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The Book Shop Girl and The Billionaire: Epilogue


Five months later…


“I love you, Mrs Hardcastle.”

“I love you too, Mr Hardcastle,” Claire murmured against her husband’s mouth even as she wriggled against the steel construction crane he called a cock.

It probably wasn’t the smartest idea, teasing Luke that way when they were in the middle of their first dance together as husband and wife, all eyes on them as they spun across the floor, but she couldn’t help herself. Knowing he wanted sex as much as she did brought out her naughty side.

He only had himself to blame.

Not that Luke seemed to mind being teased. He grinned, even as he groaned and grabbed her arse, pulled her tighter against his thick erection. “Fuck, sweetness, I can’t wait to get you out of here and on my jet.”

She grinned back. “On your jet, huh? Is that what we’re calling it these days?”

Luke laughed, then pressed the sweetest kiss to her lips. “Cheeky woman,” he murmured, then pressed his cheek to hers and kept dancing.

By the end of the song, the dance floor was full of wedding guests and idle chatter and Claire’s mind drifted, the gentle swaying of her husband’s—God, she loved calling him that—body against hers and the strength of his arms wrapped around her making her feel safe enough to explore her thoughts in peace.

Her life had changed so much in the last few months, and all for the better.

Sandra, Luke’s ex-assistant, had been unceremoniously fired. Lottie and Karen had actually taken lawn chairs and popcorn to Luke’s office so they could watch the awful woman’s departure from the building. Claire had declined to join them, certain she’d be unable to resist the urge to slap the little twit for hurting her family. Last they’d heard she was working in a cafe in Melbourne.

Chris Marx tried suing Luke for punching him in the face, until Luke’s team of lawyers reminded the douchebag that they had video evidence of him sexually assaulting Claire at the quays. Not to mention allegations of blackmail, coercion and invasion of privacy. He dropped the suit so fast it was laughable.

And then there was Amanda.

The morning after the ball, the local news was dominated by their fight and the revelations that had come from it. She’d been audited a week later, and arrested a month after that, charged with manipulation of the market, corporate espionage and intimidation. And pending further evidence, she could be facing insider trading charges too.

She’d been let go on bail, pending her trial, but her accounts had been frozen, her passport seized and no one was taking her calls anymore. Amanda Morse was done.

Luke’s legal team had managed to get Claire’s trust fund released though, which meant she’d been able to pay Luke back for her house, and hired a team of renovators to finish fixing up the old girl. She’d even had security cameras installed, because after announcing their engagement, the paparazzi had returned in full force.

When it all got to be too much, Luke moved Claire into his penthouse, and Claire now rented the house to Karen. Which reminded her….

“So, how much do you want to bet Karen and Edward hook up while we’re gone?”

Luke chuckled and smiled down at her. “You’re so certain they will?”

She cocked one brow. “Are you not?”

Luke’s eyes narrowed in a look Claire knew well, calculating and devious. “One thousand dollars. That’s my bet.”

Claire sighed and threw him a look of mock-pity. “Like stealing candy from a baby.”

“Speaking of babies,” Luke said, guiding Claire back to the bridal table. “Let’s not overdo it on the dance floor. I need you to save your energy for later.”

“I’m pregnant, not an invalid,” she murmured so no one would overhear them. They hadn’t gone public with their happy news just yet. “I can dance and have sex.”

“And I look forward to seeing your moves in action,” he said, one corner of his sensuous mouth lifting in another grin. “Just as soon as I get you on my… jet.”

“You’re incorrigible,” she laughed, then tugged him close again and smothered his grin with one of her own, kissed her husband long and deep.

“I love you,” he whispered against her lips when they finally came up for air. “Both of you,” he added, sliding his big, strong hand across her belly.

“I love you, too,” Claire replied, adding her hand to Luke’s. “Both of you.”

“Forever?” he asked, leaning his forehead against hers.

“Forever,” she agreed, knowing she meant it with every fibre of her soul.

mind the gap

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