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You can reach me at KatieAshleyRomance at gmail dot com

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Atlanta, GA, United States
I am the New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon Best Selling author of The Proposition, Proposal, Music of the Heart, and Nets and Lies. I am represented by Jane Dystel of Dystel and Goderich for all books except for Proposition and Proposal.
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The Proposition

The Proposition



Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Last Teaser Tuesday for 2012 & several weeks!!

So, this is going to be the last Teaser Tuesday for 2012 and probably for a few weeks. I tried to make it nice and extra long to tide you over the lonely weeks without a glimpse of Aidan and Emma, lol.

To set the stage: this is when Emma has come to Aidan's house from the hospital on bed rest. Overwhelmed by her feelings and fear of what could happen to Noah, she's been weeping in the bathroom rather than taking a shower.

Without hesitation, Aidan drew her into his embrace. She should have shrugged him away. Being close to him when she was so emotionally broken was playing with fire. But she was so very tired of being alone all the time and having to bear every burden on her own. Aidan had enough strength for the both of them, and just being held in his arms sent comfort pulsing through her.

Grabbing him around the back, she fisted his shirt in her hands, hanging on for dear life. Aidan’s lips warmed against her ear, causing her to shiver. “Shh, please, sweetheart. Don’t cry,” he crooned in her ear. “I’m here for you, and we’re going to get through this together.”

His words reassured her, and for both him and for Noah, she tried pulling herself together.When her cries begin to quiet, Aidan pulled away to gaze at her. His blue eyes blazed with intensity. “Listen to me. You have every right to be scared, but I want you to believe me when I say that Noah is going to be fine. He’s blessed with some strong as hell genes.” Placing his hand on her belly, he smiled. “He’s part Fitzgerald, and for generations, the men of my family have been known for being tough, scrappy fighters with a will of iron to survive.”

“Really?” she questioned with a hiccup.

Aidan nodded. “But even more than the fighting Irish Fitzgerald blood pumping through him, he’s inherited the most amazing DNA from his mother. She’s the strongest person I’ve ever known.”

His words, coupled with the sincerity in which he spoke them, caused a burning wildfire in her chest. “Oh Aidan,” she murmured.

He brushed her hair out of her face. “You just have to keep being strong, Em. That fire that burns so deep within you—the one that’s seen you through the darkest times—you’ve got to stoke it to burn a little brighter.”

“I’ll try.”

“Now come on. All the hot water is going to be gone before you get cleaned up.” He rose up off the floor.

When he tore his shirt over his head, she widened her eyes. “What are you doing?”

“Taking my shirt off. I don’t wanna get drenched helping you take a shower.”

Her head shook wildly from side to side. “I don’t need your help.”

“You’re exhausted, Em. Just let me help you, okay?”

“I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

“And why not?”

Heat flooded her cheeks. “Because you’ll see me…”

A playful grin curved on his lips. “Have you forgotten that I’m well acquainted with every gorgeous inch of your body?”

She stared down at her hands in her lap. “No, but it was different then. We were different then.”

The feel of his burning stare made her finally look up. “And it’s different now because I’m not going to devour you when I see you naked. I’m going to take care of you. There are more levels of intimacy than just sex, Emma.”

“I know,” she whispered.

“So let me take care of you.”

She exhaled a defeated breath and nodded. “Will you turn the chair around, so I’m not facing you?”

An amused glint twinkled in his eyes. “Yes, Miss Modest, I can.”

“For your information, there’s more of me than the last time you saw me,” she argued as he adjusted the shower seat.

He turned around and shrugged. “I doubt that. Besides, you’re still just as beautiful as the first time I saw you.”

“Always the flirt, aren’t you?” she replied with a grin.

“Just stating facts, ma’am.” Aidan’s hands then reached for the hem of her shirt. Instead of protesting, she let him pull it over her head. His gaze hovered over her cleavage a little longer than it should have before he tossed her shirt onto the wicker hamper. “Stand up,” he instructed.

“You’re so bossy.”

“And you’re so damn stubborn,” he countered as he pulled her pants down.

