The Wild West Billionaire Duet(6)

By: Harper Lauren

I snickered. “What is all of this for? It’s not my birthday,” I added. “And just because I’m the CEO doesn’t mean you have to surprise me!”

“The London office has made such an incredible turn around that we wanted to thank you,” Lewis said stiffly. He sounded almost offended. “And I did hope you would be appreciative!”

“I am appreciative,” I assured him. “This is great.”

As the employees began to mingle and chatter and nibble at slices of the Magnate Group cake, I sighed and leaned against the wall. It wasn’t that I was unhappy. In fact, quite the opposite. I missed Boston, but I was proud of the work I’d accomplished in London. In under a year, I’d made my company two billion dollars richer. There was even talk of an IPO, once things began to settle down a little bit.

“Congratulations, James.”

I glanced up to see a secretary, a pretty blonde slip of a thing, blushing and holding out a slice of cake.

I chuckled. “No, thanks,” I said. “I’m watching my sugar intake.”

The girl flushed and I smirked at her. “Please,” she said. “I was the one who ordered it, and I wasn’t sure if you’d like it.”

“Oh, all right,” I said with exaggerated irritation. “Thank you…”

“Margery,” the girl said. “My name is Margery.” She cleared her throat, blushing hotly. “James, I’m so happy to have gotten the chance to work with you. It’s been such a fun year.”

I raised an eyebrow. “Oh?”

Margery flushed and squirmed under my intense gaze, and I realized with a touch of guilt that I liked watching the way she moved. She was cute, too – petite and blonde, with bright white teeth and curls to her shoulders.

“Yes,” Margery said primly. She licked her pink lips. “So, how is it?”

I made a show of taking a small bite of cake. “Incredible,” I said. I winked at her. “Did you bake this yourself and lie about it?”

Margery’s cheeks turned red and she shook her head. “No,” she said. “I just ordered it. I’m glad you like it.” She stepped closer and the warm, innocent smell of vanilla washed over me. “So, what are your plans?”

I shrugged. “I assume I’m flying home to Boston in a few weeks,” I said. “And then I’ll be going back to work there, maybe even working on expanding internationally.”

“Oh, that would be exciting,” Margery said. She bit her lip, looking sad. “And sir, if I’m not being too forward…may I just say that everyone here is going to miss you so much. You’ve been such an asset.”

I grinned. “I’m glad you think so,” I said.

“So, um, are you doing anything after this? My friend, you see, he just opened a Thai restaurant, and—”

“Sorry,” I said, flashing her a charming grin. “But I have dinner plans.”

Margery’s face fell. Before I could reassure her, I felt a huge hand clapping down on my shoulder.

“James, you bastard!” The familiar sound of Harry’s voice filled my ears and I turned around, grinning. My best friend was standing there, holding a plate loaded with cake. He looked the same as ever – devilish gleam in his eyes, and a knowing smirk as he watched the way Margery stared at me.


We pulled each other into a bro-hug, clapping each other on the back. Harry thumped me so hard that I almost spat cake out over his designer suit. When we pulled away, I realized Margery was standing there, looking awkward.

“Where are my manners,” I said, snickering. “Margery, this is my best friend – Harry. He’s from the States.”

“I came to surprise him,” Harry said, smirking at Margery. “But I think I like you more.” He eyed me conspiratorially. “James definitely wouldn’t look good in that dress.”

Margery flushed hotly and I rolled my eyes. Harry had a practiced, easy way with women – the few that didn’t fall all over themselves at the first sight of him usually caved after just a few minutes. He’d slept with hundreds of girls over the years – and somehow, I guessed Margery was about to become the latest notch on his bedpost.