Hard to Love Page 18

“I was fucking miserable without you. An absolute wreck. Please forgive me, cupcake.”

She looked up, seeming to draw some strength at hearing me grovel, her mischievous grin slipping back in place. “And you’ll commit—only to me. No more filming no matter how tough times get.”

“I promise.” I kissed the back of her hand, her knuckles, her wrist.

“And you won’t even so much as look at another woman when we’re together.”

I met her eyes. “I won’t need to. I’ve got the most beautiful girl in the world with me.” We were making our own vows to each other, and no matter how strange they might have seemed they were perfect for us. “Will you be okay with me sitting on my ass on Sunday afternoons, watching the game and having a beer?”

She laughed, deep and throaty. “Only if you’ll let me have chicken wings.”

I smirked. “Done.”

She crawled onto my lap, straddling me and resting her head against my chest. It was strange how I’d come to think of this as her spot. She traced a tender fingertip lightly over my chest, grazing against the hair. “Would you go to the store and get me tampons and chocolate ice cream and cheesy gossip magazines when I need them?”

“Damn baby, if I can play Beauty Shop Barbie with Lil, don’t you think I can handle that?”

She chuckled, her chest brushing against mine as she laughed. My body stirred to life, remembering that we were still mostly naked.

I turned and gently lowered her onto the bed, settling myself over her. I licked her nipples, pulling one into my mouth, and kept my eyes locked on hers. I took my time, thoroughly worshipping her with my mouth and fingers until she was soaking wet and begging me for more. God, I loved this girl.

I arranged her on her back, her legs spread wide for me, and knelt between her knees. I inched forward until I was disappearing inside her. Watching my cock slip between her pink folds was insanely hot.

My only issue with this position, propped up on my knees the way I was, was that I couldn’t kiss her. I had the perfect view of her hot little body, however, so I used it to my full advantage. Having her laid out before me this way allowed me to cup her breasts and dip between her legs to massage her clit. “I want you to come for me, baby.”

She moaned softly, her eyes closing in concentration. “Cade, I want it faster.”

“You sure, baby?”

“Yeah,” she groaned out, meeting my gaze again.

I gripped her knees and increased my tempo, until I was fully buried with each thrust, my balls hitting her ass.

Oh fuck, I wasn’t going to last at this pace. Her warmth, her body, her tight little pussy…. Ah, shit. “Baby, I’m going to come.”

“Not yet,” she whispered.

I bit back a curse, and pumped harder, circling her clit faster. Droplets of sweat rolled down my back from the effort of holding off my orgasm. “Baby?”

“Not yet,” she cried.

I gripped the base of my shaft, pinching off my impending orgasm, and continued thrusting. My balls tightened as the physical ache from holding back overtook me.

Her cries got louder and her hips ground against mine. She was close. With one hand still playing with her clit, I used my other to massage one breast, pinching and rubbing her swollen nipples.

Her hips shot off the bed and her raspy voice moaning my name sent me over the edge. I pumped twice more and climaxed, leaning over her to whisper loving endearments while I came.

We made love twice more and then called for delivery, refusing to get out of bed even while we ate—sushi of all things. Alexa had promised I’d like it, and surprisingly it actually wasn’t half bad. Once we finished, we lounged in the center of the bed, unwilling to leave each other’s arms.

“How could I be enough for you, baby? You deserve the world. My own parents didn’t even want me,” I asked, tracing a single fingertip over her naked hipbone. I’d denied her request to get dressed after the last time we’d made love.

She leaned up on her elbow to look down at me. “Your parents missed out on an amazing man. And as far as you not being good enough…” She shook her head. “Think about the unconditional love you have for Lily. She may have her challenges, and you probably never envisioned caring for a six year old at your age, but to you, she’s perfect.”

I knew she was right. I’d take a bullet for Lily. And I felt the same way about Alexa.

“You might not have been who I ever pictured myself with, but you’re exactly what I need—someone I can let loose and be myself with. Not some uptight, suit-wearing douchebag who’s only hanging around in the hopes of impressing my father to secure his next promotion.”

“True. That’s not me.”

“And I love that about you. I love knowing that you’d stand up to my parents—or anyone, for that matter—to make sure I was happy.”

“Hell, yeah, I would.”

I tucked Lex under my arm and held her until her breathing became deep and even. I hadn’t ever spent the night away from Lily, but knowing Sophia was sleeping over at my place, and that Lily was safe—and most importantly that I had Alexa back—I fell into an easy sleep, feeling happier and more complete than I ever had.


“What exactly do you think you’re doing?” I asked Alexa as she crawled across the cab of my truck and onto my lap.

“Shh. I have an idea,” she murmured against my neck. Having her straddling my hips in that little black skirt sent a wave of desire through my system.

“No fair, baby. I don’t have room to touch you.” I gripped the arm rests on either side of her, caging her in against me, but still letting her have her way.

She lifted her chin and caught my eyes, confidence and desire blazing in those blue depths. “Hush. I was once told you liked sex in the cab of your truck.”

A low rich chuckle tumbled from my lips. That’s what this was? “Used to. Pre-Alexa.” Or P.A., as we’d taken to calling my life before her. I was not fucking her in my truck. Sure it was dark out and the parking lot was mostly deserted, given the hour, but Alexa deserved more. She deserved everything.

She grinned at me, nestling herself in even more snugly in my lap. “Yes, but you came out dancing with my friends tonight even though I know you hate loud clubs, and I want to reward you.” She rocked her hips against the front of my jeans, the friction of our bodies demanding attention.

