The employees within earshot smiled, some laughed, and some even returned the compliment.
By the time he led Piper into their apartment a few hours later, an unfamiliar warmth suffused Zephyr’s being.
“That was so nice of them,” she said as she kicked off her wedding-white shoes.
“Neo was as surprised as I was.”
“You had no idea they were planning anything?”
“None at all.”
“Cass was shocked Neo’s PA was in on it. She thought Ms. Parks hated her.”
“I’ve often wondered if Ms. Parks is even human, but hate Cass? Who could? She’s almost as sweet as you.”
“You’re being sappy again.” Piper removed the short veil and tossed it toward the sofa. “I like it.”
“And I like the idea of finding out what is underneath your wedding gown.”
“Dress…it’s a wedding dress. My wedding gown is ten times fancier. I feel like a modern-day royal in it.”
“What was the name of the gown’s designer again?”
“I didn’t tell you and I’m not about to.” She walked right into his arms. “I know you’d try to look it up on the designer’s Web site.”
“Smart, too.” He cuddled her close. “Is it any wonder I wanted you for the mother of my children?”
“It’s a good thing I got pregnant unexpectedly then, isn’t it? You weren’t going to do a thing about it.” There was something in her tone he could not quite place.
“You know why.”
“Yes, but I think we’re both getting the long end of the stick on this marriage.”
The relief he felt when she said that was all out of proportion.
“Even though I don’t…” He didn’t finish the thought, curiously unwilling to speak the words denying his love aloud.
So much for his vaunted honesty.
She shook her head, putting her hand up as if she would stop the words from coming out. “Don’t say it. Not today. Not right now. I do and that’s all that matters this minute.”
It was not that easy. He knew it, but he could not deny her. “I need you.” That had to be enough.
“Yes.” With a flirtatious smile that masked something deeper, she put her hands behind her back. “More than you’ve ever wanted any other woman.” Then he heard the sound of a zipper lowering.
His entire being took notice of that tantalizing sound. “In every way, you are unique in my life.” That truth was one he could give her without apology.
“That is enough,” she said as if she’d read his mind earlier.
“Yes,” she said fiercely. “Isn’t it?” she almost demanded.
He nodded, unable to do anything but agree. “Yes. Enough. We are good together.”
She did a little shimmy with her torso and her dress loosened. “We are great together.” The white chiffon slid forward and down her arms. As it fell, it revealed the top of a baby-blue corselet that pushed her delicious breasts into mouthwatering prominence.
“In every way.”
She smiled that enigmatic smile women had been using on men since time immemorial and shifted her body just so. Air whooshed out of his lungs as the dress fell in a puddle of demure white chiffon at her feet, uncovering the rest of her scandalous unmentionables. The strapless corselet stopped just shy of her hips, leaving the tiny blue satin triangle of the thong she wore below it completely exposed. Her sheer stockings were held up midthigh with matching garters.
She turned in a slow circle, giving him a delectable view of her bare backside framed by the thin strings of her thong, tied together in a perfect little bow right in the center. Looking back over her shoulder, she winked and blew him a provoking kiss.
“You’re an agent provocateur.”
She gave that perfect peach of a bottom a little wiggle. “I try.”
Once she was again facing him, she struck a pose that would have made a 1940s film vamp proud. “You like?”
“I—” His voice broke off in an embarrassing sound he refused to call a squeak. He cleared his throat. “I adore. Yineka mou, you are my favorite fantasy come to life.”
“You’ve got a thing for pregnant women in sexy lingerie?”
“I’ve got a thing for you looking like a perfectly wrapped gift just waiting to be opened.”
“You do seem to enjoy unwrapping me.”
“I would have to be insane not to.”
She sighed happily and licked her lips in what he would swear was an unconscious motion, despite her obvious attempt to provoke, and that just made the action all the more maddening. “I’m not a supermodel, Zee, but you have a way of making me feel like I could be.”