tagRomanceNot My Lover Ch. 17

Not My Lover Ch. 17


The thirteen-year-old hacker immediately changed his tune when Tony and Summer came knocking on his door. He instantly confessed to hacking into protected governmental files, all the while guiltily sobbing like a child in front of his parents. Fortunately for him, there was no damage to the system but he did it only to show off to his friends. With that being considered, the teenager's sentence would be considered by the local court of Helena that could possibly land him into juvenile detention for a year and numerous hours of community service.

But he had to be thankful for even that sentence. A hacker's prosecution could range from a year to a lifetime depending on the severity of damage and if the crime was done continually. Now, hackers had nowhere to run, with programs being built to trap them, they could easily be apprehended and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

While they were dealing with the teenager's prosecution, Tony suggested that they move to the Wilderness Retreat American Bar, a simple twenty minute drive outside of Helena. Summer didn't have the mind to question him since he informed her that Stallings had recommended it as a nice place to unwind during their wait.

The place was beautiful, without any doubt. The main house was modernized with a touch of robust outdoorsy style. Even the stables appeared to be the best home any horse could ask for. The land had a plethora of history, from the French-Canadian explorers, the brothers Chevalier and Louis La Verendrye, to Lewis and Clark, who dubbed the territory "the gates of the mountains".

The new owners, Dirk and Martina Owens, received the two special agents with cheerfulness just a couple of hours before twilight, showing them to their rooms and leaving them to rest. Summer and Tony each took a shower before residing in the main upstairs living area. Since they had already eaten before they arrived, they decided to make hot cocoa due to the nippy night air and sit in front of the roaring walk-in hearth.

While idly chatting with Tony, Summer incessantly gazed regretfully into the flames, visualizing the fanatical forms of her husband and herself wrapped in such fiery passion that could cause such spontaneous heated emotions. While she kept a vigil on the popping flames, Tony diligently scanned her wistful profile every now and again before having the fortitude to break the peaceful quiet.

"You okay?" he inquired.

Summer snapped out of her trance, her surprised expression captured by his studious, obsidian stare. "Yeah, I'm fine," she somewhat stuttered. "Why?"

Tony shrugged, acting nonchalant. "I don't know what it is, cara," he verbalized. "You just seem...sad. You sure everything's all right?"

She made a terrible effort to smile. "Yes. Why shouldn't it?"

Tony nodded, but he still sensed, even in his thick Italian blood, something didn't feel right. "Well, word travels fast, cara." He observed Summer's body abruptly stiffen but rushed on to say, "I heard you're leaving the FBI soon. Perhaps after this assignment?"

The rigidity left her and she took a deep breath. Her month apart from the FBI had afforded her to almost be dismissed except for the deal she made with Stallings to take this new assignment. She had permission to work one more before she was officially out of the FBI. Though she would miss her experience, she had to now think about securing a future for her baby.

"Yeah, I'm resigning after this one," Summer affirmed in a voice lacking her usual confidence. "I got a teaching certificate so I'm going to move somewhere and become a teacher. You know, something less dangerous."

Tony smiled ruefully at her response. "I think schools today are just as dangerous as the situations we get into, cara. There's so much violence and not enough learning for these kids."

Summer glanced down pensively at the wedding band she still hadn't had the courage to take off as her hand rested upon her stomach. How she wanted to protect her baby from the harms of this world, especially since she'll be doing that protecting alone.

Unconsciously, she caressed her belly, not aware that Tony was still watching her absorbedly. His eyes suddenly lowered to his cup of hot chocolate, his long, ebony lashes shadowing his face. "Does Gage know?"

Summer gave a start and she looked at him. "About what?"

"About the baby."

Summer retained her silence on the matter and refused to affirm his suspicions, although Tony didn't need one. He had always been observant and a reader of signs. He sighed. "I'm sorry, cara," he apologized. "I know this isn't my place to have a say but I'm only concerned. I know that the real reason you're quitting the FBI is so that you'll never see Gage again. And don't try to lie to me because I know. It's evident in your eyes, but those lovely eyes of yours are too blind to see what everyone else does. I've never seen a man more in love with his woman than Gage. He's obviously taken with you. Can't you see it?"

