“You won’t be cleaning my house. You’ll move out of the guest house and into the main house, a room of your own, of course, next to mine. And you can send Greta your measurements.”
“I don’t know my measurements. Who knows that stuff?”
“Then we’ll have to take care of that. I’m sure there’s a tape measure someplace at the compound.”
“You’re going to measure me?”
He smiled at her. “I’m joking. I’ll have my people handle it.”
“Mrs. Marks has one. She measures the hand towels to make sure they’re the same length when we hang them side by side over a rod, so they’re even.”
“She measures towels?”
“So they line up. She doesn’t want crooked towels in your bathrooms,” Bella explained.
“Because crooked towels would destroy my business mojo and derail my corporate career.”
“Apparently, crooked towels could do all that and more. Who knows what could happen if you saw uneven towels in the guest bath downstairs?”
“What about in the guest house? Does she measure those?”
“She hasn’t ever stormed into my room to check but I wouldn’t put it past her to measure them when I’m working in the main house.”
“Sneak in with her tape measure? I can see her doing that.”
“One thing you hadn’t considered, which Greta pointed out to me yesterday when I told her, is that if you do want to, well, marry for money, you’ll be in a good position to do so. Having been in a high profile relationship with a billionaire executive, you will be recognized as eligible and desired by other men of similar background and fortune. We tend to date the same people as a rule, a select group of women with the right social standing, the right family connections, the right look and style.”
“And now I’m part of the harem? No thanks. I’ll get my degree and make my own way.”
“That’s very noble of you. Have you considered how easy it would be, though? To find a man who could take care of you like this, to give up having to worry about all those little things like bus passes and bills.”
“Easy isn’t my goal. I’m grateful for the opportunities you’re opening up for me, but this has to be the weirdest conversation a newly engaged couple has ever had.”
“Agreed. I’m trying to convince you to marry a rich guy. One who isn’t me.”
“Are you ever going to settle down and get married?”
“Sure, but I’m thinking of the George Clooney plan. You know, be handsome and dashing for a few decades, then find a stunning woman to marry when I get bored of it all.”
“As long as you’ve got a plan,” she said.
“Oh, I always have a plan, make no mistake about that.”
“This is exciting. I’m fake engaged to a playboy billionaire. What more could a girl ask for?”
He chuckled. “You know, Bella, I think this could be fun.”
“I think you’re right,” she agreed, and they ordered another round.
Harvey came out of the shower, a towel slung low around his waist, and opened his closet door to find something to put on. He dropped his towel to the floor carelessly and heard Bella scream from behind him in the vicinity of his king-size bed. The two of them had gotten trashed last night proving Jack Daniels was not their friend. Maybe they celebrated a little bit too much over their fake engagement.
“You know, that isn’t how women normally react to the majestic sight of my bare ass,” he said playfully. He looked over his shoulder and saw Bella James, sitting up in his bed, clutching the duvet up to her chin.
“What—what are you doing here? Or what am I doing here? This isn’t my room!” she stammered, eyes darting left and right as if anxious for an exit. He turned around and leaned on the doorway casually.
“Bella, don’t tell me you don’t remember last night? After all we shared?” he said it as solemnly as he could.