brought it closer to him, past my head. I knew he was inspecting the twig-like piss stick...but was he happy or angry? He said he wanted kids - but surely he wasn't ready yet. Surely he was upset about this?

The ability to speak found me, and movement followed soon after. "Give that thing to me." I snatched it from Jace before bringing it close to my face. The fact that I'd peed on it only minutes before completely eluded me. In light of the crushing reality weighing down on my heart, a little piss on a stick was nothing. If this thing turned out to be correct, there would soon be piss everywhere. And poop. And throw-up. And crying.

Oh. My. God.

I shook my head, struggling to see more then the one pink line. There was only one. I was certain there was supposed to be two if I was pregnant. Right? There should be one for me and one for the...bean.

I looked up to David, feeling anger settle in the pit of my stomach. "Is this a joke?"

He frowned. "Pardon me?"

"There's only one line, David." My voice shook, filled to the brim with panic. "One line. I'm not pregnant. There's only one line."

"Olivia, calm down." He stood from his stool to point at the small white screen. "You see that line there?" He asked. I squinted. It wasn't really a line - more of a faint projection. Maybe there was something wrong with this stick. I shook it. "It's blurry and not nearly as strong as this line, but there are still two. You're pregnant."

"I can't be." I whispered. My newfound excitement that maybe David had been wrong was quickly spiraling down to the ground. Or maybe plummeting was a better word. Hell if I knew. Through my numb state of shock, Jace's hands wound around my waist. He pulled me to face him before looking at David.

"Can we have a moment?"

"Of course." David moved quickly from the room, shutting the door behind him.

Jace slid a finger under my chin. "Tell me your thoughts."

"My thoughts?" I laughed on a high pitch. He wanted my thoughts? Hell, I didn't even know my thoughts. Why the hell was he so calm? Why wasn't he freaking out like me?

"Yes, Angel." Jace's blue eyes searched mine. "Your thoughts."

"I don't know, Jace."

"We promised to be always honest, Angel." He reminded me. My stomach clenched. Yes, we had promised that. But sometimes honesty was painful. I didn't want to hurt him and I had an inkling he would be mighty hurt and extremely angry if I were to tell him the cold hard truth. I didn't want a baby. I didn't want this baby.

I wasn't ready.

Tears welled in my eyes. They were hot and they blurred Jace's seraphic image from my vision. I felt panicked. "I don't want this."

I was shaking now, but I couldn't control it. I was angry and scared and downright frustrated with God for allowing this to happen to me. Why was this happening to me? I'd done everything right! I'd taken my pills daily and at the same time! I never forgot about them. The thought of children had always sparked a terror in me and I had made damn certain I wouldn't get pregnant so I wouldn't have to face my fear. But damn...after all my hard work...this was where I stood. Pregnant.

"Angel," Jace tightened his hold on me, bringing his lips to my forehead. "You will be an amazing mother and wife."

I froze. My anger quickly bled to astonishment. "You're happy about this?"

Jace pulled away to look down into my eyes. "Of course," he frowned. "Why wouldn't I be? This is you and me, Angel." His hand moved from my hip to my stomach. I wanted to pull away from his touch, but I couldn't move. I was floored. "We made this together. This is us. This is our chance to be everything our parents weren't."

How was I supposed to explain that this wasn't a chance for me? This...thing...growing inside me was robbing me of my future. There was no chance in this. There was nothing to look forward to - diapers, formula and midnight crying - no thanks. Not for me.

I pushed his hand from my stomach and turned my back to him. It was easier to say the words I knew I had to say when I wasn't looking at him. "I told you I didn't want children, Jace. Did you think I was joking?"

"I sincerely hope you're not about to say what I think you're about to suggest, Olivia." Jace's tone was calm and even. There was no room for argument, but I would try to squeeze one in regardless.

"This is my body, Jace." I reminded him as the tears overflowed from my eyes to stream down my face. "It's my choice." My steady calm broke at the word choice and my voice cracked.

Jace's hands were suddenly grasping my waist. He turned me to face him and my heart stopped. His eyes were blazing with rage and his body shook with anger. His face was flushed and his jaw was clenched tight. He spoke through tightly clenched teeth. "This body - your body - is carrying
my
child, Olivia.
Our
child." I could hear his struggle for calm in his every word and I hated myself for bringing him to this point. But he had to understand. I was twenty-two. I wasn't ready for a child. I had so much of my life left to live. "I will never hear those words come from your mouth ever again. Do you understand me?" He shook me for measure. "This child will be born and it will be loved. By you and me."

