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One Night With A Billionaire

By:Jessica Clare

blinked. “You don’t want to tour?”

“She’s not ready to tour,” Wesley said protectively.

“Oh.”

“I’m not,” Daphne said with a grimace. “The day-to-day temptations are still hard for me to shake, but it’s getting easier.” She patted her stomach. “And I’m eating like a pig since Wes here won’t let me smoke.”

He gave Daphne another one of those stern looks, but Kylie thought it looked a little . . . adoring, really. “Smoking’s the gateway drug to smoking other things,” he chastised. “You can have carrot sticks if you need something for your mouth.”

“Hear that?” Daphne teased. “He thinks I’m a rabbit.”

Kylie couldn’t stop smiling. Daphne just looked so happy, so at ease with Wesley at her side. Healthy, too. “Cade’s in town right now. He’d love to see you if you’re free tonight.”

“Oh.” Daphne looked surprised for a moment, and she glanced at Wes. “We do have tickets to the show, but I’d rather see Cade, honestly. Do you mind, Wes?”

The beefy guard crossed his arms. “Do I look as if I’d mind missing a drag show?”

Daphne patted his arm cheerfully. “I won’t answer that.”

The thing with Daphne? She was just as charming and funny as Cade had always sworn she was. Now that she was clean, she was fun to be around. Kylie had brought her home to surprise Cade, and had been genuinely touched by the tears in his eyes as he hugged his longtime friend. They’d had dinner at home, and instead of drinking wine and sitting by the fire, they’d had hot tea (Wes’s orders) and Cade and Daphne caught up, sharing stories of their childhoods and some wild auntie stories with Audrey and Reese’s new baby.

Eventually, they hugged again and Daphne left for the evening, promising to have dinner again next week since she was in New York City for the foreseeable future. And Kylie was left with the dishes and a lot of swirling thoughts in her head.

“You’re quiet,” Cade said as he wrapped his arms around her from behind as she stood at the sink.

“Just thinking about Daphne and you,” she admitted. “Think about it. You could have waited six months and had the Daphne you always wanted. Do you regret not waiting for her?”

“Are you kidding me?” Cade pulled the dishes out of her hands and turned her to face him. “Kylie, I love you. I love you more and more each day.”

Her smile was soft, rueful. “I know. Just old insecurities popping up.” She’d been gaining a lot of confidence by being with Cade, but seeing Daphne tonight had made certain things rise to the surface. “She was so happy tonight.”

“She is happy, and I’m happy for her,” Cade agreed, holding Kylie against him. “But I can’t imagine dating Daphne now. Old Daphne or New Daphne, she doesn’t hold a candle to Kylie. And Kylie’s the one I love with all my heart.”

She wrapped her arms around his shoulders and tugged him down for a kiss. “I love you, too, babe.”

They kissed for a long moment, and then he broke it with a chuckle, pulling away. “You know, I was going to give you this tomorrow when we met for lunch, but it seems appropriate now.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out a tiny pale blue box.

Tiffany’s.

Kylie’s eyes went wide. “W-what?”

“Now I suppose I have to call off the marching band that’s due to appear tomorrow,” he said. Since she wasn’t moving, he popped open the box and showed Kylie the new ring. Big. Sparkly. Ornate. Huge diamond, oval cut. “Marry me again? For real this time? Not Vegas, but a real, honest-to-goodness ceremony?”

Kylie’s squeal of happiness was all the response he got.

“I take it that’s a yes?”

“Yes, yes, yes,” Kylie said, covering his face with kisses. “A hundred thousand times yes.”

Cade’s smile was brilliant. “You know I’d marry you over and over again, Kylie Daniels?”

She knew. Oh, she knew. It was in every touch, every glance, every caress. And as she flung her arms around his neck again and dragged him to the floor for a spontaneous round of lovemaking, she felt silly for ever pushing him away.

A burden was never a burden as long as there was love. And she loved Cade so much that she’d have followed him anywhere, done anything for him. Because that, she’d realized at some point, was love. It wasn’t fear. Wasn’t regret.

It was pure happiness.

It was Cade Archer, her husband.

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