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Authors: Susan Johnson

French Kiss (26 page)

BOOK: French Kiss
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“I have the requisite seal of approval, you’re saying.”

“Hey, don’t be mad. I didn’t mean it the way it sounded.”
H
e paused. “Yeah, actually, I did. Jordi really matters to me. What can
I say?”

Nicky smiled. “I’m not mad. I was being flip. And for the record, it’s more than okay. I wouldn’t like you if your daughter wasn’t important to yo
u
.” In fact, it was the first t
h
ing she’d noticed about him—well

maybe the second, next to his drop-dead good looks that couldn’t be ignored unless you were blind.

He blew out a breath. “So, are you saying yes?”

She wondered if there was a woman in the world who would have said no. “How about a maybe?” So perhaps she was a little bit crazy not jumping at the chance to be married to the Sexiest Man Alive. But that’s what came from being semi-grounded. She wasn’t gonna jump out of a plane without a parachute.

His brows came together in a scowl. “What the hell does that mean?”

She smiled, liking that he towered over her looking worried, liking that he really was the Sexiest Man Alive and wanted her. “It’s a high percentage, mostly yes, maybe—okay? But marriage is a big thing. It’s not a trip to
th
e grocery store. You said yourself you wanted a long engageme
nt. I’m just going along with th
e idea.”

“Gotcha.” He looked relieved. “And you’re right to be cautious. There’s too many serial marriages and fly-by-night love affairs in this business. I’m not looking for more of that, either.”

“Speaking of love affairs…

He took her hands in his. “We’re good there for sure.”

“It’s the love part I’m kinda wondering about.”

He didn’t quite meet her gaze.

“Hey, don’t panic,” she murmured. “I don’t know what I’m doing in that department, either. Especially after the state of my
relationship with Theo, who I thought I loved and obviously didn’t, because here I am pretty sure I love you.”

His face lit up. “Same here. On that pretty sure stuff.”

“That’s all I really meant about maybe. I’m head over heels for you, and I just want to make sure I’m not completely nuts to feel this way after knowing you for not very long. I’m figuring I need a little time to stabilize my out-of-control-blind-to-everything-but-you passions.”

“No shit. That first night in Paris something just clicked. And not in the usual way. It wasn’t just about sex, although,” he said with a grin, “I’m not discounting what we had going there. But this was different
—is
different.”

“Whatever that means.”

“Yeah—whatever.” He smiled. “How about we figure it out together?”

Together.
What a nice word, she thought. Simple, yet improbably complex. Warmhearted. Soft as a kitten. Cozy. Pink sunsets and walks on the beach. Wh
oa…
she was moving into the Hallmark card shit. “I’d like that,” she simply said.

“I almost forgot. I brought you something else, too.” Reaching up, he pulled a shopping bag from the roof of her car. “From Jean-Paul.” Johnny had placed a special order from Zurich and had it sent to the airport in Paris where they set down to pick it up. “He sends his compliments.”

Nicky could smell the rich scent of chocolate from the guerilla-style factory in the fifteenth arrondissement before she pulled the large red box from the shopping bag. “How did you
think
of this?” she asked, ripping th
e ribbon from the box, her salivary glands already gearing up.

“You seemed to like his stuff,” Johnny said with the casualness
of a man who didn’t understand the full spiritual mystique of chocolate.

Since she had neither the time nor the inclination to set him straight when she had
a
full box of Roussel chocolates in her hand, she simply said with feeling, “You’re an absolute darling,” and handed him the cover
and
shopping bag.

“OHMYGOD!!” She
didn’t mean it
to be a shriek, but there was no other word for
it. Wide-eyed, she beheld an
arrangement of Jean-Paul Roussel chocolate
kisses on a spun-
sugar cushion, the kisses spelling out:
I
LOVE
YOU
.
Two rows, two times
I
LOVE
YOU

enough kisses to keep her in
chocolate heaven for a bliss
fully long time.

Quickly popping a kiss into her mouth, she
gazed up
at Johnny and, smiling through her chewing, savoring,
and
swallowing, managed to say, “Maybe—we could discuss

this—long engagement

t
h
ing.” Any man who was this unbelievably, incredibly thoughtful was the kind of man one should immediately lock down in a long-term, signed, sealed, and delivered contract. Okay, maybe it was
th
e chocolate talking. Everyone knew how really good chocolate affected the pleasure centers and serotonin levels in women, but seriously, she was beginning to waver on this issue of long engagements.

“I’m definitely open to a discussion.” He grinned. “Say, tonight in bed.”

“That’s another t
h
ing,” she said, returning his grin with a chocolatey smile. “And I don’t want to jack up your ego any mor
e than it already is, but honestl
y, you’re really hot—you know, sex-wise. So
in terms of pure selfishness…”

“I’m way ahead of you there.” He had this irrepressible, possessive impulse when it came to one Nicky Lesdaux. Don’t ask him to
explain it. He couldn’t. But the feeling was definitely a full-speed-ahead, pedal-to-the-metal sensation. “You know,
long
could be a couple weeks.” Male possessiveness operating at the max.

Nicky’s eyes flared wide. “Really? I was thinking six months.”

“How about a month?”

“Three months.”

He grinned. “Deal, Now I need a kiss to seal the bargain.”

Plucking a chocolate from the box, she offered it to him with a smile.

“Cute.” But he took the chocolate, put it in his mouth and then bent low and kissed her the way he wanted to kiss her.

Chocolate to chocolate.

Body to body.

Flame-hot
, impassioned love to love…

BOOK: French Kiss
11.08Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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