“Aww,” I said, turning the screen to face him. It was a picture of Anna asleep on George’s shoulder, her fat little fist pressed against her perfect mouth.

“Maybe we should send him flowers next week to thank him,” Max said, and then I recognized the little twist in his smile that signaled he was up to no good. “And say they’re from Will.”

“Don’t you dare,” I told him, saving the picture before tucking my phone away. “If this works out we’re going to use him again. Hell, I might just change his job position from assistant to nanny and offer him a raise.”

“I might have to let you,” he said, and brought the back of my hand to his mouth for a kiss. “Maybe then I can sneak you away for a weekend? Someplace we can lock ourselves in our room the entire time, not a stitch of clothing on either of us?”

My phone buzzed in my clutch, and we stopped long enough for me to reach for it, unsurprised to find another text from George.

Look how gorgeous she is!! it said, along with a photograph of Anna fast asleep in her crib and several heart-eyed emojis.

“This is way too easy,” I told Max. “But instead of questioning it, I’m going to put this away and enjoy the hell out of this night. And maybe if you’re lucky, I’ll let you have your way with me on the way home.”

“That, Petal, is the most amazing thing I’ve heard all day.” Max curved his hand around the back of my neck and pulled me to him. I went willingly, my mind already spinning ahead to what could happen after dinner, where we might go and the delightfully filthy things he might do to me. This is what we’d been missing. Max and Sara. Tonight was absolutely perfect.

Max pulled up to the valet at Granduca’s and an attendant reached for my door. “I’ve got it, mate,” he said, rounding the car and offering a hand to help me out.

Mindful of the fact that I was in a dress, I carefully swung my feet out onto the ground and moved to stand. Max’s hand felt warm and reassuring in my own and I took a step, intending to follow him into the restaurant. But I couldn’t.

What the . . . I almost gasped when I realized that I was stuck. Or to be more accurate, that my dress was. The subtle beading on my skirt had snagged on the inside door latch of Max’s BMW.

“I’m just . . .” I started, letting go of Max in an attempt to get a better look. “My dress seems to be caught.”

Max kneeled next to me but I waved him off.

“No, just one second, let me.”

By now the attendant with Max’s keys had realized something was wrong, and so had a few of the others. “Maybe if you try and slip that piece right there through the latch,” one of them said.

“No, that will make it worse. See those little beads? They’ll get stuck. I’ve got some scissors. I can go grab them,” said another.

“Man, it is really in there,” said their supervisor. “How did you even do that?”

Four pairs of hands all tried to help me untangle myself, but I batted them away.

“No,” I said. “Please. This skirt is vintage.” There was a grimace in my voice as I pulled on a tiny thread, careful not to snag it further. Damn, it did not want to give and I was practically sweating. “A gift from my mom,” I added. “Just let me—”

“Oh,” they all said in unison, along with a “Fucking hell,” from Max.

I’d ripped it, like, really ripped it. And now, instead of a small, easily concealable snag, there was a slit that began at the bottom of my skirt and moved up, stopping at the top of my thigh.

“No way that just happened,” Max said.

“I’m sorry, Petal. We can go back and you can change into something else?”

“This is nothing,” I said, and straightened, pushing up on the balls of my feet to press a kiss to his neck. “This is just karma’s way of proving a point because I said this was too easy. Of course something would go wrong after that.”

“I’d be lying if I said that I disliked this slight alteration,” he said, eyes moving up and down my thigh.

“It’s not too obscene?” I asked, a little thrill passing through my stomach at his wide eyes as he shook his head.

“Absolutely not.” He ran his hand down over my hip, and touched the bare skin of my thigh, right in front of everyone outside the restaurant.

Warmth slid into my veins. Was he going to play a little tonight? Would he touch me beneath the table?

“Listen,” he said, kissing my neck, “why don’t I check us in and you can run to the ladies, fix anything that needs fixing and maybe check in on George?”

I didn’t call George, opting to text instead of running the risk of waking Anna.

I know I don’t need to check in so just saying hi. Hi, I typed.

His reply came less than a minute later. If you two aren’t naked yet I’m going to be so disappointed.

I laughed dryly as I typed back, Nope, definitely not naked. How’s my baby?

Perfect. Just waking up so I’m heating her bottle. Then tummy time and a movie.

Tell me something I don’t know.

I looked at the full-length mirror in the ladies’ room and Max was right, it didn’t look bad at all. Satisfied, I left to go find my husband, typing out a response on the way. How will I ever repay you, George?