Billionaire's Unexpected Bride - Alexis Winter

1

Celeste

“WHITE chocolate mocha with an extra shot?” the barista asks with a pleasant smile the moment I step up to the counter.

I smile and nod. “You know me so well, June,” I say as I pull the card out of my purse, passing it over.

She quickly swipes it and hands it back before getting to work on my coffee. As I wait, I check the time on my phone and begin going through some emails. I click on one from my friend, Jenny. The subject line reads: Rumor Has It . . .

Guess what I’ve heard being passed around the office? You’re moving from Los Angeles to Colorado! They’re giving you a promotion and you’ll be running the firm out there, being handed the largest client on the books for that office! Congrats, hon! P.S. Try to act surprised. I just couldn’t hold it in any longer. Love ya.

Upon reading those words, my mouth drops open. Where did she hear this? Is it true? Am I getting the Colorado account? If I am, when will I be leaving? Are they going to tell me today?

“Celeste?” I hear it like a whisper that creeps into my head, snaking its way through all my spinning thoughts. “Ma’am, your coffee,” the barista finally says, causing my eyes to jump up to her as she holds out my coffee.

“Oh, I’m so sorry,” I say in a rush as I reach out and take the paper cup. “I was lost in this sea of work emails.”

She offers up a small smile, but I’m sure she thinks I’m some kind of space cadet by the faraway look on my face.

“Have a great day,” she says in her sweet voice.

“You too.” I smile as I drop some cash into her tip jar and walk toward the door with a little extra pep in my step. Suddenly, I can’t wait to get to work. I can’t wait to find out if the rumor is true. If it is, I can’t wait to shove it down Jeremy’s throat. Jeremy has been my rival since college. We fought neck and neck for valedictorian, and I only beat him by a few points. I thought I was done with him and our competition, only to be surprised on orientation day. I walked into that board room thinking I had the world at my fingertips. I stopped dead in my tracks when my eyes landed on him, and his mouth dropped open when he looked up and saw me.

We can’t stand each other and we do our best to avoid crossing paths at all costs. However, that’s close to impossible when you work in the same office. He likes to brag about his accomplishments whenever I’m within earshot, and even though I have accomplishments of my own, his bragging always makes me feel inferior to him. But this tidbit of news is something he can’t beat, and I know when he hears my name come out of our boss’ mouth, he’s going to be more angry than the time I beat him for valedictorian. Just knowing this makes me giggle as I walk down the crowded sidewalk toward the firm.

As I finish my walk to the office, I can’t help but think about the move. Colorado? I never dreamed of living outside the city. I’m not a fall in love, get married, and start reproducing as fast as possible kind of girl. I never daydreamed about small towns and kids running around the yard, nor do I tear up at the sight of a tiny sock. I’ve always preferred the busy hustle and