I looked directly into his eyes, hoping he could see my desperation. This wasn't easy for me. I knew it was killing him to think I didn't want his child...but it was killing me too. "I'm sorry, Jace." I shook my head. "But I can't be a mother. I don't have it in me. To have this baby would be cruel."

"You're being fucking ridiculous." He released me from his grip to drag a hand through his hair before turning to face me. His eyes were desperate, misted. He was pale and his hands shook. He dropped to his knees before me, clutching desperately at my hips, pulling my body into his face, he nuzzled my stomach. Seeing him so undone over this was the worst thing, by far, that I had lived through. I knew if I continued on with my track of thought; if I continued to believe I could go through an abortion, it would be the straw that broke the camels back. If there was one thing our relationship couldn't survive it would be the abortion of this child. Of that I was certain. "Please don't take this away from me, from us." His pleading voice met my ears and my tears fell harder, dripping from my chin. "I can't live through the death of another child. I can't live knowing I killed another child."

My heart tore in two. "Jace," my hands delved into his hair. "God, it's not you doing this. It's me. I'm not ready. You've never killed a child. Lexie miscarried."

His face tilted back to look up at me. "If it weren't for my ways the child would have lived, Olivia."

"No, Jace." I shook my head. "It was not a strong fetus. It happened for a reason."

"And this?" He asked. "What is the reason for this?"

I was robbed of words. How could I do this to him? My strong, capable man was a ruin over the thought of losing his unborn child. He would surely loathe me if I took this chance from him. The chance to be what I knew with certainty he wanted to become more than anything - a father. Could I live with myself if I took this away from him?

At the thought, I was brought to my knees. I was level with him on the floor now and his tortured eyes met mine. "I'm scared." I whispered.

"Fuck, Angel." He caught my face in his hands. "I know. I am too. But, I'm also so happy."

"This changes everything." I spoke through my sobs. "How are we going to do this?"

"We can do anything together, Angel." He set his forehead against mine. "We can do this."

A knock sounded on the door and Jace pressed his lips against mine. It was a kiss of strength. And I drank it up as though I was starved. He pulled away, picking me up as he stood. "Come in."

David appeared in the doorway, looking mildly uncomfortable. "Now, I know this has come as a shock. There is a possibility the test was incorrect. The line is faint so we'll have to confirm with a blood test."

Now he tells me it's not one hundred percent. Now he tells me there is a chance I'm not pregnant - when I finally find a semblance of acceptance.

Jace spoke. "When can we take the blood test?"

David looked to me. "We can get it done now?"

I knew he was asking a question, but I simply didn't have it in me to answer. I didn't move or speak. I couldn't. There was a part of me that was still in shock. Was I, or wasn't I pregnant? And what was I going to do? Because I knew...without a doubt, I couldn't abort this child. Our child. I couldn't abort the bean.

That left me with only one option. Only one option Jace would find acceptable. In a short nine months - I would become the one thing I feared more than any other. I would become a mother.

Jace rubbed my back, pulling me from my thoughts. "Are you feeling well enough to get your blood taken now?"

He was asking? What happened to my demanding control freak? I nodded. "I suppose I should get it over with."

He nodded with a soft smile before looking to David. "We'll do it now."

He nodded. "Come with me. I'll take it personally."

We followed David through the halls to a small cubby-like room with a chair and a computer. "Set your arm up here on table."

I shook my head. I was suddenly unwilling to give him my arm. I'd never been one to like needles. They made me feel all hot and squeamish. "Can you take it from my hand? I prefer that to my arm."

David raised his brows. "It hurts more from the hand."

"I know." I shook my head, giving him my hand instead of my arm. "I don't care."

Jace shifted his stance against the counter he leaned on. "Are you certain, Angel?"

"I am." I was feeling a little dizzy. "Get it over with."

"All right," David set to work gathering the needle and tube. He set it up, tied my arm with a rubbery band before tapping the top of my hand where an already large blue vein sat protruding from my skin. The sight made me queasy and I struggled to maintain control of my convulsing stomach.

