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The bed shifted at my side and I stretched my arms to the sky before abandoning sleep only to come face-to-face with Roman. His smile was infectious as he set a coffee on the side table and presented a beautiful bouquet of pure White Gardenias and a folded note to me. I sat up slowly and took them from his grip, giving them a sniff.

"They're beautiful. You didn't have to, but thank you, Roman. I love them" I sniffed again and touched the velvety soft petals as his hand reached for me and touched my cheek, brushing some of my hair behind my ear.

"I wanted to, Abs. I told you, once you say yes, I'll cherish you and I meant it" he leaned in for a kiss but I turned away, giving him my cheek.

"Morning breath" I murmured and giggled as I fell into his embrace. His heart thudded steadily under my ear and I took a second to enjoy how much that simple fact grounded me.

"I don't care about morning breath, but I'll wait if you need me to" he sighed and held me close. I sat back against the headboard and swiped the coffee he brought me before taking a rather large gulp.

"Thanks for this, too. I have a feeling I'll need it" I held my grande cup of Americano in the air between us in a 'cheers' motion, tapping my coffee with his before bringing it back to my lips for a drink.

"You're welcome, though I must say, I'm extremely jealous of that cup right now" Roman huffed as he took hold of my free hand and laced our fingers together.

"Patience is a virtue" I shrugged innocently at him and I saw his eyes light with fire. Lastly, I took the note from where it was tucked into the bouquet, unfolded it, and read the words.


Thank you for giving us a chance. It's means more to me than you may ever know. I was serious when I said I'd worship you. I'll also protect your heart and your body more than anyone. Don't ever doubt that. I can't wait to see what adventures await us together. I'll savor every single one of them.


I felt tears spring to my eyes as I finished reading the note and looked to Roman. He grinned at me and leaned towards me to place a warm kiss on my forehead.

"What a beautiful note, Roman. You're already spoiling me, I hope you know that."

"That's the plan, sweetness. I know this is brand new, but it already feels different than any other relationship or.. encounter I've had in the past. I want to do things right. I don't want to mess it up." He admitted as he watched our interlaced fingers play.

"Me too. I've been a workaholic for most of my life, so if anyone has the chance of making mistakes, it'll probably be me" I confessed.

Roman chuckled and placed a reverent kiss on my fingers, "not possible, and I'll be here to mend the bumps in the road." We smiled at one another and he kissed my head once more before we realized the work that had to be done. Quickly, I moved to the next topic.

"What's the schedule like for today?" I sat cross-legged with the covers bunched in my lap as Roman slipped his shoes off and crawled back into bed beside me. Outside his bedroom window, the sun was finally beginning to shine behind a stray cloud or two and I was thrilled to spend a few quiet minutes in bed with a lovely man, my protector, at my side. Once he was settled with his back resting against the headboard, I laid my head on his shoulder, watched him remove his phone from the pocket of his hoodie, and open up the calendar app.

"It looks like another rousing day of meetings with Oliver to discuss your White House Staffers and Cabinet picks. You have just over two months left to align the rest of your team for approval for the next four years. I know you've been strategizing and doing your research for a while, but it looks like you'll still have some long evaluation days ahead of you. Other than that, Tessa has you booked for a few luncheons, charities, galas, and visits with people and organizations to keep your face relevant through to Inauguration. Her plans will be more detailed than what I have. I just need to be where she directs you and be alert for you at all times. Don't forget, we leave for New York to do some press soon, so you'll have to prepare for that as well" he continued to fill me in on the next few days as I mentally catalogued what I should get accomplished before day's end. I took a long pull off my coffee and stayed snuggled into his side as we talked and planned together. Then, we fell into sweet, peaceful silence for a bit.

"Hey" he spoke softly as he nudged me. I put my chin on his shoulder and looked up at him. Roman searched my eyes briefly before continuing, "take a walk with me later" He wasn't asking, but it still sounded more like a request than a demand.

"Just you and me?"

"Just you and me" he nodded once and beamed.

"We'll be safe, right?"

"You let me worry about that. I'll handle everything. You just focus on the busy schedule you've got going on today. You know how strict I was this past year? Now, just imagine the lengths I'll go to now that you've agreed to be with me."

"Then you're on. I trust you." I kissed his cheek and set my coffee back on the table. I hopped off the bed and went to make my way back to my bathroom.

"Where do you think you're going?"

"To brush my teeth so you can kiss me properly" I practically shrieked as he all but leapt off the mattress and chased me down the hall.

Just as we approached my bathroom, Roman caught me up in his arms and swung me in a quick circle. Keeping his arms about my waist, he walked behind me up to the sink as I grabbed my brush out of its holder and loaded it with some Colgate. He rested his head on my shoulder as our eyes met in the mirror directly in front of us. His pupils grew dark the longer he looked at me, and I couldn't help but brush a little faster, my cheeks heating under his intense perusal of my body.

Roman's grip on my right hip tightened as his left came up to gather and lift the hair off my neck, holding it in his grip as he placed a soft, open-mouthed kiss at the top of my spine. I sighed around my toothbrush before bending forward to rinse my mouth out. When I did, I felt how closely he was pressed against me, and how hard he was against my back. I straightened again, quirking my eyebrow at him in the mirror. He smirked and whipped me around, picked me up, and placed me on the ledge of the sink, parting my knees with his large palms.

"Kiss me good morning, Abs" he growled as he stepped between my open legs and held our bodies flush to one another. I cupped his face between my hands and pulled him to me, kissing him with complete gusto. He growled as he threaded his fingers through my hair and held me tight, grinding his pelvis into mine. I could feel my body awakening and familiarizing itself to his touch. My nipples tightened to painful points under my nightshirt and caused me to whimper into Roman's eager mouth.

His hands skimmed over my body as he kissed me a little longer, and then he retreated slowly, moaning at the loss of contact.

"All I want is to carry you to bed, spread you beneath me, and ravish you for hours. I just want to keep you to myself for awhile, even though I know how insanely selfish that is of me to even think at a time like this." His voice was low, his tone slightly regretful, but I completely understood how he was feeling.

"I want that too. It'll probably take a little while to get into a routine, but we'll get there, right? I promise, we'll make time for each other. "

"Of course we will. Please don't think I'm being impatient so soon. I know work will come first, I'm just ready to spend more time with you without having to keep my hands off you. Now, we'll get to play more than just a game of checkers." His grin was wolfish and his eyes held a hint of mischief as he searched my face.

"You aren't selfish or impatient by any means, I promise. I want you too." I couldn't think of an adequate response to his sweet honesty, so I leaned into him and let our mouths meet once more.

"You're a good man, Roman, and I'm looking forward to our walk later. Have I told you that yet today?" I asked as I raked my nails over his shoulders.

"You haven't but I knew it anyway." He winked as he lifted me off the sink and made sure my feet met the floor once again. "For now, how about some pancakes?"

With the promise of breakfast, we left my bathroom and headed for the kitchen, both of us eager to make it through work so that we'd have time to enjoy each other as our reward. 

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