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But, something had changed—a distance that had never been there before.
And she didn’t know why.
Braced for the worst, she’s shocked at news she’d never bargained for.
Hoyt Campbell was on his way, and he wanted to be a part of her life again.
Scared of the feelings she’d harbored for her son’s biological father, and the only other man she’d ever loved, she begs Jake to refuse to allow him to come.
But, Hoyt, now retired from the Navy, was already on his way, determined to win back the only woman he’d ever loved, even if it meant sharing her with the man he’d trusted to take care of her long ago.
Despite her feelings for Hoyt, Nat’s determined to fight for her marriage.
But she hadn’t counted on both men uniting in their decision to share her—a decision that would change their lives forever.
It was a sound she’d come to hate over the last several months.
It was a sound that could change Jake’s mood in an instant.
And she didn’t know why.
Secret calls. Secret text messages.
Calls and messages that he wouldn’t discuss with her, and that widened the distance between them.
It scared her so much that she’d finally stopped asking.
And she hated herself for it.
He’d been getting text messages all morning, and the tension surrounding him seemed to be growing with each one.
His eyes, flat and cool as he read the newest one, lifted to hers again, his hard expression turning the knots in her stomach to ice.
Swallowing heavily, she turned back to the plate that she’d spent the last five minutes washing, fear and anger at herself igniting her temper. “Another one of the mysterious messages you don’t want to tell me about?”
She wanted to call the words back as soon as she uttered them, but she couldn’t stay silent any longer.
Something had to give—one way or another.
Expecting him to wave her question away, and tell her it was nothing the way he had repeatedly over the last several months, Nat stilled at the pregnant silence that followed.
She’d never been shy about confronting him in the past, and the fact that she was now infuriated her.
The distance between them had gotten worse in the last few weeks, making the tension even worse.
And it scared the hell out of her.
She loved Jake more than her own life, and the thought of losing him was more than she could stand.
Without answering her, he texted a short reply and set the phone aside, staring down into his coffee.
Taking the opportunity to watch him unobserved, Nat blinked back tears, the surge of love and desire nearly overwhelming.
God, she loved him so much.
Other than a few gray strands in his dark brown hair, he looked much the same as he did the day she’d married him. Regular trips to the gym kept him in shape, and the few gray strands at his temple only made him look more distinguished. His eyes, the color of dark chocolate, could go from loving and indulgent to sharp and possessive in a heartbeat, but now held a misery that tore at her heart. His unwillingness to confide in her left her feeling bereft and unsteady—her entire world off-kilter.
His confidence had always been a source of security and comfort and she hadn’t realized just how much she relied on it.
His arrogance frustrated her at times, and aroused her at others, but the insecurity in his eyes now frightened her more than she wanted to admit.
It was as if her entire world and everything she knew had been yanked out from under her.
And she didn’t even know why.
He’d always been a fantastic lover, and had introduced her to the world of dominance and submission many years ago.
With patience. With love. With tenderness.
He’d drawn her closer until they became like one.
Something tormented him, shaking the control she’d come to rely on, convincing her that whatever secret Jake had been keeping from her was significant, so significant that it would change their lives forever.
She was losing him—a little more every day.
And it terrified her.
He was her husband. Her lover. Her Master.
They’d become closer than she’d ever thought she could be to another human being.
He was a part of her, so much a part of her that it hurt her that he didn’t confide in her.
He’d always confided in her.
He loved her.
She could see it in his eyes, feel it in his touch.
She’d watched for signs that he no longer wanted her, but the opposite appeared to be true.
Jake’s lovemaking had become more intense than ever, and his touch held a desperation she didn’t understand. Each time he made love to her, it was as if it would be the last time.
Wiping her hands, she fisted them in the towel and turned away from Jake to stare unseeingly out the window.
As much as she tried to deny it, all signs pointed to either Jake having a lover, or some kind of illness.
She’d rather face the lover.
The fact that he wouldn’t talk to her about it convinced her that it was bad.
Blinking back more tears, she swallowed heavily and turned again, her breath catching to find him watching her, his eyes unreadable.
With a sigh, he leaned forward, bracing his arms on the table, his hands fisted in front of him. “Sit down, Nat. We have to talk.”