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But she couldn’t. She mustn’t. Because those were against the rules, and she had Billie to think of.

Logan could feel Tilly hurting, and everything in him wanted to haul her close, kiss and comfort her, give her all the words she needed to hear to soothe her pain.

But he couldn’t. He mustn’t. Because those were against everything he had worked hard his entire life for, and if he broke his rule this once…Logan knew it wouldn’t be the last, and before he knew it, he would already be no different from his father, with his future dependent on the whims of his wife.

The detour to the Montgomery home was a relief for Tilly. With Liam made energetic by his hours-long nap, the little boy talked nonstop, and listening to him offered her heart some much-needed respite from all the aching it had done over Claudette’s actions.

It was past midnight by the time they made it back to Logan’s ranch, and although the night nurse was already in the nursery, Liam had made a rare fuss about wanting Tilly close while he drank his milk. By the time he had finally settled down, it was already half-past one, and a sense of déjà vu struck her as she hesitated outside the billionaire’s door.

She had stood at the very same spot just last night, and the memory had Tilly’s heart feeling funny.

If he doesn’t let me in again, my pride wouldn’t be able to take another blow—

The door suddenly opened, and Tilly started in surprise.

“Why are you just standing there?”

The billionaire was still in his suit, just minus the tie now, and even with his mussed-up hair, he was still such a magnificent sight to behold. The sensual beauty of his face and the earthy masculinity of his presence – he was just too perfect. And wasn’t that reason enough for her to accept that the time would eventually come that a man like him would lose interest in a girl like her?

“Tilly?” The billionaire’s impatient tone dragged her attention back to him. “Why didn’t you just fucking knock?”

The question caught her off guard, and it had Tilly sending him an unconsciously chiding glance. Why do you think?

The billionaire flinched, and she blinked. It was almost as if he had read her thoughts.

“Never mind that,” Logan said under his breath. “Just come in.” He stepped aside to let her in, and as his gaze followed the subtle but entrancing sway of her hips, he was reminded of the last time she had been in his room.

That had only been a week or so ago, and yet it felt like a fucking eternity had already passed. Just over a week, and she was already rocking his world so fucking hard that Logan knew he couldn’t fucking let it continue. Just goddamn couldn’t.

If he wanted to kiss someone else, he had every right to do so. He had bought her, and she had no power over him.

So make that clear once and for all, Hardwall.

But when he opened his mouth, something else came out entirely.

“I’m sorry,” he said harshly. “I know you’re smart enough to have figured this out already, but for the record, Claudette was the one who kissed me and not the other way around.”

Tilly was staring at him blankly.

“Did you hear what I just said?” he gritted out.

“I d-did.” Tilly’s voice was faint.

“And?” His tone became forceful, defensively so, almost as if he didn’t want her to know how much her answer meant to him.

Tilly didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. It was just so like him, so, so like her beautiful billionaire to do this. He didn’t owe it to her to apologize, but he had. The foundation of their marriage meant that he would always be the one with the power to call the shots, and yet here he was, treating her like they were on equal footing.

It made her feel special, but more than that, it made him special, and it was then Tilly knew.

She hadn’t wanted to admit to being jealous, but she had been. She hadn’t wanted to admit to feeling hurt, but she had been.

Her eyes squeezed shut, but the tears fell anyway.

Because I love him.

Logan whitened when he saw the tears slowly running down Tilly’s pale cheeks. “Why the fuck are you crying?”

She choked out a teary laugh, not feeling offended at all, considering the genuine note of panic in the billionaire’s voice.

“What the fuck did I say or do?”

The worst thing possible, she thought hysterically, which is to make me fall in love with you.

“Stop looking at me like that,” Logan said between clenched teeth, “and just say it. In case you haven’t noticed, I can’t read your fucking mind—”

But you can.

“For fuck’s sake, Tilly, just say it!”

I can’t.

“You can tell me anything—”

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