Falling for the Billionaire (One Night Stand #5)(3)

By: J. S. Cooper & Helen Cooper


“Lacey?” A pretty lady with short red hair came rushing up to me with a stack of papers in her hand and a frazzled look on her face. I had no idea how she knew who I was, but I wasn’t about to question her.

“That’s me.” I nodded and cringed as she looked me over and made a face.

“You’re late.”

“Really?” I looked down at my watch. “Sorry, I didn’t realize…” My voice trailed off as I realized the lady wasn’t even listening to me anymore and was walking away from me.

“Are you coming?” She turned to look back at me with a disdainful look. “Follow me,” she said, looking annoyed as she turned back around and walked quickly out of the room.

“A hundred dollars…a hundred dollars,” I muttered to myself as I followed her. I wasn’t even sure that a hundred dollars was worth this stress, but some income was better than none. And waitressing private parties at night was the best sort of job for me if I was serious about being a writer. Which I was. I really wanted to make it as a writer, even if the book I wanted to write was on the backburner. I was still excited about writing my romance novel, Play the Player, and I had the support of my best friend, Eliza. She thought it was a brilliant and inspired novel. In fact, she was even letting me stay with her for free, which was why I had gotten this job. I knew she couldn’t afford to support me; I had to provide some income to the household as well. I didn’t want to take advantage of our friendship and I certainly didn’t want to be a burden. Not that she ever made me feel like I was a burden. She’d never done that to me.

“So you’ll be in charge of passing out the canapés, okay?” The redhead was talking to me and I had completely spaced out. I nodded quickly as we made our way into one of the most impressive kitchens I’d ever seen in my life. There were seven other servers standing around, looking as overwhelmed as I was, and that made me feel a little bit better. I watched as the redhead grabbed her phone and hurried out of the kitchen. I stood there awkwardly, wondering what I was meant to do now.

“Hey, you must be the new girl.” A tall, cute guy, with short blond hair and big blue eyes, came over to me. “I’m Tad.” He gave me his hand. “Is this your first time serving at a private party?”

“That obvious, huh?”

He nodded, a huge grin on his face. “You look like a fish out of water.”

“Kinda.” I laughed and looked around the kitchen. “This is a private house, huh?”

“Yeah, some rich guy.” He nodded. “Makes more money in a minute than we make all year, I bet.”

“Must be nice.” I laughed. “I’m Lacey, by the way.”

“Nice to meet you, Lacey.” He looked down at me and batted his eyelashes. “Maybe we can get a drink after this?”

“Yeah, sounds good,” I said with a small smile as I gazed at his handsome face. He reminded me of a surfer, with his deep tanned skin and golden blond hair. He had a boyish smile and while he looked like he was a little younger than me, I didn’t really care. It would be nice to go for a drink with a cute guy. Someone who seemed unassuming. Someone who would take my mind off of the small crush I had on the enigmatic Henry James, a man I barely knew and who, I was fairly certain, didn’t even know I existed. Well, he knew I existed. We’d met once and exchanged words and glances. His glance at me had been full of contempt and conceit. Mine had been the same, though my body had been on fire as I’d stared at him. I’d never experienced anything quite like that before. I’d never felt like I was falling for someone just by looking at them once, like I was drowning and flying all at the same time. It was a heady and scary feeling. It was also a weird one. Who felt that way about someone after just looking at them once?

A crazy person, that was who. I was crazy, crazy, crazy.

“Awesome.” He did a little dance and I laughed at his goofy moves. Maybe it wasn’t going to be so bad working here after all. Tad seemed cool and I couldn’t be that bad of a server.



***



I wandered around the periphery of the room, feeling dreadfully out of place. The room was full of distinguished grown-ups, which made me feel very much like a little kid, even though I was in my early twenties. All the men were dressed in classy suits, and the women were in ball gowns that were even more glamorous than the dresses the rich girls at my school had worn to prom. I held the tray carefully as I made my way around the room with the small, delicious snacks. The tray felt heavy and there were several times that I’d nearly dropped it. The first time, I’d been saved by Tad, and the other times, I had managed to catch the tray before it completely fell on the ground.