Read Shopping for a CEO's Fiancee Online

Authors: Julia Kent

Tags: #General Humor, #Coming of Age, #Fiction, #Women's Fiction, #Contemporary Fiction, #Romance, #Humor & Satire, #Humor, #Humorous, #Romantic Comedy, #Literature & Fiction, #Genre Fiction, #General, #Humor & Entertainment, #Contemporary, #BBW Romance, #New Adult & College, #Contemporary Women

Shopping for a CEO's Fiancee (2 page)

BOOK: Shopping for a CEO's Fiancee
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“There are three men in here with wedding rings on!” I shout back. Only one of us should be her husband, of course.
Me

I pause. Why did I think that? I don’t want to marry Amanda. Not yet, at least.

Not
yet
. Not...what? What am I thinking?

“That’s riiiiiiigggght,” Josh says. “And the Supreme Court declared last year that I can marry anyone I want, too.” He wiggles his eyebrows at me like I’m a dessert buffet. “You could be my hubby!”

Guys have hit on me before. It’s cool. Signals get crossed.

But hold on, here.

Josh is not my type.

If I had a guy type, I mean.

Oh, hell.

Declan’s voice cuts through it all. “Little bro, the more important question is: who the hell are
you
married to?”

My brother has this way of looking at me that combines disgust, amusement, determination and just enough abuse to make me jump off the bed, nakedness be damned, and tackle him around the waist.

And right into the giant teddy bear.

“Ooooo! Cat pee! Cat pee!” Shannon squeals.

“Cat fight! Cat fight!” Josh shouts, clapping. “My bet’s on my hubby, Andrew!”

“I am not your husband!” I shout, my cheek against Declan’s belt.

“You don’t knooooooow that,” Josh calls back.

“Why is Andrew’s mouth orange?” someone asks.

“I’m
Shannon’s
husband, you dumbass!” Dec grunts. “Speaking of which—hey! Shannon! Get a spray bottle!” Dec calls out.

“Why? Just wrestle him off you. He’s drunk and in pain. You can take him,” she replies.

Shannon has a hidden dark side.

“I don’t know where to put my hands!” Dec confesses. “His junk is everywhere!”

“That—
grunt
—is because—
grunt
—my junk is so big—
grunt
,” I groan.

“YOU BOYS STOP RIGHT NOW.”

As if this couldn’t get any worse. Just did.

That’s my dad.

We ignore him.

Like hell I’m giving up.

“You are such a little shit,” Declan hisses, as he tries to fight me without actually touching my bare skin.

I am winning.

And then Dad shouts to Shannon, she tosses something at him, and I hear:

“This is remarkably satisfying, Shannon! You’re on to something,” he says with a tone of admiration, as I get a face full of water mist. Declan lets go.

“For the record,” I say, wiping my cheeks, “you let go first. I win.”

“Dad sprayed us like dogs!”

I rush him again, but he stops me with arms of steel.

Mine, however, are titanium. We lock grips and wait, poised.

“Andrew James McCormick, you just blew off a two-hour meeting with the Sultan of Al-Massi. The damage control on this is incalculable. I didn’t build this company just so you could tear it down because you were on a bender in Vegas!” Dad roars, his body tense and immobile, but his voice carefully calculated to intimidate.

That doesn’t work on me, though. It makes me let go of Declan, who casually hands me something from the floor to cover my groin. It’s brown and plush but it makes me respectable.

Ish.

“I’ll fix it,” I snap.

Amanda gives me an odd look, then goes back to fighting her inner tubas.

“No time.” Dad turns to Declan and looks him over. Dec is dressed in a bespoke suit from a tailor I discovered and referred him to. “Your brother, unlike you, looks professional enough for a meeting with the Sultan.”

“Or a Moroccan stripper,” Shannon whispers in a weirdly bitter tone that makes Declan’s eyebrow arch.

Declan’s demeanor changes instantly, his stance uncomfortable. Shannon averts her eyes and the two look like teenagers at a dance in
Napoleon Dynamite
, trying to figure out how to fit in.

“How,” Josh asks, peering intently at my crotch, “did you turn your love pole into a Wookiee?”

“Love pole?” The entire room says the phrase in unison, and in the
exact
tone I’m thinking.

I look down. Dec handed me a Chewbacca stuffed toy as my junk cover.

“Maybe he just wants a little Chewie down there,” Rainbow dude notes, as he starts to back out of the room, taking Josh with him. Self-preservation is a strong instinct.

