Elizabeth - Page 48

And Elizabeth had fallen into his conniving little arms.

“Are you interested in him?” I asked.

I felt Elizabeth look over at me in the car, but I couldn’t bring myself to look at her.

“What in the world does that mean? No, I’m not interested in him.”

“Is the money I agreed to pay you not enough?”

“What?” she asked.

I panned my gaze over to her and found her lips parted in shock.

“Are you looking to make some money on the side?” I asked plainly.

“I’m not sure what that even means, but I’m going to say no before an argument happens. Everything that happened tonight was orchestrated by that man. Who is he, anyway?”

“Does that kind of thing matter to you?”

“If you continue to insult me, you won’t enjoy the reaction I have,” she said.

“You’re working for me, Miss Elizabeth. And until such time as you are not, I expect your attention to be undivided toward myself and the task at hand.”

“Funny you should bring up attention, since you abandoned me with the man in the first place. What in the world was that, with you walking away like you did? What was I supposed to do? Entertain him? Follow you? You pulled away from me, Phillip. Gave me no inclination as to what in the world I was supposed to do in that moment.”

“You seemed to be reading the room well up until he came along.”

“I tried to make him leave me alone, Phillip. But he persisted. He kept groping me under the table and saying awful things at dinner. I tried to get your attention. Grabbing your knee and scooting closer to you. But you were so wrapped up in your conversations that you had no idea what was going on with your little—”

My eyes locked on to hers as she stopped her sentence.

“My little what?”

“Nothing. All I did was keep pushing Sam away, and you couldn’t have cared less. He ripped me into that alcove, not the other way around.”

“I don’t believe you.”

“Then that sounds like a personal problem.”

My hands fisted in my lap as Elizabeth turned away from me. The fact that my enemy had his hands on my fiancée made me sick. Touching her. Groping her. What had he said to her or offered her to make her want to be touched by a man like that?

Then again, she wasn’t my real fiancée.

We got to the hotel, and she moved ahead of me. She took a separate elevator ride up to the penthouse and was in her room by the time I got up there. Which was fine with me, because I wasn’t in the mood to speak with her, anyway. I lay in bed, brooding until I finally fell asleep. And when I closed my eyes, all I could see was that face of his—Sam’s eyes twinkling with delight once I rounded the corner and saw Elizabeth in his arms. The way his grip tightened on her. The way her hands were splayed out along his chest. The way she was looking up at him.

It bombarded my mind all damn night.

The sun streaming through my windows woke me up and pulled me from my awful dreams. I sat there rubbing my eyes, contemplating on what to do now. I thought back to the night before, and a realization dawned on me. Something I didn’t want to admit to myself but was true nonetheless.

I had been jealous.

I was jealous that Sam was touching her—touching yet another thing of mine he had no right to. Sure, Elizabeth wasn’t mine. But she was my employee for the week. I gave her a command, and she followed. I held her every whim in the palm of my hand. I had no reason to be jealous, though. This was all about business, and it didn’t matter if Elizabeth wanted to fuck Sam or the other way around. I didn’t own her, and we weren’t in any sort of a tried-and-true relationship. If she wanted to make some extra money on the side, who was I to stop her? I had eleven different companies besides the main one I established. I was the king of side hustle.

Why couldn’t she be the queen of it?

I planted my feet into the plush carpet beneath my feet and ran my hand through my hair. We weren’t in a relationship, and we never would be. I had to make sure I kept that part of my head in the game. I had to stop getting my damn feelings mixed up in all this shit. We were here for business, and once we flew back in a couple of days, that business would be over. She would be paid, she would go on to her next client, and I would head back to my office to continue doing business as usual.

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