She looks at me with concern in her eyes, but I continue to step back from her. I try to cover up the awkward moment by telling her to come and eat.

“One of the things I failed to ask you was your favorite foods. So I brought a variety. I hope that’s alright with you?” I give her a small smile.

“Sure,” She takes a breath and looks like she’s making some sort of internal decision. Whatever it is she walks over to the serving table with me.

As she’s choosing I’m trying to take mental notes. She takes a small piece of chicken, several different kinds of vegetables and a few fruits, then she grabs the whole bread basket and walks over to the table giving me a side glance, almost daring me to make fun of her.

I have to let out a little chuckle at her actions. I fill my own plate and join her.

“Ok, so you got to ask me a bunch of questions the other night, do I get a turn?” She asks playfully, tearing off a piece of bread and placing it in her mouth almost seductively. Looking up at me through her eyelashes. 

With that look I probably would have said yes to anything. “Ok,but there may be things I can’t talk about, not yet anyway.” I give her my own playful look. At least this relationship is going to be interesting.

“Alright, I’ll start off easy.”

“Favorite Color”

“It used to be green, but has changed recently.”

“To what?” She tilts her head to the side.


“That’s not a color, that’s a flavor.” She giggles.

“I like both” I smile at her.

“Favorite food”

“That depends…”

“On What?”

“The company, whether I’m out or at home, things like that”

“Your favorites change based on who you’re with?” She looks confused.

“I have favorites when I am out with clients in the sense that I know what to order to make a meeting go long or short depending on what I need. When I am out with friends I like specific foods to go with my drinks. Things like that.”

“You are kind of a control freak, aren’t you?” She asked with a smile on her face and a glint in her eye. She was teasing me, but what she doesn’t realize is that, I would never let anyone be so bold with me.

“A bit.” I smile back. “I know what I want and I don’t settle.”

“Which opens nicely to my next question. Why marry me? Technically, that’s settling. I’m sure you have tons of women flocking to you at all times. Looking the way you do and with how successful you are, how is it that no woman has been able to tie you down?”

I can’t help but smile at her bluntness. And I can’t pretend to not be excited at the idea that she finds me attractive and successful.

“I have never been one for dating, necessarily. There are always functions for my business or a client’s. I have never had a hard time finding a date for any of those functions, but none of those women held enough of my attention to take them back to my home for the night, let alone forever. I’ve never really had time for dating outside of those functions.”

“I cannot believe you’ve never gone home with a woman.” She rolls her eyes at me, but she’s still smiling.

“I never said I didn’t go home with them, just that I have never taken a woman to my home. My home is the one place I can relax and be myself, with no outside pressures.”

“Will I ever get to see your home?” She asks me shyly. Taking another bite of her roll. I notice she hasn’t eaten much. Just picking at her veggies and fruit and absentmindedly destroying her dinner rolls.

“I expect so eventually.” I smiled at her, trying to tease her back. “ I’m not sure if my bachelor hideout will be up to your standards.” I wink at her. “We will need to decide where you want to live after we get back from the honeymoon. I imagine you will want to move out of your apartment.

“I will be the judge of what my standards are, thank you very much.” She narrowed her eyes at me. “And I assume I will live with you, after we are married, it would be strange if I didn’t. And you never answered my question, why settle now. If you have never found a woman you want to spend more than a night with, why get married to an eighteen year old you have never met before?”

I like Lindsey, but not enough to go down this memory lane, yet. “I have my reasons for getting married now and I don’t believe that marrying you is settling.” I paused for a moment and then looked at her. “Why did you agree to get married? It sounded like you had many things planned before you met me, and you are just going to put that all on hold?”

“I figured with you, the world tour could be taken in broken up trips where I can spend time in each of the places I want to visit, rather than rushing through to fit a set time line.  I don’t see why school should be a problem, even if I am working with you.  People do that all of the time.  It’s how I got my degrees in high school.  I figure doing school and working to save my parents company will get us through the majority of your ten year requirement and will give us time to get to know each other, so by the time ten years comes around you can decide if you still want to be married and we can go from there.  You don’t seem to have much value for romantic relationships and neither do I so it works out well for both of us.”

