Unexpectedly His(4)

By: Maggie Kelley

Nick winced and shoved his hands deep into his pockets. “Sounds uncomfortable.”

His boss didn’t seem amused. “Listen, we both know you’ve steered clear of the man’s wife. Wisely, I might add.” Nick started to confirm, but his boss waved away the need for a response. “I like you, kid. I told Jeffers that. I told him I know for a fact you wouldn’t go near his wife, but the man doesn’t know you like I do. He said he doesn’t trust an unmarried man. The situation is a tough one. Jeffers brings in big money. If you want a shot at the upcoming partnership, you need to clean up your act.” Rising from the chair, he stepped out from behind the desk. “Fast enough to satisfy Bill Jeffers.”

Nick wasn’t big on ultimatums, but if securing a partnership with the city’s most prestigious wealth management firm meant getting his shit together—he needed to do it. Being considered for a partner bid was an honor, albeit one he’d earned. He’d worked his ass off, but the credit crunch had not been kind to a number of private equity firms. Morgan had held strong, wisely muscling-up investment returns for their clients, but passing Nick over for a safer, less controversial choice would be easy. He was lucky to have Dan on his side. “I know how important reputation is in our business, and I appreciate the support. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to fix the situation and prove myself to the firm.”

Dan walked toward him, stopping an arm’s length away. “You know what I’d like to see you do? Settle down. Find some sweet woman who can keep you out of trouble while Jeffers has you in his sights.”

He rolled back on his heels. “I could probably do that.”

An image of a certain silver-spangled cake girl filled his thoughts, but he shoved the image aside. He needed a woman to keep him out of trouble, not consume his every waking thought.

“Probably?” his boss asked.

“Definitely,” Nick said. All he needed to do was play his cards right with his matchmaking sister. “In fact, Friday night was my farewell to bachelorhood party.”

Dan’s eyebrows raised in anticipation of an explanation. Nick winced. Dammit, now he had a situation on his hands. He needed to come up with details—fast.

“A night on the town before my engagement.”

“Your engagement?”

Oh shit, had he overstepped? An engagement? His collar tightened at the thought. He’d tried the relationship thing a few times in the past, but commitment led to pain. His parents’ marriage had taught him that. Better not to be in a committed relationship than hurt a woman the way his father had destroyed his mother. And shit, now he’d gone and said the E word? An engagement might be tough to pull off. He’d really hung his balls out there.


A thin film of sweat formed on the back of his neck. A partnership position at a high-flying firm like Morgan confirmed he’d made it out of Brooklyn. Hell, in the world of legal finance, he was about to make the NFL. A dream.

He needed to strike now or they’d move onto the next guy. Manhattan was full of sharks. He’d already given them reason to pass him over, and there was no guarantee the chance would come around again. If that meant he needed to find a sweet woman willing to tolerate him for the short-term…

“Dan, all that’s left to do is get down on one knee, propose, and convince her to say yes.” Nick pressed his palm against the center of his chest. “What can I say? I fell damned hard…out of the blue…like being hit in the back of the head with a ball peen hammer.” God, could he string together any more romantic clichés? His boss seemed to be Hoovering them up like candy.

Dan stepped forward, his hand extended in happy congratulations. “Welcome to the club, kid. I know just how you feel.”

Poor bastard. I’ll bet you do.

“Thank you, sir.” Nick accepted the handshake with the straightforward strength of a man with nothing to hide. All he had to do now was find a woman.

Unfortunately, Cupid’s arrow hadn’t struck him yet.

Luckily, he had the queen of hearts in his back pocket.

“Jane, you are killing me here.” In a casual move that belied the anxiety building in his gut, Nick kicked back on the velvet sofa in his sister’s office. Apparently, producing a short-term fiancé in a matter of hours was not going to be as easy as he’d hoped. He was already going down in flames.

“Me? Killing you?” Jane rolled her eyes and rummaged through that alphabetized candy drawer of hers, not at all amused by his current dilemma. “I can’t run through my database and magically hook you up with some temporary wife. My clients are looking for true love. You, big brother, are looking for a way from the doghouse to the executive washroom.”

Hot Read

Last Updated


Top Books