When Gage said we were staying in the Coeur d’Alene Resort I wasn’t expecting the Hagadone suite. My jaw dropped when I entered. From where I stood I saw a sitting room with a huge flat screen tv and a deck. Was that a hot tub? A kitchen was off to the side with what I could tell was two dozen long stem roses on the counter. A dining room was off to the side.
“Like them?” Gage whispered against my ear before he kissed the rim of it.
“You bought me flowers?”
“Of course. There should be more in the bedroom.”
“Welcome, Mr. Buchanan —”
I shrieked and jumped back into Gage as a man with silver hair rounded the corner. “Shit!” My hand flew to my chest and my heart raced. The man looked startled by my theatrics and from his suit I figured he was a concierge. Which was weird considering the fact that we had brought up our own luggage since we had one bag each.
“My apologies, miss.” The man bowed. He actually bowed. “My name is, Brian. I am your butler.”
“Butler?” I swallowed hard hoping that would take the shakiness from my voice.
Gage settled his hand on the low of my back and stood beside me. “Brian.” Gage shook the man’s hand.
“Is there anything I can get you?”
“No.” Gage replied and rubbed his thumb across my spine, easing my nerves instantly. “In fact,” Gage took out his wallet and handed the man several one hundred dollar bills, “We won’t be needing any services during our stay.”
The man looked confused as he took the money. “The price of the suite comes with the services of a private butler.”
“I know.” Gage grinned. “But— you’re not going to want to be here anymore than we are going to want you to be here.”
Now the man looked really confused. His peppered brows came together. “Did I offend you somehow, sir?”
“No. Not at all. It’s just that—” Gage looked like he was trying to search for the right words, clearly he hadn’t found them because he said, “we won’t be wearing much clothing at all during our stay.”
The man’s eyes grew large. “Ah— My apologies.” He then bowed. “I will just see myself out. Oh— The refrigerator and freezer are stocked as you had requested. And there is a blender on the counter so you make you and your lady protein drinks.”
When the door closed I looked to Gage. “I can’t believe you said that.”
“What else was I supposed to say? It’s true.” He gripped my hips and pulled me flush against him. “By the time I’m done with you, you’re going to be bow legged.”
I felt the blush reach my cheeks. Was my face as red as it felt? I tried to hide my embarrassment by saying, “Hmmm...You seem rather confident that you have the ability to achieve that.”
He gave me his wicked panty dropping grin. “Is that a challenge, Jayden de Luca?”
I knew I should have said ‘no’ but I went against my better judgement. “Yes.”
A low chuckle erupted deep in his chest. “Oh this is going to be a fun couple day’s proving you wrong.”
“You need a couple days, huh?” What was I doing?
“Nah— I’ll only need tonight.”
My breath hitched at the thought. Something told me what he said was true.
“Come.” He took my hand. “Let’s take a tour together.”
The bedroom did indeed have several more vases of flowers and candles were everywhere. Rose petals were scattered on the bed and floor. I had never had a guy do this for me.
Minutes later I pointed to the ceiling that flooded the room with blue tinted sunlight. “Is that— Is that a pool above us?”
“Yeah.” Gage smiled. “Haven’t you seen one of those before?”
“As a matter of fact, smartass, yes I have.” I bit back a smile. “I’ve swam in my fair share of them. Nude, even. I just wasn’t expecting this place to have one.”
“Are you fond of skinny dipping, Jayden? Because if so, you and I have another thing in common.”
“I don’t like the idea of you skinny dipping with another girl.” That actually irked me. Stupid I know. In more ways than one.
“Ditto.” He raised his brows fully amused.
“Did you just say ‘ditto’?” I laughed.
“Yeah. I did. I have two younger sister’s and for a while that was nearly the extent of their vocabulary.”
I laughed hard at that. I couldn’t help it. I looked around the place one last time. I loved the small copper hooded fireplace just off the deck. We took the narrow stairs winding to the top floor. The pool was small but was perfect as it overlooked the lake. “This place is amazing.” I looked at him once again. “Thank you.”
