Tilly frowned. “Don’t you mean she’s exactly his type? Long-legged, blonde, and accomplished?”
“Er, never mind that.” There were a lot of things Charlotte was confident she could get away with, but letting that particular cat out of the bag – and to Tilly of all people – was not one of those things. Checking her watch, she said slowly, “Harry told us we could stay out for as long as we wanted, right?”
“Um, yes, but—”
“Then that’s exactly what we’re going to do,” Charlotte decided.
Tilly gazed at her friend uneasily. “I don’t think it’s okay—”
“Harry will be more than happy to take one for the team, Tilly. She knows we’ll do the same for her.” Charlotte gestured for one of the waiters as she spoke and asked for the bill.
“But what exactly will we be doing that we’d have to stay out—”
“We’re going to San Antonio,” Charlotte told her, “and by the time we get there, the ball should be winding to a close, and you’ll be waiting outside to give that man-eating bitch—” She saw Tilly wince at her choice of words and had to bite back a smile. “—the biggest surprise of her life.”
How much Logan wants you, Charlotte thought. Because she had seen the way the billionaire looked at Tilly, and she had a very good plan on how to use that to force her friend into confronting his feelings.
“I’m sorry this night wasn’t as fruitful as we hoped it would be,” Claudette said with a sigh as the ball officially came to a close, with the host reaching the end of his farewell spiel.
“It’s fine,” Logan dismissed. “We’re not exactly going home empty-handed.” Although an emergency had the Crown Prince of Najma leaving just ten minutes into the party, it had been enough time for the billionaire to invite the notoriously horse-mad sheikh to visit his stables and enjoy an exclusive viewing of the newly-birthed foal of his most prized Thoroughbred.
Just as they were about to rise from their seats, one of the founding members of the ball’s committee approached their table, the grey-haired matron asking Logan if he could join the rest of the committee for a photo.
The billionaire acquiesced, as was typical of him, and just as he walked away, Claudette noticed that he had left his phone on the table. Seeing it light up with an incoming message, she automatically took a peek—
Charlotte: Tilly and I are at the lobby waiting for you. If you don’t come out soon, I might find myself bored and start swiping right for the both of us. Boys can’t have all the fun, you know?
Claudette was disbelieving. Why the hell was Charlotte Carmichael helping the nanny bag Logan Hardwall? Her hand curled into a fist as she fought against the vicious urge to hunt the nanny down and slap her face for even having the gall to think she could be a suitable match for the billionaire.
Her mind worked furiously as she thought of the ways she could turn this whole thing into her advantage. If the rich widow’s message was anything to go by, then – as incredible as it may seem – the slut had already managed to sink her claws into the billionaire.
But claws could easily be cut off, Claudette thought, and that was exactly what she planned to do.
“Sorry for that,” the billionaire murmured when he came back to their table and automatically pulled Claudette’s chair out before taking her hand to help her to her feet.
He reached for his phone, and seeing that he was about to check it for messages, she quickly distracted him, asking, “Please tell me they didn’t mention anything about those rumors between you and the help?”
At her words, the billionaire pocketed his phone instead and turned his attention back to her, asking sharply, “What rumors?”
“That you’re the newest name to be added to the long and continuously growing list of billionaires who are likely to lose a fortune…” Claudette deliberately injected a note of awkwardness into her tone. “Because stockholders can’t trust someone who shits where he—” Her voice faltered at the icy glint in the billionaire’s gaze, and this time she didn’t have to pretend feeling nervous even as she could feel her fury mounting. What the hell did that woman have, to make a normally cold-blooded man like Logan Hardwall act so out of character?
“I’m sorry,” Claudette forced herself to say. “I didn’t realize there was any truth in the rumors.”
“Forget about her,” the billionaire said brusquely.
How can I, she wondered angrily, when that woman was just outside, waiting to steal you from me?
Even knowing that what she was about to do could mean losing her job, Claudette’s bitter need to lash out still won over common sense. As soon as they were out of the ballroom, her gaze immediately scanned the crowd in the lobby, and she found the bitch occupying one of the couches along with Charlotte Carmichael.