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Forgetting the Billionaire

Forgetting the Billionaire

A Fake Relationship Romance

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The heart doesn’t forget.

MAIN TROPES

  • Billionaire
  • Redemptive Hero
  • Small Town
  • Grandmother
  • Medical
  • Protective Hero

Synopsis

Charlie had no intention of falling in love. In fact, it was the last thing on her mind. Running her grandmother’s retirement home seems like the safest place for her.

Mitchell has finally located his grandmother. He leaves his multi-billion-dollar real estate company and flies to Sitka, Alaska to reunite with her.

Brought together by Mitchell’s grandmother, Charlie can’t help but feel a connection to Mitchell. Just when she finds herself opening up to him, his fiancée shows up.

Now asked to help with the wedding, Charlie’s convinced it’s for the best.

Besides, falling in love is the last thing she needs.

So why does it feel so right?

Chapter One Look Inside

CHARLIE

Just Charlie’s luck— she was late again. Standing outside the diner, she took a deep breath. Maybe Jorge wouldn’t notice this time. Maybe. 

If only she hadn’t slept in past her alarm. But she had been so tired from the night before. Francis had disappeared again, and Charlie had searched all night just to find the ninety-five year-old woman hiding in the pantry eating cookies. By the time Charlie had fallen asleep, all she got were three hours of restless slumber. When she finally woke up, she had realized she must have hit the snooze button one too many times, and her shift had already started.

The familiar clang of dishes and silverware greeted her as she pulled open the back door to Jorge’s Diner and stepped into the bustling kitchen. The smell of french fries and hamburgers wafted around her.  

“Girl, what happened to you?” Priscilla asked as she passed by holding a plate of steaming meat slathered in gravy. 

Charlie ran her fingers through her dark brown hair and pulled it up into a bun. Hopefully that helped make her look a bit more presentable. “I was up all night,” she said, following after Priscilla who paused at the swinging door. 

“Nice,” Priscilla said, wiggling her eyebrows. 

Charlie rolled her eyes. Leave it to her best friend to turn everything dirty. “It wasn’t like that. One of the ladies went missing last night, and I had to search half of Sitka to find her.” She leaned against the door frame.

“I told you to sell that place. Why you live with all those old people is beyond me. You’re twenty-five. Get a better job.” Priscilla sighed as she pushed through the door. 

Charlie straightened and opened her mouth to remind Priscilla that she stayed there because it was her grandmother’s and she was fighting to keep it from going under, but Priscilla was already out of earshot. The door swung shut, leaving Charlie alone. It’s not like she’d never thought about leaving the place, but every time she did a familiar pain of losing something that was her grandmothers shot through her chest. No. She couldn’t just leave. As crazy as some of the residents were, they needed people in their lives, and she’d be that person.

“You’re late,” A deep, Spanish accent drawled behind her. 

Charlie sucked in her breath and turned. 

Jorge stood with his arms crossed in front of his chest, and his forefinger drumming his tanned arm. 

“Jorge, I’m so sorry—”

He raised a finger. “Charlie, you promised me three times already that you wouldn’t be late anymore.” He narrowed his eyes which caused his bushy black eyebrows to squish together. “This is your final warning.”

“Yes.” She lowered her voice and nodded. There was no way she could afford to lose this job. She was already behind on the mortgage for the retirement home. Not wanting him to change his mind about letting her have another chance, she dashed to the back wall where the rusty lockers were located and pulled out her apron. Tying the strings around her waist, she pushed through the swinging door.

The dining room was in full lunch swing. All the metal tables were filled with locals and fishermen that were in Sitka to take advantage of the King Salmon that filled the waters. Priscilla was chatting with a few of them as Charlie approached her. She giggled and swatted the arm of a beefy fisherman. Charlie rolled her eyes. Always the flirt. 

“Which tables haven’t you covered?” she asked.

Priscilla waved her hand toward the back wall and continued her obvious flirting. 

Charlie followed her gesture. Sitting with his back toward her was a man in a dark suit with his head down. He stuck out like a sore thumb in this room full of baseball caps and plaid button-ups. She grabbed the pad out of her pocket and walked up, forcing a smile as she approached. “Hi. Welcome to Jorge’s Diner. What can I get for you today?”

The man was consumed with his phone. His finger scrolled the screen. He sighed and glanced over at her, and his sky-blue eyes narrowed. “It’s about time,” he said. 