“I’ll do anything to get you to smile like that.”
I couldn’t help the elated smile that filled my face. “There’s more to you than meets the eye, Gage Buchanan. Who knew what a romantic softy you are— All hidden away beneath this hard muscle.”
“Only for you.” He cupped my cheek with one hand. “It will always be only you.”
Our temporary trance was cut when his apple watch peeped.
“Perfect.” He grinned at me. “It’s spa time.”
“Yes. I scheduled you to be pampered for a few hours at the spa.”
“And what will you be doing?”
“I’ll be waiting nearby in case you need me.”
He didn’t elaborate. He didn’t need to. He’d stay close by in case I panicked. “You’re perfect. I wasn’t expecting that when I ran into you at the MGM.”
His face turned serious. His eye’s held mine with no wavering. There was nothing but transparency when he replied, “Baby, you knocked me sideways that night. You are and always will be the only women who has the power to drop me to my knees— And there’s not a fucking thing I can do about it.”
* * *
I checked my pony tail one last time. I had to admit, I looked pretty damn good. Thanks to Gage pampering me at the spa; my skin was amazing. When I packed Gage made sure that I brought the black mini dress and heels that Delise Berry sent me not long ago. At the time, I hadn’t understood why he wanted me to bring it. I had a suspicion that he wanted me to wear it as something kinky for role play— Little did I know. I splashed on my favorite perfume and left the bathroom. My heels clicked on the tile as I made my way down the hallway only to find Gage standing on one of the decks. I stopped in my tracks. His back was to me and the way his suit jacket hugged his back made my mouth water. Suite or not, he had the sexiest back. He had changed out his apple watch for a Rolex by the looks of it. He says I’m beautiful— But in my opinion he is the beautiful one.
“It shouldn’t be legal for a man to look as good as you do right now.” I said as I stepped out onto the deck.
He turned to me as he chuckled, which was short lived once he looked at me. His eyes roamed over me from head to toe and back up. His jaw clenched and there was no mistaking the hunger in his gaze. “You look— You’re too beautiful for words, Jayden.”
I had put on a little splash of body shimmer when I stepped out of the shower. Just a little hack known of the trade. “I like your suite.” And boy did I. It was perfectly tailored. “Armani?”
“Brioni Vanquish.” He held up two fingers. “It worked for James bond.”
I busted out laughing. After a moment, I managed to pull myself together. “He was pretty sexy in those tux’s he wore—”
“Is that right?” He raised his brows and pulled me closer.
“It’s all tux though.” I smiled.
“I thought that’s what you meant.” He placed a light kiss on my lips. “As much as I’d like to ravish you right now, we need to get going.”
He held my hand firmly in his and I couldn’t help but notice the leers the women were tossing at Gage. Was there anywhere we could go where he wasn’t ogled at? I had to say he did look damn sexy...
Still. It was annoying.
I walked alongside him as we made our way across the boardwalk to the cruise boat. “Good evening, Mr. Buchanan Miss de Luca.”
“Good evening. ”I smiled. I was a little surprised he knew our names.
“If you follow me, we have your table set.”
Gage placed his hand on the low of my back and followed right behind me. On the deck was a single table with a candle lit and a bottle of champagne already on ice. I looked around, noting that we were the only people. “Where are the other guests?” I had been on the cruise only twice, but I knew it was a popular attraction and tickets were hard to come by during certain seasons. Summer being one of them. I would have liked to come here more but my schedule, when I modeled, was gruesome at times.
“It’s just us.” Gage whispered back.
“You rented the entire boat?”
“Get used to it.” He tossed me a wink. He pulled back my chair. “Sit.”
He took his seat across from me and after the waiter poured me a glass of bubbly Gage shook his head when the waiter reached for his glass. “I’ll leave you two to glance over the menu.”
