Dirty Billionaire (Page 26)

“You’re not leaving.”

Holly’s head jerks up as she reaches out to grab her bra. Her eyes might as well be spitting flames for all the heat in them. “Watch me.”

“That’s not acceptable.”

“You mentioned that already. But unfortunately, what you didn’t mention was the only way this worked was for me to give up my career. To give up my dreams. You don’t get it. My dreams are all I’ve got left¸ and I’m not giving them up for anyone.”

I grit my teeth. This is why I was in no hurry to get married again. Because women are completely fucking unreasonable and irrational.

“Then maybe you should have asked more questions before you agreed to this proposal.”

She pauses after she hooks her bra. “I guess the only question I really needed to ask was whether you were a selfish, stubborn asshole. My mistake.”

She’s not wrong. I am a selfish, stubborn asshole. I wouldn’t be where I am today without those qualities. But we also had a deal.

Holly shrugs on her shirt and tosses her hair back, plaiting it into a quick braid and securing it with some sort of elastic she pulled from the pocket of her jeans. Once again, she looks about sixteen years old, a defiant, gorgeous girl who just threw everything I can offer her back in my face because she thinks I’m going to make her give up her dream.

It’s good to know one of us has principles.

“Sit your ass down, Holly. You’re not going anywhere.”

Her hands land on her hips and she glares at me. “You can go to hell, Creighton Karas, and take your damn prenup with you. You can keep the hundred dollars I’m probably entitled to after being married for twelve hours. Use it to buy yourself a blow job from some other clueless toy, because this one is done.”

My smile sharpens because I actually like this feisty woman. I strike before she even registers that I’m moving. I toss her to the bed and pin her hands above her head.

“If you think I’m letting you walk away after that display, you are sadly mistaken, my dear wife.”

Her struggle is no pretense, and the knee that almost connects with my balls is also very real.

“Fuck you, Karas.”

“Honey, the only one getting fucked here is you.” I still her thrashing head by pressing my mouth to her ear. “Let me figure it out. If I can’t handle something as simple as dealing with your tour and schedule, I’m not fit to run a multi-billion-dollar global company.”

I can’t believe I’m conceding this point, but I’m not willing to let her go. I will find a way to have it all, because that’s all that I will accept. Everything.

Holly’s struggling body calms as the fight drains from her. The only movement is the rise and fall of her chest as she sucks in lungfuls of air.

Her voice is quiet when she asks, “Are you serious? I need to hear you say it and mean it—that you’ll make my career a priority too. Because for me, there’s nothing more important. I need to be on that tour bus on the sixth, or I’m screwed.”

I lift my head to meet her gaze. I’m not used to being questioned in anything, let alone whether my word is good.

“Yes, I will make your career a priority, and I will not be the reason you lose your shot at your dream. You’ll be in Nashville by the night of the fourth—earlier than you said you needed to be there to get ready. But we’ll do this all my way.”

She studies my face for a long moment. “I don’t get you. I really, really don’t get you.”

“You don’t need to. And you probably never will.”

The man is insane. That’s the only explanation I have for any of this. And I guess that makes me just as insane because I’ve jumped on the crazy train right along with him. It’s mind-blowing to think that so much has happened in less than twenty-four hours. At midnight last night I was meeting Creighton at the Plaza, we were married in Vegas this morning, and by mid-afternoon we’re heading back to the airport for New York.

A bellman carries our bags as we leave Caesar’s. The moment we hit the exit, cameras are flashing and reporters are shouting questions. I make sure my oversized sunglasses are in place, and duck my head and hurry directly toward the open limo door just like I did the times the press caught me after another JC episode hit the papers. Without the limo, of course.

But before I reach it, Creighton grabs my hand and tugs me to a stop. He wraps an arm around me and pulls me against his side.

“Thank you for your felicitations. We’d be happy to answer a few questions.”

We would? What the hell?

The press jumps on the invitation like vultures on road kill.

“Mr. Karas, can you confirm that this whole production—the viral missed connection—was a publicity stunt? And Mrs. Karas, can you address the rumors that JC Hughes was going to propose to you on New Year’s Eve?”

Creighton shakes his head. “Now why would I confirm that? But I will say this. Sometimes to get what you want, you have to take a crazy chance and hope that fate is smiling down on you. This may not be the biggest gamble I’ve made, but I think it’s going to turn out to be the best one. After all, I was the lucky bastard who got her to the altar first.”

His words knock the breath from me. I look up at him through my tinted lenses and wish, in that moment, that I knew him well enough to know whether he’s just spouting off crap for the press, or if he’s being honest.

There’s no way he really means it.

Creighton glances down at me, and a soft smile crosses his face as the flashes continue to bombard us. I know that picture will be the one on the cover of every rag tomorrow.