Nothing Less Page 1

Author: Anna Todd

Series: Landon Gibson #2

Genres: Romance , New Adult


The not-too-distant future . . .

DADDY?” A SMALL VOICE CUTS through the darkness of my bedroom.

I lean over and click on the lamp, and my eyes adjust to the light spreading throughout the room.

“Adeline? What’s wrong?” I sit up, tugging the blanket up to my chest, remembering that I’m not dressed underneath. I glance over at my wife; her naked back is exposed and she’s sleeping on her stomach, sprawled out the way she usually is.

A small hand rubs over little brown eyes. “I can’t sleep.”

Relief spreads through me. “Did you count sheep?” She often has trouble sleeping lately, and I’m trying not to worry too much about it. Her doctor says that she’s just having a hard time shutting her wild mind off at night, which is pretty normal behavior for her age.

Adeline nods. “And ponies. I counted ponies, too. A blue one, a red one, and a grumpy yellow one.”

I try not to laugh. “A grumpy yellow pony?”

“Yep. He stole the blue one’s cookie.”

My little girl’s mom stirs in her sleep but doesn’t wake. I pull the blanket up over her exposed back, just in case she decides to roll over.

I look at my daughter, whose eyes match my own, and can’t even try to hide my amusement at her inventive imagination. She’s so creative for her age, always telling tales of goblins and princesses and the fantastical.

With a smile, I reach for her hand, and she moves her teddy into her other arm and grabs my hand. The poor stuffed bear is close to falling apart. Aside from school, she doesn’t go anywhere without it, and some days I even find the furry thing in my messenger bag when I get to the school.

“How about you meet me in the kitchen so you can tell me what happened next?” She nods, and I kiss her hand before she drops it to her side. “I’ll be out in just a minute, sweetie,” I add so I can throw on some sweats.

Adeline looks over at her mom and back at me before she makes her way to the doorway. She turns around. “Can we have a cookie while we talk?” my little negotiator asks. She’s just like me, always wanting sweets.

I glance at the clock on the nightstand. It’s twelve thirty, and she has school in the morning. Since I’m her first-grade teacher, I shouldn’t encourage her to eat sugar in the middle of the night . . .

“Please, Daddy?”

I know I’m supposed to be responsible, and that I shouldn’t be condoning a sugar rush six hours before she has to wake up for school. Her mom’s going to kill me, but I know dang well she would cave, too. Those big brown eyes and that teddy bear in her arms remind me that she won’t be a kid for long.

Adeline waits expectantly.

“Grab me one, too. I’ll be out there by the time you pick out the tiniest cookies in the jar for us.”

She smiles like she didn’t have any doubt that I would say yes.

“The tiniest ones, okay?” I smile at her.

She agrees and walks out of the bedroom. I stand up and grab my sweats from the floor.

“Sucker,” my wife’s sleepy voice says from the bed.

I pull the pants up my legs. “You’re awake?” I ask with mock surprise.

She rolls over and lifts her arms behind her head, the sheet dropping to her waist. “Of course.” A sleepy smile spreads across her beautiful face.

“Coward,” I tease.


I try to keep my eyes on her face. If I allow myself to admire my wife’s naked chest, I will never leave this room.

Once I’m dressed, I lean over, resting my knee on the edge of the bed, and gently press my lips against her forehead. Her eyes are closed when I pull away, her lips pulled into a comfortable smile.

I leave the bedroom, and when I reach the kitchen, Adeline is holding the hand of her teddy in one small hand and a big cookie in the other.

“That doesn’t look like the smallest cookie.” I open the fridge and grab the jug of milk.

Adeline smiles, and her tongue pokes out between her missing teeth. She’s growing up too fast. “I thought you said the biggest,” she fibs.