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“Freshening up and changing her clothes.”
“I like her. She’s nice.”
Daniel smiled. He’d been right about his mother liking Sabrina. “Yes, she is.”
“She’s different, too.”
He froze with his hand poised above the salad bowl. His mother was good at reading people. “How so?”
“Well, she’s not like Audrey, that’s for sure.”
Breathing a sigh of relief, he nodded in agreement. “No, she’s not.” And he was glad for it. Sabrina was warm and affectionate, compassionate and sweet. Audrey possessed none of these qualities.
“You know, I was surprised when I heard that you and Audrey broke up. I didn’t realize you two were having problems.”
“I caught her in bed with my attorney. I’d say that was a pretty big problem, Mom.”
“Oh? Well, that explains that. Can’t say that I’m sorry about Audrey being out of your life. You know that I would have never said anything if you were still with her, but I was never very fond of that woman.”
“I know, Mom, I could tell.”
“But I was hiding my feelings,” his mother insisted.
He chuckled. “You’re not very good at hiding your feelings, Mom. Has Dad never told you that?”
She shook her head, laughing. “Anyway.” She pointed her finger up toward the ceiling. “Sabrina is a keeper.”
Daniel smiled. “I know.” And he was relieved that his mother thought so too. His mother’s opinion was important to him because he knew she wanted only the best for him.
“Good. So does that mean you’re going to work less now and concentrate on your private life more, perhaps work on producing a bambino? I’m not getting any younger, Daniel, and if you want me to babysit, you’d better do something about this quickly. Don’t mess this one up.”
As usual, his mother was right. He was working too much, and it created problems with Sabrina. He’d neglected her during the past week. He had to stop working so much. He couldn’t make the same mistake he’d made with his previous girlfriends.
This time he was in for the real thing, the long haul. He would have to work at being a couple, at taking her wishes into consideration, and at devoting less time to things that didn’t matter as much as Sabrina. It wasn’t something that came easy to him. After all, he’d spent the last ten years building his business and devoting every single minute to making it into what it was now, a thriving enterprise that generated more money that he could have ever dreamed off. But what was his money really worth if he couldn’t buy himself time with the one person who was most important in his life? The money wouldn’t keep him warm at night like Sabrina did. He knew that. Now he had to act on it and be the attentive man she needed.
“I won’t mess it up, Mom. I swear.”
She turned to him and pointed a sauce-covered spoon at him. “So you’re thinking of a future with her?”
He hesitated. “We haven’t been dating that long. I honestly haven’t given it much thought,” he lied.
He’d thought about it, but he knew he couldn’t take this step yet. Sabrina wasn’t ready. Neither was he. They had to first get used to living together before they could make such a commitment. But he would do his best to make sure they got used to living together as quickly as possible. And the more things they did as a couple, the faster they would get used to each other. Spending this weekend with his parents, away from work, was a good start.
“Well, I think you should.”
Daniel laughed. Of course she’d say that. She wanted a grandchild.
“And your mother is always right. Right, dear?” she hollered to his father, who at this moment entered the kitchen.
“Yes, dear, whatever you say,” his father responded.
Daniel simply smiled. It felt good to be home.
The following morning after breakfast, Sabrina got up from the table and carried the dirty plates to the sink, when she heard James address Daniel, “How about a round of golf?”
“If you’re up for the challenge, I am,” Daniel answered immediately.
Sabrina spun around, panic already spreading over her back. He was going to leave her here alone? She caught his look and tried to wordlessly convey her concern to him.
His eyes connected with hers, casting her a reassuring look. “We’ll be gone for only a couple of hours. We’ll play only a few holes.”