Rough Hard Fierce (Chicago Underground Boxed Set)(123)

By: Skye Warren

Not just getting married, but the forever and ever, I love you, amen.

“Allie,” he said. “You told me once I had a white-knight complex. You said I saved you.”

He was going to say I saved him. It was going to be so romantic.

“But the truth is,” he said, “I didn’t save you—I stole you. I wanted you and I knew I didn’t deserve you, but I didn’t care. And for some reason it seems like you don’t either, so it seems to me that I should make it permanent before you come to your senses. Will you marry me?”

The whole last half of that speech, I hadn’t been able to see his face, but I’d heard him. God, had I heard him. It was the very best possible proposal I’d ever heard. More than I’d ever imagined, but so incredibly us. Only Colin could have said that, and only to me. Don’t pass out.


“Yes.” I sucked in a deep breath. “I do. Yes, yes.”

The ring slipped on my finger. Then he was kissing me, and I tasted my tears on my tongue and then impatiently swiped my face and kissed him some more. He pulled me into his arms and kissed me harder, but I pulled away.

“No,” I said. “Not until we get home.”

We packed everything else up together, and then we drove separately back to our house. The sky was already in that dusky color of almost light of the very early morning. Shelly lay sleeping on the couch, and I decided not to wake her. We tiptoed past her into the bedroom like two teenagers late from curfew.

In our bedroom we pulled off our dirty clothes and jumped into bed together. We rolled and roughhoused. We played.

A spring must have squeaked or something, because Bailey began to fuss from across the hall. I threw on a nightshirt and undies before settling her back down.

She blinked at me groggily, the slight light through her curtains probably keeping her from sleep. I’d stay here by her side until she fell asleep again, whatever it took. I rubbed her back while she tossed on the bed.

A few minutes later Colin padded in wearing jeans and a T-shirt.

“I’m sorry,” I whispered. “I think she’ll take a while.”

“It’s okay,” he whispered back. “I thought I’d sit with you.”

We sat in a daisy chain: Colin, me, and Bailey. It turned out to be not great that Colin had come in. When Bailey saw that there were two of us, the sleeping gig was up, but I didn’t mind. It was sweet that he wanted to be with me and her as a family. It had always been that way with him. From the beginning we’d had the sex, but also the closeness. The love, if I’d been able to put a name on it back then.

Bailey climbed off the bed and sat in my lap as she fully woke up. Then she moved around the room, picking up toys and discarding them, and putting some in Colin’s lap until it was stacked with toys. She explained a complicated game to him involving her giving him a toy and him giving it back, and there may even have been a point system. Colin did his best, but he got scolded a few times.

The nagging part of my mother’s brain knew her sleep schedule would be all messed up now. She’d fuss and be cranky, and I’d have to work extra to get her back on schedule. It could take days, really, but I couldn’t be upset, not as the day dawned on our family, playing and happy. It could take days, but we had forever.



Thank you for reading Rough! I hope you enjoyed Colin and Allie’s story…

· The next book in the Chicago Underground series is with Shelly and Luke. You can start reading with Wild.

· Or if you want to read the next three books in the Chicago Underground series, you can get the Wild Dirty Secret boxed set.

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· Turn the page to read an excerpt from Wild…

Excerpt from Wild

The party turned out to be a corporate affair in the penthouse of a swanky modern hotel. A bunch of high-profile CEOs getting high and horny amid miles of glass surfaces—what a brilliant idea.