Left in only her underwear, she shivered. As if to even the playing field, Aidan’s fingers went to his fly and took his pants off as well. His eyes met hers as she brought her arms around her back and unfastened her bra. After it slid to the floor, she wrapped her arms around her breasts.

Aidan rolled his eyes. “Oh Em, seriously? Quit acting like I’m some pervert getting off at this.”

A little flicker of hellfire sparked within her at his exasperation. Her hands then went to the waistband of her underwear, and she ripped the panties down her thighs as best she could with her belly getting in the way. Meeting his surprised gaze she strode over to the shower and sat down on the chair. “I’d like my vanilla body wash please and the pink sponge. Thank you.”

His chuckle echoed off the bathroom walls. Sticking his hand in the shower, he handed her the body wash. “I already put your shampoo in there.” He closed the shower door behind him. Emma didn’t dare glance back to see if he’d dropped his boxers or not. “Want me to wash your hair?”

“You seriously want to do that?”

“Of course. Besides it’s not like you’re going to let me wash the good parts anyway.”

A giggle escaped her lips. “I thought you were going to behave,” she protested.

“I am. That’s why I want to keep my hands busy with your hair.”
Monday, December 10, 2012

Teaser Tuesday: The Return of the Monsters aka Aidan's Nephews

As a writer, you have a fondness for your characters. Some you anticipate their arrival on the scene while others just come out of thin air. That's kinda what happened with the pool scene with Aidan's nephews, or as he likes to refer to them "the monsters". These three precocious boys, John, Percy, and Georgie, just appeared, and man, were they fun to write because they were able to get under Aidan's skin where Emma was concerned.

So, it was a no brainer that I had to have them in The Proposal. Here they are getting under Aidan's skin yet again!!

“Uncle Aidan?” Percy began.

“Don’t you think you ought to marry Emma?”
Aidan jerked his head up, slamming it against trunk lid. “FUCK!” he shouted as he saw stars before his eyes. A few more expletives escaped his lips as pain raged through his skull.           
“Nice mouth you got there,” John chided.
Gritting his teeth, Aidan rubbed his aching head. “You mention that to your mom, and I’ll tell her about your ball-sack comment.”
John’s eyes widened. “Dude, that is so not cool!”
“Yeah, well, that's what blackmail is for.” Aidan started to resume gathering up the bags when he noticed Percy staring expectantly at him for an answer. Aidan sighed. “Perce—”
His blonde brows knitted together. “Don’t you love her?”
“Oh Christ,” Aidan muttered, raking his hand through his hair. He winced as pain once again shot through his head. “Did your mom put you up to this or something?”
 “No. When I asked her the same question, she just said that you were a cad.” Percy shrugged. “I don’t even know what that means.”
“I’m pretty sure it’s a dude who acts like a douchebag to women,” John said.
Aidan glared over at John. “I am not a cad!”
He held his hands up. “I didn’t say it. Mom did.”

Leave it to his sister the English professor to resort to name calling him something from the nineteenth century. He handed Percy one of the box’s from Earl and Virginia’s. “Perce, it’s complicated because—”
“You’re a cad?” John asked.
Ignoring him, Aidan said, “I was stupid and did something that hurt Emma’s feelings pretty bad. It’s going to take her some time to forgive me and let me back into her heart.”

Percy shifted the box he was carrying to one hip. “You’re having a baby with Emma, so the responsible thing to do would be to marry her,” he said sensibly.

Aidan blinked a few times at Percy. “Did I hit my head harder than I thought, or did you actually just sound like a mature adult, rather than a kid?”

Percy grinned. “Maybe. Dad always says I’m an old soul.”

Aidan laughed. “I think he called that one right.” He glanced over to John who wore an amused smirk. “Of course, anything you say has to sound light years above this one,” he said, jerking his thumb at John.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Teaser Tuesday: Enter Trouble with a Capital T

So this week's teaser introduces us to a new character....and a potential new love interest for Emma. Thus, why I'm calling him Trouble with a Capital T! You may have heard of him mentioned in the book blurb over at Literati Literature Lovers...That would be Dr. Alpesh "Pesh" Nadeen. 

