He waited to see the dollar signs in her eyes. The knowledge that he was worth far more than she ever imagined. She would warm up to him immediately, and he would start to pull away. He would decide it wasn’t worth it to spend more time with her.
“It’s nice to meet you,” Nicole said again. “I’m sorry I wasn’t very nice, but I have to be cautious. Do you have kids?”
He shook his head with a grin. “Nope. Just my nieces and nephews. Never had a chance for kids.”
“Do you want kids?”
Roger was more than a little uncomfortable with the direction of the conversation, but if she was talking to him, and not looking at him like he was her meal ticket, he would answer whatever questions she threw at him. “Yes, I want kids. I always wanted kids.”
“Why didn’t you have any?”
Riger took a deep breath. “I know how hard it is to be a single parent. I wanted my kids, if I ever had them, to know both their parents loved them. I wanted to love their mother too. I haven’t found that.”
Nicole chewed on her lip and glanced toward her daughter. He wanted to know what she was thinking, but she kept quiet. She shook her head and finally looked up at him, her features softening. “I can understand that,” was all she said.
Roger wanted to press her for more, but she closed off. Still, he had to try one more thing. “Do you think I could take you out sometime? You know, someplace nicer than the deli at the grocery store.”
Roger held his breath as she silently contemplated his offer. He wasn’t sure what he wanted her to say. Yes, he wanted to get to know her, but he didn’t want her to agree to go out with him because of what he could give her.
Nicole kept her eyes on Makayla the whole time. After a moment she answered, “I don’t really have a regular babysitter. I don’t have anywhere Makayla could go.”
Was she making an excuse or explaining? “Bring her with us. She’s a part of you. If I’m going to get to know you, I want to know your daughter too.”
Nicole cocked her head at him. “Next Friday. Seven. She likes that new Japanese restaurant where they cook in front of you.”
“Excellent. Meet you there?” Nicole nodded as Makayla walked up with three notebooks. She rolled her eyes but nodded to the cart for Makayla to throw them in. “I’m looking forward to it,” Roger said with a wink for Makayla when Nicole wasn’t looking. He watched them walk away and was glad he could stop staking out the grocery store.