Beautiful Beloved (Beautiful Bastard #3.6)

by Christina Lauren

Chapter One


The dishes were done, the flat tidied, and Sara had begun to sing quietly to our little miss in the nursery. I said a simple prayer to the god of sleeping children, because on her way in there, Sara had given me the look.

The don’t fall asleep before I come to bed look.

The I’m still not over the sight of our baby sleeping on your naked chest look.

The you’re getting very, extremely laid look.

I fucking loved my life.

Across the room on the coffee table, my phone lit up with a call. Going over and seeing whose name flashed across the screen, I broke out in a massive smile.

“You’ve called the happiest bloke on the planet,” I told my brother, in lieu of a proper greeting.

I was met with a heavy pause of silence, and then: “It’s impossible for you to be smugger.”

“True. But make it quick. I’m about to be ravaged by the natives.” Sweet mother Mary it seemed like it’d been forever since we’d had anything more than a quick grope en route to passing out from exhaustion.

I was even considering doing some extensive stretching first.

My youngest brother, Niall, laughed. “In that case, I hope you survive the night because I’m coming to visit next week and I’d be terribly disappointed to miss the Max Stella tour you’ve promised all these years.”

“Brilliant!” I smacked the table with my palm. This night kept getting better. The promise of sex two nights in a row with my gorgeous wife and a visit from my brother next week. “Absolutely, bloody brilliant.” I hadn’t seen Niall since the last time I went home, over a year ago, and he’d been too busy to visit much. “Work letting you out, then?”

“More or less.” He paused. “Right. That’s it, then, it’s bloodly late. Just letting you know. I’m coming to visit little Annabel, not you lot.”

Laughing, I said, “Understood.”

“I’ll arrive on Tuesday. Leaving Sunday.”

I noted the rest of the details and rang off before heading to find Sara to share the news.

The singing had stopped, and to my complete lack of surprise, I found my beautiful wife asleep in the rocking chair beside the crib, with the baby in her arms. I pulled the little Beloved away from her mum, swaddled her up, and placed her in the crib. Although until recently Annabel generally slept only two or three hours at a time, at least we could put her to bed beside a brass band and she wouldn’t rouse.

I suspected we wouldn’t be as lucky with the next one.

Next one?

I blinked, feeling slightly mad for having this thought. It was only in the past two weeks that we were getting any sort of decent sleep at all.

With the baby taken care of, I crossed the room to wake Sara. Her eyes drew open just as I reached her, and she inhaled deeply, blinking up at me. “Oh. I fell asleep.”

I crouched in front of her, using my thumb to move a strand of hair off her face. “I don’t think you were supposed to do that.”

“No, I was going to get you naked.”

“That’s still an option.”

Sara took my hand and stood, pulling me after her out of the nursery and down the hall. “What were you thinking, just standing there looking down at me?”

“Just feeling rather in love with my life, is all.”

“Well, I fell asleep wondering whether our second will be as good a sleeper as our first.”

She glanced over her shoulder at me with a grin, and I gaped at her, eyes wide and incredulous. How could she know the exact thought had crossed my mind only minutes before?

“You call Anna a good sleeper?” I asked.

“She has been lately,” she clarified. “We just had to give her time to grow into it.”

I watched Sara’s hair slide over her shoulders as she turned back and shook her head. Her hair was longer now, thicker, and the way it slid across her skin made me want to gather it into a ball, hold it in my fist, and fuck her over the side of the bed.

Oh, but it had been forever since we’d done anything as rough as that.

I swallowed, closed my eyes, and attempted to steady my hunger when she sat on the edge of the mattress and slowly slid her thighs apart.

“You’ve lost your mind,” I said with a grin.

“Probably true.” Her sexy little shrug told me she was only half serious, and a naughty playfulness lingered beneath the surface.

Stepping between her legs, I helped her pull her tank top over her head and guided her onto her back so I could slide her thin cotton shorts down and off.