Dirty wicked, p.13
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       Dirty Wicked, p.13
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         Part #11.5 of Wicked Lovers series by Shayla Black
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  Sasha?

  Nick leapt to his feet and saw her emerge into a corner of the light with a big soldier-type he recognized as Xander’s buddy Logan. Goddamn it. Why the hell had she come here and put herself in danger?

  For him. Because she loved him. Because she refused to lose him. She’d risked herself, her future with her daughter, and all her precious tomorrows to save him.

  Damn it, if Nick didn’t love her even more. But he wished like hell she’d stayed at the scuzzy motel.

  Clifford yanked the gun in her direction and aimed. “Die, bitch.”

  “No!” Nick shouted and leapt to his feet, gun ready, determined to somehow pull the trigger and end Clifford’s miserable existence before he could fire Sasha’s way.

  To his shock, she raised a weapon of her own and pulled the trigger. Everyone froze as the report of gunfire rang in the air.

  Clifford clutched his neck and staggered back. Blood spurted. He gurgled when he tried to breathe. Then he fell with a last gasp.

  The FBI leapt to action to secure Clifford and surround Sasha.

  Nick leapt over the railing of the bandstand and darted across the grass. “Sasha. Baby!”

  She dropped the gun and fought her way from the cluster of agents to run toward him. “Nick! Oh my… I’ve been so worried.”

  The second he enveloped her in his arms, he gripped her tight, feeling her heartbeat, her warmth, her love. He was never letting this woman go.

  “This nightmare is over, thank God. Where the hell did you get a gun?” he barked.

  “I still have my Louisiana driver’s license. I’d previously taken a gun safety class with my dad and passed. After you left the motel room, I woke and talked to Xander. Then I ran to the sporting goods store and bought this Baretta tonight. I wasn’t going to sit around like a damsel in distress.”

  “But I wanted you to, damn it. Don’t ever run off like that again,” he chided.

  “Then don’t you ever run off on me, either. I’ll never let you leave me behind to face life alone.” She shook her head. “I’ll always be by your side.”

  “But I wanted to save you, baby. That was my plan. That’s why you came to me.” He grabbed her arms. “You should have let me give you that much.”

  “At the expense of your life? You knew that was the likely outcome.”

  He hesitated, then nodded. “That’s not important.”

  “It is to me! What I really need more than your protection is your strength, support, and love. We need to save each other.”

  She was right, and he couldn’t have found a better woman for him if he’d searched the whole fucking planet. “I love you.”

  Nick saw the swarm of agents watching them. Reporters were beginning to appear around the perimeter of the scene, cameras rolling. He overheard swatches of their lead-in, talking about the leaked video and the warrant that had already been out for Clifford’s arrest and speculating that Nick’s conviction—among others—would likely be overturned.

  “It is, and I’m so grateful. But you and I? We’re just beginning.”

  “Yeah.” Nick swallowed. “When you first knocked on my door, I only asked you to give me your body for four weeks. I’m thinking now that I need you to give me your heart for a lifetime.”

  She took his hand and faced the waiting agents. “You’ve got a deal.”

  Epilogue

  Six months later

  Nick smiled as he exited his truck and approached the blonde at the door who never failed to steal his breath.

  “Well?” Sasha asked, toying with the sparkling pendant around her neck.

  After she had wasted Walter Clifford, a slew of dirty cops, along with a few corrupt lawyers and a judge or two, had been exposed and convicted. Nick had insisted he and Sasha look forward together, not back. So he’d replaced the key Mike had sent her before his death with a diamond heart. He loved this woman, and he damn sure wanted her to remember that every moment of every day.

  “You asking if I played nicely with the other boys and girls?” he teased as they headed into the house.

  “Maybe I should ask if they played nicely with you.” She thrust a hand on her curvaceous hip. “I still can’t believe you wore that on your first day at S.I. Industries.”

  “What?” He looked down. A drawing of the Grim Reaper splashed across his chest with a caption that read I Love My Job. “This is my fancy T-shirt.”

  “Nick…” she chided softly.

  “It is. And I did warn Javier and Xander that I wasn’t a corporate guy. Besides, when they saw the shirt, they laughed.”

  She shook her head at him but her adoring smile was all he saw. “So…good day?”

  “Yeah. S.I. Industries will always have security challenges. That reality goes hand in hand with technology and defense contracting. This job will be a challenge and I’m going to enjoy the hell out of it. I’m just glad my predecessor decided to retire.” Nick felt sure the Santiago brothers had helped the man along with a fat paycheck, but since the guy had moved to Grand Cayman, Nick didn’t feel too sorry for him.

  “That’s fantastic.” Sasha hugged him. “I knew this would be the right career move for you.”

  “Totally,” he assured. “Now, how about a kiss from my beautiful wife?”

