Home > Billionaire Unbound ~ Chloe (The Billionaire's Obsession #8)(2)

Billionaire Unbound ~ Chloe (The Billionaire's Obsession #8)(2)
Author: J.S. Scott

Chloe had supported James’s dream, both emotionally and financially, helping him establish his own office and practice. Still, he didn’t seem happy and often acted like he was stressed out and unhappy. After he’d admitted that he didn’t feel organized, she’d convinced Ellie to give up her current position to join James’s practice as an office manager. Her friend was starting her new job next week.

Maybe it will help James feel less pressure. Maybe then he’ll be a nicer person. Ellie’s brilliant. She’ll help him get organized. I just have to be more patient.

She wondered absently if it was her or James who had changed since she’d come back to Rocky Springs. They’d spent the entire summer together before she’d left for college, and they’d spent stolen time together during their years in school. He’d ask her to marry him after her second year of undergraduate work, and she’d happily accepted, convinced that no other man would ever love her like James did. She’d been over the moon back then, but things had been tense ever since she’d returned home and they’d spent more and more time together.

Things will get better. I’m still trying to find my place professionally in Rocky Springs and James’s practice is slow and disorganized. It’s normal for him to be uptight right now.

Chloe just wished his unkind words about her dress making her look fat weren’t still ringing in her head.

She sat down at the kitchen table and reached for a delicious-looking chocolate pastry without conscious thought, taking a large bite as she contemplated how different their relationship seemed now that they were both finally back in town for good. James had been nagging her about her weight since she’d returned, and it had gotten worse with every pound she’d gained. His excuse was always that it didn’t look good for his image as a physician to have a fiancée who was overweight.

Chloe finished the pastry before she even realized she was consuming it.

“Shit!” she cursed aloud, wiping her chocolate-stained, guilty fingers on a napkin. Old habits die hard. She wasn’t used to watching every single thing she put in her mouth.

If James caught her with chocolate, the consequences she’d pay for the pastry she’d just consumed wouldn’t be good.

Chloe wiped at the stains harder, her heart racing at the thought of James coming to find her right at the moment not a pleasant thought.

I need to get rid of the evidence!

“It’s just chocolate. It washes off.” The low, lazy Texas drawl sounded from the entrance to the kitchen, startling her so much that she let out a short squeal.

It wasn’t James, thank God. In fact, the voice was one she recognized all too well.

Gabriel Walker!

Chloe looked in the direction of the husky male voice that never failed to make her shudder in reaction. Gabe Walker had the sexiest voice on the planet. The baritone, along with his lingering Texas accent, always made a shiver skitter down her spine. The inherent kindness in his beautiful green eyes drew her, too.

Why does he have to be so damn hot? It really seems unfair that he has to be so handsome and so nice.

She’d known him since childhood; she’d really noticed him after she’d returned to Rocky Springs. He’d grown up in Texas, but Gabe’s father had been close to Chloe’s, and they’d spent summers in Rocky Springs. Gabe and her brother, Blake, had become best friends. After Gabe’s father and mother had died, he’d sold most of his father’s assets and moved to Rocky Springs. He had a horse ranch outside of town, and Chloe had to admit he bred some amazing animals, horses she’d love to have as four-legged patients. She was familiar with some of the horses he’d acquired, and they were amazing equines.

The Billionaire Cowboy.

People razzed Gabe sometimes because he’d given up his interests in the oil business and cattle ranching to move to Colorado and breed horses in a small mountain community. Honestly, people could say what they wanted about his lack of interest in pursuits that would make him much more money. Personally, Chloe admired him. Gabe didn’t need to do a single thing with his life since he was already wealthy, even wealthier than she was, but he chose to do what he wanted to do, and he was reputed to be an amazing breeder and trainer. He was simply a very wealthy man who wasn’t afraid to get dirty doing exactly what he loved.

“I’m not upset about the stains exactly,” Chloe admitted as she got up and went to the sink to wash her hands.

I’m only afraid James will know I was scarfing down chocolate.

“What made you mad then, darlin’?” he asked curiously, moving slowly to her side.

He got close, so close that she could smell his whiskey-laden breath as it wafted over her temple.

“I shouldn’t have eaten that pastry. I’m sure it had about a gazillion calories,” she answered unhappily as she dried her hands with a paper towel, trying not to react to the heat radiating from his body.

Gabe was so big, tall, and muscular that he almost made her feel small. He probably had the broadest shoulders she’d ever seen, and an attitude that there was nothing he couldn’t handle. Gabe oozed a sense of being comfortable with exactly who he was, and that impressed Chloe more than anything.

I wonder if he’s ever afraid of anything.

“It’s not like you need to worry about that,” Gabe answered huskily. “You’re perfect.”

Chloe turned, her eyes widening as she looked up into Gabe’s startling jade-colored eyes. Her breath caught as she drank him in, his expression completely sincere. He’d left off his usual cowboy hat, and he was dressed in a gorgeous, gray, custom-made suit. As usual, his short dark-brown hair was mussed just enough to make her wonder if this was the way he looked when he rolled out of bed in the morning. On Gabe, the look was incredibly seductive and sexy.

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