I looked away from the needle as it pricked my skin and before I knew it, my head lolled to the side. Whoa, I was really dizzy and hot and weak. I hadn't had my blood taken in forever. I couldn't even handle a little prick in my hand. How the hell was I going to handle childbirth? Oh, please God - let the test be negative.
Negative. Negative. Negative. Please. Please. Please.
I repeated the words in my mind until I felt the needle pull from my skin.

"She's pale." Jace stated from behind David.

"I know." I watched as he bent to a small fridge below the desk, producing a juice box. "Drink this."

I shook my head. That was the last thing I wanted. I already felt nauseous. "No,"

"Olivia," Jace warned. He reached out to assemble the juice box before placing the straw against my unwilling lips. "Drink."

I glared at him as I sucked up the sweet juice. When I'd gotten through half the box, I pulled away. I felt better. "Happy now?"

"Yes, there's color in your face." He stated factually. He lifted me from the chair, tucking me into his side as he looked at David. "When will we know?"

"I'll call you tomorrow." He assured. "Olivia, you need to rest without stress." As he said the last part, he looked to Jace. Jace nodded as though he could somehow control the stress I would undergo.
As if.
The thought almost made me laugh - that ugly kind of laugh where a snort sounds and louder, more abrupt giggles follow in embarrassment. I was startled that no sound came. There was no laugh and no snort erupted. There was nothing.

"Let's go home." Jace said against my temple.

"Finally." My word was a murmur, barely audible.

***

Neither Jace nor I said anything on the car ride home. Usually, the sights of the city captivated me, but this time, it was my thoughts that entertained me so completely. Tomorrow, Jace would get a call from David and he would confirm what we all already knew.

I was pregnant. I knew it was true in my bones. I knew with every fiber of my being. I just knew.

Jace pulled into the underground garage and parked beside the line of familiar expensive cars. None of them were fit for a baby. None of this was fit for a baby. This lifestyle Jace lived...the lifestyle I lived...we weren't ready for a baby. Everything would have to change to accommodate something so small.

I stared at the line of cars in the parking spaces for what felt like forever. I was numb. I wished my overactive brain were as numb as my body. I couldn't stop my mind from racing through everything else we would have to change to accommodate the small life inside of me. Our schedules. The elaborate lack of safety Jace's penthouse presented...everything.

There was nothing we could keep the same. Nothing.

Everything was ruined.

"Olivia?" Jace spoke into the silence. I flinched.

"Hmm?"

"Your thoughts?"

"If I am...pregnant." I struggled on the word. It tasted funny in my mouth - almost sour. "Everything will have to change."

"Like what?"

I stared at him as though he'd grown a second head. "Like the car's you drive for example."

"That's easy." He grinned. "I like a lot of SUV's. I don't mind expanding my collection."

I rolled my eyes. Of course his mind would take that track. He was incorrigible. "The penthouse isn't safe." I shook my head. "Those stairs," I breathed out at the thought of an infant falling down the cuttingly sharp steps and shuddered.

Jace's grin transformed into the shit-grin.
Oh, what now?
"You're already thinking like a mom, Angel."

"I am?" Was I? No, it was common sense. Simple logic. Anyone in his or her right mind knew Jace's penthouse wasn't safe for a child. Every corner was sharp - the floors unforgiving - the stairs dangerous. It was like a death-trap for a child. We couldn't remain living here. I wouldn't allow it.

"You are," he reached for my hand. "Come on, let's get upstairs."

I nodded as my mind continued to race with thoughts of unrelenting corners and hard slippery floors. I was ridiculous. I knew this as well as I knew the sky was blue, but I couldn't help it. If I was pregnant - and I was more than certain I was - and if I chose to have this baby which I was pretty damn certain I didn't have a choice, then I would do everything in my power to be what my own mother never was. Loving. Caring. Supportive. I would raise my child with attentiveness and selflessness, because as a child, I lacked such devotion from my own mother.

I don't know how it happened, but I found myself standing in the penthouse entrance. My eyes scanned the floors and I felt suddenly angry. I once thought they were beautiful, but now they just looked cold, hard and dangerous. I imagined laying a blanket down on the marble before placing my delicate child onto it's surface and cringed. What was wrong with me?