Shall we take a peek at him before we read his scene with Emma?!!

Sure, he's out of his scrubs and white coat here...but hello??!

He's going to play into the sequel quite a bit...he's a 180 from our all-American boy Aidan, but he's also a 180 in all the right ways of wanting to settle down with a wife and child. They first met when Patrick was taken to the ER with chest pains(the earlier teaser where Aidan and Emma see each other again for the first time). After she's put on bed-rest, he wants to get to know her better. 

                        ****ROUGH DRAFT & SUBJECT TO CHANGE******

Pesh’s closeness caused her heartbeat to accelerate. His woodsy cologne, the heat from his body, the tousled dark hair she wanted to run her fingers through—it drove her to distraction. Breathing normally like he had requested was completely out of the question. Instead, she managed to draw in several harsh pants. Pesh’s dark eyes swept from the stethoscope up to hers. He took the buds out of his ears and smiled knowingly. “Either I’m making you nervous, or you need to get back to the hospital for your erratic breathing and heartbeat.”

She felt a warm flush creeping across her cheeks. “No, it’s you,” she murmured.

He cocked his eyebrows. “So you’re saying if Dr. Pendleton were here taking your vitals you wouldn’t be reacting this way?”

Laughter sputtered from her lips. “Of course not.”

Shifting his body, he leaned in closer to her. His dark eyes penetrated hers. “Why do I make you nervous, Emma?”

Her mouth ran dry, and she licked her lips. “Because…” You’re so damn good-looking, and your fabulous body kicks my pregnancy hormones into overdrive, making me think things about you I shouldn’t. But more than the lust, you’re kind and compassionate, and if given the chance, I could see myself falling in love with you.

Emma exhaled the breath she had been holding. “You confuse me.”

“I confuse you?”

Staring down at her hands, she said, “I still care very deeply for Aidan, but when I’m with you, I start to feel…differently.”

“So I at least have a chance to woo you?”

She snapped her head up to stare at him. “To woo me?”

Pesh laughed. “Not a word you would usually use?”

“Not exactly.”

He tilted his head in thought. “Hmm, a chance to romance you then? To wine and dine you?”

Emma smiled and pointed to her belly. “There will be no wining, and with my bed rest, our dining is going to be a little limited.”

“Ah, but that’s why I brought food to you.” He rose off the couch. “Let me go get it, and we’ll commence our wooing.”

He winked at her, and she laughed. “Okay.”

When Pesh got to the door, he stopped and turned around. “As long as I have a chance to win your heart, Emma, I’ll take whatever you can give me.”
Thursday, November 29, 2012

Blog Tour Stop for Emily Snow's Devoured

So, I've known Emily Snow going on three years now. But even if I didn't know and love her and her writing, I would want to pimp Devoured! It's just that awesome!!

Here's a blurb:

Sienna Jensen had no plans to return home when she graduated college last spring--after all, her dreams lie in California. But when she discovers her grandmother's Nashville home has been foreclosed, and the new owner has started the eviction process, Sienna has no other choice but go back to Music City. And she comes face to face with the flawed, gorgeous man she never thought she'd see again. The man who now holds the deed to her grandma's estate.

When millionaire rock star Lucas Wolfe finds the outspoken redhead glaring at him from across a courtroom, he's both infuriated and intrigued. He still can't get the night Sienna almost spent with him out of his mind, and the chemistry between them is as undeniable as it was two years ago. He craves Sienna more than ever. And just like everything Lucas hungers for, he's determined to have her.

Now, Lucas will do whatever it takes to lure Sienna into his bed, even if that means making a deal with her: ten days with him, playing by his rules, and he'll hand over the deed to her grandmother's home. Though she agrees to the arrangement, Sienna is conflicted. Because of her duty to her family. Because of promises she's made to herself and a past that still haunts her. And as Lucas's game of seduction continues, and Sienna is introduced to his dark, erotic world and even darker background, she realizes that at any moment, she could be devoured.


