Page 32

Billionaires in Paris Cynthia Dane 2022/8/3 13:56:22

I check my phone for messages while we’re waiting at a long light. Kathryn holds up my hand and kisses it, her eyes batting flirtatiously at me.

I smile, but don’t say anything. I want to see what she does.

“How about we go to Soleil for dinner?” She tucks my growing hair behind my ear. Her touch is light and firm at the same time. Confidence. She’s dripping in it right now. “I haven’t been there in a long time. Bet it’s as good as ever, though.”

“Sure.” I put my phone away. “Let’s go.”

The restaurant isn’t as fancy as the ones we’ve been dining at so far, but it’s still nice. Nice enough for us to grease some wheels so we can get a more private table. Kathryn looks through the menu with a set face. I open my mouth to order, but she cuts me off. Before I know it, she’s ordered for the both of us. I don’t even get to use my sweet French skills… yet somehow she’s ordered. In French.

“What?” she asks when I stare at her. Kathryn is not even semi-fluent in French. She’s been having me translate signs ever since we got here. “You think I can’t shop and order food in French? I know how to get by here. I simply can’t have invigorating conversations with the locals.”

I shrug. “Makes sense to me.”

“Besides, you’ll like it. You need to stop eating the same old thing.”

Kathryn spends most of our dinner talking about this and that. The Louvre. The city. The countryside. The work she has to get back to when we go home. I listen, patient, searching for cues. It’s not just her tone. It’s the words she uses. Of course she’s well educated, but she’s also naturally eloquent. There’s a reason she’s so successful in her charities – and in my line of work. Once we became a couple, Kathryn started doing more freelance work for my family’s company. The only reason she hasn’t taken a full-time position as a future Mathers is because she’s so dedicated to her nonprofit projects.

Look at my girlfriend. What other man can say that he has someone as amazing as her? She’s so damn beautiful. I know I shouldn’t talk about her appearance first, but I can’t help it. It’s the first thing you notice about her! How tall she is. How light she is on her feet. The way she carries herself. That stern look in her icy blue eyes. Her silky blond hair she only wears down when she’s at home or being exceptionally fancy. (It’s a privilege to see her hair down. I may or may not love pulling on it. Ahem.) Her sense of style cannot be beaten. Whether she’s wearing a silk blouse and pencil skirt or trousers and a leather jacket, she knows how to dress herself for any occasion – and I can never wait to rip off her clothes and see her gorgeous nudity beneath.

Don’t get me started on how great she looks and feels naked. She has the softest skin I’ve ever felt. My hands want to explore every inch of her body and make it mine. When we have sex, I swear I am entering another plane of existence based on how good she feels wrapped around various parts of my body.

Her scent. Her touch. The taste of her lips on mine. The taste of her other lips on mine. The sound of her voice on the phone when I haven’t heard from her in too long. (A day is too long.) I could be having the shittiest time in Mumbai, and hearing her voice when I get back to my hotel makes everything better. She could be talking about her period cramps and I’ll be over here giddier than a guy freshly minted in love.

She’s charming. She has a heart made of pure gold. My parents love her. Her father doesn’t mind me, as long as he doesn’t find out about what we’re doing in the bedroom. She’s the smartest woman I know. The funniest, too. I am game for proving my love to her over and over for the rest of my life. I want to be buried next to this woman. If we’re cremated, mix our ashes together. It’s the only way.

Why the fuck am I not giving her everything she deserves?

Kathryn gets up to use the restroom while we wait for our food. I take the opportunity to call my assistant back home. She answers right away.

“Valerie,” I say, making sure this is quick. If Kathryn catches me, I’m in deep trouble. “I need you to find out the number for Kathryn’s mother, Marilyn Alison. Don’t call my mother unless you absolutely have to. If you do call her, make sure she knows that this is something Kathryn can not know about except on my terms.”

“Not a problem.” Valerie scratches something on a pad. She has the heaviest hand I’ve ever heard. “I’ll let you know when I’ve got a lead. Do you want me to call her and arrange something?”