“Dammit, Logan!” she exclaimed. “All you had to do was put the condom on correctly. That’s it. Something you’ve—allegedly—done dozens of times. I was handling everything else.”
“Hey,” he said, breaking into her rant. “I’ve done that hundreds of times.”
And right before his eyes, he watched one of the most beautiful women he’d ever met morph into a murderous ball of fury.
She came at him with her fist back, hell-fire in her eyes, and he almost didn’t grab her in time to prevent her from breaking his nose.
His fingers circled her tiny wrist and he pulled her up against him, their mouths barely an inch apart. “And by the way,” he said, low and gruff, “I was handling a lot more than the condom.”
“Well, apparently, you’re not very good at multitasking,” she told him.
She was still clearly pissed, but her voice had a breathlessness to it now that made Logan feel a surge of male satisfaction. Even when she was pissed off at him, he affected her.
Not that he was going to point that out to her. Just like he wasn’t going to mention how fucking hot she was when she was all riled up like this.
“I think making you come with my fingers while sucking on your nipples as I planned the next four ways I was going to fuck you could count as multitasking.”
He was aware that he was being kind of a jerk, but her little intake of air and the way her pupils dilated made him think nothing but yes.
This woman was way too uptight. Way too stressed. And yet, he’d wanted her since the first time he’d met her. Men didn’t talk to her the way he did. Men didn’t pursue her the way he had. Most egos probably couldn’t handle her I’m-way-better-than-you attitude. Then again, most egos wouldn’t see that she was full of shit and was actually a little wounded and slightly scared and a lot amazing.
She’d lost her army sergeant husband, Chad Doucet, two years ago in the Middle East and was raising her two girls alone now. She was protective of them and of her heart. Understandably. But even with that, Logan couldn’t leave her alone. If she’d really wanted him to, he would have, of course. He didn’t force women to spend time with him. He didn’t need to, for one thing. For another, as the co-owner of Trahan’s Tavern, he’d stepped in too many times when a guy couldn’t take no for an answer to ever be that guy.
But no, Dana Doucet didn’t want him to leave her alone. She just wanted him to work for it. To earn it. And that was fine with him. Because, as much as it had surprised him at first, the widowed-single-mom thing did it for him. Dana was strong and protective and heartbroken. All of her stress and stick-up-her-ass stuff was because she didn’t want to mess things up for her daughters or get hurt again. And he admired the hell out of the way she was doing it all alone.
But if anyone needed to get laid—and laid well—it was this woman, and something Logan did very well was lay women.
And now, she was stuck with him.
That thought seemed to come up out of the blue. While the pregnant stuff was a pretty damned big surprise, he didn’t mind at all that it was going to be with this woman. That thought made his whole body clench with a feeling of damn right.
Was he reeling from the idea of being a dad? No, actually. He hadn’t planned it. He’d put that fucking condom on right, thank you very much. But this was hardly the end of the world. In fact, it was pretty damned great.
His brother, Gabe, had been a dad for almost six years now and Cooper’s mom had been out of the picture for five of those years. Logan had been very involved in helping with Cooper as much as he could. Then Gabe had met Addison and her five-year-old daughter, Stella, and had fallen head over heels for both of them. Gabe had adopted Stella and knocked Addison up within a few months.
Fatherhood, as far as Logan was concerned, was awesome and rewarding and something he’d always wanted. And Dana was an amazing mother.
Yeah, he’d absolutely fucked this up perfectly.
“If you kill me, I won’t be able to help change diapers,” Logan said to her, the feel of her warm breath on his lips, making it hard to concentrate on what they were discussing. Namely the news of their pending parenthood. Yeah, he really did need to concentrate on that. “And you definitely want me to help with that, right?”
He realized that most men would probably not be quite this laid-back about the news Dana had just dumped on him. But hey, people sometimes got pregnant when they had sex. And with the number of times he’d spun that particular roulette wheel, it was probably past time for his number to come up. He was just grateful it was with this woman. Not only was she already a fantastic mom, but hanging out with her for the next eighteen years was going to be just fine with him.
