So much had changed in a year, but it’d all been positive.
Grasshopper was president; Wallstreet was the oracle, but Arthur … he was the prodigal child reforming the world and bringing about revolution. Somehow he’d become more to them than just a president—he became a true idealist, a savior to everyone who needed speaking for but had no one to trust.
I’m so happy that he’s happy.
He’d done the impossible and straddled the line of lawlessness and law-abiding. And because of his background, everyone flocked to him. Criminals believed in him and listened. Middle class were intrigued by him and paid attention. And the men in power who’d treated the globe like their own personal playground were afraid of him.
A perfect combination of power and threats.
Finally, after a war, secrets, double-crossing, and drawn-out vendettas, we were finally enjoying our hard-won peace.
Shifting carefully, I propped my head on my hand and studied the decadent man who graced my heart and soul. He slept on his stomach, his arms wrapped around a pillow. The huge tattoo on his back was the only reminder of the world we’d given up in order to save it as a whole.
At the beginning, he’d been nervous, fumbling with how to speak, trying to pretend he was something he wasn’t in front of newscasters and journalists. But one night, I’d reminded him that this was his idea. This was his choice and people would react better if they saw the truth.
On paper he’d distanced himself from the outlaw world, but in his heart he was still a biker. And for the public to follow him—he had to be true to his heritage.
The next day, he’d undone his shirt and presented his tattoo to the world. He’d opened up—spoken about his incarceration, his love for his Club, and even skirted the tricky topics of what’d happened to Dagger Rose and Night Crusaders.
Overnight he’d gone from wannabe politician to someone taken seriously. And with that public investment, he finally evolved into the man I always knew he was.
He became Arthur “Kill” Killian—mastermind, genius—spokesperson for the mistreated and disadvantaged.
He sighed heavily, eyelids flickering with dreams. His chiseled biceps and rugged jawline looked so distinguished. The more immersed he became in uncovering international crime and fraud, the more delicious it was.
I was so proud of him.
So proud of all that he’d become.
I was also proud of my own endeavors. Dagger Rose was no longer a rubble wasteland. It’d been transformed into a veterinary homestead for mistreated and injured animals. Corrine had come across from England to help me and when I was away with Arthur, she ran it single-handedly with our staff of three vets.
When I’d approached Arthur with my idea, he’d chuckled and said it couldn’t be more perfect. Not only were we saving the world for humans, but I was saving it for animals, too.
Tugging the sheet down, I bit my lip as a few crescent-shaped marks appeared adorning his ass. My nails from last night. My tummy clenched, remembering the way he’d filled me. Taking me on my back, my front, against the wall, on the floor. He’d fucked me tirelessly and loved me eternally.
The longer we were together, the more insatiable we became. It could become a real issue. But then again, could being in love ever be considered a problem?
I shifted restlessly, my body stirring with new desire.
I’d always been grateful for my life. I was intelligent—had a healing skill I could use anywhere, and a lifetime of love from my perfect other. All of those were gifts and big gifts—wondrous gifts—especially Arthur.
I liked to think I was deserving of them, but fate had wanted a guarantee from me.
So, it’d made me lose everything. It’d stolen my parents, my home, my soul mate, and washed away my past. I could’ve floundered. I could’ve embraced darkness and anger and never found my way back.
But I didn’t.
I stayed true to myself even when I didn’t know who that was.
I never stopped believing.
And in return, fate decided I deserved my gifts. I received them all over again and from that day onward I cherished them deeply.
I would never take anything for granted.
“Buttercup, whatever you’re thinking about, stop it.”
My heart fluttered at his sleepy voice. “You can hear my thoughts?”
His green eyes cracked open, looking as perfect as the glassy ocean on the horizon. We’d been here for a week and I still couldn’t get used to the view of soaring cliff tops, sparkling beaches, and jewel-encrusted rain forests.
Arthur had finally honored his promise to take me wherever I wanted.
Our first vacation together.
A year late … but better than never.
Yawning, he propped himself up on an elbow. His long hair curtained one eye, making him look like a ravaging pirate about to claim me. “Your opinions are very loud.”
I giggled. “You never complained before.”
Our private paradise in the Dominican Republic was barricaded to everyone but us. We’d rented an exclusive treetop villa for three weeks and the space filled with my laughter as he scooped me beneath him and tickled me. “Perhaps I’m too afraid of you to complain.”
His lips touched mine and we slipped into the waltz that never failed to arouse me.
I’d never been so deliriously happy.
The moment Wallstreet had taken away Arthur’s position, I’d been hurt, pissed, and downright livid. Not only were the Pures Arthur’s success but they were also his friends and surrogate family.