“Hi, Danica,” he said to his assistant. “We’re going to need a second suite at the Plaza. There’ll be five passengers on the jet. And can you get us some Mets tickets. We’ll need five.” He paused. Then he frowned. “True. You better cancel that reservation. It sounds like we’re having hot dogs at the stadium.”
“Thanks, Danica.” He ended the call. “This isn’t funny,” he said to Sage.
“It’s a little bit funny.”
“Do you know how hard it is to get reservations at Daniel?”
“Poor baby.” She rose and cradled his face in her hands.
“Kiss it better?” he asked hopefully.
She leaned slowly down. He closed his eyes and raised his chin.
At the last moment, she planted a kiss on his forehead instead.
“Oh, no, you don’t,” he said.
Before she could react, she was in his lap, pressed against his chest, his arm firmly around her shoulders.
“That’s not going to cut it,” he told her.
“You must be really upset,” she teased.
“Devastated,” he answered, and then he was kissing her mouth.
She kissed him back, her lips melding with his, softening and parting. Her arms went around his neck, and she held him tight, her emotions in a free fall. He was such an amazing man. He was a wonderful father. Their lives might be exceptionally complicated, but right now, right this minute, for today and tonight and tomorrow, she would let them be simple.
She and TJ and their children were taking a short vacation, just like families did all over the country. Well, most families likely piled in the minivan and drove down the highway to a seaside motel. But a private jet and the Plaza were almost the same thing…almost.
“What is it?” TJ drew back and took in her expression.
It was hard for her to put into words. Instead, she made a joke. “Like I said before, this is a strange life I’m leading.”
“It’s a perfectly normal life.”
“I feel like an impostor.” There. That was closer.
It took him a second to answer. “The last thing you are is an impostor. You’re my wife. You’re the mother of my son.”
His words warmed her, and she let herself lean into his strength.
He smoothed his palm over the back of her hair. “Like I said before, relax and enjoy the ride.”
“I will. I am.” It was the only thing that made sense. And it was what she wanted, anyway.
She touched his face, smoothing her fingertips along the curve of his cheek and the jut of his jaw. Then she kissed him again.
The children’s voices echoed down the stairs, and she knew they had only moments alone, but she kissed him deep and long, falling into the moment and into the fantasy she intended to perpetuate for the next two days.
By the time the game had ended, both kids had been asleep on their feet. Kristy had taken them into the suite across the hall, promising them bubble baths in the oversize tub and a story once they were tucked in. TJ was finally alone with Sage.
Theirs was a two-bedroom suite, but he had no intention of using the second bedroom.
“I have room service coming,” he told her as she kicked off her runners.
“Hot dogs and malted milk balls weren’t enough for you?”
“They weren’t exactly what I had in mind when I planned this.”
She was smiling as she made her way into the living room. “But it was fun.”
“It was fun,” he agreed, peeling the heavy foil from the top of the bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon that was waiting for them on the bar.
The game, in fact the whole day, had been more fun than he’d expected. They’d gone to the zoo, where Heidi had fallen in love with the cats. TJ had bought her a stuffed snow leopard, while Eli had chosen a rubber snake. Both Heidi and Sage had shuddered when Eli draped the python around his neck. TJ was gaining a whole new appreciation for the differences between boys and girls.
“Thirsty?” he asked Sage, sliding two red wine goblets out of the overhanging rack.
“Is that a thirst-quenching red?” she asked, coming up behind him.
“It will complement the charcuterie board that’s on its way up. I’m chilling champagne to go with the chocolate strawberries.”
“Are you planning to get drunk?”
“We don’t have to drink it all.” He started to pour.
She glanced around the room. “Does this seem normal to you?”
“Does what seem normal?”
“This room. The wine. The strawberries.”
“I haven’t had this vintage before.” He glanced at the label. “But Caleb highly recommended it.”