Under the Sea (Borrowed Billionaire #4) - Mimi Strong

Mimi Strong - Borrowed Billionaire #4 - Under the Sea

Under the Sea (Borrowed Billionaire #4)
Mimi Strong


1: Where There's Smoke, There's a Fireman

What did I do after Luthor Thorne left me in the pitch-black restaurant's private room, with coffee all down my shirt? I got out my cell phone and used the flashlight app as a night light. The room wasn't even painted, can you believe it? There was primer on the walls, by the look of it, but you could see all the seams from the sheetrock. And I had to wait in that ugly room for five minutes.

After four minutes and fifty-nine seconds of glaring at the shoddy décor inside the room, I was out the door. People yelled at me for having my phone on, lighting up their dark dinner, but I didn't care. I wanted out. Now.

Instead of going home, I gave the taxi driver Suzanne's address, and I went there.

Her husband opened the townhouse door, took one look at me, and decided he was going to stay in the den watching TV.

I had bits of food and coffee all down the front of me, my skirt was wrinkled up, and I looked like hell. Suzanne dabbed her finger on my blouse, smelled her finger, and said, “Chocolate. And something else. Pear?”

“Pretty much,” I said, taking a seat on a stool at her kitchen island.

She put on the kettle for tea and said, “You're dressed up fancy. Don't even try to pass this off as the pool boy. There's no way you'd let a pool boy—” she waved her hand up and down me “—do this to you.”

“Luthor Thorne.”

She blinked, and then, slowly, she nodded. “The walk-in closet. Yes. I knew I shouldn't have sent you on that job. That woman who works for him, Grace, she was asking the strangest questions. Even had me email her a photo of you.”

“That witch!”

Suzanne shuddered and rubbed her arms. She was not a very big girl, and with her small frame and dyed-red hair, she looked like a little doll in her oversized kitchen. “I feel dirty,” she said, then whispered, “I gave that man phone sex.”

I pointed to the dessert I was wearing. “Yes, Suzanne, clearly you're the party who's been wronged. Tell me, Suzanne, what can I do to make you feel better.”

“Shit.” She grabbed the whistling kettle and poured the tea. “I'm sorry. Tell me what happened. Some sort of food fight? You don't seem drunk. How did this happen?”

So I told her everything, from our unconventional meet-cute at the mansion, to Mr. Luthor Thorne telling me about the strange bet he'd made with his assistant, which had him unable to see a woman for months. I continued the lurid tale, right up to our date earlier that evening. We'd had dinner at the dark restaurant, which he owned, and then sex, also in the restaurant, then he'd left me there to find my way home.

Suzanne said, “And then you showed up on my doorstep.”

“I need help, and it was either you or my mother.”

“Your mother would have been an expensive cab ride.”

I smiled. “Exactly.”

Suzanne grabbed the milk and sugar and took a seat beside me. “Here's what you're gonna do,” she said.

I left Suzanne's feeling a little better. Suzanne was only slightly older than me, but she was married, so that made her an expert. She was also a really good friend, and she made me feel better just by being my friend. By my calculations, I had to be pretty special to deserve a pal like her.

On Monday, I was back to my regular job, my regular life, which didn't involve dating billionaires, but organizing the junk of millionaires.

I was at Mrs. Chong's helping sort the woman's collectibles when Suzanne called me on my cell. Mrs. Chong made a comment about young people and their phones, but she let me take a break.

“He called,” Suzanne said, sounding excited. “He tried to book you for an organizing job on a yacht. I told him you refused to work for him and offered to send someone else.”

“Suzanne!” I yelled. “A yacht? I've never been on a yacht.”

“Lexie, we never discussed a yacht scenario! I did as we agreed and told him no. Now, don't be weak. What would your mother tell you to do?”

I sighed. “Let him come to me.”

“Exactly. She used to tell me the same thing. That's how I got my proposal. The thing is, I'd already given up and started putting together an online