Tears brimmed in Summer's eyes, threatening to fall with disillusion. At this point in time, hope was way beyond her reach. "Then why hasn't he told me?" she mumbled tearfully. "He's had plenty of chances."

"You know better than I that those words are difficult for a man like Gage to say," Tony clarified, "but even without them, you could tell what he means just by looking into his eyes."

Summer realized that Tony was right, in a way. She had caught something different in the way Gage carried himself and the way his eyes sparkled with light. But she never thought it was love. She had always assumed that it was from the fanatical zeal of having her in his bed. She had convinced herself steadfastly that he wasn't capable to love and continued to stay strong in denial. She couldn't change the past to save what could have been a blissful future with Gage and their son. It was just too late.

Awkwardly, she rose from her seat, standing motionless for a long time. Tony frowned up at her when she made no effort to move. "Summer?"

"I'm tired, Tony," she admitted stiffly with the tears in her eyes beginning to fall in ceaseless tracks. "I'm going to bed."

Tony knew better than to push her on this subject. Her feelings were so drawn and fragile that he feared they would shatter with any attempt to reveal them. It was better to leave them alone...for now.

He carefully took the cup from her rigid fingers and set it down upon the coffee table in front of them. "Good night, cara," his velvety tone replied. "And always remember that I'm here if you need me."

Summer gave him a quick nod before she moved toward the bedroom, her figure stiff. Before she reached the threshold, Tony called out to her. "Summer?" Summer turned halfway to give him her attention. "I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if Gage was heading this way."

Tony witnessed the optimism dim from her eyes as she shut the door behind her, not once acknowledging the possibility of Gage coming after her. Yet this was a fact Tony knew to be true. Gage was indeed on his way to retrieve his wayward wife, which was why they were in the rugged, beautiful landscape of Montana instead of holed up inside a stuffy hotel back in Helena.

He had received a call two days ago from Stallings to give him the heads up of Gage's appearance, just in case Gage had came here and jumped to the wrong conclusion. Tony considered himself a ladies man, his divine, dark Italian looks doing him justice. And the fact that he was raised for majority of his life in Italy helped him maintain his accent before he returned back to the land he was born upon.

Yes, he was everything a lady asked for, but he knew his boundaries. Mrs. Gage Ryan was way beyond his influence and comprehended that she was the day she came into Gage's sights. He, along with everyone else, knew that Gage and Summer were destined to be together. In fact, it was Tony's suggestion to bring Summer out to this newly refurbished ranch to buy Gage a couple of days to get his act together before baring his heart to his woman.

But this revenge was sweeter than the delicious chocolate caressing his taste buds. A minute smile creased his mouth as he reflected with humor the thought of Summer being the only one, man or woman, to bring Gage Ryan to his knees.

What a feat.

What a woman.


Summer was bawling, her face buried into the fluffy pillow that was the large handkerchief to soak up all her tears. She was in complete desolation over the outcome of her life. The one man she wanted she could never have and Gage had set her up so well that she really didn't wish to marry anyone as long as she lived. But she knew the importance of children needing both parents and she had be resolute to find a father for her child, but it wouldn't be fair to the man who wanted her love and couldn't have it. Her love dwelled and always will upon Gage.

What misery to suffer for herself and her unborn son! Gage had ruined her for the rest of her life to even consider other men, but she wouldn't consider everything damaged. This child was the best thing he gave her since she couldn't have his love.

Above her sobs, Summer heard the door to her bedroom creak open. It must be Tony since he had obviously seen her tears before she left the living area. She tensed as the heavy weight settled beside her on the bed and instantly lifted her to bring her face to rest against the muscular warmth of his chest. Tony was only doing this to comfort her, but she wanted way more than that. She wanted Gage.

She continued to cry, wrapping her arms around his neck and using Tony as her shoulder to cry on. At least, she thought it was Tony until she was able to take a deep whiff of the masculine scent that sailed from this very thickset specimen.

Summer stiffened in his arms, thinking her mind was playing tricks upon her. She had memorized his smell, but it had seem so real, as if...

Her tears immediately halted and she drew back, her dark coffee eyes lifting to glance into the blessed green eyes of her husband.


