The Billionaire's Proposal(9)

By: Avery James

“If you’re trying for another kiss, you’ll have to do better than that,” she said.

“Now that you’ve kissed me, what do you have left on your list? Maybe I can help you out.”

“I think I’ll make up the rest of the list as I go,” she said.

“Do you want to hang out tomorrow?” he asked. “Regardless of what happens tonight, I really like you, and I’d like to spend more time with you.”

“What did you have in mind?” she said. They were walking fast toward the hotel. Maggie was ready to break into a run.

“Do you like alcohol and six-toed cats?”

“That is an oddly specific question,” Maggie replied.

“The Hemingway House,” he said. “We can take the tour, and I’ll show you around while you figure out the rest of that list. Who knows? Maybe I’ll convince you to kiss me again.”

“If you play your cards right, you can keep kissing me tonight,” she said. The hotel was getting closer and closer. Soon, they’d be back inside. “You really don’t have anything to do tomorrow?”

“I’m just waiting for my babysitter,” he said.

“Babysitter?” Maggie said. She felt her heart drop in her chest. “You have kids?” Had she just misread everything?

Harry laughed. “No, the babysitter will be watching me.”

“I’m not sure I follow,” she said.

“It was a joke. My father doesn’t trust me enough to let me get on a flight on Monday, so he sent a babysitter to accompany me. He thinks I’ll tarnish the family name more than he already has.”

“Am I missing something?” she asked. Please tell me this is just a coincidence. “What’s your last name again?”

“Howard,” he said.

Gavin Howard, Maggie thought. Please tell me you’re not related to Gavin Howard… “Harry Howard?”

“Gavin Harris Howard. My friends call me Harry,” he said.

Chapter 4

“You are dead to me. Of course, that doesn’t matter because I’m dead too. Abby, my life is over. How did this happen?” Maggie said as she paced back and forth across her suite. As soon as she had learned who Harry was, she’d bolted. She’d made an excuse about it being late and not wanting to ruin what was an otherwise wonderful night, and he had graciously planted a goodnight kiss on her cheek and not, as he easily could have, on her lips. That had saved her at least some trouble. Even though, when his lips had touched her skin, she had found herself wishing she could meet his kiss. Now that she was back in her room, she was trying to figure out just how screwed she was.

“Easy, tiger,” Abby said on the other end of the line. Maggie could hear people talking loudly in the background. “The last I heard, you were enjoying yourself on the beach. What’s going on?”

“I took your advice. I let my guard down, stopped worrying for a minute and met a guy. And he was sweet and handsome, and charming, and we got along amazingly. We kissed on the beach, and it was an incredible kiss, and now my life is over.”

“Huh?” Abby asked. “You’re not making any sense. How is any of this bad? You’re supposed to enjoy yourself.”

“Not like this,” Maggie said. “The guy is Gavin Howard.”

“WHAT?” Abby exclaimed.

“I accidentally went on a date with Gavin Howard.”

“How do you accidentally go on a date with Gavin Howard? Spilling a drink or breaking a heel, those are accidents. Kissing your client on the beach? That’s not an accident.”

“I didn’t know he was him.”

“Wasn’t it a tip-off when he told you his name was Gavin? Or when he looked just like the face in the file?”

“You didn’t give me the file, remember? You said I had to earn it.”

“Looks like you’ve done that.”

“And he goes by his middle name.”


“He goes by Harry.”

“You kissed Gavin Howard?”

“Multiple times,” she said.

“Did anyone see you?”

“No, no one saw us,” Maggie said. “It was dark out and we were down the end of the beach.”

“Was he good?”

“Of course he was good. He was incredible. What does that have to do with how screwed I am?”

“I just figured it would be some consolation. Calm down. You’re not screwed. This is an unexpected turn of events, but it isn’t the end of the world.”

“Amy and Callie are going to kill me,” Maggie said.

“They’ll understand. It was an honest mistake, and it was more my fault than yours. Besides, if you remember, they both ended up marrying clients.”

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