“Did Marcus come with you to Middlemarch?”
“Aye, but I don’t want to speak about Marcus or my grandmother or anything else.”
Her brows arched. “What would you like to discuss?”
“Us. Our future.” He stood and pulled a small black box from his trouser pocket. “I love you, Anita. I might’ve taken time to reach this conclusion, but my wolf and I want you. Your feline. We want you in our future. We wish to savor the good and help to shoulder the burdens that come along. Will you please marry me and be my forever mate?” He opened the box, but his gaze remained on her.
Breathlessness gripped her, and she gasped in air while her smile started slowly and turned toothy. She stared at the sparkling ring, which was a blend of diamonds and sapphires. The sapphires reminded her of his eyes.
“Yes.” She flew into Rory’s arms, their lips met, and everything was perfect.
Rory pulled back. “Let me see the ring on your finger.” He took her left hand and tugged the ring from the box. He slipped it over her knuckle and smiled with satisfaction. “Perfect.”
She curled her fingers around his and stooped to grab the TV remote. After turning the telly off, she tugged him from the lounge, only pausing to switch off the light.
They stopped at Toby’s room and checked on him. He lay in the middle of the bed, letting out tiny snores. Anita grinned, part of her glad she had a second chance to raise a child. Her gut told her Toby’s presence would strengthen them, and they’d blend into a beautiful family.
In her bedroom—their bedroom now—Anita toed off her shoes and removed her clothes while watching Rory.
“Sweetheart, I love your beautiful mind.” He grinned and stripped faster than her. She was still wearing a pair of lacy white panties when he lifted her off her feet. Seconds later, the mattress was at her back, and she smiled up at him, her heart so full she feared it might burst.
Desire flared hotter as their lips met, and her feline released a loud purr of contentment. Rory chuckled against her mouth and took the kiss deeper. Passion exploded, and her heart thundered because each of his touches fueled her desire. Now that she’d stopped fighting, the physical contact sent magic soaring through her, and the sense of rightness was off the charts.
“Rory, I love you. My enthusiasm about my trip to Scotland fooled everyone, but inside I was miserable. I thought… I thought I’d lost you again, and it was killing me inside. Seeing you here is like a dream.”
“Once I contacted Saber, everything traveled at speed. He made me think I was doing the right thing.”
“Absolutely,” Anita said. “Your people need to heal. A fresh start will help. You have your woodworking skills, which will mean more job opportunities for locals. I assume you’re going to start up your business?”
“Aye, but no more talking. We can do that later,” Rory promised, stealing a quick kiss. He ran his finger over the band of the ring he’d given her earlier and offered her a satisfied smile. “Right now, I want to love you, and if you’re willing, I’d like to mark you, so every other shifter male understands you’re mine.”
“That works both ways.”
“Exactly, and I’ll wear your mark with pride.”
Anita laughed, her happiness and joy spilling free. She shoved at his shoulder, and he let her roll him. Immediately, she claimed the top position and explored his muscular body. While she kissed and stroked, he traced the band of her panties, gave a sharp jerk, and tugged them free.
“My first purchase will be a set of lingerie for my beautiful mate.”
She wagged her finger.“Don’t think I won’t hold you to that.”
“Too much talk. Not enough action,” Rory reminded her with a cheeky smile.
She ran her fingers over his shoulders and lowered her body to drag her nipples across his chest.
“My turn,” he said, seconds before he reclaimed the top spot.
He caged her in his arms and started his romantic assault on her mouth. The lazy stroke of his tongue against hers only drove the tension between them higher. Their lips clung, and she was soon drowning in desire.
“You feel amazing,” he whispered. “I doubt I’ll ever tire of touching you, tasting you.”
Anita understood what he meant. Like perfect puzzle pieces, they fit. Things became more serious, the touches lingering and sweet. With his knee, he parted her legs. Rory ran his finger along her slit and tested her readiness.
“Please don’t make me wait,” she whispered.
Rory rose over her and pushed home in one sweet thrust. “I’m impatient too. Hungry for what I’ve been missing.”