Banking the Billionaire (Bad Boy Billionaires #2)(7)

by Max Monroe

As I analyzed her appearance for the benefit of more than my overeager cock, I realized she looked slightly disheveled, like she’d hopped right out of bed and come straight here. I hadn’t thought about it before, but from a quick calculation of the drive time alone, I knew that’s what she must’ve done.

Moving my gaze from the top of her wild-haired head down to meet her eyes, I tried to convey how thankful I was with two simple words. “I’m sorry.”

Her wildly expressive brows activated again, and their message was doubt.

“I am. Really,” I promised defensively. I hated to admit the embarrassing truth, but I owed her at least that much. “But a guy I know from high school said some things I should have ignored but didn’t, and I didn’t know who else to call. It’s my parents’ fortieth wedding anniversary, and even if it wasn’t, there was no way I was calling them.”

“Kline?” she suggested as she looked down and noticed my hand for the first time, her eyes widening at the open, raw knuckles.

I rolled my eyes and avoided confessing her number was the only one I could remember. Cassie Phillips’s crazy ideas didn’t need that kind of substantiation or power.

“The last time I called Kline in the middle of the night he told me he was going to amputate my most loved appendage. I’ve got five inches and at least fifty pounds on the guy, but he’s clever, goddammit. He’d find a way.”

“Wes,” she pushed.

I shook my head. “On the West Coast. Some kind of recruiting trip.”

Her whole body seemed to perk up, and for the first time, I noticed her shirt. A completely ridiculous creation by a company I owned a forty percent stake in. I smothered a smile as she asked, “Where?”

“What?” I asked, confused. She wasn’t making sense, but if I was honest, I hadn’t exactly been giving all of my attention to the conversation.

“Who, how, why,” she rambled as she grew frustrated. “Where, as in what college, Numbnuts?”

It felt like a quiz, and I wasn’t sure she’d let me in the car if I didn’t come up with the right answer. And as much as I bitched, I wanted inside that fucking Fiat.

“Um, I don’t know?” I ventured cautiously with a mindless scratch to my scalp. A shower definitely wouldn’t be amiss at this point. “I think he was going a couple of places.”

She huffed, yanked the driver’s door open, climbed into the car, and slammed the door behind her, leaving me stunned in her wake.

Three seconds into the shock, I forced myself into motion, jumping toward and around the car, jerking open the door, and cramming my big body inside as quickly as possible like some form of origami. I had no doubt this crazy woman would drive all the way out here only to leave without me.

“What’d I do wrong?” I asked when she didn’t even glance in my direction. I wasn’t an expert, but I’d seen a woman pissed a time or two. Each time it happened I made an effort to log information so I could prevent it the next time. Unfortunately, I’d yet to establish a pattern.

“Called me in the middle of the night and talked me into driving to upstate New York!” she snapped.

“No,” I clarified. “I got that memo loud and clear. I mean when we were talking about Wes.”

“Would I have hit him?” she asked strangely.

I wasn’t having any fucking luck following our conversation today. It was like we were constantly having two completely different ones.

“Who? Wes?”

“No! The fucker you hit! Would I have hit him?”

I couldn’t help but laugh while I pictured it. Cassie was far from a heavyweight, but I imagined Johnny still would have ended up on the ground. “Long before I did.”

She nodded, resolute. “Then you’re forgiven for that.” She backed out of the spot with ease and turned out of the parking lot in the direction from which she’d come.

A smile lifted the corners of my lips at the gift of her forgiveness. I didn’t bother telling her I hadn’t asked for it.

“Now I just want to get back to the city and climb into my bed. I’m about eight hours short on sleep.”

“Um,” I mumbled as I cringed. “I actually need you to take me to the bar.”

“The bar?” The car swerved slightly as she took her eyes off the road to look at me. I fought the urge to grab on to the “Oh shit” handle.

“The scene of last night’s crime,” I explained with a slightly rough, self-deprecating laugh. “I’ve got a car there that needs to get returned to the Kelly residence.”

She moaned, but she ultimately turned where I pointed and didn’t say anything else. We rode in silence for two minutes before she took a hand off the wheel and ran it through her hair. Her mouth started to form a yawn, but she did her best to stop it. The result was a hideously unattractive facial contortion. My chest buzzed at the sight of it.


She nodded for five straight seconds before speaking. “Yeah. You should know this by now, but in case you missed it, sleep and I are really fucking tight. Like, you know how people joke all the time about offering up their firstborn?”

I nodded and then realized it’d be hard for her to look at me. “Yeah.”

“Well, when I have kids, they will be a legitimate sacrifice before sleep.”

I laughed. “From what I hear, having kids is pretty much synonymous with no sleep.”

“Fuck. So maybe I can’t have kids.”

“Nah. You just need to have them with someone who can stand to go without. It’s all a trade-off.”

Surprised eyes sought mine, and the car swerved again. I carefully avoided pointing it out. Instead, I offered the only thing I could right then.

“Want me to drive?”

She shook her head and yawned again. This time, the yawn won.

“Last night was your parents’ fortieth wedding anniversary party?”


“A lot of lonely women in that crowd?” she teased.

A dot of dried blood stained the fabric of my pants, and I wiped at it even though I knew it wouldn’t come out. My mind was sluggish as I processed her question, but the answer surprised me a little when it finally did. There might as well have been no women at the party for the amount I’d noticed them. “It wasn’t exactly lively, but my parents enjoyed it, and that’s all that matters to me.”