Sometimes differences can blend into something beautiful. William Peterson, intimidating billionaire with a high school degree falls head over heels in love with Sophie Schrader, the new head chef that just landed her dream job in San Francisco. Except… It should be her dream job, she’s worked hard for it. What she really wants? Well, that’s going to take some major self-discovery and painful honestly. Meanwhile, William knows that Sophie is his better half and he is willilng to change and accept her for who she is. More importantly, he’s finally met a woman who accepts him and loves him. It makes all those messy compromises that life requires so much easier to make.
Here’s a sneak preview of their first night meeting each other. Yeah, it’s copyrighted and subject to change because, after all, it’s the rough draft. Hopefully I’ll have it out in time for Halloween so you can read between answering the door;)
I leaned back into the comfortable seat and closed my eyes, “Tonight has been surreal.”
He chuckled, “It’s been different.” He looked over at me, “I own the club you were in.” He watched my reaction and chuckled at my surprise. “I was upstairs watching the crowd and I see you, like a salmon swimming against the stream. The whole place moving and then you – totally asynchronous. Completely out of your element. It wasn’t until I got to the floor that I realized how miserable you were. Do you know you flinch when people touch you?”
I rolled my eyes, “Only if they’re strangers.”
“You were so polite to me. Actually, you have been polite all night long.” He tilted his head and reached over to stroke my cheek, “Most people get mean when stressed.” His lips twitched, “You get more polite.”
I swallowed at the touch of his fingers across my cheek and twisting a lock of my hair. He whispered, “You didn’t flinch.” I shook my head, watching him as he gave me a quick smile and withdrew his hand. “It’s been a bad night for you, babe. You feeling ok?”
“How much did you drink tonight?”
He chuckled, “You want a glass of wine? God knows you deserve it.”
“No, thank you.”
He narrowed his eyes, “You’re being polite again. Are you scared of me?”
I smirked, “No. I’m just polite. Tonight wasn’t the best night of my life but it wasn’t the worst. Other than a couple of blisters I’m perfectly healthy. Apparently I caught the eye of some rich dude who has a misplaced sense of protectiveness, and I’m starting my dream job in a couple of days.”
“Some rich dude?” He asked dryly, “Misplaced sense of protectiveness?”
“Yes. Some rich dude with excellent hearing.”
He chuckled, “Ok, sweet Sophie. I’m glad this isn’t the worst night of your life.” We pulled up to the back of a building and he opened the door and slid out, reaching in for me. I grabbed my backpack and he grabbed my duffel bag from the trunk. We went through a back door and a security guard greeted us.
“Good evening, Mr. Peterson.”
“Good evening, Tom.” William nodded and led me toward an elevator. We got off on the third floor and the doors opened to a wall of glass that overlooked the dance floor.
“Wow.” I moved over to the glass and looked down. The crowd was still moving like a single celled organism. I looked for Tanner and Jason but couldn’t find them. “Jeez, it’s like a game of Where’s Waldo.”
William chuckled, “Your friends are in the VIP section, over there.” He pointed to a booth in the corner and I could see Tanner’s white shirt.
“How did you know that?”
He shrugged, “I made a call and arranged it.”
I shook my head, “That’s a little creepy, William.”
“It’s my club. You wanted to talk to your friends. You don’t have a phone. It seemed to be the best solution.” He pulled his phone out, “You want to call them?”
I shook my head, “Oh, um, well…” I pulled my backpack off and pulled out my tablet. “Do you have wifi here?”
He shook his head, “I don’t think so. Just use my phone, babe.”
I rolled my eyes, “Stop calling me, babe.”
“Ok. Sophie, use my phone.” He offered his phone but I didn’t take it.
I turned on my tablet and grinned, “It’s all good. I’ve got service.” I emailed Tanner asking him if I could spend the night at his place. There was no way I wanted to log into my email on his phone. Talk about creepy.
“Yes. Is it true you’re with William Peterson?” Tanner emailed back.
I answered, “Yes. Is he safe?”
“Where are you?” Tanner asked.
“I’m at the club. Is he safe?”
“Yes. He’s a reclusive billionaire. Probably weird. Is he weird?” I giggled at Tanner’s response and William read over my shoulder.
“I’m not reclusive.” He muttered, “I’m private.”
“Yeah, big difference Howard Hughes.” I said wryly.
He narrowed his eyes and his lips twitched, “Did you just suggest that I’m OCD and paranoid?”
“Sounds like it.” I nodded in agreement, “So, what’s your plan, William?” I asked him as I turned back to my tablet to email Tanner. “When are you guys going to leave?”
Tanner emailed back, “Closing time, baby. Come down and join us.”
I sighed and William reached around me and hugged gently, “Stay up here with me. We can share a bottle of wine, you can watch your friends, and you don’t have to deal with the crowds or noise.”
“That sounds perfect. So, you’re good at reading people.” I turned in his arms and smiled up at him. He was holding me gently, almost fraternally. Almost…
He tilted his head and gave me a small smile, “Yeah. Helps in business.”
I emailed Tanner, “I’m going to watch you peons in the super-secret private inner-sanctum of Mr. William Peterson. Email me when you’re ready to leave.”