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Black Ties and White Lies: Epilogue


3 Months Later

I look at the crowd of people waiting outside in awe. There’s a line outside of the building, and the doors don’t even open for another hour.

I hold the bouquet of flowers to my chest as I walk toward the back entrance of the gallery. It’s been hours since I’ve seen Margo—longer than I preferred. She’s been caught up preparing for the event happening tonight, and I let her have her moment. But once this show is over and she’s no longer preoccupied, I’m going to keep her locked in our bedroom for days so I can make up for lost time.

The security guard waves me in, my face familiar from the many times I’ve stopped by since Margo and Camden came to an agreement for showcasing her work.

At first, it started with one piece of art. It didn’t take long until Camden was fielding calls on when there’d be more pieces by this new to the scene artist. He’d called in the friend card, begging me to ask Margo if she’d complete pieces sooner so they could get an entire showcase on the books.

She didn’t take it well at first. Probably because I fired her.

I smile at the people on the first floor of the gallery, all of them setting up a welcome area for the party tonight. The event was supposed to be exclusive to the VIP members, but Margo kept pushing Camden to somehow make it available to the public.

He eventually agreed. My girl is persistent like that. VIP members will be able to look for an hour before waves of people from the line outside will be let in. Margo’s been a nervous wreck for days, terrified no one will want to buy her art.

She doesn’t know she’s already had her first buyer—me.

When I make it to the second floor, I stop in my tracks when I spot her.

Margo Moretti.

The woman who has been the object of my desire for years.

She hasn’t noticed me yet, giving me the perfect opportunity to watch the woman I’m compulsively in love with. I knew the moment she came back into my life at The Hamptons house that I’d do whatever it took to make her mine. While my methods were rather unconventional, I can’t regret a single one of my choices. Who knew what would’ve happened if she actually did pick up my phone calls. If I didn’t have to resort to leaking information about my dating history and forcing myself into her life as her boss, I don’t know if we’d be where we are now. And I’m more than fucking thrilled how everything turned out.

Margo has her dark hair slicked back. Her normal curls are nowhere to be seen, instead she’s styled her hair perfectly straight. It’s not a hairstyle I see her do often, but it doesn’t matter to me what she does to it. She’s breathtakingly beautiful no matter what.

My phone vibrates in my pocket. I look down, seeing Ruby’s name pop onto the screen. I sigh, backing into the stairwell for a moment before Margo spots me.

I swipe to answer. “Is it done?” There’s no hint of emotion in my voice. I don’t want there to be. Not with her.

“That story has been killed,” Ruby answers. “Although, I thought the title Black Ties and White Lies was pretty fucking epic for the name.”

I grunt. I wouldn’t hate the title if the article on the center of the website tomorrow wasn’t originally planned to out everything that’s transpired between Margo and me. All the lies included. I’d be fine with the world knowing the lies I’d told to get her, but I don’t want Margo’s name anywhere near it. Especially with how big tonight is for her. I don’t want anything clouding it tomorrow.

“You’ve got to admit,” Ruby speaks up, not caring that I didn’t give her a response. “It was kind of catchy.”

“You’ll think of a better one for the article I’ve paid you to write instead.”

“The new one isn’t so bad either,” she says reluctantly.

I smile. I cut a large check to Ruby to have her change course on the article running tomorrow. It no longer focuses on the past between Margo and me. Instead, I gave Ruby a VIP ticket to the event tonight and made her promise to write about the newest up and coming artist in the Manhattan scene. “Send it to me to read first,” I demand.

Even though she’s a reporter, she isn’t as terrible as I first believed her to be. She’s just out for herself, I can’t really blame her on the fact. She worked with me to change course on the article. I’ll always appreciate her for it.

“Your brother keeps calling.” Her tone comes out annoyed. I feel her sentiment. I’d be annoyed too if he was still bothering Margo and me. My little trip to San Jose a few months ago halted all threats and calls from him.

It’s been nice.

“Sucks for you,” I answer. “Look, Ruby. I’ve got to go. I’ll see you in a bit.”

“Goodbye, Mr. Sinclair. Nice working with you. See you.”

When I return to my spot from earlier, I find Margo looking right at me. She smiles brightly, rushing across the clean, white space to wrap me in a hug. “You’re here,” she says with enthusiasm.

I kiss the top of her head, pulling her into my body. I instantly relax after being able to touch her. I’ve been at work all day and she’s been here since early this morning. I’m relieved to have her in my arms once again. I already look forward to everything that’s in store for us after this event.

“There’s nowhere else I’d rather be.”

“Okay don’t be mad, but Camden told me that the centerpiece…the one of you and me…it’s already sold.”

I feign surprise. My eyebrows raise. “Did it now?”

