The Millionaire's Unexpected Proposal

By: Jane Peden

The elevator whooshed her soundlessly to the fortieth floor, its doors opening directly into the impressive lobby of the firm. Camilla hesitated for a moment, then ruthlessly suppressed the urge to ride back down to the lobby. Her heels clicked as she walked across the polished wood floor toward the reception area.

The receptionist was a middle-aged woman, impeccably groomed and tastefully formidable.

“May I help you?”

“Yes, I’d like to see Sam Flanagan.”

She frowned slightly. “And you are?”

“Camilla Winthrop.”

She looked at her computer screen, then back at Camilla.

“I’m sorry. I don’t seem to have you listed on Mr. Flanagan’s schedule. Let me call his assistant. Jennifer will be happy to set up an appointment for later this week.”


The woman looked up, hand poised over the phone, and raised one perfectly arched eyebrow.

“It’s urgent I see him today.” Before I lose my nerve.

“I’m sure Mr. Flanagan’s assistant will—”

“Just tell him…it’s Camilla from Las Vegas.”

“Camilla from Las Vegas.”

“Yes.” She reached into the pocket of her jacket and pulled out a card. “And give him this.”

The receptionist frowned at the business card, flipped it over, then looked back at Camilla.

“Please take a seat and I’ll check with Mr. Flanagan,” she said finally.

Camilla was too nervous to sit. She walked to the window overlooking a view of the Miami skyline and wondered if she was crazy to just show up here, at his office, unannounced. The two weeks they’d spent together in Las Vegas seemed like a lifetime ago. What had started out as a casual fling had quickly meant so much more, at least to her. But obviously not to Sam. The memory of how coldly he’d ended things still stung.

By the time she’d realized she was pregnant she had already married Danny, going through with the plans that ensured that her younger sister would get the expensive medical care she needed. Still, she’d tried to contact Sam. When he didn’t even bother to return her phone calls she knew that staying with Danny was the right decision, the only decision, for her sister and for her baby.

Sam was pacing in his office, fine-tuning the closing argument he would give to the jury when the case reconvened the next morning. His secretary’s voice came through the intercom, jarring him back into the present.

“Mr. Flanagan? I’m sorry to interrupt you, but—”

It better be important. “Jen, I asked you to hold all my calls.”

“I know but—“ She lowered her voice. “Can I come in?”

“Sure.” Whatever crisis it was now, he’d just have to get past it.

Jen slipped into the office and shut the door firmly behind her.

“There’s a woman in the reception area who is insisting that she see you today.”

“What’s her name?”

“Camilla Winthrop.”

He frowned. “I don’t recall anyone by that name.”

“She says she’s from Las Vegas. And she had one of your cards. But it looks like the old ones.”

He held out his hand, flipped the card over, read the inscription. The fact that his expression didn’t change was a testament to his finely honed ability to hold a poker face whenever damaging evidence was presented by the other side at trial.

“Send her in.”

He walked over to the window, frowning as he gazed out at the panoramic view of Miami afforded by his corner office. They were in the same office tower where they’d started out five years ago. But now, instead of a suite of offices they’d sublet from another tenant, their firm had taken over the entire floor. He flipped the card idly between his fingers.

Camilla. Camilla Winthrop. He realized with a start that he hadn’t even known her last name. He’d spent the most amazing two weeks of his life with her. Had actually thought he might be falling for her. And then realized it was time to back off fast. The last thing he’d needed before starting his new firm was to be distracted by an entanglement with a woman he met in a bar in Las Vegas. So he’d cut his trip short. He winced when he remembered their awkward last breakfast, in the dining room of the resort hotel, overlooking the glitter of Vegas. The way she looked when he said it was probably better if they just said good-bye. He’d watched the warmth fade from her eyes, replaced by the cool reserve that had first drawn him to her in the bar. That’s fine, Sam, she’d said. As it happens I have plans of my own.

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