He only looked a few years older than her. His blond hair was tousled, but in an intentional way. His gaze ran over her, instantly making her feel self-conscious. She didn’t recognize him which meant he was a tourist. In and out. That was life on an island.

Taken aback by his coldness, Charlie swallowed. “I’m sorry?”

The man tucked his phone into his suit coat and waved to the table. “I haven’t even gotten a menu yet. I’d leave, but this seems to be one of the only places to eat in this forsaken city.”

He was rude. She fought the urge to tell him off. Instead, she brushed off his comment with an awkward laugh. Sitka was small, but beautiful. “I’m sorry. I just started my shift. Let me get you a menu.” She shoved the pad back into her apron pocket and nodded toward the cash register. She would’ve told him what she thought, but she was already skating on thin ice with Jorge as it was. 

The muscles in the man’s jaw flexed as his gaze swept over her. “Thanks.” 

She hurried over to the counter and grabbed a menu. Silently, she prayed that this one didn’t have gravy on it. She gave it a quick once over before handing it to him. He took it between two fingers and opened it up. 

Like an idiot, she waited for a thank you, but it never came. She turned to leave, but he raised his hand and brushed her arm. A shiver raced across her skin. Anger and excitement flitted through her stomach. Instantly, she stopped, frustrated with what his touch did to her. 

“Miss, I’m ready.”

“Charlie,” she said. It was an instinct. She hated being called “miss”. 

“What?”

“The name. It’s Charlie.” Brushing her apron down, she glanced over to him. 

The man widened his eyes as he studied her. “Okay, Charlie. I’ll get the burger with fries.”

She jotted down his order. “Did you want it slathered?”

His nose crinkled. “Slathered?”

Her cheeks heated. “Means you want it with all the fixings. Lettuce, tomatoes, onions, mayo—”

He nodded his head. “Sure,” he said with annoyance in his voice. He raised the menu to her.

“Okay.” She pinched her lips to stop herself from saying anything more and took the menu from him. Back in the kitchen, she leaned against the wall as the door swung closed, separating her from the mysterious man. She rested her head back as she took a deep breath. 

What was with her today? It seemed everyone was upset with her. She had managed to tick off every guy she had come across. She could understand Jorge being upset with her, but this customer? What was his problem? 

The door swung open nearly hitting her. Priscilla’s high-pitched laugh rang in her ears. Heat pricked her neck. She needed to get it together. 

“Charlie, what’re you doing back there?” Priscilla asked as the door closed. 

Charlie took a few deep breaths. She needed to get her emotions under control before she lost it. “Sorry. The guy you saved for me is a real piece of work.”

Priscilla handed the order over to Samuel who was camped out at the grill and turned. “I kind of kept the table of hotties for myself. Sorry.”

Charlie shrugged. She wasn’t even up for small talk, much less flirting right now. “It’s okay.” She handed her order over to Samuel who grunted and took it. 

She followed Priscilla over to the fountain drinks and filled up a glass with ice water for the mysterious and rude man. 

“Who is he?” Priscilla asked as she peeked through the circular window on the swinging door. 

Charlie shrugged. “Never met him. Tourist most likely.”

A wide smile spread across Priscilla’s lips. “Ooo, that’s the best. No attachments. It’s perfect for you. Maybe you can finally forget…” She raised her eyebrows as if that was the new name for Charlie’s ex-boyfriend. 

Frustrated at the mention of him, Charlie ripped the bottom of the straw wrapper off with a bit more gusto than normal. “Alex. You can say his name. It’s Alex.”

Priscilla raised her hands. “I wasn’t sure. For a while it was synonymous with Voldemort.”

“It was a year ago, and I’m over it.” Charlie’s voice came out higher than intended. She slammed her lips shut. That was not the sound of someone who’d gotten over her three-year relationship. 

Priscilla noticed, and sympathy filled her gaze. 

“I’m over him.” Charlie narrowed her eyes, but Priscilla’s expression didn’t change. Groaning, she grabbed the water and stomped out of the kitchen. 

What did Priscilla know? Charlie left Alex after she caught him making out with another girl. She bit her lower lip. She was better off without him. Right?

“Ahh!” A yell pulled Charlie from her thoughts. The red face of the rude man shot into her line of vision. 

“Wha—” 

“You dumped that water in my lap,” he growled as he swiped at his now soaked pants.

