Kian by Melody Anne

Kian by Melody Anne

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Author: Melody Anne
Genre: Contemporary Romance
File Name: kian-by-melody-anne.epub
Original Title: Kian (Undercover Billionaire Book 1)
Creator: Melody Anne
Language: en
Identifier: ISBN:9781542046046
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Date: 1519056000
File Size: 414444.544

There was a time when surgeon Kian Forbes would have surrendered every cent of his vast family fortune if it could make Roxie Gilbert happy. That was before she skipped town, broke his heart, and sent him spinning through a string of forgettable one-night stands. He never even knew he’d fathered a child—with Roxie’s sister, no less. But in the wake of tragedy, little Lily needs a home. And Kian wants his daughter. But Roxie’s not giving in or giving up without a fight.

Fearful of her intense feelings for Kian, Roxie ran. Now that her sister’s death has brought her home, she intends to take custody of her niece and avoid Kian—easier said than done on both counts. With their wealth and power, the Forbes men are accustomed to winning. And as she and Kian are forced to spend time together for Lily’s sake, saying no to everything he wants proves impossible…even though it means risking both their hearts all over again.

Table of Content

  • 1. Unnamed
  • 2. ALSO BY MELODY ANNE The Billionaire Aviators Turbulent Intentions Turbulent Desires Turbulent Waters Turbulent Intrigue
  • 3. Unnamed
  • 4. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, organizations, places, events, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Text copyright © 2018 by Melody Anne All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, or stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without express written permission of the publisher. Published by Montlake Romance, Seattle Amazon, the Amazon logo, and Montlake Romance are trademarks of, Inc., or its affiliates. ISBN-13: 9781542046046 ISBN-10: 1542046041 Cover design by Letitia Hasser
  • 5. This one is for Chris. Very rarely do people enter our lives who we truly don’t want to live without. From the moment you stepped into my life, I knew you were that person. I adore you, Christopher. My world is a better place with you in it—always has been and always will be.
  • 6. CONTENTS Chapter One Chapter Two Chapter Three Chapter Four Chapter Five Chapter Six Chapter Seven Chapter Eight Chapter Nine Chapter Ten Chapter Eleven Chapter Twelve Chapter Thirteen Chapter Fourteen Chapter Fifteen Chapter Sixteen Chapter Seventeen Chapter Eighteen Chapter Nineteen Chapter Twenty Chapter Twenty-One Chapter Twenty-Two Chapter Twenty-Three Chapter Twenty-Four Chapter Twenty-Five Chapter Twenty-Six Chapter Twenty-Seven Chapter Twenty-Eight Epilogue ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ABOUT THE AUTHOR
  • 7. Chapter One “Dr. Forbes to ER STAT.” The voice boomed over the hospital speaker system at the same time his pager buzzed. It was a Friday night in Edmonds, Washington, and there was no time for rest, with traumas pouring in through the double doors. Kian was a trauma surgeon, and he loved the knowledge that he was capable of saving a life other doctors couldn’t. And when it came to the kids, he had an extrawide soft spot. Yes, he’d seen enough trauma to last a lifetime, but the hope that he could save one more child kept him moving forward. Kian swept through the corridors of the hospital as he thought about the fact that he was grateful to only work the night shift once a month. He’d paid his dues on nights and now enjoyed only being called in for special cases, but there was nothing that got his blood pumping more than a code-three ambulance coming through the doors. It wasn’t uncommon for the ER physician to consult with the surgeons, especially in cases of trauma. Kian screeched to
  • 8. Chapter Two No one ever wants to receive the call that Roxie Gilbert had. A far-too-efficient nurse had told Roxie that her sister had been admitted with life-threatening injuries and then wasn’t saying anything more. Roxie was well aware of this routine, as she’d been a nurse for the past six years. They weren’t telling her anything because they needed a doctor to pass along the information. She was left with no choice but to pace the worn floor as she waited for answers. She was left with nothing to do but think of the past. Roxie had run away from her small town of Edmonds to Portland four years ago—she’d run from her sister and from a life she’d once thought she’d wanted. She’d run from Kian Forbes. What had she done? What kind of person fled her only family? Roxie was afraid she’d never again be able to look at herself in the mirror, with all the guilt flooding through her. Tears continued to flow as she fought down nausea, fatigue, and anguish too great to describe. So, she paced
