Claudia Burgoa is kicking off her brand new Paradise Bay Billionaire Brothers series this week with a fake dating, friends to lovers, office romance, and I have a sneak peek for you.
What are your rules?”
“We’re both consenting to this agreement, right? That’s pretty important.”
I nod. “We are. If you want out of it, just let me know.”
She’s scribbling on her tablet as she speaks. “We agree that this is a mutually beneficial partnership. Meaning, we both get something out of this deal.”
She places her stylus on the side of her tablet and reaches for her wallet. “By the way, here’s your credit card.”
I take it. “Did you pay your bills?”
She shakes her head. “No. I think I can pay them next month.”
“They’re going to shut down your power,” I remind her. “Unless…if you don’t want to—”
“We’re not breaking the deal. I just don’t want to take too much.”
I hand her back my card. “I was willing to pay my entire fortune to get someone to date me for my trip. This is cheaper. After your utilities are up to date, you can give it back to me, okay?”
She cracks a smile. “You’re going to argue about this all day, aren’t you?
“Probably, and we know who’s going to win.”
She snickers. “Me.”
“Nope, I’ll trick you into believing that you did, but in the end, we’ll do what’s best for you.”
She huffs, placing the card back in her wallet. “You’re impossible.”
“And yet, you like me that way.” I tap her tablet a couple of times. “What other rules do we need?”
“PDA ground rules.” She writes PDA and underlines the three letters a couple of times.
Is she going to say no to them? “It has to be believable,” I warn her before she tells me that I can’t even hold her hand.
“We have to discuss what we’re comfortable doing.”
Babe, I’m comfortable with everything you want me to do and more. Okay, that’s being too forward. I simply ask, “Kissing?”
“I can deal with a kiss, but not in front of the employees. The office is off-limits.”
There she goes bossing me around, and I like the challenge because sneaking a kiss or two without anyone seeing us is going to be fun.
I grab her hand, interlacing our fingers. “What about holding hands? It’s innocent, and I’ve heard my sisters say that it’s cute to watch couples hold hands.”
She stares at our hands and gives me a skeptical glance. “Try to keep it to a minimum.”
She removes her hand from my hold. “What kind of touching? You can’t be groping me like a puppy in heat in public.”
“Casual waist grabbing, setting my arm around your shoulders, placing my hand on the small of your back.”
“As long as you don’t grab my ass in public, we’re good.”
“How about in private?” I ask deviously.
She glares at me.
I raise my hands in surrender. “It’s a joke. I wouldn’t make a pass without your consent.”
She goes back to scribbling on her tablet. “No falling in love.”
“Can you resist my charm?” I tease her.
“I have some charm.”
She rolls her eyes. “Sure, you do. I’ll fight it, don’t worry.”
I’m not thrilled with her response or the rule. I want us to fall in love. Madly.
“Okay, so you don’t fall for me, but what would happen if I fall in love with you?”
“Ugh, you wouldn’t.” Her exasperated tone makes me smile a little. She’s getting tired of my nonsense because she doesn’t believe we could be together. The question is, why?
“I could fall for you,” I insist. “You have charisma.”
She gives me a severe look. “Charisma isn’t enough to fall in love with someone. It takes a lot more. You don’t settle for looks or chemistry. Love is a deep connection between souls and hearts. It’s knowing the other person’s flaws and still wanting to be with them because that’s what makes them so special.”
I hang on to every word she says as if it’s gospel. Each sentence makes sense, but why can’t we try it with us? I don’t know if she’s insulting herself, me or…we could make it work.
She likes a challenge. I have one for her. “We should up the game, make it interesting.”
“Winner takes it all.”
She gives me a look that says, are you out of your mind? “We’re competing against each other?”
“Hear me out, Keaton. This will blow your mind and feed that competitive heart of yours.