Kylie's look is pure disgust. She smacks me in the face with a toss pillow. "You pig."
"I told you I'd always be honest with you."
Her look softens. "Yes, that's true. Actually, I appreciate that."
"Good. And seriously, you have nothing to be embarrassed about. You're smoking hot—I almost fucking came in my pants watching you."
Her eyes drift down, and I know she can see I'm still hard. Yeah, I'll be dealing with the beast later. He behaved himself today and deserves to be rewarded. But I'll worry about that later. Kylie's son is here, and the first time we're together, I'll make sure we have complete privacy.
"How long does the little guy sleep?" I ask.
"Usually an hour or two."
"Nice." I kick my feet up on the ottoman in front of the couch and lean back, tugging Kylie against me. She curls into my side and exhales softly.
We sit in comfortable silence for several minutes, and thankfully the erection from hell fades.
"Max had a blast with you today. What are you doing next weekend?" She laughs uneasily.
Little does she know I'd happily repeat this entire day. Then I remember the plans I'd tentatively made with some college buddies.
"I might check out a music festival down in San Diego with some friends. Borrow Colton's jet while he's away. You should come," I say.
Kylie stiffens and then pulls away from me. When I meet her eyes, they are filled with sadness and distrust.
What the hell?
It's been an amazing afternoon with Pace. I'd let my guard down completely. And with one little innocuous statement, my bubble is burst. I can't just jet off for the weekend. He and I lead very different lives. And this time around, I won't ignore the warning signs and try to make us into something we can never be. I'd be a fool to believe that weekends at home with a crying baby and cold grilled cheese sandwiches would be enough for a man like Pace. I'd made that mistake once with Max's father—put my heart on the line—only to have it crushed when he left. I can't go through that again. Won't.
Pace is looking at me like he's confused. He has no idea what changed between us in the span of ten minutes—in between me grinding up and down against his rather impressive erection, and then me being forced back into the reality of our very different lives.
"Kylie?" He sits up straight and reaches for me.
I shake my head. I won't explain my sudden change of heart to him, because he'll only try to rationalize it away. He'll say it doesn’t matter, that he doesn’t mind canceling his weekend plans, and then three years from now, he'll resent me for trying to control him. I like my life—I'm fine with my simple weekends at home with Max, but I know that won't be enough for a man like Pace. He looks like he fell out of the pages of a J. Crew catalog—he's effortlessly sexy and cool, and of course he's flying a bunch of friends in a private jet to catch some band I've never even heard of. It'll always be that way. There's just too much distance between us. His family is insanely wealthy and are used to getting whatever they want. I'll be celebrating my thirtieth birthday this year, and he's just twenty-five, with a perfectly fit body, six-pack abs and a gleaming, white smile. He and I come from different worlds. And while it's sweet of him to try, and I feel incredibly flattered by his attention, I know it'd never work in the long run. Best to put a stop to it now.
"I think it's time for you to go, Pace." I rise to my feet, and I watch as his expression hardens. As much as it hurts my heart to walk away now, it'd be a thousand times worse once Max and I are attached.
He reaches out for me, cupping his palm on my cheek. "Hang on a second. What happened there?"
Damn. I draw in a deep, steadying breath. He's not going to drop it until I explain myself. "You're nice, and you're sweet to come here and hang out with us today, but I think we both know this would never work out anyhow."
"I don't know that." His thumb skitters back and forth slowly across my skin and little tingles of pleasure from the simple touch remind me how very long it's been since I've been so tenderly touched. Focus, Kylie.
I say the one and only thing I know he cannot argue with. "I'm just not ready."
He rises to his feet and watches me. The pulse in his neck is jumping, and his hands are clenched into tight fists. He looks like he wants to argue with me, but something stops him.
"It was sweet of you to come over and bring Max a gift today, but this isn't going anywhere."
Pace looks dejected. He reaches into his pocket and places a business card in my hand. "If you need anything while Colton and Sophie are out of town, call me."
Pace leaves and since Max is still asleep, I head to my room and fall heavily onto the bed, curl into a ball, and cry.
I cry for my lonely heart, I cry for my fatherless son, I cry because I just kicked a beautiful, thoughtful man out of my house, and I hate myself for it. I wish that he would have fought for me. But why would he? With each encounter we've had, I've ended it by telling him that we'd never work. He was bound to start believing me sooner or later, and maybe this time it stuck.
When I go out on a date again, it'll be with someone who's looking for a serious commitment. I’ve been down the seemingly reformed player road before, and we all know how that turned out. And Elan’s manwhore-like past had been much further behind him than Pace's. But when I found out I was pregnant, he left. He left me and the little body growing inside me without so much as a backward glance.
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