“I enjoyed it. Au revoir, Lily.” I waved my fingers at her.

“Orvar.”

I started to leave when I heard Lily say, “Wait.”

I stopped and she ran to me. I squatted down to her level. She leaned in and whispered to me. My heart filled at her request.

“You say, ‘papa, je t’aime.’”

Then she surprised me by giving me a hug. I stood and looked at Blake, whose eyes had narrowed, and Patsy, whose eyes were wide with surprise. I didn’t understand their reaction but didn’t think it was my place to ask. I picked up my laptop and work papers and headed back to my office.

I immersed myself in work for the last hour of the day. As I finished up a report, there was a knock at the door and then a “hello.”

I looked up to see Dylan poking his head in. “Bella. You finished for the day?”

“Just about. Come in.”

He stepped in, closing the door, although not all the way. “Mr. Alexander had you babysitting?”

He moved toward my desk, taking a seat on the edge as Blake had done a few days ago.

“I offered. She’s a sweet kid.”

“Childcare is a little below your pay grade though.”

I shrugged. “I didn’t mind. Is there something you need?” I never worked directly with Dylan, so it was odd that he was there.

He gave me a sheepish smile. “Just being friendly.”

Ah, now I got it. This was a social call. I liked Dylan and thought he was handsome, but he wasn’t Blake. He didn’t make my body warm or ache to be touched. However, Blake was clear that he wasn’t interested in me beyond my spreadsheets and ability to speak French. Perhaps it was time to move on. Maybe I needed to work on getting Blake out of my system. Accepting Dylan’s friendship could help with that.

“I see.”

He chatted with me, and while I didn’t feel sparks, I enjoyed his attention and company. Somehow, we got onto the topic of psychics and he said someone had told him there was a line on the hand that showed the size of someone libido. He held out his hand to show me and then showed me on my own hand.

I didn’t buy it and thought it was a bad pick-up line.

“No, really, I swear,” he said, holding up his hand like he was in court promising to tell the truth.

While I wasn’t feeling titillated the way I had with Blake, Dylan was fun. And he had another thing going for him that Blake didn’t: Dylan liked me.

When the day ended, Dylan walked me to the elevator and out to the street.

“See you tomorrow, Bella.” He gave my arm a little squeeze.

I nodded. “See you tomorrow, Dylan.” I watched as he walked off and wondered if the sparks would come if I spent more time with him. Maybe I needed to get out more to meet other men. There had to be another person out there who could replace Blake and love me back.

Blake

I felt bothered by how much I put on Bella over the last few days. It was bad enough that I fucked her and left her, but to have her watch my daughter, that seemed like too much. But as I watched her and Lily from the door of the conference room while I waited for my mother-in-law, Patsy, to arrive, I could see that Bella didn’t think it was a hardship at all.

She was natural with Lily. What was most striking was the way Lily took to her. Lily was shy and didn’t like new situations or people. Was it because Bella was young? Or was it her gentle demeanor that Lily picked up on?

Maybe it was that Lily needed a mother-figure. Patsy was there but she was her grandmother. Would that be enough? It would have to be because I couldn’t bring another woman into Lily’s life. Joanna was her mother. Lily barely remembered her as it was. To bring another woman in would diminish those memories and that wouldn’t be fair to Joanna who worked so hard to bring Lily into the world.

But I couldn’t deny the sweetness of the scene between Bella and Lily. I got that odd feeling my chest again, a mixture of yearning and guilt, and if I was honest, self-pity. Why did I have to feel tormented for desiring a woman? Joanna was gone. Plenty of widowers dated and even married again after losing their wives. Even Joanna encouraged me to move on after she died.

But I’d had no interest. I was a man who was able to live just fine without sex. Until the other night. Now Bella haunted my dreams. Watching her now, my body yearned to touch her again, to feel her tight pussy around my cock. It was fucking driving me mad. But she was off-limits for so many reasons.


Tags: Victoria Snow Beautiful Mistakes Romance
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