She bites her lip anxiously, rocking back and forth on the same pair of heels she wore to our engagement party months ago. Ones I fully expect to see her in tonight—with nothing else on. “I’m sorry. I told Camden we didn’t have to put it up for sale, but he told me it was too late. It was already purchased. I can always make anoth—”

I cut her off by kissing her lips. “I think it’ll make a great centerpiece in a bedroom. Don’t you?”

She looks at me confused. Her puffy lips, lined in a delectable red that I want to ruin so bad, turn down in a frown. “Maybe? I don’t know. Are you not hearing me? Someone else bought it. I don’t know where they’ll put it, but it sold—for a lot of money I hear—but it won’t be ours.”

I press a kiss to her temple before reaching down and grabbing her hand. I lead her through the different pieces of art she’d been working hard day and night on for the past three months. All of them follow the same concepts.

Her showcase is called “What If.” The focus of it is on her concept of taking people or scenarios she’s seen and reimagining what their life is—or what their life could be.

I stop us in front of the one deepest into the gallery. My personal favorite—the one that solidified our past, present and future.

The one of us in the conference room joined with us on an imagined wedding day.

“Are you mad? Why did we have to come to this one?” Margo questions, looking at me skeptically.

“Because I’m the one who bought it, Violet. There was no fucking way anyone else was owning it but me. Or us.”

Her mouth hangs open. She looks from the canvas to me and back again. “No you didn’t.”

“Yes I did.”

She rolls her eyes at me. “I don’t think I’ve been this mad at you since you fired me.”

I smirk, my eyes roaming every single one of the pieces she put her heart and soul into for this showcase.

Fuck. I’m so god damn proud of her. So painstakingly in awe of her talent—her beauty. Essentially everything about her.

“You can be mad, baby. I love how you take out your frustrations on me.” A flush creeps up her neck as she no doubt remembers the mind-blowing sex we had the night I fired her. It was the weekend after I’d come back from San Jose. She’d complained she was sore from it for days.

“Beck,” Camden says, looping around a canvas to stop next to Margo and me. “I knew you’d sneak in early.”

I scoff at him, shaking hands with one of my closest friends. “Did you expect anything else? Had to see my girl before she’s busy warding off buyers all night.”

Camden whistles, tucking his hands into the pockets of his custom suit. “I’ve already had so many of them up my ass, asking if they could see the pieces ahead of time.” He looks toward my future wife at my side, giving her a tight smile. “I might beg your girl here to do a long-term residency on one of the floors.”

Her eyes go wide in shock. “No,” she says in disbelief.

I laugh. “About fucking time, Hunter,” I chide.

Before we can have any more of a conversation, one of Camden’s employees comes up and sweeps both of them away from me.

I barely get to speak with Margo the entire duration of the show. I don’t mind. Watching her do what she loves and talk about her art is the perfect way for me to spend my time. Plus, it gives me the chance to talk with her friends and family that we’d flown out for the occasion.

Every single one of her pieces sell—for a lot of money for an artist that isn’t well known.

It’s after midnight when we finally walk out of the gallery hand in hand. I’m exhausted, and I know she probably is as well, but I’m hoping that she’ll allow me one stop before we go home.

Margo looks up and down the sidewalk, her eyebrows drawn in together. “Where’s Ezra?”

I turn to her, grabbing onto both of our hands. “I was wondering if we could make one more stop?”

She cocks her head suspiciously. “To where?”

I smile, running my thumbs over the top of her hand. “Well, baby, it’s a surprise. So it’d defeat the purpose if I told you where…”

Her teeth dig into her lip as she smiles eagerly at me. Her eyes twinkle with excitement. “I do love a surprise.”

I wrap my arm around her, turning her body in the direction of our next destination. “Perfect. We’ll walk.”

It’s a short walk, something I’d done on purpose. We walk until I stop in front of a row of brownstones. On one side there’s the brownstones, on the other there’s an entrance to Central Park.

“What are we doing?” Margo questions hesitantly.

“What do you think of these?” I ask, turning her to the large, stone buildings in front of us. The row of houses in front of us are some of the most expensive in the city. Their proximity to everything in Manhattan something that is coveted by many.

“I think they’re beautiful, but why?”

I take advantage of her focus on the houses in front of me. Behind her, I lower to one knee as I reach into the pocket of my suit, my fingers connecting with a velvet box.

“Beck?” She turns around, a gasp falling from her mouth when she finds me on one knee behind her.

“Because I want to buy one for us. I know you love being high above the city, but one day I’d love to settle down in something like this with you, Margo Moretti. I want to raise kids here with you. Fuck, I want to do all the normal things with you in a house like this.”

“I’d love that,” she chokes, her hands finding her cheeks in shock. “But why are you on one—”

I pull out the ring box, holding it up between us and opening it.

“Not too long ago I told you I don’t want to propose to you the way you deserved because I didn’t want to ruin the moment for you. I hated the thought of any other man ever being on his knee for you like I am right now, but I didn’t want to propose to you if things were still supposed to be fake between us. So, I waited. And I didn’t. But all along I knew one day, I’d love to get down on one fucking knee for you. To ask for forever with you.”

