"I've flown halfway across the globe to watch the love of my life marry the love of hers."
He never intended on returning home...
Never second-guessed the life he'd chosen...
Never planned on meeting someone that would make him want more...
But everything can change As the Dawn Breaks.
The mischievous glimmer in his eyes speaks volumes, and I—never being one to back down from a challenge—immediately slide the straps of my dress off my shoulders, studying his face as the fabric falls to the ground. Unsure of what to expect with him, since pretty much everything he’s said and done thus far contradicts what I consider to be the norm for guys, I wait for him to say something. However, instead of using words, he speaks with actions. Quirking his brow up as to ask for permission, I nod in response, knowing exactly what he wants to do. He closes the gap between us and lifts his large hands up, splaying them across my belly. Lightly, his thumbs stroke back and forth, caressing the stretched skin, our gazes locked on where our bodies meet.
“Fucking beautiful,” he hisses under his breath.
I tear my gaze from his hands, peer up at him through my lashes, and offer a faint smile. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, Leo. And don’t curse around my baby,” I say, playfully slapping his chest, breaking us free from the heavy moment. Too many feels are happening, and I can’t afford to do feels. “Now it’s your turn. Strip for me, old man.”
His hands leave my body, accompanied by a scowl. “You are beautiful and I’m not old.” Then, he swiftly pulls his t-shirt over his head and tosses it on top of the blanket.
I laugh and roll my eyes, trying desperately not to gawk at his very toned and very tan torso, but as usual, I fail epically. The tattoo of a lion’s profile inked across his left pec catches my attention instantly, and without his permission, I reach up and trace it with my fingertip, closely studying the intricate design. Entwined into the tendrils of the mane, a quote is hidden: Courage without conscious is a wild beast.
“Now that is fucking beautiful,” I murmur softly. “Tell me what it means.”
Bringing his forefinger up under my chin, he tilts my head so I’m staring into his smiling eyes. “Maybe later, and don’t curse around the baby, young lady.”
“Touché,” I reply with a grin. Tou-fucking-ché.
Erin Noelle is a Texas native, where she lives with her husband and two young daughters. While earning her degree in History at the University of Houston, she rediscovered her love for reading that was first instilled by her grandmother when she was a young child. A lover of happily-ever-afters, both historical and current, Erin is an avid reader of all romance novels. In 2013, she published the Book Boyfriend Series, which included books Metamorphosis, Ambrosia, Euphoria, and Timeless, and recently published When the Sun Goes Down, a contemporary romance novel. Her books have been a part of the USA Today Bestselling list and the Amazon and Barnes & Noble overall Top 100.