In Secret

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Did you buy me another gift? RAFA! I told you I have everything I need

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Did you buy me another gift? RAFA! I told you I have everything I need. Why do you keep buying me things?

Sitting on the edge of the fountain in the villa's courtyard, I grin and stroke the stubble on my jaw. She's going to be shocked when she sees me, sitting here as if I've just arrived home from a business trip.

I even have the expensive teddy bear in the car. I'll give it to her later. All I want now is to kiss her. Hold her.

Damn, it's hot. I undo two buttons at the top of my shirt, freeing my neck. Then I roll up my shirtsleeves, anticipating that Justine will burst out of the back door at any second. When thirty seconds passes, I text her again.

Your surprise is waiting for you. You should hurry.

My heart's pounding because I haven't seen Justine in ten days—not in the flesh, at least. Talking with her, laughing with her, burying myself in her, is exactly what I need to relax. But it's more than fucking—I want her reassuring, loving touch. I'm sick of the pretending and the lying with Christina. It's as if my soul aches for the real thing.

I'll get through the next couple of weeks if I can fall asleep with Justine in my arms for one night.

Glancing at the upstairs, I see the bedroom light extinguish, and then the downstairs lights comes on.

Today, after our awful call, I'd reached my limit. I had to see her, the hell with everything. The feds can't dictate my life. It's not a crime to see the woman I love.

I told everyone in Miami—Christina, the agents, my office—that I had business outside of the city, jumped in the car, and sped north. Didn't bother to pack a bag, didn't stop to change out of my suit.

The faint echo of the solarium door opening, then shutting, rings through the courtyard. And then, in the silver of the full July moon, she emerges.

My Justi.

Her hair is loose and wavy, past her shoulders. She's wearing the short, pale pink kimono I'd sent her two weeks ago, and my breath catches. Her stomach. It's bigger. She's shown it to me on video, but seeing the swell of her belly sends a mixture of pride and desire coursing through my veins.

My Justi and my baby. Everything I've ever wanted.

I ease off the fountain ledge to stand and grin. I'm in the shadows of a squat palm tree, but not enough in the dark that she can't see me. There's a full moon tonight; I couldn't have planned a more still, more silvery, more beautiful evening.

She's turning her head this way and that, looking toward the orchid garden and to the poolside table—our courtyard is sprawling—and then she fixes her eyes right on me. Her gasp is audible, and she stops to clutch the back of a lounge chair that's next to the illuminated pool.

"Rafa?" she says softly, then repeats my name louder and with a surprised laugh. "Rafa!"

I walk toward her, my heart hammering. When I'm finally standing in front of her, I don't hug her, I don't take her in my arms. No, I stand still and stare at her, breathless. Everything about her is curvy, womanly, fertile. Her skin looks pale and otherworldly, lit by the moon and the blue lights of the pool, and I fall in love with her all over again. Her eyes are huge, incredulous, and she keeps whispering my name.

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