Alpha Billionaire's Bride, Part OneBy: Mia Caldwell
MARINA’S VOICE ROSE HIGH AND shrill. “Oh my God, did you see this?”
Jada didn’t look up from her phone. “Yes.”
“You did not see it. It’s mind-blowing.”
“I know.” Jada sipped her coffee and squinted at the small type on her news app. She reminded herself to make an appointment with her eye doctor.
“Look! Just look.”
Hmm, Jada thought as she scanned an article, the feds planned to raise interest rates next quarter. It’d be a wild day on Wall Street.
Marina grabbed her arm, rudely pulling Jada’s phone away with it. “Seriously. Check it out.”
Jada sighed, glanced at Marina’s tablet. It was exactly what she thought she’d see: a handsome man escorting a beautiful woman to some premier or other. More celebrity gossip. “Okay, I’ve seen it. My mind is officially blown. Let go of my arm now.”
Marina blew out an exasperated breath and released her. “Fine. I’d hate to keep you from your boring economic indicators.” She tossed her tablet on the table and sipped her latte, staring out the coffee shop window with a vengeance.
Jada didn’t know how her sister did it, but somehow, Marina managed to drink coffee in a way that made Jada feel guilty.
She set her phone down. “I’m sorry. If something’s important to you, it’s important to me. You have my complete attention.”
Marina glanced at her sideways. “Really?”
Marina smiled, a sparkling and infectious grin. “Good.”
Jada wondered for what was probably the millionth time in her life, if Marina had just played her.
Marina snatched up her tablet and passed it over. “Look at that. I can’t believe it. Ian Buckley is engaged.”
Jada eyed the photo. The man certainly was attractive, well-muscled, tanned and manly in his dark suit. The rail-thin woman clinging to his arm had the face of an angel, a hungry, hungry angel. “What show does he star in?”
“What? He’s not an actor.” Marina said “actor” the way most people in this circumstance might say “septic tank scrubber.”
“Oh. Sorry. Singer?”
“It’s Ian Buckley. I-annnn Buck-leyyyy.”
“Saying it slowly won’t tell me who he is or what he does.”
“He’s one of my billionaires. Damn, Jada. It’s like you don’t listen to me at all.”
Uh-oh, Jada thought. Marina was going to whip out a pout any second. “Oh! THAT Ian Buckley. I got confused, I guess. Sure, I remember.”
“Liar. It doesn’t matter, though. I’m going to forgive you because you’re my older sister and it’s not your fault that your priorities are in the wrong place.”
Jada couldn’t resist. “Right. Focusing on my financial future and trying to excel at my career are obviously screwy priorities.”
“Exactly.” Marina’s finely-shaped brows knitted. “I can’t believe Ian is engaged. One less billionaire on the market. This one hurts especially bad because Ian’s so fine.”
Jada studied the photo, read the caption under the picture which made mention of Ian’s company, BGH. Jada might not have recognized his face, but she knew Buckley Group Holdings. Now that she really looked at his picture, she realized she should have known who he was on sight, and recalled Marina showing her his photo before. Jada simply hadn’t looked closely enough.
“The caption’s only reporting a rumor that Ian’s engaged,” Jada said. “They haven’t gotten confirmation from either camp.”
Marina sighed. “Oh, I’m sure it’s true. These rumors don’t come from nothing. Someone close to them leaked it. You forget, I’m part of the press, so I know how this stuff works.”
Jada bit back a grin. Marina’s job as junior reporter at their small-town community newspaper hardly qualified her as belonging to the national press corp. “Well, all isn’t lost until official word comes down. So far, we only know for sure that Ian is dating ...” she scanned the page again for the woman’s name, “Sasha ... something. They don’t give a last name.”