“You consulted with Caleb on the wine?”

“Before we left Whiskey Bay. I didn’t call him between innings or anything.” TJ offered her one of the glasses.

“Because that would be odd?” She accepted the glass.

“I called him last night, after you agreed to come along.”

“Before Eli and Heidi decided to crash.”

“The night is still young.” TJ raised his glass and waited for Sage to take a sip.

Strangely, although he was more than glad to be alone with her now, he didn’t begrudge having the kids and Kristy along for the day. It had been fun. It had been great. As a package, the day had been perfect.

“Do you like it?” he asked Sage.

“It’s delicious.”

TJ took a taste. It was everything Caleb had promised.

There was a knock at the door.

The waiter entered with a rolling cart and took a few minutes to set up the table that was positioned in a turret of windows overlooking the park.

TJ saw the waiter to the door and gave him a tip. When he turned back, Sage was biting into a chocolate-dipped strawberry.

“Those are supposed to go with the champagne,” he said, making his way toward her.

She grinned unrepentantly. “I’m a maverick.”

“The tastes will clash.” He wanted her to have the best possible culinary experience.

A gleam in her eyes, she took another swallow of her wine. “It all tastes good to me.”



She was clearly teasing, but the accusation hit its mark anyway.

“You think so?” he asked, suddenly worried he’d overdone the evening.

“Oh, I do think so, Mr. Phone-a-Wine-Consultant.”

“It wasn’t the most expensive bottle in the cellar.”

She took another sip, then wrinkled her nose. “Cutting corners, are we?”

He waltzed forward and swung an arm around her waist. “I can’t win with you, can I?”

“Oh, I wouldn’t say that.” She went soft and supple against him, and a sensual glow came up deep in her jade-colored eyes.

“I take it back.”

“Oh, you will.” She moved to disentangle herself.

“What? What are you doing?”

She took a step away from him.

“Where are you going?” he asked.

“To change.”

“Please don’t change.” Even as he made the joke, he realized he didn’t want her to change. He didn’t want to change a single thing about her.

“I took your advice,” she said.

He moved toward her, but she backed off some more.

“Clearly, I’m giving you very bad advice.”

“I’m going to change my clothes, TJ. I took your credit card.”

“Your credit card.”

“And bought a little outfit.”

He stilled. His mouth went dry. “Define little.”

She gave him a saucy grin. “I think you’ll like it.”

“Then what are you waiting for?”

“You don’t want to finish the snacks?”

“The snacks will wait.” He couldn’t. He couldn’t wait to see what kind of an outfit she’d bought.

“I wouldn’t want to compromise your culinary experience.”

“You can compromise anything you want.”

She laughed at that. Then she turned for the bedroom, sauntering through the door and closing it behind her.

TJ took a deep breath, telling himself to stay cool.

He moved to an armchair and sat down, taking a swallow of the wine.

Whatever she looked like when she walked back through the door, he absolutely was not going to rush things. He’d take his time, just like he’d planned. He’d make it romantic, just like he’d planned. They had all night to—

She appeared in the doorway, and he nearly dropped his glass.

She was draped in purple satin—a short spaghetti-strapped nightie with flat lace panels along the neck and hem. Her shoulders were smooth and slender, hair copper under the soft lights. Her thighs were shapely, her calves sleek, and her feet were bare. Her auburn hair billowed around her face, bouncing to her collarbone and framing her slim neck.

He abandoned his wine, rolling to his feet, stripping off his polo shirt as he crossed the floor.

“What do you think?” she asked a bit breathlessly.

“Huh?” He had to shake himself out of a daze.

“Do you like it?” She spread her arms and did a pirouette.

By the time she’d turned, he had her in his arms. “I love it.”

“You’ve barely seen it.”

“I’ll see it more later.” He kissed her, bending her backward, going deep, drinking in the taste of her.

She held on to his shoulders, and he wrapped an arm around her, stabilizing her, using his free hand to roam the satin of her breathtaking outfit, smoothing his palm over her stomach, her breasts, her rear. Every inch of her felt fantastic.

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