Derek Sawyer, sexiest bad boy on the racing circuit, is about to land a huge sponsor. The only problem is the oil baron’s daughter wants to make Derek part of the deal. Worried he’ll offend the old billionaire if he rejects his daughter, Derek comes up with the perfect plan—pretend he’s already engaged to his friend Lilly.
Lilly Harmon used to daydream about her childhood crush Derek proposing to her…but not like this. Of course, she just lost her boyfriend and her job, so her five-year plan is already smashed to hell. Pretending to be with Derek might help her get her PR career back on track.
But the oil baron’s daughter won’t give up that easily, and Derek’s parents believe the engagement proves he’s become the son they always wanted.
Money. Family. Love. The truth could destroy everything. And to think this engagement was supposed to be the easy way out.
“Is that the guy?” Derek asked in a low whisper, leaning across the table. “He works fast. Y’all broke up, what, last week?”
Her eyes darted to Derek’s face, so close to hers. Crap. He knew. “What did Shana tell you?”
“Only that you had been messing around with your boss and that’s why you had to leave.” He sat back. “Oh, and something about a beat-down with a telephone.”
She groaned. “It wasn’t that sordid. We were a couple. It was a relationship with long-term potential.” Or so she’d thought. “And it was only the handset, not the whole phone. My hands were a little sweaty and it slipped out of—never mind. Shana wasn’t supposed to tell you.”
“She swore me to secrecy.”
“Well, it’s a good thing you’re not in the CIA.”
His eyes narrowed. Something sparked in them. He swallowed—again with that uncharacteristic nervous tic—and then smiled. “How about I make it up to you?”
“How? Got a three-hole-punch in your wallet you don’t mind me throwing at his face?”
“I left my office supplies in my other pants, but I’ve got a better idea.” That million-dollar grin spread from ear to ear. “We’ll make him jealous.”
Her gaze slid to Richard and the way he was looking at his date. “I’m not sure that’s going to work. He seems pretty wrapped up in his lunch date’s breasts.”
“Trust me. It’ll work. You’re a beautiful, intelligent, accomplished woman, and he’ll spend the rest of his life kicking himself for letting you get away.”
“Yeah, right.” There was a twinkle in his eye, but Lilly didn’t get the sense he was out-and-out mocking her. And the thought of revenge was tempting. Revenge that didn’t end in security escorting her out of the building was even better.
“What did you have in mind?”
He took her hand across the table and looked deep into her eyes as if she were the most beautiful thing he’d seen in forever, instead of his little sister’s best friend and the perpetual pain in his side growing up. “Just follow my lead. Act like we’re gearing up for a nooner and are totally into each other.”
His hands were large and warm, and the way he was looking at her, even if it was an act, made her squirm in her chair. As a lovesick teen, she’d spent hours imagining what it would be like having him look at her like this. It was everything she thought it would be, and maybe a little more. Only she wasn’t a teen any more. So pathetic. Now she knew a fantasy was just a fantasy.
“A nooner? Seriously?” She sneaked a peek at Richard and caught him staring at her, unblinking, like the giant snake he was. The woman turned to follow his gaze—and Lilly recognized her as the busty receptionist at RSG she’d always had a feeling hated her. Now she knew why.
Derek dropped her hand and scooted his chair out, about to get up. “Or I could just walk over there and punch him in his ugly cheating face.”