“Memory” and “One” she would bet.
Someone picked up on the other end.
“Congratulate me. We are going to have a baby and Piper has agreed to marry me.” He smiled down at her while speaking into the phone.
Excited words in a definite masculine tone came through the headset, though they were too muffled to understand.
“Yes. I’ll call you with details tomorrow.”
Neo said something else.
“I will,” Zephyr replied. “Kalinichta.”
He hung up the phone.
“Neo?” she asked, just to be sure.
“Yes. He knew I was waiting for your phone call. He was concerned about me.” And even on the verge of making love to her, Zephyr thought to call his friend and settle his mind.
Maybe he’d wanted to share his news, too.
“You’re a special man, Zephyr Nikos. Is he happy for you?”
“For us both. He and Cass will take us out tomorrow to celebrate if you are willing.”
“Of course. Though I’ll have to work during the day. I’ve taken way more time off than I should have.”
“Do you think Brandi will relocate to the island with Cerulean Designs?”
“I’d like to ask her, but I don’t know if I can continue to pay her salary once I cut back on my client list.” Piper decided to begin undressing and remind Zephyr why he’d carried her in here to begin with. “I don’t want to work anywhere near full-time if I don’t have to.”
Chocolate-dark eyes ate her alive as she peeled off her comfort jeans and T-shirt. “I am very pleased to hear that. We will work something out regarding Brandi.”
“You mean you’re going to offer to pay her.” She paused in the act of unhooking her bra.
He could try to deny it, but she knew him. And his expression said he was already busy trying to come up with a compelling reason for doing so, given enough time.
“Why did you name your company Cerulean Designs?” he asked in an obvious bid to change the subject.
“Nice feint, but don’t think I’ve forgotten this discussion.”
“You haven’t forgotten we were about to make love, either, have you?”
“I’m not the one still completely dressed.”
“I can fix that quickly enough.”
Zephyr kicked off his designer loafers with two audible thumps as they landed somewhere on the carpet.
“After everything went down with my ex, I didn’t have a lot to smile about, much less laugh,” Piper said, answering his previous question. “I was watching a gay romance movie when the guy planning the wedding started yelling at his fabric supplier. The wedding planner was incensed that the supplier didn’t know what cerulean was, much less how to spell it. I realized I didn’t know what cerulean was, either, and I was an interior designer. I learned later it was the same shade of blue as my eyes, which I thought was sort of prophetic. Anyway, I started laughing at the movie, really amused, for the first time in too long. I named my company Cerulean Designs to remind myself that no matter what was going on in my life, there was always a reason to laugh.”
Zephyr stopped undressing and stared down at her. “That’s a great story.”
“It’s a good memory. It doesn’t hurt to have the everyday reminder that I don’t know all there is to know about design, either.”
“Keeping you humble and positive at the same time. That’s a lot of mileage for one business name.” He pulled off his unbuttoned shirt and suit jacket in one go.
“I’m already undressing.”
“I mean to answer a question.”
“Oh, okay. What?”
“Why Stamos and Nikos Enterprises as opposed to the other way around?”
“It was nothing so meaning-driven,” he said as he pushed his slacks and boxers down his legs with impatient speed.
“What was it?”
“We flipped a coin for it. Neo won the toss.”
She was still laughing when he came down over her completely, deliciously, wonderfully naked, and kissed the joy right from her lips. It tasted good, better than good—it was perfect.
“So, it doesn’t bother you that we’re getting married so close to you and Neo?” Piper asked Cass the next day when the other woman called to congratulate her.
“Not at all. I think it’s fantastic you two want to get married in Greece. As you know, we’re going to be there on our honeymoon, anyway.”
“Zephyr’s flying my parents and sibs to Athens for the ceremony.” She’d been happy when they had all promised to attend. Of course, a paid-for vacation to Greece was nothing to sneeze at. And didn’t that make her sound as cynical about money as her groom-to-be?