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The Man Who Has No Love (Soulless #3)
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I finally got Valerie to give Deacon what he wants.
To move to the city so the three of them can be together.
I just have to give her one thing…a penthouse in my building. That means I’ll have to see her, talk to her, and worst of all, assist her. But no matter how difficult she is, her being here means Derek will be here…and that makes it all worth it.
Until she gets between Deacon and I…and rips us apart.
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I got a yes.
But it came at a price—a heavy one.
I hung up the phone and set it on the coffee table, thinking about the difficult conversation I’d just had with the most difficult woman on the planet. I didn’t want to assist her in any way, not when she was so disrespectful and rude. Some of my clients were rough around the edges, but they came around once they realized how helpful I was. But she would always be a snob.
Which was ironic…because she didn’t even earn her own money.
She took it from someone else.
Her arrogance was completely unfounded.
And then Deacon would have to live in the same building as her. That was a double-edged blade. On the one hand, Derek would always be nearby, always just minutes away. And on the other hand…Valerie was always nearby.
Our relationship would be impossible to hide.
And if she knew, she might tattle on me.
I didn’t hate people often. I knew there was usually a reason for someone’s behavior, and sometimes they just needed love and affection to show their true colors. But in this instance…I just hated her.
I left the living room and went into the bedroom.
Deacon had already gotten ready for bed, brushing his teeth and washing his face, and now he was in bed. He sat up against the headboard, his hard chest illuminated by the city lights. He scrolled through his phone, one hand resting behind his head, the muscles of his arms bulging and tight.
I stilled in the doorway, forgetting the conversation and focusing on this gorgeous man.
When he noticed me, he set his phone on the nightstand and turned his gaze on me.
I walked to the bed and kicked off my heels when I stood next to it.
He continued to watch me, waiting for an answer without actually asking me for one. He was the most patient man in the world, could wait a lifetime for a response.
I didn’t want to get into his bed in my clothes after sitting at my desk all day and running errands throughout the building. So, I unzipped my skirt and let it fall to the floor before I removed my blouse.
His eyes were on me the entire time.
I got into bed in my underwear and leaned against the headboard beside him.
He dropped his arm behind my shoulders and encircled me with his other arm, pulling me closer, almost on his lap.
I turned into him more, my arms hooking around his perfectly chiseled stomach, like I was hugging a rock that was warm from sitting in the sun. I almost forgot about the conversation because he chased all my thoughts away, made me think of lush mountainsides, a quiet lake, of a fire burning in the hearth.
He looked down at my face, watching me stare out the window. “Baby?”
I stilled at the nickname, wasn’t sure if I’d actually heard it, if it was just a figment of my imagination, a fantasy I brought to life with my own desire. I looked up at him, my eyes softening. I’d been called that before, but it had never mattered until now. It fit me like a second skin, like a blanket on a cold night. “You’ve never called me that before…” I brushed my fingertips against his tight stomach, loving the way my fingers dipped and rose over his abs.
His gaze was impassive.
“I liked it.” I pressed a kiss to his chest, my lips lighting on fire from his delicious skin.
He leaned in and brushed a kiss along my hairline, his hand gliding into my hair at the same time.
Going from friends to lovers was easy. We crossed every line right away, getting into territory we could never come back from. And with every passing week, it got better and better, like our tenure as friends never happened at all. Sitting with him at the table and pretending there was nothing there felt so restrictive because it was unnatural. We were together, completely and utterly, and it was a disgrace to what we had to pretend otherwise.
I knew Deacon had fallen deep into this relationship without a single wall up. He trusted me implicitly, invested himself entirely, never compared what he had with me to his marriage again. He was fully present, living in the moment with me, letting the relationship grow organically without ever hitting the brakes.
And he was falling for me…the way I’d already fallen for him.
Minutes of silence passed, the two of us just being together. And then his deep voice shattered it, like broken glass. “What happened?”
I’d forgotten about the conversation because I was wholly absorbed in him. Nothing else seemed to matter when we were together. “Valerie said she was open to the idea.”
His eyebrow rose slightly, like he hadn’t expected that response.
“But she has a stipulation…”
“Of course, she does.”