“I love it when you call me that.” He leans into my touch and closes his eyes.
“Yeah, you usually just call me by my name.”
“You’re a terms of endearment kind of guy, huh?” I stand on my toes and kiss his lips gently and his eyes warm up.
“I love it when you call me baby.”
Now his eyes light up like it’s Christmas.
“No one ever has before,” I whisper.
He sighs and hugs me close. “I forget how inexperienced you are when it comes to relationships.”
“Yeah, so cut me some slack. There has to be a learning curve.” I pinch his tight butt and he laughs.
“Okay, okay. Just do me a favor.” He face is serious again.
“No more single men. Please.”
I frown and want to argue with him.
“Please, Natalie. For me.”
“What if we have a chaperone?”
“Talk with me before you book another single man, and we’ll discuss it.
I don’t like feeling like this. I’m asking you to respect how I feel.”
Well, when he puts it like that.
“Okay, I’ll talk with you first.” It’s a concession, but I can’t help but think about what he said about love scenes and I know I’d go out of my mind with jealousy if I were in that position.
“Did you do any love scenes in your movies?” I ask and search his face.
“Why do you think there was a butt shot?” He grins down at me.
“I don’t ever want to see those movies, Luke.”
“Fine by me, baby.”
“So, I’m your girlfriend, huh?”
“Absolutely.” He kisses me deeply, and I grip onto his shoulders, pulling him down to me.
When he pulls back I can’t resist running my fingers through his hair.
“Okay, let’s go get lunch. Fighting with you makes me hungry.”
“You’re putting on some decent clothes first.”
I leave Luke with Jules in the kitchen and run upstairs to get dressed. I smirk at myself remembering the look of apprehension on Luke’s face when confronted with Jules, but she was cool as could be, and I’m relieved that her adolescent
concerned has subsided.
I throw on a pair of blue jeans that hug my ass, a green top and matching green heels. It may just be lunch, but I never get to wear my heels, and Luke’s tall enough that I could wear them all the time.
So I think I just might. He seems to like them.
I brush out my brown hair, leaving it loose so it frames my face, and apply some eyeliner and mascara.
I’m good to go.
I find Luke and Jules still in the kitchen, talking about all things cooking.
“I bake my bacon,” Luke is saying.
He’s standing with his back to me so he doesn’t see me enter the room. “That way there’s less mess on the stove top.”
“I don’t care how it’s cooked.” I wrap my arms around his middle and press my nose between his shoulder blades, breathing him in. He smells of clean fabric softener and body wash, and his shirt is soft against my face. “As long as it ends up in my mouth,” I mumble against him and I hear him chuckle.
He turns around to look at me and grins wide.
“You are gorgeous in green. It matches your eyes.” He runs his fingers down my face and I sigh.
“Thank you. Is this better than what I had on earlier?”
“Much. Do you have any more sessions today?”
“I have one tonight around eight.”
He frowns. “Why so late?”
“A lot of people work during the day, so I have to schedule evening sessions sometimes. It doesn’t happen often because I prefer using the natural daylight
“Who is it?” He eyes me speculatively and I sigh.
“Just a girl who wants some pretty photos for her husband for their anniversary.”
I run my hand through his hair. “Don’t worry, babe. There are no single men on my books right now.”
“Can you let me know when there are?” Jules pipes in quickly. “All this mushy stuff is reminding me how long it’s been since I got laid. Go to lunch.
Or get a room.”
We say our goodbyes and he holds the Mercedes SUV door open for me so I can climb in. When he’s behind the wheel he leans over the console and kisses me lightly.
“Where are we going?” I ask as he starts the car.
“How does seafood sound?”
“We live in Seattle. I think it’s a prerequisite to love seafood to live here.”
“Seafood it is, then.” He grips my hand in his and smiles over at me. “You look beautiful.”
“Thank you.” I feel my face flush and I look down at our joined hands. “You always look beautiful.”
He laughs and shakes his head. “It’s just genetics.”
“What did you do this morning?” I ask, changing the subject.
“I went to the gym and worked out with my trainer.”
“You have a trainer?” Of course he does.
“Yeah, he kicks my ass.” He grins at me, and I can’t help but grin back.
“How was yoga?”
“It was great. I love it. Have you ever tried it?”
“Not manly enough for you?” I roll my eyes.
“It’s not that, I just like a rigorous workout.”
“Go with me Wednesday morning.”
He frowns and eyes me speculatively.
“I’ll make you a deal.”
Uh oh, where is this going?
“What kind of deal?”
“I’ll go with you to yoga on Wednesday if you go to the gym with me tomorrow.”
I bite my lip and look out my window. I’m afraid of looking like a fool. I don’t have the tight, little body that most of the other women have in gyms. Yoga keeps me toned and flexible.
“You don’t have to go with me,” I whisper.
“Natalie, what did I say?”
“Nothing,” I can’t look him in the eye.
I hate feeling self-conscious, and I’m just now to the point of not feeling that way naked in front of Luke.
“Baby, what’s wrong?” He pulls into the parking lot of the restaurant and cuts the engine, turning toward me in his seat.
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