Billionaire Season 3: Summer Ablaze (Billionaire Season Trilogy)

BOOK: Billionaire Season 3: Summer Ablaze (Billionaire Season Trilogy)
7.14Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub




Summer Ablaze






Kimball Lee







Copyright 2015



Chapter One


“William, William….” Allie murmured as she gulped back the tears that threatened to spill down her cheeks. She’d be damned if she’d cry like some lame jilted lover even if that was exactly what she was.

“Shhh, it’s alright, don’t cry darling girl, I understand. He turned your world upside down but we’re gonna fix that, shhh,” Walden whispered as he lifted her against his chest and rocked her like a child.

“Don’t call me that, do you hear me? Don’t call me darling girl, it’s what he calls me…. How did I get here? Oh my God I’m in your bed! Shit, shit, shit! Why do I always follow you home? Did we…?” Allie said, swiping a hand across her eyes before she sprang away from him. She stumbled to her feet and Walden rose from the futon to catch her as her face went pale and she swayed unsteadily.

“Sazerac cocktails catching up with you this morning, huh? Yep, they
come back to haunt you if you over indulge, chere,” he smiled as he settled her back onto a pile of pillows and then loomed over her, tall and broad shouldered, in his rooftop aerie. “It hurts to look at you, Alaina, you’re so fucking beautiful, even if you are a little green around the gills.”

“I need…” she whispered forcing her gaze away from his crotch which was right at eye level as he loomed above her and stretched, arms raised over his head to ease a knotted muscle at the small of his back and the thick line of his cock was easily visible in a pair of soft, lose sweats. The night’s growth of dark stubble across his sharp, square jaw gave an air of danger to his perfect smiling face. He was sexy in the most nonchalant way, like it was the most natural thing in the world to look as if he’d just been photographed for the cover of
magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive issue. He was
like William and yet… not like William at all, not according to her heart— her heart definitely knew the difference, without a doubt.

“You need orange juice and ibuprofen and then lots of water. I’m gonna run downstairs and get those for you, stay where you are and I’ll be right back. Stay, okay? If your memory of last night has truly deserted you, I’ll fill you in when I bring the juice and… just don’t run off, please. Fuck, it’s hot this morning, big surprise, huh— August in NOLA. I’ll bring you the juice and meds then I’m gonna grab a quick shower,” he said. He pulled off his t-shirt and balled it up in one large hand as he left her and Allie’s heart crashed around in her chest. Not only did he have William’s face, but his body as well. The impossibly broad shoulders tapering to a narrow waist, abs that were precisely defined and a hint of soft dark hair that trailed down, down and disappeared into the low-slung waist of those worn-out sweats. Talk about a prime gene pool, the Warfield brothers were blessed indeed.

“You’re not in my bed, by the way, you’re on my roof, I carried you up here to my special place. Just hold on, Alaina, okay? Suffice to say you aren’t fairing too well after last night’s goings on,” he said and Allie caught her breath as she cast her eyes up at Walden’s face, his beautiful lips lifted into a mischievous smile before he was out of the conservatory with the door banging shut behind him.

What had they done, what had
done with William’s brother, Allie wondered? And she let herself crumple into tears of self-loathing with her face buried in the mountain of pillows.

“I still love him and I’m not getting over it so maybe you should lie to me about last night,” she said when Walden returned and she’d drunk the juice and guzzled most of a bottle of cold water with a couple of Motrin. “I need to go pee right now, sorry to be so blunt, then I want to know what the hell happened in this strangely beautiful glass… playhouse, treehouse, whatever.”

“Second door on the right at the bottom of the stairs, you’ll find everything you need to shower and there are clean clothes laid out on the bed,” he called after her and she turned and raised her eyebrows, questioning. “Guestroom,” he said, tilting his head and flashing a boyish grin. “There should be something to fit you in the closet, you’re dress from last night is sort of dressy for lunch and… hey, what does that look mean? All the clothes in there are brand new, never been worn. Seriously, I don’t have overnight guests… that often. Just hurry, I’m starving and you need to eat, you’re still looking a little off kilter.”