“Oh, you’re definitely helping with diapers,” she said, her eyes narrowing slightly.
She had yet to push away from him, Logan noted with some satisfaction.
“I’m also excellent at mixing up formula in the middle of the night,” he said. “And Gabe’s better at swaddling, but I’m a pro at car seats.”
Suddenly all of the starch went out of her and she slumped against him, resting her head on his chest. She drew in a shaky breath. Logan stroked his hand up and down her back. “It’s going to be okay, Dana,” he said softly.
“I can’t believe this,” she said. “The first time.”
“You don’t know that it was the first time,” he said, with a grin she couldn’t see. Which might have been a good thing. “We did it like six times that night. It could have been any of those.”
He probably needed to shut up. But he couldn’t. Dana needed a lot less seriousness in her life and he was the perfect guy to provide it.
She sniffed and he felt his chest tighten. Shit. Was she crying?
She lifted her head and looked up at him. She wasn’t crying. She also wasn’t glaring at him anymore. “I meant, it was the first time in two years and, of course, I get pregnant.”
“The first time…” Logan trailed off, his eyes widening. “That was the first time you’ve had sex in two years?”
But the next instant, the truth slammed into him. Her husband had died two years ago. Holy. Shit.
Dana arched a brow, watching him process the information and arrive at the obvious conclusion.
“I—” He had no idea what to say. Being with her had been amazing. He’d felt like a king just finally convincing her to go home with him and let him make her laugh and come. But he’d been her first since her husband’s death? That was humbling. And yet he could feel his ego ballooning.
Now her eyes narrowed again. “Really?”
“What?” he asked innocently.
“You’re feeling like a big stud now?”
A little part of him liked how well she knew him. He lifted a shoulder. “How can I not? You’re a conquest, babe, and I not only set foot on your island, but I planted my flag. Deep.”
Logan was half bracing for her to slap him across the face for that, but the little snort-laugh she gave had him grinning, and pulling her closer.
“You should have warned me how damned fertile you are,” he told her, bringing her hips against his.
She licked her lips. “Maybe I should have.”
He laughed lightly. “So this isn’t my fault?”
“Well, I did get pregnant two other times on the first try.”
“You only had sex with Chad two other times?” he joked. He had no problem talking about the other man. Chad was a war hero. He’d died in action. Two years ago. There was nothing there to be jealous of.
“No, but he knew how to use a condom.”
Logan grinned. “Well, the good news is, I don’t have to use one at all now.”
Both of her brows went up now. “Oh, really?”
Logan started gathering her skirt in his hand, inching it up her thighs. “Well, I can’t really get you more pregnant than you are right now.” Though the image of her getting bigger with his baby filled his mind, and he actually felt his cock hardening. Good god, he’d had no idea what a caveman he could be deep down.
He trailed his fingertips up the back of one of her bare thighs and she sighed. He smiled and ran the pads of his fingers to the lower curve of her ass. He put his lips against her neck and just breathed in for a moment as her hands fisted the front of his shirt. He dragged his jaw along the side of her neck, his days’ worth of stubble rubbing against her soft skin, and he felt her hands tighten.
He started walking her backward toward the wall behind her.
“Logan—” she tried again.
She bumped into the exposed brick and gave a little sigh. It was part resigned and part turned on.
“Dana,” he said softly, opening his lips over the spot where her neck curved into her shoulder, deliciously bare next to the strap of her sundress.
“I came here to yell at you.”
“And now you’re going to come here,” he said gruffly.
She sucked in a quick breath. “The last time we did this, we ended up pregnant.”
He kissed his way to her collarbone and then to her shoulder. “It could have been the first time we did this.” That’s right, six times that night. He wasn’t going to let her forget that or pretend it had been a lose-her-mind quickie in the front seat of his car. She’d put her hand in his, she’d let him tug her up the stairs to his apartment over the bar, and she’d stayed all night.
