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Black Ties and White Lies: Chapter 16


Margo’s beauty is as equally captivating as it is frustrating.

As Quincy fusses over one of the many outfits she’s tried on, I continue to pretend to focus on my phone. Sitting in this dressing room as Margo plays dress up is the last thing I should be doing right now. I’ve got a never ending to-do list thanks to my impromptu urge to drop everything and fly to California to finally convince Margo to hear me out and agree to my offer. After coming home last night and using today to get her situated instead of working, there’s a list a mile long of shit I need to get done.

I could’ve easily sent Margo to do this alone. At first, that’d been exactly the plan. I was going to have Ezra drop me off at the office before he dropped her off on Fifth Avenue to buy whatever she wanted. Last minute I frustratingly changed the plan, deciding to come with her as opposed to getting work done.

“I don’t think I’ve disliked a single thing you picked out,” Margo tells Quincy. From the corner of my eye, I see her turn to look at herself at all angles in the mirror.

“I’m happy to hear that. I need to do another sweep to bring in some more options for you. Any requests while I go look?”

Margo stops spinning. I can feel her watching me from the mirror, but I fight the urge to look up and meet her eyes. I’m still dwelling on the moment from earlier and the stark realization that I wanted to ravish the mouth of my little brother’s ex-girlfriend.

If Quincy hadn’t shown up, I would’ve done it. I wouldn’t have been able to stop myself. Margo’s mouth looked so kissable. I wanted to turn her lips a different color with the assault of my mouth against hers. I wanted to witness the tan skin around her mouth turn pink from the crash of our lips. I’d wanted it so bad that I was going to take it without any thought of the repercussions or thoughts on the so-called terms she’d laid out.

The jury’s still out if Quincy showing up was a blessing or a curse. But one thing’s for sure, the thought of Margo stripping her clothing behind the door to my left has distracted me way more than I’d care to admit. It’s taken everything in me to not demand Quincy leave so I could follow Margo into the room, shut the door and finish what we’d started in the elevator.

The memory of my heart pounding against my chest when I’d come to the realization I wanted to kiss the woman who was my assistant and my soon-to-be fake fiancée has me devoting my time to answering emails on my phone. It’s the only thing keeping myself in check.

Apparently, I’ve missed bits and pieces of a conversation between Margo and Quincy. When I get out of my head, I find Quincy standing at the door to the VIP suite. The look on my face must look confused enough that she feels the need to explain. “I’m going to go pick out a few more casual”—she winks at Margo—“outfits. As well as a few more pieces that can be dressed up and down.”

I give a quick nod, my pulse thumping at the idea of being left alone in here with the woman who’s taking up way too much of my headspace.

By the time I look away from Quincy, Margo has stepped back into the private dressing room.

I sigh, running a hand down my face as I do everything in my power to keep myself planted on this couch. My intentions weren’t entirely pure when I decided to offer Margo the fake fiancée agreement. But I hadn’t had the intention of allowing myself to kiss her quite yet. The thought alone makes everything more complicated than what it’s supposed to be. It doesn’t change the fact that I ache to do it, consequences be damned.

The fact is that after watching Margo watch me in eager anticipation, her heavy breaths confirming she wants to kiss me as bad as I want to kiss her, I can’t think of anything else.

My phone vibrates, a fortunate distraction, as my eyes watch the door she stands behind. My pulse runs rampant at the thought of her undressing behind the door. I can’t help but mentally picture what she hides underneath her clothes. I want to study every inch of her bare skin, paying close enough attention to every inch the same way she does before she sketches someone.

An aggravated growl involuntarily falls from my lips as my cock hardens in my pants.

Get it the hell together.

The truth is, no other woman has captivated me the way she does. I don’t know if it’s the knowledge that she and I are going to pretend to be in love that has me losing grip on the situation or if it’s something else entirely.

I’m having a battle of willpower with myself when Margo speaks up from behind the closed door. “Uh, Beck?” she asks, her voice hesitant.

