“You know you can’t pick up and leave Austin, right?” she asked. “And now that you actually bought me a store, I can’t leave Ludwig.”
“Yeah, didn’t really think that through properly.”
She laughed and playfully slapped my chest. “So what do we do, Sabbatical?”
“We go to sleep, wake up, have some more sex, make breakfast, then more sex,” I replied. “Then we think about it.”
She laughed and lay back against me. “I can get on board with that.”
We spent a few more minutes in silence before I felt my eyes grow heavy and lids fall.
She hesitated, then said, “Martha was talking to me a few weeks back, and she said something I never thought would register with me. Do you believe in fate?”
I smiled. “I believe my Chevy picked a really good place to break down in,” I said.
“So just coincidence?”
“Fate or coincidence, I don’t think it matters,” I said. “What matters is that we’re here. How it happened is a story we’ll tell our friends and family over dinner.”
She sighed and shifted to a more comfortable position. “You really fell for me, didn’t you, playboy.”
I didn’t reply, only squeezed her tighter and kissed the top of her head. But she was right. I did fall for her, and at that moment, I couldn’t imagine anything in the world that would have felt any better.
Okay, seriously, Chance, out!”
I couldn’t stop laughing. Her face was flushed, her hair tied back in a high ponytail, and her shirt caked with soil. She had just spent the last three hours moving plants around in the greenhouse, readying to transport a bulk to the shop, and I was obviously getting her way.
I had made my visits to Ludwig a ritual. Every weekend I would make the drive here, always in the Chevy, and every two months I’d free up my schedule so that I could spend at least a week with Ashlyn. For the past three months, that had worked perfectly fine until just a few days ago, when I couldn’t stand being in a different city anymore, and had come in hopes of swaying her to move back with me.
Ashlyn wasn’t easy to sway, though. Ever since I had bought her that shop, she had taken to the work like a pro. What she had once done all alone, she now had two full-time employees to help her with. She had ev
en given the whole delivery idea a go, and business had boomed within weeks. She was taking orders from almost every surrounding town, and sometimes even on the outskirts of Houston itself.
I had set her up with some of the best tracking and operation software my company had created, and fortunately, it had helped. The only problem was, Ashlyn was so high on her recent success, I knew that the request she drop everything and move to Austin was going to be met with quite some resistance. Besides, the business part of me couldn’t even fathom why I would want to do this to her.
It didn’t stop me from constantly shadowing her for the past two days, and with a major order from Houston just days away, she was slowly losing her patience with me.
“This isn’t funny,” she said, glaring at me. “I have work to do. Some of us don’t own a multi-billion-dollar business with troops to run it when we’re not around.”
“Ouch,” I said, placing my hand over my heart in mock hurt. “That really hit home, Ashlyn.”
“Get out, Chance,” she said, holding a small spade up and pointing it at me. “Or so help me God.”
“Fine, fine,” I laughed. “I’ll wait in your house.”
“Hey, hang on,” she said. She came to me with her arms out and wrapped them around my neck. She kissed me softly on the lips and pressed her forehead to mine. “I love you, Chance Ridder. And thank you for everything.”
“You’re quite welcome,” I stared, staring into her eyes. “Anything else?”
“No, you can go,” she said, whispering in my ear “Just wait for me inside.”