The Lucky Billionaire
by Jeanette Lewis
All Rights Reserved
Ty followed Holland’s directions and soon they were pulling into The Grove shopping center.
“No Rodeo Drive?” His sister Misty said from the backseat, disappointment evident in her tone.
“What’s Rodeo Drive?” Ty asked.
“What? C’mon … Pretty Woman? Julia Roberts and the shopping montage?” Misty prodded him in the back with her finger.
He vaguely remembered hearing a song about it, but drew a blank at the movie. “Sorry, not ringing any bells.” Ty swung into a parking space.
“Rodeo Drive is where all the top designers are,” Misty said with authority.
“Oh, then I’m glad we’re missing it,” Ty replied. “I’m not buying anything from some snooty designer.”
A small smile hovered on Holland’s lips as she got out of the car. “This place has plenty of designers too,” she said. “I just thought we’d find more here in your style.”
“That is definitely not my style,” Ty declared, pointing to a display of rhinestone skulls and studded leather jackets in the window of Lace+Bones.
“Of course not, give me some credit.” Holland gave him a mischievous smile and led the way to the white stone facade of Barneys New York.
“Mercy,” Misty drawled in her best Roy Orbison impression.
Ty would rather face a diamondback rattler with nothing but a pea shooter than follow Holland into the store. Inside was cool, almost cold, and that wasn’t just the temperature of the air. Two clerks looked up when they entered and appeared to be having had a silent staring contest where the loser had to wait on them.
If Holland noticed, she gave no sign. She marched to the men’s section and began pulling suit jackets off the rack.
“May I help you?” One of the clerks approached them, having evidentially lost the contest. She couldn’t have been more than twenty. Her platinum blond hair hung in rippling waves to her waist and her makeup was so thick Ty bet he could have scraped it off with a credit card.
“I’m Holland Morrissey with Enlighten Images. We need clothes for him.” Holland tipped her head toward Ty, but her eyes never left the clerk’s.
Either the agency had name recognition or Holland won some kind of telepathic battle, because the clerk was suddenly all smiles. “Of course. Why don’t I get a dressing room started for you?”
Holland moved closer to Ty and reached up to hold a navy suit jacket under his chin. She narrowed her green eyes and caught the tip of her tongue between her teeth as she evaluated the color against his skin. The smell of her perfume washed over him, a sharp, cool scent that reminded him of an ocean breeze.
His pulse picked up at her nearness. He picked up the sleeve of the jacket she held and glanced at the tag.
“Six hundred dollars?” He gasped in a whisper. “This suit is six hundred dollars?”
“This is a separate,” Holland said. She replaced the jacket on the rack and reached for a gray one. “We’ll look at suits too, but I think you’ll get more use out of separates.”
“What the heck is a separate?” Ty asked.
“Just what it sounds like. The jacket is separate from the pants. That way we can mix and match,” Holland explained. She held the gray one to his face.
“Wait a second … just that jacket is six hundred dollars?” Ty dodged out of the way and grabbed the price tag. “This one is seven-fifty,” he said almost accusingly.
“Whoa,” Misty said, clearly as horrified as her brother.
The clerk made a grab for the jacket. “I can put that in a room for you if you’d like.”
“No way,” Ty said forcefully. “I’m not paying that much for something I’m only wearing once.”
Holland’s smile slipped a little as she turned to the clerk. “Could you give us just a minute please?”
The clerk slid gracefully out of range and Holland whirled on Ty. “You’re a billionaire and you’re whining about seven hundred dollars?” She hissed. “In the time we’ve been arguing, you’ve probably earned enough in interest to buy every jacket in this store.”
Ty squared his shoulders. “That’s not the point. Just because I can afford it doesn’t mean I need it.”
“Why did you hire me if you’re not going to do what I tell you?” She whispered, her tone strained.
“She’s got a point,” Misty said. From the look on her face, Ty gathered she was enjoying the show.
“I am going to do what you tell me, if it’s reasonable,” he told Holland. “But I’ve seen jackets just like that at Kohl’s for less than a hundred bucks.”
Holland gasped as if he’d just cursed in church. “No you have not.” She clutched the jacket protectively to her chest.
“Are you two about done? Because I really need to sit down,” Misty said.
Ty locked eyes with Holland. She pressed her lips together stubbornly and hugged the absurdly expensive jacket.
He sighed. “Fine. But I still think it’s stupid.”
Holland relaxed. “You’ll thank me later, because you are going to look fantastic on TV.”
What followed was a nightmare.