Page 35 of For the Taking

“This is all very touching, but could you please let free the guy who has been tortured for a long time?” Stephen said, groaning. “It’s really starting to hurt.”

Meghan laughed, and together they helped him up.

“There, that’s not so bad,” Riley said. “How did they get you?”

“Fuckers ambushed me outside of my practice. Thankfully, they didn’t go near my family. They’ll be okay. I’ve got to get to them.”

“You’ll be fine,” Riley said, looking at the cut on his neck.

“Yeah, I remember the good old flesh wound. My wife is going to love the new scars.” Stephen shook his head. “I’m going to need a ride. I’ll give you two a couple of minutes.”

Stephen limped toward the exit but didn’t leave. He gave them enough distance to be alone.

Riley cupped her face. “No one will ever hit you, or take you like that again.” He stroked his thumbs across her face.

“There’s something I need to tell you.” She took his hand and placed it over her stomach.

“You’re pregnant?”

She nodded.

“Why the fuck would you let me shoot you?” he asked.

“Because I knew you wouldn’t hurt me, not really. I wasn’t thinking. I found out about the baby, woke up in the trunk of the car, and the next thing, I’m being used against you. I only wanted you to get what you wanted. To finally kill the man who caused you so much pain.” She gripped the back of his neck, pressing her head against his. “I would never do anything to harm our child. I love you so much, Riley. I’m trying to hold it together now and not freak out. I’ve never done anything like this. I think I’m going crazy.”

He smiled. “You can’t be willing to get yourself shot on my account. That stops, today.”

“Already done,” she said.

“Good. I’ve got to call Buckle. He’ll come and clean up the mess.”

“Riley, does this mean you have to take his place?” she asked.

“Someone has to,” Stephen said. “What? You know it as well as I do. There will always be someone willing to take his place. It’s why he has been around so long. It’s up to you, what you decide. I bet Buckle will be more than happy to help you.”

Riley couldn’t think right now. All he wanted to do was take his woman, make love to her, and above all else, take care of her.

He made the call to Buckle, and the other man promised him they would meet to discuss what happened next.

“The only thing that is happening next is I’m going home. I’m taking my woman with me, and I’m going to marry her,” Riley said, hanging up.

“Marry me?”


“You haven’t even asked me,” she said. “You can’t assume I’ll want to marry you.”

He raised his brow.

She rolled her eyes. “I don’t know if I want to get married.”

“You love me, and I love you more than anything. Marriage is the next best thing.” He winked at her. “You and I both know it.” He put his hand on her stomach. “And for our baby.”

“You’re not mad?”

“About what?” he asked.

“The baby?”

“No, I’m not mad. I should have known. I’ve never worn a condom with you. I just wanted to feel you, nothing else.”

She smiled.

“Guys, I’m still here. You can do your whole love stuff when I’m not around. I really want to go and hold my wife. Also, if you get married, I will totally be your best man,” Stephen said.

Riley chuckled. “Come on, let’s go and get him home. He won’t stop moaning until he gets what he wants.”

He walked out of the warehouse as the cleaning crew arrived.

Holding his woman, he helped his best friend into the passenger seat of his car, followed by his woman beside him. He let her go long enough to climb behind the wheel, taking her hand once again when he was inside.

He was never letting her go again.

After ten years, he’d finally found love, and he wasn’t going to let anything happen to her. She would only know love and pleasure, and he would do everything he could to take care of her.


Five years later

“I don’t need you at all, but from the looks of these pictures, you need me. Especially if you think of running for office any time soon, which I’ve heard you have. Do not make threats to me because I can make sure your life is ruined,” Riley said, standing up to let the pompous asshole in front of him know he was done here.

There was no reason to linger, and he watched as the man dressed in his overly priced suit stormed out. The leverage he had gotten over the man who threatened to shut down the club had bought his silence, and also made him step away from removing the strip club he’d just recently acquired.