Those very eyes, which she had spurned in the beginning, traced over her face, committing every facet to memory. They said nothing for a while but stare at one another, a variety of emotions crossing over their countenances. Gage then brushed her hair back from her face, his kissable mouth twisting into a faint, painful smile.

"Don't cry, baby," he drawled, gently wiping away a tear and cradling her beloved face. "You know your tears murder me."

Still in disbelief, Summer reached out and touched her husband's face. Her fingertips traced over the resilient, stubbled jaw, his smooth brow to the arrogantly set nose before brushing against his mouth. That beautiful mouth that knew her body like his own name.

He quickly snatched her hand to his lips and kissed it fervently before his eyes drew back to hers. Summer took Tony's advice and studied his eyes. The emotions of Gage Ryan were out on display and she perceived them to be reverent, full of angst and joy at the same time. It led her to hope for the first time in her life.

"What are you doing here?" she inquired breathlessly.

His concentrated gaze glittered. "I came for my wife."

The breath caught in Summer's throat. "Are you sure that's all you came for?"

"Yes," he cried passionately, holding onto her hand tightly. "I've been such a jackass, hellfire, I know. It's just that I ain't never felt this way about a woman before, so this feelin' I don't take lightly because it's serious as hell. I have a better understandin' of guns than of how to ask how you feel about me and our relationship."

He absentmindedly toyed with the wedding band around her finger and Summer glanced down momentarily to notice that he hadn't taken off his own.

"I shoulda told you these words the last time you were in my bed, then you wouldn't have ran off." Gage took a deep breath, drawing on God's own strength for the words she's been needing to hear. "I love you, baby. "I love you more than anythang in this world, 'cause you are my world. And I need you like the air I breathe, darlin'. I do."

It was what she had been wanting and found it to be too unreal for Gage to be here confessing his love to her.

"Do you really mean this?"

"I do, baby," he affirmed confidently. "When you left me, you took my heart with you and since then, I ain't been able to function without it or you. I went down to Georgia, drivin' everyone crazy with my attitude, but Graham came and allowed me to see what a goddamned idiot I was for not lettin' you know how I felt from the first. I knew that was prolly the reason you ran away 'cause you feared my indifference to you. Am I right?"

Summer nodded. "I believed you wanted my body, not me."

"Oh, I do want your body, hellfire, but I also want all of you." He took his left hand bearing the wedding band and placed it over her heart. "But this is the one thang I truly wanna posses from you. Even though I'd try like hell to force you to give it to me, it's somethin' you gotta give willingly. Tell me I got a chance to own it."

Now it was Summer's turn to grab his hand and she lifted it to her cheek in a sweet caress. "You've owned it since the first time I saw you, Gage." She looked up to him, her eyes shinning with tears. "I love you. Even though it was painful for me to, I couldn't stop. I don't even want to."

Gage's eyes intensified, engrossed. "Say it again."

She smiled softly. "I love you, Gage Ryan."

A relieved sigh fell from his lips as he crushed her body to him, his stubbled cheek rasping against her hair. "Oh, hellfire. Thank you."

"What for?"

Reluctantly, Gage pushed Summer back from him to get her to focus upon him. "For bein' capable of lovin' a man like me. You know I ain't the kinda man that just charms you right off your feet."

"I don't expect you to be," Summer replied. "I love your manliness, Gage. That's what made me fall in love with you in the first place. I don't want you to change."

"I ain't the type that enjoys change," he admitted gruffly, "but for you, baby, I'd do anythang if it'll make you happy to be with me."

He bent down and connected his lips with hers, kissing her eagerly with all the pent up emotion that was held in check. Summer's mouth easily obliged the seeking tongue of her husband, allowing him access to the sweet hotness of her mouth.

After getting a real good sample of her, Gage unwillingly disconnected their lips and moved away from her. Summer frowned as he stood beside the bed, only to face her and kneel on one knee. Her heart sped to a faster tempo to behold Gage so benevolent and humble before her. Her eyes widened with surprise and curiosity.

"I know we didn't marry the right way the first time, but I wanna give our marriage another shot."

He produced a single solitaire ring from his pocket and held it up for her to see. Summer's eyes brimmed with tears to perceive this generous nature of Gage.

