My life with Damien has never been fuller. Every day is a miracle, and every night I lose myself in the oasis of his arms.
But there are new challenges, too. Our families. Our careers. And new responsibilities that test us with unrelenting, unexpected trials.
I know we will survive—we have to. Because I cannot live without Damien by my side. But sometimes the darkness seems overwhelming, and I am terrified that the day will come when Damien cannot bring the light. And I will have to find the strength inside myself to find my way back into his arms.
I smile at the text from Damien, then immediately tap out a reply.
Much. Thank you.
It’s past noon, and I’ve spent a productive morning in my office getting all my proverbial ducks in order. Marge is making calls to all our clients to let them know about Eric’s departure and to tell them I’ll be calling to update them later in the week. Abby is taking point on hiring one new person who can walk the line between tech and client relations, and I’m doing everything else.
So far, there’ve been no crises today, and I’m feeling about eight thousand percent better than I was yesterday. It was still hard leaving the girls this morning, but I went in a bit later, and so we had breakfast and some playtime together.
Glad to hear it. Sending a car for you at five.
I frown, then tap out a reply.
I have Coop here. I drove my Mini Cooper into the office this morning and he’s tucked away in the small parking garage that serves my building.
He can stay in the garage overnight. I want you relaxed. We have plans tonight.
I laugh, delighted.
Are you handling me, Mr. Stark?
His reply is swift: Absolutely.
Love you. (Whispers: but I want to see my babies)
I can almost picture him smiling when he sends the next reply.
No need to whisper. I want to see them, too. Then I want to see you. Alone.
I sigh and realize that I’m smiling, the stress of the last twenty-four hours fading to zero. Maybe Jamie and Abby are right. Maybe I have got this.
Sounds good to me, I reply.
His final text comes almost immediately, tugging at my heart—and at other more intimate places.
Excellent. I’ll see you tonight, Ms. Fairchild. Until then, imagine me, touching you.
For the rest of the day, I spend a lot of time doing exactly that, and by the time Edward—Damien’s personal driver—comes into the office to tell me that he’s ready to take me home, I’m very much in the mood to see my husband.
ABOUT J. KENNER:
J.Kenner (aka Julie Kenner) is the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal and #1 International bestselling author of over seventy novels, novellas and short stories in a variety of genres.
Though known primarily for her award-winning and international bestselling erotic romances (including the Stark and Most Wanted series) that have reached as high as #2 on the New York Times bestseller list, JK has been writing full time for over a decade in a variety of genres including paranormal and contemporary romance, “chicklit” suspense, urban fantasy, and paranormal mommy lit.
JK has been praised by Publishers Weekly as an author with a “flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations” and by RT Bookclub for having “cornered the market on sinfully attractive, dominant antiheroes and the women who swoon for them.” A five time finalist for Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA award, JK took home the first RITA trophy awarded in the category of erotic romance in 2014 for her novel, Claim Me (book 2 of her Stark Trilogy). Her Demon Hunting Soccer Mom series (as Julie Kenner) is currently in development with AwesomenessTV/Awestruck.
Her books have sold over three million copies and are published in over twenty languages.
In her previous career as an attorney, JK worked as a clerk on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and practiced primarily civil, entertainment and First Amendment litigation in Los Angeles and Irvine, California, as well as in Austin, Texas. She currently lives in Central Texas, with her husband, two daughters, and two rather spastic cats.