  • 9. Chapter Three Although Kian had never actually been hit in the face with a sledgehammer, that was the only equivalent he could think of to describe how he felt at this particular moment. It felt as if someone had come along and slammed a thick wedge of iron in his face, and now he was still reeling from it. His chest hurt, his body ached, and his face was tingling. He felt a mixture of sadness, regret, and disbelief, but mostly red-hot rage. This woman, this person before him, had been the only girl he’d ever given his heart to. And she had taken that gift, smashed it on the ground, and thrown it back in his face. His fingers twitched as he remembered the feel of the diamond he’d carried around in his pocket for months as he tried to come up with the perfect proposal. He’d known without the shadow of a doubt he’d make her his wife. And then she’d disappeared. At first, Kian had panicked. Something surely had happened to her. She wouldn’t have left on her own. They were happy, in love,
  • 10. Chapter Four The circles beneath Roxie’s eyes were growing deeper by the day, but she didn’t care in the least. What she cared about was that her niece was finally getting released from the hospital. Two weeks of sleeping on an uncomfortable couch so she could be by her niece’s side had been well worth the aches and pains in her body. Two weeks of seeing Kian every single day was playing havoc with her nerves, but even that she could deal with. They hadn’t discussed the two of them any further, and he hadn’t threatened her with taking Lily away, but his very presence was letting her know he wasn’t going anywhere. She didn’t want to even think about that at the moment. It was too much for her to process, and she wanted to feel a bit of joy that her niece would survive. But now it was time to tell Lily her mother wasn’t coming back to her. How was Roxie going to do that? Kian walked into the room and grinned as he sat down next to Roxie, far too close for her comfort. He easily reached o
  • 11. Chapter Five Lily was fast asleep when the three of them pulled up to Kian’s place, and Roxie was grateful. What had she been thinking? Maybe it had been a few years and she’d somewhat forgotten the wealth of the Forbes family. That had to be the only explanation for the awe she felt looking at the mansion Kian called home. She didn’t live in this world in any way. She was used to eating ramen and living on four hours of sleep so she could pick up extra shifts. Sure, she was a nurse, but that meant she had a lot of school debt to pay off, and she’d been on her own for a long time. Maybe one of the reasons she’d left Kian had been resentment. Everything came so easily to him. It wasn’t his fault he’d been born with money and respect, and it wasn’t her fault she envied him a little for it. It was just how life worked out. “Shit,” Kian mumbled beneath his breath, startling Roxie. “What?” she asked, afraid to wonder what he could possibly have to worry about. “It looks like my brothers are
  • 12. Chapter Six Dreams could be wonderful, or they could be terrifying. Because Roxie had always dreamed in color, which she was assured was a rare thing, hers were so much more real than the dreams of others. She also rarely tried to fight her dreams. She chose to go on the adventures her brain took her on. Stirring in her unfamiliar bed, Roxie wanted to fight the dream she was currently having. She didn’t want to face the reality her emotions were causing her to face when she needed a dose of fiction instead. Tonight’s dream was making her stir restlessly in bed. She tried pulling herself from the dream, but it was so real, so burdensome, she couldn’t get away from it. Her sister was at the end of a dark road, reaching out to her, calling Roxie’s name. No matter how fast Roxie ran toward her, she couldn’t catch her. Then, from a small opening in the wall, a huge man stepped out, a bloody knife in his hand. Roxie screamed at her sister to run as the man drew nearer, but Pam couldn’t hear
  • 13. Chapter Seven Roxie was unable to move. Panic began invading her senses as she realized she was trapped. Her heart thundered, and she snapped awake with a less-than-pleasurable entry into reality. Her eyes opening, the fogginess of her dream world was instantly snatched away as she found her gaze captured by Kian, who looked entirely too smug. “Morning,” he told her with a low growl that had her stomach doing tiny flips. Uh-oh. She instantly recalled her nightmare, and her rescue. Though she’d needed Kian with a desperation she wasn’t even remotely able to explain to him or herself, she also knew instantly it had been a mistake to fall back into Kian’s arms. It was going to mess with her head too much when she needed a clear mind. What in the hell was wrong with her? “That was a mistake,” she said, her voice raspy. She chose to believe it was raspy from sleeping so soundly and not from crying out in pleasure. “Whenever I have a night like last night, I don’t ever think of it as a mista
