And that’s what he made happen.
This weekend, it opens, and I can’t wait to be here with him when it does.
“Does it make you miss London?” I ask him, only the slightest bit nervous that he’ll say yes. That he’ll long for what he left behind.
Dean shakes his head. “No. I have everything I want here.”
There he goes, making me fall harder for him every damn day. “Good. Let’s keep it that way.”
“Works for me.”
I point at the TV screen hanging in the corner. “You’re going to carry hockey, though, when I play, right?”
“Maybe,” my guy says with an easy shrug, setting his elbows on the counter, giving me those do bad things to me eyes. “Depends on whether you make it worth my while.”
“I always do,” I say, then I tell him to come around to this side because I need a picture of us.
Dean joins me for a selfie and gives me a sexy grin as I snap a shot of us in his bar.
“And will you use that on your next road trip?” he asks when I show him the image.
My eyes travel up and down his body. “Not if you video chat with me like I want you to.”
“Insatiable,” he scoffs, then slides a hand along my thigh before he returns to the bar.
“Just like you,” I toss out.
“Absolutely, Fitzgerald. Absolutely.”
I shoot him a curious look. “You’re calling me by my full last name now?”
Dean tilts his head as if he just realized what he said. “Huh. I guess I hear it all the time during your games. Maybe I’ll call you Fitzgerald in front of everyone else and Fitz in the bedroom.”
“You do that, babe. Want to know why?”
“Tell me why.”
“Because Fitzgerald sounds hot AF in your accent, and Fitz sounds like sex on your lips.”
Dean taps his chin. “So basically, I turn you on no matter which variation of your name I use?”
I laugh. “Sounds about right.”
“Works for me, then . . . Fitzgerald.”
A little later, we leave together, headed to meet some of our friends in New York for a little get-together.
Because that’s another thing I love about my man. He’s so damn charming that he gets along with everyone.
We head to a restaurant on the Upper East Side.
Logan spots us first and calls us over to the bar, where he has his arm wrapped around his new woman, Bryn, a take-no-prisoners brunette who keeps my bud on his toes.
“Laser tag. What are your thoughts on that? I’m looking for a summer league,” he says, then nods at Dean. “You want to play laser tag with us?”
Dean strokes his chin. “Let me think on that. Wait. I have an answer. Thanks, but no thanks.”
I shrug. “He’s a sports snob. What can I say?”
“You can say you’ll play,” Logan says, clapping my shoulder then chanting, “Do it. Do it. Do it.”
“You know I’m always down for it.”
Bryn squeezes Logan’s arm. “But look, sweetie, if you can’t get it together for laser tag, you can just join the hula-hooping class that Amelia and I are taking.”
Logan shakes his head, but he’s smiling, and I’m sure he’s thrilled that his new woman loves doing sports with his daughter.
Summer comes in next with her hubs, Oliver. Dean and Oliver catch up on all things British, sliding quickly into talk of London and what’s going on there, while Summer and I chat about how her new fitness center is doing.
Soon, Leo joins the crew, and after quick hellos, he claps Dean on the back. “Check this out,” Leo says, then grabs his phone and shows Dean a picture. “This table is from the dark ages of the fifties. I picked it up last weekend at a garage sale.”
“That one needs a fuck-ton of work,” Dean says, studying the shot.
“I know, right?” Leo says, sounding ridiculously excited. “I’m thinking power sanders, protective goggles, the whole nine yards. You down with that?”
“Power sanders get me very excited, so yeah. Count me in. Your warehouse space?” Dean asks, and I try to contain my grin as they chat, but it’s hard as hell, since I love that these two bonded over the whole furniture restoration thing, and now they’re good buds.
“This weekend. Saturday. Be there early,” Leo says.
Dean shudders. “I can’t wake early. It’s against my nature. But noon sounds great.”
Leo laughs. “I’ll see you at noon.”
When the hostess pops over to tell us the table is ready, the whole crew heads away from the bar.
I grab Dean’s hand, holding him back for a second. “I told you that you and Leo would get along.”
“You were right,” he says.
“I’m glad,” I tell him. “I’m glad you like it here.”
Dean slides a hand along my back. “Ah, but that is where you’re wrong. I don’t like it here.”
I freeze. “What?”
He leans closer and whispers in my ear, “I love it here.”