Jace noticed. It shouldn't have surprised me, but it did. "What's wrong?"

I looked up at him. The skin between his brows was wrinkled in a tight frown and his lips were pursed. "I don't like this floor, Jace."

His eyes widened and he looked down to his feet, inspecting the silver speckled marble. He looked confused. And rightfully so! I sounded insane even to my own ears. "What?"

"It's hard, cold and unsafe." I shook my head. "I would never even think about laying my child down on this floor." I shook my head adamantly. "I wouldn't consider it."

At my words, a laugh sounded from between his stressed lips. He kissed my forehead. "I love you."

"I love you too, Jace." I sighed. "But I'm serious."

"I know you are. It's one of the many reasons why I love you."

"Jace," Was he seriously ignoring this? "You realize we can't live here with a child?"

"Olivia," he ran his hand down my cheek before cupping the back of my neck. "You're stressing. David said no stressing."

I sighed. "I'm going to take a bath."

"Do you want anything? Can I make you anything?" He asked.

"No. I just want a bath." I started for the stairs.

"I'll be right up." Jace promised.

I didn't look back and I didn't acknowledge his words. I climbed the stairs alone as Jace wandered into the kitchen. I knew he would pull out his phone and Google something soothing for pregnant women. It's what I would do. Because I didn't know what a pregnant woman could or could not eat. Apart from liquor, everything seemed safe enough and the thought in itself set my heart into a frenzied panic. I didn't know anything at all about babies. I didn't know how to properly care for my body with a growing bean inside my belly. I didn't know anything. And that was frustrating and frightening as all hell.

I made it to the bedroom and walked straight to the bathroom. My heart was pounding so hard in my chest it was uncomfortable. One might think I resembled the walking dead, but I knew different. With my heart thrashing in my chest and a small life forming inside my belly, well, I couldn't have been more alive. So, why did I feel like my life was ending? Oh right, because it was. My life as I knew it was ending.

From this moment on, I would have to make new dreams to accommodate the bean. I would have to sacrifice my old aspirations and make room for new ones that included, but not entirely limited to diapers, formula and late light feedings. But somewhere, I hoped there would be smiles, chubby cheeks, and small fingers and toes. Somewhere, through all the mess of shattered visions and tossed plans, I hoped there would be the telltale, heartwarming sound of a child's laughter, innocence twinkling in little eyes and small palm prints on clean windows. And, if I was really lucky, when I looked in our beans eyes - I might just see incomparable, holistic, beautiful love.

I didn't realize what I had done until I looked into the mirror I stood in front of. But I had stripped myself of all my clothing and I stood naked in front of the mirror. I was crying. I was really crying. My eyes were puffy and my nose was running. This was not the pretty kind of crying. It was denial and acceptance - terror and excitement - anger and love. Yes, there was love. I was already in love with my bean. And, I knew without a doubt, no matter what dreams I'd once had. None of them would come close to the dreams I would make with our bean in mind.

As though on impulse, my hands moved to rest against my lower belly. I spread my thumbs from my fingers before connecting my fingertips until my hands made a heart against my belly where our bean lived inside me. My tears fell harder as I stared at my reflection in the mirror. I didn't really know what I was feeling. I was a mess. And, I was terrified.

Jace appeared in the doorway. I could see him in the mirror. There was a frown on his face as he watched me. I don't really know how long he'd stood there. But it had been a while. I could see by the confused, torturous expression in his eyes that he'd watched each wave of emotion wash over my face.

I spoke the first thing I could think of saying. "It's not only the car's and stairs, Jace. If I'm pregnant...everything is going to have to change. Everything. Including your work. You'll need to hire an assistant because I am not raising our child alone."

A smile broke out over his face as he walked into the room, closing the door behind him. His eyes caught sight of Moo-moo curled up in the sink asleep and his smile widened. He set the mug he carried on the counter and pulled me in his arms. "The only thing we need to be complete is a dog."

My eyes widened and another torrent of tears fell from my eyes. He gasped. "What did I say, Angel?"

I laughed. "Nothing bad, Jace. I love you."

"I love you." He pressed his lips to my shoulder, holding me naked against his back and he stared at my body in the mirror.

"You haven't agreed to getting an assistant." I pointed out. Did he seriously think I was going to forget?