“Oh my god.” Tears well in her eyes, threatening to spill from her eyes as she looks at the contents of the box.

“I’m proposing to you with what I want to be your wedding band because while you may have been wearing your engagement ring thinking it was fake, it never was fake to me. I always wanted you for real—never for pretend. I bought this ring for you in hopes that one day it’d be real. I’ve loved you from the moment I met you, Margo Moretti. When I slipped that engagement ring on your finger—my grandmother’s ring—I hadn’t told you how much you meant to me at the time. I didn’t want to scare you away with how raw and real my feelings were. It’s all been laid out on the table now. You know exactly how I feel. So if you say yes, when I slip this band on your finger next to my grandmother’s ring, I want you to know it’s because I plan to marry you and make you mine forever. And if you want a different ring, we’ll buy it. I’ll buy you a million rings until you find the perfect one if it means you’re mine to love forever.”

I have to pry her hand from over her mouth. Both of our hands shake as I run my finger over the ring that used to belong to one of the women I loved most in the world. It’s incredibly sentimental to see it now, resting on the finger of the woman who stole my heart from the moment I laid eyes on her.

My heart hammers in my chest. The look of love in her eyes tell me everything I need to know. She’s been proving to me from the moment I got back from California that she loves me, that she wants this. But I’m so nervous to make this proposal everything she’s ever dreamed of—and hopefully maybe even more. “So, Margo Moretti. Will you marry me? For real this time? For forever?”

Her bottom lip trembles as she loses control with her emotions, her body overtaken with joy. “Yes,” she croaks. “Absolutely. Over and over again, I’ll always say yes.” She flies into me, wrapping her arms around me and cradling my head to her chest.

I don’t know how long we stay in that position, but eventually she pulls away. I hold the box up again, offering it up to her. My fingers still tremble with nerves as I pull the band from the box. It slides down her finger effortlessly, the band creating a crown of diamonds around the top of the ring. It makes the classic ring more artistic. It’s not an ordinary band—it’s why I thought she’d love it. The style is a mix between vintage and modern.

“It’s beautiful,” Margo marvels, staring down at the ring and band combination.

“Do you like it?”

“I love it,” she confirms. She looks up at me with tear-stained cheeks. “I love you. I can’t wait to be your wife, Beck.”

I stand up to kiss her, sealing our mouths together. Our first kiss felt like a promise of the possibility of more. This kiss is a promise of forever.

My hands slide underneath her coat, needing to feel even closer to her. “How’s a wedding tomorrow sound?”

She shakes her head at me, looking up at me with a mischievous gleam in her eyes. “Absolutely not, Beckham Sinclair. I want a big-ass wedding with all the cheesy things.”

“You just want to spend my money,” I tease.

Her lips rub together before breaking out in a wide smile. “No,” she answers innocently. “I just want everyone to see that you’re off the market. That you’re mine.”

“I think anyone could see the way I look at you and know that I’m hopelessly, madly, desperately in love with you.”

“A big show of it still wouldn’t be too bad.”

“Anything you want, baby. It’s yours. We’ll invite all of New York if that’s your wish.”

She angles her body to look at the houses behind her. I never envisioned myself wanting to move out of my high-rise penthouse suite. But I don’t see us staying there forever. Eventually, I’d love to move out here. To have an actual home—one where we can raise the basketball team of children I want to have with her.

“Which one is for sale?”

I point to the corner one—the biggest one with the best view.

“That one.”

Her fingers find mine, her cold hand sliding into mine. The air isn’t as frigid as it typically is in February, but there’s still a bite to it. Both our cheeks are undoubtedly going to be rubbed raw from the cold and bitter air by the time Ezra picks us up.

“I should’ve guessed. That’s the biggest one.”

“You know me so well,” I joke.

“It’s kind of a shame. I liked the sex above the city.”

“You can visit me at my office any time and we can make that happen.”


“Hell yeah, Violet.”

I pull my phone out, telling Ezra that he can head our way. I look back at her to find her watching me. “Plus, we don’t have to move yet. I just wanted to plan for the future.”

Her nose crinkles with her smile. “I like planning a future with you, Beckham Sinclair.”

“Let’s do it for the rest of our lives, Margo Moretti.”

We walk hand in hand down the quiet Upper West Side sidewalk, the two of us discussing the future. She wants to get started on wedding planning right away as she takes a break from creating new pieces from Camden. I let her ramble on for as long as she wants. Even as we get into the back of the car, Ezra takes us through the city back to the place we call home for now, she doesn’t stop talking.

I’ll let her talk about our future all night if she wants to. The excitement is like a caress to my heart because there was a time I wondered if I’d ever have a present with her. I tried not to be too hopeful for a future.

But now, that’s exactly what we have.

I’ll spend the rest of my life loving Margo Moretti.

I can’t fucking wait.


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