The Wedding Rescue, Book Five (An Alpha Billionaire Club BBW Romance) (4 page)

BOOK: The Wedding Rescue, Book Five (An Alpha Billionaire Club BBW Romance)
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6
Dylan

L
eigha looked so fragile
, her eyes closed, lashes dark against her pale cheeks. This was my fault. I’d meant what I’d said to Axel. He’d made the decision not to have Steven arrested on his own, true. But if he’d called me, I would have told him to do exactly the same thing. Vermin like Steven always had enough for bail. A few hours in prison wasn’t enough of a price to pay for hurting Leigha.

I hated the idea that my vengeance had left him free to take even more from her than he already had. If I’d had him arrested he might have done the same thing as soon as he was out on bail. Or maybe a few hours in jail would have convinced him to stay off the radar. I’d never know.

How the fuck had he managed to get away from Tsepov? I knew one thing - unless Tsepov had let him go, Steven would be in deep shit when the Russian tracked him down again. My business stayed on the clean and legal side, but I knew what went on in my city, and Axel kept me filled in. His work took him to the dark sides of Vegas more often than he liked. So I knew that Tsepov was not a man to cross. Ever. If Steven hadn’t already gotten out of town, he’d be royally fucked. I couldn’t think of anyone who deserved it more.

The next few hours passed in a blur. Leigha looked like she was held together by a thin thread. She gave her statement to the police clearly and with more detail than she’d told me. I didn’t lose it when she described his cutting her with the knife or touching her breast, but I wanted to. Instead, I sat beside Leigha, her hand in mine, feeling the fine tremble as she spoke in a steady, quiet voice. I’d made this hard enough for her, I wasn’t going to make it worse.

I brought her home in time for a late lunch in my penthouse. Hard to believe it was only mid-afternoon. She ate a tuna melt with absent attention. I took in the faint purple bruises under her eyes, the slump of her shoulders, and bumped back the hair and make-up appointment a half an hour. She needed rest more than she needed an elaborate hair style.

Leigha resisted only a little when I carried her to the bedroom and stripped off her shirt and jeans. I tucked her into the bed and climbed in behind her, wrapping my arm around her waist.

“Just close your eyes for a little while,” I said. “You’ll feel better.”

“I can’t sleep, Dylan. There’s too much in my head.”

“Just try. You had a long night and today has been rough. Even if you can’t sleep, resting your eyes will help.”

She did as I said, and a minute later, she was out. When I was sure she was asleep, I eased out of the bed and went straight for my phone. Axel answered on the first ring.

“No sign of him,” he said. “We’re looking, the police are looking. You can bet Tsepov’s men are looking.”

“We’ll need extra security. I don’t like the way this guy is fixated on her. Coming back to burn her house wasn’t a smart move.”

“Can you keep her contained until we’ve got him?”

“I can keep her in the Delecta,” I said. “At least until Monday. But I can’t keep her in the penthouse.”

“Loosing your touch?”

“Her sister is getting married at six tonight,” I said. “She’s not going to agree to miss the wedding. Can you cover us?”

“I’ve got it. I have two guys covering your floor, and I’ll coordinate with Russell to get more on the wedding and reception. How’s she doing?”

“She’s asleep. She got through talking to the police, but she’s in shock.”

“I can’t make it up to her, but I can at least keep her safe until we get Steven.”

“This isn’t your fault, Axel.”

“Not entirely. But I played a part, Dyl.”

“So did I,” I said. “Now let’s just keep that asshole away from her."

I hung up, frustrated that there was nothing I could do to end this situation. I ran a casino and part of Kane enterprises. I had a lot of skills, but hunting down fugitives wasn’t one of them. Out there, I’d get in Axel’s way more than I’d help. His guys were trained. They’d find Steven.

With nothing else to do until it was time to wake Leigha in an hour, I got back on the phone and called the Audi dealer. A few minutes later they’d agreed to deliver a white Audi TTS convertible roadster with all the extras.

I thought about getting her the R8 Spyder; it had an aggressively sleek look I liked for her, but I had a feeling she’d balk at my giving her a one hundred and thirty thousand dollar car. I was pushing my luck with the TTS. The dealer assured me that she could exchange it if she didn’t like the color, but I thought she’d keep the white. It was elegant, but still sporty. The perfect look for my Leigha.

That item ticked off my list, I sat at my desk and did what I always did when I had a spare second. I opened my laptop and worked.

