Read Private Passions Online

Authors: Jami Alden

Tags: #bella andre, #sylvia day, #romance erotic, #romance contemporary, #maya banks, #sexy romance

Private Passions (18 page)

BOOK: Private Passions
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"I'll be fine," Wendy had blown her off. "You
know me, I go out alone all the time." While that had been true
once upon a time, it wasn't anymore. Not only was Wendy too busy
working hundred hour weeks as she strove to be Chapman, Cooper
& Winters’s youngest associate to ever make partner, the break
up with Alan had hit her harder than she wanted to admit to anyone.
Especially herself.

Before she'd never given it a second thought
if she was the only single in the crowd of couples. It only meant
she had more freedom to have fun, flirt with cute guys, and leave
without negotiation if the crowd got boring.

But tonight she looked at the throng of
happily matched pairs and felt her single status like a neon sign
written across her forehead. One that said, "Loser."

"I was wondering if you'd tear yourself away
from your desk to be here."

Wendy stumbled on the heel of her strappy
sandals at the deep, raspy, all too familiar voice. Her shoulder
muscles tightened along with her jaw as she turned to confirm that
yes, that cocky bastard Drew Walker was standing less than six
inches behind her.

So much for her hopes that he wouldn't be
here, despite his long friendship with Chris.

Even though her heels boosted her normal
height of five seven to close to six feet, Wendy still had to tilt
her head back to look him in the eye. With his thick, dark, close
cropped hair, piercing gray gaze and his chiseled not too handsome
face, Drew was a damn good looking bastard, but a bastard just the
same.

And if she had any doubts about that his next
sentence confirmed it. "I haven't seen you since your engagement
party."

If it had been up to Wendy, Drew wouldn't
have gotten within ten feet of her engagement party party. But
after selling the software company he'd founded for half a billion
dollars a year ago, he had taken on a position as an entrepreneur
in residence at the venture capital firm where Alan was a
partner.

Alan had insisted on inviting everyone in the
office, and Wendy couldn't see a way to exclude only Drew without
making it awkward for Alan.

Wendy gritted her teeth, her stomach rolling
as she thought of the occasion. Two hundred of their friends and
family, gathered at the prestigious City Club. All toasting their
happiness.

Except for one cocky bastard.

"Yes," Wendy said, baring her teeth in a big
smile only a moron would mistake as sincere. "I remember you kindly
pointed out that it's now a little over fifty percent of marriages
that end in divorce, and that all of the managing partners at your
firm are on their second or third wives."

Drew shrugged, and Wendy told herself the
quirk of his full lips and the way his eyes crinkled around the
corners wasn't sexy as hell. "I don't see a problem with speaking
the truth," he said, taking two glasses of champagne from a passing
server and offering her one.

Wendy gave a little huff as she took the
glass. "And how nice you could come and share all of that positive
energy with Chris and Julie tonight." She took a sip of the
champagne, letting the bubbles sizzle through her veins and ease
the knots in her shoulders and stomach. She cast him a sideways
look and saw that his focus had moved to the happy couple in
question. "Knowing you, you've probably got a betting pool going
for how long before those two split."

Drew's focus came back on her, all traces of
amusement gone. "No way. I don't worry about those two. Just look
at them. They get exactly what they need from each other."

Wendy's spine stiffened and she wondered what
made Drew, who according to Chris and Julie had an average
relationship duration of three weeks, such an expert on what
couples were going to make it or not. "Are you saying I didn't have
what Alan needed?" As soon as the words left her mouth, she
regretted them. "Of course I didn't," she said before he could.
"Otherwise he wouldn't have dumped me and married Tina."

She downed the rest of her champagne in a
single swallow as she thought of Alan's recent marriage to the
woman who had been his administrative assistant for five years.
Five years his senior, a solid thirty pounds heavier and thirty IQ
points dumber than Wendy. But apparently exactly what he'd
needed.

"It was a beautiful wedding." Drew said.

Wendy's mouth dropped open as she was
reaching for another glass of champagne from a passing tray. Was he
really that clueless, or that cruel...his deadpan expression
slipped a little, letting his amusement glint in his eyes, along
with a spark of challenge.

Wendy felt an answering spark as she cocked
an eyebrow at him. "I would expect so, since it was supposed to be
mine." At Alan's urging, Wendy, crushed as usual by work, had
leaned heavily on Tina to manage the logistics of making the
wedding of her dreams come to life.

And apparently Tina hadn't had any issues
taking over what was supposed to be Wendy's big day.

"Makes sense if you think about it," Drew
said, and Wendy tried not to notice how big and broad he shoulders
were, shrugging under the white cotton of his shirt. "Everything
was all set, non-refundable deposits were paid—"

"By my parents," Wendy snapped. Granted, Alan
had paid them back within days after he ended their engagement, but
still.

Drew continued as if he hadn't heard her.
"And a place like that was probably booked up for a year out—"

"At least," Wendy said morosely as she
thought of the rolling hills and bright blue sky of the small
vineyard they'd chosen as the venue of their wedding. Where she'd
imagined starting her new life as Mrs. Alan Parker.

Instead, Tina had married Wendy's guy, in
Wendy's place, eating the food Wendy had selected, dancing to the
band Wendy had chosen.

At least she couldn't wear my dress, Wendy
thought, smiling grimly as she imagined Tina's ample backside.

She drained her second glass of champagne,
feeling a little buzz come on as the wine warmed her blood. "So
Alan got what he needed.. Lucky him."

Drew shrugged again. "More important is what
you needed. And it sure as hell wasn't Alan."

She narrowed her eyed and met his challenging
stare. "You have no idea what I need."

His gaze raked her from the top of her head
to the tips of her pink painted toes and back up. His eyes when
they once again locked on hers were molten. "I think I have a
pretty good idea."

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