“If I do, my sister will have me where she wants me. Rosa is very greedy,” Leo said. “She has been heading the company for eighteen years. It's only right she should step down for me to complete the other half, as has been agreed on. But from what I have heard she intends to remain there. And for her to succeed, she would have to shine a bright light on my irresponsibility. Focus on my flaws and make sure everybody is of the idea I can't handle the company as she can.”“If that's the case, can't you think of someone else who might fit into that role.”“What do you mean?” Leo mumbled coming to sit across Wesley on the double row white couch fighting the urge to turn his wristwatch over and check the time. Well aware time was running…and it was running pretty fast.“Like a past girlfriend. A woman you've had a fling with?”A thought crossed Leo's face, but he dismissed it at onc
His eyes were running over her face as though he didn't know where to begin. That thought almost made her laugh in happiness and surprise. Her staunch boss was fumbling for words. He turned to Wesley as though to demand help however his friend shrugged and turned to his phone. Leo's eyes returned to her. For a few seconds, he did nothing. Paige got the distinct impression he hadn't had cause to seek the help of any woman he wasn't close to in a long while. Just as she finished that thought, to her utter surprise she saw his face harden, his gaze sharpened. Even his hands on her shoulder had tightened a little in its grip.“Paige, I know this might come as a surprise to you. But I need you to be my fake fiancée.” If she understands him correctly, he wanted her to be his fake fiancée which meant she would be around him more often than she normally was. Wasn't that asking to be discovered?
On arrival at the airport, a private jet was already waiting for them. “Remember, we must always act like we're in a relationship. Now I know this might be hard for you, but do this for me please,” Leo muttered staring at her. They were inside the private jet, which Paige learned belonged to his family, and for several minutes the opulent interior and decor had her gawping like a fool. She couldn't be blamed; she had never been inside one before now. When she turned to her boss, she noticed his eyes were on her, and he seemed to be waiting for an answer. Paige fought the urge to laugh. It wouldn't be hard to do what he was saying because she was in love with him. How hard can it be to express what she already felt? She let a smile grace her face and nodded her head in understanding. “I perfectly understand.” “Are you sure y
The dining room overlooked the outside, lit by several lights and the table overflowing with food ranging from Spaghetti Carbonara to Pesto to Risotto and some others she didn’t know but which looked positively mouthwatering. Cutleries clinked and clanked as the family drank one of their brand wines, Amore. A sparkling white wine with a characteristic fruity taste which tended to soft velvet. Paige met Rosa’s gaze across the table and the brunette smiled raising her glass to her lips. When she lowered it she said, “You know, you two, how did you meet?” “Leave the girl alone, Rosa,” Aunt Gemma mumbled. “Question her when we are done eating.” “But Gemma I think it’s alright if the girl wants to speak, looking at that face I know she wants to tell us but If none of you will listen, you can all close your ears and I will do the listening for us."
Conversations floated around them in Italian, their accents thick in the air with words Paige didn't know. But even though she couldn't understand the words, she had a vague sense they were talking about them, her suspicion was all but confirmed when she heard one of them say in English. “I say if I was any younger I would have snagged Leonardo for myself,” Aunt Elena declared and everyone laughed. Everyone except Rosa. When they continued looking at themselves like that still lost in their personal thoughts someone else muttered, “Oh well, just kiss her already Leo. Non so cosa c'è che non va in lui.” And everyone laughed. That broke them out of their trance and Leo looked down pulling his gaze away for a minute before he looped his arm around Paige’s shoulder drawing her closer and Paige tried not to feel anything but that was impossible. Because at that action, she had felt
Leo looked at the man who had the same cut jaw as him, the same brown eyes but was far older, with white stubble on his face, and drawled out, “Father you sent for me.” Carlo motioned to a chair in front of him and Leo sat down. Even though his father had handed the company to Rosa eighteen years ago, Carlo had never fully withdrawn his interest from the company, neither had he stopped working. He was the type who felt everything would go wrong without their presence or interference. A trait which had caused many a fight between father and daughter. Right now they were in his study in the down floor of the palazzo which could easily be accessed by a hidden panel on the wall, Carlo perusing some paper but at his entrance had lifted his head from the paper and removed his glasses to hold in his right hand. They were still garbed in their dinner attire, Leo in his white shirt and
His concern would have been sweet had it been real and not just because he was worried about what his sister said to her. And his hands on her shoulder was making her loose herself in his warmth. She almost felt like closing her eyes to enjoy it. Lowering her eyes Paige murmured, “No, she didn’t come here.” When he continued staring at her obviously not believing her, Paige let a big smile cross her anxious face. “I thought I forgot something, that was why I was worried, but on a second thought now I realized I didn’t.” “Well, what is that?” The words were spoken slowly, yet it reminded her of an anxious child. Eyeing him askance, Paige mumbled, “it’s a female necessity.” Feeling uncomfortable for all the lies she was spouting. Did he have to come in when she was thinking out loud? A reluctant smile broke out on his face and then straightened as thou
“With no other living relative, my grandma took me in. Things were hard, life was hard. My grandma tried, but it wasn't enough. I had to work several jobs even though I was still in school. And when it was time to go to college I worked my ass off to get a scholarship, there I took a student loan to cover the rest of the expenses.” She skipped the part she met her ex and said, “Finished school and worked four years in an advertising firm and here I am.” Paige explained, spreading her arms and acting like she wasn't bothered by any of what she had just said. When she turned she expected to find Leo repulsed, but the expression she saw on Leo's face toppled her defenses as she did not know what to think about it. She had expected to see disgust at the type of life she had lived, but what she didn't expect was to see understanding in his eyes. And pain on her behalf. “I think you turned out well. Your pare
Paige heard a hmm as he laid down and another one as he sat up, and she imagined him pulling off his shirt and dropping it on the floor. Paige swallowed. When he settled again, she almost laughed at the thought he couldn't get comfortable on the ground. What with the way he kept turning this way and that, trying to get comfortable. She doubted he had ever slept on the floor before now. Finally, having mercy on him as none of them would get any sleep done if he kept moving about restlessly Paige said, “Why don't you come up on the bed, am sure it's a big bed and can contain the two of us.” His movements stopped abruptly, and the next thing she heard was, “Are you sure?” In a deep, dark, drawl. “Yeah, it's not like you are going to pounce on me or anything?” Paige finished with a small laugh. Feeling stupid for having mentioned that last part. Silence