Dana’s head fell back against the wall behind her and she arched closer. She was definitely not trying to discourage him here. Not really. “You don’t think we should learn a lesson? Realize that this is nothing but trouble?”
Logan lifted his head and looked down at her. He waited until she opened her eyes and focused on him. “This is nothing but amazing,” he told her firmly.
“We’re pregnant.” There was a little waver in her voice now, as if maybe the realization of that was sinking in more and more as she said it. “That’s not a sign that this is trouble?”
He gave her a half smile. “That is a sign that I really am the luckiest son of a bitch my brother knows.”
She didn’t smile as she shook her head. “You barely know me. You have no reason to feel lucky here.”
“I get to be a dad.” He put his hands on either side of her face as she tried to shake her head again, holding her still. He traced his thumbs over her eyebrows and then smoothed the lines between them. “Dana, I know this isn’t something we planned. I realize that we didn’t pick this. I understand that you’ve already done this twice with another guy. But I’m thrilled with this. And I will be there to make sure you are too.”
“You barely know me,” she said again, softer.
And she barely knew him. He heard that part of her thought as if she’d said it out loud too. He nodded. That was true.
“Arthritis on my mom’s side. A little bit of dementia on my dad’s.” He paused. “Okay, honestly, probably more than a little. You’ll see when you meet my aunt Marie. You’ll think that’s what it is when you meet my aunt Cora, but she’s just crazy. I’m messy, but I always show up on time. I hate broccoli, but I’ll choke it down in front of the kids. I love Cheetos. Like love Cheetos. And no, I can’t control that. You’ll have to just deal with it. I will hold the door for you. You’ll also just have to deal with that. I love rain. I watch too many YouTube videos. I hate shopping, but love going to the grocery store. And I know every damned word to Goodnight, Moon and It’s Not Easy Being a Bunny.” He leaned in and kissed her. “I also come with an amazing grandma, a kickass uncle and aunt, and the best cousins a kid could ever want. As long as the kid is into alligators. At least a little,” he finished against her mouth.
She didn’t say anything, and when he lifted his head he was startled to find tears in her eyes.
Dana shook her head. “Cheetos’ dust on my furniture is a hard line.”
Logan felt a strange rush of relief. “I use wet wipes. I’m not an animal.”
She gave a little laugh, and Logan felt his chest tighten again.
“I will be there for this,” he said, firmly. “I will be there for all of it.” Then he realized that maybe he wasn’t making her feel better. “If you want me to be. As much as you want me to be.” Then he realized that he really couldn’t give her full-on permission to leave him out because he was going to help raise this baby. And Dana really might think it would be better without him. “As long as you let me in on a lot of it. Most of it. Like 95 percent of it.”
He watched her watching him. He knew the wheels were turning in her head, and he was holding his breath. He would insist on being involved. He’d be a regular pain in her ass if she tried to keep him out of this. Then again, he’d probably be a bit of a pain in her ass if she let him in too. They were very different people. She was regimented and organized and in charge. He was laid-back and loved to have a good time and took only a few things seriously—his good times, his bar, and his family.
But she was going to be his family. So she was definitely going to get to see his serious side. Such that it was.
“You can have ninety-seven percent if you keep giving me nights like the one where this all happened,” she finally said.
And Logan’s knees nearly buckled with the relief that washed over him.
She wanted more. She wanted him. At least in her bed and in the baby’s life. That was all he needed to know. It had taken him nine months to talk her into this, but it wasn’t like they could get into more trouble now, right?
“I’ll make you want ninety-nine percent,” he nearly growled. Then he took her mouth in a deep, hot kiss. One hundred percent was a lot to ask, but he had no doubt that he could make up for the Cheetos’ dust and the other things he was going to bring into her very ordered life.
Okay, most of it.