Love, p.1
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       Love, p.1
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           Lacey Weatherford
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Love


  Rave Reviews for CRUSH, SMITTEN, & LOVE!

  “Crush is an unforgettable, stimulating romance that will have you reeling in astonishment when the unthinkable strikes in Cami's world! Which of these characters will come out of this deceitful web carefully designed by this wonderfully talented author, Lacey Weatherford! I give this book my thumbs up!” ~Jessica Johnson, Book End 2 Book End

  “Ms. Weatherford has done what I thought impossible and given us a sequel that is just as enjoyable, if not more enjoyable than the first book. With Smitten, Lacey Weatherford has cemented her place among my favorite authors. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next!” ~Melissa Simmons, Girls Heart Books

  “Lacey Weatherford keeps the surprises coming. Just when you think the story ended at SMITTEN, she hits us with a semi truck, POW, with another fantastic and explosive storyline. Makes you fall in #LOVE with the characters all over again!” ~Lisa Markson, The Paranormal Bookworm

  “Dylan and Cami have done it again! They made me laugh, cry, and turned my heart into a puddle of goo! "LOVE" is the best book in this series yet, and I have enjoyed every step of the journey this series took me on!” ~ Christina Racich, Pretty Lil Page Turners

  “You thought you had a #CRUSH. You thought you were #SMITTEN. Prepare your heart for full blown #LOVE as Dylan swoons his way to the top of your book boyfriend list!” ~Belinda Boring, Bestselling Author of the Mystic Wolves Series

  LOVE

  by Lacey Weatherford

  Acknowledgments

  This book. Man. Where do I start?

  Well, first off, due to massive health issues, it released two months later than it’s original date. So I think it’s appropriate to thank my doctor, Elizabeth Bierer, for all her help to get me up and running again.

  Second, I’d like to thank my “cheerleaders,” James Weatherford (my hubby), Kamery Solomon (my daughter), and Belinda Boring (my soul sister and BFF). You encouraged me to keep plugging along even when I didn’t feel like it.

  Also, I give a very special thanks to Belinda for being my beta reader while she was dying in agony over her own health issues. Girl, you are a rock star! Also, I send special love to the ladies of The Beta Readers Elite x 2. You all amazing!

  And thank you to Kim from Red Line Editing, for squeezing my edits in on her flight to Ireland. You are awesome!

  Last, but definitely not least, thank you to all my amazing readers around the world for loving the Crush series so much and making it such a huge bestseller! Without you, I am nothing.

  I send you all my LOVE!

  Lacey

  Dedication

  For my fabulous cover model and muse,

  Aleksandar (Sasha) Petrovic.

  It’s always wonderful to find new friends like you!

  Prologue

  Dylan-

  I hadn’t expected to come home to a heart attack. Literally. Unable to stop my grin from spreading, I couldn’t believe how long this must’ve taken her. Paper hearts were strewn across the floor, stuck to the wall, and even some that appeared to have writing on them hanging on strings from the ceiling. Shifting the bouquet of roses under my arm, I moved closer so I could read them.

  Follow the hearts.

  Wondering what surprises Cami had in store for me, I followed the paper trail through the kitchen, down the hall, to the French doors leading out onto the backyard patio. Twine was strung back and forth like clothesline with more of the paper hearts pinned to it. In the center of the patio, the outdoor table had been draped in a red and white-checkered tablecloth with lit white taper candles next to white place settings and glasses. An empty vase stood in the middle, filled with a small amount of water.

  Chuckling, I realized she’d anticipated my Valentine’s Day flowers. I removed them from the plastic wrap and placed them in the vase, carefully hiding the small box with the diamond earrings I’d purchased for her amongst the blooms.

  “Cami?” I called.

  Seeing no sign of her anywhere, I glanced around the yard noting there were even rose petals in the pool. She had really gone all out.

  Soft music suddenly clicked on over the speaker system and I turned to see her standing in the doorway. She never ceased to take my breath away. I couldn’t believe how much my love for her had grown in the time we’d been together—every day more than the last—something I’d assumed would never be possible. I loved her with every single part of me.

