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Despise at First Sight

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I FUSS WITH MY TIE until Liam pushes my hands away. He fixes it for me, then puts his hands on my shoulders. His green eyes are glimmering and a grin tugs at his lips. He nods to me.

“You ready?”

“As ready as I’ll ever be.”

I don’t even know why I’m nervous to get married. Stella and I have been inseparable since the case, and our baby daughter was born six months ago, healthy as can be.

I know I’ll be with Stella for the rest of my life—a life without her is no life at all.

But still, saying our vows and finally tying the knot feels significant. Emotion wrings my stomach until I force myself to nod. Liam grins and claps me on the shoulder, then leads me down to the ceremony.

It’s a complete blur. I don’t know what anyone says or does until the doors at the end of the aisle open and I see Stella.

She’s radiant. Our baby girl is in the front row, being rocked by my mother. She’s sound asleep, not caring that her parents are about to commit to each other for life.

Stella takes a step toward me, with Martin’s arm hooked around hers. My eyes don’t leave her. I take it all in. Her soft undo, her white, silky dress, her shining eyes. I can’t take my eyes off her. When she reaches me, Martin slips his arm away from hers and she takes mine.

“Hey,” she whispers, smiling.


I want to grab her and kiss her, right then and there. I don’t care about the wedding, about all our friends and family, about the ceremony—I just want to throw her over my shoulder and take her up to our hotel room. Instead, I take a deep breath and shake my head.

“You look amazing.”

“Not too shabby yourself,” she grins.

We both look at the officiant as he clears his throat. I squeeze Stella’s hand and she squeezes back, and the ceremony starts. I don’t hear a word. My hands are trembling and I touch the pocket where the folded piece of paper with my vows sits.

Finally, the officiant looks at me and nods.

“You’ve chosen to say your own vows?”

“Yes,” I say, clearing my throat. I take out the paper, unfolding it gently as my heart starts to hammer. I struggled over these vows for weeks. How can I put into words how I care about Stella? How can I say it? Words just don’t seem enough.

Stella changed my life—she changed me. Saying ‘I love you’ doesn’t seem like enough. My hands are shaking, and I glance at the small assembly of people sitting in the pews.

They all love us and want to see us together. I shouldn’t be nervous—I’ve made a thousand speeches to bigger crowds.

But somehow, this speech feels more difficult. Maybe it’s because I’m baring my soul for everyone to see. Maybe it’s because it feels like it’s the most honest, raw thing I’ve ever done.

Someone in the audience coughs, and I take that as my cue to start.


“Oh, shit,” she swears, grabbing her boobs and looking up at me.

I frown. “What…?”

“I’m leaking,” she whispers, but the acoustics in this place are incredible, and I’m pretty sure everyone hears. She glances as the guests whisper to each other, and then looks down at the bodice of her dress. She peels her hands away and I see two wet patches around her nipples.

“Didn’t you pump before putting your dress on?” Ashely hisses from behind her.

“That was two hours ago,” Stella hisses back.

A smile spreads over my lips as a blush stains her cheeks. I tuck the paper back into my pocket and take both her hands in mine.

“You are perfect, Stella. I will love you until the end of time. Leaky boobs and all.”

She arches an eyebrow. “Those are your vows?”

“I guess so.”

She fights to keep the smile off her face, but it’s too late. She starts giggling, shrugs, and then laughs harder. She leans on me, shaking her head.

“I’ll love you too, despite your smart-ass comments.”

I chuckle, and we both turn to the officiant.

He glances between the two of us, frowning. “That’s… do you have anything else to say?”

“Nope. That about covers it,” Stella says, elbowing me in the ribs.

I’m laughing the whole time until I get to wrap my arms around her and kiss her. She giggles against my mouth, throwing her arms around my neck. I spin her around in a circle and set her back down as our guests erupt into applause.

Ashley grins. “Those were the oddest vows I’ve ever heard, but they seemed strangely appropriate.”

“At least I didn’t fall on my face when I walked up the aisle,” Stella grins, winking at her sister. Ashley laughs, and we start the procession out into the sunshine. We lead our guests to the reception hall, and then we laugh and dance until our feet hurt.

My mother offers to take our baby girl for the night, and for the first time in five months, it’s just me and Stella again. We booked a hotel room near the wedding venue and collapse into bed together.

“My feet are sore,” Stella sighs.

“Mine too,” I say. She nuzzles into my chest and I wrap my arms around her. She sighs then glances up at me.

“We’re probably supposed to consummate our marriage, but I’m so tired, Adrian.”

I smile, clucking her chin. “Don’t worry about that. We’ll consummate it plenty.”

“I know I haven’t been myself since we had the baby. I just haven’t felt sexy, and I’m so tired all the time…” she bites her lip and takes a deep breath. “Thank you for being patient.”

I hold her tighter and kiss her forehead, sighing. “We’ll have plenty of sex in the next fifty to seventy years,” I grin. “You just carried and gave birth to our baby daughter. I’m not so uncontrollable that I don’t understand that. We’ll have sex when we want to have sex.”

She smiles, nodding. “Thank you.”

“You don’t need to thank me for that.” I lay a kiss in her hair and hold her tight. I hope she’s not worried about that. I don’t care how long it takes for her to feel like herself again—I can wait. I’m too happy to be a dad, to be a husband, to be a new man.

So, our wedding night ends quietly.

