His Instant Heir(58)

By: Katherine Garbera

He leaned down and kissed her. “You are so special to me. I’m afraid to tell you how much you mean to me. I don’t want you to have that kind of power over me, but no matter if I say the words or not, you still have it.”

The tears were back in her eyes and she hugged him so fiercely that he felt the strength of her love.

“I want you to be my wife. I want to get married as soon as we can and start to live like a real family.”

“I want that, too,” she admitted. “It’s the one thing I’ve wanted since we had dinner that first night you were back. I didn’t want to believe that you could be the man of my dreams, but you are that and more.”

“I hope I can live up to that, Cari,” he said. “I’m going to make every effort to be that man. In fact, after we eat breakfast I have a surprise for you.”

“Another one?”

“A few more,” he said with a smile. He led the way to a table set up for breakfast for the three of them and when it was over he led them off the yacht to a Porsche Cayenne—a family-style SUV that was the car of a man with a family, not a man who rode alone.

“This is my new car,” he said, gesturing to the vehicle and the baby car seat in the rear bench. “I’m serious about sticking around and sharing my life with you.”

She believed it. And she learned something else about the man she loved. When he made up his mind about something, he did it all the way. No half measures for Dec. He drove through the morning rush-hour traffic to Beverly Hills but wouldn’t tell her where they were going. He stopped to send a text message, and they sat in the car holding hands while he waited to get a response. When it finally came he put the car in gear.

“Close your eyes,” he said.

When she did as he’d asked, he turned the car down a residential street and a few minutes later he put the car in Park. “Don’t open them yet.”

She heard him get out of the car, come around to get DJ out of the backseat and then open her door.

He held her hand and helped her out of the car. “I’ve got DJ. You stay right here for a moment.”

He left her standing in the midmorning sun; she thought she heard voices but couldn’t identify them.

Dec was back by her side, alone, and he lifted her into his arms. He kissed her long and slow and when he lifted his head, he said, “Open your eyes.”

She did, and saw a huge mansion with a banner tied to the front. For her and for all the world to see, it read: Cari, Please Help Me Fill This House with Love and Make It Our Home.

She hugged him close and buried her face in his neck, just breathing in the scent of this man she loved so very much.

“Yes, I will do that,” she said.

“Good. I’ve already started by inviting our family over,” he said.

Her eyes widened with surprise. She wasn’t sure he’d really said what she thought she’d heard, but as he carried her over the threshold she saw that Kell, Allan, Emma, Sam and Jessi were all there, along with their son. Their families didn’t look like bosom buddies, but they were all being civil.

DJ clapped his hands together. “Mama, Dada.”

He crawled over to them as Dec put her on her feet. Cari bent down to pick up her son, knowing she’d gotten everything she could have wished for in love and life.

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