“That’s exactly what I wanted,” he said as the two of us sat down, the big fire crackling. “Trust me, after years in New York, I wanted to be around as few people as possible.”
“You and New York,” I said, shaking my head. “For a city you spent over a decade in, you’re pretty scanty on the details of what your life was like there.”
I was joking, but serious at the same time. Over the course of our handful of dates in the last six weeks, the subject of our pasts had come up more than a few times. And during those conversations, I couldn’t help but notice how cagey he was about his time in New York, always quick to blow it off.
“What’s there to know?” he asked with a shrug. “I lived there, I went to school there, I worked in a hospital there. Then I moved here.”
“Then I moved here,” I said, playfully mocking his ultra-deep voice. “You’re what, thirty-five?”
“Thirty-seven,” he said.
“OK, thirty-seven. Say you finished med school around ten years ago, that’s still nearly a decade of time in New York.”
“And? You lived inNew York—the center of the freaking universe! You’ve lived near Central Park and the Museum of Natural History and all those other amazing places, surrounded by millions of people! You’ve seen things that most people only dream of! And you’re just like, ‘and?’”
He let out a low, dry laugh. “Just don’t see it that way, I guess. New York was New York. I had some fun there, met some interesting people. But I was more focused on work. I tend to think there’s a different view of it when you’re a resident versus a visitor.”
I narrowed my eyes, a small smile on my face. “You’re doing it again.”
He scrunched his forehead. “I told you what I did in New York. You only think it’s weird because I’m not going into detail. But you know the broad strokes.”
“I just find it hard to believe that a man like you who owns a yacht and drives sportscars and lived in the coolest city on the east coast doesn’t have anything more than a few words to say about a decade of his life spent there.”
“Well, the yacht wasn’t technically mine.”
“I own it with a few other people. We bought it together; all pay for the maintenance.”
“Is that right?” Of course I didn’t care that he wasn’t the sole owner of the yacht. “What other people?”
“Just friends of the family.”
“OK, so we’ve got some family friends in the picture. What about family?”
“We’ve been over this—no brothers or sisters, just like you. My dad passed a while back, and my mom still lives in Greece. She was the one I was visiting when you and I met. That’s the whole story.”
I opened my mouth to speak, but I didn’t get a chance. Instead, he leaned in and closed the distance between us.
“Now, you and I could spend another hour or so going over the same boring details about my past that we’ve already talked about. But I’ve got something else on my mind.”
As much as I wanted to try to pry more information out of him, I couldn’t resist his nearness. And as I gazed into those green eyes, I couldn’t help but suspect that his intentions were partly driven by a desire to get me to shut up and quit asking questions.
I set aside my eagerness to know more and allowed myself to get lost in his gaze, be wrapped up in his musky scent.
“You’ve got something else on your mind. Is it the dinner cooking in the oven that’s probably going to burn if you ignore it?” I teased.
“It’s already done, just sitting in the oven waiting to be served. Braised beef, by the way, perfect for weather like this. And just the thing to regain one’s energy after certain vigorous activities.”
Flashes of our first night together almost a year ago came back. I began to remember what it’d been like to be in bed with him, how good he’d made me feel. Then he placed his hand on my thigh, making me think of nothing but how much I wanted him to do it all over again.
“Activities, huh?” I asked.