Super. You go change and Ill pack everything else up, and then we can get started. Weve got a lot of shopping ahead of us.Logans instructions are, and I quote, she said, pulling out her BlackBerry and reading from the screen, Make sure that she gets a few weeks worth of clothing, along with some evening wear. You know my events calendar. She looked up from the screen. I do, and its a doozy. She looked back down again and continued to read. Also, take her to the best bookstore in Manhattan. My library needs restocking. She looked up at Bront in surprise. He has a library?Not really, Bront admitted, her lips twitching with her efforts not to smile like a lovesick idiot. And I really dont need that many clothes. Just a change or two.Audrey shook her head and waved the phone. I have my orders, and Im afraid they trump yours.Bront didnt disagree. She just took the clothes and went to change. She emerged a few minutes later, fully dressed. The clothing was elegant and yet casual. The price tags had been removed, so she didnt know what theyd cost, but she had horrible visions of exactly how much everything had set Audrey back. Thanks for the clothes. How much do I owe you?The other woman stared at her. Are you or are you not aware that youre dating a billionaire? He has a little cash to throw around. This is coming from his wallet, not mine.Bront flushed. Just because he has the cash doesnt mean that I want him to spend ridiculous amounts on me. Im a grown woman. I can buy my own clothes.Audrey arched a brow at her. After a moment, she said, Well, thats something I dont hear very often from women in Logans circles. Huh. She shook her head, as if not quite believing her ears. Anyhow. Today, the shopping is on Logan. You can argue with him when he gets home. As long as youre with me, though, his card is the one were using.Fair enough. Shed go light on the shopping today to please Audrey and go back later for more stuff if she needed it. Sounds good. Where are we heading?Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue, Audrey said promptly. Thats where the best shopping is. Do you have a preference?Someplace with reasonable, comfortable clothing?Audrey stared at her for a minute. Oh, honey. No. Well start with your dress for the party tonight. Im thinking Bergdorfs or Saks. And shoes. Well definitely need some shoes. This could get a little pricey, so I just want you to close your eyes and remember whos buying, okay?Bront crossed her arms. Audrey, this makes me . . . really uncomfortable. I dont know that I can spend someone elses money like this.I know you cant, she said with a reassuring pat. Thats why Im in charge. And may I just say that this is a refreshing change? Usually I have to pry his girlfriends away from the Centurion card.I thought he hadnt dated much in the past year?He hasnt. Ive been with him for several. Audrey gave her another tight, efficient smile. Shall we go?They headed out, Audrey chattering a mile a minute as they walked the few blocks to the shopping district. Bront tried to pay attention to Audreys nonstop stream of conversation, but she was too busy soaking in the atmosphere of New York. Skyscrapers rose all around her, and the streets were crawling with pedestrians, the curb lined with cars. Awnings hung over the front of apartment buildings, and nearby someone pushed a street cart. Taxis were everywhere.Shed never seen anything like it. It was crazy . . . and vibrant. The city was alive with people and business, and it was like being in the center of a very slick, industrious anthill. She could see why so many people loved living there. Standing on the street, surrounding by endless tall buildings, it truly did feel like the center of the universe.Audrey continued to chatter as they walked, barely paying attention to other pedestrians or traffic. Shed been working for Logan for three and a half years, Audrey told her. He was a very fair boss, though he could be demanding of her time. And even though shed been asked to buy presents for occasional girlfriends or to manage his calendar for his personal life, she confessed that she did not shop for many women, which made Bront feel better.At least it did until Audrey added, Especially after Danica.Danica? Bront swallowed, feeling a sick knot in her stomach. Whos Danica?Audrey chewed on her lip, looking chagrined. I shouldnt have said anything. Except . . . the party tonight? Youre going to be there, and the other guests on the list? They all know about Danica, and someones sure to bring it up even if she doesnt show up.Bront gritted her teeth and repeated herself. Whos Danica?The assistant sighed. I really shouldnt tell you. My number one loyalty is to Logan, and this feels disloyal. Its not my place to speculateAudrey, Bront interrupted. Who is Danica, and why do I need to know about her?The other woman wrung her hands, clearly torn. After a moment, she said, Danica is Logans fiance. Ex-fiance.Bront stared at her. He was engaged? Hed never told her. Exactly how ex of a fiance is