The Billionaires Love Curves 2By: Cj Howard
Lacey backed away until she was at the door. She opened it and slipped out. She could not make out the look in Nate's eye as she left him sitting at his desk, mouth open and nothing more to say to her.
As she walked back to her office she felt numb.
What she'd said to Nate was true. She was in a good place in her life with Cole. All Nate had done was ruin that great feeling she had from earlier, that happy mood she had been in when she first walked into the building. She was no longer humming a song or swaying her hips. She walked back into her office and flopped into her chair, confused and angry all at the same time.
She was determined that she wouldn't let Nate spoil things for her. She would be seeing Cole later that evening and hoped that by the time she rang on his doorbell, this bitter taste that Nate had left her with would have gone. The last thing she wanted to do was bring this up with Cole.
That same evening, Lacey had arranged to meet Cole for supper at one of his clubs. On any other evening, the idea of one his exclusive clubs would have made a welcome change to the flashy bars and night clubs they often visited. It was nice to just kick back at one of his city clubs and the exclusivity they offered to men of Cole's standing and their guests.
Lacey found herself doing her best to keep her emotions in check since her meeting in Nate's office, believing, so as not to upset Cole, that she should keep it all under wraps. But it was difficult. As the evening wore on, the cracks were showing and soon Lacey found she was not able to contain herself.
“This place is so stuffy, Cole,” she said as she looked up at the high ceilings, elegant chandeliers and wood paneled decor. Perhaps in a noisy night club she could have hidden her feelings. Now they bubbled to the surface.
“Well, it's nice and peaceful here, I thought you liked it last time you came,” Cole said.
“It's full of idle, rich bastards and I'm sure they are all looking down their noses at me.” She kept her voice down but looked around at some of the members, dining with their expensively dressed female companions.
“That's not true, Lacey, you know that. What about me? Am I an idle bastard, too?”
Lacey did not answer straight away, just looked down at her plate of food. She had been pushing duck and fondant potatoes from side to side with her fork and had not eaten anything. Cole studied her for a while.
“What did I do wrong, Lacey?” His voice was soft, in his eyes she saw genuine concern and felt awful for letting Cole get the backlash for Nate's poor judgment of character.
“Oh Cole, I'm sorry,” she sighed, her shoulders sagged. “I thought I'd worked this out of my system, but seeing you tonight...”
“So it is something I've done.” He looked worried.
“No, Cole it isn't you. It's...it's Nate.”
“What?” Cole paused for a beat, remembering to lower his voice. “Did he do something to you?” His eyes burned with anger.
“Don't get upset.” Lacey gave up on her meal and laid the knife and fork down. “I wouldn't even have brought it up, but I don't think I can keep anything from you. Especially not this.”
“I'm glad you feel like that, Lacey. I feel the same as you, I don't like secrets or lies.”
They held hands across the table.
“Tell me, Lacey,” Cole urged. “Tell me what happened.”
Lacey took a deep breath.
“He called me into his office today, not long before I met you for dinner. It was the first time in a long time he's wanted to see me. I wondered if I'd done something wrong.”
“How could you have?” Cole said.
“Well, I wasn't sure. I don't know how to take him, these days. First of all, he does a disappearing act, no one sees him at Holden-Taylor for ages. Then he returns and practically ignores me and now this. I get summoned to his office.”
“Well, I assumed what he'd have to say would be work related but all he did was ask about my relationship with you. I didn't even think he knew we were dating.”
“Of course he knew about us, Lacey. New York isn't so big and we're all in the same business.”
“True,” she admitted. “I guess, but I'm just so wrapped up in me and you, it didn't occur to me that anyone would be talking about it.”
“So, what did he do, tell you to stop seeing me?” Cole shifted in his chair but tried to give the impression of calm.
“Something like that. He tried to convince me you weren't who you seem. Warned me off you, kinda like you did with me, but at least you had good reason.”
“What is it about Nate? It's not enough for him to steal your ideas, now he doesn't want you to see me, either. I hate him.”