7
Leigha

D
ylan didn’t wake
me up until the hair stylist arrived. I opened my eyes surprised I’d managed to fall asleep at all. I wasn’t much of a napper under normal circumstances, but with all that had happened, my mind and body must have needed an escape.

I sat in a chair in the living room, bundled in a robe, and let the stylist fuss with my hair. I told her I wanted an up-do and zoned out. Anything she did would look good with my formal dress, and I didn’t really care anymore. I just wanted to get the wedding over with and then face the fact that all my worldly possessions could currently fit in my purse.

Across the room, Dylan sat at the desk in the corner of the living room, working on his laptop and occasionally fielding calls. If he wasn’t staring into his computer screen, he was pacing in front of the windows, his phone to his ear, speaking in tones low enough that the stylist and I couldn’t hear any details. Once again I was aware of how much work he must be pushing aside for me. If we stayed together, he couldn’t keep doing that. He had too many responsibilities between the Delecta and Kane Enterprises. I knew he must work long hours. Could I handle that?

It was a stupid question - I’d deal with the long hours if they came with Dylan. There were times of the year when I worked crazy hours as well. I was an accountant - January through the end of April were pretty nuts for me. If I could deal with Dylan’s work, he’d learn to deal with mine.

As he paced and murmured into his phone, I noticed the stylist devouring the sight of his ass in his worn, well fitting jeans. I almost cleared my throat to get her attention, then changed my mind. He did have a fantastic ass, and who was I to deprive the woman of the opportunity to appreciate it? I was the one who got to put my hands all over it. If I wanted a relationship with Dylan, I was going to have to get used to all sorts of women ogling his body.

Despite my shock at seeing my house on fire, I was pretty sure I’d even spotted Mrs. Carmody checking him out. I squirmed in my seat at the thought of all the things I could do to Dylan’s ass. Biting. Squeezing. Would he let me spank him? I doubted it. But it was worth asking. Abruptly, I put a halt on that train of thought. I didn’t want to get turned on while the stylist had a curling iron in my hair, and I couldn’t do anything about it.

My mind drifted as she curled and pinned my hair, then was replaced by the make-up artist who got busy working on covering my bruises. I saw a pair of long white gloves laying over the back of the couch and thought of Lola. I should get a good insurance settlement for the house. I’d called my agent on the way to the police station, and he assured me that it wouldn’t take long to work out the details. I’d have to replace all my clothes, but I’d covered the contents of my house generously. Most of the time, I tried to save money, but I’d sprung for the best homeowner’s policy I could get. It had been my first house, and I’d wanted to protect it.

Which meant I should have plenty of money to pay for a new wardrobe. I wondered if I’d be able to afford Lola. Not if she only did personal shopping for the kinds of clothes Dylan had bought me. But if she worked with all of Neiman Marcus’s inventory, I could make that fit my budget as long as I went with classic pieces that wouldn’t go out of style a few months after I bought them. Lola had been a genius for finding things that looked good on my curvy body. Imagining my new wardrobe, I barely noticed the time passing. Before I knew it, the make-up artist was done, and it was time to get dressed.

Dylan showed her out as I headed straight for the bathroom mirror. My hair was amazing, pulled smoothly back from my face and up into a high knot of curls and twists. It was both dramatic and fanciful; a perfect match for my strapless black dress and its silver embroidered flowers.

The make-up artist must have been a genius. Or she’d been packing industrial strength spackle. I saw no sign of the bruises on my face, only smooth, pore-less skin. She’d done something to bring out my cheekbones and shaded my eyes in a deep purple-blue that would set off the dress and made my gray eyes seem to glow.

If I had the time and budget, I’d have those two show up every day before I left the house. I knew I’d never have the patience to do it, even if I could afford it, but it was a fun idea. Shrugging out of my robe, I was wrestling with the black satin bustier that went under my gown when Dylan entered the bedroom.

Quickly, before he could see my awkward struggle to fasten the hooks, I got the last three done and wrenched the thing into place. When he saw me, standing in front of the bathroom sink wearing the satin bustier, matching panties, and the sparkly silver heels, he stopped dead.

“Please tell me that’s what you’re wearing tonight, and we’re staying home.”

I grinned. “Sorry. I wish we could. But if you behave and let me get dressed, I’ll let you take it off later.”

