Page 20

His Lover's Little Secret Andrea Laurence 2022/8/3 13:54:33

Their relationship was complicated. There were a lot of proverbial balls still in the air. He wasn’t dumb enough to get emotionally involved with Sabine again, but leaping back into a physical relationship with her, at least this soon, was a bad idea, too. For now, he needed to try and keep his distance on both fronts.

Why, then, was he standing in the middle of Central Park cradling Sabine’s face with a throbbing erection? Because he was a masochist.

“A...uh...stray bit of Jared’s handiwork,” he said. He let his hand drop back to his side before he did something stupid in public. Instead, he turned to look at Jared. “Are you ready to see the monkeys?”

“Yeah!” he cheered, clapping his chubby hands together.

They bought their tickets and headed inside. Starting at the sea lion pool, they made their way around to visit the penguins and the snow leopards. He enjoyed watching his son’s eyes light up when he saw the animals.

“Do you guys come here a lot?” he asked, leaning on the railing outside the snow monkey exhibit. “He really seems to like it.”

“We actually haven’t been here before. I was waiting until he was a little older. This seemed like the perfect opportunity.”

Gavin was surprised. Somehow he’d thought he had missed all his son’s firsts, but there were more to be had than he expected. “I’ve never been here, either.”

Sabine looked at him with disbelief lining her brow. “You’ve lived in New York your whole life and you’ve never been to the zoo?”

“Saying I lived here my whole life isn’t entirely accurate. My family lived here, but I was gone off to school a lot of the time.”

“So not even as a child? Your nannies never brought you here?”

“Nope. Sometimes we came to the park to play or walk, but never to the zoo. I’m not sure why. My boarding school took a field trip to Washington, D.C., once. We went to the Smithsonian and the National Zoo on that trip. I think I was fourteen or so. But I’ve never had the chance to come here.”

“Have you ever been to a petting zoo?”

At that, Gavin had to laugh. “A petting zoo? Absolutely not. My mother would have a fit at the thought of me touching dirty animals. I never even had pets as a kid.”

Sabine wrinkled her nose at him. “Well, then, today is your day. We’ll head over to the children’s zoo after this and you and Jared can both pet your first goat.”

A goat? He wasn’t so sure that he was interested in that. Sabine seemed to sense his hesitation. “Maybe we can start you off slow. You can hold a rabbit. They have places to wash your hands. I also have hand sanitizer in my bag. You’ll be okay, I promise.”

Gavin chuckled at Sabine. She was mothering him just the same as she did to coax Jared into trying something new. He wasn’t used to that.

They were on their way to the children’s zoo when he felt his cell phone buzzing at his hip. He looked down at the screen. It was Roger. He had to take this call.

“Excuse me one minute,” he said.

Sabine frowned but nodded. “I’ll take Jared to the restroom while we’re waiting.”

Gavin answered the phone and spent the next ten minutes soothing Roger’s concerns. He didn’t want this opportunity to slip through his fingers. Acquiring those private jets was as close to fulfilling his childhood dream as he might ever get. He had a plane of his own, but it was small and didn’t have anywhere near the range of Roger’s jets. He longed for the day when he could pilot one of those planes to some far-off destination. He was a falcon on a tether now. He wanted to fly free, and he wasn’t going to let Paul Simpson’s desire to play at CEO ruin it.

It was going well so far. He was able to address all of Roger’s concerns. Things might be back on track if he could keep the owner focused on what was best for his family and his company. But it was taking some time. The conversation was still going when Sabine returned. She didn’t seem pleased.

He covered the receiver with his hand. “I’m almost done. I can walk and talk,” he said.

She turned and started walking away with Jared. He followed close behind them, but he was admittedly distracted. By the time he finally hung up, Gavin had already missed out on feeding the ducks. Jared was quacking and clumsily chasing one at the moment.

Sabine was watching him play with a twinkle in her eye. She loved their son so much. He could tell that Jared was everything to her. He appreciated that about her. His parents had never been abusive or cruel, but they had been distant. Busy. They weren’t hands-on at all. Jared hadn’t had all the privileges that Gavin grew up with, but he did have a loving, doting mother.