She was expecting him. Jude wasn’t lying to herself, as she sat in the chair in the nursery that was attached to her room on the second floor. Her room? No. It was his room. She knew that.
The room he’d shared with his wife at one time.
His sons had no doubt slept in the bed her two middle daughters shared. Hannah was sound asleep in a room down the hall, sharing with her cousin Ruthie. Janie and Annie took one across from them.
The rest of the girls and their husbands were on the third floor. Jacob, somewhere, too. She finished rocking her youngest, then snuggled her into the waiting crib.
He had had everything she and her girls needed right there in his house.
As if he’d been waiting for her to come to him.
Jude was waiting for him. She closed the door to the nursery quietly. It connected to hers, so she could tend her baby in the night.
A small knock came at the door.
She knew who it was. And what was about to happen.
Then he was there. “I come to check on you, before I turn in.”
Sure he had. She knew by the fire in his eyes exactly what he was wanting. Last night, wrapped in his arms, had just been a prelude to this.
Jude had made her decision. Seeing him there next to Justice Wharton had made one thing very clear to her.
Hughes…would never hurt her. It just wasn’t in him.
But there was real passion in him. Passion that triggered something in her, too. Something she thought she had buried with her husband. But she hadn’t.
She placed one hand on her chest. Her heart. It was still beating. It hadn’t stopped when her husband’s had. She’d just forgotten that a little.
Jude felt it beating now.
He stepped closer. “Jude…honey…I…”
Jude took that first step. Then…she was in his arms, pressing her lips to his.
This is where she was supposed to be. Right here.
In that damned Barratt man’s arms.
And she never wanted to leave.