Dirty Together (The Dirty Billionaire Trilogy #3)(15)


by Meghan March

I nodded, ready to take anything this man wanted to give me. Everything he wanted to give me.

Whoever says giving head can’t be a romantic experience clearly isn’t doing it right. I shiver at the memory. I don’t know when things changed between us, exactly, but I know everything has. Hell, I don’t even know when I started thinking of him as Crey instead of Creighton, but I do.

What’s more, I trust him. And even bigger than that? I’m falling in love with him. I should be terrified, but instead, I’m excited.

Being back in Gran’s house, it’s easy to acknowledge that my future before Country Dreams was just a big yawning emptiness. And then after Country Dreams, it became some crazy, scary ride, one I could only do my best to hold on to and not get bucked off and land on my rear in the dirt like a bull rider who didn’t make it the full eight.

Now, though, the future lies before me like an amazing adventure I can’t wait to experience with this man at my side.

When I finish getting ready and step out of the bathroom, I expect to find Crey waiting in the bedroom, but instead I find a gift-wrapped package on the bed.

What the hell?

I study the box. It’s about ten inches long, approximately the length of Crey’s own package—not that I’m comparing—and eight inches wide and three inches tall. It’s wrapped in simple brown craft paper and a turquoise ribbon.

I reach for it and pull my hand back. Seriously, what the hell?

“Open it.”

I jump at Crey’s voice coming from the doorway behind me, and spin to look at him.

“What’s this for?”

“It’s for you.”

“But why?”

“Because.”

He crosses his arms, and I can’t help but drool a little over how his shoulders and chest look in the fitted cable-knit sweater he’s wearing. The man shouldn’t be allowed to go out in public looking so damn sexy. I need to cover him in Carhartt so the local ladies don’t know what kind of exotic species of man they’re missing out on. They’d mob him, and I’d have to cut a bitch.

“Open it,” he says.

There’s something ridiculously endearing about the simple wrapping. I carefully open the paper, because, not surprisingly, I don’t get a lot of gifts. I want to cherish this one. This isn’t like the racks of designer clothes he had some personal shopper pick out for me. No, this seems much more special.

It could be an owner’s manual to the freaking rental car, and you wouldn’t be able to wipe the smile off my face. I fold open the paper and still.

Keeper of Beautiful Songs

It’s a leather journal, and the words are tooled in simple script on the front.

I blink back tears, lifting a hand to my mouth. “Oh my God. It’s . . . it’s beautiful.”

Creighton crosses the room to stand beside me. “There was a woman at the grocery store selling them in a little stall in the front.”

I squeeze my eyes shut, because I can picture Delores Maynard and her arthritic hands that can still take leatherworking tools and turn simple cowhide into beautiful pieces of art. The grocery store lets her set up her little stall so she can supplement her Social Security income and the tiny pension her husband left after he died in a mine collapse forty-odd years ago.

“You bought this yesterday?”

“Yes. That’s why it took me a little longer than I planned. I knew you had to have it.”

“Yesterday, when you still should’ve been pissed that I left New York—again—and you’d found me the night before hammered and out with another guy and—”

Crey holds up a hand to interrupt. “Yesterday, when I was trying to figure out how to show my wife that she means everything to me so I don’t fuck this up and lose her for good.”

That little piece of my heart I was holding on to? No longer mine.

I carefully lay the journal on the bed and stand to face him.

“When did things change? When did this go from being a whim to being . . . everything?”

Crey lifts a hand and brushes a flyaway strand of hair out of my face. “I know I should have an answer for this that’s epically romantic, but I don’t think I can pinpoint the exact moment. I knew you were meant to be mine from that first night, but you’re right—it was nothing but a gut feeling. I wanted you. Knew I had to have you. Wasn’t going to stop until I found you.”

When I smile up at him, he smiles back, but his expression sobers.

“Coming home to find you gone that first time made it clear to me that I had something to lose. Watching you onstage that first night in San Antonio made me realize that you weren’t only a unique woman, but an extremely talented one that I would always have to share with the world, because it wouldn’t be fair for me to keep you all to myself. I thought I would struggle with that, but instead, it’s made me insanely proud to know that you’re mine.”

He pauses, jaw tensing. “The second time I came home to find you gone, I knew my heart had walked out the door. I don’t ever want to feel like that again, Holly, and I’ll do whatever it takes to make sure it never happens again.”

His words stir up so many different emotions. I’m still trying to process them all as he pulls me out of the bedroom and down the stairs.

Surveying my outfit, he asks, “Are you sure you’re going to be warm enough?”

“If you’d tell me what we’re doing, it’d be easier for me to decide.”

Crey grabs a flyer off the kitchen counter and holds it out to me.

GOLD HAVEN WINTERFEST

My eyes dart up to his. “Are you serious? You really want to go to this?”

“I have it on good authority from Delores Maynard that it’s a good time. Not to be missed. Plus, she’d like to see you again. She was hoping for an autograph.”

The fact that he chatted with the old woman while she made the journal makes me melt a little more.

I lean up and press a kiss to his lips. “Okay. Winterfest it is.” A thought flashes through my brain. “But I forgot something. I’ll be right back, and we can head out.”

I’m about to pull out of the A&W parking lot, and I’m still amazed that we drove an hour to eat burgers and drink root-beer floats in the car.

I look sideways at Holly, who’s grinning in the passenger seat. “I still can’t believe you’d drive this far for fast food.”