"We'll talk about it another day, Angel." He brushed it off. "Let's get you into the bath."

I decided it wasn't worth the fight right now. We had nine months to fight about an assistant. And this was one fight I would win. I had no doubt.

I watched Jace move around the bathroom lighting candles and running the bath water. He started stripping from his clothes and I raised a brow. "You're joining me?"

His eyes darkened. "I will always join you, Angel."

I smiled. "I wouldn't want it any other way."

At my words, he moved across the bathroom and swooped me up in his arms. He carried me to the tub and set me gently into the water before climbing in behind me. I settled against him before he was comfortable and he instantly wrapped his arms around me. For the first time since hearing the terrifying news, I felt safe and content. It was a good feeling and I finally allowed myself to breathe. I rested my head against his chest and closed my eyes as he held me tight. There was nothing sexual about this bath, but it was filled with love. It was exactly what I needed. Just Jace holding me, assuring me that everything was fine and would remain fine. There was no better way to end a day than this. With us together.

 

Chapter 2

I woke to the sensation of Jace filling me and I sighed in complete and utter bliss. This was the perfect way to wake - connected to him.

"Good morning, Angel." His voice was husky as he pushed gently into me, filling me deeper with his length.

"Mmm," I smiled sleepily. "Good morning."

His hips rocked into me and I shifted, wrapping my legs around him. "Open your eyes, Angel. I want to see you come undone for me."

I opened my eyes to stare into the deep blue eyes I adored. My breath caught at the piercing intensity within the cobalt depths and I raised myself to press my lips against his. His tongue instantly replied to my kiss, plunging between my lips as he quickened his forceful strokes within me. Jace pulled out until his tip rested only fractionally inside me before he pushed back inside, moaning at the contact his head made with my womb. The friction pulled a moan from deep in my throat as my body rocked. He swallowed my sound and begged for more as his body pounded relentlessly against mine. I gave him everything. I bared my body, heart and soul to him. I didn't hold back. I wanted him to know I loved him with all my being. I wanted him to feel me entirely.

Jace pulsated. I felt him deep within me and I knew he was building to the inevitable climax he worked toward. I knew because I was climbing with him. The muscles in my body tightened and my legs locked around his waist. My breathing was rampant, mingling with his. It was a beautiful sound. Refreshing.

"I love you so fucking much," he breathed the words against my lips as he spilled hot liquid inside of me. In response, I shattered around him. He held himself buried deep as he found a soothing rhythm, milking me of my orgasm.

"I'm so in love with you, Jace." I kissed the skin beneath his eye and set the tip of my nose against his, nuzzling him. "You're everything to me."

"I want everything with you. I want to be everything with you and to you."

"You always will be." I vowed. "You're the one for me."

"I know." He pulled back to look me in the eye. "I've known you were mine since the first time I saw you in the back of that taxi."

I grinned. "How exactly did that happen?" I felt my heart flutter at the thought. "We've never actually discussed the start of your stalker habits."

Jace laughed before his eyes turned serious. "I left the office early that day and I have no fucking clue why. I'd been spending my nights at the office and I'd planned on doing it again, but something possessed me to leave. I was sitting at a red light the first time I saw you." I couldn't breathe as I listened to him recount the first time he saw me. It was unreal - surreal. "You were looking down at your phone with this sexy cute smile on your face and I was fucking breathless. I couldn't take my eyes off you." His eyes were glued to me now and I felt a shiver crawl up my spine as I thought about what was coming next. "And then I saw the SUV run through the red light. It was headed right for the taxi. I remember the fear in your eyes when you saw it. I felt paralyzed, but I managed somehow," he shook his head. "I have no fucking clue how I did it, but I was running to you. I pulled you from the taxi and held you in my arms. I knew then I couldn't let you go. And I haven't. I will never ever let you go, Olivia."

There was something so chilling about our first encounter, and yet, it's as though the universe planned it with such manipulative care. I knew without a doubt we were meant to be. Jace was my rock. He was my stability - the song to my wind - the warmth to my sun. He was the other half of my soul. I knew this because I could feel him before I knew with certainty he was there. I was in-tuned to him in such a way that didn't exist in the bodily state. It was primal. A live current travelled between us, encasing us in its electric pull. I was bound to him by so much more than tangible love and bodily desire. His soul quenched mine. In his eyes, he was bared to me - exposed in only a way I could see. For me, his heart is a canvas with an array of possibilities and colors. There is nothing I desire that I cannot find within his love. He is the essence my own has searched for without reprieve from this world until now. And he is so perfect. He is a gift. He is my gift from the heavens. And I know I will cherish him for all of eternity.

