The Billionaires Love Curves 2(8)

By: Cj Howard

“No, not until now.”

“Yes, Ali told me you wanted to congratulate me on my promotion. So I suppose I'm not here for any other reason but for you to tell me you're happy with my work?”

“It isn't your work I'm concerned about, Lacey.”

“Oh?” Maybe her suspicions were right, maybe he'd had a change of heart and wanted to ask her out again. “What is it about, then?” she asked.

“Cole Tyler,” he said, leaning forward in his seat. His elbows came to rest on the desk and his hands joined in front of him, the gold ring on his pinky reflected on the under part of his chin.

Lacey was speechless. This was the last thing she'd expected.

“I know you've been seeing each other,” he continued.

“Well, you say it like it's any of your business. You and I are not together, so who I date is my affair.” Lacey tried her best to sound casual about the whole thing.

“True, but not when it turns out to be a lowlife like Cole Tyler.”

Lacey stood as if to go.

“Where are you going, Lacey. I'm talking to you. This is a serious matter.”

She swung around.

“This is inappropriate, Nate. I thought I came here for your congratulations, not your criticism.”

Her voice had risen in volume and she looked over her shoulder, wondering if his secretary was back. If she was, she was bound to hear every word. She took a deep breath and regained her composure. She leaned forward on his desk, supporting her weight with her knuckles.

“This is so typical of a man,” she said. “He doesn't want you anymore and questions anyone you decide to date. Just back off, Nate, you have no idea what you're talking about.”

“And you have no idea who you're dealing with.” His eyes were flaming but, all the same, she saw very well that he had taken in her cleavage as she leaned towards him, seeming to lose his thread.

“Really?” She stood upright. “I think I know exactly who I'm dealing with. You know why? I'll tell you why. I have found someone who cares about me. Someone who cares about my feelings and has no problem introducing me to his friends as his girlfriend. He doesn't have any reason to keep our relationship under wraps like...”

“Like me? Finish the sentence, Lacey.”

“Yes... like you!” Lacey looked over her shoulder again.

“I had my reasons, Lacey,” he said. “But that's all in the past now. We've moved on. I'm warning you, for your own good. Stay away from that man.”

“Nate, I haven't got time for petty jealousies.” Lacey folded her arms in front of her as an act of defiance. The only other time she'd stood up to him was when she tried to make him be open about their relationship so that she wouldn't have to keep living a lie.

Moments of silence passed between them, the tension in the room palpable as they stared into each other's eyes. She looking down on him like thunder and he looking up, searching for the right words to convince her.

He stood up slowly and she stepped back.

“You think I'm jealous of an idiot like Cole Tyler?” he said. His voice was cold and calculating.

“Well, from where I'm standing, that's exactly what it sounds like to me. You can't just call me in here and make wild demands on me that are nothing to do with my work and concern my private life. Where do you get off on that?”

“Lacey listen to me!”

“No! You have no reason to say these things, the only thing you're trying to do here is make me unhappy again. The way you did when we were dating.”

He paused for a beat before answering this.

“You were unhappy when we were dating?” The tone of his voice hadn't softened but it was lower.

“Not unhappy, Nate. Not if I'm being totally honest. But I was dissatisfied. You know how I felt about all the secrecy. With Cole, that's not an issue anymore. That's the way relationships are supposed to be. With all your brains, looks and your money, you don't know the first thing about making a girl happy. You're older than me, you should have known better.”

“And you want to tell me that Cole is so Goddam mature, a man of the world?”

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