(Shopping for a Billionaire #6)
Publication date: February 26th 2015
Genres: Comedy, New Adult, Romance
All of our best dates end up in the emergency room….
I planned the perfect proposal. Plenty of lobster, caviar, champagne and–her favorite–tiramisu. The perfect setting. The perfect woman. The perfect everything.
Dad gave me my late mother’s engagement ring, platinum and diamonds galore. Shannon wouldn’t care if I slid a giant hard-candy ring on her finger instead of a three-carat diamond designed to impress. But my future mother-in-law, Marie, will pass out when she sets eyes on that rock, which will give us two minutes of blessed silence. That woman talks more than Kim Kardashian flashes her naked backside on the internet.
I was going to make it perfect, from the color of the tablecloth to the freshness of the roses. And it was perfect.
Until Shannon swallowed the ring.
* * *
Shopping for a Billionaire’s Fiancée gives near-billionaire Declan McCormick the chance to tell his story in this continuation of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Shopping for a Billionaire series.
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Grace taps her knuckles on my doorway. For some reason, the door is ajar, the muffled sounds of copiers buzzing and people talking to each other a dull roar in the distance. They all annoy me.
“Declan? The jeweler called. The ring is ready.”
My blank stare is all I can muster.
She smiles. “Are you?”
“Am I what?”
“Ready.” Grace looks like she could get into a catfight with Honey Boo Boo’s mom and come out the winner. When she frowns, something deep and primal in me clenches.
That’s why she’s the best damned admin a guy could have. No worries about office sex (Grace is a lesbian married to a rugby player) and in a pinch, she can act as a bodyguard.
“Ready for a meeting?” Based on the look she gives me, I am not with the program this morning. Frankly, I am not on the planet this morning. Between a helicopter ride from New York that was so choppy I might as well have been riding a bucking bronco, and no sex at all from Shannon for three entire days (due to business meetings in NYC), I am lucky I can read a basic stock report and tie my shoes.
“Ready to get married.”
Oh. Yeah. And then there’s that.
Did I mention the no sex part? Because that’s really occupying my addled brain more than the whole pick-one-woman-for-the-rest-of-your-life thing.
And only one woman.
It’s not so hard to pick one woman to be with for all eternity, right? Grace did it, so I can, too. “Yeah. I’m ready.”
“You look sick. Not ‘ready’.” Grace steps in my office all the way and gently closes the door, holding the doorknob like it’s a ticking time bomb, waiting for the gentle click before turning to me with that look.
You know that look. The look older women give you, their eyes going soft and concerned, like you deserve to be the object of pity, the recipient of chicken soup and completely unusable advice.
Three thin, gold bracelets jangle against her freckled, wrinkled skin. She’s nothing like my future mother-in-law, and--
My entire body tenses for no apparent reason whatsoever. It’s as if the Ghost of Testosterone Past has slipped into my office unannounced.
“I’m fine,” I insist. This is getting old. I have three video conferences with accounts, a business lunch with a client who thinks tequila shots confer the same health benefits as a field green salad (and by the fourth shot, I always agree with him), and a woman right here in this building who I need to locate, pull into a supply closet and bang senseless.
(That would be Shannon, for the record.)
“Declan, I’ve known you since you were in high school, and I’m going to take off my admin hat for a moment and put on my not-quite-mother hat,” Grace says, complete with hand gestures, as if she’s pretending to wear a hat.
Grace was a pre-school teacher in her first career. It shows.
“I have enough not-quite-mothers in my life,” I say in the most I am annoyed voice I can manage, which is a pretty damn strong one. Shannon tells me I have Resting Asshole Face. It’s like Resting Bitchface but for men.
I try it out on Grace right now.
She waves me off. “Oh, stop it. Listen to me. You’re about to propose to the woman you love. Any man in your shoes would be nervous.”
“Nervous,” I scoff, standing up and buttoning my suit jacket, unbuttoning it, buttoning it. The buttons are a bit tight and it just came back from the tailor for readjustment. I am not nervous.
“You’re human, Declan.”
“I’m a McCormick. We’re not allowed to be human.”
“No matter how often your father says that, you know it’s not true,” Grace says with a smile, clasping her hands in front of her, making the gold at her wrists jingle again.
Someone knocks on the door. We both turn and look.
“Come in,” I call out. To Grace, I mutter, “Maybe we’re secret immortal werewolves and we’ve fooled you.”
“You’re too vain about your suits to let them get torn when you shift,” says Shannon, entering the room with a smile.
One part of my clothing threatens to split quite suddenly.
Grace gives me a look that says We’re not done here. Oh, yes, we are. We’re done talking about whether I’m ready for marriage and, instead, we’re going to talk about how ready I am for sex.
If we’re measuring that readiness, it’s a good nine inches long.
(You expect me to be modest? Good luck with that. Facts are facts.)
Shannon works three floors below me. I like knowing she’s under me all the time. Right now, I want her on top of me, beneath me, spooned in front of me, on her knees at my feet...hell, I’ll take anything. I can hear my heart beat in the quiet between us, except the blood isn’t pounding through my chest right now.
Grace departs, and I take in the vision of my future bride. Bride. I like that word. Could get used to saying it, especially since it has the word “ride” tucked right in there.
Shannon. My ride.
She’s wearing a dark grey suit with a double-breasted jacket and a light colored shirt under it. Nylons and high heels a little taller than the ones she normally wears. Her brown hair is pulled back in a braid, her lips freshly painted with bright red lipstick. Long lashes frame those perfect eyes. Shannon is working the hell out of the naughty librarian look.
She moves toward my desk, not touching me, walking past to tease. She knows damn well how hard I want her, er...how much I want her, and she’s prolonging the moment, stretching it out in an endless series of sultry moves designed to make me fling every paper off my desk and take her in front of the giant glass windows here on the twenty-second floor, with a view of the Back Bay our orgasmic scenery.
The seam of my zipper begins to split as she pulls herself up to sit on the edge of my desk, slipping her heels off with stocking feet, and she widens her legs.
Garters. Red garters. And--
My inner werewolf is trying to climb out of my body through my pants fly.
She’s wearing no panties. At all. Shannon doesn’t do this.
Oh, thank God she’s doing this.
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge, and new adult books that push contemporary boundaries. From billionaires to BBWs to rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every book she writes, but unlike Trevor from Random Acts of Crazy, she has never kissed a chicken.