Whoa. What? "Um, I don’t know." One is all I can handle at the moment. Besides, the right man would have to come along first.
"I've always wanted two boys," he continues. "If I have a girl, she'll have me wrapped around her finger so bad." He lifts his pinky into the air and smiles.
I'm unsure how to respond, so I continue watching Max splash. After soaping up all his bits and parts, Pace lifts him, dripping wet from the tub and carries him in a towel to the bed. There I diaper and dress him in the footie-pajamas Pace has gathered. Pace lends a hand as needed, but seems to understand that even though I'm functioning with one arm, I'm not ready to give up complete control.
"Damn, I need a pair of these," Paces says, admiring the footie-pajamas.
My giggle bursts from my mouth uninvited. Just picturing Pace wearing a one-piece pajama outfit has me in stitches. "Sorry." I hold up one hand, trying to regain my composure.
"What? You don't think I could pull off footie-pajamas?" His trademark lopsided grin tugs at something inside me. Oh God, this man is trouble.
Since Max is already yawning and tugging at his ears, I decide to go ahead and tuck him into bed early.
I lay beside him in Pace's big bed and read him the books we've packed. Pace sits at the edge the bed and watches me. Max begins drifting off on my second read through of Goodnight Moon. We say goodnight to a bowl full of mush, and a quiet old lady whispering hush, and I repeat again and again, goodnight moon until he's sound asleep.
Pace's gaze hasn't strayed from me. I could feel him watching me all through the story, and I'm unsure what it means.
With Max resting quietly between us, Pace and I, as if by silent agreement, each lay down too.
I feel warm and content, laying here with this man and my child. Pace's eyes linger on mine.
We're separated by a sleeping baby, with a good three feet of distance between us, yet somehow I've never felt closer to someone. I decide that tonight I will be bold, and if something happens between us, then I'm ready.
"Goodnight, moon," I whisper to Pace, setting the book down beside us.
"I'm not ready for the night to end yet," he says and the butterflies in my belly take flight.
Kylie and I lay there quietly, listening to the soft sucking noises Max makes in his sleep with his pacifier. Lying here with her son between us is much more intimate than any date I've been on. We're growing close. All three of us. I know in this moment that none of the shit I've done—the thrills I've sought, the pleasure I've chased after—has brought me as much joy as being here with her does.
This is true intimacy. I might be one of the more experienced men on the planet, considering I've had more sexual partners than I can count, have tried pretty much everything you could dream up and yet, this is by far, the most sensual moment I've shared with a woman.
She doesn’t need me, doesn’t need taking care of, and that only makes me want to care for her more. She's the complete opposite of the desperate, clingy women I'm used to.
I watch the pulse thrum in her neck, and I can feel the warmth of not one, but two little bodies next to me, two bodies I want to protect and provide for. I've never felt this way about anyone or anything. I've thought about kids before, but I never imagined it could be like this, that it could stir up so much emotion and longing in me. She’s so capable and self-sufficient, what can I really offer her that she can’t provide herself? Pleasure. I can give her pleasure like she’s never experienced… I just need for her to give me a shot…
I remember back to that kiss we shared on her couch. The little sound of pleasure she made when my mouth took hers just about undid me. It was as though she'd been starved for affection. I wanted to give her whatever she wanted. I still do. Sexual tension is thick in the air around us—it has been all day—only neither of us has acknowledged it.
I watch her in the fading light, noticing the way her hair curls softly on my pillow and the way her eyelashes flutter when she blinks. She is mesmerizing.
"You miss it, don't you?" I ask.
"What?" she whispers.
"Sex. Being with a man."
She swallows abruptly, her gaze falling from mine. But she doesn't answer, so I press on.
"Feeling him fill that place deep inside of you. The brush of his lips against yours. That perfect moment when he enters you and steals your breath."
"You're the one who straddled me like you wanted a good, hard ride. I'm just thinking maybe I could help you out in that area."
"How generous of you." Her tone is sarcastic, but her lips are curved into a grin. "What are you suggesting?" she asks, the pulse in her neck gaining speed.
"You know how I feel, Kylie." My eyes lock on hers and I wait, letting the moment build.
Her breathing grows fast, but she's still and quiet. "What about Max?" We both look down at the little one sleeping soundly between us.
"Come with me." My voice comes out rougher than I intend, and filled with need.
We rise quietly from the bed, and I'm debating where to take her. The living room is out. We need a door—with a lock. I briefly consider the bathroom—or more specifically, the shower, then decide I need more room to maneuver than that.
I lead her into my office and shut and lock the door behind us. When I turn to face Kylie, she's trembling all over. I stalk closer, pushing her back up against the door and lean in to inhale her scent. Warm vanilla, along with traces of baby boy. If I weren't so damn aroused, I'd laugh.
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