Her eyes light up with pleasure at my suggestion. She tugs off the gardening gloves, tossing them on the pile of discarded weeds. I’ll come out later to clean up for her.
I haul her up to a standing position, rewarded with a better greeting in the form of a sweet kiss. Because I’m lecherous when she’s standing so close to me, I squeeze her ass as she pulls her mouth away and gives a tinkling laugh over my bold move.
I grin, take her hand, and lead her into the house.
This has pretty much been my life since we moved out here. Bailey and I are pictures of domestic bliss. The days of sex clubs are behind us. Her insecurities and trust issues have been resolved. We both work hard. When that is done for the day, there’s no place we want to be other than in each other’s presence.
It’s usually sharing a great meal together, often with a glass of wine. More conversation out on the patio, sometimes with more wine. Occasionally, we’ll drink decaf coffee.
Always, we end up passionately wearing ourselves out in each other’s arms.
It’s the same routine… over and over again, yet, it just gets better and better. My favorite part of the day is walking in the door and seeing Bailey’s smile, be it dismissive because something is weighing her down, or a wide, happy-to-see-me smile.
Inside, Bailey washes her hands, tosses her big floppy hat on the table, and starts to put our dinner together. I grab a bottle of red from a built-in wine rack, then uncork it. We chat about her organizational behavior class as she describes the problem. Within ten minutes, we’re seated at the window-nook table, tapping our glasses before carving into a gorgeous pork roast with rosemary potatoes and side salads.
Something I suggest triggers Bailey, and she takes off on an excited ramble about how she might solve the problem. I nod along, but I don’t need to offer anymore. She has it, the wheels in her head practically smoking.
It’s ridiculous how fucking charmed I am at how her brain works. I’ve seen it time and time again as she helps me with the business and does her schoolwork, but it doesn’t get old.
It’s over-the-top crazy how much I fucking love her.
How I want to tie her to me so she can never leave.
“I need you to wait here just a second,” I say, cutting Bailey off mid-sentence as she prattles on about modifying compensation structures or some shit.
She blinks. “I wasn’t planning on going anywhere.”
“Good,” I say, sliding out of my chair. “I just need to grab something.”
“Oh-kay,” she drawls hesitantly, a slight gleam in her eye hinting she thinks I may have lost my mind. She cuts a small bite of pork roast and places it in her mouth, then makes a shooing motion with her hand. “Go get whatever you need.”
“On it,” I say with a grin, then move quickly through the great room to our master suite. I head straight to our closet, which is as big as most people’s bedrooms, and to a drawer that houses my socks. I reach into the back, feeling around until my fingers find the velvet jewelry box I’d stuck in there almost two weeks ago.
I pull it out, open it, and stare at the huge yellow teardrop diamond engagement ring. It’s almost six carats and ostentatious.
But I couldn’t fucking help myself. It was the perfect ring, and I bought it on the spot.
My trip to the jewelry store came immediately on the heels of my attorney sending me an email with the signed divorce documents. Unfortunately, Madison did not immediately roll over and sign the documents, so I’d been forced to battle her in court. I’m not quite sure what her end game was because we had a solid pre-nup in place. In the end, she ended up getting less than what I initially offered her. I think it was pure spite, since she knew the longer she dragged it out, the longer it would take for me to be truly free to be with Bailey.
I also suspected my parents—particularly my father—might have been egging her on a bit. They still haven’t quite forgiven me for dating a “commoner.” At least that’s what my mom said in a text not long after the day when my dad and Madison tried to double team me.
I simply replied to my mother’s text that commoner wasn’t an appropriate term, and I hoped she would refrain from using it in front of the children I intended to have with Bailey.
Because yes, even back then, all those months ago, I knew I’d marry Bailey and we’d have a home filled with children’s laughter.
I snap the jewelry box closed. I’d planned on doing this in a hugely romantic way. My first thought was to take her to Germany, which is a bucket list destination for her. Or perhaps a tropical paradise where I could get down on one knee on the beach.