Cocky Fiance(6)

By: T.L. Smith & Melissa Jane


David cleared his throat one last time, his own agitation clear. “Do you have somewhere to be, Ms. Valentino? Somewhere more pressing?”

Britta shook her head and put on her best professional smile, yet the color still hadn’t returned to her cheeks. “Nowhere important,” she responded, interlacing her fingers.

“Right,” David heaved. “I say you propose when...”

For the next five minutes, I didn’t hear a word David Renshaw was spewing. His mouth was moving, and his thick eyebrows were dancing around his forehead as he spoke, but I wasn’t focused on him. I already knew what he was going to say. My lingerie line was his top seller, and he’d only want to increase his selling capacity. He mentioned something about a possible joint venture or sale, but I wasn’t listening.

My focus, however, was firmly on Britta.

While she remained on the ball, listening attentively and answering the questions, she fidgeted with the ruby ring on her middle finger and wriggled continuously in her seat. Her behavior was off, and it was all thanks to that text message. Suddenly, she stood and threw a questioning glance at me.

The meeting was over.

After we all shook hands, Renshaw’s sweaty and limp, I guided Britta quickly out onto the street where my driver was waiting. Her pretty brows had knitted together, and this time she was biting her lip so hard, the soft pink hue turned white from the pressure. As the driver pulled away from the curb, I studied her silent profile.

“You gonna tell me?”

She turned quickly, feigning a smile. “Tell you what?”

“Don’t play coy with me. You know exactly what.”

Britta shrugged her shoulders. “He’s just a jackass, that’s all.”

“I’m not talking about Renshaw, and you know it.”

Her lips parted, but no words came out.

“Was it him?”

“Who?”

I rubbed my hand over my rough cheek, exasperated by her behavior. “Britta Valentino,” my gravelly voice warned. “I’ll put you over my knee and spank you until you tell me the truth.”

The driver glanced in the rear-view mirror, no doubt expecting a show. Britta, on the other hand, looked delightfully amused.

“As enticing as that sounds, I don’t think Rufus would survive it,” she smiled, and her eyes twinkled. I’m glad she found humor in the situation. And she’s right, Rufus the driver, would have a heart attack. “If you really must know, it was Roman.”

“Yes, I’ve gathered that much. And?”

“And?”

That’s it. Lunging for Britta, I gripped her thighs and started to pull her toward me. She squealed in both terror and delight.

“Okay! Okay!” She laughed, but she was desperate to avoid punishment.

“It was in regards to his stupid wedding,” she panted, righting her skirt.

“What about it?”

“It’s a long story—”

“I’ve got all the time in the world.”





Chapter 3


Britta





“You what?”

“Renshaw was pissed... you were sitting right there looking... looking your perfect self, and Roman was messaging, putting the hard word on me. I freaked, and yours was the first name that came to me.”

Hawk, for the first time ever was speechless. “And....” I started, drawing half circles on the carpet with the point of my shoe.

“And?”

“And you have to be my fiancé.”

He laughed, humored eyes wide as he waited for me to say it was all a joke.

“You said what?”

Clearing my throat, I glanced nervously out the window while fiddling with my ruby ring.

“I said... you have to be my fiancé,” I spat out the words faster than I could think them.

“See, that’s what I thought you said but considered it a mistake.”

“No mistake.”

Hawk’s eyes narrowed as he studied me long and hard, causing my cheeks to heat. I couldn’t tell if he was angry or simply entertained.

“And why do I have to be your fiancé?”

I shifted uncomfortably under his gaze. “It kind of slipped out this morning when I saw him.”

“Mmm...” Hawk barely blinked.

“I was caught up in a moment. Angry that he’d just sprang the invitation on me. The way he looked at me like I was still meant to be grieving for him, and this was his olive branch.”

“And what do I get in return?”

My breath caught, and I stared wide-eyed at him, the suggestive question causing raw tension between us. Heat radiated from the inside out, a throbbing between my legs causing a delightful discomfort. Finally, I swallowed, unsure whether he was merely baiting me and whether I wanted to be stupid enough to accept it.