Black Ties and White Lies: Chapter 39


“I never thought I’d say this, but I’ve never been more excited to see Ezra in my life,” Margo says with enthusiasm as she bounces up and down to stay warm. I look to my side at her, a growl rumbling low in my throat. “Careful sounding so excited when speaking of my driver. He’s worked for me for years but make me too jealous when it comes to him and he might just lose his job.”

The eye roll she gives me tells me she doesn’t believe me in the slightest. She practically skips across the parking lot toward Ezra, leaping into his arms and enveloping him in a large hug.

If he didn’t hover his arms over a safe spot on her back, he’d already be fired, our friendship be damned. I stop in front of them, raising my eyebrows as Ezra looks at me with an amused smile. Margo steps from his arms, looking at the waiting car behind him. “I thought we’d be stuck here forever.”

“Was it really such a terrible time?” I question, giving her a knowing look. While what happened last night was nowhere near planned, it wasn’t the worst turn of events I could imagine. In fact, in my personal opinion, it turned out more than perfect.

A blush creeps to her cheeks. She looks from me to Ezra and back again. A frigid breeze picks up around us, a bite to it as it hits us all in the face. Margo fixes the hair that blows with the wind, a gleam in her eyes as she looks between Ezra and I. “Awful. The worst.” She tries hard to fight a smile, but eventually she can’t any longer. She winks as a breathtaking smile overtakes her face.

“Why don’t you tell your new best friend Ezra how we passed the time?” I challenge.

Her eyebrows raise to her hairline as her stained cheeks get even darker. Margo always has such a smart mouth and no filter. I love it when I’m able to push her buttons enough to get her to blush. Especially in the presence of others.

Ezra whistles before he leaps forward and grabs the paper bags from my hand. “Now that you’ve mentioned it, I think I’d rather not know the details.”

“The dirty details,” I correct, still staring at Margo. I’d been pissed when our car got stuck in the snow. Livid when I thought I’d be tormented by sleeping next to her all night without being able to have her. Now I’m grateful for the snow storm, for how much things have changed between Margo and I from yesterday to today.

“Beck!” Margo shrieks, hitting me in the arm.

Ezra loads our small amount of belongings into the back of the car, shaking his head at both of us as he tries his best to ignore us.

“Thank you for sorting out the car situation,” I tell him. It seems that not only did he spend his morning getting the car towed for us, but he even took the time to get the rental washed. Scanning the trunk, it appears that all of our luggage stayed safe despite the car being left on the side of the road.

“Just doing my job,” he responds, closing the trunk.

Margo busies herself by typing something on her phone. If I had to guess, it’s something to do with those friends of hers she’s always adamant about speaking with. Walking up to her, I put an arm around her shoulder and pull her into my side. I kiss the top of her head. At first she looks shocked by the PDA. She aims a hesitant glance at Ezra, who’s already gotten into the car and isn’t paying attention. Even if he was, it wouldn’t matter.

Something changed between Margo and I last night. I’m not taking a step backwards. Now that I’ve had her, I won’t let her go. I don’t care who’s looking, if I want to touch her, kiss her, or anything else, I’ll do it.

“Ready to go back to New York?” I ask, letting her slide into the backseat.

“I’m so ready to go home.”

I nod, my throat feeling tight. Home. It was a simple sentence and yet to me it holds so much more meaning. She doesn’t realize the weight of her words, the effect they’ve had on me.

She called New York her home. She called the place we live together her home. Not a house, not some place she’s staying for a year while she fulfills her end of the agreement.

No, in her mind it’s her home, and I’ve never loved the penthouse I reside in so much.

Because if she views it as her home, maybe she’ll never want to leave it.

Maybe she’ll never want to leave me.

My knuckle softly brushes over her cheek. I wish I didn’t have to wake her up, but we’ve arrived at the private airport. It’s time for us to get on the jet and fly back to the city. Margo had fallen asleep five minutes into the car ride. It wasn’t too shocking considering how much of the night I’d kept her awake.

I’d intended on sleeping, but I couldn’t resist her. I couldn’t get enough of her last night. Anytime we’d drift off to sleep it wouldn’t be long before we’d wake up again and get lost in one another. It was the first night in I don’t know how long that I hadn’t woken up to check my phone multiple times. In fact, the only reason I’d woken up this morning was thanks to the sound of my vibrating phone on the nightstand.

I’ve never had such great sleep, even with all of the late-night interruptions. It seems that Margo may need a bit more sleep than I’m used to by the way, even as I run my fingers over her face, she doesn’t move a muscle.

She nestles even deeper into my side, giving no indication of waking up.

Ezra opens his door, returning from talking to the pilot and crew. I’d sent him to go check in with the crew, wanting to give Margo as much time to catch up on sleep as possible.

“They’re almost ready to take off,” he whispers, his eyes looking at Margo. If he’s wondering what transpired between Margo and I in the time since he last saw us yesterday, he hasn’t asked.

I nod before quietly opening my door. Ezra grabs it, holding it open for me. My hands slip underneath Margo’s thighs as I lift her to my chest. Her body is limp, the movement not jolting her from her sleep. I cradle her against me as I slip out of the car, mouthing my thanks to Ezra as I walk down the tarmac.

I’m expecting Margo to wake up. Between the cold air hitting us, despite my attempts to shield her from the bitter air with my body, and the sun beating down on us and shining brightly against the snow, I don’t know how she still sleeps so peacefully against me. Apparently last night had taken more energy from her than I’d even expected.

A flight attendant smiles at me from the bottom of the stairs leading to the jet. I nod before I follow her up, mumbling a good morning to the crew who wait inside for us. Without saying anything else to anyone, I go straight to the back of the plane where a private room waits behind a small door. I try to carefully place Margo atop the covers, being as gentle as possible. Careful to not wake her, I pull each of her boots off and set them on the ground by my feet. Once I feel like she should be comfortable enough to sleep, I pull the covers over her to keep her warm.

For a few moments I watch her sleep. I can’t fight the urge to lean down and press my lips to her forehead. She lets out a content sleepy sigh, the sound making my heart constrict in my chest. It takes everything in me to leave her sleeping alone in the room and talk to the crew who will be taking us to New York.

There’s a split second where I consider saying fuck it and just climb into bed with her. I plan on returning in a bit to check in on her, but I do need to speak with Ezra and answer a few work calls.

Taking one last look at her, I softly shut the door and leave her in peace to sleep.

Earlier she’d said that New York City was her home. I loved the sound of it coming from her lips. It was that moment that I realized Manhattan was no longer the place I call home. I’d call anywhere home if it meant I was with her, because my home is no longer a physical place. My home is her.

I’ve made a home out of Margo, even at the risk of knowing she may never find a home in me.


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