She should have known she would.
He arrived a few hours later, still covered in soot and much more blood, his clothing torn, his feet bare but healed.
Honestly? He’d never looked better to her. He was there, he was alive, and he was with her.
He stalked into the bedroom, jerked her into his arms, and buried his face in the hollow of her neck. She immediately wrapped herself around him, thankful that, despite the horror of the circumstances, they’d come together, they’d opened themselves to a relationship, and they’d fought for it. Fought for each other.
“He’s going to live,” he said. “John’s going to live.”
“I’m so glad.”
“We took him to the medical facility where your father was held those first few days. I want you to . . . Evie, will you take over his care? They’re stabilizing him tonight, but if you could visit him in the morning . . . if you could make sure he’s receiving the best . . . I just . . .”
“Of course I will,” she said. “You don’t even have to ask. I’ll call in the best Rakan specialists. I won’t let anything happen to him, and I’ll make sure everything possible is being done for him.”
“Thank you. Thank you so much. I don’t know what I’d do without you, princess.”
“I’m glad about that, too, because . . . Blue? I’m not falling in love with you anymore. I’m there. I’m so in love with you I’m sick with it. I just thought you should know.”
He froze, even stopped breathing, as if he couldn’t bear to disrupt the moment. “I wanted you to love me. Wanted it so bad, because I love you, too, Evangeline Black. I love you so much, it’s pathetic. I’m whipped. Head over heels. Obsessed. Possessed. I’m thinking about having you permanently glued to my side.”
He loves me, too!
Joy swept through her. She wasn’t sure how she’d won the heart of the world’s most notorious playboy, but she was glad that she had. “I’m strangely okay with being glued to your side,” she said. “I even know a surgeon who’d be willing to do it, if the price was right.”
He gave a hoarse laugh. “I’ll pay double if he’ll make sure our parts are lined up properly. That way I can just stay inside you for the rest of our lives.”
Dirty-minded man. She loved that, too! “Come on. Let’s get you cleaned up, fed, and rested. I could use a nap myself. That way I’ll be at my best when I visit John.” She led him to the shower, stripped him, pushed the right buttons, and waited as the mist cleaned him.
Afterward, she drew him to the bed. Then, as he’d once done for her, she went to the kitchen and dug up some food. Wearing only a robe, she straddled his lap, facing him while they ate. He received the peep show of a lifetime.
“By the way, if I wasn’t clear with the whole surgical, stay-inside-you thing, we’re getting married,” he said, “and our prenup is going to stipulate that you have to do something like this every day.”
Married? Yes, please! She wanted this man legally bound to her. “Do you seriously think I’m going to let you have a prenup? I want everything you own, including your soul.”
“Princess, it’s already yours. To prove it, I want to do a human and an Arcadian ceremony. One with vows. One with blood. And before you start to panic on me, you won’t be a slave like Dallas is to the king. I will take your blood, too, and it will bond us. You will age slower, like my race, so I won’t have to live a single moment without you.”
Slowly she grinned. “You, Corbin Blue, are a sappy, sappy man.”
“But you love me anyway.”
“I love you always.”
He squeezed the tops of her thighs. “Since I’ll be Mr. Evangeline Black, you have to wipe out my bill.”
“I will . . . just as soon as you pay it.”
“Can I get a discount?”
She thought for a moment. “Well . . . I think you once mentioned paying in o*****s.”
“This is true.”
“Then no discount. You’ll pay every cent.”
He laughed. “Good.”
“Anything else we need to cover before you knock out a few dollars?”
“A few dollars? Ha! A good o****m is worth thousands. But, yes, one more thing to cover. You once told me you were done with agenting when the case was over. Is that still the plan?”
“I . . . don’t think so. I liked getting back in the game, I admit it. But I also like being a doctor. So I’m not sure what I’ll do.”
“Maybe you can do both. I mean, you managed both with me. Every time I did something stupid, you were right there to patch me up.”
“True.” She nibbled on her bottom lip. “Yeah, I like the idea of doing both. Of working cases and patching agents.”
He toyed with the ends of her hair. “Thank you for everything. For being you. For saving me in every way.”
Warmth flowed through her. “You saved me, too. You gave me your strength and took my weakness, and as much as I love you for it, I will seriously hurt you if you ever do it again. I would rather die than lose you.”
“I will die if I lose you.” He traced a finger down the center of her robe, widening the lapels, revealing more of her br**sts. “You are so beautiful,” he said. “So sweet. So soft. So perfect. So utterly mine. You could have done so much better than me, but I’m glad you didn’t.”
A slow grin spread across her face. She would never tire of his compliments. He made her feel beautiful and sweet and soft and perfect. “Silly man. I happen to think you’re the best there is.”
“You’re making me question your intelligence, panda bear, but that’s okay, because I’ve always liked ditzy women.”
She gave a fist pump toward the ceiling. “Finally. I’m officially your type.”
His fingers wound around a thick lock of her hair, not stopping until he reached her nape. He pulled her down for a kiss, and when that wasn’t enough contact, when the heat sparked between them, he rolled her onto her back and loomed over her.
“My type is Evie Black. Everything I like revolves around you. You’re the best thing to ever happen to me. And before either of us takes another case, I want to whisk you away for the best vacation of your life. Sun, sand, and mandatory nudity. Then maybe I’ll spend my billions buying the world for you.”