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His Lover's Little Secret Andrea Laurence 2022/8/3 13:54:36

“I know it’s a pain for you to drive all the way out here every time you want to see Jared. And I know that you and I just...” Her voice trailed off.

“Had sex?” he offered.

“Yes,” she said with a heavy sigh. “But that doesn’t change anything between us or about the things we’ve already discussed. We’re not moving at all. Not in with you and not into that apartment. It sounds nice, but it’s too soon. When we’re ready, perhaps we could look together. I’d like some say in the decision, even if you’re writing the checks. I’m pretty sure the place I pick will be significantly cheaper.”

“I’m not concerned with the cost of keeping my child happy and safe.”

A painful twinge nagged at Sabine right beneath her sternum. She should be happy the father of her child was willing to lay out millions for the health and welfare of their child. But a part of her was jealous. He was always so quick to point out that this was about their son. Each time he mentioned it, it was like he was poking the gaping wound of her heart with a sharp stick. She would benefit from the arrangement, but none of this was about her. The sex didn’t change anything, just like it didn’t change anything three years ago. He was attracted to her, but she was not his priority and never was.

“Thank you,” she choked out. “I appreciate that you’re so willing to create a stable, safe home for our son. Let’s give it a week to sink in, all right? We’ve got a lot of hurdles to jump before we add real estate to the mix.”

Gavin eyed her for a moment before silently nodding. Sabine knew this was anything but a victory. She was only pushing off the inevitable. He would get his way eventually.

When Gavin arrived at Dr. Peterson’s office at 10:00 a.m. Monday morning, Sabine was already there. She was lost in a fashion magazine and didn’t notice him come in. “Morning,” he said.

Sabine looked up and gave him a watery smile. “Hey.” She looked a little out of sorts. Maybe she was nervous. Things would change after this and she probably knew it.

“Where’s Jared?” he asked.

The smile faded. She slung the magazine she’d been reading onto the seat beside her. “At school, where he belongs. I’m sorry to disappoint, but you’re stuck with me today.”

He’d screwed up last night, he could tell. Not in seducing her—that would never be a bad idea—but in forcing the idea of the apartment on her. Anyone else would jump at the offer, but to her, it was him imposing on her. Demanding they be closer so he could see his son more easily. Not once mentioning that he’d like her closer as well because that opened the door to dangerous territory.

Sabine was skittish. She scared off easily last time. He wasn’t about to tell her that he wanted to see her more because he was still fighting himself over the idea of it. He was usually pretty good at keeping his distance from people, but he’d already let Sabine in once. Keeping her out the second time was harder than he expected. Especially when he didn’t want to. He wanted her in his bed. Across from him at a nice restaurant. Certainly he could have that and not completely lose himself to her.

“That’s scarcely a hardship,” he said, seating himself in the empty chair beside her. “I find your company to be incredibly...stimulating.”

Sabine crossed her arms over her chest and smothered a snort of disbelief. “Well, you’ll be stimulating yourself from now on. Last night was—”

“Awesome?” he interjected. Their physical connection could never be anything less.

“Sometimes a mistake can be a happy accident. Like Jared, a happy accident.”

Her moss-green eyes narrowed at him. “And sometimes it’s just a mistake. Like sleeping with your ex when you’re in the middle of a custody negotiation.”

Gavin nodded and leaned into her, crossing his own arms. She really thought last night was a mistake? He hadn’t picked up on it at the time. She was probably just worried it would give him the upper hand somehow. Knowing just how to touch a woman was always an advantage, but he didn’t intend to use that knowledge against her. At least outside the bedroom.

“So I suppose you’ve got no business going to dinner with me tonight, either.”

Her gaze ran over his face, trying to read into his motives. “Listen, Gavin,” she started with a shake of her head. “I know I told you that I wanted you to put in quality time with Jared, but that doesn’t mean you have to come see him every day. I know you’ve got a company to run and a life in progress before all this came out. I only meant that you had to keep your promises and make an effort.”