We are taking book requests on our companion website. You can request books here. Make sure, you are following the rules.

Black Ties and White Lies: Chapter 41


Margo’s head falls to my shoulder as we ride the elevator up to the penthouse. We lean against the back wall, the both of us tired from the past twenty-four hours. “I’m so happy to be home,” she speaks up, breaking the silence.

I have to swallow the growing lump of emotion in my throat. “Me too,” I get out, not elaborating that I felt more at home in bed with her at that inn than I’ve felt here at my own place alone. Truth be told, I’m happy to get back to our own space, to the mundaneness we’ve created in the past month. Nothing has really felt like home until her, but I’m excited at the thought of this penthouse slowly becoming one because of her.

Her stomach growls loudly, making her giggle as she covers it with her hand, a bashful look on her face. “Clearly I’m starving.” She laughs again, shrugging.

The elevator chimes, the doors to the penthouse opening wide. The usual smell of the cleaning solution the cleaning service typically uses hits my nostrils. As I roll our suitcases in, the both of us stopping in the gallery, a different smell hits our nostrils.

Margo looks at me, excitement lighting in her eyes. “Do I smell Chinese food?”

I can’t help but smirk at her excitement as she beelines for the kitchen, not bothering to take off her shoes. “Oh my god, I’ve never been more excited to see takeout in my life!”

Following the sound of her voice, I find her already tearing into a white plastic takeout bag that sits on the edge of the kitchen island. She pulls out two containers of soup, a small box of egg rolls and then two large boxes with our entrees.

She wastes no time tearing open a packet of chopsticks, opening one of the bigger boxes and popping a piece of chicken in her mouth. She moans loudly, her eyes rolling back in her head. “Holy shit. I forgot how much I missed New York takeout.”

I pull my phone out of my pocket, firing off a text to my house manager to thank them for running the food by. I watch her shove a large bite of chow mein into her mouth, noodles dangling by her chin before talking. “We had it like two weeks ago after you begged me for it.”

She smiles at me through a mouthful of food. If anyone else did it, I’d find it revolting, but with her it’s endearing and cute. Every little nuance of her is. She swallows the food in her mouth. “Exactly. It’s been way too long.”

I roll my eyes at her dramatics, pulling my arms from the sleeves of my jacket and tossing it over the far edge of the island. “I’m sorry that the home cooked meals you’ve been living off of have been so awful.”

She slurps a noodle into her mouth. “I never said they were awful. But you’re talking to a girl who was broke in college who collectively shared one pot and one pan with her two other roommates. We never cooked for ourselves and we could make Chinese leftovers last for days. You cook almost as good as you fuck, Beck, but that doesn’t mean I don’t miss some overly GMO sesame chicken from time to time.”

Her uttering the word fuck brings my mind back to the plane ride, how it felt to bury myself inside her while my staff waited for us. It hadn’t been my intention to fuck her on the plane. I’d really just wanted to slip the ring on her finger and know the world viewed her as my fiancée, but I got carried away. I seem to be doing that a lot when it comes to her. Not that I really mind it.

She manages to shove a few more bites into her mouth before I point to the chairs at the island. “Would you like to maybe actually take a seat and eat your food?”

Her eyes widen, like it just occurred to her that we could sit and eat like civilized people. She’d eaten on the plane, but apparently she was still starved. Margo keeps the box of sesame chicken close to her as she slides it across the countertop until it’s placed in front of one of the chairs.

As soon as her ass is planted in the chair, she’s back to funneling food into her mouth. Taking a seat next to her, I begin to take my own bites of the dinner. Chinese food is probably last on my list of things I enjoy, but she doesn’t have to know that. When she asked if I liked it the first time she admitted to craving it, I lied, telling her it was my guilty pleasure. My guilty pleasure is in the form of a Brooklyn style slice of pizza or gelato from a little unknown market, not Chinese food.

The light hits the diamond on her finger just right, bringing my attention to it. “I like the look of that ring on your finger,” I tell her, standing up to get us both some water.