Charlie’s face heated as she stared at the large water spot. Somehow she’d managed to miss the table and dumped the entire glass of ice water onto him. Mortified, she grabbed a nearby napkin and leaned in to start dabbing. “I’m so—”

“Excuse me!” He reached down and pulled the napkin from her hand. 

Her skin burned as she realized just what part of him she had zoned in on to dab. “Oh, my gosh, I’m so sorry.” She avoided his gaze which she was sure was raging by now.

“This suit was from Italy! Do you know how much it cost me?” 

His anger rang in her ears as she searched for more napkins. After unrolling a few bundles of silverware, she handed them over. “Really. I’m so sorry.” She met his gaze. His blue eyes had turned stony as he took the napkins from her and continued to dab.

“I’m so sorry, sir. What happened?” Jorge asked from behind her.

Charlie’s stomach sank. She turned to meet his angry gaze. 

She dumped water on my lap,” the man said. Charlie could feel him stare at her. 

“I apologize. That is not how we do things. Charlie, you are excused from helping this man. Go back to the kitchen.”

Tears pricked at her eyes as she nodded. She didn’t want to cry in front of this man or Jorge. Why did she even get out of bed? She should have stayed under her covers for the rest of her life. From the look on Jorge’s face, he wasn’t going to be very forgiving this time. She pushed through the kitchen door and stood in the corner, biting her lip. 

A few minutes ticked by, but it felt like an eternity. Finally, the door swung open, and Jorge entered. 

“Charlie,” he started as he glanced over at her. 

“Jorge, I’m so sorry. It was an accident. I promise it will never happen again. Please, you have to believe me,” she stammered. 

He raised his hand causing Charlie to pinch her lips shut. This was never good. 

“I just think you’ve been extremely distracted lately. It might be time for us to reevaluate your position here. Perhaps, it would be better if you took some time off.” Jorge studied her.

With each word, Charlie’s stomach sank further and further. The retirement home depended on her income to stay afloat. If she was fired, what would she do? What would the residents do? 

“Jorge, I promise that will never happen again.” She was desperate. She debated getting on her knees and begging, and she’d do it if she thought it would change his decree. 

He shook his head. “I’ve already made the decision. Your final check will be available in a week.” He folded his arms over his chest. His signature this conversation is done move. 

Anger and frustration boiled up inside of her, but all she could do was nod. Her job here was finished. She handed over her apron, walked over to her locker, and pulled open the door. Grabbing her purse and odds and ends, she slammed the door and turned. The kitchen had been silent for their conversation, but the noise had resumed. 

Not wanting to stay in this horrible place any longer, Charlie pushed open the back door and stepped out. It had started drizzling. Yet another gloomy day, and she welcomed the grey sky. Rounding the corner, she slammed right into someone who was tucked under the building’s awning. He turned, pulling a phone from his ear. 

“Ah, not you,” she muttered when she realized it was the rude man from inside. For once, she was thankful that she was drenched in rain. He wouldn’t be able to see the tears that threatened to spill from her eyes.

He glanced at her as he reached up and ran his fingers through his damp hair. “That wasn’t my intention.”

She narrowed her eyes and shook her head. She was too exhausted to try and figure out what he meant. “What?”

He nodded toward the diner. “To get you fired. That wasn’t my intention.”

Anger boiled up inside. “Well you should have thought about that before you acted like a complete jerk.” He was no longer her customer. She didn’t have to be nice to him. Two could play at this game. She folded her arms and narrowed her eyes. 

He leaned back, almost as if he were surprised she had said that to him. She scoffed. There had to have been other people who talked to him like that. Or maybe she just brought out the loser in every guy she met. 

“You could have told him it was an accident. I needed that job. Did you even think of that?” She was on a roll now. Plus, he was silent. She glared at him as she stepped around him. “Next time, act like a human and have some decency. Who raised you?” Too scared to look back, Charlie kept walking. Her final words lingered in the air. 

The farther she got away from him, the better she felt. Served him right. After what he did, she was proud of herself for telling him how she felt. She was done getting walked over. As she made her way down the familiar streets, she couldn’t help but smile. It felt good to finally say what was on her mind. Even if it was to man she’d never see again, it was a start.

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A Sweet Billionaire Romance Series

Each romance involves a billionaire falling for the woman of his dreams.