  • 14. Chapter Eight It was always a surreal moment when you found yourself standing beneath a hastily set-up tent with rain coming down on the other side of it and people beside you whispering words of comfort you aren’t able to process in your fuzzy brain. Roxie wasn’t focusing on the closed box in front of her. No. That wasn’t her sister inside there. It was just a body, an empty vessel that had once held the spirit of her sister, a woman Roxie had been too selfish to get to know. The preacher spoke words of praise of Pamela as a strong woman who loved her daughter, who’d overcome great odds to be a person others were proud of. Roxie didn’t look away from the drops of water falling on the other side of the preacher’s head. When she squinted just right, she could slow down the motion and watch individual drops drip from the canvas and hit the ground. If only the preacher would shut up, she might be able to hear the splash. Why wouldn’t people just be quiet? Enough had been said already. “Ar
  • 15. Chapter Nine One Month Later As Roxie stood in the small house her sister had so lovingly decorated, had made into a real home, she had a difficult time not expecting Pamela to walk through those doors, her signature smile lighting her beautiful face. It was so much easier for Roxie to picture her sister when she was young, when neither of them had known how harsh the real world could truly be. Those days, they hadn’t been worried, hadn’t been burdened by the bad choices they’d one day make. That was how she wanted to remember her sister. Pamela had grown up and led a difficult life, and things had just begun to go a little bit better for her, only to be so prematurely snatched away in a moment that still didn’t have a resolution. Maybe that was why Roxie didn’t feel as if her sister was truly gone; maybe it was because she hadn’t been able to lay her memory to rest. Returning home to the city of Edmonds, Washington, hadn’t been easy for Roxie, especially with her past and all the memo
  • 16. Chapter Ten Kian wasn’t normally a patient man on any given day. With Roxie back in his life, his patience and attitude were being tested on a daily basis. The woman needed time to grieve and accept this new reality the two of them had been thrust into together, but he was done with her avoidance, and he was done missing out on his daughter’s life. Enough was enough. He’d driven by her small place several times, stopping often and pounding on her door. She was either very good at hiding, or she was making sure to be gone a lot. Being able to hide in the small community of Edmonds was pretty impressive. But now, seeing her so casually strolling in the park with his daughter was truly pissing him off. She could run all she wanted, but she could no longer expect not to be chased, not when she had the one thing in his life he wouldn’t give up. He’d been giving her time to accept what had happened, but because of his damn feelings for Roxie, he’d lost another month in the life of his daught
  • 17. Chapter Eleven Roxie was now very much aware of how someone escaping death must feel. Her heart was racing, her palms sweating, and her entire body shaking. She felt as if she’d just run twenty miles through a desert without water. She should have known better than to think she could avoid Kian forever. But being in this attorney’s office with him at her side was making the situation so much more real. He was Lily’s biological father—at least that’s what Pamela had told him in the hospital, and the fact that Sal said Kian was in her sister’s will pretty much confirmed that fact. Roxie didn’t have a chance at all in a battle with Kian. He had money, prestige, and was a doctor in demand. He was a Forbes, dammit, and that meant something not only in this small town, but all over the United States. Hell, probably all over the world. She wouldn’t be surprised if he went golfing on a regular basis with whatever judge was assigned to their case when he took her to court. Now, not only did she
  • 18. Chapter Twelve Relief. Sweet, blessed relief was what Kian felt at Roxie’s words. He hadn’t even realized he’d been holding his breath, but it escaped from him in a beautiful rush as she told Sal she was keeping the house, not putting it on the market. She and Lily were staying. He couldn’t miss any more of the firsts in Lily’s life, and he wanted her to know who he was and how much he loved her. He’d just met this beautiful girl and already she owned his heart. If he didn’t bring her into his life soon, then she’d never realize how much she meant to him or how much he wanted her. Yes, Roxie would be able to see Lily anytime she wanted—within reason—but Kian was well aware that wasn’t the same as waking up with the child every morning, or tucking her into bed at night, or having access to her company each afternoon. No, this was going to be very difficult for Roxie. On the other hand, he reasoned, she seemed perfectly capable of walking away from those she said she loved. Maybe he just
