Jared's Counterfeit Fiancee(2)

By: Brenda Jackson

Jared shook his head thinking that principle had nothing to do with it. The law was the law. “Unfortunately, Miss Rollins, you’re faced with a losing battle and a very costly one. Do you want to add a bunch of legal fees to everything else right now?”

He knew the mention of finances would help make her think straight. And knowing he had her thinking in the right direction, he pressed forward. “I know what you’re going through must be painful, but my advice to you is to try and put this episode behind you and move on. You’re a beautiful woman, and I believe there’s a man out there who’s truly worthy of you. Evidently Luther Cord isn’t. Perhaps you should count your blessings.”

Jared knew his words weren’t what she wanted to hear but he wanted to be as honest with her as he could. There was only so much he could say, considering the fact that Luther Cord was his client. In fact, he had said too much already. But for some reason he wanted to help end her heartache as soon as possible.

Moments passed and Dana didn’t say anything, but he could tell she was thinking about what he’d said. Then he watched as she pulled a small white box from her purse and handed it to him.

He met her gaze when she said softly, “I appreciate your advice and although it’s a bitter pill to swallow, I’ll return the ring.”

He flipped it open and saw the dazzling diamond solitaire before placing the small box on his desk. “You’re doing the right thing, Miss Rollins.”

She nodded and extended her hand to him. “The last thing I need is to get into more debt. Luther isn’t worth it.”

He accepted her hand, liking the way it fit neatly into his. “I hope things work out for you,” he said with complete sincerity.

Dana gazed intently into his eyes and smiled appreciatively. Although she hadn’t wanted to hear what he’d said, she couldn’t help but be grateful for his honesty. In her experience, compassion and kindness were two emotions attorneys seldom possessed. “Somehow they will. I know I interrupted your work by barging in here the way I did and I apologize,” she said.

“You didn’t interrupt anything,” Jared said smoothly. “And as for my advice, consider it a favor.”

The smile that touched her lips widened. “Thanks. Maybe I’ll be able to return the favor some day. I owe you one.”

As he released her hand and watched her turn and walk out of his office, Jared thought to himself that Dana Rollins was as sensual as a woman could get.


A month later

J ared Westmoreland was having one hell of a morning.

It began with the message his mother had left on his answering machine last night, reminding him that his father’s and his uncle’s birthdays fell on Easter Sunday this year and requesting that he set an example for his five brothers by bringing a date to the huge dinner party she and his aunt Evelyn had planned.

His cousin Storm’s recent wedding had made his mother, Sarah, take stock and realize that her six sons had yet to show serious interest in any woman. And of course, since he was the eldest, she felt he should be the first and had every intention of prodding him in the right direction. It didn’t matter that he and his brothers were successful and enjoyed being single. She felt that the only way any of them could truly be happy was to find that special woman and tie the knot. The only one who wasn’t experiencing the heat was his brother Spencer, whose fiancée Lynette, had died in a drowning accident three years ago.

Jared rose from his chair and walked over to the window. To add to the annoyance of his mother’s call, he had arrived at work an hour later than usual because of traffic. And as if things couldn’t get any worse, he had just received a phone call from entertainer Sylvester Brewster, who wanted to file for a divorce—from wife number three. Sylvester was good for business, but it was hard to watch him involve himself in relationships that didn’t last.

When Jared heard the buzzer sounding on his desk, he turned around and sighed heavily, wondering if the morning could get any worse. Crossing the room he picked up the phone. “Yes, Jeannie?”