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Billionaires in Paris Cynthia Dane 2022/8/3 13:56:15

Even though the light is turning, I lean over to kiss her cheek. Take that, pap. We’re going to be so sweet that you want to vomit. Now, if he could pap our bedroom, that would be another issue entirely. “I didn’t catch it, sorry. Where do you want to go now?”

We’re still holding hands when we pass some lingerie boutique boasting the latest trends in turning men on. Based on how the mannequins are dressed, I’m gonna guess that they’re right on that pulse. Have I mentioned that we still haven’t had sex yet this vacation? If it’s not happening tonight, I’m going to have the bluest balls.

I must be radiating “fuck me now” gamma rays because Kathryn is pulling me into the lingerie boutique. Eat your heart out, pap!

We’re instantly swarmed by a team of saleswomen in this otherwise empty boutique. Two get their hands on Kathryn while I’m banished to some seats in the corner with all the shopping bags. While I wait for her to storm the lacy Bastille, I pull out my phone and find about five-hundred texts from my nosy mother. “How is Paris??” “It’s raining here. Is it raining there?” “I talked to Claire today. She’s such a nice girl. Do you know her?” “Tell Kathryn hi for me.” “Did you do it yet?”

That last one came in five minutes ago, which means it’s still early in the morning back home. My mother seriously thought that the moment she woke up to have her blueberry oatmeal and sweet tea? “What the hell are you talking about?” My mom and I have a cool relationship. I can say hell. “I know you’re not asking what I think you’re asking.”

“Grow up. You know what I’m talking about.” The icon that says she’s texting her fingers raw stays stagnant for a good twenty seconds of sheer agony on my part. Meanwhile, Kathryn is holding up a silky black number in front of me, and I’m trying not to think about my mother nosing into my sex life. Again. “Did you propose to her yet????”

Kathryn spins around after I groan in disbelief. “It’s nothing,” I tell her. “My father’s favorite stock is down. That’s all.” Sad thing is that it’s probably true.

She gives me one last lingering look before resuming her shopping. She mentions trying something on. It doesn’t sink in until she disappears into a changing room.

“No I have not. That is not happening.”

“Because it’s not. End of discussion. Have a good day.”

It’s not even eight in the morning on the eastern seaboard, and my mother is already finding ways to fuck with my day in Paris.

My mother has it in her head that I’m going to use this romantic trip to propose to my girlfriend, whom she adores. Great! Except I have no intention of proposing to Katie now or anytime soon. Not because I don’t want to eventually marry the love of my life, but because she’s made it pretty clear that we’re not doing the marriage thing anytime soon. Whenever it’s brought up, she nearly dies.

Then there was that time we kinda-sorta-did get married and annulled in one flashy week in Vegas. Not our brightest moment.

I think about that a lot. Like Katie, I was shocked when we woke up after a drunken night to discover we had gotten hitched. While we both agreed to get an annulment as soon as possible, it didn’t come without any strings attached. For one, I had to face the fact that I did want to be married to her. On sober terms, of course, but married nonetheless. Would be fine if she didn’t internally explode going to a friend’s wedding. Lingerie boutique? No problem. Bridal gallery? I can see her clawing her face off now.

I can bide my time, though. Marrying or not marrying aren’t deal breakers for me. I can wait until she’s ready, if ever. If she’s not? That doesn’t mean we don’t get to be together for the rest of our lives.

Aw, I’m getting warm fuzzies. The kind that are obliterated by my hot girlfriend emerging from a changing room wearing nothing but a black negligee. Does she want me to die?

“Well?” she asks, posing against the wall. “What do you think? Too much?”

“If you mean too much fabric, then yes.” I put my phone away. “Be careful. A man might want to gobble you up if he catches you wearing that thing.”

I’m not the only one around here who can wink. “Maybe that’s what I want, sir.”

She’s so perfect, so absurdly everything I want in a woman that I’m ready to get down on one knee right here. Can’t you imagine it? You’re a pap trolling the streets of Paris looking for the goods, and you stumble upon one of the richest heirs in America proposing to his ridiculously gorgeous girlfriend in a lingerie shop. Of course, she’s wearing nothing but the black of this fabric and the sweet white of her skin. It’s almost kinky.