Sebastian knew he was in trouble the second the movie started. Nightmare Before Christmas Great. The second it started, Sadira started scaring the girls. She quickly got Zoe recruited to help and the two of them proceeded to terrorize Jessica and Rebecca, though everyone ruined the effect with all the peals of laughter. Soon, all of them were buried into his sides during the “scary parts.” Zoe wrapped her arms and legs around him while Jessica and Rebecca both jockeyed for position on one side of him. When Sadira had given him a satisfied smile, as if she’d done it all on purpose, he’d snagged her arm and pulled her into the other side. With a giggle and a sigh, she’d snuggled into him. It struck Sebastian then that this was what families did. Even when he and Dedra hadn’t had issues, they’d never sat together like this and watched scary movies.
Once the scary show was over, Sadira put in a cheery family show, declaring one horror movie was enough. All three girls groaned and protested—even Zoe—but with more popcorn and Sadira’s brownies, they settled in again. By the time the second movie was over, it was well past midnight and the girls were all fast asleep, including Rebecca.
Sebastian had managed to keep Sadira beside him during the second movie, his arm resting on the back of the sofa behind her. This was what he wanted. What he’d always wanted. In that moment, his path became clear. Sadira was his. Theirs. Some way, somehow, he was going to convince her she belonged with them.
“It’s late,” he said, rubbing her shoulder, urging her closer to him. Sadira allowed the contact, giving a contented sigh as she snuggled against him. With the girls safely asleep and oblivious to the adults in the house, it seemed Sadira enjoyed the closeness as well.
“Yeah. Told you I should have taken my car.”
He chuckled. “Now, why would I have done that when it got you here, trapped in my home with the wicked king of the castle?”
She stiffened, but her hands clutched at his shirt. “What did you say?”
“You heard me,” he said, leaning down to nip her ear gently. It was the first overtly sexual gesture he’d made to her. How would she respond?
Sweet Jesus, she just had to drawl his name with all that sensuality he’d observed when she just walked across the room. Hearing it in her voice as she shortened his name to an intimate form shot straight through him like an erotic punch. Straight to his groin.
“You know you can’t say my name like that, in that tone of voice and not expect me to kiss you.”
“Darn it,” she said, sounding more like a purr than regret. “But I supposed if you must…”
She met him halfway, touching her lips to his delicately. The contact seemed to send an electrical current surging through Sebastian, need slamming into him harder than it had in living memory. She smelled like heaven. All warm honeysuckle and woman.
After several long seconds, Sadira pulled back, relaxing against him once again. “So, what do we do now? I hadn’t really expected something like this to happen, but I’m not looking a gift horse in the mouth.”
The joy inside him was equaled only by budding hope. Could he finally find the mother his girls needed as well as the woman he needed? Could he make her happy?