He moves on to my bottom and this is where he gets a little freaky. He does his nibbling thing where he bites my ass, but then he moves his mouth down between my thighs. He uses his knee to push my legs apart and shoves the pillows under me. I'm bent over them and…oh, fuck! He licks my girlie parts. From behind. He's never done it from that angle before and it feels…kinky. And I like it. A lot.

He grabs the back of my thighs and pushes them up and apart so my bottom is up in the air. I think being positioned like this would be mortifying as hell if what he was doing didn't feel so amazing.

He astonishes me the way he can always pull a different rabbit out of his hat.

He suddenly stops and says, "No, you're not coming like this again. I want to be inside you next time you get off." He cues me to roll over by tugging on my hip.

When I'm on my back again, he lies down on top of me. We're eye to eye. He runs his hands down the length of my arms until he finds my hands and lifts them over my head. He laces his fingers through mine and squeezes them. He doesn't take his eyes from mine—and doesn't even blink—as he enters me. But I see the look, the one that tells me how good it feels to be inside me. I can never mistake that look of pleasure for any other.

I bring my legs up and around him so I can feel him deeper. With Jack Henry, close is never close enough. I always want him nearer.

He props his weight on his elbows and cradles my head inside his lower arms. He showers kisses all across my face. "I love you so much. You are everything to me." Our hands are still fisted above my head and he squeezes them tighter as he continues slowly moving inside me. He presses his forehead against mine. "You kissed my heart awake."

Now it's me squeezing his hands tighter. "God, I love you."

He shifts his hips so he's putting friction against my sweet spot as he moves in and out of me. There's nothing like having a man who can make me come so many different ways, even with slow, gentle lovemaking. But there's especially nothing like hearing him tell me he loves me as it happens. From what I hear, I'm in the minority. I don't think most women orgasm with intercourse alone. But not all women have Jack Henry for a lover.

When it's over, he relaxes against me. I take my legs from around him and let them fall apart so he can nestle between them while he's still inside me. I cherish these moments, when we're still joined as one.

"Promise me you won't let another man do these things to you after I'm gone."

Wow. That sounds so final, like we're going to say goodbye and never see one another again. "No man will touch me like this or any other way. You're the only one."

He wraps his arms around me and I do the same. We squeeze one another to the point that it's almost painful. "I'm terrified of losing you."

"I'm terrified of losing you too."

He presses his forehead to mine again. "I can't stand it. I said I wouldn't do this, but I can't help myself. Please, come home with me. I know you can't have the career you want in Australia, but you know I can take care of you. You'll have anything your heart desires and you'll never have to work."

I consider it for a moment, but he still hasn't asked me to marry him. "I can't. I don't know how we'll make it work, but we'll find a way. We have to because the alternative isn't an option."

Laurelyn and I have spent the last two days either in bed or in the shower so we could go back to bed together. I'd say these were the best days of my life except for the reason behind why we've been nymphos for the last forty-eight hours.

I'm leaving today, and she's not coming with me.

We're standing at the security checkpoint and the sickening feeling I have in my stomach is far worse than I'd imagined it would be. I feel short of breath and my chest aches from my heart being torn out. The pain is even worse than when I found Laurelyn's goodbye letter.

I'm not a man who cries—ever—yet I feel it right there about to happen. It's foreign and I'm fighting it, but it's getting harder and harder with each passing minute. Our separation is imminent, and inevitable.

I'm holding her in my arms. I'm squeezing her harder than I should. I'm probably hurting her, but it's my attempt at meshing us into one so I don't leave her behind. And it isn't working.

I hear her soft, sweet voice against my ear and feel her trembling in my arms. "Don't leave," she whispers.

I feel the tears when they come and I bury my face in her hair. "Don't let me leave without you."

And we're back to that place I hate. She won't come and I can't stay.

Our time together is winding down. We don't have much time left and I pull away from her so I can see her face. "This is not at all the way I wanted to do this."

"I know. I didn't want you to leave with things between us feeling so…unsettled."

