“I’m only twenty-two. I’ve got plenty of time for that once my career is established,” she said hotly.
“Oh, I think you’ve already established yourself as a toilet brush celebrity,” Marnie laughed as they drank another round.
Bella texted Harvey and asked him to come back and pick her up. She wasn’t staying with these idiots any longer than she had too.
“Tell me about your promotion,” Bella said stiffly, determined to be friendly.
“I’m the Assistant VP of Marketing at Scherner Foods as of last month. Bumped me up to 65K a year plus benefits and a company car,” Marnie preened.
“Oh, that’s super. Well done, Marnie,” Bella said. That was basically the kind of job she wished she had, a marketing exec, not a housekeeper. She felt worse and worse about herself.
“You know,” Jade said, waving her diamond ring, a little tipsy after three drinks, “you could always go on Tinder. Don’t mention the maid thing, unless you want to dress up in the little frilly uniform for fun—” she said with a laugh.
“Maybe if you played up the maid thing on Tinder, like how you love to clean and scrub and do laundry. I’m sure you could get a man that way,” Marnie put in with another laugh. Bella felt tears prick her eyes, and she reached down for her purse to pay for her drink so she could leave.
“Listen, I can set you up with this great guy who lives right outside of Phoenix.”
“I don’t need you setting me up on a blind date.”
She saw Jade lick her lips, look someone up and down. Bella started to turn around and see who it was when she heard Harvey’s voice, “Sorry, ladies, I’m afraid I can’t let you set up Bella with anyone,” he said. She looked over her shoulder at him and turned on her stool, gratefully. She could leave with him, and those girls would think she was—oh, this was perfect!
Harvey cupped her face in his hands and gave her a Hollywood style passionate kiss. His lips were on hers, his fingers in her blonde curls, and she had to hold on to him to steady herself, so she didn’t tumble right off that barstool in front of everyone. When he drew back, she was panting. It had been a long time since she’d been kissed, and even then, she’d never been kissed like that.
Blushing, Bella ducked her head a little, aware of his arm around her, and aware of the heat of his breath against her hair, “This is—this is Harvey Carlson. Harvey, this is Marnie and her sister Jade, some girls I knew in high school.”
“Ah, and I thought from being with Bella that Arkansas only produced natural honey blondes,” he said artfully to Jade who smoothed her artificial platinum hair with less satisfaction than before, “It’s great to meet you, ladies. Has Bella told you yet? Or are you being bashful again, darling?” he practically cooed to her.
Bella couldn’t help reveling in the envious and incredulous stares of two women who were so recently tormenting her for her inferiority. Bella whispered to him, giggling prettily.
Harvey smiled. “Sorry, girls, I guess my beloved isn’t ready to share our news just yet. If it leaks out to the media, they’d be swarming all around us.”
“You’re that famous millionaire I’ve seen on all those magazines and on TMZ, that tabloid show,” Marnie said. She grabbed her sister’s arm. “Oh my gosh! It’s him!”
Jade’s jaw dropped to the floor. “You landed yourself a millionaire!”
“Billionaire, actually,” Harvey softly added.
Marnie playfully punched Bella in the arm. “No way! You go, girl.”
“But I heard he has a different woman every week. That can’t be good, Bella.”
Harvey looked at Bella. “True. But that was because I hadn’t found my true soul mate yet. None of them were Bella.”
“How sweet,” Jade said.
“The day I met Bella, I knew I found true love. I know she’s the woman I’ve been waiting for my entire life. I want to give her everything I have to offer.”
Bella stared up into his eyes. “Wow, baby. That’s so sweet.”
“And I mean every single word.” He then looked at the sisters. “Have a good night.”
“You guys are leaving?” Jade asked.
“So sorry I’m stealing her away, but we have some major things to discuss,” Harvey said with a wave to her former friends as he dropped a one hundred dollar bill on the bar nonchalantly. He pressed a hand into the small of her back and guided her away from them, and to a table for two across the room.
“Thanks for the save,” Bella said. “You made my night with that charade.”
“You’re welcome. I was glad to put them in their place.”