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Trouble with the Billionaire

Ashley’s Billionaire Book Three

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After a romantic weekend at Drake’s cabin, Ashley and Drake have moved their relationship to the next level. But when they arrive back in Reno and real life sets in, unforeseen challenges strain their fragile relationship. Will these challenges strengthen their love, or tear them apart for good?

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Chapter 1

Sneaking glances at Drake as he drove, Ashley couldn’t stop smiling. She’d just had the best weekend of her life, but as they headed toward Reno, toward their regular lives, she couldn’t help but worry if reality would live up to the paradise they’d just experienced.

She glanced at Drake again and this time he caught her. Draping his arm around her shoulders, he tugged her against him. She was already sitting in the middle of the bench seat of his truck, but she moved close enough that their thighs touched. Electricity charged through her and she thought about the wonderful time they’d shared at his cabin.

In her head Ashley heard Drake whispering that he loved her. Warmth spread through her chest at the memory. She thought about the commitment she’d extracted from him—no kissing until their relationship became serious. It had been difficult for both of them, but now that they’d moved their relationship to the next level, it felt so worth it.

“What are you thinking?” Drake asked as he glanced at her before focusing back on the road.

She snuggled closer to his side. “How happy I am.”

“You are, are you?” His arm around her gently tightened. “I’m happy too.”

Resting her head on his shoulder, she closed her eyes.

“You’re liking your new job?” he asked.

Ashley opened her eyes and turned to him. “Yeah. I love it, actually.”

Chuckling, he said, “Do you mean to tell me you like it better than being the administrative assistant to the best CEO in Reno?”

She laughed along with him. “Sadly, that is true. Working for you was . . . an experience.”

“All one week of it.”

She pulled away and gently pushed his shoulder. “It’s your fault that I quit.”

He drew her back against him. “I know. But if you hadn’t, we wouldn’t be dating.”

That was certainly true. When Drake had hired her to be his assistant, it had been on the condition that they both forget about the time they’d spent at his cabin. As it had turned out, they’d both found that impossible. “Have you had much luck finding a new assistant?”

“I asked Barbara to head that up. You know she’ll get right on it.”

“Good.” Ashley grimaced. “I felt kind of bad about jumping ship so abruptly.”

He laughed. “No you didn’t.”

“Okay. No I didn’t. You made it easy when you said those rude things to me.”

“I’ve already apologized, but I’ll say it again. I’m sorry I spoke to you that way. Like I said, I was trying to put some distance between us. Having you there and seeing you every day but not being able to touch you—it was killing me.”

Ashley laughed. “That’s because you were in love with me even then, Drake. Admit it.”

“I don’t know if I’d go that far.”

“Oh really?” She turned toward him. “Then why did you track me down at the dance club? When I was on a date, I might add.”

Mock-confusion clouded his face. “I wasn’t sure you were going to be there.”

“Uh-huh.”

“How else was I going to get you to talk to me?” he said. “You wouldn’t answer my texts, and when I went to your apartment, your roommate said you were on a date with that other guy.”

“You mean Jonathan?” Ashley knew Drake knew Jonathan’s name, but she wanted to tease him a little.

“Yes. Him.”

She laughed. “I have to admit, I’m impressed you got Emily to come around.” She looked at him. “You know, she couldn’t stand you at first. She thought you were all kinds of wrong for me.”

He glanced at her with raised eyebrows. “I hope you don’t feel that way.”

There had been many moments when she had, but she was past that now. “No.”

His arm tightened around her shoulders. “Good.”

Relishing his closeness, Ashley asked, “How did you convince Emily to be in on your little secret to take me to the cabin, anyway?”

He softly chuckled. “That’s between Emily and me.”

“Okay, fine. I’ll just ask her.”

“It’s not that I don’t want to tell you. It’s just a little embarrassing.”

Ashley grinned. “Then I’ll definitely ask Emily.”

“I’m sure she’ll be glad to tell you all about it.”

Turning in her seat as best she could with the seatbelt across her hips, she looked at Drake’s face, then reached up and stroked his cheek. “It doesn’t matter what you said to her. The important thing is that between the two of you, you managed to convince me to come on a drive with you.” She touched his lips with a finger. “That drive turned into a weekend, but I’m not complaining.”

He kissed her finger and she slid it across his lower lip. 

“You’d better stop that,” he said, “or I might have to pull over right here and . . .”

“And what?”

He grinned at her, then looked past her out the rear window. A moment later he stopped his truck on a wide part of the shoulder. “This,” he said, then he unlatched her seatbelt and pulled her onto his lap.

Ashley giggled as his arms went around her and he pulled her against his chest. Her mouth found his as she placed her hands on either side of his head. He kissed her with passion and she became nearly breathless. She pulled back slightly and murmured, “Drake.”

“Mmm,” he said as he placed one of his hands at the back of her head and pressed his lips against hers again.

Cars rushed by, occasionally making the truck shudder. Ashley drew away. “Should we be stopped here?”

His eyes met hers as a smile slowly took shape on his mouth. “Why? Don’t you like this?”

She planted a quick kiss on his mouth. “You know I like this very much, but maybe we should go where cars aren’t flying by inches from us.”

He glanced out his window. “They’re at least eight feet away.”

“Okay. Ninety six inches from us.”

He laughed. “If you feel unsafe, then yes, let’s go somewhere else.”

She slid off of his lap. “Thank you.”

He ran a finger along her jaw. “Anything for you, Ashley.” A moment later they were back on the road and half an hour after that Drake asked if she wanted to stop for dinner. 

Ashley realized she was hungry. “Sure.”

When they got to Reno, Drake took them to a restaurant, and after they got out of his truck, Ashley placed her hand in his as they walked toward the door of the restaurant.

* * *

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