Her eyes blinked onto me again. The ferocity was back from before – that caged animal inside her that glared out through her gaze.

“So I guess what I’m asking is… Why? Why do all of this?”

I took a deep breath, studying her carefully. That sudden power in her eyes surprised and intrigued me, but it didn’t budge me. There wasn’t a force on Hell or Earth that intimidated me anymore, including Kiona Walker.

“I have to keep that close to my chest for now,” I told her. “All you need to know is that there is only a limited window for this to happen. I am meeting with the buyer in three weeks. At that point, I will have to present the woman I’ve married.”

“Who is this guy, anyway?”

“A traditional man.”

Kiona narrowed her eyes again. “Why won’t you tell me?”

“The less you know, the better.”

“That’s how it’s gonna be?” She smiled.

I returned with a smirk. “For now, yes.”

Kiona downed the rest of her wine in a single breath, setting the glass aside. “Alright then. Let me see the damned piece of paper.”


Chapter 8


Two Days Later

Hesitantly, I sipped at a coke over ice – with a light splash of rum on top to trick her – while Swaree glanced over the couple of pages one last time. Her own drink, a whiskey and coke, was condensing on the coaster nearby as she sat up in disbelief.

“Only you, Key,” she muttered. “I mean, I wanted to believe this whole thing, but this is insane! This looks official and everything! I don’t know how it won’t be immediately smacked down by a court…”

Aiswarya, in truth, was my secret weapon – not only my best friend, but also a talented, professional paralegal with incredible memory for the law. I knew that if there were any stupid flaws in this entire thing, she’d be the one to spot them in a heartbeat.

“He says that he has a judge who’ll honor it,” I mentioned, taking another small sip. “I mean, Cole’s a billionaire. He already made sure to mention that he has a whole legal department at the standby to defend this thing to Hell and back.”

Swaree bit her lip. “Yeah…that’s the only thing. If this were, oh I don’t know, basically anybody else, I’d laugh hysterically at the whole thing and tell you to marry him, get yourself onto some private island with some money, then wait him out and have him served some divorce papers or something…”

She looked up at me, seeing my angry stare.

“You know,” I told her, “He’s already paying me fifteen million to do this. I’ve never even thought about having anything with this guy…until just a few days ago, I’d never even shared a word with him, let alone considered being married to him… I’m not looking to talk half his stuff. Fifteen million is enough.”

“Oh, I know!” Swaree laughed nervously with a big grin. “Sorry… Greed is part of human nature or something, I don’t know.”

“You’d do it.” I teased.

“And I’d have him thrown into traffic! No heirs or anything? Screw half!”

We shared a laugh over our drinks. Swaree, still grinning, set the papers aside and turned back to me.

“Well…I mean, theoretically this thing is air-tight – but still kind of ridiculous. You could definitely fight it after the fact, but that would mean facing off against him and it sounds like you’d be better off walking away clean. What’s to stop you from just leaving with the seven and a half million he gives you up front?”

“My pride and work ethic?” I replied, laughing. “Look, I’m serious, I’m in this thing now and you can’t tell anyone about it. You’ve read the non-disclosure agreement.”

“You worry too much Key. Client attorney privilege! I wont’ say a thing. Are you really going to go through with this?”

“Of course!” I grinned. “What’s not to like about being on the arm of a handsome billionaire for a few weeks? He’s got it all, and this is a great opportunity for me…”

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