Her smile was glorious, and after Gabe had her safely buckled into his car and they were headed for the expensive venue that Richcorp had hired for the event, she turned to him.
“I know it’s not super elegant or fancy like the dresses other women will be wearing tonight,” she said, smoothing her hand nervously over the satin twill skirt.
“Bobbi, I told you before, those other women are boring. I don’t need super elegant or fancy. I just need you, and tonight you look like a badass little fairy and I love it!”
She laughed at that.
“A ‘badass fairy’?” she repeated softly. “I like that.”
“Hmm,” he threw her a sideways glance. “You know, as hot as you look in that dress, all I can think of is getting you out of it.”
“Yes, boss,” he said in such a perfect imitation of Sean that it startled a snort of laughter from her. He didn’t know how he was going to get through the evening without dragging her into a closet somewhere and having his wicked way with her.
After they had reached their destination, he halted at the bottom of the staircase leading up to the hotel’s ballroom.
“Right now, while it’s just us,” he whispered, wrapping his arms around her slender waist and dragging her to his chest. “I wanted to give you your Valentine’s Day present.”
“You already gave me these.” She shook her head to set the earrings dancing, and he smiled.
“Hmm, they make you look like a gypsy, especially with your hair.” She had finally had it styled. Nothing too drastic, just a few layers to give it more body. “No, my gift is a promise.”
She tilted her head questioningly.
“A vow to forever love you just the way you are. You don’t need to change for me, Bobbi mine. You’re perfect and I love you so damned much. Never, ever doubt that.”
As Bobbi looked into his eyes, she saw nothing but love and sincerity shining in them and had no doubt that he meant every word. He was her best friend, her lover, and her heart’s desire.
Gabe came jogging over to Bobbi after the game, a triumphant grin on his face as he swooped her into his arms and planted a kiss on her lips.
“Ugh, you’re all sweaty, get off me.” She pushed at his chest and his grin widened.
“To the victor goes the spoils,” he proclaimed, wrapping his arms even tighter around her when she tried to wriggle away. “You’re my spoils.”
“God, you’re insufferable when you win. I don’t know how the other guys can stand you.”
“We can’t,” Sandro called from close by. He took a thirsty drink from the water bottle Theresa had handed to him.
“I personally only come here for the braai,” Rick added, already making his way to the grill.
“Well since you can’t play, it’s probably time better spent,” Sandro retorted, clearly still annoyed with his teammate for missing a last-minute penalty that would have evened the scores.
“Oooh,” the other guys jeered, and Rick merely waved the comment aside.
“It’s all good,” he said with a sanguine grin. “My man San is clearly jealous of my skills with a ball.”
“What skills?” Sandro growled. “You look like a headless chicken flapping about whenever you take to the field.”
“He’s a passable rugby player,” Bryce said in defense of his brother.
“And that would be wonderful if we were actually playing rugby,” Pierre said irritably.
“Sandro, you don’t have to be so rude,” Theresa’s voice piped up. “Rick was trying his best, you know.”
“You always take his side,” Sandro complained, looking and sounding like a recalcitrant little boy in that moment. Theresa grinned and stepped up to hug him, before whispering something in his ear. The glower faded from Sandro’s face and his head snapped back as he laughed at whatever it was his wife had whispered in his ear.
“Aah, look at their team falling apart at the seams. A tragic loss like the one they suffered today will do that.” Gabe tut-tutted as he watched the losing team squabble amongst themselves. He turned back to Bobbi, who had given up her struggles to get away from his big, sweaty body. “And how are my wife and two kids this evening?”
“Annoyed that we couldn’t play,” she answered, and he grinned before patting her hugely swollen belly. He bent down to talk to the mound, something he did often and sometimes publicly. It would be embarrassing if it weren’t so darned sweet.
“Hear that Seamus and Sian, your mummy’s annoyed with you.”
“No. Just no,” she said, pinching the bridge of her nose.
“Uh-oh, Bert and Betty, I think she’s annoyed with me too now.” He smiled slyly at her, and she felt a reluctant grin tugging at her lips.
“We’re naming them Elizabeth and Jonathan,” she proclaimed, and he dropped a kiss onto her tummy.
“Daddy loves you too much to call you Lizzy and Johnny. I promise you, I will stop mean old Mummy from naming you that.” They had been having different versions of the same argument since they’d discovered that she was carrying a girl and a boy. They just couldn’t come to an agreement on the names, and she was due in just over a month. She couldn’t work anymore, which frustrated her, but the shop was doing well enough for them to hire two more employees, and Bobbi had promoted Craig to manager, so she could take maternity leave without worrying too much about how things were going.