With her hands anchored to his chest, Erika looked into his eyes. Her baby publicized discontent with a kick. Booker experienced it, too. The biggest smile she had seen on him yet charmed her. “Much.”
Booker positioned her head with his pointer. Next, Erika counted the seconds until his lips touched hers. The contact was a mighty rush to her system. She felt her stomach do a rollercoaster climb, and hang suspended before the exhilarating dive. His delight transmitted as his palms cupped her cheeks, deepening the kiss.
Booker and Erika heaved a breath.
As she followed his lead to the gazebo, composure returned to Erika. “It’s so beautiful back here. The fountain. The flowers.”
“You.” He caressed the back of her neck.
Erika accepted the compliment with a gracious smile. He lured her to sit on the chaise lounge. She had no problem with that idea. After stressing over his encounter, she deserved a rest. But, before she scooted back, Booker sat astride the seat. Instead of the padded chair back, her body rested on his broad chest.
He leaned around her with questioning eyes.
Her actions spoke louder than any words. Erika grooved her shoulders into the semi-circle of his arms. Booker responded by blending his fingers into hers, which rested on her stomach. She sighed in contentment.
“Comfy?” He nestled his chin in her hair.
“As a cool breeze on a hot summer’s day.”
Booker lay back, angling her into a deeper recline. Each breath he took lulled Erika into profound relaxation. The scent of roses was like a spa aromatherapy session. Adding to the attack on her senses was the soothing sound of the bubbling water feature. Positively in her element, Erika drifted off to sleep.
* * *
Booker inhaled Erika into his system. She felt so soft and pliable as she snuggled into him. The baby she carried, his baby, provided him proof of life. How she slept through the jumping jacks going on inside her astounded him. Yet, she did. He would cherish this intimate moment forever.
“Booker?” His parents showed up in the doorway.
He silenced them with a finger to his lips. June blew him a kiss as Trace steered her out of sight with an expression that confirmed the acceptance of his decision to pursue Erika. Fulfillment rippled the blood flowing in Booker’s veins. His heart lurched. “Don’t mess this up.”
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