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Billionaires in Paris Cynthia Dane 2022/8/3 13:56:23

Taste buds riot in my mouth as I make my purchase. The shopkeeper asks if I would like to use the bag now or if she should wrap it up. She asks me this no fewer than three times as I’m lost in space. Finally, I tell her to wrap it up. Ian steps forward and plucks the Chanel shopping bag off the counter. Normally he waits until I’m loaded up with bags before offering to carry any.

This is going to be a long and weird day, isn’t it?

Every woman deserves a man who is not only going to make her feel like a queen, but will happily follow her around Paris as she buys up every single store she comes across.

Now, don’t think I’m so selfish that I’m not looking out for him. I’ve already bought him two shirts and a new tie collection that is going to look so good on him I’ll be beating back every woman who crosses his path. He spent all morning talking about how he was going to spoil me? Turns out I’m the one spoiling him as usual.

Oh, I know how it goes. Women aren’t supposed to spend money on their men – especially if those men technically have and make more money than said girlfriends.

That’s such bullshit, of course. If a woman wants to spend money on her man, she should! How many times has Ian casually spent thousands of dollars on me as if it’s nothing? A scarf here. Shoes there. Watches and jewelry and hairpins galore. He has this habit of picking me up gold and gem-studded hairpins whenever he travels around the world without me. It never stops me from buying him gifts when I’m alone too, but it’s a completely different energy when we’re together.

You can see it in the shopkeeper’s eyes. Why am I buying things for my boyfriend? He looks perfectly capable of buying his own goodies. We approach the register, and even though I’m the one opening my purse and pulling out my (Chanel, oops) wallet, everyone turns to Ian, expecting him to pay. More than once he politely gestures to me while waiting for the bag to appear in front of us. Never says a word.

I reach pinnacle spoiling girlfriend in the Dior boutique.

“Try this.” I hold out a cologne tester. “It’s got musk in it. That means it has your name all over it.”

I wait for him to make a crack about me jumping his bones if he wore it. Ian definitely prefers heavy scents, and this one is a bit on the citrus side. Even so, I immediately thought of him when I sniffed it. This beats the sandalwood cologne I got him weeks ago!

My shopping bags touch the floor before Ian takes the tester from me. One dab to his wrist later, I’m in love. Again. I mean I fell in love with him again. He takes a sniff, of course, but I can’t judge from his face if he likes it or not.

“If you like it, I’ll wear it.”

“Come on, now. What’s your opinion?”

“I certainly don’t hate it. That said, I’ll wear it for you.” His soft smile makes me melt inside. Maybe I like this underappreciated side of Ian after all. “I’ll think of you whenever I wear it. Thinking of you is never a bad thing. I could wear it when we’re apart, too. That way I will always think of the greatest woman I know.”

We sit in the nearby park, watching tourists and couples alike mill about, lost in their own worlds. My arm rests behind my boyfriend. For the first time in a long time, I sense a contentment that I haven’t felt since…

My heart skips a beat.

The sun blinds me, but I can’t bring myself to pull my sunglasses down. Lumps form in my throat. I remember the last time I spoiled a man like I spoiled Ian today.

Martin. I took him shopping in New York. Bought him cologne and half a new wardrobe. “Thank you, ma’am. This is wonderful, ma’am.” Always so appreciative. When we broke up, he gave away most of those items, which isn’t an uncommon thing in our world. Female subs do it all the time when they break up with their Doms.

The tips of my fingernails play with the back of Ian’s head. He needs a haircut, but I don’t mind seeing him shaggier than usual.

“Are you enjoying yourself today?” The waters I test right now almost feel unreal. Am I really wading into them? Is this really happening?

His usual playful demeanor still lurks behind those hazel eyes. I will forever thank his parents for giving him such beautiful eyes. As I become lost in them, Ian says, “I always enjoy myself whenever I’m with you. The happier you are, the more content I become.”

This is so unlike him, and yet I can’t help but be drawn into how he fills an old role I so desperately need filled.

“I’m happy right now. Happy in ways I didn’t think possible.” My nail touches the softness of his cheek. “You knew that, didn’t you?”