Authors: Ana Vela
A Billionaire Romance
By Ana Vela
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
And above all – Enjoy
~ Volume Two ~
Alexis had been sitting in the same pub down the street from her hotel for nearly two hours, listening to Brandon explain why he had come to find her. She had felt her emotions change entirely towards the situation several times during his presentation. At first, she had been shocked, flattered even, that he would come all the way here for her. Shortly after, however, she was furious that he would presume that she would fall right back into his arms if he came and swept her off of her feet by showing off his newfound initiative and excitement. ‘He’s got
nerve’, she thought.
The problem was that, if she was truly honest with herself, she had to admit that she still had feelings for him. When she had first seen him, her heart had fluttered. The chemicals in the brain that release when a person has not seen someone she loved for so long were supposed to hold back; when they surged anyway, she had been relieved to see him for just long enough to make her upset that she felt that way.
This trickery of the brain, her failure to recognize him with no attachment, like she wanted to, made her livid with herself and with him. She hated that even though she had assured herself countless times that she was done with him and that she could move on now from boring and safe Brandon to something more exciting, she had to admit that she felt
when she saw him standing on her hotel doorstep in London.
Of course, for now, she was trying to avoid what actually bothered her about all this: Richard Greene. She was beginning to have feelings for him and she knew they were sincere, but she was not anywhere near the comfortable point with him that she had been with Brandon. What worried her more was the possibility that she would never feel that again with any man. It did not seem to get any easier to find eligible, interesting men to date as time went on, she thought. Not to mention that the mysterious Mr. Greene could disappear from her life any day now. She had no real claim to him; they were traveling, and whether she wanted it or not, soon this romantic dream world would jerk her awake with some harsh reality.
“What?” she snapped back, annoyed at the use of pet names now. “I’m listening.”
“Okay,” Brandon answered, taken aback slightly, but ignoring her dismissal quickly.
“Well, I was just asking you what your time has been like here and where you’re going next.”
“Oh,” she said, taking in a deep breath. She was not sure she wanted to start this with him.
“Listen, Brandon, the thing is, I’m just not sure about all of this. You show up here and you say you don’t expect anything, but if that’s true then why are you here telling me all of this like I just live right down the street and you just happened to stop by? I’m in Europe. You came across the ocean to tell me you’re over Sophia, and that you’re experienced and independent and a go-getter now, and you expect me to believe that you have no other motive?”
Her words shocked him. He looked as if he had been slapped in the face. He did not say anything for a moment, but stared down at his pint, watching the beer swirl intently.
“Look. I’m sorry,” she started. “I’m just surprised you’re here and I should not turn it all around and make it negative. I was actually happy to see you, but I don’t think I’m supposed to feel that way. We’re done, you know? We’ve moved on. You’ve said that yourself.”
“I know that, Lexi,” he answered earnestly. “I moved on. That’s what I’m saying. And it just made me better, but I think it made me better for
. That is my real point. I guess you figured me out. I do want to be with you again. I miss you.”
Alexis didn’t respond. She couldn’t think of anything to say. She was not moved by his words, at least a small part of her, but also did not know what she was supposed to reply with. He had made such a big gesture coming to see her, but she was having trouble deciphering how manipulative of a move it was on his part. He must expect her to decide to be with him after all of this, she thought. She did not like the feeling that she was being forced to love him because of one grand gesture.
“Lexi,” he said, leaving in and reaching for her hands. “I still love you.”
She let him hold her hands, but instantly knew when he did that she had already moved too far past this. She was ready to try with Richard now, or be alone even, but she was not going back with Brandon. His touch felt wrong now. She had this new electric feeling to compare it to with Richard and whether they worked out or not, it was worth exploring rather than giving up and backtracking to be with Brandon.
She did love the timing of the universe with all of this; she had just committed to a weekend with Richard in Paris, but had not been able to sort through her feelings with him, and then here was the previous ‘love of her life’, changed for the better, asking for her back. She really could not deny that Brandon was different, at least on the surface. Just the fact that he was chasing after her in Europe was something that she would have admired in him and swooned for if Richard Greene had not yet existed to her. Since he did exist, however, Alexis found herself constantly comparing the three possible futures before her, and it was getting easier by the minute to close the door with Brandon behind it.
As she stood up to leave and left Brandon sitting alone with his pint, she felt as though there were two parts of her feeling entirely different emotions from what she had just done. One version of Alexis felt devastated, as though she had just broken up with Brandon all over again, but this time was worse, because she already knew what she had missed about him. She had missed his companionship and knowing that he would never leave her most of all. When he had been with Sophia, she had been happy for him but still had to distance herself, because it was too hard to see the person that had loved her for so long give that love to someone else. The other version knew that she had done the right thing. She was not in love with him anymore. She was ready to move on.
