From Fake to Forever

By: Kat Cantrell
One


Normally, a surprise trip to Manhattan ranked high on Meredith Chandler-Harris’s list of Really Cool Things. A visit to one of the most highly respected fashion houses in the world hit the list even higher than that. Having to tell the man she’d spent two years trying to forget that they were married, not so much. It pretty much ruined Manhattan, fashion and—hell, even martinis.

That had been Jason’s drink.

Meredith shifted as unobtrusively as possible on the leather couch as she waited for the receptionist to admit her to the inner sanctum of Jason Lynhurst, chief operating officer of Lyn Couture. Who was also Meredith’s husband. Apparently.

“Mr. Lynhurst will see you now,” the receptionist called in her frostiest voice.

Meredith always got frosty from women, who were largely unforgiving of the assets God had bestowed on her at birth. And she especially expected frosty from a woman who’d tried not-so-politely to show Meredith the door. She obviously had no clue who she was dealing with.

Lyn Couture bustled beyond the reception area, with sharply dressed men and women engaged in a myriad of tasks. Fascinated, Meredith craned her neck to peek at chalk outlines of sleek outfits stenciled on parchment and fabric swatches laid out on cluttered desks.

This was where the alchemy of fashion and style converged. It was enough to make a woman giddy. She adored everything about clothes: buying them, wearing them, owning them, matching them. But to a woman who wanted to buy half of her sister’s wedding-dress-design company, Lyn Couture was so much more than a place of business—this was a mecca for like-minded people.

Even Meredith had a pair of Lyn jeans. Of course, she hadn’t known who Jason was when she’d caught his eye across the dance floor at that club in Vegas. She’d only known that he moved like a man comfortable in his own body and had cheekbones to spare. And she’d wanted a piece of him. Only to learn two years later she’d bitten off a much bigger piece than she’d ever dreamed.

Curious gazes swung in Meredith’s direction as she followed Frosty Receptionist to the corner office.

“Mr. Lynhurst?” the receptionist called through the open door. “Your visitor is here.”

Mr. Lynhurst. Please. That man had done more wicked things to Meredith in one weekend than all the men since then...combined. Much to her chagrin. Wasn’t there one who could make her forget the perfection of the man who had rocked her world so very long ago?

“Thanks, hon. I’ll take it from here.” Meredith skirted the receptionist and swept into the office as if she owned it because that’s how you got people’s attention.

And she needed Jason’s attention. Because she had to talk him into a quiet divorce. Immediately. It was the only way she’d be able to stomach approaching her father about a loan so she could buy into her sister’s business.

Plus, she wasn’t ready to be married, to Jason or anyone. Not until she figured out who she was going to be when she grew up. That was why in the cold light of morning, the Las Vegas-style marriage ceremony from the night before had seemed like the opposite of a good idea. The paperwork was never supposed to be filed, but here she was. Married to Jason.

The man in question sat behind a glass desk, modern and sharp. Much like the man. As their gazes collided...and held...her breath stuttered. Oh, yeah. That was why no man in existence could erase Jason from her mind.

Those cheekbones. To die for. Artfully messed-up spiky pale blond hair, begging for her fingers to slide through it as she pulled him down for a scorching kiss. Witty, sensual and, God Almighty, he listened when she talked. Men rarely glanced above Meredith’s shoulders, but Jason had asked her opinions, accepted her thoughts.

He was the man she’d compared to all other men and found them lacking. And two years hadn’t diminished his potency in the slightest.

Jason rose from behind his desk, mouthwatering in a slim dark suit likely conceived, created and cut yards from his office.

“Meredith. You look well.” If she’d surprised him with this unexpected visit, he kept it from his smooth voice.

“Thanks for seeing me on short notice.” Well, wasn’t this pleasant? Two people reacquainting themselves, who’d never thought they’d lay eyes on each other again. No point in beating around the bush. “We have a problem. The more quickly and quietly we can resolve it, the better.”

A shield snapped over his expression. “I sincerely hope you are not about to tell me you got pregnant and are just now getting around to mentioning it to me.”

What kind of woman did he take her for? She tamped back the ire. They really didn’t know each other very well. Their wild weekend in Vegas had been about being at a crossroads, not about finding a lifelong mate.

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