His words warm my heart, but before I have time to respond, the limo pulls to a stop. I glance out the heavily tinted windows and am surprised to see we're parked near a plane. "What's this?" I ask.
The limo driver parks and Pace opens the door. "Remember when I said we were going to have fun tonight?"
"I meant all night. It's an overnight date. Lynn is staying the night with Max. We're headed to Napa Valley for a wine tasting and dinner, and a night alone in a hotel. Is that okay with you?"
"I…I…" The thought of staying an entire night alone with Pace is intoxicating.
"Max will be in good hands," he says. "And so will you."
I swallow and follow him from the limo to the jet, still in a state of shock.
"Is this a private plane?" I ask.
He nods. "It's Colton's."
"I don't have an overnight bag," I say, stopping at the stairs that lead to the jet.
"Already taken care of."
"You packed for me?" I ask, spinning to face him.
He meets my eyes. "I told you I would always take care of you."
I swallow as a sudden rush of emotion hits me. He's planned everything out so carefully tonight and just knowing the time and care he put into this date makes me weak in the knees. In everything he does, I can feel his love for me. It's not in his words, it's in his actions. It's always been that way, I realize.
After a short flight, with more champagne, and a delicious wine tasting where the sommelier paired fancy wines with scrumptious foods from the menu, we are full, happy, and slightly tipsy.
Pace and I spent most of dinner discussing which areas we would like to live and the features of our new dream home.
"Do you remember that night at the gala?" I ask, once we're back inside of yet another limo, this one taking us to our hotel for the night.
Pace's deep blue eyes have been on mine almost the entire night – and his attention is dizzying. "Of course. What about it?"
"You brought that terrible date." I giggle. Platinum blonde hair, large double-D breasts and not an ounce of fat or jiggle anywhere on her body.
He groans. "The date from hell," he agrees.
I recall how he spent a good portion of the evening talking to me, even though he was there with another woman. "Did you have sex with her that night?" I hadn't meant to ask that, but the words roll off my wine-loosened tongue before I can take them back.
"Do you really want to know?" he asks, his tone low.
I wince. Geez, maybe not. I give a careful nod.
Pace looks out the window, looking a little lost. "We didn't have intercourse." He doesn’t say anything more, and I don’t pry. I don’t want to ruin this perfect evening with talk of our exes. I'm just feeling nostalgic about how much Pace has evolved from the man I first met.
I reach over and take his hand in mine. "I love you no matter what." We just recently started saying the L word to each other, and each time my belly does a happy little flip. "All the baggage in the world couldn’t keep me from you. Besides, I have baggage of my own."
"Max is not baggage. He's a bonus. I've told you that." Pace brings my hand to his mouth and kisses the back of it, his eyes lingering on mine. "What I remember best about that night at the gala is how completely stunning and classy you were. The moment I saw you, my mouth went dry and I was at a loss for words. My heart started beating too damn fast and I had no idea what was happening. I think I fell in love with you right then."
I smirk. "I think you weren't used to a woman telling you no."
"Hell no I wasn't." He treats me to a gorgeous smile, the light, playful mood of this evening returning between us. His eyes linger on mine, turning serious. "Did you take your birth control pill yet today?" he asks.
"Pace!" I smack his shoulder again. "Yes. I did." I had no idea he'd want another baby so quickly. It's actually quite sweet. I can picture his big hands cradling a tiny newborn, and my chest feels tight. "But since I didn’t pack my pills…" I grin.
Pace's answering smile is wide and lights up his entire face. Heaven help me, will I ever be able to say no to this man?
Our limousine stops and I see a beautiful hotel lit up against the dark sky.
Pace has called ahead and somehow, miraculously we are already checked in to a lavish hotel room that's more like a large apartment. There's a basket of toiletries, along with men's and women's pajamas sitting on a side table waiting for us. And an overnight bag that Pace says Sophie packed for me. Even though Colton's reaction to us dating wasn't great at first, he's come around, seeing that Pace is different with me.
I explore the suite – there's a living room outfitted with two cream-colored sofas and a glass coffee table between them, a huge marble bathroom with a steam shower and Jacuzzi tub and a bedroom with a fluffy king bed. It's too much for just one night, but I love that Pace has gone all out for our night away, knowing they are so rare.
"This is amazing," I say, turning to him. He's been quietly following me from room to room, clearly loving the joy on my face.
"I'm glad you like it, angel." We're standing in the bedroom, where the huge king bed looms in the distance. Spending the entire night with him in a bed will be a luxury. Even sex in an actual bed is a rarity for us. We're typically trying to hide from Max, and sex is generally quick and quiet. His office is an old favorite – bent over the desk, or sitting on top while he thrusts between my thighs. Tonight there will be no interruptions. No distractions. A warm shiver races over me as Pace's dark blue eyes roam over my exposed skin.