At my silence, Jace kissed my forehead. Slowly, he pulled out of me. "Come on. Let's get showered."

I smiled. I loved showering with him and at the thought I shimmied to the edge of the bed, beaming excitedly. "Let's."

Jace led me to the shower, quickly fixing the water to a decadent temperature before standing back and waving me in. "Ladies first, Angel."

I curtsied playfully. "Why, thank you sir." Jace reached out and slapped my behind as I pranced past him. I squealed as I spun around to face him, frightened that I would receive another slap on the rear if I left it exposed. "What was that for?"

"I couldn't resist." He shrugged helplessly. "You were flaunting it."

"I was not."

"You were." He stepped toward me with a mischievous glint in his eyes. His shaft was rock hard. Again. Hadn't he had enough? Oh, who was I kidding? He was insatiable and apparently so was I, because I was wet and my mouth was watering.

I stepped back, feeling the water pebble against my back and into my hair as I continued stepping back until my shoulders and back pressed into the wall. He had me cornered. The thought sent my stomach into a frenzy of feeling. It was as though it was filled to the brim with butterflies. God, I loved this man and all the feelings he induced within me. He made me feel so alive.

Jace cocked his head. "You're trapped, Angel. What are you going to do?"

My voice was husky. "I'm going to surrender."

He smiled the cocky grin I loved. "I like the sound of those words coming from your lips."

"You do?"

"Oh yeah, Angel." He nodded. "I do." With those words, Jace took my hand in his. He guided my hand to his hard shaft and I instantly wrapped my fingers around the thick circumference. His eyes darkened as I began pumping him, working him as the water beat down on us. He throbbed in my hand and I soon grasped hold of his balls with my other. They were heavy. I knew he wanted me. I knew he wanted release within me. And, I wanted him.

Without my eyes ever leaving his, I pressed my back tight to the wall, lifting one foot onto the stone bench in the shower so my core was brazenly exposed to him. I guided his tip to my core and pressed my hips into him. I could see he was struggling as I slowly took him in, filling myself with his heavenly thickness. When I had him to the hilt, he groaned and I knew he was a man of broken will. His arms were around me in a second, gathering me against his chest as he rocked into me.

And, I surrendered the power. He took me slowly at first, guiding my hips in an exquisitely leisurely movement that left me panting breathlessly. My stomach felt as though I was on a roller coaster as pleasure built within me. It clenched in an unrequited need he delayed giving to me as he watched my struggle of passion move over my face. I threw my head back, shoving my breasts into his face as I pressed my hips against him. I wanted him harder - I wanted him rough. I needed him. I needed him deep and consuming.

"Jace please," I begged on a ragged breath.

"Tell me, Angel." I could feel his eyes on me.

"I need you deep. I need hard," I whimpered. "I need,"

"Angel." He kissed the hollow of my neck. "I need you like this. Gentle."

I moaned. "No, please,"

Jace peeled me from the wall and lowered me to the floor. He sat down in the water, positioning me on his lap. I curled my legs around his waist, rocking my hips into him. I felt suspended in pleasure. It was a sweet kind of agony I had never before experienced as he held me there at the brink of an orgasm. My entire body was singing with indulgence as I ground onto him, tightening my legs around his back with every excruciatingly blissful movement. Jace's hands were splayed on my backside, pressing me into him before pulling me away. I could feel his climax climbing within him as he grew within me. His length throbbed with every thrust and I moaned at the feel of his pleasure growing. He was on the brink of bursting and so was I. Every fiber of my being was strung tight as the cord of a guitar.

"I'm there, Angel. Come with me." I met his eyes, eager to see him undone within me as I shattered. A cry of release left my lips as I shuddered around him, my fingers digging into the muscles of his shoulder blades. Jace dipped his head to my chest as I tilted mine back. His arms wrapped around my waist, clutching me to him as he pumped himself inside me. Filling me. I felt his lips on my chest between my breasts as he breathed against my skin and I shivered despite the warm water. If I could, I would spend the rest of eternity making love to this man.