"Baby?" he breathed. "Will you be my wife?"

Summer slowly shook her head. "No."

Gage's features quickly flickered with disenchantment, which made Summer only produce a small smile. "I'd like to resume being your wife, if that's all right too?"

A dashing, heartbreaking grin lightened his once darkened mood. "Woman, you almost scared me there for a second," he lightly scolded while slipping the ring upon her finger next to her wedding band. His eyes focused on it with pride and admiration. "Mmm, that looks real nice, baby."

Summer cupped Gage's face lovingly. "It's beautiful, Gage," she replied before tenderly kissing her husband's lips. "I love you."

Gage groaned at the words, raising off his knees to bring himself fully into the power of the kiss. His own large hands framed her beloved face as his tongue surged deep, reacquainting his taste buds with her unique taste. He began to strip them both, separating their lips for mere seconds to send shirts, bra, underwear and pants flying forgotten across the room. Then he urged her to lie down in the middle of the mattress and ardently continued to be in an intense lip lock with his wife.

His strong hands moved over her body, cupping her breasts and massaging them. Summer meowed into Gage's mouth, moaning at the pleasant sensation of having her husband touch her so intimately again. He broke the kiss as he lifted a fulsome breast to his mouth and sipped the aching bud past his lips for a taste. Summer arched her back to him, feeling the jolts of desire zipping throughout her entire body.

With each pant, Gage suckled harder until Summer cried out with several pleas to him. He happily obliged and released her breast to position himself between her legs. He tenderly entered her and immediately began to push his way deeper within her.

They moaned and moved in a gradually increasing rhythm, Gage's drive and Summer's legs around his waist keeping him deep inside her slick cavern. The bed rocked slightly, their guttural cries of joy echoing throughout the room until lightning struck them both at the same time. They came together, their strained voices mingled together as they cried out during their ultimate culmination.

Gage sagged tiredly onto his equally spent wife, his forehead tenderly touching hers as his long, onyx hair veiled them. His hot breath scalded her face as it began to even out.

His dark head dipped down to savor her lips tenderly a couple of more times before he looked at her, a sexy corner of his mouth lifting. "You're gonna kill me, woman," he whispered with hoarse amusement, "but damn if I can't get used to this."

He tenderly nuzzled her neck and Summer weakly giggled. Gage then rolled onto his back, taking his wife with him until she was lying flat upon him. Summer wearily surrendered her head to the pillow Gage's chest presented and embraced him as if it was still a dream and she was holding on for dear life.

They became quiet for a spell, Gage occupied with thoughts that had assailed him as he indolently stroked her cooling skin. Summer didn't catch the variety of emotions that flickered across his visage before his face lingered in a deep scowl at a remembrance.


"Hmm?" she droned dazedly.

"What happened back then between us?" he suddenly asked. "I mean, what coulda happened to make us miss out on this?"

Summer's body froze, not expecting the question and damn sure didn't want to search painfully through the past. She frowned. "Don't you remember?"

"I remember it perfectly, it's just the details of why you left in such a huff is what's blurry to me."

Summer raised her head to stare at him. "Don't you remember Jacqueline?"

Gage's brow puckered even further, searching his memory. "Jacqueline?"

"While you were taking your phone call, she came up the table announcing that she was having your baby," she disclosed with a heavy heart.

A quiet fire suddenly came to life in his dark emerald eyes, his strong jaw ticking as he observed her for a few seconds. "Is that the reason why you were angry with me?" he asked in a frightfully composed voice. Summer choked on her fear and dreadfully nodded her head. Gage's hands then framed her face, his eyes peering candidly into hers. "I can honestly tell you, darlin', that I hadn't touched her in several months before that night. I hadn't even wanted to since the day I met you. My attentions were centered on you. Only you, baby. I know I'm a damned good lover, and I'd sure as hell would brag about me bein' able to impregnate a woman by lookin' at her, but I used protection with her tactfully. There just ain't no way."

Summer thoughtfully worried her bottom lip. "She said the condom broke."

"She's a lie and a half," Gage replied unperturbedly as he gently pushed her head back upon his chest. "Don't worry about her, baby, or anyone else. We'll just worry about us and say to hell with the rest."

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