Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Billionaire's Desire Excerpt!

Here's an excerpt from The Billionaire's Desire (Part Nine).

Enjoy! :)

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"So...where's the ring?"
The conversations around us ground to a halt as the attention flickered toward the lazy drawl of Rachel Laraby’s voice.  The crowd parted slightly, revealing her standing on the outskirts. Wearing that blood red dress, her eyes flecks of emerald, her mouth an angry line of barely hidden resentment.
For a moment, the silence took center stage and I almost believed that she’d said something else. Something a little less obnoxious. But this was Rachel Laraby we were talking about—and ‘obnoxious’ was damn near her middle name.
“Rachel…” Jacob began, his voice a warning that she’d be wise to heed.
“That’s me,” she said sweetly, dismissing him with a patronizing grin. She took a step forward, drinking up the attention of the crowd like someone that was used to all eyes being on them. That lived for it.
Tonight was our night. Me and Jacob’s. He’d just asked me to marry him for crissakes. This moment belonged to us—and she couldn't stand it.
The heat started in my cheeks and worked its way outward as the eyes that gazed at me and Jacob like we were a romantic movie unfolding right before them dropped to my hand. To my left hand. And my bare ring finger.
Just to cull the herd and remind them that the stage was hers, she repeated her question.
“Where’s the ring?” The lighthearted, nonchalant tone she’d used before was gone and in its place was an edge that reminded me of the haughty actress I’d met months ago in Venice. The glittering celebrity who should have been on top of the world but couldn't seem to wrap her mind around the fact that Jacob Whitmore, billionaire CEO of Whitmore and Creighton, wanted nothing to do with her.
The looks that passed back and forth between us and Rachel were different now. They weren't sure where it was safe to land. Instead of the shock her question had originally garnered, the tone had become markedly more uncomfortable.
“I mean, it was a lovely proposal,” Rachel gushed, attempting to smooth over her transparent jealousy. “I’m just wondering if that was just an appetizer and Mr. Whitmore’s seconds away from pulling out a tiny black box with a big ole rock in it.”
Jacob tensed beside me and I knew that he was dangerously close to saying something that would make matters worse. He was usually the picture of calm, cool, and collected, but Rachel had swooped back into our lives declaring war. Her question, not even five minutes after I said yes to his proposal, was a heavy pill to swallow. I'm pretty sure Jesus Christ himself would have had trouble turning the other cheek after the blow she’d just delivered.
She sauntered closer, eyes locked on Jacob with a smirk that told me she knew he was creeping towards boiling point.
“It’s a valid question,” she said with an innocent shrug. “I’m just curious is all.”
I saw bloody freaking murder raging in his eyes, but I just held tight to his hand. Gripped it until I saw the fire die down to embers and smoke. She wanted a blow up. She wanted to ruin our moment. We couldn't give her that satisfaction.
Once I believed that I could speak without my voice cracking or calling her something that would make my mother gasp, I turned back to face her, pulling on a smile.
"The ring--"
"--is none of your business," Jacob finished tersely, glaring at her like she was a piece of gum on the bottom of his leather oxfords. Mouth twisted like she was a sip of alcohol, closer to paint thinner than anything refreshing. Body so painfully taut that the slightest movement would be enough to make it snap.
A murmur rippled across those gathered around us, the buzz of happiness officially snuffed out. Just like she wanted.
I sighed inwardly, knowing she was tallying up the score. I was struggling to hold onto my smile, trying desperately to pretend like everything was fine. I wanted to say something funny, to alleviate the tension that electrified the air around us, but I had nothing.
And of course, Rachel wasn't done.
“It’s a fair question,” she continued, batting her eyelashes as she scanned the crowd, looking for some confirmation that she wasn't the only one wondering. When she realized they were far more afraid of Jacob than excited at the possibility of gaining her favor, she changed tactics. “It’s just that I know that your little soiree will be breathtaking and jewelers will be knocking off your ring all over the world. I was just hoping for a sneak peek.”
The smile on my face twitched, the nerve beneath my eye going haywire. If I was being honest, I didn't even think about the lack of an engagement ring until she brought it up. I was still stuck on everything else. The melody of the song pouring into my ears. Recognizing the bars immediately and remembering Megan telling him that it was my dream to have that song playing at my wedding.
And then there was the look on Jacob's face as he dropped to one knee and asked me to spend my life with him. It was the look of someone that had never loved anything or anyone as much as he loved me. There was no room for anything but sheer bliss. It was a high so powerful that I could barely feel my feet on the ground. But her animosity crapped all over that happiness. It anchored me, poisoning one of the most beautiful moments of my life.
No, I told myself firmly, not giving that thought any weight. I wouldn't let her take this away from me. From us. I didn't care about a diamond. I just wanted him.
I swallowed the burning anger that knotted my throat and leaned in, pressing my lips against Jacob's cheek. I could tell from the way he barely responded to the touch that he was expecting me to tell him to relax. To ignore her. But I had something more important to say than any of that. More important than Rachel’s efforts to spoil our memory.
"I love you."
He stopped flinging daggers in her direction and tilted his chin toward me. I watched as everyone else in the world washed away and every swirl of blue crashed into me. 
His lips spread into a grin that made my heart skip a beat. "I love you too."
****

2 comments

  1. Yay I loved the snippet and can't wait for it to come out on Friday. What a cow Rachel is!

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    Replies
    1. Agreed. :)
      Thanks for commenting Felicia!!

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