"I love you, Jace."

"I know, Angel." He lifted his eyes to meet mine and I smiled at the satisfied light that shone through at me. "And I am so fucking deliriously in love with you."

I wanted to stay right where I was all day, with him buried inside me, but I knew I couldn't. My stomach was rumbling and I knew if I didn't eat something soon, I would get one hell of a headache.

"You're hungry." Jace said through narrowed eyes.

"Only a little," I shrugged at my white lie. I was starving. It was impossible not to be after being ravished by Jace. He was an animal.

He tapped my butt. "Up you get," he helped me shift off his lap and I stood, watching him rise to his full height. He towered over me. But he made me feel so deliciously safe. There was no one else in this world I was more safe with than this man before me. The man I completely intended to spend the rest of my life with - the man I was going to have a baby with.

The thought hit me like a ton of bricks and I wondered how I hadn't thought of it sooner. I coughed. "Has David called you yet?"

Jace raised a brow. "I was beginning to think you'd forgotten."

"No." I shook my head. "Just distracted."

"I see."

I frowned. "Has he called?"

"Not yet." Jace continued to study me with those icy blue eyes that made my heart pitter-patter in my chest. "Are you worried?"

"No," I shook my head. But I was. What if he called and said the test was negative? I was just getting used to the idea of a little one in my belly - in my arms - in our life. What if it was all just an elaborate scare? That would kill me. I wanted this baby...

The thought came as a surprise and I knew Jace saw my shock. My eyes were wide and my mouth was hanging open. He would have had to be blind not to see it.

"What's wrong, Angel?" Jace gathered me in his arms, holding the back of my head in his hand. My cheek was pressed against the hard peck of his chest.

"I want it, Jace." I murmured through my shock. "I want this baby."

Jace pulled away to look down on me with furrowed brows. "You've only just realized this?"

"Yes," I nodded. I felt shame flood my cheeks. "But what if I'm not?"

"You are." Jace stated matter of fact. "But if by some chance you aren't, then you will stop birth control immediately and you will become pregnant."

Again, my mouth dropped. "What?"

"I want this with you, Olivia. I'm ready and you are too."

"How do you know?" I asked. I felt breathless.

"Because you love me and I love you. Why shouldn't two people with as much love as we have not have a child?" He had a point. He really did. And, I found myself pondering it. After a long moment, Jace sighed. "I hate not knowing what you're thinking."

"How do you know I'm thinking?"

He tapped my lips. "Because you get this cute little pucker of your lips." He smiled. "And I know you're deep in thought."

"Hmm, you know me so well." I meant every word. There wasn't another soul who knew me so well.

"I know." He nodded, looking mighty proud. "Are you going to share?"

"Share what?" I frowned.

He sighed. "Your thoughts, Olivia."

"Nope." I shook my head. "They're mine."

"Damn it, woman." He captured my jaw in his hands as I giggled, planting a kiss on my lips. "Tell me."

"No." I shook my head, careful not to break contact of his lips on mine. "Never."

"I love you." He whispered. "It pains me to know you're keeping things from me."

When he put it that way - I was nearly helpless. Nearly. "You're trying to manipulate me Mr. Rush. I know your ways."

A low rumble sounded in his chest and he pulled away from me. "You'll be the death of me."

I shook my head. "Never."

"Stop saying forms of no." He narrowed azure eyes on me and I shivered. It was a natural response.

"Never," I beamed as I picked up a bottle of shampoo.

Jace shook his head. "You'll pay for that, Angel."

"I'm sure I will." I challenged him. "With glee."

 

Chapter 3

I watched Olivia eat her oatmeal and blueberries sprinkled with brown sugar and tried not to appear too nervous. But I had been waiting all morning for David's phone call. It was almost noon now, and I still didn't have a confirmation. I had plans to start making. I needed to know. And, I fucking prayed she was pregnant. Because even though she said she wanted our child now, I was afraid if she found she wasn't pregnant, she would try harder to prevent the possibility of becoming pregnant again. I could admit it was a shock to me that she became pregnant so fast. But it was a joyous one. I wouldn't change it.

