"Pace," she admonishes. "Look at her. They look…inflatable."
When I realize she's not tearing herself down, but instead chastising my taste in women, I almost want to laugh. "A woman like that is good for only one thing and we both know it," I say.
She raises her eyebrows, waiting for me to explain.
"One good fuck," I continue.
"You're crass." Her eyes light up, and her mouth twitches in an attempt not to smile.
"I'm direct, and you like it."
She shrugs. "At least you're honest. That's more than I can say for most men."
"Go out with me. One time, Kylie. What do you have to lose?"
I can practically see the wheels turning in her head, and for one brief, beautiful moment I think I might have a chance. "Bye Pace." She turns and walks away, her long legs carrying her across the room while my heart throbs.
She turns and tosses me a sexy wink. "Go have fun with Malibu Barbie.
This is not over.
I play to win.
This is not my real life.
My real life is not evening gowns and silk panties and fancy dinners. It's heating bottles up at two a.m., spit-up stains on my yoga pants and fishing Cheerios out from between my couch cushions. But it feels amazing to pretend, if only for a brief moment.
As I sit in the back of the limousine Colton insisted I take, I remove my earrings one at a time and drop them into my handbag. The twinkling city lights blur past as we cruise down the freeway, and my thoughts drift back to the gala. The event had turned out beautifully, even better than I could have expected. But of course it isn’t the details of the fundraiser occupying my brain. It's a certain six-foot, two-inch, well-muscled slice of man named Pace Drake. My boss's younger brother. And there is no way he'd be interested in the real me.
I chuckle to myself, remembering that he didn't even know his date's name. I should feel outraged that he all but ignored her in favor of paying me compliments and asking me out. Instead I'm strangely flattered. When a man as handsome as Pace paid you attention it felt wonderful. Especially for someone like me. He could have any woman he wanted. And for some strange reason he'd set his sights on me – with my post-pregnancy body that is still curvier than I would have liked.
But I'd shot him down, which I know is for the best. I have personal experience with men like him. They're looking for no-strings sex. And considering the last guy I was with played ding-dong-ditch-it with my uterus, and left me with a baby to raise, I'm more than a teensy bit skeptical about men like him.
Max is the only man I have time for these days. And the only man I will give my heart to.
I can't resist pulling out my iPhone to look at the pictures of Max. Just as I know I won't be able to resist going into his room to listen to the sounds of him breathing and leaning down to his crib to smell his baby scent, even though I know there's a chance it'll wake him. But his chunky baby thighs and big round tummy are too much for this mama to resist.
It was actually quite sweet of Pace to ask about Max. Last summer, the first time I'd met Pace at Colton's pool party, he carted a screaming, teething Max around all that afternoon, swimming with him in the pool and bouncing him in his big arms. Colton seemed to have no explanation for Pace's sudden interest in the baby. I was convinced it was merely him taking pity on his brother's employee. I was beyond stressed out when Max was cutting his first two teeth. And I'm sure I looked it.
As flattered as I am about his interest in me, I'm fine with being celibate and focusing on my career and being a mom. Well, that's not entirely true. I do miss having a man in my life. I miss strong arms holding me close, the brush of a stubbled cheek on mine, the feeling of absolute security. When I'm ready to start a relationship again, it will be with a man who makes me feel safe. There is nothing safe about Pace Drake.
He's as dangerous as they come. Young. Sexy. Wealthy. Carefree. The dark, hungry look in his eyes promised me hot, intense sex. I shiver, recalling the way my body responded under his watchful stare. Yes, I'm sure he'd be a wild beast in bed, probably with a giant cock to match his stamina, not that I will ever know such things.
As the limo driver pulls to a stop in front of my house, I push all the crazy thoughts from my head. Fantasies are nice, but it's time to get back to my real life.
I haven’t stopped thinking about her since Saturday night. No, not Malibu Barbie. I'd accepted her proffered blow job on the drive home – it was mediocre – and then dropped her off at her front door. I haven't heard from her since. Which is just as well, because it's Kylie I can't seem to get out of my brain.
I had no doubt she saw straight through me because that sassy mouth of hers had called me out on the one-night stand. I know there’s no way we’d fit neatly into each other’s worlds, but I have to try.
When I arrive at Colton's office just after lunchtime, I find him standing beside his assistant's desk, flipping through a stack of documents.
"Hey bro." I slap him on the back. "You have a minute for your favorite brother?"
He rises to his full height and frowns at me. "Do I have a choice?"
I roll my eyes. I know he doesn’t like being interrupted during the work day. But too damn bad. I'd helped him with his woman plenty of times. "No. Now come on."