(takes place just after the Epilogue in King's Reign)

I took a deep breath and rested my hands on the bathroom vanity, staring into the mirror. Fuck, this trip to Melbourne had been hell. I’d almost lost five of my men in the bloodbath we’d been dragged into with the fucking cunts down there. Winter had his hands full with them, and while we’d taken back control of the city, neither of us was convinced that was going to be easy to keep hold of. At the rate we were going, I’d have to make another trip down there soon. And that pissed me off because Lily needed me home at the moment. This pregnancy was kicking her ass. When she wasn’t vomiting, she was fighting exhaustion.

“King.” Her voice came from behind me and I met her gaze in the mirror as she moved closer. “I didn’t hear you come in.”

“Yeah.” I turned to face her, sliding my hand around her waist so I could pull her to me.

Narrowing her eyes at me, she said, “Were you a mess?”

My woman knew me well. I’d had blood on my clothes and body after Fury and I dealt with some assholes on the way home, so I’d come in quietly to clean up in case I saw the kids.

Shifting one hand to rest on her ass, I wrapped my other around her neck and nodded. “You look tired.” I hadn’t spoken with her in the last twelve hours so I had no idea how she was today. The only thing I knew without a shadow of a fucking doubt was that I was about to put my fucking foot down and tell her she was taking at least a week off work. And if Jackson didn’t like that, he could deal with me.

Smiling, she reached for my face and angled it down so she could kiss me. It wasn’t the kind of kiss either of us wanted after not seeing each other for a week, but it felt like she was just getting warmed up. Her lips lingered on mine and she pressed hard against me as if she was trying to get as close as possible. “I am tired,” she murmured before kissing me again.

This time she deepened the kiss and gave me her tongue. Within seconds, we were clawing at each other desperately. A week was too fucking long to go without her. I needed her naked. And I needed my dick inside that sweet cunt of hers.

Letting go of her neck, and pulling my mouth from hers, I removed the T-shirt she was wearing. One of mine. I fucking loved it when she wore my shirts, and she always seemed to be wearing one when I came home after being away.

My gaze dropped to her tits as my fingers worked the button and zip on her jeans. It didn’t take me long to get my hand in her panties, and as I slid my fingers through her wetness, a moan fell from her lips. I’d been keeping a rein on my desire to turn her around, bend her the fuck over and slam into her, but that sound was all I needed to lose any ounce of control I had.

However, as I spun her around, she heaved, vomiting into the sink. I caught her hair and held it back while she continued vomiting. When she finished, I grabbed the washer and wet it.

She took it from me and wiped her face. She then brushed her teeth before looking back up and grimacing when our eyes met in the mirror. “Sorry about that.”

I shook my head. “Lily, you’re having my baby. You don’t ever fucking apologise for anything, least of all throwing up.” I paused for a beat. “You’re still vomiting every day?”

“Yes, but I think it’s getting better, so you don’t have to worry about it.”

I raised a brow. “You think?” She was bullshitting me. This was the kind of thing someone knew for fucking sure either way.

She sighed. “I know what you’re going to say, and I don’t want you to say it.”

There was no way we weren’t going down this path today. “I’m calling Jackson and telling him you’re taking a week off, if not longer. And you’re not gonna argue with me over this. We clear?”

Turning to face me, she hit me with a glare. “No, we’re not clear. I told you there’s no way I can take a week off right now. We’re just too busy.”

We’d discussed this over and fucking over. Hell, we’d had some arguments over it that ended in her trying to force me out of our bed. She’d learned pretty fucking fast that nothing, not even an argument that had her struggling to look at me, would keep me from our bed. This time, though, she wasn’t getting her own way.

“I’m not arguing with you over this again. Just accept it’s a given. Now, are the kids in bed already?” I expected they were; it was almost nine p.m.

Her eyes widened and she pushed me away. “You don’t get to decide whether there’s a discussion or not. And besides—”

“Fuck, Lily, you’re sick and you’re tired. You need some time off. And as your husband, I do get a fucking say in it.”

She stared at me for a long few moments, anger flashing in her eyes. Then, without a word, she scooped up her T-shirt and pushed past me, muttering, “God you can be an ass.” She exited the bathroom and then the bedroom, leaving me alone with my thoughts.

After deciding to give her some time to cool off, I headed to Cade’s bedroom. I wouldn’t wake him or any of the kids, but I needed to get eyes on them to see for myself they were all okay.

Lily met me in the hallway outside his bedroom. Anger was still clear in her eyes, but it softened a little when she found me looking for our son. “None of the kids are here,” she said.

I frowned. “Where are they?”

“Having a sleepover at Brynn’s. I wanted tonight to just be us. Turns out that’s a good idea, because you’re being a dick, and I—”

I cut her off again and forced her back against the wall, demanding, “You wanna get this shit out now? Do it. But once it’s done, we’re not going back and forth all fucking night.”

The thing I fucking loved about Lily was her fight, and she didn’t hesitate to give it to me now. And although I could have done without it, I couldn’t help loving it at the same time. Hell, it got me hard fast.

“I’m not taking a week off, and you’re just going to live with that”—she held a hand up at me when I worked my jaw—“because I’m going to be taking a lot of weeks off in three week’s time. And if you’d given me the chance to tell you that before, we could have avoided getting shitty with each other, but no, you had to come home and start laying down your freaking law.” She drew a long breath and exhaled it loudly. “I love you, King, but some days I just wanna smack the hell out of you.”

“How long are you taking off?”

“I quit my job. Now, you need to move out of my way so I can go have a bath and have some time away from you. You’ve got me all freaking worked up when all I wanted was calm and peace tonight.”

I gripped her wrist while curling my other hand around her neck. “You give me that news and expect me to leave you alone? You can get your ass in that bath, and you can stay there for hours, but no fucking way are you doing it on your own. Not when I haven’t had your cunt for a week. And sure as fuck not when you tell me the one fucking thing I’ve wanted you to tell me for months.”

Her breathing slowed while we watched each other silently for a few moments. Then, she snaked a hand out to grasp a handful of my shirt. “How do you always manage to say the exact right thing when I most need it?”

There was no anger left in her voice. All that was there now was raw emotion. And need. The same need I had. And that’s what made us work. We could scream at each other, fight all fucking night or argue for days over something, but we always, always, came back together with that need. That urgency for the other.

My mouth crashed down on hers and my hand tightened around her neck. When I finally let her go, I growled, “You can have your bath after I fuck you. And don’t even think about arguing with me over that.”

She smiled, and for once in her life, she did what I fucking said.


Nina Levine • Since 2013



Read the

alpha romance novels