“So you don’t like oysters, chere?” Walden asked as they made themselves comfortable at the long, tile-topped bar in the
Acme Oyster House

The restaurant was cozy and had a cool Big Easy vibe. A neon sign blazed overhead proclaiming “Waitress Available Sometimes” and behind the bar three muscle-bound men wearing thick gloves worked over a trough of ice shelling fresh oysters faster than a cat could blink its eye.

“It’s not that. The first time I ever had them was with William. The day we first met actually….”

“Alaina, I would just imagine my brother made sure you never went hungry because good food is a big part of our heritage here in New Orleans. So unless you intend to starve to death, you’re probably going to have to eat some of the same foods you and William ate when you were together.”

“I know, I know, I’m being an idiot… and I
getting over him. Well… I’m going to, it’s at the very top of my ‘To Do’ list. Crush any thoughts of William Warfield the minute they pop into my head. I won’t look at you and think of him or hear the clang of the streetcars or the shouts at night in the French Quarter or taste an oyster or fried catfish…” and she squeezed her eyes closed as two enormous tears spilled down her flushed cheeks.

“Yeah, I can see that’s working like a charm. How about we skip the oysters and go to McDonald’s or Popeye’s?”

“No, no, I can handle this. I have to handle this, it’s nothing really and it happens to everyone, right? I’m nearly twenty-two after all, it’s probably a miracle that this is the first time my heart’s been broken. So, why don’t we move to a table and I’ll order a salad.”

“Nothing happened between us last night, Alaina,” Walden said once they were seated in the quietest reaches of the noisy restaurant. “Please don’t look at me like that, chere, I’m telling the truth. I know I have a reputation for… some sexual promiscuity and perversion but I draw the line at taking advantage of women who are unconscious.”

“Oh. I passed out? Guess I’m sort of a cheap date… not that we were on a date. Holy shit! What happened to Brodie? Oh no, I left with you, I just abandoned him? I’m such a trashy slut!”

“You didn’t abandon him, I simply told him I was taking you with me and… I hate to say it Alaina, but there wasn’t anything he could do to stop me. He’s a fucking wimp, c’mon, Brodie fucking Maguire, where the fuck was that supposed to lead? To the Motel 6 and you calmly chanting “oh baby oh baby” for about a minute and a half?” Walden said and he didn’t look the least bit guilty or ashamed of himself.

“Oh shut up, I wasn’t gonna sleep with him, you idiot. Brodie’s a nice guy, he’s just not quite as big and brawny and aggressive as you and William, but seriously; who is? Ugh, I feel terrible about that, you just freaking hijacked my date? Poor Brodie, I’m sure he’ll steer clear of me from now on. Iced tea please with extra caffeine,” Allie smiled up at the waitress who hovered above them with a skinny hip jutted out, twirling a strand of hair and stealing glances at Walden.

“And what can I get for you Mr. Warfield?” she purred and the way she said his name made it sound like the most orgasmic word that ever existed.

“Iced tea and we’ll have two roast beef Po’ boys with red beans and rice on the side, thanks,” he said without ever taking his eyes off of Allie. “They don’t have salads here, we’ll have to make do. Alaina I’m in love with you.”

Uh… okay, yeah the Po’boy is fine with me. What the fuck Walden? You barely know me, is this some perverted contest between you and William, because that’s just gross!”

“No it’s not, he knows I love you and he believes it and
need to believe it, too.”

“He knows you love me? What are you saying? Does that mean he walked away from what we had so that you and I…. Ohhhh. Oh shit, I think I’m gonna be sick,” Allie said and she knocked her chair over in her rush to make it to the restroom.

“Alaina, don’t hate Wills, he can’t help it, he’s a fixer,” Walden said, steering her into a cab and sitting beside her as they drove toward the
You Wish
book shop. “The point being that he’ll do just about anything to make up for the fact that I’m the one with the razor scars and endless nightmares. I need to give him a pass on that, man, he’s carried that load for too long.”

