Bree came out of the en suite bathroom rubbing lotion into her hands and arms, the last act of her nightly ritual. She stopped just inside the bedroom and drank in the sight of Tony lying in bed, pillows propped behind him, as he read. Shirtless, his bronzed chest gleamed in the lamplight. He wore a pair of loose-fitting white pajama bottoms that would have fit in a tropical island fantasy. His bare feet made her want to kiss his arches and suck on his toes. And, oh, how she’d like to lick the point where the low waistband met ebony skin and curly black hair.
She leaped onto the bed like a cat and crawled over to bat at the manuscript in his hands. “You don’t really want to read that, do you?”
He grinned and tossed it onto the nightstand before reaching for her. “There are always more scripts to read. Besides, I already know I’m not getting involved in that project.”
Bree stopped inches away from a kiss and looked over at the script. “Really? Why not? I heard this was supposed to be the Next Big Thing. I thought Deronda wanted you on the movie.”
“He does. And I like working with him. He’s a great director. I just don’t like this script. It’s a paint-by-numbers action adventure with cardboard characters.”
“No way. Deronda wouldn’t be attached if that was true. He wouldn’t waste his time on a piece of crap.”
“Ah, my naïve fiancée. You’re so cute.” Tony kissed the tip of her nose. “Deronda has two ex-wives, two households, and crappy prenups. He needs cash flow, and he’s grabbing at anything right now. There’s a lot of buzz on this movie, sight unseen, and he wants to ride that cash cow right to the bank.”
Bree frowned. “That’s so sad.”
Tony pulled her more firmly onto his lap, her knees straddling his hips. He looked into her face with those intense brown eyes that still melted her after three years together. “I don’t want to talk about Deronda or the script or bad marriages right now.”
His resonant voice sent fingers tickling at the nape of her neck—and also down between her legs. Bree rocked a little, rubbing that itch against the hardness underneath those loose pants. “I don’t either.”
She tilted her head and pressed her lips to his. Soft and warm, they parted, and Tony’s tongue swept over hers. She would never tire of his kisses, even if they reached their fifty-year anniversary.
Fifty years! Was it even possible to achieve that these days? Divorce was all around her in this fast-paced, ambitious city. Nearly everyone she knew had been divorced at least once or had a failed relationship with a long-term companion.
What kept some people together? Her own flaky parents insisted it was their open marriage that had given it longevity, but Bree couldn’t imagine that.
Tony pulled away from their kiss to look into her eyes. “Hey. Where are you?”
“Sorry. I got distracted.”
“Too many details. I told you we should keep this thing small. Now you’re all worked up about it.” He cocked his head. “Or are you just excited because your friends are here?”
“Actually…I was sort of wondering why you never asked me to sign a prenup. I mean, considering what some of our friends have been through in their divorces, and how much you own versus how much I bring to the table, I just wondered.”
His eyebrows shot up. “Really? You’re thinking about that?”
“Well, Deronda and the two exes got me thinking.”
“I’m not Deronda. And you aren’t anything like Julia or …whatshername, the first one.” Tony rubbed her back with a soothing hand. “For one thing, I trust that this marriage is going to last, and for another, even if by some meteor-striking-the-earth chance we were to split, I trust we’d both be fair and civilized about it.”
He hugged her tighter to him. “But that’s not going to happen. I’m in it for the long haul, baby. And I know you are too.”
Bree’s throat tightened. God, she loved him so much. She loved his utter faith in her and the way his eyes lit up when he looked at her. Could such devotion last? And why her? What did he find so loveable in her?
Tony put a finger under her chin, tipping her face up. “Are you getting choked up? I don’t think I’ve ever seen you cry. What is it?”
“I’m just so h-happy,” she whimpered. “I love you so much, it’s…” A sob overtook her words. She scrubbed at her eyes. “I hate crying. This is so dumb.”
“Aw.” Tony pulled her head onto his shoulder and cuddled her.
His sweetness made her cry harder. “Why do you even like me?”
His laughter rumbled through his chest into her ear. “Are you kidding me? You know why, Sunny. And if you don’t, you’ll just have to wait for my wedding vows to find out.”
Vows. Holy crap! She hadn’t even started on hers. Here Tony had already prepared some revelatory, profound thought, and she had no idea what she was going to say. He really was perfect, and she was crap. Would that make a good vow?
He massaged her back again. “It’s all right to feel emotional. I do too. Plus you’re seeing your old friends, which has to stir up some feelings, and our parents are coming. That’s a lot of things happening. Cry if you need to.”
Which, of course, made her cry even harder, and how the holy fuck had she gone from being ready to jump his sexy bones to a quivering mess in two short minutes?
After she’d finally gotten herself under control and wiped the tears off her face, Bree lay facing Tony on the bed. “So, what do you think of them?”
“Your friends? They’re great. And the men seem like good guys. I think they’ll get along fine with Zeke and Ryan.”
Bree had been so caught up in the arrival of her friends she’d almost forgotten Tony’s old college buddies were flying in soon. “I feel bad we don’t have room for them. I kind of took over the house with my friends.”
“It’s okay. They’ll be happy at a hotel. All the men can hang out there and surrender the house to you ladies to get ready in on the wedding day.”
Bree ran a hand over her forehead and through her hair. “God, this is really happening. I can hardly believe it.”
He smiled. “And it’s all going to go as smooth as greased gravy. Don’t worry.”
She laughed. “You have such a way with a phrase. That’s why I love you.”
His eyes twinkled. “So, do you still want to fool around?” He stole a hand underneath her bed shirt and cupped a breast. “Or should we hold off until our wedding night to make it more special?”
Bree wrinkled her nose. “I think abstinence is overrated.”
“On the other hand”—Tony slowly withdrew his hand and smoothed down her shirt—“waiting makes sex all the better, so a few days’ break wouldn’t be a bad thing. Besides,” he whispered, “we have a house full of guests, and you’re really loud.”
“Am not.” She slapped his chest.
“Are too. I should record you some time.”
She grinned. “If I’m loud, it’s because you make me that way.”
“That I do,” Tony said smugly. “But not tonight.” He flipped her over and pulled her up against him. “Sleep. Store up your energy for partying with your friends tomorrow.”