Jared frowned. A third party? This was the first time he had heard about such a thing, and it was completely unlike his friend to have one.
“So…” Her voice trailed off, Jane realizing she might have just babbled. She took an awkward step back. “Thank you again, sir.” She turned away to beat a hasty exit, but the CEO’s next words stopped her.
“Where are you going?”
Jane reluctantly faced the CEO again. “Home, sir?”
Jared laughed. “I must apologize again. I made you misunderstand. What I meant about Christian neglecting to tell you was that he asked me to take you to the casino instead.” He glanced past Jane. “And perfect timing…my chauffeur’s here.” He gestured towards his limousine. “Shall we go, Ms. Cooper?”
As Jane stepped inside the car, she absently looked back at AMC’s—-
Merry glared at her from the second-floor windows.
Jane almost tumbled inside the limousine in her haste. Shit. Merry was never going to forgive her after this.
When the car started moving, the CEO drew her attention back to him as he murmured, “So, Ms. Cooper…” He paused. “Who’s this third party you were talking about?”
“Someone called H,” she said a little sheepishly, “and according to the latest stats, she divides her attention among twenty million other men every day.”
A startled chuckle slipped past Jared’s lips when he finally understood what Jane Cooper was talking about. It was none other than H, the latest and so far most successful game Christian Ravenhearst had developed. H could either stand for ‘heaven’ or ‘hell,’ with the game also allowing players to explore both types of worlds, with a little help from augmented reality.
“Twenty million, was it?” Jared’s tone was thoughtful. “Is that an accurate figure?”
“It must be,” Jane said, “since Forbes says so.”
“You must feel neglected to have so much competition.”
“Not really.” And Jane was surprised to realize she did mean it. “We…haven’t known each other too long, but I’ve seen the way he makes time for me, and when I know he’s caught up with work—-” She paused. “I just can’t make myself mad, you know? I think it’s incredible that he’s able to create something like H—-”
Jane broke off.
She had babbled again!
Jared leaned back against his seat, silently contemplating Jane’s unexpectedly revealing words. When he had learned about Christian’ insane plan for marriage, a part of him had been cynical, and he had been more than a little prepared to find fault with Jane Cooper.
She had all the makings of a gold digger—-
Or so Jared had believed.
“I’m surprised he hasn’t gotten you walking down the aisle already,” Jared finally said. Once Christian put his mind to something, it was his friend’s style to not let up until he had gotten what he wanted.
“He’s given me a week to think about it.” Jane wrinkled her nose. “Initially, he thought a day would be enough for me to think it over.” She couldn’t help rolling her eyes at the memory.
Jared was doing his best to contain his surprise. She had asked for a week…and Christian had actually given it to her? The Christian Ravenhearst he knew only exerted monumental effort in his work. Anything outside it that gave him trouble was immediately and ruthlessly eliminated from his life, and the women his friend dated had never been an exception.
Until Jane Cooper.
Jane started to squirm when she saw the CEO train his dark gaze on her.
“You must be special.”
She vehemently shook her head. “Not at all. Christian…he…just thinks I have special skills—-”
Jared smirked. “Is that so?”
Realizing how she might have been misunderstood, she said hastily, “Outside the bedroom, I mean. He thinks I’ve got a personal touch—-”
“Is that so,” Jared drawled.
She was digging a deeper grave for herself without even trying.
“May we please talk about something else, Mr. Westland?” She was completely red-faced by now.
“Of course.” Jared slowly smiled. “But only on one condition.”
She was going to be his underpaid slave at the office now, Jane thought gloomily, and she only had herself to blame.
“What’s the condition, Mr. Westland?”
“Call me Jared.”
Keine Rückkehr Casino
Jane had never been to a place like the casino where she, Christian, and AMC’s CEO were supposed to have dinner. Its interiors were opulent, with brocade-covered walls, golden columns, and a domed ceiling that used digital magic to create a sky that changed from morning to night in moments.
The women that went around the casino serving food and drinks wore halos and wings, and the long, white silk gowns wrapped loosely around their bodies dipped low in the back and had slits on each side, revealing silky long legs. The dealers, on the other hand, were dressed like—-
Demons, Jane couldn’t help thinking. Their faces and bodies were completely painted in red, bold black lines underlining their eyes, and they even wore horns and tails.
Something about it seemed strangely familiar, and her steps slowed.