Allie sat quietly staring out the window until he said, “Look at me, Alaina.” She turned to look at him and it was if all the fight had gone out of her but not the light of her beautiful spirit, it still glowed no matter how sad and defeated she was. She was the most awe-inspiring girl Walden had ever known, beautiful and brave and… sooooo in love with his brother. Her eyes were puffy and red from crying and her lips were swollen and red just to drive him out of his mind, he supposed. Walden reached across the seat and pulled Allie next to him, tucking her head beneath his chin and threading a hand in her bright-honey hair. He made up his mind right then and there and it hurt like hellfire— his one and only broken heart. He let out a labored sigh and cursed his life and his parents for letting their mistakes and sins fall on their sons.

“I’ve given up a lot of crutches lately, shit that propped me up and got me through the bad days. So I guess I can give up on the idea of you… of us. I’ll manage but you’re gonna be hard to get over, Miss Darling.”


Walden and Allie settled into a semi-satisfying friendship after that and in it they each found some respite for unrequited love. They wandered the city together by day and they frequented the many touristy bars on Bourbon Street at night with Allie usually sipping a watered-down Hurricane and trying to coax Walden onto a tightly packed dance floor. But more often than not she danced alone and he watched her with more than a hint of savage hunger and regret in his wide, haunted eyes.

Allie wished, she wished, oh how she wished more than anything that two strong arms would slip around her when she let her cares melt away on the dance floor. A pair of arms that were strong and safe as they drew her back against a broad chest as firm and fiery as hot steel. William’s body, that’s what she dreamed of whether she was sleeping or awake, his smooth bulging biceps, his massive frame bending to enfold her, his deep voice resonating with the sweet-wicked words he whispered and then shouted when they made love. She missed him, she loved him, and she knew he had only pushed her aside out of his unrelenting need to make Walden happy. She thought about showing up at his office or the townhouse to tell how much she yearned for him and that she understood but she couldn’t or she wouldn’t get past the pain he caused her or the obvious fact that the solidity of their relationship would never be his number one priority.

One night, after Walden and Allie had wandered amongst the wild creatures in the Audubon Zoo, they made their way back to the Warehouse District and settled in at one of the communal dining tables at
for steaming bowls of gumbo.

“I love this place,” Allie said, her eyes shone bluer than grey and she seemed to have shed her lingering desire for William. “Is that a real Cajun band playing in the middle of a restaurant? It’s so cool! I wanna dance.”

is a ‘Nawlins’ institution, chere. Kind of a local dine-and-dance-hall. Tomorrow we’ll go to
, I hear Aaron Neville is gonna make an appearance and that doesn’t happen very often.” Walden said and his mood matched hers, he was buoyant with hope that she might open her heart and let him in. “You go dance and I’ll get more enjoyment from watching. I swear I have two left feet, dancing is not my thing.”

“Hmm. Well, as the saying goes— every party has a pooper that’s why I invited you,” Allie grinned and tossed her long hair over one shoulder as she headed to the dance floor.

Walden watched as some local yayhoo scooped Allie up and twirled her effortlessly around the worn wooden floor and he felt as if a jagged spike had been driven through his heart.
. He’d fallen in love with the
of her and her incandescent beauty and then he’d vowed to purge her from his heart and mind. But the more time he spent with her, he was just that much more smitten with the sight, the sounds, the smell— the mind-blowing
of Alaina Darling. He ordered three tequila shots and threw them back, letting the tang and fire singe his throat and heat his blood as he listened to the music and watched the girl he couldn’t stop loving.

Goodbye Joe, me gotta go, me oh my oh. Me gotta go pole the pirogue down the bayou. My Yvonne the sweetest one, me oh my oh, son-of-a-gun we’ll have big fun on the bayou. Jambalaya, crawfish pie and fillet gumbo, ‘cause tonight I’m gonna see my ma cher amio…

The band played and the singer’s rusty baritone colored the words with a deeper meaning.
Ma cher amio
, my dearest one, my very heart and soul… Walden crossed the dance floor in an instant, his strides long and determined. His hands settled onto Allie’s slim hips and skirted up to circle her waist as she danced with eyes closed, lips parted, head back and reality tossed aside.

BOOK: Billionaire Season 3: Summer Ablaze (Billionaire Season Trilogy)
7.14Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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