Lucas’s 7am wakeup rule flies out of the window the next morning because we both oversleep. The sound of the hotel room’s telephone shrilling in our ears is what drags us out of bed a little after nine. Groggily, I push my hair back from my face and answer the phone. I’m greeted by a chilly female voice.
“Kylie, put Lucas on the phone, it’s Sam.”
Sam. I try to remember where I’ve heard the name and then I realize this is the person Lucas’s mother had mentioned yesterday, the person who made him tense up in anger. And she’s a woman. I bite my bottom lip, clutching the phone until I feel like I’m seconds away from shattering it.
“I’m sorry you—”
“Don’t you dare try that I’m sorry you’ve reached the wrong room shit with me. I talked to your mom, she said you’re there, so put him on the goddamn phone.”
Lucas is sitting up in the bed now, staring down at the receiver with a blank expression on his face. “It’s Sam,” I say, hoping to elicit some kind of reaction from him. Nothing happens and a chill turns my blood to ice.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


So yeah, yesterday my cup runneth over with a blessing/accolade I have hoped and dreamed about since I was a little girl(yes, I've wanted to be a published writer since I was young)!! The Proposition made #27 on The New York Times Best-Seller's List. 

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, to all my readers, the bloggers, my fans, my writer besties, and anyone who gave The Proposition a chance!!

Thanks also to my new agent, Steve Ross, of Abrams Artists Agency, who I hope will share in the further success of The Proposition!!

Thanks most of all go to God. I am a person of immense faith, but it has been tried and tested at every turn this year with tremendous loss and sorrow, health issues, and disappointments in the writing business. There were times I wasn't sure I would make it through this year, and I'll be honest that there were also times I was in so much emotional pain, I didn't want to. So to have the end of 2012 become so amazing is a true gift, and I know where my blessings come from!!

I wasn't going to have a teaser from The Proposal this week. BUT to share in my excitement, here is one to celebrate with!! I know most of you want to see Aidan suffering, and he has been. I promise. He's just finally been given an opportunity to see Emma after she's been shunning him. 

*roughest of drafts and subject to change*

She turned and stalked away. “Em, wait!” When she didn't stop, he blurted, “Fine, you want even more grand gestures? Here’s another one.” He sank down onto his knees on her walkway.

When Emma whirled around, her eyes grew wide. “What are you doing?”

He gazed around them. “What the hell does it look like I’m doing? I’m on my knees--totally and completely begging you to forgive me.”

“Get up!” she hissed when a couple walking their dog paused to stare at them.

“Not until you forgive me.”

She growled in frustration. “Quit being dramatic.”

He shrugged. “Fine, call me a Drama Queen. Call me any fucking name in the book! Just get all the anger and hate out of your system, so you can work on forgiving me.” He opened his arms wide. “I said it on cards, in text messages and voicemails, and even in that fruity book of poetry I sent you. But now I’m going to say it to your face in case it’s the only other chance I have.” 

Suddenly in the moment Aidan didn’t feel so sure of himself anymore. Feeling shaky, he drew in a ragged breath. “I am sorry, Emma. I’m so sorry for breaking your heart. I’m sorry for being an utter prick and being scared of my feelings for you. Most of all, I’m sorry for screwing up the perfect life we had by pushing you away and cheating on you.”

Emma’s face flushed crimson as the woman on the sidewalk gasped. Aidan turned to her. “Yeah, that’s right. I’m one of the countless assholes who break women’s hearts. I couldn’t tell Emma I loved her, and I almost screwed another woman to try to push her away.” He smacked his palms hard against his chest. “But from the depths of my heart and soul, I’m so, so sorry!”

“Jesus man, have you lost all your pride?” the man questioned, which caused his wife to punch him in the arm.

Aidan chuckled. “Yeah, I have. Because I’m willing to do whatever it takes to win her back,” he replied, pointing to Emma.  

When Emma strode over to him with a determined look, Aidan felt his hope rising. It quickly faded as she grabbed him by the hair and yanked his head up. “Get off my front walk this minute, or I’m going to call the cops!” She shook her head maniacally. “I can’t believe you just embarrassed me in front of my neighbors like that!”

