Working with Natalya still pisses me off.
If she were at all smug about having fucked Kurt, I would have punched her by now.
Instead, she’s forever apologetic, but somehow I don’t feel the apology in my soul.
It’s just words.
“We have a litter of kittens coming in,” Natalya gasps, hurrying past me to check the whiteboard that shows all of our vacant rooms.
“A litter?” I frown, scanning the board. “Once they’ve been checked, they can go into number four. It’s quiet in there and surrounded by other rooms so that will be warmer.”
We’re civil enough at work.
We have to be; we’re both passionate about our jobs.
Natalya fusses over Kiki, who snoozes in her bed, one eye lazily opening.
“She’s asleep,” I point out, cutting my eyes at her.
Keep your hands off my fucking dog.
Natalya backs off, chewing on her lip as she hesitates.
Here we go.
“Alison, all I can say is that it wasn’t just sex. Not for me, anyway. I’m sorry.”
This is new.
An admission of emotions, for my ex.
“I don’t care. He was my boyfriend.”
Natalya wrings her hands, hovering near me.
“I’m serious, Natalya; leave me alone.”
“Fine, you can hate me, but I’m telling you the truth. I’m in love with him, and he’s broken my heart. I just thought that might make you feel better.”
Natalya twists on her heel, pushing through the swing door.
I knew only too well how it felt to never be good enough for Kurt.
But she had fucked me over in pursuit of her happiness.
Kurt didn’t matter to me anymore; not now.
But he had when Natalya had fucked him.
Kurt had confessed all to us over dinner not long back, and despite feeling highly disrespected, I felt at peace with him.
I’d fucked him over too, I guess, but even though I had Kurt in my life forever now, I don’t have to have Natalya in mine.
My stomach churns, and I glance at the time; I’d not eaten yet this morning.
Tugging out my tub of granola, I add milk from the fridge, stirring it before I go to check on the animals.
The day goes by without having to interact too much with Natalya, and I’m in love with the furry additions that we’ve named the three musketeers.
They’re so cute and tiny; I can’t help but melt as I watch them snuggle up together.
If I brought anything else home, Lincoln would probably freak out.
He’d taken Mabel with him to check out some new land, but Kiki preferred being with me.
Thinking of Lincoln gives me a warm fuzzy feeling, and I smile to myself as I lock up.
Natalya gives me a faint smile which I ignore, and I head to the truck that’s waiting for me.
“Here she is.”
Lincoln is in his work stuff, and it’s beyond sexy.
“Here I am,” I purr, wrapping my arms around his waist.
He strokes my face, smiling to himself.
“What?” I know I’ve got that dreamy expression on my face, and as Natalya’s car kicks up a ton of dust, Lincoln gives me a boyish grin.
“I know how lucky I am to have you, Alison Slater.”
As always, I shiver when he says my name.
“I’m lucky too,” I murmur, pressing myself against his body.
“We’re both lucky, fine.” Lincoln laughs, spinning me around, so I’m flush against the car.
His hands run down my body until they hover on my waist, his eyes flickering with mischief.
“Are you pregnant yet?”
I laugh, shaking my head with a pout.
“Aw, baby. Don’t worry; it means we get to practice.”
To be honest, I had no idea if I was pregnant or not, but I’d guess not.
My period was due in three days, and I had all the telltale signs it was en route.
I shivered, and Lincoln drapes his arm around me, guiding me to the truck.
Kiki and Mabel greet each other as if they’d never met, sniffing one another in circles until the truck starts.
“I want Chinese tonight.” I plug my seatbelt in, grinning at Lincoln.
“Again? Are you sure you’re not pregnant?” Lincoln rolls his eyes as he reverses the truck.
I’m staring at him when he stops, raising his eyebrows. “What?”
But I can’t explain that he’s made me feel strange for wanting a take-out again.
Like I should be watching my weight.
It’s stupid, but I can’t help it.
“No, you’re right. We had Chinese food not long back.”
Lincoln frowns, shaking his head.
“What did I say, baby? Talk to me.”
Tears sting my eyes, but I know I’m being ridiculous.
“I shouldn’t be eating take out so often.” I bite my lip, rubbing Kikis ears as I turn to stare out of the window.
Lincoln hasn’t ever given me cause to feel this way.
So why do I?
Lincoln looks mortified, and he reaches over to twist my chin toward him.
“Hey, look at me. When have I ever made you feel you’re anything but fucking perfect?”
“I know,” I whisper. “I’m sorry….”
“Don’t be sorry. I honestly didn’t mean to upset you, but it helps when you tell me shit like that. I’d never shame you for wanting to eat, baby.”
I swallow, still not quite believing his words.
“My son needs a slap.”
Lincoln’s jaw tightens as we drive away, and he’s silent the whole ride home.
When we get there, he reaches over, pulling me to his mouth.
The kiss is hot and sexy, but there’s more to it.
He’s telling me he loves me.
“Stay here. I’m taking the dogs in.” Lincoln commands.
I’m tired, and all I want to do is collapse onto the sofa and chill. Watching Lincoln walk away, I wonder what he’s planning.
Judging by those broad shoulders, I pray it involves his body on mine.
Lincoln settles the dogs before striding back to the truck, turning to me.
“I’m taking you out. Chinese, right?”
My grin gives him his answer, and he chuckles as I unbuckle myself to sit closer to him.
“Anything for you, my fucking beautiful woman.”
“I love you.”
Lincoln gazes at me, sweeping my hair away from my face as he sighs.
“You’ve got no fucking idea how much I love you.”
But I’ve got a feeling he’s determined to show me.