"What is with you?" Greg elbowed Ash, causing him to spill half his beer. "You look like you want to be anywhere but here."
Ain't that the truth, Ash thought, as he glanced around the nightclub. Usually, he loved the exclusivity of this place perched high above Melbourne: the women were A-listers, models and actresses mostly, who were in it for a good time, not a long time. Tonight, their covetous glances left him cold.
"Long day at work." The lie slid easily from his lips as he raised his beer in Greg's direction. "Why are you looking at me? You should be staring at the luscious babes strutting their stuff."
Greg practically squirmed. "No offence, bro, but bachelor parties are kind of lame."
"It could be worse. I could've taken you to a strip club."
Horror widened Greg's eyes. "You're not planning anything after this—"
"Relax. We're going to a cigar bar."
There was only one woman he wanted to see naked tonight and after the way she'd got him worked up in her office this afternoon, he hoped it would be sooner rather than later.
He hadn't expected to miss her over the last week while he'd been working in Sydney, but he had. She'd sneaked into his thoughts at the oddest of moments, like getting the client to sign over seven figures to invest. Women never derailed him at work. Kiara wasn't most women.
"Do you mind if we call it a night?" Greg gestured at the gyrating bodies on the dance floor. "I appreciate the effort but this isn't my scene and I'd rather drop by Alice's than smoke cigars."
Ash shrugged, feigning nonchalance when inside he fist-pumped the air. "Sure. I've got places to be, too."
Ash didn't understand his brother's sly grin. "Kiara's?"
"Alice and I know, you doofus." He jabbed him in the chest. "That whole pretending not to know each other when we first introduced you? Lame. We saw the sparks between you and the way you stared at each other."
"We're friends," he said, hating how hollow that sounded.
"You're more than that." Greg snickered. "Elliott told Dad how much he approves of your girlfriend. Dad does, too."
Hell. When Ash had first come up with the plan to have Kiara pose as his girlfriend to help him secure a promotion, he hadn't envisaged having to explain to his family when they “split up.”
"For what it's worth, we all approve." Greg slapped him on the back. "Kiara's great so don't mess with her, okay?"
Ash managed a terse nod, before Greg continued. "And I've never see you so smitten by a woman, either." He winked. "Who knows, you might be the second Cromwell walking down the aisle with a Hastings."
Yeah, and Ash would be quitting his job.
Never going to happen.
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