Hearing him call me that is the icing on my cake. "It makes it pretty hard to be tough when you say and do such sweet, romantic things."

"I didn't tell you those things or give you the bracelet so I could get laid."

As if it would take either. "We both know you don't have to say or give me anything to get me under you. With a fair amount of certainty, I think you can label me as your sure thing."

"As much as I love hearing that, I do mean it when I say I love you infinitely."

"I know you do. And I feel the same about you." I hold out my wrist. "Now, put my bracelet on me so I can show off your love."

He fastens the clasp around my wrist and brings my hand to his lips for a kiss. "I'll only be a few minutes getting ready."

"You never told me where we're going."

"I know," he says, grinning, but offers no further explanation.

As promised, he's ready in little to no time at all. He's in a suit, something I haven't seen him wear in a really long time. It's platinum with a white and silver pinstriped shirt and a brilliant blue tie that brings out the breathtaking beauty of his eyes. Seeing him in it reminds me of the night we met in that blues club in Wagga Wagga.

"What's that, love?" He heard me. I know he did. He just wants to hear me say it again.

"I was just saying you still look hotter than the devil's ass when you wear a suit."

"Wow. If I'd known you felt that way, I'd have worn one more often."

"I like you just fine in your jeans and Indiana Jones hat." Especially the hat. I'll have to ask him to wear nothing but the hat one day since he asked me to wear nothing but my boots.

"You find the hat I wear to work sexy?"

"I didn't bring it with me."

"That's okay." I catch myself before I blurt out that I can see him wear it when we get back to Australia.

It's such an automatic thought, the idea of going back with him. But is that what I need to do? The mystery isn't in whether I want him or not—it's if I can leave my career and family for a life with him nine thousand miles away.

And I still don't know the answer.

I see the look on Laurelyn's face and I know she's worrying about where our relationship is going and how we'll make things work. But I don't want this getaway to be about stress or angst. I only want us to have fun. And sex. Lots of sex. "Don't go there."

She wrinkles her forehead. "Don't go where?"

She's being coy. She knows exactly what I mean. "Wherever it is you go in your head when you get that tense look on your face."

That's my girl. Take a potentially painful subject and turn it into something funny. "Okay, Miss Comedienne. We'll pretend you're constipated instead of worried about our relationship." I hold out my hand for her. "Come on. Let's go."

We step off the elevator and I lead her toward the restaurant I've chosen. We're seated in a room where we'll be catered to by our own personal chef. "Are you hungry, babe?"

"Craving anything in particular?"

"That can be arranged. In fact, you can have a little now and a lot later. I know you like your steak cooked medium but what you'll have later will be done well."

"I like things that are done well—especially when it's me."

I bring her hand to my lips for a kiss. "I intend on doing you quite well, love."

"You always do," she giggles as our server arrives at our table.

After enjoying a lovely meal with my beautiful girl, we leave the restaurant and I know her curiosity is piqued. "Are you ready to know what's next on the agenda?"

Her eyes are big with anticipation. "Of course."

"There aren't any good concerts tonight, so I booked a burlesque show." She breaks into a huge grin and I have to wonder what it's all about. "I thought you might like it since it's traditional Vegas stuff. We don't have to go if you don't want to."

"Oh, I definitely want to go."

I was afraid she might be pissed off at me for getting tickets to a show where women would be in skimpy costumes, but she clearly isn't. "You seem pretty excited about it. I was a little worried you might not want to see near-naked women dancing or that you might be mad at me because you'd think I wanted to see them."

"I'm not a hater. I'm a congratulator and it's just a show." God, you've got to love a woman with that kind of attitude. "You're not going to be making out with anyone except me."

"Damn right. We have private seats, so we might do more than make out."

She knows I hate hearing her tell me no. "Why not?" As my words come out, I recognize that I sound like a child.

"I have my reasons. You'll be glad we waited when you see what they are."

My curiosity is at an all-time high. "You have my mind reeling."

We're seated in our private section, hidden from view of most everyone at the show. These seats weren't easy to score and they cost me a fortune, but I was willing to pay any price because I was planning to have some naughty fun with Laurelyn. What does she have up her sleeve?

At one point during the show, I try to creep my hand up her dress, but she slaps it away and scolds me with her eyes. Literally. "What?"

"You already know what."

"No, that's the problem. I don't know what." I think I could ease off a little if I did know.

She takes my hand from her leg and cups hers around it. "I have something special for you later and I'm not serving appetizers. So stop or I'm gonna get mad."

I see there's no persuading her so I should calm it down. "I can't help it. I'm frustrated as fuck because I want you so bad."

"You're going to have me tonight but you have to learn some patience."

Easy for her to say when she's the one withholding sex. "Why should I be patient when I don't have to be? No one is stopping us but you."

I see the expression on her face change before she turns to look straight ahead. I don't know if I've hurt her or pissed her off. "I'm sorry, babe. I didn't mean that the way it sounded."

She refuses to look at me. That's not good. "I think you did."

"Yeah, you're right. I did, but I don't want to fight about this. If you say we're waiting, then we're waiting. Blue balls or not, I swear I won't pressure you anymore."

She seems to soften. "We can go back to the room now if you want."

She says it so sweet, I feel like a giant dick. "No. I can see that this is important to you, so we'll wait."

We finish the show but all I can think about the whole time is getting her back to the room so I can make her scream, which isn't helping with my growing case of blue balls.

We're walking through the casino and I see her looking at the tables with curiosity. "Have you ever played?"

"No. I've never even been inside a casino." She's twenty-three and she's never gambled? I thought that was one of the first things you did when you turned twenty-one. "It looks like a Disney World for adults. Of course, I've never been there, either, so what do I know?"

"Ah, baby! I have so many places I want to take you." I want to show her the world.

"And there's no one I'd rather go with." I don't doubt her sincerity for a second.

I gesture toward the tables. "You want to play? I'll teach you what you need to know."

She looks around and takes it all in for a moment before she points to a craps table. "I think I might like to roll dice."

We find a hole and I throw a few fat bills in front of the dealer before several stacks of chips are pushed in our direction. I lift the towers and place them in front of her.

"You'll have to explain it to me because I have no idea what I'm doing."

"I'm not an expert on all the ins and outs, but I know the basics." When it's time for a fresh roll, I show her where to place her bet. "You'll put your chip here. If he rolls a seven or eleven, then you're a winner. But if he rolls a two, three, or twelve, then you lose. If he gets a number other than two, three, seven, eleven, or twelve, then he must roll that same number again before a seven to be a winner."

"It's not once you get the hang of it."

She's scared to make bets at first but begins to warm up to the idea after several rolls. In no time at all, she's looking like a pro and has even gotten brave enough to roll the dice a few times. She's actually pretty good at it and has some nice runs when she rolls.

It's not surprising she catches the attention of every man at the table, young and old. I see them noticing her, and although I know she isn't interested, I don't care for the way they look at her. I especially don't like the way they look at her tits and arse when she's leaning forward to grab the dice and place bets.

I find myself drinking more than I should because I'm feeling a jealous streak. "Are you ready to go back to the room?"

She doesn't even look at me. "This is so much fun. Are you not having a good time?"

"I'd be having a much better time if we were in the room naked."

She leans over the table and every guy there is either checking out her cleavage or the rise of her hemline. "Just a little longer."

Just a little longer turns into another hour and I'm on the drunk side before I mean to be. The combination of blokes ogling Laurelyn and the whiskey has put me in a particularly bad mood. "I'm done here. You can come up to the room when you want. Or not. Whatever."