I tugged at the bandeau top of the emerald green swimsuit Gideon had picked up in the lobby shop, then tried to rearrange the fit of the bottom.
He appeared behind me, looking sexy and yummy in a pair of black board shorts. His arms came around me from behind, hefting the weight of my breasts in his palms. “You look amazing. I want to peel this off you with my teeth.”
“Do it.” Why go to the beach? We’d been to the beach last weekend.
“Do you still want pictures of us here?” His gaze met mine in the mirror. “If not, I’m good with tossing you back in the bed and having my way with you again.”
I chewed my lower lip, debating.
He pulled me back against him. Without my heels on, he could set his chin on the crown of my head. “Can’t decide? Okay, we’ll go down to the beach, just so you don’t regret not going later. Thirty minutes … an hour … then we’ll come back up until we have to leave.”
I melted. He was always thinking about me and what I needed. “I love you so much.”
The look that came over his face nearly stopped my heart. “You believe me,” he whispered. “Always.”
Turning my head, I pressed my cheek against his chest. “Always.”
“It’s a beautiful picture,” my mother whispered, keeping her voice down because the guys were all sleeping. The jet’s cabin lights were dimmed, the men all reclined in their seats. “I just wish it didn’t show so much of your derriere.”
I smiled, my gaze on the tablet in her hand. Vientos Cruzados Barra had photographers on staff to cover the many events, conventions, and weddings that took place on the beautiful property. Gideon had arranged for one to photograph us on the beach, having them shoot from a distance so that I wasn’t even aware.
The previously released photos of us in Westport had Gideon pinning me beneath him with the surf lapping at our legs. The new photos were of us in the sun, with him sprawled on his back and me lying atop him, my arms crossed over his abs and my chin on my hands. We were talking, my gaze on his face as he looked at me and ran his fingers through my hair. Yes, the Brazilian cut of my bikini meant my ass was on display, but what really stood out was the intensity of Gideon’s focus on me and the easy, comfortable familiarity between us.
My mom looked at me. There was a sadness in her eyes I couldn’t understand. “I had hoped you two would have a quiet, normal life. But the world isn’t going to let that happen.”
The photo had gone viral shortly after it was posted to a media site. Speculation was rampant. How could I be with Gideon in Rio and be okay with him fucking two other women? Was our sex life that kinky? Or maybe it wasn’t Gideon Cross in the photo at the club.
Before he’d fallen asleep, Gideon had told me his public relations team was working around the clock, fielding calls and managing his social media. As of today, the official answers were simply to confirm that I had been in Rio with Gideon. He said he’d handle the rest personally when he got home, although he was cagey about how he was going to do that.
“You’re being secretive,” I’d accused, without heat.
“For now,” he had agreed with a faint smile.
I put my hand over my mom’s. “It’s going to be okay. We won’t always be so interesting to people. And we’re going away for a month after the wedding. That’s nearly a lifetime with no news about us. The media will move on.”
“I hope so,” she sighed. “You’re getting married on Saturday. I can’t believe it. There’s still so much to do.”
Saturday. Only a handful of days away. I didn’t think it was possible for Gideon and me to feel any more married than we already did, but it would be nice to say our vows with our families watching.
“Why don’t you come over to the penthouse tomorrow?” I suggested. “I would love for you to see it and we can discuss everything that still needs to be decided. We’ll have lunch in and just hang out.”
Her face brightened. “What a wonderful idea! I would love that, Eva.”
Leaning over the armrests, I kissed her cheek. “Me, too.”
“You’re not even going to take a nap?” I watched, astonished, as Gideon shifted through his closet.
He was wearing only boxer briefs, his hair towel-dried after the shower he’d taken the moment we got home. I was on the bed, feeling exhausted and wrung out even though I’d slept on the plane.
“It’ll be a short day,” he said, pulling out a dark gray suit. “I’ll be home early.”
“You’re going to catch a cold if you don’t get enough sleep. I don’t want you sick at our wedding or on our honeymoon.”
He pulled the blue tie I loved off his tie rack. “I’m not going to get sick.”
I looked at the clock on his nightstand. “It’s not even seven! You never go to work this early.”
“I have things to do.” He buttoned his shirt quickly. “Stop nagging me.”
“I am not nagging.”
He shot me an amused look. “Didn’t you get enough of me yesterday?”