Page 12 of Buying the Bride

“Good to know,” he says and manages to swing the subject back around to the car issue. “A Mercedes then.”

“No way. That’s like putting a target on my back and being like, ‘Hey, look at all this money I have, come car-jack me.’”

“Maybe in this neighborhood, but not in mine.”

“Definitely in this neighborhood. That’s why I need something a little more inconspicuous.”

“That’s why you’re moving in with me,” he says.

I freeze. Did I just hear him right?

“You want me to move in with you?”

“Yes. I need you to stay with me while my family is in town. You’ll have your own wing if you need your privacy.”

His place is big enough for me to have my own wing? I don’t even know if I’ve ever been in a place with a wing.

“Keep the car for now,” he says, “and I’ll work on getting you something different. In the meantime, I want to show you your new living arrangements.”

I can’t help but get a little excited. Mandi is my best friend, but she makes a terrible roommate. The thought of having a wing to myself, even if it is temporary, is a wonderful thought. I can finally get to that stack of books I’ve been meaning to read but never had the chance because Mandi comes home at weird hours and always has the TV on at full volume. The possibilities are endless.

Heath makes me drive the Maybach because he doesn’t like driving. Apparently he’s used to being driven around in his company car everywhere he goes. That’s fine by me. I’m less nervous about driving the car after he tells me he has amazing insurance. I believe him since I doubt a dealership would let him drive this thing off the lot without it. I finally settle down and just enjoy the ride. It looks like a cockpit inside with all the different lights. The supple leather seats are like butter and fit my ass just right. No wonder this car is so expensive. Worth every penny.

We pull up to a tower of luxury condos. There’s a circular covered drive and a row of valets waiting out front. The only thing close to a valet at my apartment complex is the thug on the corner waiting to jack it.

One of the men wearing a suit and tie comes up to us. “Good morning, Mr. Starre,” he says.

Heath hands him a one-hundred-dollar bill. “This is Sylph, my fiancée. I want you to make sure her car is well taken care of.”

“Yes, sir,” the man says and jogs over to where I’m getting out of the driver’s seat.

If that’s how much valets make in tips, I see a career change in my future once this deal with Heath is over.

Heath leads me into the building. The foyer opens up into a hall with a grand staircase, and pillars all around. There’s a fountain in the middle and a lounge area with a coffee bar. Everyone who works in the complex seems to know Heath’s name and has a smile waiting for him. It’s like I’m in that scene in Pretty Woman where everyone is staring at Julia Roberts because it’s so obvious she’s a prostitute by the way she’s dressed. Except I’m not dressed like a prostitute. My ensemble leans more toward homelessness. Before Heath had shown up, I was doing my laundry and all I had left to wear were a tank top, sweats, and ballet flats. Heath has to be embarrassed to be seen with me looking like this, especially since he seems to be so into his image and status. But if he is embarrassed, he isn’t showing it.

Everything in the lobby, from the wallpaper, to the furniture, is accented in gold. The art on the walls look suspiciously like the real thing. I want to take it all in, examine the different brush strokes, the soft carpet, everything, but Heath seems to be in a hurry. This is by far the fanciest building I’ve ever been inside aside from a museum.

We get into an elevator. It’s super fancy inside with ornate detailed wood carvings and gold leafing. It’s a cramped space. Heath’s arm touches my breast. He looks down at it. Every time he gives me any kind of attention, my nipples stand at attention. I know he sees where his arm is touching me, but he doesn’t move it. I don’t move either. How does this man manage to turn me on with just a single touch?

He clears his throat. “Have you had a chance to look over the folder more?” he asks. His rich velvet voice fills the space in the elevator.