Black Ties and White Lies: Chapter 9

Margo

“Are you going to tell me where we’re going yet?” I prod, hoping he’ll finally answer my question. “We’re going to your apartment.”

“We’re what?” I shriek.

“We’re going to your apartment,” he repeats, slower this time, like I didn’t understand him the first time he said it. I understood him perfectly. I’m just in shock he knows where I live.

A sound of annoyance falls from my lips. “Not possible. You don’t know where I live.”

Ezra makes a sound from the front seat. The noise has Beck tossing him a threatening look immediately. “I know exactly where you live, Margo,” he declares, his voice level.

“I don’t believe you.”

He shakes his head at me. His pointer finger digs into his temple as he looks out the window, his eyes focused on the passing cars. “It’s cute you think I don’t know everything there is to know about you.”

Impossible. “You know nothing about me.” For starters, we barely uttered a few sentences to one another at his family’s vacation home.

Words weren’t really needed.

I shake the thought away as quickly as it came to be. The last thing I need on my mind is that memory. One thing I can count on is the fact I doubt Carter said much to Beck about me. I’m reminded of the fact that even though they’re brothers, Beck and Carter aren’t close. The last thing I imagine is the two of them sitting down and talking about me.

He looks from the window to me, a cocky smirk on his lips. “You forget I own the company you work at. Any knowledge they had on you, I now have right here”—he taps his temple—“and that includes your address.”

I let out a defeated sigh, slumping down in my seat and crossing my arms over my chest. “That’s creepy, you know.”

“It’s using the resources I have at my disposal.”

My phone vibrates. Giving Beck a dirty look, I unlock it and check the group chat with my roommates. My eyes track over the lengthy conversation they’d had in the time since Beck stole me from work.

EMMA

Winnie. You’ll never believe who showed up to whisk our very own Cinderella from work for the day.

WINNIE

Beckham Sinclair???

Oh my god. He showed up?

Don’t leave me on read. I need DETAILS!!

EMMA

Sorry. Darla just yelled at me for being on my phone.

YES!!!! He graced us with his beautiful presence. NO ONE TOLD ME HE WAS THAT HOT.

WINNIE

Why isn’t Margo responding? Margo…we need details. Like right now.

EMMA

She might be having hot car sex with her new boss. I would if my boss looked like that.

Well. I guess technically he is my boss. Too bad I didn’t get offered that assistant position. I’d assist him right to the bedroom.

WINNIE

Emma!! He’s your boss.

EMMA

I’m pissed I didn’t know how hot he was. Margo didn’t mention that.

WINNIE

I’m in a dumb group with girls from high school that send every picture of him posted on the internet. They all still hold out hope he’ll give them an ounce of attention.

MARGO

He’s not that good looking.

I smirk, my eyes bouncing to Beck who is also looking down at his phone. If he only knew the text I just fired off to my best friends. He’d probably say something cocky about how my reaction to his every move says otherwise.

EMMA

Shut up. Were you banging?

MARGO

No. He’s taking me to our apartment.

EMMA

WHEN I’M NOT THERE?! What the hell, Margo. I could give him a tour of my bedroom.

I laugh, catching the attention of both Beck and Ezra. I mask my reaction immediately. I don’t want to risk Beck reaching across the car and stealing the phone from my hands. It seems like something he’d do. I look back at my phone. Emma will lose her mind when I have to pretend that Beck and I have become fake engaged.

WINNIE

Why is he taking you there?

MARGO

I guess I’ll find out.

I ignore the rest of the messages for now, despite feeling my phone vibrate countless times. Ezra turns onto a familiar street, cluing me in that Beck wasn’t lying. He knows where I live and that’s where we’re going. “Care to tell me why we’re going to my place?”

This actually does make him smile, except the smile is anything but friendly. It’s devilish, making my stomach sink as I wonder the meaning behind it.

“We’re getting you all packed. We fly back to New York tomorrow.”

I swear this man is trying to send me into a tailspin. “I don’t think I heard you correctly. We can’t leave tomorrow.”

“And why’s that?”

“Because I have friends here. I need to pack. I need more time to move across the country.”

There’s a speck of humor in his eyes as he leans deeper into the hand that holds his head. “You would’ve had that if you called me. Sorry, but duty calls. I need to return to New York tomorrow. I’d much have preferred tonight, but I’m being generous and giving you the evening. But that’s as far as my generosity goes. You’ll be leaving with me tomorrow since you’re supposed to be in the office with me Monday morning.”

I anxiously pick at my cuticles. I normally take a week to pack for a long weekend. How the hell am I supposed to pack for uprooting my life and moving halfway across the country in one night?

My mind reels as a thought pops into my head. “If you had my address, then you had my number.”

He shows off his perfectly straight white teeth when he grins. “This seems way more efficient.”

