Beauty in the Billionaire's Bed - Page 71

Suddenly Johnny’s voice sounded muffled, and Arlo could almost picture him, head bent over his phone conspiratorially.

‘They never seem to sleep. It’s like there’s no difference between day and night. They just keep on going.’ He laughed. ‘You’d fit right in.’

Arlo felt his heart contract with love. Hollywood was the last place on earth he’d fit in, but his brother’s partisan adoration knew no limits.

‘On that basis, so would about twelve million penguins.’

Johnny laughed again. ‘True.’ There was a pause, then, ‘I’m really sorry I haven’t called.’

‘It’s okay. I know you’re busy—’

‘So are you. And that’s one of the reasons I wanted to call. To thank you for letting Frankie stay at the Hall.’

Arlo felt his chest tighten. ‘You don’t have to thank me, Johnny, it’s your home too.’

‘I know. But I also know how busy you are, and you weren’t expecting her...’ He paused again, then, ‘So has it been okay?’

‘Of course.’ It was suddenly hard to speak. To find words that could describe how ‘okay’ it had been. ‘It was Davey and Serena’s anniversary party, so we went over to Stanhope, and she’s helped me with some of my notes. Oh, and she’s trounced me at billiards.’

He heard his brother chuckle. ‘Yeah, she’s pretty good, isn’t she?’ There was another pause. Then, ‘I’m glad she’s had some fun. That’s actually the other reason I’m calling.’

Arlo frowned. ‘What is?’

‘I wanted to do something to make up for letting her down, so I’ve bought her a ticket to LA.’

His head felt as if it was not connected to his body. ‘A ticket?’ he asked slowly.

‘Yeah, for Saturday. It’s a surprise. I thought she could do with a few days in the sun and I think she’ll adore LA. It’s got everything she loves. Sandy beaches, shopping malls. And celebrities! I mean, Frankie was made for this place.’

No, she wasn’t, he thought, his forehead creasing into a frown. Frankie was made for family brunches and swimming in the sea.

Arlo stared across the beautiful empty hallway, listening to his brother’s voice, feeling a dark, heavy cloud swelling inside his chest.

What was it he’d said earlier to Frankie about their ‘arrangement’?

It works, doesn’t it?

He felt his whole body tense with fury and disgust. What the hell had he been thinking? Did he really think that was all she deserved? Some open-ended affair with a man who could essentially offer nothing more than sex and his own shortcomings?

She needed sunshine and cocktails and people her own age—like Johnny.

He cleared his throat, making his voice level. ‘It sounds like you want her to stay for more than a few days.’

‘Yeah, I do.’ Johnny hesitated. ‘She could really make a go of it out here, Arlo. She’s got something about her... I think everyone is going to love her.’

Of course they would, Arlo thought, his fingers tightening around the phone.

The anonymous ache in his chest was no longer nameless. Only it had taken the thought of losing her for him to understand what it was. To understand that it was love.

His heart felt as if it would burst.

He loved her.

And he knew that Frankie loved him. She was too scared to say it out loud, but earlier, upstairs in the bedroom, he had felt it in every touch and kiss.

So what was he waiting for?

Hang up the phone. Go and tell her.

Tags: Louise Fuller Billionaire Romance
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