The Billionaire Princess(3)

By: Christina Tetreault

Jake laughed. “I'll warn you before I do. But since they are leaving the country tomorrow it'll be a while.”

Christopher watched the exchange between his best friend and the other guests. Jake's announcement hadn't surprised him in the least. Actually, he'd expected something like this since Jake had told him about the engagement. An impromptu wedding near the beach fit the couple in question perfectly. But, judging by their expressions, Charlie's mom and Jake's sister hadn't expected anything like this.

As Sara and Jake discussed their parents, Christopher tuned out the words and watched the emotions on Sara's face, unable to tear his eyes from her. No one could deny that she was an amazingly beautiful woman.

He'd thought the same thing the first time he'd met her his freshman year at Cal Tech. She'd accompanied her parents when Jake moved in, and when she walked into their dorm room, he thought he was seeing a living angel. Even at sixteen, she'd taken his breath away. Not that she noticed him though. At eighteen he'd been tall and lanky, and his personal grooming had ranked low on his priority list. Thanks to the gym and Jake's help, his appearance had drastically changed in the years since they first met. Today no one would recognize him as the geek from Wisconsin and not just because of the changes to his outward appearance.

Sara had changed as well. She'd gone from a beautiful sixteen year old to a gorgeous woman. Though being his best friend's sister meant she was off limits to him. Still, that didn't mean he couldn't admire her from afar. He suspected few men could be in her presence without drooling all over themselves.

“I doubt this surprises you.”

Jake's voice broke into Christopher's thoughts and he found himself grateful that his dark sunglasses concealed his eyes. “Not at all. I just thought you'd do it sooner. I told Sara on the ride here I thought we were going to a wedding.”

“And she disagreed. What was her theory?” Jake asked with a hint of laughter in his voice.

“She didn't have one or if she did she kept it to herself.” Christopher let his eyes travel back to Sara. “But this suits the two of you.”

“Thanks for coming.” Jake slapped him on the back. “It means a lot to me.”

“Hey, I figured if my guess was right I couldn't miss seeing Prince Charming himself get married,” Christopher answered, making reference to the title the media had given Jake years before. “Besides, when my sisters hear that you got married they are going to want all the details.”

Jake opened his mouth to speak, but Christopher beat him to it. “Don't worry I won't tell them anything until it goes public. If I told them, it would be all over the Internet in an hour.”

Jake nodded his appreciation. “I don't think you've meet Maureen. I'll introduce you.”

Christopher glanced over at the older woman who was now in a conversation with Charlie and Sara. In silence he and Jake crossed the rooftop to where the three women stood.

“Maureen, I'd like you to meet Christopher Hall,” Jake said interrupting.

A wide friendly smile crossed Maureen's face. “You must be Jake's college roommate Charlie told me about. It's nice to meet you.” Maureen extended her hand.

“Nice to meet you too. Jake tells me you make the best apple pie he's ever tasted.” Christopher extended his hand toward the older woman.

Christopher and the others remained outside. After lunch Christopher retreated to his own bedroom. In addition to having a private elevator, the penthouse apartment had a full kitchen, living room, five bedrooms, and access to a private rooftop pool. During lunch he'd received several text messages from work and he wanted to handle them before the ceremony began.

A few hours later Sara stood between Christopher and Maureen, as Judge Fallon began the wedding ceremony on the deserted beach just feet away from the rolling waves. Sara had to admit the setting of the ceremony fit her brother and Charlie to a T. They both adored the ocean and spent as much time as possible out on Jake's sailboat. The entire feel of the ceremony, in fact, fit the couple. It was low key and informal. There was no over-the-top wedding gown or a tux with tails. And while the ceremony fit the couple beautifully it was far from what she dreamed of having some day, assuming that day ever came. With each failed relationship, Sara began to doubt more and more that she'd ever find the right man. So far she'd managed to find herself attracted to men who only saw her last name—a name with the right business and political connections.

Without intending to, Sara sighed, drawing Christopher's attention. For a moment his dark chocolate brown eyes studied her face and her heartbeat sped up. After a second or two he looked away, and Sara's heartbeat returned to normal.

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