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“You need to be quiet so you don’t wake Maddi,” Lucas groans against my neck while sliding his cock inside me from behind and strumming his fingers over my clit. I gasp and then bite down on my bottom lip so I don’t moan out loud. When I woke up with him behind me, one hand cupping my breast and the other circling my clit, I was already primed and on the brink of coming.

It’s been almost a month since we spent our first weekend together, and since then I’ve spent every night in Lucas’s arms. The day Maddi came home from her grandparents’, she asked if I was staying the night. Lucas immediately said yes. I’m not complaining—I love being with my man and my girl. I love waking up under the same roof as them and coming home to them after a day at work.

They are the family I have always searched for, the family I wanted to build for myself. Things feel right. I feel at home, at peace. I often find myself wondering what would have happened if Tom hadn’t cheated. Looking back, I realize I wasn’t happy, and hadn’t been for a long time. I don’t think Tom was happy, either. Well, obviously he wasn’t, since he was looking elsewhere while married to me. Still, if things didn’t happen the way they did with Tom, I wonder if I would have stayed with him. It’s hard to think about, because I can’t imagine not having this—not having Lucas and Maddi in my life. I love both of them.

“You’re being a very good girl. So quiet while you take my cock.” Lucas’s deep voice makes me shiver. I press my ass back, forcing him deeper. “Such a good girl.” He nips my ear.

“Lucas . . .”

“Give me your mouth.” I turn my head toward him, and he thrusts his tongue into my mouth, kissing me hard while he pinches my clit. I come in an instant, whimpering into his mouth. He thrusts deep twice more before planting himself to the root inside me. Both of us breathe heavily. “I love waking up to you.”

“Do you?” I lean back to see his face, and his eyes search mine.

“Mmm.” He kisses me again as he pulls out, then he rolls me to my back. He looks down at me, running his fingers through my hair. “Are you happy?”

“Yes,” I whisper, lifting my hand to touch my fingers to his jaw. “Are you?”

“Happy?” he asks. I nod. “Happier than I have ever been in my life.”

My face softens. “Do you . . . do you think Maddi is happy?”

“If you have to ask that question, baby, you’re not paying attention. I don’t think I have ever seen her so happy.”


“She’s living in a house with two people who love her.”

“I do love her,” I say, leaving out that I love him, too. I don’t want to ruin this by admitting my feelings too soon—even if I do love him.

“I know you do.” He places another kiss against my lips. “Now if we could just figure out a way to make Eva step up and be the mom Maddi needs her to be, we’d be golden.”

His words make my heart ache. Eva has been around a few times over the last month, mostly showing up out of the blue to pretend like she wants to see Maddi and then hardly sparing her a glance. She’s always more focused on trying to get a rise out of Lucas or attempting to intimidate me with catty words and dirty looks.

I hate her. Okay, hate is a strong word. I don’t hate her, but I don’t understand her at all. There are millions of women who would give anything to be a mother, and it seems to me that she just doesn’t care at all about the gift she was given. I wish I could make her understand, make her realize how blessed she is to have Maddi as her daughter. But I don’t think that will ever happen.

“She’s still planning on coming to the party and bringing the stuff you asked her to bring, right?”

I’ve discovered that Eva has a way of backing out of things and leaving Maddi twisting in the wind. Just last weekend, she was supposed to take Maddi shopping but canceled at the last minute, saying something had come up and she couldn’t make it. I ended up taking Maddi to get manis and pedis to get her mind off it, but I knew that she was upset about not being able to spend time with her mom—even if she hid it well. It worries me how good she is at hiding her disappointment. She never says she misses Eva, but I know she must. I don’t know my mom, but a part of me has always missed her, or the idea of her.

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