He leaves the rest unspoken. Geez, he’d threatened to fire her if she made things difficult for me and him?
Her cryptic message and then hightailing it out of here today must mean that she accepts Colton’s relationship with me and has no intention of interfering.
"I wanted to be honest with you about my past. I want a real future with you, Soph. Tell me how you’re feeling," he says.
"I'm glad you opened up and told me about Marta." But deep down I know the issue with Marta is the least of my worries. I can accept his need for a rebound fling. Growing bold, I straighten my spine. "But if you wanted a real relationship with me, you wouldn’t be holding up your own divorce. And don’t give me this guilty crap about money for the Africa project – if your finances were in that precarious a state, would you have really spent a million on a sex slave, oh excuse me, I mean mistress? By the sounds of it, Marta is not someone you had true feelings for, and I can get over it, but if you want this with me, you’re going to have to show me that I’m worth the risk. I can’t share you with Stella."
"You’ll never share me." His dark eyes implore mine, possessive and filled with longing.
"I am sharing you – the memory of her scowling at me in the pool and telling me to get off her property is firmly branded into my mind. Did you notice that I can’t even go near the pool?"
"Sophie, I signed the papers. Last night in my office, when you interrupted me," he says.
"Yes. It’s done. I emailed them to my attorney this morning."
"Why didn’t you tell me?" This is earth-shattering news and he's mentioning it in casual conversation like's no big deal.
"I didn’t want to interrupt our fun last night." He smirks.
I remembered in vivid detail our steamy encounter in his office last night where I'd pledged to give myself to him. Everything comes rushing back at once, and my belly tightens into a knot.
"Besides, everything you said, the way you laid yourself bare, your complete faith and trust in me – that was exactly what I needed. And if you’d known I'd signed the papers before you told me all that, it wouldn’t have had the same impact," Colton continues.
I see what he means. I’d basically agreed to have blind faith in him to do the right thing, and it turns out, he already had. My heart swells with happiness.
His eyes swing over to mine and he gives me a small smile.
When I ask about the terms of the divorce, he doesn’t hold anything back. He tells me that his net worth of three hundred and sixty five million dollars was divided exactly in half. And as happy as I am about his divorce being finalized, I hate the idea that his now ex-wife is receiving even a dime from him. She'd already stripped him of his trust in women and soured his home with her memories.
Colton had pledged to spend five hundred million dollars in Africa over the next ten years, but I see now that can’t happen. My heart is heavy for him, and I work to convince him that his time and donations are still more than generous. He nods and pats my knee, but I can tell his thoughts are faraway.
A few somber seconds pass, and I can tell he's realizing there's new direction to his life. Turning over a new leaf, and all that. He's been through so much, and despite his strength and demeanor, I know it's been tough for him. I want to comfort him, to hold him. The urge to crawl into his lap is too strong to ignore and so I do.
"Sophie?" he asks.
"Just hold me," I say.
He does. Colton wraps me in his arms and holds me tight, his masculine scent enveloping me in warmth. I can tell that whatever comes next for us is going to be big. We may have started this journey together, thinking it'd be something fleeting and sexual, but the intensity of our relationship and depth of feelings are way too strong to ignore.
"What did you do today?" He brushes my hair back from my face and peers down at me where I'm still curled on his lap.
"Besides wait for my man to get home?"
"My man." My voice is sure and steady. He is mine, and I won't be scared off by his admissions about Marta or his rocky past. "I went for a jog, showered, and then spent the afternoon moving my things from the guest room back into the master suite."
"Good." He continues stroking my hair and it feels lovely.
"It got me thinking though."
"About?" He nuzzles into my neck, inhaling my scent and treating me to a tender kiss on that sensitive spot just behind my ear. He's trying to distract me, and it almost works, but I know I need to have this conversation with him before things go any farther.
"You shared that room with her," I say.
Sensing the direction I'm going, Colton takes my hand in his. "I had the entire room redone when she left. The furniture, the mattress, the linens are all new."
"Did Marta pick them?" I wonder out loud, remembering her comment about redecorating the pool house.
"No. She showed me a design website and I picked everything I wanted, and then had her order it on my credit card."
"Does that help?"
"Yes, it does. I think I would have felt strange being intimate in the same bed you shared with your wife," I admit.
"Ex-wife," he corrects me. "And I promise you that Stella will be the furthest thing from my mind when I finally take you."