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Home > This Man Confessed (This Man #3)(5)

This Man Confessed (This Man #3)(5)
Author: Jodi Ellen Malpas

I struggle to stop my own small smile at his candidness. ‘And what if I say no?’

‘You won’t.’

‘Then why ask?’

His lips turn into a shy smile, and he shrugs. ‘You’re nervous. I don’t want you to be nervous.’

‘Jesse, I’m nervous because of where I’m getting married.’

His smile falls away. ‘Ava, everything has been taken care of. I said not to worry so you shouldn’t.’

‘I can’t believe you convinced me to do this.’ I drop my head, feeling a little guilty for doubting he’d keep his word. I know exactly why we’re marrying at The Manor. It’s because there’s no waiting list or other bookings to work around. It’s where he could get me down the aisle without delay.

‘Hey.’ He tips my chin back up, making me look at his achingly handsome face. ‘Stop it now.’

‘I’m sorry.’ I grumble.

‘Ava, baby, I want you to cherish today, not get your knickers in a twist over something that’s never going to happen. It’s never going to happen. They’ll never know, I promise.’

I shake myself out of my uneasiness and smile, feeling better for hearing his reassuring words. I believe him. ‘Okay.’

I watch as he stands and strolls over to a big chest, pulling something from the drawer and returning a few moments later with a bath sheet. My brow furrows as he drops back to his knees and wipes his face, then ruffles his damp hair before laying it across his front.

He opens his arms. ‘Come here.’ he demands quietly, and I waste no time crawling onto his lap and letting him surround me in his arms, my cheek resting on his chest through the towel.

‘Better?’ he asks, pulling me in closer.

‘Much better.’ I mumble into the towel. ‘I love you, My Lord.’ I grin.

I feel him jerk a little under me, a silent hint of his quiet laugh. ‘I thought I was your God.’

‘You’re that, too.’

‘And you are my temptress. Or you could be my Lady of The Manor.’

I jump out of his chest and find him grinning at me. ‘I am not being the Lady of the Sex Manor!’

He laughs and yanks me back down, making a meal of stroking my glossy hair and inhaling deeply on a satisfied pull of breath. ‘Whatever you want, lady.’

‘Just lady will do.’ I’m aware of my hands sliding all over his damp back, but I really don’t care. ‘I’m so in love with you.’

‘I know you are, Ava.’

‘I need to get ready. I’m getting married, you know.’

‘You are? Who’s the lucky bastard?’

I smile and pull myself away from his body again. I need to see him. ‘He’s a challenging, neurotic control freak.’ I reach up and cup his rough cheek. ‘He’s so handsome.’ I whisper, searching his eyes, which are watching me so closely. ‘This man stops me breathing when he touches me and f**ks me until I’m delirious.’ I wait for his scorn, but his lips just press into a straight line, so I lean up and kiss his chin, working my way to his lips. ‘I can’t wait to marry him. You should probably go so I’m not keeping him waiting.’

‘What would this man say if he caught you kissing another man?’ he asks around my mouth.

I grin. ‘Oh, he’d probably castrate him.’

His eyes widen. ‘He sounds possessive. I don’t think I want to take him on.’

‘You really don’t. He’ll trample all over you.’ I shrug, and he laughs. It’s that eye sparkling laugh, the one that has light creases fanning his beautiful greens. ‘Happy?’ I ask.

‘No, I’m shitting myself.’ He falls back, taking me with him. ‘But I’m feeling brave. Kiss me.’

I dive right in, smothering his face with my lips and humming in sweet contentment, but I don’t get long to indulge myself.

The door swings open. ‘Jesse Ward! Get your sweat covered body off my daughter!’ Mum’s shocked cry pierces the privacy of our moment.

I start laughing, my mum’s scorn not stopping me from getting my fix of Jesse. And he lets me.

‘Ava! You’ll smell. Get up!’ Her angry heels start thumping towards us. ‘Tessa, help me out here, will you?’

I suddenly feel a mass of hands grasping at different parts of my body, trying to pull me from Jesse. ‘Mum! Stop it!’ I laugh, gripping Jesse harder. ‘I’ll get up!’

‘Get up then! You’re getting married in half an hour, your hair is a mess and you’ve broken an ancient tradition, rolling around on the floor with your husband-to-be.’ She huffs and puffs a bit more. ‘Tessa, tell her!’

‘Yes, come on, Ava.’ Tessa’s harsh husk stabs at my skin. She’s nice enough, but the woman is frighteningly fierce with organisation.

‘Okay, okay.’ I grumble, dragging myself from Jesse’s body.

‘Oh, look at you.’ Mum moans, trying to smooth my wild mane. I struggle to keep a straight face as I watch Jesse make no attempt to leave, but rather brace his arms under his head so he can watch as my mum pulls and pokes at me. ‘You’re a pair of children.’ she continues, turning angry, chocolate eyes onto my challenging man. ‘Out!’

‘All right.’ He rises from the floor in one fluid effort, his delicious muscles bunching and rippling as he does. Tessa’s staring doesn’t escape my notice, but she soon snaps out of her dumbstruck state when she catches me watching her with raised eyebrows.

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