Be with Me(Wait for You)(95)

By: J.Lynn



I held my breath.

His gaze searched mine. “I never could picture myself married, you know. After what happened with Kari and spending these last couple of years watching my parents raise Jack, I didn’t see a family for myself in the future.”

My heart rate picked up.

“But that’s changed,” he continued, holding my stare, and those silvery eyes became my entire world in that moment. “And it changed because of you. Now I can see myself married, and I can see myself having my own family. With you. And that’s the best gift I could ever have.”

I opened my mouth, but I was beyond words. What he said was like basking in the August sun and had stolen my very ability to speak.

“Hey.” He cupped my cheeks. “Say something.”

I needed to say something, because what he said was so wonderful and so beautiful. My heart was pounding, and my thoughts were a mess of so many things. Elation rose deep inside me. Us. Together. Marriage. A family. One day. I fell in love all over again.

“God, Jase,” I breathed, closing my eyes. “I love you. I love you so much.”

He made a deep sound in the back of his throat and closed the tiny distance between us, fusing our mouths together. We kissed as if we were desperate for each other, pouring how we felt into it. And even when the swell of passion subsided just enough for us to breathe, we stayed close. Forehead to forehead. Lips brushing every so many seconds. Neither of us spoke, because everything that we needed to say had been said.

We stayed like that until the sound of pounding little feet forced us to break apart. Jack plopped down beside us, precariously holding a plate of cookies in one hand and a tablet in the other. He looked up at us with eyes that matched his father’s and tugged at my heart.

“Cookie?” Jack held out a half-eaten chocolate chip cookie.

I took it and broke it in half, holding one half up. Jase’s lips brushed my fingers as he took the whole thing in his mouth, causing Jack to burst into giggles. I ate mine a bit slower.

“These cookies are the best,” I told him.

A proud smile puffed up his round cheeks. “Cuz I made them.”

“That’s right.” Jase rested his chin on my head as he reached out, messing up his son’s hair with a large hand. “You’ve got mad cooking skills.”

“I wanna make Krispie treats next year for Santa.”

Jase groaned. “I don’t have good luck with those things.”

“That’s okay,” I said. “I can teach you. I make some really good Rice Krispie treats.”

Jack’s eyes widened. “Really?”

“Promise.” I grinned as I glanced up, seeing his parents standing in the doorway. Tears glistened in his mother’s eyes as Mr. Winstead squeezed her shoulder. As my gaze fell back to Jack, who had moved on from the cookies to the tablet and was already engrossed in his game, I realized what his parents were seeing.

Because I was seeing it too.

The future.

The three of us.

So much had changed for us in a little over four months. Back in August, I never thought I’d be here on Christmas Eve, with my lips still tingling from Jase’s sweet kisses. Our future together wasn’t something any of us planned. I’d always thought I’d be a dancer. Jase always believed he’d never let himself fall in love again. None of this was expected, but I wouldn’t give any of this up to dance again.

My dream had been shattered, but then re-created, fashioned into something with more meaning and becoming more precious.

Holding the game high, Jack whooped as he smiled up at Jase. One day, he would know the truth about his father and his mother and I knew deep in my soul, I’d be standing next to Jase when that day came, there for the both of them.

I slid my hands down Jase’s arms, coming to where his hands were nestled just below my belly button. I spread my fingers over his, and he flipped his up, threading our hands together.

“Do you want to play the next round?” Jack asked with hope in his beautiful gray eyes as he looked up at me.

“I’d love to.”

Appeased, Jack returned his attention to the game, and Jase pressed a kiss to my temple, and then, against my skin, he mouthed the words I’d never grow tired of or used to hearing.

He whispered I love you.


Acknowledgments





First and foremost a big thank you to Kevan Lyon and the team at Marsal Lyon Literary and Taryn Fagerness Agency. Tessa Woodward—I’m so glad you love these characters as much as I do and your editorial hand is priceless. Thank you to Jessie, Abigail, Jen, Molly, and Pam—you’re the peeps beyond the scenes, getting the word out and making my job as an author a hell of a lot easier.

Jen Fisher—thank you for letting me turn you and your cupcakes into a fictional character. You’re the bomb and so are your cupcakes. Be with Me would’ve never happened without Stacey Morgan. Not only is she a great friend and assistant, she’s the poor soul who has to read the first drafts of these books. Another big shout-out to the ladies (in and out of writing) who rock: Laura Kaye, Sophie Jordan, Molly McAdams, Cora Carmack, and Lisa Desrochers.

Last and most important, a huge thank-you to all the readers and reviewers out there. Books wouldn’t be possible without you guys. You’re the most integral part in all of this and THANK YOU from the bottom of my little heart.

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