Sage placed the palm of her hand against her forehead. Tyce was an alpha male, possibly the most alpha male she’d ever met. He was ridiculously fit and almost overwhelmingly male and thoughts of him made her womb throb and her lady parts tingle.

Okay, this was ridiculous; she was burning up from the inside out. There had to be an explanation for why she was feeling a hundred times hornier than usual...

Tyce was ludicrously good-looking and phenomenally talented at getting her off, but even when she was younger, she’d never felt so on edge, so aware of her libido. Usually when she was stressed—and the events of the past few weeks were enough to stress out a sloth—her libido took a dive.

Her horniness could be pregnancy hormones, she decided and, almost immediately, cursed herself for lying to herself. It was all Tyce, only Tyce. God, maybe she needed a cold shower.

Sage looked out her windows at the dingy day. Or maybe a walk in fresh air would do the trick. Although it was snowing, a brisk walk would clear her mind and work out some of the tension in her body. Making up her mind, Sage headed to her front door, pulling on flat, warm boots and a thick coat. She placed a floppy burgundy hat over her messy hair and wound a scarf around her neck. Her gloves were in her pocket and with her front door key, her phone and a little cash, she headed downstairs.

It was colder than she’d thought. Sinking her chin into her scarf, she pulled on her gloves and started to walk. In summer the trees were leafy and the cafés scattered chairs and tables on the sidewalk but on a bitter winter afternoon, with snow falling, the residents of this neighborhood were either in Florida, at work or tucked up in their apartments. Only fools and the insane walked the streets in a biting wind. She wouldn’t last long, Sage thought; she’d walk a block or two to clear her head and when she returned to her apartment she could justify a decadent cup of hot chocolate. Damn, it was slippery, she thought when her feet skidded across a patch of ice. Maybe this wasn’t such a great idea.

Turning back to her apartment building, Sage saw a tall figure approach her front door and frowned, thinking that his height and build reminded her of Tyce. When he walked up the steps and jabbed his finger on her button she recognized his profile, the odd snowflake settling on his black hair. Tyce was leaning on her bell, waiting for her to buzz him in. Impatient man, Sage thought, stepping from the road onto the sidewalk.

Because her eyes were on Tyce, she didn’t notice the patch of ice and her right foot skidded out from under her. Her left foot followed suit and then she was freewheeling her arms, trying to keep her balance. Can’t fall, she thought, she had to protect her baby. She tried to break her fall and her hand slammed down on the pavement and she heard the distinctive crack.

The pain in her coccyx hit her first, the sharp sting rocketing up her spine. Not wanting to be outdone, her wrist radiated short, sharp bursts of agony, causing dots to appear behind her eyes and her breath to catch in her throat.

Sage knew she didn’t call out to Tyce—she had no breath to speak let alone to yell—but by some miracle he appeared and dropped to his knees next to her. “Crap! Sage, are you okay? What the hell happened?”

Sage, still looking for air and fighting pain, couldn’t reply.

Tyce’s hand on her cheek anchored her and his deep, calm voice steadied her. “Okay, honey, just breathe. Slowly. In and out.”

Sage concentrated on getting air into her lungs, vaguely aware that Tyce held a phone to his ear, his eyes locked on hers. She heard something about an ambulance, that they should hurry. Sage tried to wave his concerns away; she would be okay; she just needed a minute.

And, she thought, a new coccyx and a new wrist. Then she would be fine.

“Yeah and she’s pregnant, about four months,” Tyce said. “Breathe, dammit.”

Okay, that statement was directed at her. Sage pulled in some more air and felt the light-headedness pass and the pain increase. She was also, she realized, lying flat on her back and every inch of her body was freezing, except for her butt and her wrist, both of which were on fire.

Tyce pushed his phone back into the inside pocket of his jacket and pushed a strand of hair out of her eyes.

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