She didn’t know whether to grab him again, or thump him.
“Aren’t we going to— I assumed—”
He lifted his hand and brushed snowflakes out of her hair. “Those were big words you had on the wall. I need to make sure the experience matches the words.”
Words? She thought back to the words she’d put on the sticky notes. She wished now she’d added immediate, or urgent. Expedite. Any of those would have worked, wouldn’t they?
“So you’re not going to—”
“Strip you naked and risk frostbite in this garden?” There was humor in his eyes and laughter in his voice. “That’s not quite what I had in mind for our first date.”
“Of course, date. What did you think? That I just wanted to take you up against the wall and that would be it?”
She felt the color flood into her cheeks because that was exactly what she’d thought.
He cupped her cheek in his hand and the gentleness in his eyes told her he knew. “Do I want you? Yes. I want you so much it’s killing me, but that’s not how we’re doing this, Roxy.”
She wanted to ask what “this” was, but she didn’t want to do or say anything that broke the spell. Whatever it was, she knew she wanted it badly, but through the desperate wanting emerged the familiar stab of guilt.
“I probably shouldn’t. I mean I have Mia now and I’m making good choices—or trying to… Oh, that sounds so rude. And now I’ve offended you.” To her surprise he laughed and wrapped her tightly in his arms.
“There is nothing you can’t say to me. Nothing that would offend me. And I would never do anything to hurt your daughter.”
“I know that. It’s just—”
“You feel guilty doing something for yourself. You shouldn’t. She’ll be asleep anyway. And going out doesn’t make you a bad mother, Rox. You deserve a little time for yourself. Does it rob her of happiness to see you happy?”
“No. It doesn’t.” Put like that her fears seemed ridiculous. He always knew the right thing to say. Maybe it was to do with having been a lawyer. Or maybe that was why he’d chosen to become a lawyer in the first place.
The snowflakes continued to fall, big fat flakes that swept down, covering his hair, his shoulders. She should have been cold, but she’d never felt warmer in her life. She smiled up at him. “Whatever you want to do.”
“What I want to do is take you to dinner.”
“Dinner? I’m guessing you’re not talking a burger and Diet Coke?”
“I was thinking of something a little more romantic.”
Romantic? Oh, that sounded good. She felt as if she were floating. “I’m definitely a romance virgin.”
He smiled. “I’ll pick the place. We’ll ask Matt and Frankie to babysit Mia.”
“So wine, candlelight? Candlelight would be good. You won’t be able to see the dark circles under my eyes.”
And maybe he’d kiss her, she thought dreamily. That would be the most romantic thing of all.
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