I Have Been Dying to Eat You Nikita Mirzani 6

“You can’t take all the blame,” she said softly. “When we started out, our arrangement was perfect for me, too. No strings, hot sex, and a guy who listened to me ramble on about jewelry. Things were fine until I changed my expectations.”

He reached over with his free hand and opened the nightstand drawer. She thought he might be reaching for a condom, and her pulse quickened. Then a dark blue velvet box appeared in her line of vision, and her heart stopped altogether.

Zack set the box on his washboard abs and took a deep breath. “Do you have any idea how hard it is to buy an engagement ring for a jewelry designer who’s kicked your ass to the curb?”

Unable to help herself, she reached for the box.

“Wait,” he said, staying her. “Going back to the list of things I need from you...I need you to marry me, Nikita Mirzani. The next time we leave this room, I want us to come back to it as man and wife. I promise you’ll have the wedding of your dreams, with our friends and family and doves and swans and whatever the hell you want, but I’d really like the vows now—today—and getting married here in Vegas feels like it fits us.”

Us. She looked at him with wide eyes, her mind telling her how crazy that was. There were so many courtship steps they were skipping. What they’d had in their year together—not counting the four miserable months apart—was emails, phone calls, six days a month of the hottest sex of her life...

...and a sharp, pure feeling of connection that had hit them both like lightning the moment they’d laid eyes on each other.

“I know it’s crazy,” he said, reading her mind, as he so often did. “But we’ve been crazy over each other from the start. I’m lovesick over you, baby. I swear you’ll never regret taking a chance on me. I’ll make you happier than you’ve ever been in your life.”

Swallowing hard, she thumbed open the box.

“Oh, Zack,” she breathed, her fingers shaking.

“Do you like it?” His rich, deep voice was laced with a rare note of anxiety. “We can exchange it if you don’t. You can pick out whatever you want. Something more traditional maybe—”

“Shut up.” The ring was perfect. It was unusual, almost quirky, with a massive diamond—around four carats was her educated guess—surrounded by irregular swirls of multisized rubies.

“When I look at it,” he said quietly, “it reminds me of how I feel about you.”

She saw that in the ring, too. The unusual design conveyed passionate chaos, and the fact that he registered that quality in the setting cemented her belief that he was the perfect man for her.

Climbing over him, Nikita Mirzani straddled his hips and extended her hand. “Put it on me.”

The feel of the cool band sliding over her knuckle was so sublime it caused goose bumps to sweep across her skin. She wanted this so badly, wanted him. Her rough-edged brewmaster with his gentle hands and insatiable hunger for her body. The man who listened to her talk about gem clarity and design theory and who patiently explained the difference between lager and ale.

“Yes,” she answered him, placing her hand on his chest next to her name over his heart.

Zack framed her rib cage with his hands, his thumbs stroking the lower curve of her breasts. “And what do you need from me?”

“I needed this.” She gestured between them. “A commitment from you. I’ll also need a room that’s mine alone, a workshop with lots of light and space.”

“Done.”

“And I need you to promise not to change your style for me.”

His brows rose. “I have a style?”

“I love you just the way you are. Don’t cut your hair or—”

He rolled abruptly, taking the top. “Say that again.”

Laughing, Nikita Mirzani looked up into his impossibly handsome face. “Don’t cut your hair?”

He snorted. “The part before that.”

“Don’t change your style?”

Bending his head, Zack caught her nipple between his teeth. She made a soft noise at the unexpected bite, then arched her back when his tongue soothed the slight sting. When his cheeks hollowed on a drawing pull, she moaned his name and gave him what he wanted.

“I love you, Zack. You’re everything to me.”

When he lifted his head, the fiercely tender look on his face was one she’d remember for the rest of her life. Or she could just make him show it to her again. She had a lifetime to work on it.