Rainbow dude finally covers himself. I hold one finger up to Dad, like I’m pausing him.

Dad doesn’t handle being paused well.

“Well,” Josh says slowly, giving Rainbow dude, who I realize is one of the chauffeurs (George? Geoff?) a series of nervous looks. “We snuck back in to find Geordi’s pants sometime after three a.m., I think.”

Geordi. That’s right.

“And my dong.” Geordi holds up the item in question. The chocolate is starting to melt in his hand. 

“So you didn’t sleep in the room all night? You weren’t, er....” Shannon grimaces, looking at Dec, who gets an
aha!
expression on his face.

“This wasn’t a foursome?” Dec asks bluntly.

“What a ridiculous question!” Dad shouts, exploding on the spot.

“Oh, no!” Josh squeals, flailing his hands. “No, no, no! I don’t sleep with—” He breaks off the sentence and looks at me, biting his lower lip, eyes filled with the kind of panic usually reserved for contestants on
Hell’s Kitchen
who move a basil leaf counterclockwise as Gordon Ramsay’s coming over.

“You don’t sleep with...what?” I ask.

“I don’t sleep with
women
!” He points at Amanda like she’s wearing a scarlet letter on her chest.

A scarlet W.

“And I don’t sleep with gay guys!” Amanda moans back.

“Aside from that hook-up our freshman year,” Shannon whispers.

“You pinkie promised never to talk about him!” Amanda hisses.

Declan and Dad start hooting.

“Trust me,” Josh says in an acid tone. “The only two people in this room who had sex last night were you and Amanda.” He looks down with a forlorn look.

Declan thumbs toward Shannon. “Actually, we did, too.”

Josh’s turn for a raised eyebrow. “In this room? Kinky.”

Declan shuts him up with a glare. Josh and Geordi wisely leave.

“Now that we’ve gone into more detail about my sons’ sex lives than an IRS audit, could we please get back to the fact that the CEO of the company I built from scratch is currently wearing a Star Wars action figure as a penis cozy and can’t perform his job!”

You can guess who said that.

“Technically,” I correct him, looking down, “this isn’t a Star Wars action figure. That would be far too small to cover my—” 

“Are you really arguing with the semantics about a stuffed Chewbacca toy?” Dad snaps.

“Declan can’t take that meeting with the Sultan, Dad,” I grind out, trying to take the heat off me.

“Why not? You’re here, Dec. Delay the honeymoon by a few hours.” Dad’s hand does the familiar dismissal gesture. “The jet can wait.”

“No, Dad,” I explain, trying to catch Declan’s eye. He won’t give it to me.

“Andrew, you smell like a distillery and—” he sniffs the air. “And oddly enough, cat urine. You’re standing in a disgusting room filled with people who are staring at your naked body while you use Disney merchandise in a decidedly unconventional manner. You’re hardly in any position to argue with me over whether Declan is a better fit for representing Anterdec in a high-level meeting for a multi-
billion
dollar deal.”

I try. Declan has a chance to cough it up on his own. Instinct makes me pause. Or maybe that’s nausea, roiling in my gut. What the hell did I drink last night? Normally, I can hold my own with liquor. I go up to the line, and even cross it by a single, regrettable drink, but I don’t do what I’ve clearly done to my body.

Mustering clarity, I give Declan a hard look. Silence. 

Huh.

Looks like he isn’t going to step up, after all.

“Declan resigned from Anterdec last night, Dad. He bought a coffee chain for Shannon and he’s declared himself the CEO of the new company. He can’t represent Anterdec because he doesn’t work for us anymore.”

Declan flinches at the word
us
.

If I had any muscles to spare, I would, too. It sounds really awful coming out of my mouth, and a part of me wishes I could take it back.

But not a big part.

Declan clears his throat and does the unexpected. He reaches into his breast pocket and pulls out another resignation letter. I had to lead the way. Big brother follows.

Does this really have to happen
now
?

Dad looks at me with disgust, then turns his attention to Declan, brow turned down, the lower half of his face blank. He starts reading the letter just as Amanda’s mother, Pam, appears behind him, stepping gingerly through the mess on the floor, her eyes catching mine, briefly stopping at the beast I’m pressing over my groin to hide my...beast.

Her teacup Chihuahua, Spritzy, jumps out of her little handbag and sniffs the area around the giant teddy bear. Then he lifts his leg and does what any self-respecting male would do.

Claims his territory.

