God, I loved kissing that man. My fingers dove into his hair and I held his face against mine while we kissed like there was no tomorrow. We barely pulled away enough so that we could strip each other of our clothes. My bachelorette tank top ended up somewhere in the hallway with Jared’s t-shirt and my pants were gone before we hit the bed.
I pushed him down onto his back and watched as he got comfortable on one of the pillows in the middle of the bed. With his hands behind his head, he offered me a handsome smirk. I slowly crawled up the bed, taking advantage of my position to appreciate his naked body, and ended up straddled across his naked waist. I kissed along his stomach, up his chest, and along his chin until our mouths met.
“I love you,” Jared said against my lips right before I straightened up. I moved my hips until I could push down on top of him, connecting our bodies, and let out a blissful sigh.
“I love you, too, Jare. So much.”
I moved on top of him, finding the perfect rhythm, and he stared up at me with so much reverence. His hands slid up my stomach, across my breasts, and he didn’t stop until he could tug my head down to kiss me.
Our movements became frantic and my eyes slammed closed when pleasurable sensation filled me from my head down to my toes. I called out Jared’s name and gasped when he rolled us, drilling his hips into mine forcefully and managing to send me back over the edge again.
When I opened my eyes, we were both panting heavily and Jared had buried his face into the crook of my neck. I kissed his sweaty shoulder and he didn’t move until after his breathing had leveled out. He pushed himself up slightly and stared down at me.
“Making love to you still blows me away. You were made for me, Steph.”
“Or maybe you were made for me, City Roast.” I grinned at him and pressed against his side once he had shifted onto his back. Settled into the warm cocoon of his arms, I quickly fell asleep.
The Friday following the bachelorette party, I sat in the nursery with Chris in my arms. Jared and I had been rocking him to the point where he was drowsy but not asleep before placing him in the crib in hopes that he would start putting himself to sleep. It was working pretty well so far.
His little eyelids were heavy as I laid him down and he offered me a sleepy smile when I placed his lovey against his cheek. The giraffe part immediately went to his mouth and he turned his head away, closing his eyes as he did.
“I love you, sweet boy,” I murmured, stepping away from the crib. I could have stood there watching him for hours but knew if he realized I wasn’t leaving, he wouldn’t go to sleep.
I left the nursery and headed back out to the living room. Jared was sitting on the couch and he smiled the second our eyes met. “He go down okay?”
“Of course he did,” I replied with a teasing scoff. “He’s perfect.”
Jared’s gaze stayed on me as I approached where he was and when he realized my intent, he dropped his arms to the back of the couch. His green eyes watched as I straddled his lap, placing my knees on the couch on either side of him.
“So, No Grey’s tonight?” he asked with a smirk. I ran my fingers through his hair and shrugged my shoulders.
“I mean, we can do that if you want.” I moved to get out of his lap and his hands flew to my waist, holding me in place.
“You’re such a smart ass.” His lips covered mine and I pushed against his chest, loving the way his hold tightened on me. Kissing him still felt as electrifying and perfect as the first one we had shared months before.
Jared had just pulled my shirt over my head when my phone rang from the coffee table. I groaned at the same time he sighed and buried his face into my neck.
“I can ignore it.”
He chuckled, causing both of our bodies to shake, and lifted up his head so he was looking at me. “See who it is before you decide that.”
“You’re thinking way too rationally for someone who shouldn’t be thinking at all,” I complained as I leaned backwards just enough so I could grab my phone. When I saw Keon’s name, I groaned again and swiped the screen. “Hey, Keon. What’s up?”
“I’m sorry to bug you, Steph.” He sounded exhausted and apologetic. “I just got a DV call and was wondering if you’d go with me.”
Although he was public enemy number one in that moment, he had a good reason for asking. Domestic violence calls were hard as it was but when a tall, muscular man like Keon showed up, it could tend to make a battered woman more afraid and less willing to trust. He had made the right call by contacting me, no matter how crappy the timing was.
I released a long sigh and held Jared’s green eyes as I spoke. “Of course. Want me to meet you there or do you want to pick me up? I’m at Jared’s, so right on State Street by the office.”
“Text me the address and I’ll pick you up in about ten minutes, if that’s okay. Thank you, Stephanie.”
“No problem.” I ended the call and quickly tapped out Jared’s address before looking at my handsome boyfriend. “I’m sorry.”
He offered me a lopsided grin. “You have no reason to apologize, sweetheart. You have to go save the world and I’ll be ready to pick up where we left off whenever you come back.” Our lips pressed together again, this time in a sweeter kiss, and then he gently pushed me to my feet. “Go get ready before I pull the rest of your clothes off.”
“Don’t tempt me,” I mumbled as I grabbed my discarded shirt from the floor and headed down the hallway. I found a pair of black slacks and pulled on a button-up blouse that had been hanging in Jared’s closet. After fixing my ponytail, I slid my feet into my heels and walked back out to the living room.
Jared was sitting on the arm of the couch and he stood when I moved towards the door.
“Keep me updated?”
I nodded and gave him a quick kiss. “I will. Don’t wait up, though.”
“I’ll try not to.” His fingertips trailed down my cheek. “I love you, Steph.”
“I love you, too, Jare.”
I grabbed my bag and opened the front door. Jared stood in the doorway watching until the elevator doors closed and I leaned back against the rail with a happy sigh.
Kenneth was working the desk when I stepped onto the ground floor and he offered me a friendly smile. “Heading out for the night, Ms. Gibson?”
“To work for a bit, unfortunately. Hopefully I’ll be back soon.”
“Be safe out there.” He smiled again and I thanked him before stepping out to meet where Keon had just pulled up.
I slid into the passenger seat and he gave me an apologetic look. Before he could speak, I held up my hand.
“You did the right thing. Let’s get down there.”
He already had the address plugged into the GPS and gave me a brief rundown as we drove.
“From what I understand, one of their kids called the police to report that the dad was hitting his mom. The wife is in pretty bad shape but none of the kids are hurt. The father was still on scene when the police arrived but they haven’t taken him in yet.”
“They haven’t?” I frowned and looked at Keon’s profile. “Why not?”
“Apparently he’s a member of the force and it’s complicated things.”
It took a moment to absorb his words and when I did, everything inside of me went tight. I glanced out the window and realized that I knew exactly where we were going. It was confirmed when we turned onto a familiar street.
“Keon,” I whispered into the dark cab. “Did you say there were three kids?”
Out of the corner of my eye, I could see him look over at me. “I didn’t say but yeah, there are three kids. What’s going on?”
I didn’t answer. I couldn’t. Because we had just pulled up in front of my younger sister’s house.
Police cruisers with their lights flashing were parked out front as well as one active ambulance. Neighbors and other looky-loos were starting to gather and I felt like I was going to be sick. I pushed the door open before Keon even had the car parked and flew out. As fast as my heels would allow, I darted towards the front of the house. A police officer stepped in front with his arms out.