Families are the compass that guides us.
The exhaustion of my first official day is swept aside when I enter the foyer of Isaac’s private residence—our home. There’s something surreal about seeing the man you love lying on the floor, playing babies with a girl who doesn’t have a drop of his blood, but is his family in every sense of the term. Isaac’s suit jacket has been removed, and although the vest I dream about with my wonderous imagination remains, the sleeves of his crisp white business shirt are rolled up to his elbows, his tie has been removed, and he is barefoot. With his hair overdue for a trim, and the stubble on his chin showing the effects of two days’ worth of growth, he’s about as casual as you’ll get him. It’s rare to see him out of a suit. I don’t mind. My fiancé is a powerful, ruthless business mogul, who just happens to dote on me with every essence of his being.
The past six months have been a crazy, wonderful adventure. Callie has slotted into our lives so profoundly, I honestly can’t remember what life was like without her being a part of it. She loves Isaac fiercely, and shockingly, I’m okay with that. She loves him in a way I can’t. The bond a child has for their father-figure is starkly contradicting to what I feel for Isaac. He is her guardian angel—her protector. He is my lover—the man I can’t live without.
Callie is proof those horrid words I spoke to Hugo a little over six months ago weren’t close to the truth. Isaac is too much of a man to ever be half of one. The way he loves Callie so unconditionally without dampening his love and protectiveness of me proves this without a doubt. If anything, her inclusion in our life has strengthened our bond. We’re so fortified, not a single thing can come between us. We walked through the fire and came out uncharred. What more testimony do you need than that?
When the front carved French doors close with the slightest creak, Callie’s head pops up from the LOL dolls she’s playing with. It seems as if she’s spotted me first, but it’s all a ploy. Not only did Isaac’s thighs bunch when I first stepped into the foyer, his heated gaze has my inner vixen digging herself out of the trench Ryan’s ruse this morning threw her in.
It took over an hour for the heat on my cheeks to reside, then another three to calm the pulse between my legs. It wasn’t just patting the girth Isaac assures ‘is all him’ that had my mind spiraling. It was wondering how Isaac would respond to me returning home with the cuffs he requested.
I didn’t miss Ryan’s snicker when I snuck them into my bag at the end of our shift, but I was too excited to care. Isaac and I have unearthed many rigorous positions the past few months, so I’m dying to see where my cuffs take us.
“Izzy!” When Callie leaps into my arms, I playfully fall to the ground with a grunt. She’s still a tiny little thing, but Catherine’s doting has added some much-needed pounds to her svelte frame. Her hair is glossy, her cheeks are rosy, and she has the gleam of love in her eyes. I’m not the only Popov who gets flustered when bombarded with Isaac’s attention. “How was your day at work?”
I giggle at the mispronunciation of her last word. “It was good, baby girl. I gave out three speeding tickets, ate more donuts than my jeans can handle, and almost arrested a baddie in a tempting three-piece suit.” I glance over at Isaac during my last sentence. “Ryan assures me things will pick up soon, but for now, I’ll enjoy coming home minus any unnecessary kinks.”
My reply isn’t one hundred percent accurate. Although Isaac has Ravenshoe virtually on the straight and narrow, the towns dividing his empire are full of riffraff. Hopeton is by far the worst. Even with Col Petretti being killed in the joint FBI-Ravenshoe sting when I was kidnapped, mob activity is recorded there almost daily. For the most part, it’s Col’s predecessors keeping Ravenshoe PD on their toes, but there are also rumblings of a new Russian counterpart hoping to re-sink foot holes in a once Russian dominant sanction.
Ryan’s disclosure earlier tonight had me wondering if that was the reason Enrique left the note on Isaac’s town car last week. Is he attempting to resurrect an old sanction he was part of? Or was he warning me to remain cautious? I discovered answers to my questions before my shift ended tonight, but since Isaac is in my radar, I’ll have to update you on my findings later.
My knees knock together when Isaac assists me off the floor. His eyes are holding the same commanding allure they had today when I frisked him, but with a playful edge that only creeps into them on special occasions.
“Isabelle, how was your day?” My god, his voice still drives me crazy—so rich, deep, and penetrating.
I wait for Isaac to reach my side before replying, “Good. I’m glad to be home, though.”
My heart flutters when he tilts his head like he’s preparing to kiss me. I’m left hanging when the lips I fantasize about multiple times a day brush the shell of my ear instead of my mouth. It doesn’t lessen the zap between my legs, though. Not only are his lips astounding enough to have me on the brink of ecstasy just from taking in their plumpness, the words they speak are a sure-fire sign I’m as lost to this man now as I was the day I ran into him at the airport.
“I see you brought home your cuffs as requested. We’ll eat first, devour later.” The rasp of his voice sends a revitalizing bolt of electricity through every inch of me.
When I lean closer to him, needing more, never getting enough, a little person slips between us, momentarily breaking the spell Isaac forever places on me. As much as I’ve accepted that Callie loves Isaac as only she can, she’s yet to get a handle on her jealousy issues. She loves us both, but her affections for me are placed on the back burner if I hog an ounce of Isaac’s attention.