I took her chin in my hand and kissed her mouth. I did hate dance clubs, but getting to watch Alexa dance in a miniskirt and heels and feeling her grind up against me all night, well let’s just say I was no martyr. It had also helped that we’d seemed to bridge the gap between our friends, inviting several of her friends and mine out together. Sort of our first real coming out as a couple. And to our surprise, everyone had gotten along well. Even Tyson and I had buried the hatchet between us. It appeared some had gotten along better than others, too—case in point, I was pretty sure Ian and MacKenzie were currently en route to his place.

I couldn’t help but smile, because this was exactly what we’d been doing for the past month—her introducing me to the things in her world and me introducing her to mine.

Alexa continued to watch me, her expression curious, her mouth curving into a mischievous smile.

“Not here. Not in my truck, baby. Let me take you home where I can fuck you properly,” I kissed her, nipping at her mouth.

She grinned and shook her head. “I’m not breakable, Cade. You don’t have to treat me like a princess. I want you.”

“Cupcake…” my voice came out in a half moan, half whisper.

She worked her hands in between us, unbuckling my belt and tugging down my jeans. God, I was completely at her mercy. She owned me. And the gleam in her eye and smile twitching on her lips told me she knew it.

“I think I need to remind you…” She tugged my boxers down just enough to free my cock. “That this belongs to me.” She angled herself closer, grinding against me so I could feel just how damp her panties were.

Fuuuuck. “Oh, it’s all yours, cupcake.” I tugged her panties to the side, running my thumb along her swollen lips. Knowing she was ready, I thrust my hips up, meeting her wet heat with gentle thrusts. She whimpered and writhed, adjusting to the fullness as I slipped inside. I clenched my jaw to keep from crying out when her impossibly tight, warm channel sank down on me.

“Every inch, mine,” she whispered.

“Yes, yours.” I kissed her passionately while she increased her speed.

Alexa cried out and pressed her hand against the window, smearing the steamed-up glass with a handprint. If it wasn’t obvious what was happening in this truck before, it certainly was now.

Her whimpers grew more insistent and I knew she was close. I never had to ask her anymore. I could always tell when she was about to come and timed my release accordingly. She raised and lowered herself on me while repeatedly moaning my name like it was her mantra. It was fucking hot. She tossed her head back, moaning low in her throat and rode out the pulsing orgasm I could feel squeezing me. I gripped her hips, pumping hard and fast, and quickly followed her over the edge.

After, I cradled her to my chest, holding her while our heartbeats slowed and breaths mingled. “I love you, cupcake.”

“I love you, Caden,” she murmured, her lips pressed against my neck.


Alexa ~ Eight months later

“That girl’s a fish—look at her go,” my dad chuckled, squinting into the sun.

Watching Lily splash around in the pool was my new favorite way to spend a Saturday. I had grown up in this pool, on the patio of this Country Club, but somehow watching Lily enjoy it was even better than my own memories.

My mom was in the pool with Lily, since trying to keep her out of the water was like trying to keep Cade from calling me cupcake—it was a lost cause.

I looked across the terrace to find Cade returning with lunch. He set the foam boxes on the table between my father and I, before dropping a kiss on my lips and settling in the lounge chair beside me.

“What’s for lunch?” my dad asked, addressing Cade.

He chuckled. “Burgers. What else?”

It had becoming a running joke between them. When my mom wasn’t in the pool with Lily and was the one to order lunch, she’d come back with salmon salad or something equally as foreign to Cade and Lily’s palates. They were good sports about it though, just like my parents were when Cade came back with cheeseburgers for everyone. It was like we were all learning to exist together. Even my dad had cut back on working Saturdays in the summer to spend the days with us here.

Things had changed considerably over the past several months since I graduated from nursing school. Most notably, Cade had won my parents over. It hadn’t been easy at first, but Cade had persisted. He’d started his own success contracting company, and sought my dad out for financial advice, which he was all too happy to provide, seeing as finance was his favorite topic. My dad in turn referred him to several clients for remodeling projects—wealthy people at the country club—and Cade’s business had grown considerably in a short time. Most of all, it gave him a boost of confidence, and forced any lingering worries over money from his mind. It was nice to see him a bit more relaxed because of it.

Another big part of my parents coming around had to do with little Lily—she was just so loveable. Though my mom never seemed the grandmotherly type, she’d begun coming over several days a week to pick up Lily. It was nice to see my mother have someone in her life to devote attention to, rather than sitting alone in their big house.

Cade had begun helping my dad around the house with odds and ends, my father gaining a healthy respect for the self-taught skills Cade possessed. Of course we’d conveniently left out Cade’s brief stint as a porn star and though his videos were still online, we doubted my parents would ever discover them.

The biggest change came last month when Cade sold his grandparents’ little house, and I sold the condo my parents had bought for me a few years before, and together we bought a house halfway between both our places. It was in the same school district for Lily and still close to the hospital, where I now worked full time.

My dad grabbed a towel for my mom and Lily’s pink hooded towel that had her name embroidered along one side—a gift from my mom—and helped them from the pool.

I took the opportunity to inspect Cade. His eyes were glued to me too.

Cade in a pair of navy swim trunks slung low on his hips was enough to make me want to drop my bikini bottoms and wade out in the water with him for some underwater action, spectators be damned. But of course, I didn’t. I just clenched my thighs together, knowing that when we got home from the pool, Lily would be exhausted and ready for a nap and Cade and I could disappear into our room for some alone time.

“Later cupcake,” Cade whispered as if reading my mind. “Now eat. You’re going to need your energy for what I have planned.”

I stifled a gasp and grinned up at him. I was his, completely. Body, heart and soul. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.

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