Escorting the Billionaire #1 (The Escort Collection)

Escorting the Billionaire #1 (The Escort Collection) by Leigh James

Book: Escorting the Billionaire #1 (The Escort Collection) by Leigh James Read Free Book Online
Authors: Leigh James
taking care of him?”
    “Yeah,” I said. “My mom couldn’t afford it, but she couldn’t keep him at home. It wasn’t safe.”
    “Wasn’t safe how?” he asked. He clearly had been curious about me, and unlike me, he wasn’t afraid to pry.
    “Let’s just put it this way—my mother could drink your mother under the table,” I said.
    “That’s saying something,” James said.
    “I know.” I shrugged at him. “Clearly, I don’t love my job. But it’s given me a way to take care of my brother. I couldn’t ever afford his home if I was waiting tables at IHOP.”
    James gave me a sad smile. “It doesn’t seem fair,” he said.
    “Duh,” I said.
    He laughed at that. “And your father?”
    I shook my head. “Never met him,” I said.
    James nodded and pulled me to him. He kissed the top of my hair, sending unwelcome shock waves through me. “I’m glad you’re here with me,” he said, “and the fact that I’m here and glad about anything is a fucking miracle.”
    I smiled at him, but inside, there was no smile. There was that hope again. And I knew, based on yesterday, that when my common sense got its hands on that hope, it was going to be ugly.

James
    T he fact that she wanted to go to a game was almost enough to make me try to buy her outright. But the fact that she was an escort with a heart of gold?
    She was fucking killing me.
    Normally in a situation like this, I would have been skeptical. I expected the alcoholic mother and the absent father. But the brother in the group home? If she’d been playing me, I’d either say that she was pushing too hard or that she was predictable.
    But Audrey was telling me the truth. How did I know? Because she offered nothing, and because she clearly didn’t want my sympathy. She wanted to hide it from me.
    I understood her perfectly.
    I called Kai, and we went to the game straight from the Commons. We had box seats, bought from an old friend for an exorbitant fee earlier this morning. “These are great seats, James,” Audrey said, nodding in approval. “Killer.”
    “I’m glad you like them,” I said.
    “You know what else I’d like?” she asked me, grinning.
    I would have given her anything she asked for right then.
    “A beer, James. A big one.”
    We ordered enormous beers and later, hot dogs. To my delight, Audrey completely ignored me during the game. She stuffed her hot dog into her mouth unselfconsciously and watched every play.
    She even recognized Johnny Pesky when he came out for an awards presentation at halftime. “That’s Johnny Pesky!” she exclaimed, practically spitting out her beer. “This is so fucking awesome!”
    After she calmed down enough to watch the last couple innings, I let myself have the extreme and very dangerous pleasure of putting my arm around her. And just like that, she settled in next to me, as if she belonged there.
----
    B ack at my house , we had a glass of wine.
    “What’s on the docket for tomorrow?” Audrey asked, yawning.
    “I have to be fitted for my tuxedo. And then there’s some sort of ladies’ tea, followed by another dinner.”
    “Do I have to go to the tea?” she asked. She looked wary.
    I sighed and looked at her. “Evie asked my mother to include you,” I said. “But I’d be happy to say no if that’s what you’d prefer.”
    She put her chin up. “I can handle them,” she said bravely. “I think.”
    “I don’t care if you go,” I said, but I knew that my mother and Evie would be all over me about it if she didn’t. I think they wanted to inspect her more closely. Fortunately, Audrey had proven herself up to the challenge.
    “It’s only for a few hours. They’ll just be talking about dresses. Or whatever it is Evie and her douchebag cousins talk about right before one of them gets married.”
    “I think I can handle that. If not, I’ll just text you and make you come rescue me.” She laughed, and I poured her some more wine.
    “Is there anything you need to do

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