WE DON’T TAKE A honeymoon until six months later, after our daughter Allison turns one. We leave her with my parents, and I can see Stella holding back tears.

“I’m going to miss you, Ali,” she says, kissing our daughter’s chubby cheeks. Ali bubbles and runs toward her grandmother.

“Go,” my mother says. “We’ll be fine. It’s only five days. You should have taken longer.”

I give Ali a kiss and put my arm around Stella. She leans into me, and we drive to the airport. We’re heading to Mexico—Cabo, to be exact.

I’ve booked a private jet, and I can’t wait to spoil my wife. By the time we get to the airport, she’s wiped her tears away and there’s a hint of a smile on her face. She looks at me with wide eyes when I lead her down a nondescript door toward the private boarding area.

“I thought we were flying Delta?”

I grin. “Surprise.” I give her a kiss and nod toward the windows. Our jet is waiting, white and gleaming on the tarmac. Her jaw drops.

“Adrian… can we afford this?”

“Yes,” I laugh. “Have you forgotten my last name?”

“I’ve never…” Her eyes look like they’re going to pop out of her head. “I haven’t even been on vacation in over five years and now…”

“Now you’re going to be spoiled rotten,” I say, intertwining my fingers in hers. The pilot and crew greet us and lead us down a long hallway, down an escalator and finally out to the tarmac. It’s cold and windy, and we shuffle onto the plane.

Stella gasps. Plush, leather seats line one side of the plane, while the other has a long bench. A bar is tucked at the back of the cabin, and the crew’s quarters are beyond it. The pilot gives us a quick brief, and then the flight attendant ushers us to our seats. She gives us champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries. Stella glances at me, shaking her head.

“This is too much, Adrian.”

“Nothing is too much. You’ve waited a year for a honeymoon, and you’ve given me the best daughter I could ask for. I wanted to give you something back.”

Her eyes gleam and she takes a deep breath. “I hope Allison is okay. I was worried about that cough…”

“She’ll be fine,” I grin. “My mother loves her, and my parents are happy to take care of her. It’s only a few days.”

Stella nods, and I put my hand on her thigh. The flight attendant gives us a safety briefing, and then we strap into our seats and get ready for takeoff.

Once we’re in the air, the hostess comes back around with snacks and drinks, and we move to the long couch on the side of the plane. Stella snuggles into me, sipping her wine and sighing.

“I guess I could live with this,” she grins.

I nod to the hostess, who disappears into the crew quarters. For all intents and purposes, we’re alone. I shift Stella so that her head is resting on my lap, and then I slowly trace my hand along her collarbone, between her breasts, and over her stomach. When I tease the hem of her pants, she glances around.


“No one’s here,” I growl. She bites her lip, and her eyes flash. Then, she settles her head back down in my lap and I unbutton her pants. When I slide my fingers between her thighs, I groan.

“I love your pussy,” I growl.

“It loves you too,” she giggles, gasping as I move my fingers over her. She’s already slick with desire, and it doesn’t take long for me to make her wetter. She relaxes into my touch, letting gasps and moans escape her lips as her pleasure heightens.

I love watching her face when we do this. I love being the one to make her feel good, to make her orgasm. I love having my hand between her legs—or my tongue, or my cock.

And right now, this trip is all for her. I want to show her what she means to me, how she’s changed my life for the better, and how much I appreciate her. I move my fingers faster and her arm moves up to grip my shirt. She bucks under my touch, biting her full lips as she gasps.

I growl. This is my favorite way to be. I watch my queen as an orgasm washes over her, her face relaxing as the pleasure takes over. My hand is slick with her honey, and I let out a soft moan as she relaxes. Her eyes flutter open and she lifts herself up, looking at me through hooded eyes.


“Yeah?” I growl. She glances between my legs and grins at my hardness.

“I think it might be your turn.”

Her fingers unbutton my pants and she drops to her knees in front of me. This wasn’t what I’d planned—I wanted to pleasure her all the way to Cabo. But when I try to stop her, she gives me a look that stops me in my tracks. Then, she takes my length between her fingers and slides it into her mouth, and I’m done.

I can’t stop her now. I can’t do anything except let my own pleasure take over.

When it’s over, we smile at each other and finish our drinks, snuggling on the long couch. I press a button to call the flight attendant back, and she appears with more food.

Stella leans her head against my shoulder, plucking a bowl of peanuts off the hostess’s tray. My wife glances at me, smiling.

“I love you, Adrian Maguire.”

Her words fill me with more than love. It’s pride and honor and duty mixed in with admiration. It’s complete happiness, liquid and potent as it fills me up from my toes to the tip of my head. I smile at her and touch my nose to hers.

“And I love you, Stella King.”

“Are you mad I didn’t take your name?”

“I don’t care what name you have. You’re mine, and that’s all that matters.”

She laughs, kissing me gently and sighing in contentment.

“Next time, let’s bring Allison with us,” she says. “I want her to travel—I never did when I was a kid.”

“We will. But for now, this trip is for you.”

Stella beams at me, and then throws a peanut in her mouth. “I can live with that,” she laughs. “You’re alright, Adrian. I don’t care what anyone says about you.”

“Well that’s good, because they say pretty awful things,” I grin.

“Not anymore.”

Her eyes gleam and she flashes another smile at me, and I know I’m the luckiest man in the world.

A mistaken identity leads to a blind date...with her new boss.


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