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Tangled (The Moreno Brothers #5.5)

By:Elizabeth Reyes

g more often. Quickies are good and all, but nothing beats tasting you from top to bottom and taking my sweet time doing so."

He pulled her to him, groaning before kissing her neck. Isabel giggled as he loosened his hold on her and climbed into bed. She changed into her kid-friendly but still sexy lacy shorts pajamas then walked over and unlocked their bedroom door.

She turned back to Romero, who was still eyeing her with that playful smirk. "That's the good thing about no more babies," she said cautiously, but the very words had his smile flattening. "We get to do this a lot more often."




"We managed even when the kids were younger," he said, eyeing her a little too seriously.

"I know," she agreed quickly. "I'm just saying it'll be easier now."

"I thought you said you were gonna give it until next year to decide."

"I am," she said, climbing in next to him and cuddling him, her hands already roaming over his naked chest and abs.

"Sounds to me like you've already decided."

"No, I haven't." She pulled back to look him in the eyes.

She really hadn't. Just the other day she and Valerie had had this conversation over lunch. Valerie and Alex were done having kids, but then they had four. Isabel did like the idea of a bigger family, and she knew how much Romero wanted at least a couple more, but the thought of having to start all over was a bit overwhelming.

"I was just making an observation," she said. "I mean, honestly, when was the last time we were able to do that for that long without being interrupted?"

Romero's brow lifted, and she knew now maybe she shouldn't have brought this up and ruined the wonderful night they'd been having.

"Is holding off on this decision until the beginning of next year just your way of humoring me, Izzy?"

"Of course not," she said, sitting up and feeling a bit defensive suddenly. "I wouldn't do that. I really am on the fence about it still. It's just that we agreed I'd go back to work this fall, and I wanna see how that works out first. For all I know I could hate it, but"-she reached out and touched his face-"what if I love it? What if I realize I missed my career more than I thought I would?"

Romero's expression went even harder, and she had a feeling why. She'd picked up on it loud and clear earlier. He hadn't been thrilled about her going back to work in the first place, and telling him she'd be working side by side with Elliot had been an even more unwelcome announcement. But Isabel had learned years ago it was best to just be completely honest even about the things she knew would be grating for him when it came to things of this nature. They'd been together long enough, and he knew better than to worry about things like this.

"About that," he said. "When you said you were looking forward to going back to work, you said it was because you missed teaching. Now you're going back to push papers for this-"

"I told you I'll be lecturing-that is teaching." She sat up, putting the pillow behind her. "It's actually better this way. It's almost as if I'm interning, like before I ever got my own class when I taught middle school. I got to take baby steps first and shadow other teachers. Only this time I'll be getting paid to shadow."

"But you don't need to do that; you've already been a teacher."

"This isn't the same, Romero. Teaching at a university level is a completely different monster. I'll be teaching adults, not middle-school brats."

"How old's this guy?"

All right, she knew this was coming. No matter how many years they were married, Romero would always be Romero. She'd tell him everything he needed to know so that he'd feel better, but no way was she allowing him to make her feel guilty about anything regardless of the circumstances.

"I don't know exactly, but if I had to guess, I'd say mid to late thirties."

"Is he single?"

Isabel took a deep breath, biting back what she really wanted to ask. Does that really matter? But since she knew no matter how much he'd claim it didn't, it did. She may as well tell him the truth.

"He's recently divorced."

Romero stared at her now, the severity in his eyes weakened a bit but his interest even greater. "And why do you know that?"

Isabel shot right back without wavering, "Because he mentioned it when I told him about needing to be home for the kids. He said he understood. He remembered when his kids were our kids' age and not wanting to miss out on anything. He said I should enjoy these years because they fly by fast. Then he said now that he's divorced he hardly sees the kids at all and he wishes he'd spent more time with them when he'd had the chance." Reaching for Romero's hand, she could already feel the tension in his arms again. "What are you thinking?" she asked, and he stared up at her silently for a moment. "Don't think about it, baby. Just tell me what's going through your head this very instant."

His expression softened a bit as he pulled her down to lie with him. "That I love you," he said softly, kissing her nose as soon as she was close enough. "And that I'm gonna pass out the moment we shut off the lights."

Isabel searched his eyes, surprised by his response. This was so not where she thought this conversation was headed. But he smiled and it was genuine, so she smiled, relieved that for now this didn't appear as if it might be an issue.

Since they'd been married and especially once she decided to stay home, there'd been very few incidents where his temper or suspicion of any guy around her caused them to argue. They'd come a long way since their explosive beginning. But then, since she'd been home with the kids, there'd been very few times she had to spend around other men when Romero wasn't around.

Isabel decided this was a good thing for them. She was bound to get back into the work force, and they were beyond ridiculous insecurities. Obviously, Romero had grown in

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