Bride for the Billionaire Next Door – Kate Tilney

INES There is only one thing I want—one thing I need at this moment. He is standing in front of me with a glass of water. I take the glass from his hand and set it aside. He eyes me curiously, but I don’t give him a chance to speak. I throw my arms around his neck and pull his mouth to mine. He jolts in surprise. For a moment I worry he will push me away. But his arms come up and wrap around me. Moving up and down my back, over every curve of my body. My lips part and our tongues meet. I moan as one of his hands lowers, grabbing my derrière, pulling me close enough to feel his hard length against my belly. My fingers dive into his cropped hair, and I know this will not be enough. I want—need—him all. I lower my hands to the waist of his pants. I palm him through the fabric as I reach for the button— Applause thunders through the walls of my godmother’s condo, pulling me out of the story I’m writing.


Or, rather, trying to write. Every time I start to get something going between my characters—a crowned princess on the run, and the bodyguard sworn to protect her—the noise coming through the shared wall distracts me. And that’s really a shame considering where my characters are at in the story right now. The partiers next door are giving my characters—not to mention me—blue balls. I glare at the wall as the music starts again. You’d think with how much my godmother, Rachel, paid for this condo, the builders of the Shipman would have at least sprung for better materials to soundproof the walls. This is supposed to be one of the premier high-rise condominiums in greater Los Angeles. The list of residents has graced the pages of celebrity magazines. True story: I bumped into a former child star on the elevator when I was taking my Rachel’s dog, Elsie, out for a walk. And I’m about ninety-nine percent positive I saw the member of a former boy band doing laps in the rooftop pool. You’d think someone who appeared on People’s Sexiest Man Alive would have higher standards than a broke romance novelist with a major case of writer’s block. That writer’s block is the main reason I’m here right now. After meeting my godmother for lunch last week, I told her about my struggle to get my next book written. I told her about how hard it is to write at home. I love my roommates, but they aren’t the best at keeping it down while I write.

I told her about how I’m spending a fortune on overpriced coffees working from coffee shops. The wonderful woman that she is, Rachel listened patiently, and then offered me a solution. “How about you house-sit for me while I’m on my cruise next week?” In exchange for writing in paradise, all I had to do was make sure her sweet pooch gets fed twice a day and goes for a walk every morning and evening. It’s the deal of a lifetime. Or, so it seemed, until tonight when her next-door neighbor turned out to be a party animal. Pinching the bridge of my nose, I debate between giving up writing for the night in lieu of watching a movie. Rachel does have all the movie channels. It’d be a waste not to check them out while I’m here. Thud. The print on the wall above me goes crooked. I narrow my eyes at it. I won’t be able to do much of anything tonight if these party monsters keep it up. Elsie whimpers at my feet, and my heart twists. “That’s it.” I jump to my feet and pull the belt of the terry cloth robe tighter around my waist.

“I’m going to speak to someone about this.” Remembering to grab the keys so I won’t get locked out, I stride out the door and march to the next one over. Pulling my shoulders back and raising my chin, I knock on the door—hard. No one answers. So, I do it again, pounding with my fist. When no one still seems inclined to open up, I pull my fist back, ready to really let the door have it. I’m about to launch it forward when the door swings open. My fist freezes mid-air and my jaw falls open. There, on the other side of the door, is the most gorgeous man I’ve ever seen. Fitting the description of tall, dark, and dreamy to a T, he’s dressed in a tuxedo. His dark hair is immaculately cut and styled and there’s a glimmer of interest in his green eyes. There’s an instant tug of lust low in my belly as he arches an eyebrow. The man could be James Bond. Or the bodyguard in the story I’m writing. “Can I help you?” he asks.

I stare at him dumbly. I open my mouth, but words don’t come out. I really am at a loss for words tonight. And right now, this delectable man is entirely to blame. MILES The first thing I notice about the woman standing outside my door is that she’s stunning. Her thick, dark curls are swept up on top of her head, with a few loose tendrils falling down around her heart-shaped face. Her eyes are brown and wide as she stares at me like I have a horn growing out of my head. Her lips are full. The perfect kind for kissing and fucking. The next thing I notice is that she’s wrapped in a bathrobe and wearing fuzzy bunny slippers. I didn’t realize people still wore bunny slippers. And, they definitely don’t wear them to swanky fundraisers, like the one my CFO and I are hosting for our company’s foundation. Which means she probably isn’t a guest. Pity. I can only imagine how much I’d like to get to know the woman behind the serious, bright eyes.

Just like I can only imagine how much I’d like to explore the supple curves underneath that thick, lush robe she’s wearing. The robe would look good on the floor of my bathroom. She’d look even better naked and willing in my bed. I arch an eyebrow. Jesus. What’s my problem? A woman I’ve never laid eyes on before is standing at my front door. I’m too busy eye-fucking her to mind my manners. My mom would be royally pissed at me if she could see me right now. Clearing my throat, I curve my lips up in what I hope is a friendly grin. “Can I help you?” She parts her lips, and I momentarily lose all ability to think. She really does have the sweetest-looking mouth. I wonder what it tastes like. My cock twitches and I shift my stance to avoid pitching a tent here in the foyer. I wonder if she’s as rattled as I am right now. Neither of us seems to be doing a particularly good job of carrying on a conversation right now.

And neither of us seems to be able to take our eyes off of the other. I shake my head and repeat the question. She blinks and seems to come back to her senses too.

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Updated: 15 September 2021 — 03:09

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