Billionaire's Fake Fiancee:Age Gap Romance(3)

By: Tara Brent

I turn, but he reaches out and touches my arm, causing me to jerk back in reaction immediately. “Didn’t mean to startle you.”

“You didn’t,” I lie. Not much anyway. He holds up his hand, and in his clutches are my keys. My jaw drops. “I don’t understand. Where’d you find those?”

“Practically right where we’re standing.” He drops the keys into my waiting hand. “With your ramblings, I assumed they had to be yours.”

“I don’t ramble,” I argue, then snap my mouth shut. That’s a joke because ever since glancing into the handsome stranger’s face, I’m left rambling. That, along with the fact that I thought my keys would be lost forever.

He smiles. “Just steer clear of the street, especially when traffic is barreling down the road. That’s my tip of the day.” He winks and then turns and walks away, my head spinning as I stare after him. Hands down the most handsome man I’ve ever seen, and now he’s just walking away. I look down at my keys and shake my head. I’ve left him with some memory, the woman that can’t stop talking. Maybe it’s a good thing I will never know who he is.

Chapter 2


The restaurant bustles with action as I glance around to see if I can spot Raymond. I glance at my watch. I’m still early, despite the hecticness of my day. “Mr. Hawthorne!”

I look up and grin. “Hey, Ginger. I’m meeting someone here, Raymond Callahan. Has he arrived?”

She shakes her head. “Just the two of you?” I nod and follow her to an empty table. “I’ll send the waitress out to get your drink order.”

“No rush. Thanks.”

I take my seat and open my menu. This isn’t the first time I’m at The Hideaway, but most of the time, it’s the lunch specials I go for. They’re quick and easy, and it gets me back to the daily grind. When Raymond gave the office a call that he needed a late appointment, I was happy for the reprieve.

I flip the page over and reach the dinner specials, grazing my finger over the sleek edge of the menu. “Hello, my name is Kelci, and I’ll be your waitress this evening. May I start you off with...” I glance up, and instantly her speech ends. “You.”

“I tend to have that effect on women.” I chuckle lightly, but her eyes drop to the table.

“Oh,” she mumbles. “Thought I recognized you.” She looks up; her cheeks are rosy from embarrassment. “Your drink?”

“I’ll take just a water.” Before responding further, she’s nodding and rushing from the table. I turn to stare after her and then fall back into place. I shake my head. She probably thinks I’m the biggest jerk around, like I’m so arrogant I can’t recall a pretty face I’ve seen only six hours earlier. The way she said you, her eyes lit up. Or, maybe that’s my imagination. But I feel she lit up. Perhaps that is my arrogance talking.

I glance down at my menu, my mind going back to her. Her lips curve up into the sweetest of smiles, nearly taking my breath away. And that’s only in the few minutes I had been in her presence.

“Your water...” I look up as she slides the water in front of me, but her eyes divert from my gaze. “Waiting for someone else, I presume?”

“Uh yeah,” I start. “Truth is, though, I’m glad we have a few minutes alone.” She looks up, her jaw dropping slightly. I continue without hesitation. “You see, I feel like I might have offended you in some way.” I tilt my head. “Or confused you perhaps. It wouldn’t be the first time. I have that effect on....” I snap my lips shut, then smile softly. “Anyway, I remember you. Quite well, in fact.” At that moment, her eyes soften, and her lips close together. “I was only having a little fun.” And now I see how stupid it was. “But fancy meeting you here. Don’t get much more of a coincidence than that. Right? Or, maybe we should call it fate?”

Her lips turn upward, and there’s the slightest bit of blush that brightens her cheeks. “I’d say so. Coincidence, that is,” she finally relents. “Don’t know that I believe in fate.” She drops her gaze to her notepad and clears her throat. “So, are you waiting for someone to show up?” She blushes again and looks over to the empty seat. “Oh yeah, we’ve already established that.”