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“Holy shit.” My breath whooshes out of me as Leo and I watch the news. He warned me this was going to be on national television and my picture would more than likely be broadcasted. Leo wasn’t wrong. My mind is that of a hamster on a wheel, constantly spinning but nowhere to go. I’m literally sitting in shock. They listed so many charges for my parents. More on my father than my mother, which Leo let me know was very likely.

“Hopefully, this is the end of it. Travis was going to try and do damage control, but I don’t know that he can, being this far away, even with his reach.” I’m leaning back into Leo for support. His arm is wrapped around me, and not for the first time am I really loving his couch. It’s big enough to lie down lengthwise without anyone falling off. The softness only adds that much more to it.

“It’s okay. I knew it was going to be bad. But the embezzlement? That was a shocker even to me. I bet my grandaddy is dancing in the sky right now. He always made noise about Robert Sutton being a good-for-nothing scuzz bucket. Of course, he waited until I formed my own opinion about my parents. I probably should have never gone back to their house, you know?”

“People do some shady shit, and don’t beat yourself up. Parents aren’t supposed to be like those two. Tomorrow will be better, the day after that even better. It’s only going uphill from here, sweetheart.” Leo’s lips meet mine, slow at first, almost tentative, as if I’m fragile. The truth is, I probably would be worse off if Leo weren’t here to pick up the pieces along the way.

That’s not what I sense right now. I feel the love I have for Leo coming off in waves and need to let him know.

“Leo,” I moan against his lips, reluctantly pulling back. I lick my own lips trying to get the words to come out in a way that conveys everything I feel for him.

“Oh no, you don’t. It’s written all over your face. You aren’t saying it first.” Leo’s voice is gruff, like he means business. I let the air out that I was inadvertently holding.

“What did you think I was going to say first?” I play along with him. He moves our bodies so we’re facing each other, cupping my cheeks in both of his palms.

“Funny girl, you were going to say you love me, and sweetheart, you have to know how much I love you already. Fuck what others might say, the shit that has been thrown at you, you’re mine, and that’s the only thing that matters. Tinsley Sutton, I love you.” He says those three words slowly, a breath a part, making sure I can see the meaning behind them.

“I love you, Leo.” My voice is low, barely above a whisper. My lips meet his, needing to taste him. Our tongues tangle. I’m on my back in an instant, Leo’s body hovering above me, my legs spread open, allowing his hips to settle between mine. The sexual headiness always burns this brightly between us. “I have so much I want to say, I could write a three-hundred-page book on what you mean to me.” The words tumble from my lips.

It’s a bone-deep need to be around Leo, to feel his presence surround me, listen to him talk about everything and nothing. The way Leo’s laugh comes deep from his soul, that he cares for his family with every depth of his being.

“I know you do, sweetheart. Now, you want to finish watching the news or maybe enjoy the hot tub?” He arches his eyebrows, knowing how I’ve been longing to make use of it, especially with Leo. The fantasies have been running rampant, him fisting my hair as he takes me deep. Leo swallowing my moans as he makes me cry out with pleasure, or me sucking his thick cock as he sits on the edge while the jets tease my clit, causing us both to go over the edge.

“I’ll beat you there!” I move from underneath him, Leo allowing it so he can watch me strip as I make my way to the back door. I can finally breathe. For the first time since my grandaddy died, I feel like I’ve found the place where my soul feels at rest.

Leo’s body fits to mine from behind, his skin against my own, the heat seeping from us.

“I think I won this time.” His hands engulf my breasts, causing me to tip my head back. My center is already achy and needy.

“We both win this round.” We make our way outside and take advantage of the hot tub and everything it has to offer.



Six Weeks Later

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