“Gage, I’m in awe.” I couldn’t believe the lengths he went for me. “This is absolutely beautiful.”
“You’re worth it.” He replied. Goosebumps spread up my arms and down my body when he rubbed his thumb on my inner wrist. Pulling back he grabbed his menu. “What are you going to eat?”
“Easy— Salmon and arugula salad. You?”
“I need to stick to my diet...steak and carbs.”
“You only have a few weeks left.” I said.
“They can’t come soon enough.”
We placed our order and it wasn’t long before we were served. He watched as I ate tiramisu for dessert. I managed to convince him that one bite wasn’t going to kill him. I laughed because normally it was the man who was trying to convince the women she wouldn’t get fat. We spend most of our time at the railing; his arms either wrapped around me or on the railing locking me between his arms. The sunset was to die for. Orange, red and yellow bled into one another. But when the deep purple set in towards the end was mesmerizing.
“Here’s a fun fact.” I said. “One morning a worker came out to the dock and discovered that there was only one cruise boat instead of two. At first everyone thought that it was stolen only to find that it had in fact sunk overnight.”
“No, I’m not.” I held up my hand. “Scout’s honor.”
He raised a brow.
“I swear...Ask the waiter.”
“Ask the waiter if you were a girl scout?”
I laughed and gave him the look of ‘You know what I mean’.
After an hour and half the boat docked and we made our way towards the boardwalk.
“Oh,” Gage turned to one of the crewmen, “Did one of these sink a while back?”
“Yes.” the man frowned, unsure as to where Gage was going with it.
I leaned into Gage, my lips grazing his ear as I whispered flirtatiously, “See—I told you.”
* * *
Gage had won the challenge.
In less than twenty-four hours my legs were rubber. Something I had never thought was possible. Not to this extent at least.
“Fun fact.” I said. We had just crossed one of the bridge’s on Tubbs Hill and were headed back to the car. “A hiker found some bones on this hill back in twenty-nine-teen. They were confirmed humans. There was no evidence of it being a tribal burial ground but since the bones were so old the case didn’t go anywhere.”
“You should be the Coeur d’Alene tour guide.”
I laughed and stopped walking. My legs couldn’t go much further. I bent and leaned forward, resting my hands on my knees. I groaned and after a moment I stood up right. I looked at Gage. His smug smile said it all.
“Shut up.” I said.
He chuckled and kissed my lips. “Is someone’s legs exhausted? Perhaps even a bit bow legged?”
I didn’t answer. My legs were actually shaking. I even made sure I drank a Gatorade to get some electrolytes back in me.
Giving another cocky chuckle, he turned his back to me and tapped his shoulder. “Hop on.”
“You want to give me a piggyback ride?” I was surprised at that. Who knew Gage liked to play?
“I’ll carry you back.”
I hopped on and wrapped my legs around his waist. Since I had little strength to hold tight, he slipped his hands behind my knees and held me. I slid my arms over his shoulders and leaned my front to his back.
“This feels so nice.” I laughed. I dropped my head into his neck.
“I was going to take you shopping after but...we can do that tomorrow. I’ll have lunch brought up to us when we get back to the resort. We can soak in the hot tub while we wait.”
“You weren’t joking about pampering me this weekend were you?”
“Nope.” He twisted his head and kissed my cheek.
We smiled and said a few ‘hello’s’ as we ran into other hikers along the trail. Gage only had to step aside once as a biker came flying down the pathway. Not something you run into often.
The following day we walked the main strip. I had forgotten how adorable the shops were.
Of course, I didn’t hold back when we hit several boutiques because everyone that knows me knows I have a weakness when it comes to clothes...And shoes...And accessories.
What could I say? I love fashion.
We did however take a break between shopping and had lunch at The Dockside. In the afternoon we played a round of golf. I sucked having never played and Gage having played since childhood with his father and business buddies had a phenomenal game. He even hit a few of mine, otherwise we would have been there all night. Before we headed back to the Resort we hit the famous Floating green which was a single whole island located on the lake. That one, I didn’t do too shabby.
