When he finally was able to return home, he’d embraced his baby son happily swinging in his bouncy chair, who had no idea of the tragedy that had nearly taken his parents’ lives. Vin had kissed his son’s downy head, kissed his wife’s lips, then gone straight to the study and thrown the signed postnuptial agreement into the fire.
He’d also ripped up the villa’s lease to the movie star. The man had immediately threatened to sue, but Vin had solved the problem by paying for him to stay three months at a fancy hotel, and the actor quit complaining.
“Room service,” Vin explained succinctly.
Vin had also insisted on paying for his sister to have a second honeymoon. It was the least he could do, he said, after ruining her wedding reception. After the young couple had returned from Tahiti, while Giuseppe and Joanne were visiting their grandson for a week, they had the whole family together for dinners and game nights.
Eventually, when Vin’s wounds had healed and Scarlett felt ready, they had a farewell party to say ciao to Rome. They packed up what they needed most and took the train to London and, from there, a luxurious ocean liner to New York.
Scarlett had felt guilty about the six-day voyage—so much longer than a transatlantic flight—but her husband hadn’t grumbled once. In fact, he’d claimed he enjoyed the vacation, and the chance to dance with his wife every night on the dance floor while Mrs. Stone kept a close eye on Nico in their lavish suite.
“In fact, I might consider a fleet of ships for my next SkyWorld expansion,” he’d told Scarlett, waggling his eyebrows. She still wasn’t sure if he’d been serious.
The two of them had agreed to compromise, and split their time between Rome and New York. But since they’d moved to Manhattan, Scarlett had found to her surprise that she’d come to love this rough-and-tumble city, too. Next week, when they returned to Rome, she might even miss New York. Living in their delightful two-story penthouse with a view of Central Park—which she’d decorated to be homey and comfortable—meant she often passed St. Swithun’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue.
“The place you decided to marry me,” she liked to tease Vin, “in the middle of your wedding to someone else.”
He grinned. “Bella, I know a good thing when I see her.”
“I love you,” she said.
“I love you more,” he said seriously.
Which of them loved the other one more was, of course, not their only quarrel. They were human, after all. Sometimes Vin worked too much, or Scarlett fretted about their perfectly happy baby, who could now sit on his own and loved to giggle and was starting to talk. But even during their rare arguments, Vin would claim that Scarlett was perfect, the most wonderful woman in the world. It irritated her to no end. How could she properly fight with a man who continually insisted she was perfect?
So when Vin suggested one tiny, tiny thing she might do for his birthday, she had to listen. He asked her to take a plane ride. “I have a little Cessna parked at Teterboro. I’d be the pilot. We’d fly for fifteen minutes, tops. Short circle, totally uneventful, then we’d land.” He looked at her hopefully. “What do you say?”
She hadn’t wanted to disappoint him, so she’d agreed.
“I can’t believe you talked me into this,” she breathed, as the engine noise started to build, shaking the small plane.
He grinned. “You’ll love it. Trust me.”
And the funny thing was, she did trust him. So maybe he was right. Maybe she would love this. Maybe the fear that had been holding her back all this time from flying was the same one that had made him afraid to love her.
It was normal to be afraid of taking a risk. But wasn’t it the point of life to find courage—even if it took a little while—and be bold enough to fly?
“Are you ready, Scarlett?” her husband asked quietly.
She felt green with fear. But she knew that if anyone could keep her safe, if anyone truly loved her, it was Vin. She took a deep breath. “Hit it.”
“I love you,” he said, pushing the throttle forward.
She looked at him, her heart full. “I love you more.”