Chapter Twenty Nine
Lizzie woke the next morning feeling sore but wonderful. Hunter’s arms were tight around her, and she’d forgotten how much she loved the feel of a man in her bed. She looked at his amazing naked body beside her and wondered, How on earth did a man like this ever want me? A plaintive mew from the bathroom told her the kittens were awake and expecting attention. In the flurry of excitement last night, she hadn’t had the chance to introduce them to Hunter. She wondered if he was even a cat person and, even more importantly, if he’d worry she was a cat lady.
Hunter yawned then, waking. “Hello, beautiful,” he said, pulling her in for a kiss.
“Hi, sexy,” she answered. The mews sounded again, this time louder.
“Kittens,” she said, and she pulled herself from bed. Curious, Hunter followed her to the guest bathroom, and as she swung open the door, she revealed three black-and-white kittens, a litter box, and food bowls. Two of the three kittens were wrestling each other, while the third was busy playing with a string from the shower curtain.
“These are all yours?” Hunter asked, surprised.
“No! I’m just fostering them while they’re kittens. They’ll be ready for adoption soon, and then I’ll have to say goodbye. You could say it’s my public service.” Lizzie shifted from one foot to the other. “If it were up to me, I’d keep them all, but I also know then that I would be a crazy cat lady.”
“I love cats,” Hunter said as he squatted down to pick up a playful kitten. It looked so ridiculously tiny in his huge hand.
“You do?” Lizzie’s heart leapt. A man who loved cats was after her own heart.
“My mom had two of them when I was growing up, and now she has four.” Hunter scratched the kitten beneath its chin, and Lizzie felt her heart melt. A hero veteran who loves kittens? Seriously?
“Okay, you realize you’re the perfect man.” Lizzie jabbed a fist into her hip.
“I’m far from perfect.” Hunter shook his head.
“Name one flaw.” Lizzie couldn’t imagine any.
“I belch. A lot. I hate doing dishes. I’m the worst at remembering important dates, like birthdays.” He thought for a second. “And I’m very, very stubborn, especially when I know what I want.”
“What do you want?”
He didn’t blink as he stared at her, and she felt a shiver run down her spine. “Technically you had me several times last night.” She laughed at her own joke.
“I mean I want to date you. Just you. Exclusively.”