  • 19. Chapter Thirteen Kian almost felt the need to duck and cover as he entered the high school his brother chose to work at. What was wrong with Arden that he’d put himself through all this torture? His brother was a wealthy man; hell, they all had more money than anyone could ever spend in ten lifetimes, but they still found a love for life and for their individual passions. Arden just happened to think being a history teacher and football coach was about as great as it got. Kian normally didn’t seek his brother out at school, but he had to speak to him. Kian loved all his family members equally, but Arden might just edge out his other siblings as his favorite, even if he wouldn’t admit that anywhere but in his own head. The office staff knew Kian and had smiled with glee when they told Kian his brother was in the school cafeteria. They knew Kian would rather poke himself in the eye than enter that place. As Kian walked in, the noise level alone was enough to make his head spin. His muscl
  • 20. Chapter Fourteen There was a mixture of relief and apprehension filling Roxie as she walked from the interview with the emergency department at the same hospital Kian worked at. She’d applied at three other places, and none were hiring, telling her to come back in six weeks. She didn’t have six weeks to find work. She had to do it yesterday. She had a little girl to take care of, and no matter what her sister’s will had said, she wasn’t planning on sharing her with Kian. He was a doctor, for goodness’ sake, and busy all the time. She would calmly talk to him about Lily being raised by an aunt who adored her, or a nanny who didn’t have anything invested in her at all. Roxie would find a new job where she’d take as many night shifts as possible so she could be with Lily during the day. Kian, on the other hand, worked a massive number of hours. If the man wouldn’t be reasonable, then maybe a judge would see it in Lily’s best interest to be with family versus nannies. If Roxie truly though
  • 21. Chapter Fifteen Kian’s mind went blank as he pushed Roxie against the wall in the private on-call room. It was dark as midnight, and the only sounds were the rapid breaths escaping them. He was so hard and thick, he feared he’d explode from just the feeling of his clothed erection against her backside. “Are you playing games, Roxie?” he asked, his voice low and guttural. “I know how to play, too,” he insisted. He had the front of her body pressed against the wall, his own body acting as a cage behind her. Reaching up, he stroked a finger along the curve of her jaw and felt her tense beneath his touch. She wasn’t in any way repulsed by him. She was just as turned on as he was, and she was running. It was exactly what he should do. He had no business dragging her into this room. There was too much between them, too much lost. And their one night together already hadn’t fixed things. Even knowing he should let her go, he wrapped his fingers in her hair and pulled her head to the side as h
  • 22. Chapter Sixteen Lucian was on his feet as he paced back and forth in his office. Joseph and Sherman were sitting back, sipping on fine glasses of bourbon as they waited for him to gather his thoughts. He paced a few more times, and they knew they needed to give him space. “Why hasn’t that boy given an official marriage proposal yet? Too much time is wasting!” Lucian grumbled. Joseph smiled. He knew well how this worked. They were strong men, and they had equally strong-willed children. Joseph wouldn’t have it any other way. He loved his children and grandchildren. He was now itching to have great-grandchildren. Yeah, he knew he was greedy, but he could admit to that and even smile about it. “I think it’s amusing when he comes around, because you can clearly see his frustration. He wouldn’t be happy with a weak woman. Roxie is certainly his match made in heaven,” Sherman said. “It’s easy for you both to be calm; you get to be with your grandkids every single day,” Lucian pointed out. “I