It was our last night.
Gage sat at the head of the dining table dawned in his boxers as he lounged back in his chair drinking water. I sat to the right of him with my legs crossed at my ankles perched on the stained wood wearing red lace panties and one of his t-shirts.
“Bull shit.” I said and took a drink of my Carona.
“Are you sure about that?” He raised his brows.
“You do recall what happened last time you called ‘Bull shit’ right? You ended up picking up about a hundred cards.”
“It was twenty-three. And right now I’m feeling rather confident that you’re lying.”
“I’m just trying to do the gentlemanly thing here,” he placed his hand on his chest, “and let you off the hook so you don’t embrace yourself.”
I love it when he flirts with me.
“There’s no such thing as gentleman or ladies in the game of ‘Bull shit’ and you know it.” I said matter of fact. I pointed to him then. “You— are stalling.”
“I’m not stalling.”
“Hold on you got a—” I leaned over and pretended to pluck something off his shoulder, “feather growing on your shoulder.”
Gage burst into laughter and tossed his head back.
“So— ‘Bull shit’ that you just laid down four eights.” I said flipped the top four cards over. I smiled and raised my brows seeing that wasn’t one eight amongst them.
“You’re an asshole.” His laugh continued.
“Did you just call me an asshole?” I laughed along with him.
“Yes.” He said as he gathered up the discard pile. “How did you even know?”
“Because I have three eights.” Not sure why I told him that...
“It’s a double deck. I could have had them.”
“But you didn’t.” I tipped my bear towards him before I took a drink.
I watched him lean forward and collect the pile. His muscles rippled and it kicked my libido in gear. I was beginning to think that anything he did kicked my libido in gear.
“Sorry.” I said, knowing full well what he’d do upon hearing my apology. It didn’t matter that my crotch was sore from having sex like jack rabbits like we were.
Gage didn’t miss a beat. He looked me over and locked eyes with mine. I bit back my smile when he grinned at me with full knowledge as to my intentions.
“You’re a wicked woman, Jayden.” He tossed his cards on the table and I slid my legs off the corner only to wrap them around his hips as he scooped me up. He crashed his lips to mine and carried me to the bedroom.
After spending four nights we went to the lobby and checked out. I hid my shock when I heard the receptionist tell Gage his grand total. I knew the suite was glamorous and it didn’t come cheap. However, discovering that it cost him over twenty thousand was rather surprising.
“Don’t look at me like that.” He whispered in my ear and took my hand as we headed to the car. “You can’t tell me you haven’t spent time in kickass hotels modeling like you did.”
“I did.” I smiled, recalling a few places I stayed that would make your jaw drop. “I just paid for it myself and I’m not used to someone else paying. It’s just new to me.”
“Well, like I said earlier— ‘Get used to it’. Because this is how it’s going to be from here on out. I’ve made millions from fighting. But my nest egg is from the family company. I don’t fight for the money, I fight because that’s what I enjoy doing. I watched my dad growing up and seeing how stressed out and what a workaholic he was I knew I didn’t want that to be my life.” He held up two fingers. “It takes two fights a year to match what I make a month from the family business. So, when I tell you to ‘Stop worrying and let me pamper you’...Just let me. Because all I want to do is make you happy and spend time with you.
“I’ll tell you something...Aside from a few corsage’s back in high school, I have never bought a girl flowers, let alone a gift. Not even a morning coffee. I’m doing all this because it makes me happy to see you light up the way you do. I want to spoil you. I want to pamper you. So just let me.”
“I don’t know what to say to that.” My eyes filled with tears. At one point of my life I had loved Brock. But loving vs being in love with someone are two different things. Because when you’re in love with someone they become your soul mate. And I am madly in love with Gage.
There was no doubt about it...He owned my heart.
“Good.” He leaned forward and kissed me soundly.