Good Girl Page 68

Dolly and Ranger both forget that they saw him not two hours ago, losing their minds in happy barks until he kneels and gives them the proper amount of attention.

I hand him a drink, but instead of taking a sip, he pulls me close for a kiss.

We’ve been together ten months, and for a guy who once went out of his way never to kiss me, he sure can’t get enough now.

“I brought you something,” he murmurs across my mouth.


He swats my ass. “You had that for lunch.”

And breakfast, but who’s counting? Plus, Noah seems to have exactly zero problems with my burrito baby.

Noah hands me a magazine, and I frown in confusion until I see the headline: “Shawn Bates Breaks Down in Tearful Interview, Admits He Never Slept with Jenny Dawson.”

I stare at it for a long time, waiting to feel…something.

After a long moment I set it aside.

Noah is watching me closely. “You’re not going to read it?”

I shake my head. “I’m glad he’s come clean for his own sake, but I guess I kind of quit caring. I’m not really sure when.”

“I have a pretty good idea,” he says, pulling me close.

“You’re not going to cite the zip tie example again, are you?”

“It’s the correct answer to pretty much everything,” he says, pulling me in for yet another kiss.

I kiss him back, and it turns handsy fast, the way it always seems to with us, but Dolly and Ranger are having none of that, careening into our legs as Dolly chases around the owl toy I just bought her, and Ranger chases Dolly.

“All packed for tomorrow?” Noah asks as we sip our cocktails and put groceries away.

“Yup. Short trip, so easy packing.”

“Those are the best kind. Less jerking off for me. And probably for you too, you dirty minx.”

“What happens in hotel rooms stays in hotel rooms,” I say, batting my eyelashes.

“In that case, maybe I’ll have to come with you,” he growls. “See what those fingers get up to.”

“You can’t,” I say a little glumly. “No pet care lined up.”

He sighs and points a warning finger at the dogs. “You and you…very thin ice. How am I supposed to hump your mother?”

“Gosh, that’s romantic.” Still, it is romantic that he’d come with me. Because I know he would if I asked, and sometimes I do, although mostly I don’t. We’re happy either way.

He glances over at me. “We’re doing good though, right, princess? This is working for you? Because it sure as hell is working for me.”

I set my glass on the counter, walking to him and putting both hands on his face. “Absolutely it’s working for me. Every part of it.”

It’s true.

I still travel more than either of us would probably like, but I limit it to the absolute necessities, preferring to set up my home base in…wait for it.


In the house.

Noah’s worked his ass off turning the house from barely standing into a gorgeously renovated masterpiece. A perfect showcase for his new business in modern woodworking.

The caretaker cottage has been completely renovated as a guest suite, something my family and Amber take frequent advantage of. As does Finn, although why, I don’t know, since he has his own place.

As for my dream of converting the place to a sanctuary for musically inclined kids someday, I still want it. Someday. Maybe a retirement project.

Or who knows, maybe little musically inclined children of my own, of the non-burrito variety.

“What are you smiling about, princess?”

“Just picturing little Noahs running around the house. Imagining how grouchy they’ll be,” I say, before I can think better of it. I hold my breath, hoping he won’t freak out.

Instead he studies me. “That so? Because I have frequent visions of little Jennys running around. Thinking how noisy they’ll be.”

My stomach flips. “You think about that?”

His smile is warm. Intimate. “Every damn day. I know we’ve got things to do first. I want to get a few more job orders. And then there’s figuring out how to survive next year on the road for your world tour with two dogs. But when that’s over…” He taps my stomach lightly. “Knockin’ you up.”

I lift my eyebrows. “Preston Noah Maxwell Walcott, I’ll have you know I’m an old-fashioned good girl. Is there a ring in that plan somewhere?”

Noah freezes. My smile slips, and I feel just a little bit panicky that he looks panicky. “Hey,” I say quickly. “I was joking around. We don’t have to rush.”

He nods, pressing an absent kiss to my forehead with a thoughtful expression on his face.

By the time we’re done with dinner—three steaks, one for each of us and one for the dogs to split— I’ve mostly forgotten about the conversation. Sort of.

Later, much later, we’re curled up on the porch swing, my head on his shoulder, our fingers linked beneath the quilt my mom made us for Christmas.

The dogs are inside; the night is quiet. Perfect.

But not quite as perfect as when I feel something cool and firm slip onto the fourth finger of my left hand under the blanket.

I jolt a little in surprise, and he turns his head, pressing his lips to my temple. “Been carrying this around for a while,” he whispers softly. “Couldn’t quite figure out the right time or place before. But this felt like it.”

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