“Oh my God. Are you full of yourself or what?”
He sat and tugged on his socks. “Don’t worry, angel. I’ll give you more when I get home.”
“I want to throw something at you right now.”
Gideon was dressed in a flash, yet somehow looked so polished and perfect. That only soured my mood more.
“Stop scowling at me,” he chastised, bending to kiss the top of my head.
“It takes me forever to look as good as you do without trying,” I grumbled. “And you’re wearing my favorite tie.” It brought out the color of his eyes, made sure you didn’t see anything else but him and how gorgeous he was.
He smiled. “I know. When I get home, would you like me to fuck you while wearing it?”
I pictured it and my scowl faded. What would it be like if he just opened his fly and screwed me with one of his power suits on? Totally hot. In more ways than one.
“We sweat too much.” I pouted at the thought. “We’d ruin it.”
“I’ve got a dozen.” He straightened. “You’re staying home today, right?”
“Wait. You’ve got a dozen of those ties?”
“It’s your favorite,” he replied simply, as if that explained everything. Which I supposed it did. “Home, right?” he repeated.
“Yes, my mom will be here in a few hours and I have calls to make.”
He started toward the door. “Take a nap, grumpy angel. Dream about me.”
“Yeah, yeah,” I muttered, hugging a pillow and closing my eyes.
I dreamed of him. Of course.
“Most of the RSVPs have come in already,” my mom said, running her fingers over the trackpad on her laptop to show me a spreadsheet that made my eyes cross. “I didn’t expect so many guests would attend on such short notice.”
“That’s a good thing, right?” Honestly, I hadn’t a clue. I didn’t even fully know who all had been invited to the reception. I just knew it was Sunday evening, at one of Gideon’s hotels in the city.
We never would have gotten the space we needed otherwise. Scott never said so, but I had to think someone else’s event had gotten bumped at the last minute. And the number of rooms we’d reserved to accommodate my dad’s side of the family … I hadn’t considered any of that when I picked Gideon’s birthday as the date.
“Yes, it’s great.” My mom smiled at me, but it was a tight smile. She was stressed to the max and I felt bad about that, too.
“It’s going to be wonderful, Mom. Totally amazing. And we’re all going to be so happy, we won’t care if something goes wrong.” She flinched and I rushed on. “Which it won’t. All of the staff are going to make sure they do everything right. This is their boss’s big day.”
“Yes.” She nodded, looking relieved. “You’re right. They’ll want everything to be perfect.”
“And it will be.” How could it not? Gideon and I were already married, but celebrating his birthday was something we hadn’t done together yet. I couldn’t wait.
My smartphone chimed with a text message. I picked it up and read it, frowning. I reached for the TV remote.
“What is it?” my mom asked.
“I don’t know. Gideon wants me to turn the TV on.” My stomach tightened, worry crowding out the anticipation I’d just felt. How much more would we have to take?
I clicked on the channel he’d specified and recognized the set of a popular talk show. To my shock, Gideon was just settling into a chair at a table circled by the five female hosts—to applause, catcalls, and whistles. Think what they would about his fidelity, women couldn’t resist him. His charisma and sheer sexiness were a million times more potent in person.
“My God,” my mother breathed. “What is he doing?”
I turned up the volume.
As was to be expected, after congratulating him on our engagement, the hosts launched right into the topic of Rio and the infamous ménage à trois club photo. Of course, they made sure to point out that it couldn’t be shown on air because it was too risqué. But they directed viewers to the show’s website, which was highlighted on a banner that ran continuously along the bottom of the screen.
“Well, that’s subtle,” my mom snapped. “Why is he giving this any more attention?”
I hushed her. “He’s got a plan.” At least I hoped he did.
Holding a coffee mug branded with the show’s logo between both hands, Gideon looked thoughtful as the hosts all chimed in before letting him speak.
“Should we even be having bachelor and bachelorette parties anymore?” one of the hosts asked.
“Well, that’s one of the things I can clear up,” Gideon interjected, before they started debating that point. “Since Eva and I married last month and I’m no longer a bachelor, it couldn’t be a bachelor party.”
Behind them, on a massive video screen, the show’s logo gave way to a photo of Gideon kissing me after we’d said our vows.