One thing for sure, her body reacted to Christian in a way it had never reacted to Thomas. The feeling might be worth exploring. But what about her secret shame? What if Christian found out? She didn’t want to go through that again.
After her divorce, she had vowed to never remarry. If she did fall in love and marry someday, it definitely would not be to a wealthy workaholic with a cash register for a heart. Been there, done that.
Waking up in a strange bed started Bianca’s day off with a feeling of dread, especially since Christian had abandoned her the second they crossed the threshold of his New York penthouse. After mumbling something about phone calls, he disappeared into a room at the end of the hall. Whether it was his bedroom or office, she didn’t know. He stayed locked behind the door until long after she went to bed. Once in a while, she heard him shouting into the phone. She couldn’t tell what he was yelling about. Hopefully, it had nothing to do with her or the magazine.
How did she end up spending her first night in New York under the same roof with her devastatingly handsome boss? The flat... um, apartment he’d promised her wasn’t ready, something about the heater not working. He said she’d be able to move into it soon.
A million thoughts raced through her head. So much had changed in a single day. She’d gone from working for a man she admired to faking an engagement with his bossy son.Engagement! She needed to warn her best friend not to tip off reporters if they came sniffing around for a story. After propping herself up against the headboard with a pillow between her and the hard surface, she called Katie.
When Katie answered after the fourth ring, Bianca took a deep breath and said, “Do not freak out.”
“I am in New York City and—.”
Bianca put some distance between her ear and the phone. “My new boss insisted I moveLove Lifehere.”
“So he didn’t fire you like you thought he would? That’s wonderful, luv.” The smile in Katie’s voice came through loud and clear. “What is the great Christian Sabatino really like? I can’t believe you are working for him. That man is so drop-dead gorgeous it’s ridiculous.”
“You have a drop-dead gorgeous boss.”
Katie sighed. “Yeah, but mine is all work and no play. I don’t even think he’s noticed I’m a woman.”
“Not possible. Maybe he just doesn’t mix business with pleasure.”
“What pleasure?” Katie asked. “Chase Grayson barely gives himself time to sleep. I know he isn’t doing anything fun when he’s not at work. You know, if I didn’t absolutely adore my job, I would happily invite him into my bed.”
Bianca’s mouth fell open. “You would not! I thought you were off men.”
“I never said that. I told you I’d never fall in love again. I got my Prince Charming, and I lost him. That doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a good tumble now and then.”
Bianca let the statement go unchallenged. She knew it was all talk. Katie loved to shock people by saying and doing outrageous things. For some reason, she liked to present herself as a maneater. It was just for show. Under the surface, Katie was a lost girl with a broken heart.
“The reason I called you,” Bianca said. “I almost forgot. Christian Sabatino and I are engaged and—.”
Bianca winced. “Stop doing that and listen!”
“I am on the verge of going into shock. What is up with you? I’m supposed to be the reckless one.”
“It’s a long story. I promise to tell you everything later. I just wanted to warn you that reporters might show up on your doorstep asking questions about me. They need to think Christian and I have been together for four years. If someone else tells them it’s not true, we can always say we kept it hidden, but you are my best friend. You would know.”
There was a lengthy pause followed by, “Whatever you need, I’ll do it. But you have to call me back later and give me the whole story. Understood?”
Bianca made a hundred promises before disconnecting the call. Yes, she would call again. Yes, she would tell her everything. Yes, she would give her the juicy details.
She jumped out of bed, put on a white floral print dress, and went in search of her new boss. For a one-floor flat, the place was a labyrinth of rooms both large and small. She got lost a couple of times on her way to the kitchen for a cup of coffee. She hoped she’d be able to find something to feed Baby.
She pushed open the kitchen door, and a surprising sight threatened to melt her heart. Christian was at the table with the newspaper lying open next to his plate and the cat in his lap even though he was wearing a suit that probably cost more than she’d spent on living expenses last year. He absently stroked the cat’s head while reading the business section. Her hand automatically went for her phone, hoping to snap the moment before he noticed her.
He glanced up and caught her smiling at them. “Morning,” he mumbled a half-second before pushing the cat off his lap. “You need to get a cage for that little monster. It won’t takenofor an answer.”
She grinned. “Sounds like you.”