For the Sake of His Heir(59)

By: Joanne Rock

Gabe had indulged her, but he was sparing no expense on the addition to the Key West-style “bungalow” with enough square footage to house most of the McNeills whenever they wanted to visit.

“‘With Gabe.’” Scarlett mimicked Brianne and rolled her eyes, swiping her dark curls into a high ponytail with a pink elastic band she’d been using for a bracelet. “You’re such a newlywed. I’m sure life with my cute cousin is wonderful, but when I mentioned the lottery win, I was thinking more along the lines of this view. This weather. The exotic flowers everywhere. It’s paradise.”

Listening to the waves roll onto the shore with their calming music, she had to agree.

“It is just about perfect. But I’m bringing the kids to Cheyenne next winter so we can play in the snow.” And at the rate Malcolm was going, flying Rose to New York and Cheyenne for frequent visits, Brianne would need to go there to see her grandmother anyhow.

At least Nana had promised to be in Martinique for the birth of the baby.

“Snow. Ugh.” Scarlett tipped her face into the breeze. “Maybe I’ll house-sit for you when you’re up there.”

“House-sit?” A shadow fell over Brianne as her husband entered the conversation. “I’m wondering if you’ll consider babysitting, since I’d like to steal my beautiful wife for a few minutes.”

Brianne’s whole world lit up as she glimpsed Gabe trying to hold Jason’s hand before the little sprite sprinted into the surf. At almost a year and a half, the boy ran everywhere, his legs churning nonstop all day long until he fell into an exhausted sleep at eight o’clock every night.

“Mama!” Jason patted Brianne’s belly gently, slowing down long enough to very careful with her.

A McNeill already.

Scarlett came to her feet. “You mean I get to play with this cutie?” She scooped Jason up for a kiss before putting him back down so he could run toward the shoreline. “I like that trade.”

The two of them squealed and splashed on the beach, dancing along the waves.

“I quite like that trade, too.” Gabe kissed Brianne’s forehead and then her cheek. Then her lips. And that kiss lingered. “How are my girls today? Do you want to go for a walk with me?”

She squinted up at him in the sunlight, loving the way a light sheen of sawdust still covered his upper arms. He must have been working on the addition.

“I’ll go most anywhere with you, Gabe.” She started to get up, but before she was off her chair, he was tucking an arm under her elbow and guiding her to her feet. “And both of your girls are happy as can be.”

“Good.” His smile was possessive and all-male as his gaze raked over her. “Have I mentioned how much I love the bathing suit?”

“You might have worked that into conversation a few times.” She grinned at him, giving his side a light pinch. “Especially since all I’ve done is laze around on the beach since Scarlett arrived.”

“I couldn’t have come up with a better way to distract you myself. I’m a whole lot happier seeing you in a bikini than battling vines and roots with the gardening shears.”

Brianne tipped her forehead against his shoulder, inhaling the light scent of sweat and sawdust that was a serious turn-on.

“Doesn’t it feel like every day we’ve won the lottery?” she asked, thinking Scarlett had really nailed it with that observation.

Gabe slowed his step and stopped, turning to look in her eyes. “Every. Single. Day.”

* * * * *

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