“You’ll let me take it off even if I don’t behave.” His devilish grin was enough to send a bolt of heat straight between my legs. Of course I would. Any smart woman would do whatever Dylan asked if he smiled at her like that. I already knew how amazing he was in bed. And I was a smart women.

Proving that he was an intelligent man, he leaned in to me and kissed my cheek, whispering, “I want to pin you to the wall and fuck you until you’re screaming my name. But that can wait until after the wedding.” Stepping back, he said, “I have something for you. I was going to wait until you were ready, but now I think I want to see you wearing it while you’re dressed exactly like that.”

He picked up a flat, black velvet box and opened it to reveal a sparking diamond necklace with matching earrings and bracelet. I gasped, taking a step back in surprise. The necklace was fashioned of diamonds arranged in the shape of flowers, intricately mounted so that the piece appeared to be made entirely of sparkling stones with no metal holding it together. Only a little longer than a collar, it would hug my throat in a very expensive embrace.

“Dylan, seriously, this is too much,” I said, looking at the open jewelry box with a combination of helpless avarice and exasperation. “You can’t buy me diamonds. You can’t. It’s crazy.”

“How do you know these are diamonds? Maybe this is a really good fake,” he asked, moving behind me to fasten the necklace around my neck. I didn’t need to look in the mirror to know that it was a perfect complement to the dress.

“Is it?” I asked, relieved at the suggestion. He laughed and decorated one earlobe with one of the matching earrings.

“Of course not,” he said, humor shaking in his voice. “Do you think I’d buy you fakes? It’s from the Sunflower collection by Harry Winston. Lola says they’ve been sold out since the collection debuted two years ago, but she had a line on this set. It’s perfect with the dress.”

“But you can’t just…” I trailed off, not sure what to say. It seemed obvious to me. We’d only known each other a few days. His buying me extravagant gifts was over the top. Except that he clearly seemed to think it was fine. Proving me right, he said,

“I can, Leigha. I know this is hard for you to understand. You’ve worked for everything you have, and you know the value of money. I like that about you. I like that you’re not trying to get everything you can out of me. The problem is that just makes me want to spoil you more.”

He took my wrist in his hand and lifted it in front of him so he could lay the sparkling line of diamond sunflowers against my skin. The bracelet was a sculpture of glittering stones. I had a feeling the jewelry he’d bought so casually was worth more than my house had been before Steven had burned it to the ground.

“Dylan,” I said, unable to stop myself from laughing. Taking advantage of my inability to protest further, he went on,

“I don’t know how to say this without sounding like an arrogant douche, but you do know I have a lot of money, right?”

“I know you’re a billionaire, but -”

“Leigha, you’re an accountant, you know what being a billionaire means. Stuff like this has no impact on my life, other than the pleasure of giving it to you.”

“But -”

“Stop.” He kissed my temple. “We need to go. If I stay near you one more second, I’m going to forget all my good intentions and make sure we miss the wedding. Finish getting dressed and meet me by the elevator.”

He was gone before I could think of something else to say. I realized after he left that he’d still been in his jeans and button down. He must have been planning to change in the other bedroom. Catching sight of myself in the mirror, I froze. In my satin lingerie, my breasts overflowing the bodice, my waist cinched in, my neck, wrist, and ears dripping in diamond flowers, I looked like a debauched princess. The thought of what Dylan might do when he had me alone later sent a shiver down my spine.

He was right, we had to leave before we changed our minds and decided to skip the wedding. I’m not sure I could have cared less about Christie’s ceremony or reception, especially considering the pig she was marrying. But my Mom had to leave the next day to go home, and I didn’t want to let her down by blowing off the wedding.

Mindful of the spike heels of my sandals, I stepped into the dress and pulled it up my body. With a little shifting and wiggling, I managed to get the zipper up. Grabbing my tiny clutch, I left the room to meet Dylan.

My breath caught as I closed the door of the penthouse and caught sight of him standing in front of the elevator. He wore his tux with an innate elegance that did nothing to hide the strength of the body beneath. Yum. His green eyes flashed when he saw me, the look on his face carnal enough to make my knees weak. We would definitely be leaving the reception early.

The doors slid soundlessly open the second he pressed the button. I joined him inside, standing beside him, my fingers twining with his as if we’d been holding hands for decades instead of mere days. As the elevator began its smooth decent, I had the feeling that I wasn’t just heading out for the evening, I was about to begin an entirely new life.

BOOK: The Wedding Rescue, Book Five (An Alpha Billionaire Club BBW Romance)
4.01Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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