Dirty Billionaire (Page 29)

Creighton pauses in front of the king-sized bed with a sleek black headboard and footboard, silvery-gray bedspread, and a pile of pillows.

“They work when I need them to work. No one comes on board who isn’t willing to drop everything whenever I need them. The compensation they get is a fair trade.”

I shrug. I’ve got no response to that, because I assume he pays them more than I make, so it’s up to them what they put up with from him.

“Come. I want to show you your things.”

“My things?”

I follow him toward a doorway that leads into a walk-in closet that’s about half the size of the single-wide I grew up in. The size doesn’t stop me in my tracks, but the collection of skirts, dresses, tops, and slacks hanging in it does. My eyes catch on the shelves of shoes, purses, and accessories.

“What’s this?”

“Your wardrobe,” Creighton replies matter-of-factly. “I had it delivered New Year’s Eve.”


“On the flight to Vegas?” I’m so confused. When could he have done that? I don’t remember him making a call, but then again I was buried in the prenup.

“No, before I went to the Plaza.”

“That’s crazy. You didn’t even know if I’d show. Plus, it’s kinda freaking creepy. I’m not some Stepford wife you can just dress up however you want.”

Creighton’s laugh fills the room. “If I wanted a Stepford wife, I would’ve picked one of the gold diggers out of the society crowd. You, my dear, are anything but. I knew that on Christmas Eve, and I know it now. If there’s anything that doesn’t suit your taste, it can be removed and replaced with something that’s more to your liking. But I think you’ll be surprised by some of the choices. Country chic, I think the consultant called it.”

Once again, I’m stunned. I’m still trying to figure out how to respond when Creighton releases my hand and turns for the door.

“I hate to leave you on your own, but I have to go. Don’t wait up for me, because it’ll be late. If you get hungry, the fridge is stocked.” He pauses at the doorway. “The bathroom is also stocked. I didn’t know what you would like on that front, but the selection should be adequate. Shower and relax. I’ll see you in the morning.”

Apparently I’m only capable of nodding. Creighton’s lips quirk into a smile, and then he’s gone. I’m still making my way out of the bedroom when I hear the front door shut behind him.

Well, I guess that’s that. I wander back out into the living room and pull my phone from my pocket. All my social-media notifications are still going bananas, so I ignore them, along with the missed calls and voice mails from a number I don’t recognize.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out who would call me a dozen times and leave a dozen messages. I hope JC was right that no publicity is bad publicity.

Going to the window, I can’t help but feel like Rapunzel staring down from her tower, although with much shorter hair. Except in Rapunzel’s case, her tower was at least familiar. I’m completely out of my element here, and I’ve never felt every moment of my Kentucky upbringing quite so keenly as when I stand in this penthouse.

A lyric hits me almost instantly, and I squeeze my eyes closed and hear it again in my head. Pressing my forehead to the glass, I quiet my mind to everything but the words and melody that are taking shape.

Six songs. I need to write six songs, and maybe, just maybe, I’ve got the beginnings of one. My purse is still on my shoulder, and I hurry to the chair near the fireplace and pull out my notebook.

As I scribble out the words and notes, the thrill of excitement rises in my blood. I need a guitar. I really, really need a guitar. It’s one thing Creighton couldn’t know I’d want since he arranged for all of this to be delivered before he even knew who I was.

I look out the window at the darkened city. It’s too late to go exploring for a guitar now, so I keep scribbling lyrics, erasing them and rewriting, until my hand is cramped and my back aches.

I lay down my pencil and rise, my muscles protesting and my head fuzzy. The little sleep I got last night and the sheer craziness of what I’ve done is catching up with me.

Flipping my notebook shut, I wander back into the bedroom, hearing the siren’s call of the giant bed. After running my hand along the silky-smooth comforter, I give up the battle and strip off my clothes where I stand before I slide between the covers.

Tomorrow. Tomorrow I’ll find a guitar shop.

My eyes snap open and I blink several times, scanning the room.

Where am I?

Then everything comes rushing back. Creighton’s penthouse. New York City. Turning my head to the side, I see nothing but smooth, unrumpled comforter beside me.

I sit up and stretch, my attention going to the clock. It’s already close to noon, and there’s no evidence Creighton ever made it to bed. Swinging my legs over the side and pushing off the plush mattress, I rise and survey the large bedroom.

Nope. No sign of him.

My stomach grumbles and I wander toward the kitchen, wondering if I’m going to find a note or something informing me as to where my husband is. The granite countertop is spotless and note-less.

I grab my phone from my purse, and see a text from almost three hours earlier.

I’ll be home later. Make yourself comfortable. Call the doorman if you need anything.

I’m surprised he has my number, but there’s no questioning who the message is from.

My burning desire for a guitar hasn’t faded, but I have absolutely no intention of asking a doorman to fetch me one. This is New York, and New York has everything.