  Her hair was pulled up in a loose knot with several tendrils escaping to brush the creamy skin of her neck. The white slip of a dress clung to her, hugging every one of her luscious curves. Suddenly I had the urge to skip the fancy dinner and sweep her off to the bedroom.

  “Don’t you even think about it,” she said with a light laugh.

  “What?” I asked, instantly defending myself.

  She stepped through the door and I noticed, for the first time, a small rectangular black box with a bow in her hands. “I recognize that look. Heaven knows I’ve seen it often enough before you drag me off to bed.”

  “Drag you?” I folded my arms. “I can’t think of one time that you haven’t been a perfectly willing partner. In fact, there have been plenty of times when you’ve done the dragging.”

  Setting the small gift on the table next to one of the plates, she turned to me with a smile. “And I intend to drag you again tonight, but later. Dinner first.”

  Moving closer, I wrapped my arms around her and pulled her tight against me. “Happy Valentine’s Day, Goody.”

  “To you, too.” Her eyes were twinkling.

  Bending to kiss her, I gave myself over to the shock that always zinged through my lips whenever we touched, instantly igniting a fire inside me. Her arms wrapped around my neck, holding me closer as she opened her mouth to accept my invasion. Kissing her was like drowning, but in a good way. This was my favorite—coming home and letting her kiss me into oblivion, a place where only she and I existed and we were all that mattered. My hands drifted down over the silky fabric to her hips, anchoring them to mine as she moaned.

  “You sure we have to eat first?” I asked softly, continuing to nibble at her.

  “Yes,” she answered breathlessly. “Besides, the anticipation will only make things more fun later on.” Flattening her hands against my chest, she pushed at me slightly and I reluctantly released her. “Have a seat while I get the food, but no peeking at your present.”

  “Okay.” I was perplexed by her gift. It looked like a jewelry box, but I couldn’t imagine what kind of jewelry she would’ve bought me. “What’s for dinner?” I called as she disappeared back into the house.

  Reappearing a few moments later, she was holding a pizza box. “Well, I hope you’ll forgive me. The hearts took a little longer than expected and I ran out of time. But, I think you will still enjoy this.” She opened the box, revealing a heart-shaped pizza with pepperoni spelling out the word LOVE.

  I chuckled. “This is awesome! They made it this way for you?”

  She nodded. “Yep. They actually had a Valentine’s Day special going on. Heart shaped pizza and garlic bread. I thought it looked cute, so I ordered both and made a salad to go with it. If you want to dish us up a piece, I’ll go get the other stuff.”

  Taking the box from her, I proceeded to do as she asked. She returned shortly with the bread, salad, and a bottle of sparkling cider.

  “What’s the matter?” I teased. “Valentine’s Day not worthy of wine?”

  Smiling sweetly, she shook her head as she handed me the bottle to open and began to serve the rest of our food. “Actually, I figured this would settle a little better on my queasy stomach.”

  Instantly, I felt like an idiot. “Are you still not feeling well? Here, sit down and let me take care of this.”

  She laughed. “You’re
always so chivalrous. I love it.” Bending down, she lightly kissed my forehead, straightening up before I could grab her, and moved to sit in her chair. “I’m fine, really. I just want to enjoy tonight with you. And technically, as you so often point out, I’m not old enough to drink.”

  Scanning her features for any sign of distress, I watched as she sat. “But you’re twenty now, so only one more year. Sorry. It’s that whole former “cop blood” running through me. It’s a hard habit to break.”

  “I don’t want you to break it.” She smiled lovingly at me. “There’s nothing wrong with being a law abiding citizen.”

  I couldn’t stop staring at her. “I feel way underdressed,” I piped up suddenly. “You look ready for a night out on the town and I’m still in my fire uniform. That dress looks fabulous on you, by the way.”

  “Dylan, it’s not a dress. It’s lingerie.” She laughed, heartily, reaching across to take me by the hand. “Don’t you know the difference by now?”

  I shook my head. “Not really. Fashion is all over the place these days; and I never really pay attention to the lingerie you wear, except to take it off you.”

