Holding On (Hooking Up)

Free Holding On (Hooking Up) by Jessica L. Degarmo

Book: Holding On (Hooking Up) by Jessica L. Degarmo Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jessica L. Degarmo
and the prince says, ‘How should I know? Just go so you don’t set my forest on fire.’”
    “I feel bad for the dragon. He shouldn’t have to leave his home,” Benjie said in a quivering voice. I was mortified when he began to cry.
    “Benjie, sweetheart, what’s wrong?”
    “My mommy tried to make me leave home when she wanted me to move to New York. I’m glad I didn’t have to go. I would have been sad without you and Daddy. Catie, don’t ever leave me, ok?”
    I hugged him and kissed his little tear-stained cheeks.
    “Benjie, I’ll never leave you, ok?”
    “Promise?”
    “I promise. You’re my man, my own little guy. Don’t you know how special you are to me? I love you, buddy.”
    “Love you, too, Catie.”
    “So, let me finish the story. The prince thought a moment and said, ‘Dragon, let’s make a deal. Can you cook?’ The dragon nodded, and the prince, who was very kind and smart as well as courageous, said, ‘My cook just left and I have no one to heat up the oven to make my favorite pizza. Can you do that for me?’ The dragon said, ‘Sure I can! Thank you!’ and the prince let the dragon move in. They had pizza every night and became the best of friends. The end.”
    I glanced down at my stepson, but he was sound asleep. I tucked the covers around his little chin and kissed the top of his head. I rose from Benjie’s bedside and turned to leave the room. Ryan was leaning against the doorframe.
    “Nice story, honey.”
    “Yeah, well, it didn’t turn out quite like I planned, but sometimes you have to improvise.”
    “Catie, thank you for loving him.”
    “How could I not? He’s part of you.”
    “Come here.” It was a request, a seductive one, and I obeyed instantly. I stepped into his embrace and tipped my face to his to receive a smoldering kiss.
    He scooped me up and carried me to our bedroom where he proceeded to ravish me senseless. The heat, the absolute flash of it as he entered me was enough to knock the breath out of me and reduce me to a quivering heap. His mouth did amazing things to my body, coaxing me, tormenting me, driving me insane with the sheer mastery of it.
    And when it was over, he pressed soft kisses to my neck and sighed, a masculine sigh that said he was one hundred percent satisfied. It was gratifying.
    “So, how did your day go with your mom?” he asked after we settled into the covers for the night.
    “It was wonderful. Thanks so much for your help.”
    “My pleasure, sweetie. She seems great.”
    “She is great. I’m so happy. I can’t believe I have a real family at last. I never thought in a million years it would happen. She’s everything Gran isn’t.”
    He chuckled. “No bullet-proof armor required?”
    “Nope. I’m so glad she’s here. I have it all now. I have you and Benjie, Isamu and Mom. I have a real family. And if I never talk to Gran again, well, at least I have you all. It’s ok.”
    “It is?” The question was a serious one, and I smiled at the concern I heard in his voice. I knew what he meant but I’d been thinking about it all day.
    “Yeah, it really is.”
    “Well, good. But get some sleep, will you? I have to be at work at seven, and all this happiness is keeping me awake.” He pulled me close and snuggled us deeper into the covers.
    I grinned and closed my eyes. Happiness. I could get used to that.
     

Chapter 8
     
    It was hard to concentrate on work over the next week, but duty called. Little Roger Madigan had decided again he wanted to be a stuntman when he grew up, and to practice, he jumped his skateboard down two flights of stairs. Turns out, he wasn’t such a good daredevil; his right leg, his left arm, and two ribs had been broken. He was a regular at Dr. Ross’s pediatric physical therapy office, and I greeted him warmly when he was wheeled into my treatment room, freshly freed from his latest casts. His parents, resigned by now at his antics, gave me a wry smile and settled in to watch us work. We went

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