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His Lover's Little Secret Andrea Laurence 2022/8/3 13:54:40

“Yes, that viciously dangerous Upper West Side,” Sabine said with a smile. “I actually read that the Village has one of the higher crime rates, but you seemed okay with that.”

“Okay, fine, no brownstones.” The two women exchanged knowing looks and shrugged.

They placed their orders and continued chatting easily during the meal. Given they actually got as far as having food on the table, this was their most successful dinner yet. At this point, Gavin was thinking of opening a door to a line of conversation he was extremely interested in. He hadn’t brought it up to Sabine—she would likely shoot him down—but with Will and Adrienne as backup, he might be successful.

“So, are you guys planning to take any romantic prebaby vacations sometime soon?”

The couple looked at each other. “That’s not a bad idea,” Will said. “We honestly haven’t given it much thought. It really will be a challenge to travel with little ones. Honey,” he said, turning to Adrienne, “we should definitely do something. Let’s go somewhere glamorous and decidedly un-kid-friendly to celebrate. We’re going to be making pilgrimages to the Mouse from now on, so we need to enjoy an adult vacation while we can.”

“You really should,” Sabine echoed. “That escape to your place in the Hamptons this summer was the only vacation I’ve taken since Jared was born. You should take the time to pamper yourself now. The spring lines are almost finished for Fashion Week. You should definitely go somewhere after the show.”

Gavin perked up at her words. That was exactly what he was hoping to hear. “You’ve only had one vacation in two years?”

“More than that, really,” she admitted. “Since I had Jared, I haven’t had the time. Before I had Jared, I didn’t have the money. Adrienne twisted my arm into going this summer. Prior to that, the last real vacation I took was my senior trip to Disney World in high school.”

“That hardly counts,” Will pointed out.

“Yes,” Adrienne agreed. “You need a vacation as badly as I do. Maybe more. Thank goodness I got you to come to the beach house. I had no idea you were so vacation-deprived.”

“I save all my hours in case Jared gets sick. And I don’t have anyone to watch him while I’m gone. Tina had him over the Fourth of July trip, but I think that was too much for her. I couldn’t ask her to do it again.”

“You wouldn’t have to,” Gavin said.

“Are you offering to watch him while I go on vacation?” she challenged with a smile.

Sabine was gripping the handles of Jared’s stroller as she shot him a glance that told him he was incorrect. She wasn’t impolite enough to say that in front of the Realtor, though.

They were in the seventh apartment of the day. They had crisscrossed Manhattan, looking at places uptown, downtown, east and west. This last apartment, in midtown, had three spacious bedrooms, a large kitchen, a balcony and a spa tub in the master bath. And of course, it did not impress her nearly as much as some of the others. Unfortunately, it was the closest of all the apartments to his own place.

She favored the West Village, and there was no convincing her otherwise.

“This is probably a no,” he said. “And I think we’re done for the day. The kid is getting tired.” That was an understatement. He’d been conked out in his stroller since they arrived at this building.

“I really do like the one in the Village. I just want to know what all my options are before we spend that much. It’s more than we need, really.”

The woman sighed and closed her leather portfolio. “I’ll keep looking and contact you next week with a list of other options. I worry you might lose out on that place if you don’t put an offer in soon.”

The Realtor was eyeing him from the other room. She was far too eager to push him into an expensive sale, and he wouldn’t be rushed. Sabine would have what she wanted, and for the price he was willing to pay, this lady needed to find it for them.

“There are two million apartments in Manhattan,” Gavin said. “We’ll find another one if we have to.”

They were escorted out of the apartment and downstairs. After they parted ways with the Realtor, they started strolling down the block. The street sounds roused Jared from his nap just as they neared Bryant Park.

“Could we take Jared over to the carousel? He loves that.”

They took Jared for a spin on the carousel and then settled onto a bench to enjoy the nice afternoon. Gavin went to buy them both a drink, and when he returned, Jared was playing with another child who’d brought bubbles to the park.