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Excerpt from ROCK THE HEART and win an ebook!

So, between being at the beach earlier in the weekend being immersed in sequel stress, Katie pulled an epic blonde moment and forgot her spot on the FABULOUS Michelle Valentine's blog tour!! I'm very much a better late than never person, so here's an excerpt from Rock the Heart.

To make amends, I'll give a copy of the ebook away. Just leave a comment!!

I sigh and run my fingers through my hair. “Look, Noel. I didn’t come here to fight with you.”

Noel raises a pierced eyebrow. “Really? Tell me then, Lane, why did you come here?”
‘Lane.’ It’s been so long since I’ve heard that. Noel is the only person alive who shortens my name.

I shake the memories away. This isn’t a time to reminisce. It’s time to get down to business. “Well…” I clear my throat. “I’m an intern at Center Stage Marketing, and my boss, Diana Swagger, flew me down here to discuss Black Falcon’s charity with you.”

“You?” He shakes his head. “Out of all the people in the entire fucking world, they send you down here to talk to me. Did they think because we’ve fucked before I wouldn’t fire you?”

My hands ball into fists at my side. “How can you say that to me? I’m not one of your groupie whores, Noel. What we had was real!”

He lays his guitar down and stands in front of me—his six foot two frame towers over me. “Then why did you leave me, huh? Tell me that. If it was so real, why did you walk away from it?”

I can’t look at him. The reasons for me leaving him that night, on the dock, are unbelievably selfish. Noel reaches out and takes a strand of my brown hair between his fingers and twirls it just like he always did when we were a couple.

I slap his hand away. His touch is just too soon.

The corners of his lips turn down. He reaches back up and tucks the loose strand of my hair behind my ear. His fingertips linger on my cheek. “Why do you always fight against the inevitable? You’ve always made things so difficult.”
Saturday, November 17, 2012

SMEXY SATURDAY & Rock the Heart Winners

First, it's been a whirlwind of a week, and I'm thrilled beyond measure to announce that I am now represented by Steve Ross at Abrams Artist Agency!! I'm so excited The Proposition is in his capable hands, and we can hopefully bring it to a larger audience. :) Because of that fact, The Prop will be on sale for .99 for the following week.

Second, my buddy, Michelle Valentine, released her much anticipated Rock the Heart a week early to much fanfare! HELLO TOP 100 THE FIRST DAY OUTTA THE GATE & MOVERS AND SHAKERS #1!! SO GO FORTH AND BUY IT!!

The winners of the ebooks are Dyan, Irene FV, & Susana R!! CONGRATS LADIES!!

Keeping with the rock theme, here's the next scene in Music of My Heart where we get to meet Jake and the rest of the boys of Runaway Train. To recap: Abby was joining her brothers on tour when she accidentally stumbled onto the wrong tour bus. That landed her in Jake's bed...which ended badly for him when he came onto her!!

Scorching pain ripped through my crotch, and I groaned in agony. One minute I’d been making out with an angel straight out of Heaven and the next a hellish wildfire raged through my junk.  

In my haze, I heard the angel screaming her fucking head off and then I heard a loud thump. Once I could see straight again, I gritted my teeth and staggered out of bed. I cupped my aching balls through my boxers and stumbled to the bedroom doorway.

The angel, turned raging bitch, lay in a heap in the hallway. AJ sat beside her, cradling her head in his lap, while my other band-mates, Brayden and Reece, knelt down, and were staring at her in silent wonder.

When Brayden caught sight of me in the doorway, he narrowed his dark eyes. He rose up and took a step towards me, his jaw clenched tight. His 6’2, muscled form might have been threatening if I didn’t know him for the total tender-hearted pansy he was.  “Dude, what the fuck is going on?”

I threw my hands up. “How the hell should I know? I woke up to find her in my bed and then she nailed me in the balls!”

AJ snickered. “You gotta work on your game, man.”

I flicked him off before grinding the sleep out of my eyes with my fists. “I thought it was Bree, and then she was saying something about a dude named Gabe and her brothers putting me up to it.”