she?They broke things off about two years ago. He hasnt really dated anyone seriously since.Her stomach clenched uncomfortably. Logan had had a fiance. Past tense. She wasnt sure how she felt about that. Hed almost been married. That was a little different from dating. Why did they break up?Audrey shrugged. I cant speculate. Thats Logans business and not something he shared with me. But I do know it was ugly. Theyre not speaking. Thats why you have to look stellar at this party tonight. Odds are that shes going to be there, and you cant give her any reason to pick you apart.She swallowed uncomfortably. Im a waitress. Im dating a billionaire. You dont think thats reason enough for her to want to tear me apart?It is. You just dont want to give her any more.The wise learn many things from their enemies.Audrey pointed to a store they were passing. We can start here. They have some really nice selections. Sophisticated and moneyed. Nothing that screams streetwalker. The assistant looked at Bronts clothes, and then added, Not that I think you would have trouble with that, but you never know. Some women think that if theyre spending a lot, the clothes should have a lot of flash. Its just the opposite, really.Ill keep that in mind, Bront murmured.The store was like something out of a movie, complete with marble floors and soft music piped in. They wandered through some of the racks, Audrey leading the way. She seemed to know exactly where she was going, and Bront was content to let her take charge.As they walked, a pretty blouse with a delicate ruffle along the neckline caught her eye. All right. If she was going to be staying with Logan for a few weeksmaybe more, maybe lessshe needed clothing that wouldnt embarrass him. She paused and examined it, admiring the pale silky fabric, then flipped over the tag. Her breath seized in her lungs.That blouse cost more than two months rent of her Kansas City apartment.Bront put it back on the rack, hoping desperately that her fingerprints hadnt smudged anything, and followed Audrey with wide eyes.The assistant began to pick through a rack of dresses. You have such lovely dark hair and pale skin that I think you could probably look great in a nice jewel tone. Maybe blue? Green? Do you have a preference? She glanced up at Bront and noticed her expression. Whats wrong?Bront reached for a nearby tag and winced. I really dont feel comfortable with the prices here.Audrey gave her an exasperated look. Are you still going on about this? She shook her head and turned back to the rack of clothing, flipping through dresses. You are dating a billionaire. Wearing T-shirts and jeans is fine for at home, if thats your thing. But if you go out? People are going to look at what hes wearing, and theyre going to look at what youre wearing. You have to convey an image. The functions that Logan attends? They frequently make the society pages. The last thing you want is for someone to point out fabulously wealthy and handsome Logan Hawkings and his thrift store girlfriend. Understand?Audrey gave her another disappointed look. Do I need to call Logan? Because if we dont get you outfitted appropriately, Im the one whos going to be in trouble, Bront. As his assistant, its my job to make him look good. And if you look good, he looks good. And I really like my job and would hate to lose it.Yes, it is. Audrey pulled a dress off the rack and held it up to Bronts chest. Now, green or blue?Several hours later, Bront returned to Logans apartment with sixteen shopping bags. Once Bront had caved in, Audrey had been a determined shopper, and Bront now possessed several pairs of designer shoes, matching jewelry, four designer handbags, two clutch purses, four cocktail dresses (for starters, Audrey had said), and multiple sets of everyday clothing. Since Audrey had been determined that she be fashionably beautiful from the inside out, Bront now had bags of designer unmentionables from Agent Provocateur and La Perla.The lingerie, she admitted, she rather liked, since she knew Logan would appreciate them. The rest, thoughwell, it bothered her. But since she didnt want to get Audrey in trouble, or embarrass Logan, shed caved in to the pressure and bought it. Shed stopped looking at price tags since that just seemed to slow everything down, and she felt sick at the amount theyd spent on clothes that day.All she kept thinking about was that it could have paid her rent for a year. Fed a family of four for a year. Purchased a small car or two. Instead, it was just sweaters and skirts and matching earrings. For the amount of money theyd spent on her shoes, they should have been gold-plated and given her a foot massage as she put them on.She and Logan hadnt discussed closets, and she didnt want to be presumptuous, so she filled a closet in one of the spare rooms. Once her things were put away, she took a long, luxuriant bath, pulled her hair into what she hoped was an elegant upsweep, and began to apply her makeup.
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