The Billionaire and the Bad Girl

By: Bella Love-Wins

Blurb





Fake Girlfriend...Real F*ck Buddy... More sparks than I bargained for.

Vanessa

Liam O’Sullivan just told the world that I’m his girlfriend.

He’s a liar — there’s a difference between making a commitment and casually hooking up with him for years on account of his generous… package.

But that commitment changes everything for me. One little lie sets my career into motion, but also puts the spotlight directly on us… the happy couple.

He’s an arrogant, filthy-talking, sexy bastard with questionable family ties… who just changed my world for the better.

Almost overnight, I start to reap the rewards of what Liam sowed by saying those three words.

But it’s a lie he told just because he could. We can’t keep this up forever. I force him to agree that we’ll end the charade as soon as the opportunity presents itself.

I’m a smart girl. No biggie at all. I’m certain I can handle it.

I just don’t expect to fall in real love with my fake boyfriend.





Epigraph – Vanessa





My grandmother’s love for gardening should have rubbed off on me. To this day, I don’t know why it didn’t. I spent a lot of my childhood following her around as she did outdoor work. I recall spending several weeks every summer at her place. And for four of my pre-teen years, I was with her for the entire summer break. Mostly to get away from my parents. Well, my mother, to be honest.

So, I watched Grams in her garden. And I listened.

She used to clear out a section of the flowerbed for some stubborn wildflowers that kept coming back every spring. The pink creeping daisy, if I remember correctly. Her summertime landscape artist would complain about it every year. He could never understand why she would taint his masterpieces with despicable “weeds.” His words. Personally, I always thought he was a bit of a dick.

Grams would tell him that wildflowers can be beautiful too. And every time they bickered about the backyard, she’d remind him of the interlocking brick flowerbed edging he installed, including one between his flowers and her weeds.

One day when I was about ten, I asked her from my spot on the back porch why she separated her wildflowers from the other blooms if she loved them so much. I’ll never forget her answer.

“They’ll spread until they take over the entire backyard. Wildflowers can’t be contained,” she told me once. “They thrive when they’re challenged, when they’re free.”





1





Vanessa





I look out at the stunning view of Upper West Side, Manhattan from my brother, Dylan’s penthouse condo. If I crane my neck enough from the balcony, I can see the bright pink signage of Petit Bijoux, my new favorite designer shoe store.

Fuck. Some retail therapy’s in order, but other plans keep me here.

I can’t bail. It’s my childhood friend, Jackson, and his fiancée, Dahlia’s night. As usual, I’m one of four people here without a date, even though we were all invited to bring a plus one. Dylan has Emily, his fiancée of a couple of years. Jackson’s brother, Jace, is married to Cherry, another childhood friend of ours. Realistically, none of us single folk are so inhumane as to bring a date into such a close-knit, complex dynamic. Caleb and Foster are the single guys, close friends and business partners with Dylan, Jace, and Jackson. And Rosa’s free like me. She’s a school friend and former roommate of both Dahlia and Emily. Rosa also has some sort of strained history with Caleb, and she happens to be employed at Knights Capital with all the guys around the table.

Tonight’s ten-guest dinner party has been in our calendars for weeks. Jackson and Dahlia are finally taking steps to plan the final details of their wedding, which takes place in a few weeks.

Which is why I’m cringing.

I hate weddings, in general.

Long term relationships too.

Matter of fact, I’d add love and romance to the list.

My attitude toward all things couple-ish has nothing to do with this particular pair. I like Dahlia, and have known Jackson since we were in kindergarten. They’re great for each other. My issue is with the unrealistic goal western society has, of finding ‘the one’ and building an entire life with that person. For life. Like the jail sentence for violent murderers. To me, the institution of marriage is outdated and impractical. Human beings weren’t built for monogamy or life-long romantic connections. Statistics support my viewpoint too. Over half of all marriages end in divorce. I’d bet that for at least half of the remaining marriages, someone’s thinking about divorce.

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