“It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life
And I'm feeling good.”
Feeling Good, Michael Bublé
ONE YEAR LATER
JORDAN POURED TWO glasses of chilled Chardonnay and was about to put the bottle back in the fridge, but instead re-corked it and tucked it under his arm. Dressed in a fluffy white robe and slippers to match, he scooped up the two wine glasses and headed for the back sliding door.
As he stepped out onto the wooden slats of the deck, a grin split his lips and he used his elbow to flick the switch on the wall panel that illuminated the space. With dancing lights woven around the posts of the trellis and the smooth sound of Michael Bublé crooning in the background, Jordan’s eyes found the back of Derek’s head and, oh yeah, he was feelin’ good.
Earlier that morning they had decided they would spend the weekend down at Devil’s Bend, and the second he’d been able to get away he was in his car and heading over. It appeared, though, as eager as he had been, that Derek had beaten him there.
Around a month after Derek’s father had passed, he’d dived into restoring the little beach hut guns blazing. Jordan could see how beating the shit out of something with a hammer could help a person deal with their confusion over grieving for someone they detested. And out of it all, months later, the little shack that had once sat in shambles had been transformed into one of Jordan’s favorite places in the entire world.
Serene, secluded, and sensual. Derek had taken something that had been falling apart and made it a little slice of paradise. He’d also decreed that whenever they set foot inside the intimate space that clothes were to be removed—immediately. Jordan glanced at the robe he’d since changed into with a smirk. Mhmm… Derek had given him free rein to be the nudist he truly believed that he was.
As he walked across the small wooden deck, he took in the deep porcelain bathtub that was filled to the brim where it sat outside, overlooking the rolling waves of the ocean. Derek was submerged in the wide oval tub, with his muscular arms resting casually on the edge, and Jordan licked his lips as he came to a stop behind him.
Derek tipped his head back, and as he gazed up, Jordan took in the pleasure warming those blue eyes, and bent at the waist to press his lips to Derek’s in a gentle kiss.
“Dahling, I’m here.”
Derek smiled against his lips. “Darlin’, you’re wearing too many clothes.”
Jordan placed the wine on a small patio table by the tub, along with the glasses, and then unbuckled the tie of the robe and slid it from his shoulders.
As it pooled at his feet, he stepped out of the slippers and moved to the side of the tub. He took in Derek’s naked form from head to toe, and every hard inch in between, and then dipped his fingers in the water and raised an eyebrow. “And I see you’re not wearing anything at all.”
“Those were the rules put in place. Were they not?”
Jordan’s fingers found Derek’s rapidly growing erection, and when he encircled him and found his lips with his own, he said, “They were. But I think you secretly like running around naked as much as I do.”
Derek’s hands came off the side of the tub to cradle his face, and he pressed a firm kiss to Jordan’s lips.
“Around you, I’d be naked twenty-four hours a day if I didn’t think I would be arrested for it. Now get in the tub, Posh. I’ve been waiting for you.”
* * *
DEREK WATCHED JORDAN climb into the water and then settle his perfect ass against him. Yes, now his night could begin. He’d been waiting for this moment. Where it was just the two of them and the rest of the world faded away.
Jordan had been heading into town that morning to meet with his mother regarding the Pearson Project. The charity had been up and running for nearly four months now, and they’d already succeeded in meeting the needs of so many unfortunate children who suffered a similar fate to himself, and some even worse.
After the death of his father, Derek had been able to lay to rest with the bastard all of the demons he had created, and thanks to the man currently leaning into his body, Derek had been able to move forward and direct his focus toward people who could benefit from what he had been through.
He would forever be grateful to Jordan for believing in him, and after his initial upset over the way things were handled, the two of them had moved forward on the project and created an important organization that would touch the lives of many. For that, he couldn’t thank Jordan enough.
“I never thought you’d get here.”
Jordan tilted his head back so their eyes could meet, and he placed a kiss to Derek’s chin. “I sent you a text when I left.”
“I don’t mean that…”
“Oh?” Jordan said, as Derek brought his hand down to interlace their fingers.
“Yeah. Oh,” he teased, and fingered the sterling silver band he’d slid onto Jordan’s ring finger earlier that morning. “I never thought you’d say yes to me. Not like this.”
Jordan moved so his back was to Derek’s chest once again, and stretched his left arm up in front of him. Under the sparkling string lights that hung down over the tub, the diamonds in the gorgeous silver band shone back at them.
“Oh please, you knew exactly what you were doing, Derek Pearson. I’d never say no to such a gorgeous ring.”
When Derek grabbed Jordan around the waist, he gasped as he flipped them, reversing their positions in the tub. Water splashed over the edge, but that didn’t stop Derek from bracing his hands on either side of the porcelain and wedging himself between Jordan’s legs.
“So it was just the ring, huh?”
Jordan’s hands came up to wrap around his neck, and the grin he aimed up at Derek was positively wicked. With his hair wet, and drops of water now clinging to his eyelashes, Jordan was the most beautiful man Derek had ever seen, and he was all his.
“Maybe…” Jordan said.
“Who? Me? I’d never do something like that.” Jordan batted his lashes, and Derek rolled his eyes.
“Sure you wouldn’t.”
Jordan’s smile became devilish then as he arched up and wrapped his legs around Derek’s lower body. “And yet you want to marry me.”
Derek groaned and shut his eyes for a second, but that just made Jordan chuckle even more.
“Clearly I have issues,” Derek said as he moved to his knees and Jordan came with him, straddling his lap.
“Clearly,” he agreed, as he wound his arms tight around Derek’s neck and their bodies pressed together intimately.
“I love you,” Derek told him. “For always answering when I call, and for being the exact person I need at any given time. You found me. You made me better.”
Jordan’s lids lowered as he moved his lips to Derek’s ear and whispered, “That’s because I love you.”
Heaven, Derek thought, as Jordan brought his lips back to his and kissed him. He was in heaven, being kissed by the devil himself, and, hell, there wasn’t one damn thing he would change.
The moment was perfection.