The Billionaire's Romance (A Winters Love 2) - Page 12

I had three…or maybe four more drinks. I couldn’t remember how many I’d already had and I didn’t care. I also couldn’t remember the last time I’d gotten drunk…maybe it had never happened. One thing I was good at…really good at…was staying in control. I made sure that I had control over everything in my life. I tossed back another drink and thought about how I’d tried to control my relationship with Robyn. I’d tried to keep it between just her and I and in doing so, I’d made her feel badly…I swear, that had never been my intention. I was about to order another drink when I looked up and saw Jeffrey.

“Jeffrey! Sit down and have a drink with me!”

“No thank you sir, I’m your designated driver, remember?”

“Then get me another one,” I told him.

“I’m afraid the bartender has asked me to let you know he thinks you’ve had enough, sir.”

“What? Does he know who I am?” I didn’t use that one often, but I was kind of an ass when I got drunk.

“Yes sir, he’s well aware. That’s why he asked me to deal with it.”

“Well, I’ll just have a word with the snot-nosed little punk….” I tried to stand up and I stumbled into Jeffrey. He caught me and sat me back down.

“I’ll get you some coffee sir,” he said.


nbsp; “Wait! Jeffrey…sit down for a minute, please.”

He didn’t look like he wanted to, but he did. I looked at him for a long time and I realized that I had been riding around in a car with this man every day for years and I hardly knew him. I suddenly reached out and hugged him. He looked horrified when I finally let him go.

“Jeffrey, am I a heartless ogre?” I asked him finally.

He looked like he was suppressing a smile as he asked, “May I ask why you inquire, sir?”

“I know that you and Robyn got close…you talk to her about…normal things. You don’t talk to me, Jeffrey. Is it because I’m an ogre?”

That time his lips twitched. He wasn’t going to be able to hold his straight face much longer. “No sir, of course it’s not. You’re just a very busy, important man. I doubt that you have the time for idle chat with the likes of me.”

“The likes of you….Damn it! I’ve made you feel like because you work for me that I think myself above you. That’s so untrue….Damn it! That’s just not true.” God forgive me…I hugged him again. He didn’t look like he could take another one. “I don’t think I’m better than you…we’re just…different, Jeffrey. I don’t know how to do different. Robyn…she’s so different too. I should have left her alone. I should have known….”

He’d stood up, out of my reach and he said, “Can I speak freely, sir?”

“Of course you can, Jeffrey!”

“Miss Robyn cares very much about you. I personally think the one thing that might turn you into an ogre would be if you choose to turn your back on her.”

I realized that I’d just been very nicely called an idiot by my chauffeur. I started laughing and I couldn’t stop. I laughed as Jeffrey loaded me into the back of the car and until I passed out. Then I slept until I woke up and puked my guts out the rest of the night. Then I slept again. By the time I woke up the next day and began to feel alive…it was after noon. I had twenty missed calls…my colleagues were freaking out; I never just didn’t show up.

I called Janice first and asked her to issue my apologies to everyone…to all the people I’d stood up this morning and then I asked her to cancel and reschedule everything else for the rest of the day.





Two days after I told Aaron we shouldn’t see each other anymore, I saw Jeffrey waiting near the front door of the offices as I walked out in the afternoon. He was standing next to the open car door and I looked around to see if Aaron was behind me. I wasn’t sure I was ready to face him yet. Not seeing him, I said,

“Hey Jeffrey! What’s up?”

“Good afternoon, Miss Robyn. How are you today?”

“I’m as good as always,” I told him with a smile. I reserved my heart ache for when I was alone. No one else needed to suffer for my bad mood.

“That’s good to hear. Miss Robyn, I’m here for you.”

“Excuse me?”

“Mr. Winters asked me to pick you up….”

“Huh uh! No way. Who does he think he is?”

“May I explain?” Jeffrey said. I felt bad for interrupting him…and doing exactly what I’d just said I wouldn’t do…taking my mood out on him.

“I’m sorry. Yes, please go on.”

“He asked me to tell you that he has had an epiphany. He no longer cares to be an ogre and if you can find it in your heart to give him one more chance he would like me to take you shopping. If you agree, he’d like you to buy whatever kind, color, style or designer label outfit that you feel comfortable in. He asked me to add that even an elf costume will suffice. Then, also only if you agree, he will pick you up himself in his own car at seven this evening. From there he will drive you to Eleven Madison Park for dinner and then to the Metropolitan Opera house for a showing of Le Nozze Di Figaro.”

I was staring at him as he talked. The longer he went on, the more my mouth fell open, I think. I finally realized it was hanging open and I closed it.

“I’m finished, Miss,” he said. “Just waiting for your response now.” He looked like he was trying hard to keep a straight face. Damn him! Damn Aaron! I wanted to say no. I wanted to show him that I wasn’t this easy. I also wanted to see him. I missed him so badly that my heart physically ached. At last, I walked over to the car and looked up at Jeffrey and said,

“He better just hope I don’t find any elf costumes still for sale.”

Jeffrey smiled and said, “Yes ma’am.” He closed the door behind him and as he knew I liked, once he slid into his seat he lowered the partition between us.

“Did he really call himself an ogre?” I asked Jeffrey.

With as straight a face as he could muster he said, “More than once, Miss.”

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