She lays her chopsticks on the corner of the box, lifting her hand to admire the ring. The setting evening sun hits it just enough to make sparkles appear on the wall and counter. “Having me scream your name while your whole team listens on isn’t enough for people to know I’m yours?”

“Not even close.”

“But this helps?” She flashes the ring in my direction.

“You’re damn right it does. With that on your finger no man should dare to look twice at you.”

“Since when did a ring on a woman’s finger stop a man from going for what he wants?”

Jealousy burns wildly in my chest. One, at the thought of another man’s ring on her finger, and two, of any man even sparing a second look at her to begin with. “I’d love to see anybody try.”

“That sounds scary,” she quips, taking a small bite of her food.

“You’re damn right it does.”

We both fall into a silence as we eat our food. It’s not that I don’t want to have dinner conversation with her. In fact, one of my favorite things since she’s moved in has been the time we’ve spent chatting as I prepared dinner, the conversation continuing even after she’s cleared our plates and washed up. But the topic of her wearing the engagement ring I gave her, knowing it’s not one she plans to keep on her finger forever, makes the food taste bitter in my mouth. The thought of her with any other man has me burning hot with rage.

“Speaking of the engagement, when are we going to tell people? My friends will kill me if they find out I’ve already kept it from them for this long. Even if it isn’t—”

“Don’t say it,” I hiss before thinking better of it. I’m tired of her calling it fake, even though that’s exactly what it is. I knead my fingers into my temple, trying to stifle the headache that’s come out of nowhere. “Sorry, I think I’m just tired. I actually figured we could tell my family tomorrow night. My dad called when you were asleep on the plane. They’re going to be in the city for business and want to have dinner to celebrate an early Thanksgiving. If that’s okay with you, I figured we could just tell them then. And anyone else you want to tell after.”

She thinks through my words for a moment, twirling the noodles with her chopsticks. “Yeah, that sounds good. I’ll tell my friends around then too.” Her voice sounds uneasy, the pitch changing from the beginning of her sentence to the end.

I slide the box of food away from me, reaching out to move her hair from her face. “You okay?” I ask. Hopefully she isn’t having second thoughts about our arrangement. In my mind I have a year with her. I’m not ready to give her up just yet. I won’t ever be ready, but I’m certainly not ready now.

She mimics my motion, moving the food from in front of her. Her fingers wrap around the crystal glass I’d placed in front of her. My heart beats erratically as she takes a long gulp of water, my mind racing with what she’s going to say.

I’m preparing myself for the worst—that she no longer wants to tell people we’re engaged. I’m already thinking about what I’ll do if she slides that ring off her finger without even wearing it for twelve hours when she looks up at me, her green eyes roaming my face. “I’m fine. I’m just a little nervous about what your mom and dad will think of me knowing I’m with you after dating your brother.”

“They aren’t going to think ill of you, Margo. They’re aware of how much Carter fucked up. Truthfully, I think they’ll be thrilled to see you again.”

“Will Carter be there?”

“Doubtful.” He hasn’t faltered in telling me how he still wants Margo back. I’d rather keep him far away from her. Not that I think she’d ever do it. But I’d rather not even test it. I’m fucked up enough that I’d actually love for him to see her with me now. For him to know he has no chance with ever getting back with her. She’s mine just as much as I am hers.

I watch her face carefully, trying to read her facial expression and body language for any hints on how she feels about the situation. Even if Carter isn’t at the dinner, Mom and Dad will most likely tell him of the engagement right after. If she’s regretting the entire plan, she doesn’t give any indication.

“I was also thinking we could do an engagement party. You haven’t seen your friends in a while, so we could fly them in for it. Your family, too. Really whoever you want. It’s how we could announce to the rest of New York society our intentions to marry.”

Her eyes light up. “Really? I’d love that. A fancy Manhattan event all about me? Sign me up.”

I chuckle. This woman. I love how she’s not afraid to say exactly what’s on her mind. “I’ll look over my calendar to pick a date.”

When she looks up at me, her large eyes filled with excitement, I can almost trick myself into thinking she actually wants to marry me. Almost. Her smile is wide and bright and so fucking beautiful it makes my heart hammer in my chest. “I’ll be there.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


not work with dark mode