  • 23. Chapter Seventeen Lily’s scream woke Roxie from a dead sleep, and she was on her feet and running before she was fully conscious. Rushing through her niece’s bedroom door, she found Lily sitting up in bed, tears streaming down her face. “What’s wrong?” Roxie asked as she moved forward and sat on the bed. Lily scrambled into her lap, practically crawling up her neck as she buried her face against Roxie’s neck and sobbed. Looking around, Roxie didn’t see anything indicating danger. Her skin was tingling, with the fight-or-flight mode fully in place. She rubbed Lily’s back as the child shook uncontrollably and mumbled nonsensical words. “It’s just a nightmare, little one,” Roxie assured her. Roxie rose from the bed and carried Lily with her to her bedroom. She propped a pillow up and leaned back against the headboard as she continued mumbling comforting words to the terrified child. After what had to be a half hour of sobs and muttered words, Lily gave a few hiccups and finally began to s
  • 24. Chapter Eighteen After putting in a security system for Roxie, Kian was able to leave town for two days for an emergency in California. But he was back now, and he’d insisted on seeing Lily. He was trying to give Roxie some space and respect, and trying to be patient, but that certainly wasn’t a virtue for him. Kian wouldn’t say life had been easy for him, but he’d been born with natural talent and the drive to succeed. It always seemed odd to him when others had to work so hard to make it in life. Didn’t everyone want to have all they could? Apparently not. Some just wanted to skate by. Kian wasn’t one of those people. Now he found himself more nervous than he’d been the first time he’d held a scalpel in one hand and the life of a patient in the other. He paced around the children’s park as he waited for Roxie to show up with Lily. He wanted to tell the child she was his; he wanted the world to know he was a father. But at least he was getting to visit with her. That was a step in the
  • 25. Chapter Nineteen Roxie had no idea what to think or feel anymore. She wasn’t sure she even trusted herself, let alone anyone else in her life. Confusion seemed to be the one emotion she could be sure of. Why, oh, why had she allowed herself to get pulled back into the orbit of Kian Forbes? Was she a glutton for punishment? She’d told herself that chapter of her life was over, and then bam! On-call room. The sad thing was, she couldn’t even regret it. The sex had been that good. The self-recriminations weren’t the best after, but during, oh, during, had been well worth the fifty lashes she should give herself. Of course, she couldn’t allow her train of thought to go down that route. Nope. That got her kinky mind to thinking in bad, bad ways, and since Lily was in her car seat, napping, Roxie certainly didn’t want to have sex and ropes and mouths and . . . Nope! Had to turn off those thoughts again. What in the world was wrong with her? Maybe it was because, until that first night at Kia
  • 26. Chapter Twenty It was unreal, the urgency and panic Kian felt as he raced down the road to find Roxie and Lily. She had told him they were both fine, but he wouldn’t believe it until he was there, until he saw them, felt them, knew they didn’t have life-threatening injuries. He’d warned Roxie that vehicle she was driving was a death trap, and less than a week later, she gets into a wreck. One way or another, she was getting a safer vehicle. He didn’t care if it ended in them in a knockdown brawl. It was going to happen. He was a doctor, so he knew there were some things that simply were beyond his control. That didn’t mean he had to like it, and it didn’t mean he was simply going to sit idly by while those he cared about died of injuries he could have prevented. His heart pounded, and he couldn’t get control of his breathing as he nearly broke the speed limit by double. It was okay with him if a cop started chasing him. Then he’d have emergency vehicles on the way to the scene of the a
  • 27. Chapter Twenty-One Throwing his keys down on the entryway table, Kian moved through the large foyer of his house, bypassing the double staircase and walking down the seemingly endless hallway. For some reason, the house seemed extra empty tonight. His footsteps echoed off the walls as he walked past pictures of his family, not bothering to look at them. He didn’t want to admit to what he was feeling, but loneliness came to mind before he pushed it away. He was a successful doctor, a brother, a son, and now a father. That last title got to him, though, because his daughter should be there with him. This place was meant to have children in it, was meant to absorb the sound of laughter. How much longer was he going to be able to stand not having Lily with him? He knew he wouldn’t last a long time. But he didn’t want just Lily, he wanted Roxie as well. Of course, he would love and want his daughter just on her own, but he wanted it all now. He’d bought this place a few months before Roxie
