Billionaire's Unexpected Bride - Alexis Winter Page 0,1

bustle of city life. I like spending my days walking through endless stores. I love chance encounters with a celebrities or YouTube personalities when the girls and I go out for brunch. I love that I have at least 10 different options for coffee every morning. Could a small town even offer anything close to that?

My mind is an endless sea of questions as I walk into the lobby of the Mason, Lawrence, and Howe Law Firm. The lobby is packed with staff, clients, and outside workers: mailmen, couriers, and independent contractors. They’re all busy talking or checking their packages or phones. I pass by them in a blur on my way to the elevator. I reach out to push the button, but someone beats me to it. I look up to find Gavin smiling at me.

“You looked a little dazed. Figured I’d help you out,” he shrugs as his smile widens and his face reddens.

“Thank you,” I breathe out, embarrassment washing over me.

He runs his hand through his neat, dark hair and his eyes dart around like he’s searching for something to say. “So, how have you been?” He slides his hands into the pants pockets of his perfectly pressed suit.

I nod as I tighten my grip on my purse strap, needing something to keep me grounded. Gavin is young, rich, and handsome. I could easily slip into a daydream picturing us together. “Good. And yourself?” I manage to get out.

“Same old, I guess.” He looks at his feet as he moves his weight from one to the other.

“How’s the new puppy?” Gavin and I have always had a connection that neither of us has ever acted on. Actually, I don’t know if he feels it like I do, but I refuse to act on it. We work together, which means we can’t screw things up by acting on our feelings. So small talk is all we’ve ever done. Awkward small talk while waiting in line for the elevator.

“Really good,” he replies, pulling out his phone and showing me a picture of a golden lab on his lock screen. The little puppy has a red bandana around his neck, and his long tongue is hanging out as he sits in the grass next to a rubber ball.

“Aww, he’s adorable. Did you ever settle on a name?”

He snorts and rolls his eyes as he slides the phone back into his pocket. “Scout. I didn’t name him; my mom did. She puppy-sits for me while I’m at work. I left work one day and went to pick him up, only to find she’d named him. He was responding when she called him, so I didn’t have the heart to change it.”

“That’s sweet, and it’s a good name,” I say, managing to keep my voice even, despite my nerves.

The elevator opens just as Gavin starts to reply, cutting him off. We both step inside and he pushes the button for our floor.

I turn to resume our conversation, but he beats me to the punch.

“I don’t mean to be forward, but would you like to go out with me sometime? It seems like we’ve been dancing around it for years and I just figured, why not ask?” He looks hopeful with his wide eyes and raised brows.

“Oh, um . . .” I don’t know what to say as I bounce from foot to foot. “Sure?” I answer, but it comes out like a question.

His smile breaks free as a long breath leaves his lips. He’s relieved. “Really? I thought for sure you’d say no. Can I pick you up tonight? Are you free?”