Lina said she wanted to give this a try, but what exactly did that mean?
Carver was afraid to believe, scared to acknowledge the hope that had bubbled up and spread throughout his chest at her words. “You’re gonna have to spell it out for me, Catalina. I think I might be jet-lagged and maybe I’m not totally understanding what you’re saying.”
She stepped closer, until their chests touched and she had to tilt her head back to look up at him. “I’m pretty sure you know what I’m talking about, but sure, I’ll spell it out.”
Coming up on the tips of her toes, she leaned in to kiss him. Carver didn’t make it difficult; he leaned in to meet her, taking her lips in a slow, sweet kiss that sent shivers down his spine. The kiss lasted for what felt like an eternity, and yet as they each pulled away, he felt the sting of disappointment, as if it hadn’t lasted long enough.
“If I can travel the world and still do my job,” she said when he rubbed a finger over the line of her jaw, “I can live in Temptation and do it as well.”
He grinned. He couldn’t help it. She was saying exactly what he’d always wanted to hear, and yet he also couldn’t help what he said next. “RGF is headquartered in New York. You’ve built a life there, a career there. I can’t let you come back to Temptation just to be with me.”
“You’re so silly, Carver. You of all people should know I don’t allow anybody to ‘let’ me do anything or stop me from doing anything.”
She was right about that, he thought with a chuckle.
“I can fly to New York for an overnight stay when I have to be there for meetings, but most of them I can attend via Zoom. My travel schedule won’t be interrupted, and when I’m finished with work, I’ll come home to Temptation.” Her lips spread into a slow smile. “To you. If that’s still what you want?”
Growing up, Lina had been his sunshine every day. She’d been the calm to all the storms that had come and gone in his life, a constant source of laughter to his more subdued personality and the one thing he’d desired that had always seemed just out of reach. Until this moment when she was just a breath away, offering him all he’d ever dreamed of. He’d be a fool not to take it, and Carver had never considered himself a fool.
“You’re still what I want, Lina. And if that means we eventually get a place in the city again, I’d be happy to make that move with you by my side. Grant and I are talking more seriously about a partnership studio now that I’m stepping into the glamourous life of fashion photography.”
He wasn’t prepared for her yelp of excitement or the way she flung her body at him. But when she wrapped her arms around his neck, Carver caught her around the waist, loving the feel of her legs coming up to wrap around him. She laughed as he turned them in a circle and smiled at her.
“See, I was right,” she said. “This is perfect!”
“I said it first,” he whispered before kissing her once more.
be sure to read THE LAST AFFAIR, the next book in
AC Arthur’s The Fabulous Golds series!
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