His Hired Girlfriend

Alexandra Stewart is dating the man of her dreams. But there’s a catch. The date is a masquerade and her Mr. Hot-Choc is gay, or so she thinks...

Family oriented Alexandra Stewart, known as Alex to family and friends, is in desperate need of money for her dad’s heart surgery. She is stoked when gorgeous, billionaire Jayden McCartney unexpectedly barges into her life and offers to help. On one condition. She must pretend to be his girlfriend. One look at Jay tells her to run in the opposite direction. He is too good-looking, too successful, and too rich for her liking. When she is told Jay is gay and that his family is matchmaking him with a woman he doesn’t love, she feels sorry for him. Thinking that she’d kill two birds with one stone, Alex agrees to the proposal. Now, the only problem is how does she prevent herself from falling madly in love with Jay when the way he looks at her makes her heart tremble and his touches set her body on fire?


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7. Chapter 6

The room suddenly felt awfully small and the air so thick Alex had to sit down and take deep, slow breaths to calm herself.

It’s done. She had agreed to Jayden’s proposal, and her stomach still hadn’t stopped fluttering. She wondered what it would be like to live with her Mr. Hot-Choc for two long weeks and to see him every single day.

Oh, shoot! Had she just referred to Jayden as her Mr. Hot-Choc? Oh God! What was she thinking?

Shaking her head at her silly thought, she rushed up and busied herself trying to find clothes for a quick shower. As she headed to the bathroom, she shouted, “Mum, I’m going out for dinner tonight.”

“Will you be late home?” her mother asked from the kitchen.

“No, I won’t. I’m only going to the Thompsons’,” she replied.

“Great, say hi to them for me, won’t you? Oh, we’ll have to give them some of our lettuces and silver beet.”

“Yeah, sure. I’ll pick them after my shower.”

“Don’t worry. I’ll do it.”

“Okay,” Alex shouted and then shut the door. When she was out and ready to leave, her mum grabbed her attention. “Don’t forget this.”

Alex got the plastic bag full of lettuce and silver beet as she said, “Thanks, Mum.” She glanced at her dad in the La-Z-Boy chair, now reading the Otago Daily Times. His face wasn’t as pale as before.

“Bye, Dad.”

Jacob looked over to his daughter. “Drive safely, won’t you?”

“You know I do,” she commented and came over to kiss him on the cheek.

“Good girl.”

“Hey, I want to come,” Emma said over the many scattered papers and science books on the dining table. Her dark curls were in a wild mess, and her brown eyes were sparkling with hope as she looked at Alex.

“No, you may not. They only invited me. There will not be enough food for everyone if you come along.” Alex teased.

Tim, his eyes narrowed as he glanced at his younger sister, said, “Get back to your homework, missy. Otherwise, you won’t get into Uni with your laziness. All you think about is food.”

Emma poked her tongue at her brother, telling him to bugger off. Then turning back to Alex, she said, “I don’t eat that much. I’ve been told I’m too thin anyway.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Alex mumbled. She turned to her mom and gave the woman a peck on the cheek. “Love you.”

“Love you, sweetheart,” Mali said.

Ten minutes later, Alex parked her Toyota Corolla in front of the Thompsons’ house and got out. She rushed to the door and rang the bell. As she waited, she gazed at the beautiful view before her.

The Thompsons’ house sat on top of a great hill that overlooked the harbor and the city below. On days like this one, though slightly breezy and cold, the view was spectacular. There was the turquoise blue of the glistening water, the dark blue of the clear sky above with the occasional clouds scattering here and there, and the stunning green of the hills with dots of houses on the other side.

The door opened. Alex glanced up, smiling and expecting to greet one of the Thompsons. But it was not any of the Thompsons who stood there at the door, grinning down at her. It was Jayden.

Her heart missed a beat.

“Hey there,” she said cheerfully. “What are ya doing here?”

Jay, with his greeting smile still fixed on his face, said, “I’m staying here for a little while. Love the view.”

Alex nodded in agreement. “Yeah, Waverly’s great.”

She waited for him to take a step back to let her through the door, but he didn’t budge. He just stood there looking down at her from his great height. She made an attempt to enter through anyway and ended up squeezing herself between him and the side of the door.

She glanced up at him as she passed, her face red because he was so close to her that she could feel him. She could feel his warm breath on her skin and his muscular chest brushing against the side of her arm. Once she passed the threshold of the house, she bent down to take off her shoes.

“Alex, that you?” Margaret’s loud voice came from the living room.

“Yes. Hi, Margaret,” Alex said, shooting up as she did so.

Bam! She collided with Jay.

“Sorry,” he said, grinning at her, and his face seemed to be moving closer to her.

Alex smiled apologetically and stroked her fingers through her hair. “That’s okay,” she managed to say, avoiding his eyes as she walked into the living area, with Jay following close behind her.

“Oh, my dear, I haven’t seen you for such a long time,” Margaret said as she came around the bench, her arms wide open. She hugged Alex, patting the girl’s back as she did so.

“Sorry, I was quite busy with work and all,” Alex explained, moving back. “Here, it’s from Mum.” She handed Margaret the bag filled with lettuces and silver beets. “Mum said hi.”

“Well, she doesn’t have to do that. Tell her I say hi back and thank you for these.” She gestured to the bag in her hand. “What would you like to drink, honey?” she asked as they both walk into the kitchen.

“Ribena would be good, thanks,” Alex replied, watching Jay, who was now on the other side of the spacious, modern living room, picking up his bottle of beer.

“Ribena? You got it,” Margaret said, opening her large stainless steel fridge door.

That was better—seeing him sitting on the other side of the room made her feel better. Space. She needed space. She needed to breathe properly.

She left her satchel on the bar and then took off her jacket. Margaret handed her a glass of Ribena.

“Thanks,” she said, taking the cool glass in her hands. “How come Jay’s staying here?”

Margaret glanced up with raised brows. “You know each other, huh?”

“I met him at the hospital. Peter was there with him.”

“Peter thought Jay needed company and a change,” Margaret said as she took out the roasted pork and vegetables from the oven. She grunted as she carried the hot, heavy tray across the small space and placed it on the chopping block. “Why don’t you set the table, dear?” She started picking out the roasted potatoes, kumara, and carrots, and put them into a large serving bowl.

“Sure,” Alex replied, put down her drink on the bench, and proceed to roll up her sleeves. “Smells delicious,” she commented. Then she shook her hair and tucked the strands behind her ear so they were out of her face. “Where are the plates?”

“Behind you,” Margaret replied without looking up from her pork.

Alex nodded and turned. “Shoot!” She gasped as she felt a hard body against her.

Jayden caught her arm with one hand to steady her. He placed the now-empty bottle onto the benchtop as he searched her face.

She glanced up, and her heart started to beat faster. Oh, God, he was touching her. Then she felt something wet about her breasts. She glanced down and saw her jersey was soaked with a dark liquid.

“You all right?” Jay asked in concern, still searching her face, his body way too close for her comfort.

“Sorry, I didn’t see you behind me.”

Margaret looked up from her pork. “Just an accident. Why don’t you clean up before dinner, Alex?”

Alex turned to smile at Margaret. “Yeah, I’ll do that. Excuse me.” Then she squeezed herself between Jay, who didn’t seem to notice she needed some room and wouldn’t move an inch, and the bench.

Once Alex left, Jay said, “I think she’s upset with me.”

“Oh?” Margaret looked at him.

“I better go and see how she’s doing since I’m the culprit.” Jay grinned gingerly and left the kitchen.

Margaret smiled and went about preparing their dinner, humming to herself.

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