Taming the Texan - Page 51

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Hayes dropped his arms and crossed the room. Her eyes darted to that bare chest, the smattering of dark hair, the swirling ink. He was a beautiful man inside and out and it absolutely hurt to know she might have destroyed their chance.

“Do you want to say anything else?” he asked, looming over her.

Alexa swallowed. “No. I just want you to know I’m sorry I hurt you.”

Damn it. Her throat was burning. Tears were on the horizon and she wanted to at least get back to her car before she lost it.

Mason stirred again, this time lifting his head and glancing around. He rubbed his eyes and dropped his head back onto her shoulder then toyed with the strands of her hair. She knew he was awake—all the more reason to leave.

When Hayes continued to stare and the silence became too much, Alexa turned and headed for the door. There was nothing else she could do.

“Stay.”

His command cut through the tension. Alexa didn’t turn around as she clutched Mason tighter.

“I listened to you, so now you’ll listen to me.”

Alexa swallowed and eased around to face him. Hayes crossed the room, his limp a little more prominent today, most likely from the renovating he’d been doing.

When he reached for Mason, Alexa started to protest, but her son instantly wrapped his arms around Hayes’s neck. The sight was too much to bear. The strong cowboy she’d fallen for holding her fatherless son…she’d hit her breaking point.

The tears fell without control and Alexa covered her face—both to block the touching sight and to hide the fact she was a wreck.

“Don’t cry,” he told her. “I haven’t even told you I love you yet.”

Alexa froze, slowly dropping her hands. There was no way she’d heard him right, but when she met his gaze, he was smiling. Hayes Elliott held her son and was smiling like she’d never seen before.

“I was coming for you,” he told her as he closed the narrow space between them. “I wanted to finish working in here, maybe grab a shower, but I was coming for you. I didn’t give you a chance to talk before and I wanted to believe you didn’t betray me.”

“I did betray you by not telling you the second I knew,” she whispered, swiping at her damp cheeks.

“You didn’t betray me,” he told her. “You guarded yourself from more hurt and you didn’t want to hurt me in the process. If the roles were reversed, I can’t say I wouldn’t have done the same. Actually, I have done this, so I get where you’re coming from.”

Hope spread through her, warming her and healing her shattered heart. “Can we get back to the part where you said you love me? Because if you love me, does that mean you forgive me?”

With one strong arm around Mason, Hayes reached for her with his other and pulled her in tight. “You’re everything, Alexa. When I said stay, I meant forever. And you will be taking my name. I’d like to adopt Mason as my own, but only if you want him to have the Elliott name. I understand if you—”

She placed her finger over his lips. “I want both of us to have your name.”

He blew out a breath, grabbing her hand and kissing her fingertip. “It can’t happen soon enough.”

Unable to stop the flood of emotions, Alexa dropped her forehead to his shoulder and let the tears fall. She didn’t care at this point. The relief, the happiness, the fact she was home with her son and the man she’d fallen so hard, so fast for, was just too much to take in.

“Tell me again.” She lifted her head and wrapped her arms around Mason and Hayes. “Tell me you love me, because I can’t get used to hearing that enough. I thought I’d leave here and never see you again.”

His hand settled on her backside as he drew her closer. “This is home, Alexa. I want to build a life here, build a family.”

The gasp escaped before she could stop herself. “You want more kids?”

With a slight shrug, he glanced to Mason who was wide-eyed and staring at his crying mother. “I’m not opposed to more. I love this little guy. I’m messed up, so I understand if you don’t—”

Alexa put her finger over his lips. “Don’t finish that sentence. If you want kids, I’ll give them to you.”

Hayes kissed her, hard, fast, then eased back. “What are the odds he’s ready for bed? Because we could start practicing now.”

“Oh, it will be a while before he goes to bed. He slept on the way over here. Maybe if we play outside or take him for a ride he can go to bed early.”

Hayes curled his fingers into her rear end, pulling the fabric of the dress up. “Then you’re mine,” he growled against her lips.

“Yours.”

“Forever.”

Alexa hugged her family tighter. “Forever.”

EPILOGUE

There was a party and he hadn’t been invited.

What did Beau Elliott expect? He’d been gone from Pebblebrook for years. Busy making his life in Hollywood and living up to all the media claimed him to be. Playboy, throwing money around, billion-dollar home, traveling with a new woman each week.

Yeah, he’d been busy according to the press. But there was so much they didn’t know.


Tags: Jules Bennett Romance
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