“You
resigned
?” Dad’s words scream in my head, echoing off the walls of my skull like—

Like a tuba. Amanda’s got a point.

Dec squares his shoulders and faces Dad, and now I smile.

Achievement unlocked: deflection complete.

“Yes.” Declan’s voice is forceful. He won’t take crap from Dad. Shannon moves closer, her fingers wrapping around Declan’s elbow, and for the first time in my life, I think Declan has a shot at truly taking on Dad. In a game of tennis, this would be
Point
.

“You can’t resign!”

“Just did.”

“I won’t allow it.”

Oh, big mistake. Big mistake, Dad. When we were kids, the worst phrase you could utter to Declan was “You can’t.”

“Allow?” Declan’s across the room in a flash, right in Dad’s face, making Pam take a step back. Spritzy rushes across the room, collar jangling like he’s Quasimodo the serial killer, destroying me and Amanda with that gong of a collar.

“That’s right.” Dad won’t back down.

“I do not need your permission to buy my own company and to resign from yours.”

I flinch at the word
yours
.

Set.

When my mother died, I woke up in the hospital to a life that was someone else’s. Nothing made sense. Dad was angry, Declan was shut down, and Terry was off at college. He came back for the funeral and disappeared again. Mom was gone.

One arena made sense, though: business. Joining Dad in running Anterdec was the only way to get his attention.

And now Dec is leaving.

Sharing Dad’s attention is one thing. Being the top dog and edging Dec out just slightly is enough.

Having the full fire hose of James McCormick’s expectations aimed at your face is more than enough.

I have a beast inside me. No, not the flesh stick between my legs.

This creature has no name. It thrives on control and vigilance. It needs to know all. Complete control is not its goal. Oddly enough, it defers at times. Rare times.

Very
rare moments.

This is not one of them.

“ENOUGH!” I bellow, dropping the Chewbacca pillow, because why not? I have nothing to lose.

I bend down and find the first piece of clothing that will cover my body. It’s the pink robe I bought Amanda when we arrived. The one with lace at the breasts. I’m not picky. I’m not one of those guys whose masculinity is threatened by feminine attire.

Not that I have a history with that. It’s just that pink lace is an upgrade from Peter Mayhew.

True to form, Dad doesn’t budge, Declan shifts his weight to one hip and thinks he can give me a blank, intimidating look and that will work, and the rest of the interlopers actually do move toward the doorway.

Amanda starts to crawl out of bed.

“Not you.
Them
.”

“But I need to pee. And quit staring at my breasts. You always stare at my breasts.”

“That’s because they’re luscious.”

“Oh, brother,” Dad and Dec say at the same time, finally moving toward the door.

“So firm and supple,” I continue.

Declan glares. Pam looks like she’s starting to faint. Dad grabs her arm and escorts her out of the bedroom.

Ordering them out of the room doesn’t work, but talking about Amanda’s naked body does? Fine. I take a deep breath and ignore the nine-member funk band in my head and start to talk about my favorite subject.

She looks down and screams bloody murder.

“When did I get a Donald Trump tattoo?”

And faints.

“OUT!” I shout. 

They listen to me. People do. I have a voice that makes it clear that not following my command is not an option.

Though I’m guessing that the Chewbacca crotch had something do with their exit.

I join Amanda under the covers and pass out.

Match
.

Chapter Two

Hours pass. I don’t
know
that hours pass, because my consciousness is filled with dreams about Sultans in Dubai with rainbow penises having sex with Donald Trump.

“Andrew,” someone says. Someone with a creamy, sexy voice.

“Look at my hands,” I mutter. “Can someone with hands like this have a short chocolate dong?”

“What?” The creamy voice curdles.

I startle. It’s dark in the bedroom, and Amanda’s sitting up in bed, her lap covered by the bedspread, her breasts still orange. The way her eyes catch mine makes the room feel warm and sweet. Protectiveness kicks in even more. She’s tenting the covers and looking at her midsection. Her dark hair spills over her shoulder, but it’s matted with something white and gooey.

No, not
that
. I lean toward her and sniff. Her hair smells like lemon and salt. For a moment, I close my eyes, trying to regroup. Five days ago, we were broken up. Irrevocably split for one simple reason:

I had a moment of stupendous idiocy. I’ll own it.

More than a moment, too. I’m man enough to admit it. I let risk aversion nearly destroy my best hope for love.

BOOK: Shopping for a CEO's Fiancee
9.99Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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