  • 28. Chapter Twenty-Two Lily had been asleep for an hour, and Roxie was lying in bed reading. She’d forgone the tea, going straight for her bottle of wine. Her body was still on fire, and the worst possible thing she could do right at this moment was drink a couple of glasses of wine while reading a romance book. But she’d been so busy with taking care of Lily and then moving and finding a job that she hadn’t been able to finish her book, and it was a good one. She was a little bit in love with the hero of the story, Brett Westerly. He actually reminded her a little of Kian. Though Brett was a businessman and all, and Kian was a doctor, their attitudes certainly lined up. And Roxie was very aware that the last thing she should be doing was reading about sex when her body was so hot as it was, but she couldn’t seem to stop herself. She guzzled down her glass of wine and decided one more glass wouldn’t hurt anyone. She went and refilled, then climbed back into bed and grabbed her Kindle. Befo
  • 29. Chapter Twenty-Three Thank you for an incredible night. Coffee’s in the fridge, you just need to heat it, and fresh doughnuts are on the table. I got called in to work or I would have woken you up with a very satisfying morning. I plan on helping you sleep tonight. Love, Kian Roxie read the note and couldn’t help but smile. Her entire body ached in the best way possible, and even though she didn’t think it was feasible, she felt a stirring of hunger at the thought of doing that all over again. She knew this was a dangerous path the two of them were taking, but maybe she should just admit they were on a runaway train and there was absolutely nothing they could do to stop it. They hadn’t talked about what was going to happen with Lily; they hadn’t talked about if Roxie would even stay in this town. They hadn’t made a commitment to each other. For all she knew, he could be seeing other women. But she was afraid to talk about any of that. She was afraid of becoming the woman she’d been whe
  • 30. Chapter Twenty-Four Kian couldn’t help but smile as he stretched out on Roxie’s bed. If she seriously thought he was so easy to dismiss, then she truly had forgotten all about him in their years apart. That thought didn’t bode so well for him. He hadn’t forgotten a single thing about her—not the way her body felt, not the sound of her laughter, or the way her cheeks would give her away every single time. He had been in love with her, and he was coming to the conclusion that no matter how hard he’d tried to forget her, he still was in love with her. He truly had no idea how she felt about him, though. Kian didn’t like this uncertainty, but he had never been a person to run from his problems. When he’d found her and Lily all cozy in the barn with the vet, he’d wanted to punch Evan in the face, then put Roxie over his shoulder and smack her ass a few times before taking her home and proving to her over and over again who she belonged to. The second he’d had Lily in his arms, he’d calmed d
  • 31. Chapter Twenty-Five Roxie’s nerves were exposed, and she felt more raw than she ever had before. She still didn’t know what to think about the other night with Kian. It had been too much for her, and he hadn’t relented. What did that mean? Now, she had to go to this party at Evan’s house, and she knew Kian would be there. She’d refused to ride with him, and he would have to deal with that. She wasn’t going to allow him to control her, and she was more than capable of arriving at a place by herself, even if the man didn’t think her car was suitable. He could deal with that. But she still didn’t know what it was going to be like to see him, especially in public. Her emotions were raw, her body felt foreign, and her mind was spinning. This was one of the reasons she’d run from him in the first place. She couldn’t handle how he made her feel. It was too much. All of it was just too much. Roxie took her time arriving, not wanting to be one of the first ones there. She figured if there was a
  • 32. Chapter Twenty-Six It was dark when Roxie got home, and though her heart felt as if it was breaking, she was at least grateful Lily had fallen asleep on the drive. Her niece had been ticked off Roxie was pulling her away from her friends. Roxie hadn’t allowed her to play long enough, but she couldn’t face all the Forbes family members, and she certainly couldn’t face Kian anymore that night. She was afraid he might show up later, so she planned on removing her spare key and turning out all the lights. She knew if he was determined, that wouldn’t stop him, but maybe he would understand she needed a little bit of time. That wasn’t asking too much, in her honest opinion. Once more she’d forgotten to leave her porch light on and to set her alarm system, which was sure to tick Kian off. Then again, she often pissed the man off. Tonight seemed off, though, and a shiver traveled down her spine as she carried Lily while she fumbled in her purse to pull out her key. As Roxie walked into the hou
