Paula felt as if she had been caught. She wasn't wearing jewelry because not even her fashion-conscious daughter owned the kind of things you would wear around a man like this. Noah's watch looked as if it was worth more money than Paula made in a year.
But then she reminded herself not to take life so seriously.
"Oh," she said, touching her naked throat, "you know. No time to get to the vault. Insurance concerns, that kind of thing."
"Huh. Maybe I won't ask for the baubles to be written in if they're going to be that much trouble. You don't have to show me anything else," he told her, "I'm ready to make an offer. Should we go have lunch and talk about it?"
He raised a wicked eyebrow at her as if the offer he intended to make might have nothing to do with a castle, and everything to do with very grown-up naughtiness.
"Are you really a real estate agent?" he asked as they left the castle.
Again, she felt the danger of him probing her private world, and again, it felt fun to parry with playfulness. "You can't tell? I sold three castles last week."
This was the problem. The longer they kept this up, the more reality would collide with the game. But it was for only a few more hours. And then he would be back to his world, and she would be back to hers.
"Are you telling me you aren't really a prince in the market for some real estate?" she said, pretending great affront.
He laughed, and caught her hand as they strolled down the street. "Let's discuss it over lunch. What's the most spectacular restaurant in Copenhagen?"
"Never mind. If you aren't a prince, let's keep lunch simple."
"Just because I'm not a prince, doesn't mean I'm not going to make you an offer." Again, the way he said offer made a naughty little shiver go up and down Paula's spine. "Though I must say simple appeals. I seem to be craving that very thing lately. Simplicity."
"Then let's grab a baguette and some cheese and have a picnic. I know the perfect place."
While Noah had claimed he longed for simplicity, he obviously had no idea what that meant, Paula thought with wry affection as he took over the picnic idea and it quickly morphed into an alfresco feast.
He insisted on stopping in shops along the way to the Langelinie Promenade. Over her protests, he bought a gorgeous wicker picnic basket set. He bought an Icelandic wool blanket. Paula had to bite her tongue to keep from lecturing him that the blanket was much too nice for sitting on the grass.
They ducked into a bakery and deli and Noah presented the empty basket to the surprised clerk. "Put everything we need in there for a splendid picnic. Fill it up. Surprise us."
Paula had to translate what he meant. It occurred to her it felt lovely to be spoiled like this, to let someone else take charge for once.
Don't get used to it, she warned herself.
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