“That makes total sense. I mean, what sweet, straight laced girl like this is going to be getting in your bed,” Reece remarked, twirling the diamond stud in his ear.

We all gazed down at the girl. Nope, she was definitely not groupie material. She reminded me of Brayden’s wife, Lily. They’d been high school sweet-hearts, and somehow their relationship had survived the last eight years of craziness.

Scratching the dark stubble on his chin, AJ grinned wickedly. “Hmm, with the sundress and headband, she’s kinda got a Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood look going on. Pure but sexy as hell.”

Reece wrinkled his nose and shook his blonde head. “Oh hell no. She’s a hundred times hotter in the face than Sookie!” He motioned to the angel’s ample cleavage. “And damn, look at that rack.”

Brayden grunted in frustration. “Guys, could you stop thinking with your dicks for one minute, and focus on the fact we’ve got a poor, helpless girl passed out on the floor!”

“You’ve been married too long, Bray,” I mused, continuing to take in the blonde’s features. She had felt like heaven pressed up against me. Well, until she’d cock blocked me rather painfully.

At her moan, we all jumped back like we’d been caught doing something we shouldn’t have. She blinked her eyes a few times, bringing her hand to her forehead. Her brows furrowed as she rubbed her fingertips into her hairline. Then her eyes flew open, and she stared up at us. Her face crumpled with mortification. “Oh God, it wasn’t a nightmare.”

AJ grinned. “Ya know, chicks are usually a lot more stoked about meeting us than you are.”

Her dark blue eyes widened. “Oh, I’m sorry if I sounded rude. I didn’t mean that how it came out.”

I crossed my arms over my chest and snorted. “Kneeing me in the junk was rude, babe.”

She cocked her head to the side and gave me a death glare before pulling herself into a sitting position. “You wouldn’t stop molesting me. What else was I supposed to do?” she snapped.

Brayden bristled as he closed the gap between us. “Somehow you managed to leave that tidbit out of your story.”

AJ extended his hand. “Come on, Sookie, let’s get you up off that dirty floor.”

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Holy Testicle Tuesday: A long Teaser from The Proposal & The Proposition is $.99 for TUESDAY only!!

Okay, I'll admit that I've been a bit obsessed with Ace Ventura since it came out when I was a Freshman in high school. I do like some inane comedies. :) And when I was thinking about this epic Tuesday post, the first thing that entered my mind was "HOLY TESTICLE TUESDAY!!" :) *Yes, I probably desperately need sleep at the moment for using that as a title to a blog post, but I digress*

Since I'll be at the beach next Tuesday furiously pounding out wordage on The Proposal, I decided I should probably give you an extra long tease this week since I won't be posting next week. I also wanted to give another gift by making The Proposition $0.99 for TUESDAY only!! It's the Tuesday gift that keeps on giving the whole year long!! :)

So, back to the real point, which was the teaser. I wanted to post this one because it addresses the title of the sequel. Oh, did you think it was all based on that kind of proposal? Oh no, not quite!! This scene takes place the same day as last week's teaser with Patrick, Emma, and Aidan in the ER. Later that evening, too much emotional stress puts baby Noah in danger and lands Emma in the ER.

*Rough draft & subject to change*

Dr. Pendleton snapped Emma's chart shut. “I’m going to insist on strict bed-rest for the next two to four weeks. Your feet are only to touch the ground to use the restroom, and I’m going to insist on you using a seat in the shower, too. Is that clear?”

Emma gasped. “But my job—”

He held up a finger to silence her. “I’ll fill out the necessary paperwork for you to take a leave of absence. The most important thing right now is for you to rest and limit your stress level.  We don’t want any more premature labor.”

“How long do I have to stay in the hospital?” Emma questioned, her voice wavering.

“I want to keep you in at least over night, and then you can probably go home tomorrow. Let me go check on the status of moving you upstairs.”

After Dr. Pendleton exited the room, Emma's emotions spiraled dangerously out of control. She tried fighting with everything in her not to totally and completely lose it at the prospect that Noah’s life was still in danger. It was too much to bear, and she couldn’t stop the floodgates from opening.  A strangled cry erupted from her lips, sending both Casey and Aidan racing forward to comfort her. Somehow Casey elbowed Aidan out of the way, blocking him from getting to her.