Even if being with Richard for the short period she had been did not mean anything in the long run, it had shown her that there was more out there for her in the romantic arena. She knew that it would be settling to be with Brandon again and that was not fair to either one of them. She honestly felt that he deserved to be loved better than she had the capacity to love him.
She took turns thinking the thoughts of each version of herself as she walked away from the pub and away from her hotel. She was not walking towards anything in particular; it just felt important not to backtrack in any way in this moment of inner turmoil.
“Need a ride, Miss?” She heard from behind her. As she looked back, she saw the same black car that had delivered her back to her hotel this morning, but instead of a driver, now Richard was grinning from the window. She noticed how happy she was to see him and was glad that it was different and exciting compared to how she had felt when she saw Brandon just hours before. It was validation - This was what she wanted for her life for now.
“I’m not really going anywhere, so I don’t know where you’ll take me,” she said, playfully. “And I’m really not supposed to ride in the car with strangers.”
He stepped out the car as soon as it stopped. Smiling, he walked over and lightly put his hands on both sides of her face, kissing her as though they were entirely alone in the world. At least, that’s how it made her feel.
“What else are you not supposed to do with strangers?” He said, voice deep with desire.
She felt her body clench pleasurably at his words. She smiled and bit her lip, not able to keep her mind from replaying visions from the night before.
“So is this why you don’t want to get back together with me?” Brandon’s voice broke through their secret world of passion, also breaking them physically apart as she jerked away from Richard.
“Brandon! No, it’s not like that,” she answered quickly. “I mean, it is, but that’s not why. I told you plenty of other reasons.”
“Not really,” he said, surly with anger.
“Excuse me,” Richard said, clearing his throat. “And you are?”
“I’m her boyfriend,” Brandon answered.
“No, you absolutely are not,” she said emphatically. “And hasn’t been for a few months,” she added to Richard.
Richard’s face relaxed somewhat, though his eyes were slanted towards Brandon. “So, what, may I ask, are you doing here?” Richard directed his stern question at Brandon formally.
“Well, I was planning to come get my girlfriend back after the falling out that we had, but clearly she has moved on and did not have the decency or
gall to tell me.” He answered, arms crossed.
“Brandon, you need to leave,” Alexis stated assertively. “We talked, I said no, and now you are acting like a child, so let’s end this, please.”
“I thought you wanted me to chase after you!” He exclaimed. “Girl walks out of the restaurant angry and the guy chases after her. They kiss and make up. But you’re kissing the wrong guy.”
“No,” she answered back, resolved. “I’m not. Please leave before this gets even worse. It’s over, Brandon. It’s been over. You intruded upon my life trying to make me get back together with you and I’m just not interested. Please stop this.”
Richard had stepped away by this point, letting them talk, but still hovering somewhat protectively. She felt more confident with him standing behind her, making it easier for her to send Brandon away.
Brandon shook his head. “Okay, you have fun on your little European adventure and when you’re done whoring around with this guy; you know where to find me.”
After a blur of movement, Brandon was on the ground with Richard standing over him, looking only slightly less composed than normal.
“That will be enough. Now, I will be happy to get you a cab so that you can be on your way,” Richard said as he stood over him. Brandon held his jaw in disbelief.
Alexis stood in shock as Richard walked over to his driver, who was out of the car now, seemingly ready to come to his boss’s aid if necessary. She saw him nod curtly at Richard’s request and then glare at Brandon.
“Actually, my driver will take you to get your things and then back to the airport. I assume you have no return flight?” Richard asked politely.
“No,” Brandon answered. “I wasn’t sure if I needed one.” His eyes flickered to Alexis.
“Well, unfortunately, that’s not going to work out. Logan will take you to the airport and insure that you are able to get a flight tonight. You can determine where you would like to go when you get there, but I think it would be unwise to stay in London. The fog, the traffic, the people… I doubt you would even like it, really.” Richard extended his hand to Brandon, who then slowly pulled himself up off the ground; clearly upset but unsure how to handle such a civilized dismissal after being hit.
Alexis continued looking on in awe as Richard shuffled Brandon in the car. She had never heard Brandon speak the way he just had to her. She supposed after traveling so far and expecting her to be with him again, he had to be angry at what he had found instead. She did not feel sorry for him anymore though. He had made that easy for her.
She watched the car drive away quietly. Richard stood at the curb watching them drive away for a moment before returning to her and putting his hands on her shoulders. He gazed into her eyes softly.
“Are you okay?” he asked, examining her face for signs of upset. Instead she was void of expression.
“I’m,” she began then paused for another moment. “I’m not really sure what to feel right now.”