Bidding on the Billionaire

By: Rachel Angel

In all the chaos of the auction and getting wrapped up in beating that Olivia at her own game, Mandi didn’t even take the time to find out what the date would actually be. She was fairly confident that any date with Sergio would be memorable, enchanting, and highly tempting to stray from any cautions that may exist in regards to physical boundaries. It had been easy to avoid that in the past due to a lack of serious relationships or dating opportunities.

Sophia stood up on stage, and thanked everyone for participating in the auction for such a good cause and proudly stated that they’d earned $325,000.00 for the children’s hospital ward. It was indeed a successful evening.

Mandi listened to her friend, noticing that Sergio was talking to Andre in the distance. She suddenly felt nervous because she saw them glance at her. What were they saying and talking about? Her legs suddenly felt wobbly, like they couldn’t support her in her sexy insanely high gold heels. Wow…this night had really turned out to be something different than what she’d thought it would be.

Suddenly Mandi realized that Sophia was talking about her up on stage. She said, “Our final person in the auction, Miss Mandi Jenkins, will no longer be participating since she is on her way to a great date with my brother, Sergio.” Mandi turned beat red as she heard groans from some guys in the crowd. If she could have moved she would have left the room, but she seemed to be frozen in place. Was it embarrassment, or the fact that Sophia’s words solidified that she was actually going to be going on a date with Sergio. She glanced at Sergio again, and couldn’t help but admit that he looked absolutely scrumptious, and being seen by his side as a date would be a thrill.

Sophia walked up to Mandi smiling brightly. She couldn’t have looked happier, or more proud of herself. Mandi smiled back, and asked what the date was going to be.

“It’s much more than a date, Mandi. You and Sergio are going to be heading to Rome, Italy for a week. It’s a combination of business and pleasure, but I am confident you’ll find a way to bring out more of the pleasure side of Sergio than he’s shown in quite some time.” Mandi couldn’t believe it. She’d always longed to go to Rome, and thought of how her mother had always wanted to go too, but had fallen sick on the year her dream was finally supposed to be realized.

“When would we leave?”

“Tomorrow,” Sophia said.

Mandi’s heart sank immediately. She knew that she couldn’t take off and leave the gallery for a week, especially on such short notice. It was a business with one employee, and that meant that her options were limited—very limited. Plus, she hadn’t really won or paid for that prize, just helped out Sophia and Andre. It was disheartening because it was another opportunity that was blown because of her profound discipline for the priorities in her life.

“Oh Sophia, I’m sorry. I can’t go. There’s no one to run the gallery.”

“That’s nonsense, Mandi.”

Mandi knew that when Sophia was determined she’d stop at nothing, but even Sophia was out of her league with finding someone trustworthy to run the gallery for a week. “I just don’t see how it’s possible on such notice, Sophia. I’m sorry.”

The disappointment in Mandi’s voice couldn’t be hidden. She should have asked what the date was first, and the entire situation would have been avoided. Sure, Sergio would have had to go on vacation with Olivia, but if anyone could handle themselves, it was him. What had inspired her to think she needed to save Sergio from anything? Okay, that answer was easy—it was Sophia and her persuasive ways. You didn’t take much persuading. Admit it that you want more…physically if anything.

Mandi looked over to Sergio, and she felt a slight pang in her heart for him. She just didn’t understand how someone could be so heartless to a great guy like Sergio. She knew everyone made mistakes, but didn’t think that people like Olivia knew how lucky they were to find that special person—the one that would care for them. It was something that her and Sophia longed for, and had spent many a night talking about while they were in college and even now that they’d graduated and entered into their careers.

Sophia broke the silence that came with Mandi’s thoughts on the situation. “Your problems are solved. I am going to watch the gallery for you, and ask Andre to help me. It’ll do you good, and it’ll be good for the gallery.”

“Really?” Mandi asked. “Good for the gallery or good for you to spend some time with Andre?”

“Both,” Sophia said.

“When did you get into Andre, out of curiosity?”

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