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Billionaires in Paris Cynthia Dane 2022/8/3 13:56:20

We’ve reached this impasse once again. It happens every time the marriage talk comes up. I’d rather talk about kids than this shit.

“One of these days you’ll have to explain that to me again.” Ian pulls out his phone. “I’m going to step out and return a call.”

That’s code for “let’s take a break for a few hours.” It’s better than fighting. Not that I feel good knowing that we were on the verge of a fight. The only thing making me feel any kind of chipper is knowing he’s off to call his mother. Have fun with that, Ian. I’m going back upstairs and decompressing with one of the only things that soothes my soul.

No, not chocolate. No, not porn. Although I’ll give you a hint: it’s closer to one of those things than the other.

“Of course I don’t actually think you’re engaged,” my mother backtracks. It’s the middle of the night back home, but she had no problem calling me forty-eight times in the past two hours. Seemed fair to harass her back. “I’m not foolish enough to hold out hope like that.”

“After what happened in Las Vegas, I’m ready for you two to have a nice long think about your relationship.”

“That was the other reason I knew something was bullshit. You think I don’t recognize that ring? Her grandmother used to wear it a lot, and I saw it at the clubs when Marilyn used to live here. I’m not dumb. If I had an heirloom like that I would’ve given it to you a long time ago.”

“I doubt I would’ve worn it and gotten papped with it on, though.”

“Besides, that thing is so garish. Olive Chambers had the tackiest taste. When I first married your father, I had the great displeasure of seeing Olive and that gaudy thing everywhere. You would think they would’ve buried it with her…”

My brain checks out. I’m sitting on a bench along a walkway, looking toward the Eiffel Tower and watching the sun continue to rise. I don’t feel great about walking out on Kathryn during breakfast. I need some space, though. Some time to think. Some time to call my mother and listen to her rant about how tacky grandma Olive Chambers was. If I had stayed behind, I would’ve said something stupid and regrettable. At least now I know when that moment is about to happen and I can walk away.

“You need to get Kathryn a simple and classy ring, but not as boring as that gold band. Get her something with embedded diamonds. Give her a little pizzazz while staying in her tastes. If you’re going to make her a Mathers one day, it has to be done on her terms.”

She manages to be both totally off the mark and absolutely right. She’s right that it would have to be on Kathryn’s terms. She’s wrong that I could ever “make her a Mathers.” The only way Kathryn would take my last name is if someone held a gun to her head at the courthouse. Even then, I’m not sure. Being buried as Kathryn Alison might be more important than being alive.

Sometimes I think I’ll change my damn name to make a point, but then I think of the crazy fallout that would ensue. Then I get even more tempted to do it, because who doesn’t like some crazy fallout once in a while?

“As I’ve said before, Mom, if we ever get engaged, you will be the very first to know. Only on the grounds that you don’t go blabbing it until we’ve had the time to introduce it to the world on our terms, however.”

I don’t think she’s heard me. I need to hang up anyway so she can go to bed… and so I can get back to the hotel.

There’s a text from Kathryn saying she went back to our room to take a nap. Sure enough, I find her, still dressed, spread out on the bed and snoozing with her back to me. She’s left her phone on my side of the bed.

I pick it up to move it. The screen lights up with the last thing she was looking at. Either she’s disabled the lock (not likely) or she just fell asleep before I came up here.

Suffice to say, I’m not expecting what I see.

I should expect it. I should know her so well by now that there’s nothing else she could possibly be looking at when she’s dealing with shit. While I like to think I’m a pretty damn good Dom, there are some things I’ll never be able to help my sub with during a scene. Last night, Kathryn was so happy that I actually worried that she would Drop. Maybe she is Dropping. She’s been moody ever since we woke up (although I attribute that to paps being paps.)