Tilly.

She looked strangely frail, her brown eyes not meeting his even as her lips formed a strained smile. “Hey. I didn’t expect—” Her brows furrowed. “What’s that noise?” She absently brushed locks of hair away from her face as she spoke, and that was when Logan noticed the piece of paper in her hands.

Tilly saw what he was staring at. “It’s from Raj.”

He saw her lips curve into a smile that never reached her eyes, and he couldn’t remember feeling so low and dirty in his life. I’m going to lose her. He could feel it in his blood, could see it in the way she was smiling at him, and he swallowed hard. “Tilly—”

There was something in his voice, something that threatened the very last bit of control Tilly had left, and even though her jaw was beginning to ache, she forced herself to smile harder as she cut him off, saying, “I know you want all the details, so here.” She moved up the steps to meet him halfway and did her best to keep her hand from shaking as she handed him the document Raj entrusted her with.

The billionaire took the piece of paper from her hands but didn’t even spare it a glance.

“It’s all there,” she told him. “So if you’ll excuse me, it’s really late, and I’m feeling more than a little sleepy and tired…” She feigned a yawn. “Let’s talk more tomorrow.” Or never at all. “Good night.” Tilly made sure not to meet his eyes as she turned away to race up the stairs.

Memories haunted her every step, and her heart felt so, so funny as she realized just how stupid she had been.

No wonder he had been able to make her wait for so long outside his bedroom.

Because he didn’t love her.

That whole thing about Claudette could be a lie.

Because he didn’t love her.

And the billionaire simply stepping aside when another man showed interest in her—

Because he didn’t love her.

A sob nearly escaped her, and her legs began to shake. She tried – oh God, how she had tried to make it, but her knees gave out halfway down the corridor, and she crashed to the floor.

He didn’t love her. Had never loved her. Might never ever love her.

Her smile slipped.

The tears fell.

And she shattered.

Chapter 21

Logan slowly tore the document into pieces and watched numbly as the scraps fell in a scattered pile around his feet. He took his phone out, his fingers clumsily moving over the screen as he typed a message to the prince.

The deal’s off.

And as soon as the text pushed through, the nerves in his fingers seemed to stop functioning, and the phone slipped out of his hold. Pain and self-loathing had caged him into immobility and his throat was locked so damn tight he could barely drag oxygen into his lungs.

Tilly.

She was all he could see. All he could think of. All that made his heart keep beating.

And he loved her.

The truth was suddenly all too clear, and everything that used to confuse him now made perfect sense. His need to be with her and his inability to let her go. The way she could make him laugh when he had always felt cold and dead inside with everyone else. The way life had so much more meaning ever since she became his mail-order bride…

He loved her.

He goddamn loved her, and now it might be too late.

Fear and panic gripped him, and the billionaire bounded up the steps in twos.

Fuck giving her time, fuck giving her space.

He saw her as soon as he reached the landing on the second floor, and the sight of her on the floor, her shoulders shaking with silent sobs, struck him like a fucking axe to his chest.

Tilly sensed him coming even before she saw him slowly kneeling down in front of her.

“Tilly.”

The tears rushed down. That voice. Her name on his lips. Those things used to be…beautiful.

“I’m sorry, Tilly.”

And now, she couldn’t feel a thing. Hurt had her all emptied out, and her heart…there was nothing of it left to feel funny. She saw him reach for her, and she panicked in her need to get away, to never feel his touch—

“No. Don’t. Please.”

Tilly clumsily fell back, and her gaze collided with his.

His face was pale under his tan, his gaze haunted. He looked sick to his soul, and her own soul cried out.

“It’s not…” It hurt to speak, her voice coming out broken and tremulous, but still she forced the words out. “It’s n-not what you think.”

Because she loved him, and she could never – would never ever be able to bear seeing him in pain.

“You’ve already given me so much, you know. So much more than I could ever dream for Billie and me. That’s why I p-promised myself. I would n-never…I would never stand in the way of your dreams—”


Tags: Marian Tee Billionaire Romance
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