millionaire episode 6

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Mixed Up with the Millionaire Episode 6

Tinsley﹒

Sydney emerged from her bedroom wearing a satiny white robe with I’m the bride, bitches emblazoned in gold on the back. A shower gift from me that included matching bridesmaids’ robes. After completing the lion’s share of primping for the big day tomorrow, we convened in the living room for some girl time before Sydney left on her honeymoon. 

I poured three flutes of Veuve Clicquot and handed one to the bride as she settled into the corner of the sectional. Not able to meet Piper’s gaze, I left hers within reach on the coffee table before scooting to the opposite corner while vowing to shake off my bitchiness before the ceremony.

We were bridesmaids, and more importantly, business partners. I had no claims on Everett. No care to have any claims. So my panties could un-bunch and get on board with the no big deal of it.

“It’s not like that,” Piper said picking up on my internal chastising.

I glued on another smile. “What do you mean?”

The two women eyed each other, neither buying my dumb and oblivious act.

“Everett,” Piper emphasized although she left the duh hanging in the air.

I waved her off. “It’s all good. You don’t have to worry about me.”

Lies, lies, lies. I worried about me. I worried about losing my sanity as well as my burgeoning friendship with Piper.

Sydney leaned forward, setting her glass on the coffee table with a soft clink. She studied me like a bug on a microscope. “What’s going on with you?”

“Nothing.” But it came out too quickly and my voice rose at the end. I cleared my throat. “Piper, if you like him, it’s fine. I don’t care.”

She dropped her head back. “I don’t like him, at least not beyond as a friend and client. I didn’t want to go by myself and he was available.”

When they’d entered the restaurant’s private party room and my heart banged uncomfortably in my chest, I wished I’d thought to snag a plus one for the festivities. Sydney’s wedding ceremony and reception had ballooned to a few clowns shy of a circus thanks to Jameson’s rising popularity as a syndicated radio host. She hated all the hoopla, a sharp reminder of the high-brow functions her father dragged us to.

In the past, at these types of events, Sydney and I had always paired up. She was the disappointing daughter who could never live up to her parents’ impossible standards; I was the clichéd redheaded (and on occasion blond, pink, and blue-haired) stepchild Marcus Cash disdained almost as much as his own daughter.

For a long time, I believed my inability to bend to my step father’s domineering will was the reason my mom and Sydney’s dad had divorced. When I’d finally voiced my fear, my mom squeezed my shoulders and warned me to stay away from rich, asshole-controlling men. No good ever came from it. My experiences after Marcus had done nothing to disprove her advice.

That was why Everett irritated me. Wealthy, uptight, and uber-conservative. Qualities I had no desire to subject myself to no matter how well his fit body filled out his bespoke suits. Or how his dark umber eyes hunted me when we occupied the same room. Don’t get me started on the man’s perfectly sculpted ass. Whatever he paid his tailor, it wasn’t enough.

He was prime Dallas real estate, literally, figuratively, physically, and financially. A pretty package I had a hard time ignoring. But men like Everett never fell for women like me: full-bodied, eclectic, and fiercely unapologetic about both.

Piper better suited him with her long dark hair, socially acceptable body shape, and the classic designer clothes she wrapped it in. Good for her for asking him out. Good for both of them. And certainly better for me. If he focused on her, it’d force me to get over my stupid infatuation.

Sydney relaxed back into the couch again, tucking her feet beneath her. “What about Blaze? He couldn’t keep his eyes off you either.”

If Everett was the frying pan, Blaze was the fire (har-har).

The energy in the Carlisle Room shifted the moment I walked in and spotted him with Drew and Jameson. I didn’t like how my heart rate picked up or how my dress constricted my breathing. His magnetism was difficult to ignore even when I got close enough to notice the dark circles standing out on his pale face or how grief still dulled his eyes.

When Jameson informed us Blaze’s mom had died of a heart attack, bile swirled sickly in my stomach. I’d wanted to reach out to him, offer my condolences, but it didn’t feel right since I’d been a bitch and ignored all his texts. I justified my ghosting because I’d seen YouTube videos of screaming fans throwing their underwear at him.

And yet the memories still burned as brightly now as they had when he left six months ago. I swore to offer an apology, rebuild the bridge when I saw him this weekend, but as soon as our eyes connected, the words dried up.

“You slept with Blaze,” Sydney blurted.

Champagne spewed out of Piper’s mouth, splattering down the front of her robe. I could never hide anything from my best friend. Too much history. We’d traded too many secrets so she knew all my tells.

“And?” Piper demanded.

“And what?” I replied.

“Duh. We need deets. When did it happen? How was it?”

Piper gleamed with curiosity. Sydney pinned me with her I’ve got all night stare. I wasn’t going to be able to wiggle out of this. They expected a sacrifice to the gossip gods. Vaulting from the couch, I snagged the champagne bottle from the kitchen, refilled their glasses, and took a long chug before I settled in for storytime.

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