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Beauty From Love (Beauty #3)

By´╝ÜGeorgia Cates

f my closed lids. "You can open them."

The breeze from the ocean blows a strand of hair into my face and lodges itself in the slit of one my eyes. I shake my head to make my hair fall over one shoulder. When I straighten, I look before me and see a magnificent beachfront home.

I wait for him to say something-give me an idea about what we're doing here-but he doesn't. "Is this where we're staying?"

"Yes." He's beaming, appearing so proud of himself. Maybe he's pleased he has pulled one over on me because he has. I completely expected a honeymoon suite in one of Maui's finest hotels but this is so much better. "Do you like it?"

Now I'm the one grinning like the Cheshire cat because I know this means we don't have to be quiet. We can lose control without the fear of being heard by others. "Are you kidding me? It's breathtaking. Who wouldn't love it?" I wrap my arms around him and squeeze his middle. "This is going to be so much better than a hotel."

"This is it-the house I was telling you about. My vacation home as a child."

Oh my. I can't believe he brought me to the place he thought of as his second home while growing up. "Oh, Jack Henry."

"It wasn't possible for me to come to Maui with my bride and not stay here."

He would've been so limited on time when planning our honeymoon. I can't believe a place like this would have a vacancy. "Then we're incredibly lucky it was available for rent on such short notice."

He beams before turning me so I'm facing the house. Behind me, he snakes his arms around my waist and pulls me tight against him, his mouth next to my ear. "I own it, L. I bought it for you. It's your wedding gift." I turn my face toward him and his stubble grazes me. "I want to spend the rest of our lives making happy memories here with you and our children."

Omigod. Best. Husband. Ever.

I once thought I didn't want a wife and kids but it was because I hadn't met the right person. Everything is different now-I'm married to the perfect woman and I can't wait until she becomes the mother of my children.

I'm glad L asked me why I was anxious to begin our family. I'm not sure I would've ever been brave enough to volunteer that information. Fear. It's not something a man likes to admit but that's the beauty of my relationship with L. I can tell her anything.

She turns in my arms and kisses me between words. "You. Are. Amazing."

"I'm glad you think so since it seems you're stuck with me for the rest of our lives."

"Happily stuck by choice. There's a difference."

I watch the sun dance on her face as the palm tree leaves above move in the breeze. A shorter strand of hair at her temple has escaped her grasp and I tuck it behind her ear. "Are you truly happy?"

"It isn't possible for me to be happier than I am in this moment."

I grasp her face and look into her golden-brown eyes. I see her sincerity and know her words are true. She didn't marry me for any reason other than her love for me, so Laurelyn Paige Prescott McLachlan is a woman to be treasured. "Nor could I."

I lean down to scoop her from the ground and she squeals. "I think it's time I carried my bride across the threshold. I want you to see the rest of the house."

I turn the knob and gently push the door open with my foot. L is like a wide-eyed child. I return her to her feet and her head oscillates slowly as she takes it all in.

The floor plan is open so she's able to see the living room along with the kitchen and dining room. She says nothing and I can't tell if she likes it or not. "What are you thinking?"

"How much I love you," she says, propelling herself into my arms for a kiss. "You take care of me," she says against my mouth. "No one's ever done that before."

It's a shame. She should've been cared for by loving parents. But she wasn't, and it's shaped her into the person she is today. I don't know how she's not utterly damaged but she's the complete opposite-the strongest person I know. I wonder who she would've been if they'd treated her the way they should have.

I give her a quick kiss and take her hand. "Come. I want to show you the rest."

I begin with the five smaller bedrooms and work our way toward the master suite. I ask her to close her eyes. I cover them with one hand and use the other to lead her into the center of the room. I like this grown-up game of peekaboo. "No peeping."

"I'm not. And I don't have X-ray vision so I can't see through flesh and bone."

"True." I take my hand away once she's facing the bed. "Okay. Open your eyes."

She softly gasps as she scans the room-our newly remodeled master suite. "I was only able to have this room and one other remodeled since the purchase was so rushed. Do you like it?"

"I love it. I couldn't have chosen anything more perfect." She turns in my arms and slides her hands up to my shoulders. "Or sexier."

This is my first time seeing it as well and I'm pleased with the results, although it's very different from our bedroom at Avalon. This is a lot girlier, yet not emasculating.

It's lighter. The walls are pale beige, almost white. It's going to reflect the morning sun even with the drapes pulled, so I doubt there'll be much sleeping late in here. I don't mind because I'm an early riser, but it could be a problem for L. She loves her sleep.

There's fabric and upholstery everywhere. Coordinated shades of pale blue, beige, and cream dominate; plenty of candles wait to be lit. It smells heavenly-much like the red currant L loves so much. I don't have to work hard to imagine what this bedroom suite will look like lit up tonight or how beautiful L will look illuminated by candlelight.

I'm so glad she approves. "I think the designer did a great job. I gave her full control. The only requirement was that she make it romantic."

"Mission accomplished." L walks toward the bed and runs her hand down the post. I wonder if she thin