  A sweet pink crawled up her cheeks and her smiled turned come-hither as she sidled closer and stood on her tiptoes, eyes closed, lips parted. She didn’t have to invite him twice.

  Nick dove in and plundered her lips, dragging her against him with a groan so she could feel just how much he had missed her today.

  “Hmm… How about more than a kiss from my beautiful wife?” he breathed against her lips.

  She grinned. “I gave you a hot sendoff this morning.”

  “That was so twelve hours ago.” He winked.

  “You’re insatiable…” She tried to sound chiding but her smug smile negated her tone.

  “I prefer to think of myself as being too in love to get enough.”

  “Me, too,” she whispered.

  “Mommy.” Harper came skipping into the room, baby doll in hand. “Daddy Nick!”

  With a sigh of regret, Sasha gave him a last lingering peck then backed away just as Harper launched herself into his arms.

  He caught the little imp and hugged her tight. “Hi, pumpkin. How was preschool today?”

  “Fun.” She hugged him tight. “Missed you.”

  “I missed you, too.” He kissed the crown of her little blond curls.

  “Hungry?” Sasha asked the girl.

  “Yesth.” She wriggled out of Nick’s arms, distracted by her toys on the living room floor.

  “Dinner will be ready in five minutes,” Sasha told her daughter, then turned and made her way into the kitchen. “I need to set the table.”

  Watching the sway of her ass, Nick followed. “What smells so good?”

  “Lasagna.”

  “Sounds scrumptious. Do I get dessert, too?” he asked suggestively.

  His wife nodded. “Whatever you want, whenever you want.”

  “Be careful with that offer, baby.” He nodded toward the breakfast nook. “That table looks awfully inviting.”

  Since he’d already fucked her sitting on, tied to, and bent over it more than once, Sasha flushed a deep red and cleared her throat. “Harper, go wash your hands before dinner.”

  “’K.” The girl scampered down the hall.

  Nick watched her go with a tug on his heart. The kid looked more like Mike every day, and he was so damn proud that he’d be raising Harper. He kind of thought his old buddy would be smiling down on them all, too.

  “The final adoption papers came in the mail today,” Sasha said quietly.

  He turned back to her with relief. “So it’s done?”

  “Yes.” She approached and took his hands, toying with the titanium band on his left ring finger. “She’s officially Harper Navarro now. I told her that you would be her new daddy forever, and she was excited. My parents a
re thrilled. And I talked to Glen today. He understands and gave us his blessing. He also agreed to moving up here from New Orleans.”

  Nick let out a sigh of relief. “That’s good. Mike’s dad didn’t have anyone left in New Orleans. We can take better care of him in Lafayette.”

  “Exactly. I’ve got calls into a few facilities around town. You know he’ll want his own space, and he can still live semi-independently. It will be good for both him and Harper to spend more time together.”

  “Absolutely.” And the man had been something like a father to Nick, too, so he was damn glad he’d be seeing more of Glen. “Thanks, baby.”

  “You had the idea. I just helped you follow through.”

  He sank his fingers into her hair and looked deep into her hazel eyes. This woman had haunted him, burned him with desire, and completed his heart in a way he’d never imagined. He was grateful every day that she had knocked on his door that cold November night. He felt incredibly blessed that Sasha had seen past his bluster, accepted his faults, and given him her heart.

  “We make a great team, Mrs. Navarro,” he murmured.

  “We do. In fact, we’re successful at just about everything we try.”

  “Yep. Moving a senior citizen won’t be quite as gritty as finding hidden evidence, offing bad guys, and overturning my rape conviction, but I’m okay with slowing down.”

  “That’s too bad because our lives will be significantly busier…in about seven months.” Sasha took his hand in hers and placed it over her soft, still-flat belly.

  Nick felt his heart stop. He couldn’t breathe. He zipped his gaze to hers, delving for the truth. Love and joy radiated from her features. She fucking glowed.

  “You’re pregnant?”

  She nodded. “I saw the doctor today. I didn’t want to get your hopes up until I knew for sure, but it looks like I might have conceived just before the wedding.”

  Nick thought back, and he knew exactly when it had happened. That March night he had lured her to their backyard with a glass of wine and slowly seduced her under the moonlight had been more than special. At the time, it had felt monumental. Now he knew he’d been right.

  Nick scooped her up in his arms and swung her around. “Ah, baby. I’m so thrilled. I told you that waiting-until-the-honeymoon thing was shit.”

  “You were right. I can’t believe how happy I am.” She hugged him tightly and curled her arms around his neck.

  He gave her hair a gentle tug until their gazes fused. Nick felt their connection all the way down in his soul. “I’m damn happy, too. Let’s stay this way, okay?”

  “I’m planning on it.” She slanted him a saucy stare, then glanced at the table. “So, after dinner…how about that dessert?”

  * * * *

  Also from 1001 Dark Nights and Shayla Black, discover Forever Wicked and Pure Wicked.

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