  • 33. Chapter Twenty-Seven There were times in a man’s life when basic instinct was all that kept you alive. There were times when you shut off everything except adrenaline and rage. When Kian had pulled up to Roxie’s house, intent on giving her a piece of his mind for leaving, he’d realized exactly what that meant. Her curtains were open, and a man was standing in front of her holding a knife. He’d taken about five seconds to call 911, to tell them a murder was about to happen, then he’d left his phone on, dropped on the front seat of his pickup truck, and he’d charged the front door. In his rage, he’d kicked it in without a moment’s hesitation, and then he’d lunged. He’d had the advantage on the attacker, as he’d come out of nowhere, but the man had been big, and he’d managed to get a couple of swipes of his blade into Kian. But there had been no way Kian was allowing that man to harm his family. He’d subdued the man, and he’d seriously planned on ending his life so he could never be a thr
  • 34. Chapter Twenty-Eight Roxie wiped her eyes as she walked to the break room and poured what had to be her tenth cup of coffee in only four hours’ time. She was more than grateful the hospital was slow today. She truly feared she’d make a wrong call, and a patient would be the one to pay the price. She hadn’t seen Kian in three days. Now, that might not seem a long time to the average person, but after all of their ups and downs, it might as well be an eternity. She’d been at work all three days, and Kian had been in the hospital, but he’d been on another floor, and she couldn’t find a reason to go there. She knew he’d stopped at the day care many times to visit with Lily, who was always more than happy to see him and had to tell Roxie all about their special time together. So, it was only Roxie he appeared to be avoiding. That was good, she tried to convince herself. He’d told her he was giving her time to figure it out. But she was a wreck, an utter and complete wreck. She wasn’t sure w
  • 35. Epilogue Why was it that sometimes it took a terrible tragedy to wake a person up? Roxie would never understand it, but she also wasn’t a person who didn’t learn from mistakes. She’d made too many of them in her life, and now she had been given a second chance, and she vowed not to waste it. Kian held Lily in his arms, and the sound of her laughter was about the most beautiful music in the universe to Roxie. She rubbed her bulky stomach as she glided across the dance floor, her eyes focused on the two most important people in her life. “There’s my beautiful wife,” Kian said as she leaned in and kissed him before giggling. “With my stomach out so far, I’m having a much more difficult time reaching you,” she said. “I love this belly. I’m going to miss it,” Kian told her as he ran his fingers across her protruding stomach. “I’m going to miss it, too,” Roxie admitted. “I love Lily as if she truly were mine. I also love this experience of carrying a child within me and getting to be there f
  • 36. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This book is the most emotional journey I have taken with the beginning of a new series. I always mix my personal life into my writing, and without a doubt, this book doesn’t offer an exception. Kian and Roxie go through some heart-wrenching moments in this story, and it’s because of the people around me that I’m able to write with such passion, happiness, anger, and laughter. I can’t write alone, and I don’t ever want to. Sometimes I hide away and pretend there isn’t an outside world, but when I do that, my writing fails me. It’s when I’m around friends and family that I’m at my best. Thank you so much to the continued support from my fans, who I can’t do the job I love without. Thank you to my family, who always support me no matter how crazy I get. Thank you to my friends, who make me laugh and get me to spread my wings and fly. Thank you to my Montlake family. You took a chance on me, have always believed in me, and make me feel like anything is possible, and I enjo
  • 37. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Photo © John Evanston Melody Anne is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has written a number of popular series, including Billionaire Bachelors, Surrender, Baby for the Billionaire, and Billionaire Aviators. Along with romance and young adult novels, Melody has also recently collaborated with fellow authors J.S. Scott and Ruth Cardello for Taken by a Trillionaire. Kian is the first book in Melody’s new Undercover Billionaire series. A country girl at heart, Melody loves the small town and strong community she lives in. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and beloved pets. Most of all, she loves being able to do what makes her happiest . . . living in a fantasy world (for at least 95 percent of the time).

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