Fiance by Friday(2)

By: Catherine Bybee


As the evening grew late, Gwen thought perhaps it would end up a bust.

Over her shoulder someone said her name.

She turned toward the deep voice and offered a polite smile. The owner of the voice stood over her by several inches, his broad shoulders and easy demeanor told her he was very comfortable approaching strangers. “I’m sorry, do I know you?”

He chuckled as if she’d said a joke. “We haven’t met.” He extended a hand. “Michael Wolfe.”

Gwen accepted his hand, which he quickly let fall. “Did I say something funny, Mr. Wolfe?”

He leaned against the table and smiled at a couple as they passed. “You really don’t know who I am?”

She shook her head. “Sorry.”

“I’m an actor.”

“How wonderful for you. I still have no idea.”

He was laughing full on now, delighted with himself. “Oh, how rich is that? I’d ask to buy you a drink but they’re giving them away tonight.”

These words from anyone else would feel like a pick-up line. Not from this man.

His eyes traveled beyond her again, this time to a group of men standing far away.

Hmmmm?

“So, Lady Harrison. How is your brother’s marriage going?”

Gwen kept her expression neutral. “Do you know my brother?”

Michael Wolfe shook his head. “I haven’t had the pleasure. We share a few acquaintances.”

Which meant that Michael Wolfe wasn’t asking about Blake and Sam, but rather their marriage. And that meant that Mr. Wolfe was asking about Alliance.

“How about another glass of champagne, Mr. Wolfe?”



“I think I found you the perfect husband.” Gwen bent her knee and slid her Louboutins from her feet before tossing them to the floor. You would think shoes that cost nearly a thousand dollars would be exempt from hurting your feet. Sadly, that wasn’t the case.

“You think you found what?” Karen turned down the volume on the television and twisted around on the sofa.

“A husband for you.”

Gwen’s words sparked Karen’s full attention. The TV went dark and Karen patted the sofa beside her. “Come sit! Tell.”

After placing her handbag on the hall table, Gwen turned the lock on the door and set the house alarm. “Let me get out of this dress first. The beading has rubbed my skin raw all night.” She turned her back to Karen with a silent plea to unzip the evening gown.

Karen loosened the clasp and lowered the zipper, and then proceeded to follow Gwen up the stairs. “You can’t drop the ‘H’ word and leave the room, Gwen. That’s just mean.”

Holding the front of the dress up with one hand, and lifting the hem with the other, Gwen managed the stairs without tripping.

“The Wilson Charity Ball was filled with people. Lots of couples and plenty of those actor types running about.” She stepped into her closet and let the gown slide from her shoulders. After hanging the dress, she grabbed a nightgown from her chest and walked back into her bedroom. “You know, Samantha said I would tire of these dinners, but I’m enjoying them. I’ve met so many interesting people since I moved here.” Gwen had moved to the States nearly a year ago. At thirty-one years old, she had lived a sheltered life on her family estate outside of London. She’d traveled the world, but always with a bodyguard or her mother.

Now that her brother was the duke in the family, the estate belonged to him. Not that Gwen couldn’t live there, but his marriage to Samantha had presented the opportunity for Gwen to move forward with her life. Especially when Samantha had explained her business to Gwen.

With Samantha taking on the duties of full-time wife, mother, and duchess, she didn’t have time to run her business. Gwen stepped in to help run Alliance, even though she didn’t have a business skill to name as her own. However, living a titled life, she did understand how to brush elbows with the rich and famous, the very clients Alliance sought. Where Gwen was lacking, Karen excelled. Karen’s clerical skills and ability to keep all the records were better than any high-paid lawyer’s secretary. Together they ran the business flawlessly.

“Getting back to the perfect husband…”

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