“It’s the principle of the thing,” she sniffed.

His mouth opened, but nothing came out. He just couldn’t think of a single thing to say to that, other than, “What?”

She huffed out a sigh. “If you’d asked me, I could have said no instead of feeling left out.”

Simon lowered his head in his hands. “At least my life will never be boring.”

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“I heard that.”

He glared at her from between his hands. He couldn’t decide whether or not he wanted to paddle her ass or laugh. “Can you and Emma afford an assistant?”

Becky tilted her head to the side, her expression turning inward. He could practically see the numbers dancing in her head. “Part time, definitely. I’m not sure about full-time.”

“Hire Sheri, she could use a job. Then when things like this come up you have coverage.”

It was her turn for her mouth to open and close like a fish. “Uh. Good idea.”

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He got up, poured the Cat Chow into the garbage and poured her another cup of coffee. “Here.

Apparently your brain isn’t on-line yet.”

She blew him a raspberry.

He blew her a kiss.

They both grinned. He was delighted to see the shadows were gone from her eyes.

He quickly ate a bowl of cereal; if he didn’t hurry he’d be late. Becky watched silently, nursing her coffee.

He snagged his jacket off the back of the sofa where he’d dumped it the night before. Tugging it on quickly, he leaned over and kissed the top of her head. “Love you,” he muttered absently as he strode for the door.

“Love you too. Have a good day.”

He stopped, hand on the doorknob. She hadn’t said it to him yet, other than that one time in bed when she’d thought he was asleep. He could feel his heart pounding as her words washed over him.

“Could…you repeat that?”

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She smirked at him over the back of the sofa. “Have a good day.”

He growled at her, challenging her to repeat it.

She smiled smugly and snuggled back on the chaise part of the sofa. “Bye.”

“Oh, no you don’t,” he muttered. In two long strides he was in front of her. “Say it again.”

She bit her lip, trying to look innocent. “Bye?”

He leaned down and kissed the tip of her nose. “Becky.”

“Simon?”

He smiled, slow and sensuous. “I love you.”

“Good.”

He gently took the coffee mug out her hands and put it on the coffee table. “Say it.”

“Nope.”

“Becky.”

“Can’t make me, neither.”

Simon crawled on top of her, holding her in place by sitting on her legs. He pulled out his cell phone and called Adrian as Becky giggled. “Hey, I’m going to be a little bit late, okay? See you in about an hour.”

He put his phone back in his pocket and pulled his jacket back off. “Say it again.”

“Nope.” She was laughing up at him now, her hands resting on top of his thighs.

He pulled off his shirt. “Again, Becky.”

“Nuh-uh.”

He pulled off her shirt while she grinned up at him. “Again.”

“Or what, you’ll fuck me silly? Explain to me how I lose here.”

He leaned in and licked his mark, dragging his tongue along it slowly while she shivered beneath him.

When he blew raspberries against the mark she giggled again and tried to squirm away. “Tell me.” He was trying desperately not to laugh. His whole body felt so full of joy he felt like he could fly.

“No!”

She was laughing outright now as he began to tickle her. “Tell me.”

“Uncle! Uncle!”

He sat up, grinning down at her.

“Your phone’s ringing,” she sputtered.

He leaned down and kissed her as the phone in his pocket began to ring.

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