She doesn't understand I'm referring to something entirely different. "That's not what I mean, baby." I reach into my pocket and take out the black leather box I've carried everywhere with me for the last two weeks. I waited for the perfect moment, but it never presented itself. Now I get to do it this way only minutes before I'm about to leave her for God knows how long.

I hold it out so she can see it. I want her to have a moment to absorb where I'm about to go. She looks at it briefly before her eyes dart up to meet mine. She looks like she wants to say something but can't quite spit the words out.

"Laurelyn, I once asked you to be mine for three months. Now, I'm asking you to be mine forever."

She opens her mouth to speak and I place my fingers to her lips. "But I don't want your answer right now because you're not ready to say yes. You still need time to spread your wings and fly. I love you with all my heart and I want you to experience everything this life has to offer you because it won't wait. But I will. I'll wait for you as long as it takes, and you can come to me after you've had enough of this life…when you're ready to spend forever with me."

Tears fill her eyes. "You can not do this to me right before you get on a plane to leave."

I hear the last call for my flight to LA, so I flip the ring box open. "When you come to me, I will ask you to be my wife, but until then…" She cups her mouth when she sees the ring. I take her left hand and slide the diamond engagement ring onto her finger. "I know you don't usually wear the ring until you say yes, but I want you to wear this as a reminder that I am waiting for you. Every time you look at it on your finger, know that I'm anxiously looking forward to you coming to me so we can begin our forever together."

Tears spill down her cheeks. "I'm so pissed off at you right now that I can't see straight. I simultaneously love the fuck out of you while I hate your guts. I don't know if I want to slap your face or get naked with you."

"My vote would be for getting naked, but I don't think they'll allow that here in the airport."

"I can't believe you just did this to me."

I'm flirting with missing my flight. "I have to go, baby."

"Think of the story we'll be able to tell our kids if you say yes."

She stands at the security point entrance and is sobbing hysterically when I pass the point where I'll no longer be able to see her. It breaks my heart. That's not at all the way I wanted my proposal to happen, but I'm not sorry about it. I know what I'm doing. One way or another, I'm going to have her as my wife.

I have two hours until I board my connecting flight to Sydney. I take my mobile from my pocket and I'm pretty sure I stare at it for ten minutes. I dread making this call and having the talk—our first post-sort-of-proposal conversation. It's only been four hours since I left Laurelyn in Nashville and I'm convinced she's ready to rip me a new one now that she's had time to think about what I did.

I wait for her to answer and realize I'm nervous—like, really fucking nervous. What if she used the last four hours to think about what an asshat I am and decided there's no way in hell she'd ever marry me? I want to hang up. I'm even considering it when I hear her voice.

"You are in so much trouble, caveman."

She called me cavemen. That's a good sign. She can't be too mad if she called me that instead of jackhole, which she uses frequently.

Should I say I'm sorry? 'Cause I'm not, and to do so would be lying. "I don't regret what I did, even if you're angry with me. The only thing I regret is sitting around waiting for the ideal moment to present itself so I could properly ask you to be my wife. That clearly didn't happen and I'm sorry. I wanted it to be a perfect moment because you've not had many of those in your life, but I messed it up like I always do."

"I really want to be naked with you right now."

That sounds promising. "I'd really like that a lot, but I'm willing to accept your answer in its place. I know I told you that I didn't want your response right now, but if it's yes, then you can go ahead and tell me."

"What? And ruin the angst you so deserve to feel? I don't think so, Mr. McLachlan. You give me a proposal like that and you should expect to wait on an answer—for a while."

Uh-oh. That part doesn't sound so good. "So you're punishing me for wanting to marry you?"

"No. I'm punishing you for that fast one you just pulled on me."

I was hoping she would be so thrilled about the whole thing that she'd sort of forget the way I did it. "This isn't much of a way to begin our union. I don't think tit-for-tat is the best strategy for making a marriage work."

"I didn't say I was marrying you."

But she will. I'll see to it. "You didn't tell me you weren't, so until you say otherwise, I'll be waiting anxiously for you to come to me."