“You know what the problem here is, Mr. Wyndham?”
“The unwarranted role reversal?”
But she went on as if his words were the very opposite of wisdom. “It’s the fact that you’ve read too many books on finance and coffee but not enough romance.”
“For fuck’s sake—”
“Let me just ask you two questions,” Anah offered calmly, “and if answering them doesn’t make you realize it was love between the two of you, I’ll happily order humble pie at your cafe for the entire week.”
Slade wanted to tell her this whole fucking thing was stupid and pointless, but considering how much of a notorious cheapskate Anah was, the billionaire knew she wasn’t just saying those words for nothing.
“If you could make up the rules that would determine what true love was, what would be the one non-negotiable thing you’d demand from all couples?”
You had to know each other for a long time.
But he remembered how Ethan and Guilia had been dating for a decade, and he realized that time wasn’t enough.
So what was left?
He kept waiting for thoughts of Kady to come into his mind, but instead he found himself thinking of someone else.
Slade inhaled sharply, but the memories kept coming.
Every memory of her was a burden, and even the good times they shared left a bitter taste on his tongue.
And that was when he heard himself say, “They have to make each other happy. Even with all the ups and downs, just the sight of the other person would be enough. You wouldn’t even have to say you weren’t alright, wouldn’t have to teach the other person how to make you smile—”
A hazy image started forming in his mind.
“Just being there is enough.”
And he remembered Kady hugging him at the university parking lot, just hugging him.
Anah tried not to cry as she saw the truth slowly dawn on the billionaire’s face. “I think you already know what my next question is,” she said shakily, “but I’ll ask it anyway.”
Slade’s handsome gaze was ashen now.
“The person who’s all those things…you’ve met her already, haven’t you?”
You Were Meant For Me
* * *
“You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life. ” ~ Steve Jobs
* * *
Kady heard the knock on the door and forced herself to stir, pushing herself up to a sitting position on the couch. “That must be room service.”
“Just stay there,” Catherine said. “I’ll get it.”
“I should get dumped more often,” Kady managed to joke, “if it means having you spoil me rotten.”
Catherine’s nose went up in the air. “I won’t even dignify that with an answer.” Horrible child, to suggest that she was only nice in such occasions! Didn’t Kady know such truths were never to be spoken out loud?
After taking a couple of twenty-dollar bills from her purse, she made her way to the door, thinking once again how it was just like her daughter to base her food order on some cultish thing like shufflemancy, which apparently was a form of musical divination that Kady’s other boss had unconsciously practiced.
And since earlier, they had heard the music video of Jewel’s You Were Meant For Me playing on the TV, Kady had asked for eggs, pancakes, and maple syrup.
Catherine’s lips pursed disapprovingly. Whoever heard of eating breakfast at night?
There was another knock on the door, and Catherine frowned. What an unusually impatient bellboy!
She opened the door, intending to give the young man a piece of her mind, but instead of a uniformed teenager, she saw an exceptionally handsome man in plaids and jeans.
Slade tensed as the older woman stepped out of the room without a word and pulled the door shut.
Catherine subjected the man to a more thorough inspection, taking note of the stiff outline of his figure and the desperation in his gaze.
Kady’s mother lifted her chin. “Mr. Wyndham, I take it?”
“Mrs. Abrams.” He bowed his head in a gesture of respect, but Catherine was only the slightest bit mollified. He had good manners, but it didn’t erase the fact that he had made her baby girl cry.
“I’d like to speak if Kady—”
“So you could hurt her again?”
Slade’s jaw hardened. “I don’t know how much she’s told you—”
“Nothing much at first,” she said coldly. “You had her crying so hard she could barely string two words together when she came here.” She saw his face whiten, but it still wasn’t enough.
Images of Kady crying flayed him, and the billionaire could feel himself drowning in self-contempt and desperation. God. He had never meant to hurt her that way. And he would never ever hurt her again…if she only gave him one last chance.
“I was an idiot,” he said hoarsely. “I hurt her when she only deserved to be cherished. But it’s different now—”