I look up from my phone to the door. “Yes?”

“I think I need your help.”

“What is it?”

“My zipper. It’s stuck and I can’t get it.”

“I’m sure you can figure it out,” I say harshly.

She lets out a groan. “I can barely reach. I don’t think I can get out of this on my own.”

My eyes rush to the door to the suite. Maybe Quincy will return any minute and come to Margo’s rescue. Except deep down, I know better. When she left, she made it seem like she may take some time. She’d even left the menu for the cafe on another floor for us to call in food if we needed.

Quincy wasn’t coming back any time in the immediate future. Which is bad for Margo, who needs help, but terrible for me because the knowledge of knowing we’re alone for the time being is catastrophic.

“Try a little harder,” I demand. It’s a last-ditch effort to keep a leash on myself.

Margo’s aggravated moan only fuels the growing erection in my pants. “I’ve tried, Beck,” she whines. “I can’t get it, and it feels too tight, and I just need your help before I accidentally rip a piece of fabric that probably costs more than my entire wardrobe, okay?”

“Fine,” I bark, a little too harshly. It’s not Margo’s fault that I’m suddenly desperate for her. Maybe it isn’t so sudden and it actually is her fault. She’s just completely unaware of the matter.

A string of curses fall from my lips as I open the door and find her facing me. There’s panic in her eyes as her hands bend behind her back, fussing with what I’m assuming is the stuck zipper.

I take a step in, shutting the door behind me. My eyes roam over her body, unable to look anywhere else than the short, figure-hugging dress draped over her body.

“A little help here?” Margo turns so her back faces me. She watches me through the mirror, her fingers still clasping the zipper.

“I thought the point of today was to find you work attire. You can’t wear this into the office.”

Her hair gets in the way of the zipper as she shakes her head at me. She takes a step backward, her arms falling to her sides. Her spine straightens as I sweep her long hair to the side. I barely brush over her bare skin and it’s enough to have me clenching my jaw.

“I wasn’t planning on wearing this to work,” she whispers.

I ignore her, my knuckles skimming her back as my fingers grab onto the zipper. She only managed to lower it an inch or two from the top of the dress before extra fabric got stuck in the teeth. I give the zipper a tug, pulling her body slightly closer to me with the force.

Her ass brushes against my front, making me suck in a breath. I was already holding on by a loose thread. I’m seconds away from losing it and ripping this pathetic excuse of a dress down the middle and crashing my lips against hers. It’d be the best kind of mistake to kiss her until both our heads are spinning.

“I really wasn’t,” she continues. I yank again on the zipper, trying to get the small amount of silk stuck in it out. It doesn’t work. Her little yelp about does me in.

“If you say so,” I speak through clenched teeth. I’m aggravated with myself because I’ve never been someone who loses control easily. It’s hard for me to give it up, and here I am unable to control myself in her presence.

I’m mostly pissed off that I’m not already kissing her by now.

I look up from trying to get the zipper undone, finding her watching me closely. Her cheeks have a perfect flush to them. Her deep inhales and exhales confirm that she feels the same things I’m feeling.

“Stop looking at me like that,” I snap, looking back at the zipper. I pull on it again, but it won’t budge. However she managed to get the fabric caught, it’s going to be harder than I was expecting to get her out of it. If she hadn’t put something on that was so perfectly molded to her body, we’d easily be able to slip it over her head and get it off that way.

“How am I looking at you?” She takes a tiny step backward, pressing herself against me even more, even though it isn’t necessary.

“You’re looking at me like you want to be—need to be—kissed,” I declare. The hand not holding the zipper slides slightly down her waist, gripping the fabric at her hip.

“And what if I do?”

My fingertips dig into her hip, bringing her body flush against mine. “Don’t say things you don’t mean,” I warn, leaning in so my lips flutter against the tender skin of her neck.

“I’d never.” Her small hips grind against me, snapping whatever resolve I had left.


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