My argument stays in my throat as Ezra pulls up to the apartment complex. Beck must’ve really done his research, because we even pull up to the correct building. Ezra puts the SUV in park as Beck and I have a silent stare off. I refuse to look away from him. I may have signed away the next year of my life to him, but he doesn’t just get to tell me at the last minute to pack all my things and move away tomorrow.

“I’m not leaving tomorrow.”

“How else do you plan to get to New York by Monday morning?”

He’s got a point. But I refuse to let him win this one. He’s steamrolled into my life suddenly and taken control of everything. I want some of that control back, even if it’s in the form of determining when I move to New York and begin this charade I’m going to take part in.

“I’ll get a flight on my own,” I answer confidently. It’ll probably drain my entire bank account to do so, but I’m prepared to do it just to win this battle with him.

He grunts in disgust. “I’m not allowing you to fly coach.” He says coach the way someone talks about bed bugs or lice. Like it’s the most disgusting thing on the planet. I, for one, have found some coach flights quite delightful. A bag of pretzels and a cookie? That’s pure luxury.

“Your entitlement is showing,” I snap as Ezra gets out of the car. He clearly doesn’t want to have to listen to Beck and I battle it out. I wouldn’t either if I were him.

Beck clenches his jaw, something I’m learning he does a lot. It seems he’s in a constant state of anger when he’s with me. I’m not trying to push his buttons. I just don’t want him to think he can show up at my job on my last day and then have the audacity to pack my things and force me to get on a jet with him tomorrow.

Unbuckling his seatbelt, he slides across the leather, moving the briefcase that acted as a barrier between us. He crowds me with his body, even as I try to scoot away from him. My back presses into the door. I have nowhere to go. I don’t even have anywhere to look but into his dark, stormy, indigo eyes.

He presses his palm into the window by my head. Our thighs press against one another, no other parts of our bodies touching. “I’m not letting the woman who is about to be my fiancée fly coach when I own a private jet.”

“Plenty of people fly it every day.”

He grinds his teeth, fire in his eyes. “Plenty of people aren’t you.”

Fuck.

No.

The way Beck looks at me right now makes me want to agree to anything he says. There’s concern, but also determination. I know without a shadow of a doubt that this is a battle I won’t win. It doesn’t matter anyway. Right now what I want to battle is my heart, because it liked him saying “plenty of people aren’t you” a little too much.

“Go pack, Margo.”

This close to him, I marvel at how his porcelain skin doesn’t have a trace of any facial hair. I wonder if he freshly shaved this morning, or perhaps it doesn’t show well because he has blond hair. In my head, I’m already creating a mental list of the things I need to pack and what I’ll leave behind for my friends. But I don’t want him to know that. Pushing his buttons, getting him riled up and seeing that muscle in his jaw tick is much more fun.

“No.”

He smacks the glass next to my head, making me jump. Tearing himself away from me, he tosses his door open like it’s the thing that’s pissed him off. I don’t have time to even gather my thoughts before he’s ripping my car door open. His large hands catch me underneath my armpits, saving me from falling flat on my ass in front of both him and Ezra.

Even after I gain my footing Beck leaves one of his hands on me. It trails down a few inches until he’s holding me by the bicep. I try to yank it free, but his fingers keep their firm grasp.

“Let go,” I demand.

Instead of listening to me, he tightens his fingers, pulling me in the direction of my apartment building. “After you,” he growls, completely calm and collected no matter how many times I try to pull my arm from him.

Finally, I yank hard enough to get my arm free. But looking at him from the corner of my eye, noting the smug look on his face, I wonder if he let go because he didn’t want to deal with me fussing a second longer.

“You’re not coming with me.”

“I wasn’t planning on it, but then you started acting like a child, so now I’ll be coming in and helping you pack so you’ll be ready to catch a flight. Tomorrow.”

His tone makes it obvious there’s no reason for me to argue, but it doesn’t stop me from trying one last time.

“You can’t make me,” I bite.

He bites his lip, quirking an eyebrow at me. “Margo, I can promise that you’re coming with me tomorrow one way or another. If it means I have to throw you over my shoulder to get you to New York, then I’ll do it. Even if you’re kicking and screaming.”

The two of us stare at one another, our chests heaving as we both refuse to back down. Finally, I break eye contact, my eyes searching for Ezra. I’m hoping that I’ve made a quick friend in him and that he’ll back me up, but I’m out of luck. He’s got his phone to his ear with a wide smile as he talks to somebody on the other line.

Letting out a loud groan, I stomp toward my apartment. I don’t have to turn around to know Beck is hot on my heels. His angry stare is like a brand on my neck, scorching and making me more annoyed with each step closer to my front door.

“I’m tired of you bossing me around,” I mumble, reaching into my pocket for my keys.

“Get used to it,” he clips.

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