“You sure?” Her eyes zeroed in on me, noting everything. “You don’t look too happy, nor do you sound convincing.”

Bugger. Why was she so insistent?

Conceding with a sigh, I captured her pouty lip and kissed her senselessly. “I’m happy, as long as you stay loyal and true to me.” Which was quite more important after Kyle Matthews had almost gotten her for the second time. I would never dare forget that hollowed feeling of my gut being ripped apart and fed to the sharks. Seeing her stride into her apartment, wearing his dress shirt, still haunted me. The lacerating cut kept on opening every time I thought of that memory. It was the most painful kind of experience, one I never wanted to feel again.

“I don’t know…” she teased. “I smell bullshit in the air.” Sienna gave me an amused, doubtful look, holding such love and affection, making me forget about the past in a heartbeat.

Well, this wasn’t the time to reveal what my heart desired. “I’m serious.” Truth be told, I was content by just being us… for the time.

“So am I, Mr. Knightly,” she whispered with a wicked gleam in her golden eyes. “So am I.”

Band of Friendships

Approximately eight months later


“Isn’t she just so precious?” Chad asked in wonderment while his eyes filled with unconditional love for his new daughter, Belle. He was becoming sappy by the day, but I supposed this was normal to any relatively new fathers.

Eyeing Belle with a warm smile, I felt the longing in my gut. “Yes, she truly is beautiful. Precious in every way.”

It was heartwarming to see Chad’s joyous smiles without a bit of sadness in his eyes. Marrying Luke had cemented his happiness, and Belle simply had completed him. The once broken and fragile man was truly alive and living his life, filled with an abundance of love and support from friends.

Sienna and Lucy were in the kitchen, preparing for dinner while Chad, Toby, and I were in the living room. We were supposed to be discussing business, but somehow, the conversation seemed to have travelled from branching business endeavors to babies and how they changed a man.

Toby was still mourning the loss of his baby, and I couldn’t blame him that he remained distant from Belle. Not once had he offered to hold her. It was worrisome, but Lucy insisted he was dealing with it in his own way. I couldn’t even fathom how deep the pain was. If I ever lost my baby, especially if it was as tragic and traumatizing as what he’d gone through, I wasn’t sure I could cope from the loss. My best friend was happy and married to the woman he had longed for. I only hoped the scars Amelia had left hopefully didn’t burden him still.

We were all married, loved, and I couldn’t be any more complete.


“I want to take Luce for a honeymoon, but work’s been hectic, and I couldn’t take time off until three months from now.”

“Have you spoken to her about it?” Toby, from our previous talks, had already berated himself for not following the usual marriage formula. I would be, too, if I were in his shoes. He did, after all, chase after Lucy for well over a year, and in that same amount of time, he not only managed to get an ex-lover of mine pregnant, but he had also married her, to his own devastation. To top off the catastrophic events, Amelia had driven herself off a cliff to kill herself and, ultimately, the child she’d carried, days after passing. Through all those monumental events, Lucy had shifted and decided to fight for him. It was a miracle they had survived such painful ordeals, and I was glad they had come through it a much stronger couple in the end.

He shrugged, seeming torn. “Yeah. She says it isn’t all that important, but it is to me.” He tried to justify his reasoning. “I have wronged her, and I’m trying to make amends.”

“She loves you, and you’ve already paid your dues, my friend.” The first time he’d brought this up, I had actually offered my services to take over for the time being until they got back from said honeymoon, but the man was adamant about running his own business without anyone’s interference. I had kept the option open, though, for whenever he felt spontaneous and got off this hell-bent ride of trying to make a point to his family by building his own empire.

The man was gifted, and I had no doubt in my mind he would eventually get to that destination. However, a part of me wished he’d slack a little so he could give in to his heart and take his bride off somewhere far away and quiet, where they could find peace and settle whatever dust needed settling. Despite my wishes, it was up to my friend.

“My offer still stands; just let me know. I’m always here to help you out, whenever possible.”

“I might take you up on that offer, Knightly. Just give me time. I will take my Luce out of the country very soon.”

After my talk with Toby in the library, Chad, the baby, and Luke decided to leave first, then Toby and Lucy came next. It was an intimate gathering with our friends and was only the second we had held since two months ago. We were all busy and had hectic schedules, but we made it a ritual we’d all agreed upon, setting aside a certain time to keep our little unit of friendships thriving.

Obliterating the rest of my whiskey in one, long gulp, I then made my way out of the library in search of my wife, finding her in the kitchen, rinsing dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. She was dressed in her four-inch pumps, a million pounds worth of diamonds hanging off her ears, a simple, and black modest dress, but put it on Sienna’s body and all modesty went out of the window. She was my little, sophisticated and domesticated wife. She’d made it an objective to be the perfect wife, though I thought she already exceeded the word in all aspects imaginable. Our dogs, Santini and Cookie slept a feet away from her, guarding their mommy.

I silently observed her softly humming a tune with her hips slowly moving according to the beat. The soft, steady sound of gushing water made the little sounds of smile and laughter undetected. Sienna truly was one of a kind. Even from behind, the woman evoked absolute, unadulterated, raw sex appeal—a thirst that was hard to quench, even if I drowned myself in her on a daily basis.

As I came towards her from behind, she almost jumped when I wrapped my arms around her hips. “Well, hello there, amore,” I whispered into her ear.

“Blake,” she groaned before sighing with a moan. “I’m washing dishes…”

Nipping her lobe, I pushed my hardened state in between her warm bottom. “I know… you’re…” I grunted out, feeling the first signs of euphoria as I felt my control slowly slipping away. “…washing dishes.” I finished the sentence just as I was about to lose it.

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