The Billionaire's Fake Fiancee - Lauren Wood

Chapter 1

Also by Lauren Wood

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“Doggo!” Olivia pointed her small chubby finger off into the dog park on the other side of the fence.

“Yep. That’s a dog, alright,” I replied, still not super confident in my communication skills with a one year old. “But we’re not looking for a doggo. We’re looking for hot girls, and you’re the bait.”

“Bait,” she smiled, leaning back into the stroller to gum on the lid to her sippy cup.

“That’s right. Bait. As much as Uncle Ben loves bringing you to the park to play, we’re also on a mission,” I reminded her.

A middle aged woman and her four kids walked past, picking up on our conversation. I smiled and waved and kept moving past the mother’s disapproving glare. If my best bud, Joey, was fine with me borrowing his kid to pick up chicks, then I felt no shame.

I heard the familiar sound of plastic crashing against the concrete, and instantly knew that Olivia had tossed her sippy cup overboard yet again. It must have been the twentieth time that day. I followed the rolling cup with a grunt, mumbling to her, “Maybe it’s time to call it a day. We’ve been here for two hours and you haven’t helped me out one bit …”

My words trailed off at the sight of the expensive leather stiletto heeled boots in front of her cup on the ground. My eyes instinctually drifted upwards, slowly drinking in the long tan legs in front of me followed by an exquisite pair of breasts, perked up over what I assumed was one hell of a push-up bra under a chic pink, tight-fitting dress. I came face-to-face with the most piercing pair of blue eyes I had ever seen.

“Oh, hello,” the woman smiled with her lusciously plump, pink glossy lips. “Drop something?”

“No,” I gaped. “I mean, yes! Yes. For about the hundredth time today.” I handed the cup back and told her, “Try to hold onto it this time, Olivia. You could have smashed this poor woman’s toes.”

I turned back to the tall vision in front of me, quickly getting in another good look at her. Jackpot.

“Olivia?” Her face lit up as she kneeled down in front of the stroller. “What a pretty name!” Olivia smiled wide and started clapping her hands, reaching up for the woman. “Hi there. My name is Kate. Nice to meet you.” She straightened and looked back at me. “She’s beautiful. And such a pretty smile.”

I was frozen for a minute, thrown off by just how unbelievably gorgeous this woman was … and the fact that all of my attempts of baiting in chicks at the park had only ever resulted in little old ladies stopping to admire her and talk to me.

“Thanks,” I nodded awkwardly. “She looks just like her mother.”

“Well then you’re a lucky guy. Her mother must be a real looker,” she grinned, sliding her hands into her pockets for warmth. Her perfect nose was turning pink from the cold.

“Uh, yeah … she was,” I answered nervously. “She’s … uh … no longer with us, I'm afraid.” I had practiced the whole widowed story bit a million times in my head, but saying it out loud felt wrong. I tensed and waited for her response.

“Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that,” she frowned, looking back to Olivia with pity. “It must be hard taking care of her all on your own.”

Thank God, she bought it. “We get by,” I nodded my head to the side. “But I worry about her not having a mother figure.”

“I guess you’ll just have to be super dad for a while … playing both mom and dad.”

“I do the best I can. My job keeps me pretty busy.”

The woman turned and strolled back over to the bench where we found her and sat down. “And what is it that you do?”

I took my opportunity to sit down next to her, pulling Olivia’s stroller around to face us. “I work in real estate. I’m a developer, mostly. Moved down from New York when the population boom first hit here in Cherry Falls. What about you?”

“Ah, I moved here around the same time! I work in marketing and my firm transferred me here when they opened this location. So, I guess we’re both profiting from the gentrification.”

I hung my head and laughed. “If you only knew how big of an issue that’s been in my company. My buddy married one of the native small business owners, and she’s demanded that we do everything as ethically as possible.”

She swept a