Jared's Counterfeit Fiancee - Page 9

Dana looked at her with a concerned expression on her face. “What are they saying?” She knew if anyone knew about the office gossip it was Cybil. Not that she participated in it but everyone knew that her two staff members, Mary Bonner and Helen Fisher, were Kessler Industries’ biggest gossips.

“They’re perplexed since no one noticed a ring on your finger. But I think most of them are happy for you considering your breakup with Luther. They’ve gone from pitying you to envying you, especially since you’ve snagged the handsome and wealthy Jared Westmoreland.”

Cybil’s smile suddenly faded before she continued. “But, once you and Jared break this engagement everyone will go back to feeling sorry for you again and wondering how you could let two good men get away.” She met Dana’s gaze. “I have a feeling I’m not going to like the way this will turn out, Dana.”

Dana wasn’t all that crazy about how things were going to turn out, either, but it was too late now. She had given Jared her word. She opened her mouth to tell Cybil not to worry, that in the end things would work out okay when the phone on her desk rang.

Grateful for a moment’s reprieve she reached over and picked it up. “Hello?”

“Good morning, Dana.”

Dana couldn’t help the flutter that suddenly went through her midsection upon hearing the husky, sexy sound of Jared’s voice. It would not have been so bad if she didn’t also remember their kiss yesterday, not to mention the feel of his hand on her thigh. His kisses were getting bolder, hotter and more earth-shattering.

“Good morning, Jared.” She glanced over at Cybil then quickly looked away when she saw how intently her friend was watching her.

“Have you seen this morning’s paper?” he asked.

She considered his question and glanced over at Cybil again. This time she gave her a pointed look, one that requested privacy. However, Cybil just sat there, ignoring her request.

Dana sighed after giving Cybil a mean look and answered Jared’s question. “Yes, I’ve seen it.”

“I apologize for not letting you know about it, but I didn’t know myself until I read it this morning. It seems my mother’s happiness is getting the best of her.”

“Yes, it appears that way, doesn’t it,” she responded, not knowing what else she could say. From his tone he didn’t seem upset. In fact there appeared to be an underlying tenderness and warmth in his voice. Or was she just imagining things?

“Will you have lunch with me?” he asked.


“Yes, at Jenzen’s.”

Dana’s eyes widened. Jenzen’s was an exclusive restaurant in North Atlanta. She’d heard that reservations had to be made well in advance, oftentimes weeks. It was certainly not someplace that she frequented.

“Lunch is fine. Do you want me to meet you there?” she asked. She hated admitting it but she was looking forward to having lunch with him and a part of her chafed at the thought of that.

“No, I’ll come pick you up. Is eleven-thirty okay?”

She checked her watch. She had a meeting that would be ending a few minutes before then. “Yes, that will be fine. I’ll be standing in front of the building.”

“Okay. I’m looking forward to seeing you again, Dana.”

Dana hung up the phone, closed her eyes and bowed her head wondering how Jared could set off so many emotions within her. Emotions she’d never felt before.

“You okay?”

Dana snatched her head up. She had forgotten Cybil was still in her office. “Yes, I’m fine. That was Jared.”

Cybil smiled. “So I heard.” She then stood. “Enjoy lunch but promise me one thing.”


“That you won’t get yourself in too deep. I saw the expression on your face when you heard Jared’s voice.”


“And I don’t want to see you get hurt again.”

Dana waved her hand in the air, dismissing Cybil’s concerns. “Hey, I know the score between me and Jared. I’m merely doing him a favor.”

“Some favor. I’ve seen him before and he’s a hottie, every woman’s fantasy. How far do you plan to take this pretended engagement? Will the two of you get intimate?”

Dana swallowed. “Intimate?”

Cybil grinned. “Yeah, you know, sleep together. Share the same pillow. Bump and grind. Have orgasms.”

The scenario that suddenly played out in Dana’s mind had her heart beating so fast she thought she would pass out. “Of course not!”

“Are you sure about that?”

Before Dana could respond Cybil opened the door and walked out.