  Rolling her eyes, she lifted her fork and stabbed at her salad. “Well, that I believe. It’s usually a waste to wear. As soon as I put it on, it’s off again thirty seconds later.”

  Smiling, I shrugged. “What can I say? I like getting to the pretty package underneath.”

  “Whatever. By the way, thank you for the roses. I knew you would bring me some.”

  “You’re welcome. I know how much you like them. But you didn’t stop and smell them like you usually do.”

  Standing, she leaned over to sniff the fragrant aroma, her eyes suddenly noticing the small box nestled inside. “Oh! You got me something else, too!” Opening the box, she smiled widely at the small diamond studs.

  “I know you don’t like things that are big and flashy, so I got them small.”

  “They’re perfect.”

  Getting up, I leaned over the table and gave her a kiss. “Not as perfect as you are. Nothing I could buy will ever match you. You’re the real gem.”

  Her eyes watered and I stepped back. “What’s wrong?”

  “Nothing.” She waved her hand and gestured for us to sit again. “I’m just happy. Really happy.”

  I sat down, not really sure what was going on, but had the feeling she was up to something. “I’m glad you are. I am, too.”

  “Open your present. I can’t wait any longer.” She slid the box closer to me and I took it.

  “I’ve been trying to figure out what it is,” I admitted. “It looks like a jewelry box and I thought maybe a fancy watch, but you gave me one for Christmas. Can I shake it? Or is it something expensive?”

  She smiled. “It’s up to you, but I promise it’s the most expensive thing I’ve ever given you.”

  “Well, now I’m really intrigued. I know you’re not one to throw money around.” I popped open the box and stared, perplexed, at the white stick inside. Then I noticed the little windows and the blue streaks in them. “Holy hell!” I shouted, jumping up from the table so quickly I knocked my chair over. I stared at her. “Is this for real? Are you pregnant?”

  Cami laughed and nodded. “I guess that’s why I’ve been sick.”

  Unable to stop the whoop of glee that escaped me, I snatched her up and twirled her around. “This is amazing news!” My mouth dropped to hers, all thoughts of dinner quickly flying out the window as I devoured her lips, my tongue sliding smoothly in between them to taste her sweetness. Kissing wasn’t enough to convey my emotions to her though, I simply wanted to melt into her and become one.

  She broke away and stared at me. “You’re not upset at all, are you? I know we weren’t planning this; and in the past, you said you wanted to keep me to yourself for a while before we had kids.”

  “Honey, I’m not even the slightest upset. I’ve had you all to myself for almost two and a half years. I guess I never realized what this would actually mean to me.” My hands drifted slowly down to her flat stomach and I imagined it growing rounder with my child. “How far along are you?”

  “Well, if I calculated everything right, about five weeks. The due date the website gave me was October fifteenth.”

  I couldn’t stop staring at her, feeling both elated and amazed.

  “Are you sure you’re okay with all this?” she asked, concern evident in her eyes. “I know you wanted me to be finished with school before we had a baby.”

  I continued to stroke her belly. “You and me together. That’s what is growing inside you. How could I be upset about that?” I kissed her again, sweeping her off her feet and carrying her into the house.

  “What about dinner?” she asked with a smile.

  “It’ll be there later.”

  “At least blow out the candles!”

  Turning, I hurried back, not bothering to put her down, and extinguished them before going back inside. Entering the bedroom, I immediately noticed the rose petals all over the bed. “You have been busy today,” I commented as I gently laid her on top them. She looked like a goddess spread out before me. Suddenly, I was worried. “Are you sure it’s okay for you to do this?”

  “Lay on rose petals?” she asked, confused.

  “Have sex,” I replied, pulling my shirt over my head before kicking my boots off.

  She laughed. “Yeah, I’m sure. Pregnant women do it all the time.”

  “How are you feeling, though? Are you still sick?”

  “I’m fine, Dylan. Now shut up and let’s finish what you started.”

