A Double Dose of Billionaire: Part Four

By: Rachel Ellis

I curled under the blankets, hiding myself from the rest of the world.

“Come on, Scarlet,” Kristie said, trying to tear the sheets off. “You’ve got to snap out of this.”

I snatched a tissue from the bedside. “My life has come to ruin. Leave me alone to die.”

“I’m not taking any more of this.” She pulled on the blanket with all her strength. I let my guard down, allowing her to remove it from my hands. It slipped down my bed. Stubborn and refusing to face reality, I shoved my head under my pillow and covered myself with its safe warmth.

She shook my shoulder. “You’ve been having nothing but smoothies for the last week. Your whole house is a giant elephant of a mess, and you stink. Come on! Get the hell up.”

I sat up, like she asked me to, and groaned. “Why can’t you just leave me be?”

“Because I’m me and you’re Scarlet. Go take a shower, darn it. You smell and look like crap. When was the last time you combed your hair?”

Absentmindedly, I brought my fingers to my hair. It had bundled into a frizzy mess of oiliness. “Three days ago. It’s not that big of a deal.”

“Three days? Seriously? Stop being disgusting. Keep yourself together, sweetheart, and forget about those assholes.”

Her mentioning Ryan and Riley made me want to hide under the blanket again. I hadn’t heard a sound from them since last week. The last time I heard from them was when I was at their place, shortly after they found the pictures. They were kicking me out at that time. At the office, they had found some strange pictures of me making out with their business partners on their desk—nothing of that sort had happened. How that came about continued to be a mystery.

The twins put it subtly when they asked me to leave, saying they needed time to breathe. Without much of an explanation, they got their helpers to pack my things. They said I could keep Tyrone’s services for as long as I wanted, and deposited some money into my bank account after abruptly laying me off. I haven’t checked how much yet, but probably some exorbitant amount. They offered to get me a new apartment to get away from the paparazzi, but I declined. I didn’t want to be thrown into somewhere so unfamiliar.

What scared me the most was that I could possibly never see them again.

What if that was it? Asking me to leave was their way to tell me they were breaking up with me. The more I thought about it, the more real it felt.

I blew my nose into the Kleenex. “Fuck those assholes.”

“Yeah, screw them,” Kristie agreed, placing both her hands on her hips.

I nodded. “Yeah. We should forget about them.”

I held back a cry, but not for very long. Within a few seconds, I was bawling into the tissue. Breakups totally sucked. And what did we break up for? Some fabricated lie backed up by false, yet convincing, evidence? It wasn’t worth it. Not one bit.

“I’m going to call them,” I said, taking out my phone.

She snatched the device away and threw it to the side of my bed. “Nuh uh.” She clicked her tongue against her teeth and gave me a disappointed look. “Did you forget what you said one minute ago? Forget about them. Get active. Do something to get yourself to stop thinking about those jerks.”

I glanced at the phone and sighed. “Like what?”

“I’ll take you out for lunch. We can go watch a movie, or visit the casino. Whatever works.”

“The casino? Now you’re talking.” I wiggled my eyebrows. I hardly gambled, but that sounded like a fun idea. I hadn’t been there for a few years. “Give me thirty minutes to get ready.” I shouldn’t let my life revolve around them.

“Oh, shut up, gorgeous. You don’t need any time.”

“Are you serious? I look like Soviet Russia nuked both my eyelids.”

***

The stakes were high.

I pushed all my chips to the center of the table. It always looked cool in the movies, and felt even cooler when I did it for real. “All in.”

Kristie made a soft gasp next to me. “Seriously? That’s five freaking thousand dollars.”

“Don’t worry, I got this.” The Luck God apparently favored me, because I drew a straight flush. What were the chances?

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