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I got what I wanted.
Got what I paid for.
But once Monroe starts dating a handsome billionaire, I can’t stand it.
It drives me crazy.
I decide it’s too much to handle.
I arrive at her door and demand another chance.
But I’m not sure if she’ll give me one.
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The office was a paradise while Coen and Simone were away. They spent a week in the Bahamas, somewhere remote where he didn’t even have an internet connection most of the time. That prevented him from flooding my email with updates.
It was nice.
I tried to enjoy the calm before he returned—with the devil on his arm.
I wondered how long she would play nice before she showed her true colors. Would she stick around for at least a year just to make it seem like their marriage was real? Or would she waste no time and get rid of him in just a few weeks?
The sooner, the better in my opinion. Once the truth was out, Coen would know I had his best interests at heart—and I tried to warn him.
Max walked into my office a moment later, his folder tucked under his arm. “Haven’t heard from you in a while.”
“You can just call.”
“Yes, but you need pictures. I’m not sending that over email.” He set the folder on my desk. “The line of eager girls just keeps getting bigger and bigger. What’s the holdup?”
A single woman was the holdup. “We’re going to have to put this operation on hold for three months.”
“Three months?” he asked blankly. “Why? You keep putting this on hold over and over. What’s the problem?”
I paid him, so I got to be the one to ask questions—not the other way around. “It doesn’t matter. But I’m not taking new clients for the foreseeable future.”
“Does that mean you have one client in mind?”
I was sleeping with the same woman over and over again, a woman so vanilla, but she tasted so sweet. “Yes.” The last woman I had committed to was Simone, and that ended up being a mistake. I didn’t consider myself to be committed to Monroe in the same way, but I was definitely monogamous.
“So is this just three months?” he asked. “Or do you think it may be indefinite…”
It couldn’t be indefinite. I didn’t want to lose Monroe, but I didn’t want to marry her either.
“Because I need to find a new client if you’re retiring.”
“I’m not retiring. I’ll keep paying you.”
“Until you decide in three months?”
There was no decision. This thing I had with Monroe couldn’t last forever. Hopefully, I would grow tired of her in three months—and then I could let her go without regret. Maybe she was just a drug I needed in my system until it started to poison me. Or maybe it was going to turn me into an addict. “I’ll let you know in three months, Max.”
I was at my place when she called me.
“Hey, sweetheart.” I sipped my scotch as I stood at the window and looked at the city. Now that fall had officially arrived, the colors of Central Park were beginning to change. The leaves were once deep green and vibrant, and now they were showcased tones of yellow and red.
“Don’t sweetheart me,” she hissed.
I smiled, knowing she had figured out what I’d done. “I wish I could see your face right now. You look so cute when you’re mad.”
“Trust me, I don’t look cute right now.”
“I doubt that.”
She growled into the phone, but even that sounded cute. “I told you I didn’t want your money yet.”
“And I didn’t give it to you.”
“But you went behind my back and paid off my loan.”
“I didn’t go behind your back. And you’re welcome, by the way.”
“That’s my financial business,” she countered. “So yes, you did go behind my back.”
I knew she wouldn’t take my money up front, so I took matters into my own hands. “I just saved you six thousand dollars over the next three months.”
“But that wasn’t the deal.”
“What’s the problem?” I asked. “Were you planning on leaving before the three months are up?” I drank from my glass again and let the ice cube touch my lips.
“I’d like the option…”
The idea of her wanting to leave didn’t please me. I thought we were both in this for the next three months, to see if it went anywhere, if it could go anywhere. “And why would you like the option?”
“Just in case my heart starts to get crushed.”
I would never hurt her—at least, not on purpose. “Well, now you have to see it through.” I’d successfully caged her, made her a prisoner without her consent. She couldn’t pay back the money because it’d been given directly to the bank. Now she had to earn her freedom.
“That worked out for you.”
“And it helped your motivation.”
She turned quiet, still angry with me but not angry enough to hang up the phone.
“How was your day?” I asked, trying to change the subject.
“I’m not in the mood for chitchat.”
“Just in the mood to yell at me?” I teased.
“Yes. Now that I’ve done that…I’m gonna go.” She hung up without saying goodbye.