"What are
you
thinking about?" Olivia asked as she set her spoon in her bowl.

"Why would I tell you?" I asked. "It's not like you tell me?"

Her mouth dropped and I felt a grin light my face. "I tell you...sometimes."

"And I tell you sometimes." I raised a brow as she pondered this. Maybe from now on she would tell me her thoughts.

"Fine, whatever." She shrugged, feigning disinterest. She did a shitty job. I could see she was prickly over my lack of response. "I don't care."

"I'm sure." I was about to start teasing her when my phone rang in the pocket of my jeans. Olivia immediately froze and her face paled.

"Is that?" She didn't finish. But we both knew who she was asking about.

I picked up my phone. "David," I answered. "I've been waiting." My eyes were trained on Olivia the entire time I held my phone to my ear.

"Yes, sorry. I got to the office a little later than usual." He paused and I could hear papers flipping in the background. "The test was positive. Olivia is pregnant."

"Thank you." I said gruffly. I could see Olivia's confusion as she watched me, trying to make sense of the conversation.

"Congratulations, Jace." David replied. "I'll let you go so you can tell Olivia the news."

"Thanks." I said again. I didn't want to give anything away to Olivia while I was on the phone. I could see her hands nervously worrying the fringes of her sweater as she waited for me to finish my conversation. As soon as I hung up, I heard her take a deep breath of air into her lungs.

"Well?"

I cocked my head. "What do you want?"

She frowned. "What did he say, Jace?"

"I'm asking you what you want?" I repeated.

She stood silently for a few minutes and all the while my heart felt as though it was about to rip its way from my chest. I needed her to tell me she wanted our child. I needed her to want it before I told her for certain that she was pregnant.

"Jace," she began. "I know I'm pregnant." Her voice was quiet and her eyes were beginning to mist with tears. "I just know. It's early, but I know. And I can admit that it came as a shock I couldn't swallow yesterday, but today I can. I want this child we're having. I will love this child with everything I have inside of me and so will you." A tear fell from her eyes. "So don't you dare tell me I'm not," her voice cracked and I caved.

In one second, I was sitting across the kitchen from her and the next she was in my arms. "You are, Angel." I spoke into the curve of her neck. "We are." A sob fell from her lips, toppling into the silence as I cradled her face in my hands. "Tell me these are happy tears."

She nodded. "They are, Jace." Her body shook so hard it worried me. "I'm so happy. I am."

I laughed. "Me too, Angel."

Her voice was small and adamant when she spoke again. "But you'll need to get an assistant."

I laughed even harder. If I loved this woman any more, my heart would surely burst. She filled me with more life than I ever imagined I would feel. She was the definition of reason, the entirety of meaning. Every day I had with her was a gift and I would do anything and everything to ensure I had as many as possible.

When I didn't answer her, she pulled back to glare at me. "You will get an assistant. Won't you?"

"Am I not with you enough?" I asked.

She frowned and shook her head without thinking. "It will never be enough, Jace. I will always want more."

I smiled. "I feel the same way."

"So, you'll get an assistant?"

I shrugged. "We'll see."

"Jace," she sighed heavily as she shook her head.

I caught her face in my hands and kissed her mouth. "When can we tell my mother?"

She pinned me with conniving brown eyes. "When can I tell Trisha?"

I frowned. "How about we celebrate first?"

She smiled excitedly and I felt my heart swell. I fucking loved that smile. "Celebrate how?"

"Well, I'm thinking we should move the wedding up."

She laughed. A high-pitched squeal of giggles before her face turned serious and she stepped back away from me. There's the hackles I was expecting. "Why would we do that?"

"Because you're pregnant and we have other things we need to begin doing."

"Like what?"

"Like getting everything ready for a baby." I said seriously.

She sighed as she carried her bowl to the dishwasher, placing it inside. "Jace, we only have two months to plan our wedding as it is. Why would you think we could do it in any less time?"

"I was thinking the middle of October."

Her brows raised. "You're delusional."

"No, I'm confident." I argued.

She chuckled. "I'm pretty sure delusional is more accurate."

"Olivia." I warned and she pursed her lips.

"Get rid of that tone, Jace." Wow. That was an angry mother tone if there ever was one. She would catch on just fine to motherhood. I was certain. I really don't even understand what she's afraid of.