Jared gazed across his desk at Sylvester Brewster, hating to admit that he hadn’t looked forward to their meeting.

At twenty-eight, Sylvester was a well-known recording artist who toured the country performing songs that consistently hit the number-one spot on any billboard charts.

Unfortunately, in addition to his blockbuster hit records, Sylvester had this serious problem of wife-boredom. The man changed wives like he changed shirts, but one thing was always certain, when he cast one off to take on another he was extremely generous with the alimony.

Jared sighed deeply. It seemed Brewster was ready to dump the third Mrs. Brewster for wife number four. The only glitch in his plans was that his current wife wanted more alimony than Sylvester was willing to give her, which had his client fuming.

“I don’t want to give her one penny more, Jared. Baby or no baby.”

Jared lifted a brow. This was the first he’d heard of a baby. “Your wife is pregnant?”

“She says she is and could well be, but it makes no difference since it’s not mine.”

Jared’s brow inched even higher. “Do you know that for certain?”

“Yes,” Sylvester said with a frustrated sigh. Then lowering his voice as if the office might possibly be bugged, he whispered. “I’m sterile, man. As sterile as a new hospital on opening day. It’s the result of a childhood illness. So if Jackie’s claiming she’s pregnant with my child then it’s not mine.”

Jared sighed deeply. “If what you’re saying is true, that won’t be hard to prove with a paternity test.”

“It is true and nobody is going to try to lay a claim that I’m their baby’s daddy.”

Jared watched Sylvester pace around the room. “Should I be surprised if you remarry within hours of your divorce being final?” he asked, knowing that was usually the norm.

Sylvester stopped his pacing and met Jared’s gaze and he actually saw deep hurt in the man’s eyes. “No. I loved Jackie and wasn’t involved with anyone else. With her there was never a dull moment, man, always excitement. She was something else. For the first time in my life I fell in love and look what happens. And that’s what makes it so bad. Jackie refuses to level with me even after I told her I was sterile and there was no way that baby was mine. Now she’s claiming that I’m the one who’s lying.” In anger, he hit his fist on the desk. “Women can’t be trusted, man. I’ll never marry again.”

Jared was silent for several moments before he nodded, although not for one minute did he believe Brewster would keep that promise. Marriage was an addiction to Brewster, one Jared was glad he didn’t have.

“I’ll contact Jackie’s attorney next week. I’m sorry things have come to this because I thought the two of you made a nice couple. But if you’re certain she’s been unfaithful then—”

“I’m certain. I don’t have the name of the man she was involved with but there was an affair. Her pregnancy is proof enough.”

Half an hour later, Jared had completed dictating information into his recorder for his secretary to transcribe. Standing, he walked over to the window and looked out. This was another morning that wasn’t going well. First off the bat, while drinking his coffee and reading his newspaper, he had come across the article announcing his engagement to Dana.

Then he had arrived at Garbella Jewelers as soon as their doors had opened only to find that they had already sold Cord’s ring. He had ended up purchasing another ring and was racking his brain for an excuse to give his family as to why Dana would no longer be wearing the original one. In his opinion, the only saving grace was that the one he’d purchased had a diamond that was twice as large and was closer to what he imagined Dana might like.

He sighed as he checked his watch. It was time to leave if he wanted to pick Dana up for lunch on time.


She was becoming a major problem. He didn’t consider his proposal a business arrangement. Otherwise he would have drawn up formal documents between them. She was merely doing him a favor. They had exchanged favors before so he knew she wouldn’t go back on her word. But there were factors thrown in the equation that he hadn’t counted on.

Like his strong attraction to her. And the dreams he’d been having.

Last night he had actually dreamed about her legs and thighs, in addition to other parts of her that he hadn’t seen. In his dream, he had gotten all the way under that skirt she’d been wearing yesterday, first caressing the soft skin of her inner thigh before letting his fingers slide inside her damp heat. And then there were the kisses they had shared. His mouth tingled just remembering the taste of her on his tongue. Just thinking about her body parts and their kiss made his arousal thicken against his zipper.

Tags: Brenda Jackson Billionaire Romance
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