It shouldn’t, but her comment stings a bit.  Like she’s already making plans for us to lead separate lives as long as we both get what we want out of this deal.

“What issues can you possibly have against romantic relationships?”

“I have my reasons.” She smiles back at me.

“Touche. Well, seeing how well you ate dinner, can I tempt you with dessert?”

“Yes! I thought you would never ask.” She almost jumps out of her chair.  “I saw the most amazing Tiramisu.” She heads straight for the dessert table and I just watch her move. She is so graceful and confident, but there is still a child-like excitement when she’s choosing her desserts.

As she walked back over to me, she had 2 plates in her hands and a huge smile on her face. I had to smile with her, how did I not ever know she existed before, where had Fabian kept her hidden? She sat the plates on the table and then moved her chair closer to me.  I raised my eyebrow in question.

“What? You took to the desserts like I took to the vegetables. I want to know which you like better.”

“I’m not really a sweets kind of person.”

“Based on how you fill out your suit, I got that impression.” She gave me another side eye that had the butterflies roaring to life again.  I wonder if she knows she’s flirting.

I can only huff a laugh “Desserts don’t seem to affect you either, I am definitely enjoying the view.” I look at her just as she takes a bite of the Tiramisu and lets out the most sensual moan I have ever heard. I am officially jealous of this dessert.

“Reese, you have to try this, it is amazing.” She’s annunciating every word in this breathy tone that I am committing to memory. 

She leans towards me with her fork full of the dessert. The look on her face right now could probably get me to do anything.  I open my mouth for her to feed me and I lock eyes with her determined to not be the first one to break. She looks down at the table to set the fork down and immediately finds my eyes again.  She leans forward and reaches her hand to my face, cupping my cheek and brushing her thumb across my lips. My mouth opens slightly of its own accord and I lean into her hand. She pulls away, and I actually feel the loss of her touch, but what I get in return is so worth it.

“You had some whipped cream on your lips.” She says as she licks the offending cream from her thumb.

I inch closer to her, almost out of my seat now. “I really want to kiss you right now.” I say looking into her eyes.

“I think I want you to kiss me.” She breathes out.

That was all the invitation I needed.  I lean forward, shifting to my knees in front of her and slowly but firmly pressing my lips to hers.  I can taste the sweet dessert on her lips.  My right hand reaches up to her face as my left wraps around her waist, pulling her closer to me.  Her legs part so I can pull her as close as possible as she wraps her fingers in my hair.  My tongue drags along her bottom lip, asking for permission.  She grants it slowly and I deepen the kiss, our tongues dueling for power. She lets out a soft moan and if I don’t stop now, this is going to go way too far way too fast. 

I pull back resting my forehead on hers. “That was amazing.” My hands are still wrapped around her and I don’t want to let her go, but there is something I need to do before this night is over, and this seems like the perfect time.

“Lindsey, I have made a grievous error, and I need to fix it.”  She pulls back from me, eyes wide in shock, tears welling up in her eyes.

“Wait, what? You just said that that kiss was amazing. I don’t understand.” She starts to move to get up.

I mentally head slap myself at my word choice.

“Wait, wait.  That’s not what I meant, please just listen.” She slowly sits back down, but her posture is still stiff, like she’s waiting for me to tell her I don’t want this anymore. “When we were talking last night, you made me realize that I forgot something very important.” I take both of her hands in mine. They are so small, they look like kid hands in my own.  I rub her left ring finger and looking at it I ask “Lindsey, will you marry me?” I ask as I pull out my mother’s engagement ring. I placed the vintage rose gold ring on her hand.  It looks even more delicate on her.  There is a single princess cut diamond in the center with rose gold leaves set with smaller diamonds trailing around the band.

Her eyes go wide again as she looks down at it. “So, you’re really serious, you really want to do this?”

“Yes, I really do.” I say placing it on her, and bringing her hand to my lips for another kiss.

Comments (1)
goodnovel comment avatar
Patricia Gore
it's okay I need to read the rest later

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