  Grinning, I dropped my pants and crawled onto the bed, stroking my hand over her curves through the thin, silk fabric. Her eyes never left mine as she arched into my palm with a soft moan. My hands slid down to her stomach again, in wonder. I was still in shock, barely able to process this new development. “Cami, you’re going to be the most beautiful mother anyone has ever seen. I hope our children will know how lucky they are.”

  “Children? Do you know something I don’t?”

  I chuckled and leaned over, bending to kiss her neck before sliding lower. “Only that I can’t seem to keep my hands off you; so our odds of having more than one seem pretty good.”

  She giggled, and the sound was music to my ears. “You do know it’s not your hands that did this to me, right?”

  “You’re such a tease.” My fingers slid underneath her slip. “Sit up so I can take this dang thing off.”

  “Just wanted to make sure you actually know what you’re doing.”

  Leaning back, I stared at her. “Are you questioning my skills?”

  “You have skill?” She bit her lip trying to hide her smile. “I didn’t realize it was so difficult—insert part A into part B and move.”

  “Ha, ha, ha,” I said dryly. “You’re so funny. The skill comes from being able to make you writhe with pleasure during said insertions.”

  “Oh, well, if that’s the case, then yes. You are very skilled.”

  “I’m glad you think so; but since you’ve questioned my abilities, I’m going to have to demonstrate them to you, again.”

  She laughed outright. “Sorry to make things so hard on you.”

  “Cami, you always make things hard on me. And that’s a compliment.”

  Laughter burst through her lips and she grabbed my face, pulling me to her. “I love you, Dylan,” she whispered before pressing her lips to mine. “Thank you for loving me back.”

  “I couldn’t breathe without you,” I said against her skin, wondering if she really knew she was my whole world. Then I set out to show her.

  Chapter One

  Cami

  Five months later-

  “Oh, that’s simply precious! We must get that one, too!”

  Watching my mom tear through the racks of baby clothes was almost comical. Glancing at my overloaded cart, I suddenly realized she was a grandmother gone wild. “Mom, I think we’ve got plenty of things here for Peanut. The
re’s no way he could possibly wear all this stuff before he outgrows it.”

  “Sweetheart, babies soil their clothes multiple times a day. Between diaper changes and spitting up, you can never have enough things for your little one to wear. Besides, half the stuff in that cart is bedding. It looks way worse than it is.” She continued to browse through the baby aisle. “Oh! Look at these cute diaper bags! Let’s get you some of those.”

  “I still have three and a half months until I deliver. I think we have plenty of time to get Peanut’s room ready; and really, one diaper bag should be plenty.” I couldn’t help smiling at her, though. Dylan and I could easily afford all this stuff, but my mom insisted that it was her right, and duty, to help out. She was so extremely excited there was no possible way I could tell her no. Besides, I didn’t get to spend time with her nearly as often as I would have liked, and I missed her.

  “That’s another thing. Have you and Dylan come any closer to picking out a name for the baby? You can’t call him Peanut forever.”

  I sighed. “We are trying to find something we both like. So far we are leaning toward Brandt or Weston as the middle names. We thought it would be nice to pay tribute to one of our dads.”

  “I’m sure either of them would absolutely love that.” My mom smiled. “Maybe someday we’ll get a sweet Cecily or Connie after us moms.”

  “I’m sure there’s a very good possibility of that happening.” Slipping my arm around her shoulders, I gave her a squeeze.

  “Have you and Dylan decided how many kids you want to have?”

  “No, not really. I think we’ll play it by ear. We’re both from small families though, so that’s what we are used to. I could easily see us having two. Of course, if my birth control doesn’t work right, like this time, we could end up with a whole lot more than that!”

  Mom laughed heartily and even blushed a bit. “I don’t think it’s escaped anyone’s notice that Dylan can’t keep his hands off you. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a man so in love before.”

  “Not even Dad?” I asked, surprised by her comment.

  “Oh, your dad thinks the world of me, and he loves me a lot, but Dylan, well, he just burns with a fire you just don’t see in most men. He’s pretty romantic, too. I thought some of that might fade after your first year of marriage, but I was wrong. If anything, he seems even more crazy about you.”

 
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