A frustrated grunt came from Aidan, but Casey ignored him and grabbed Emma’s hand. She squeezed it tight and gave her a reassuring smile. “Don’t cry, Em. It’s all going to be fine. Lots of women have to go on bed rest for a while, and then the rest of their pregnancies are completely normal.”

Between hiccupping sobs, Emma replied, “I hope so.”

“I know so. And I’ll take you Grammy’s first thing tomorrow, and she’ll get you through this.”

Emma shook her head as the tears slid down her cheeks. “I can’t go to Grammy’s. Granddaddy had hip replacement surgery a week ago, and she’s already ragged from taking care of him. I can’t put any more stress on her at her age.”

Aidan cleared his throat and sidestepped Casey to stand in front of Emma. “You’re coming home with me. I’m going to take care of you.”

A hiss erupted from Casey. She jerked her hand away from Emma’s to jab a finger into Aidan’s chest. “Over my dead body!”

Aidan’s eyebrows shot up. “Excuse me?”

Casey’s nostrils flared. “You’ve got to be out of your fucking mind! You take care of her? You’re the very reason she’s in this condition!”

He winced.“Look we all know I fucked up! Royally. Even though I’d give anything to take it back, I can’t. But I can make it right, and one way to prove to Emma how truly sorry I am is to stand by her and take care of her when she needs me most.”

Emma sucked in a breath at Aidan’s words. She was sure one of the countless monitors she was hooked up to was about to go haywire with her accelerating heartbeat. Shock reverberated through her that he had even suggested taking care of her, least of all that he actually meant he’d do it. While deeply touched, she couldn’t imagine how her frayed nerves could allow her to be so close to him. Finally, she shook her head. “I don’t think—”

His blue eyes blazed with a steely determination. “This isn’t up for discussion.”

Casey snorted. “Oh hell yes, it is up for discussion. If anyone is going to be taking care of Em, it’s me, fuckwit!”

Aidan’s face clouded over with fury, and Emma feared he was about to truly lose his temper. His jaw clenched as he leaned closer to Casey. “You seem to forget that’s my child she’s carrying. Noah is my responsibility. You can sure as hell believe that nothing else matters more to me in this world than my son.”

Glaring back at him, Casey countered, “Too bad you weren’t thinking about Noah when you almost screwed that skank!”

At Aidan’s growl, Connor squeezed between them. “Okay, enough!” He shook his head. “Damn, you two have got to chill with the pissing contest about Em. Would you stop for a minute and think about how much you’re upsetting her?”

Both Aidan and Casey snapped their gaze from Connor and stared at Emma. Their attention caused her cheeks and neck to flush.

Aidan’s expression softened. “I’m sorry, Em. I didn't mean to upset you. I just want…” He ran his hand through his sandy hair. “More than anything in the world, I want you to let me take care of you and Noah.”

The sincerity in his words sent her heart fluttering again, and she hated herself for it. After nibbling on her lip, she questioned, “What about your job? You can’t possibly travel like you have been and take care of me 24/7.”

“I’ll just sign up for family medical leave or something.”

Emma couldn’t help widening her eyes. “You would do that?”

“Of course I would. You need me,” Aidan said, edging closer to the bed.

“But with your position, will they even consider granting you one when we aren't even married?” Emma asked.

Aidan shrugged. “If they don’t, then I’ll just quit.” The corners of his lips tugged up in a smile. “You and Noah mean more to me than a job.”

Casey crossed her arms over her chest in a huff. “And what if your libido kicks in one night after seeing some slut in a short skirt? Are you just going to run out on Em again?”

“Case,” Emma pleaded as Aidan snarled, “Don’t fucking go there!”

“I cannot believe you’re honestly considering letting him do this! He broke your heart, Em!” Casey cried, throwing her hands up in frustration.

Emma sighed. “Yes, I’m well aware of what he did. But at the moment, I don’t see any other choice but to accept what he’s proposing.”