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I shake my head. “No. no. I don’t need any.”

“Yeah, you do. I’m paying,” he argues.

But I interrupt him. “You can’t.”

“I can and I will. If it bothers you, it can be an advance on your check. But you need some clothes and other stuff.”

I finally give in, quickly learning that Brett is the type of man that gets what he wants.


When I can see that her breaths are coming in soft, I’m almost worried that I waited too long. “Emma...”

“Yeah?” she whispers.

“Can I hold you?... just hold you.”

Instead of answering, she slides across the bed toward me. I lift the covers, and when she’s close, I pull her fully against me. She rests her head against my chest, and I put one arm over her waist and wrap one leg around her thigh. Instead of freezing up like I expect her to, she melts into me.

I hold her just like that.

When I hear her tiny snore, I snuggle even closer to her. She’s small against me, but she fits just right.

My cock hardens between my legs, but I take deep soothing breaths to calm myself. That’s all I need is for her to wake up and freak out, running from the room.

I’m so tired. I barely slept last night, and it was a busy and eventful day, but I still can’t sleep. I doze off and on throughout the night and become a little more satisfied knowing that Emma is still in my arms.

Before I know it, the sun is up. Normally, I’m already out of bed taking care of the animals and the ranch, but I’ve already sent Raymond a text, telling him I’ll be out later.

I can hear Sophia rummaging around in the living room, and I let a breath out, wishing that it was just Emma and me here. That she was in my bed, in my arms, because that’s where she wanted to be instead of me sort of conniving it to happen.

I know I need to get up. If for no other reason than to get rid of Sophia. I know her, and she’s not going to leave until she’s had her say.

I kiss Emma softly on the head. “Stay right here. I’ll be back.”

She moans but never opens her eyes.

I get out of bed and pull on my jeans and a T-shirt. With one last look at Emma in my bed, I walk out to talk to Sophia.

She’s pissed. There’s no doubt about it.

I sigh deeply. “Sophia, it’s time for you to leave and go home.”

“I don’t have a home. This was going to be my home,” she says snarkily. She’s acting like I cheated on her or something. She’s the one that chose to leave. Now I’m glad she did.

I walk to the kitchen and turn on the coffee pot. “Well, that’s not an option.”

She walks up behind me, and as soon as her hand touches my back, I move away. I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize the trust I’ve already built with Emma. She’s not going to catch me in any compromising positions. I’d die first.

“Don’t touch me, Sophia. We can talk, but we’re going to do it from a safe distance.”

She sighs and takes a step back. “Brett, we were good together.”

I cross my arms over my chest and lean back on the counter. I see that her bag is by the front door, so at least she does plan to leave, I’m just holding out hope it will be soon.

“At one time, I thought we were too. But now, I know we weren’t. We are way too different. I don’t have any feelings for you. We aren’t meant to be together.”

She laughs, a laugh that I used to find cute and now is just irritating. “What? You think you and that trash in there is meant to be?”

I go to the balls of my feet in defense instantly. “She’s not trash. This is our home, Sophie. She invited you to be our guest because she felt bad for you. She’s the best, most kind-hearted woman I’ve ever known. I think it’s time for you to leave.”

“She’s not going to make you happy,” Sophia claims.

I just smile at her. “She already does. Just in the short time I’ve known her, I know she’s the one. She’s going to be my wife, she’s going to have my babies, she’s going to be the one that has my heart. I won’t let anyone or anything come between us.”

“You just think you love her.”

At that moment, Emma opens the bedroom door, and her eyes find me immediately. Her face is guarded but curious.

I look right at her, telling Emma instead of Sophie, “No, I know I love her. I felt it the first time I met her.”

She smiles then, a huge smile, and Sophie grunts in disgust.