Home > Always My Babygirl : A Billionaire Romance

Always My Babygirl : A Billionaire Romance
Author: Jane Henry

 

Chapter One

 

 

Gabriel Lord

 

I stare at the line of monitors on my office wall.

Cycling.

Weights.

Private Training.

Cardio.

Pool.

Sauna.

And then I see her. She’s wearing her signature hot pink leggings and skin-tight black top. She’s twenty-nine years old, has a kick-ass figure, blue eyes with light tinges of violet in them, and ice-blonde hair that makes her look like an angel.

Fuck, she’s so gorgeous. She moves with purpose and elegance, her bright eyes taking in everything around her. She smiles at the help desk and hands Penny something wrapped in a napkin.

I grin to myself.

Is that a homemade muffin? She never eats them, but sometimes brings them in for the others.

Fucking adorable.

She waves to the clean-up crew. Hell, I don’t even know their names. But she does. She knows every damn one of them.

On she goes, greeting each person who sweeps the floor, wipes down the treadmills, refills the paper towels in the restrooms. There’s a brightness about her that glows like the Vegas lights.

I’ve run some details on her, just the basics. Nothing too intrusive. I know where she went to college, and that she graduated summa cum laude from a college here in Nevada. She’s got her MBA in business administration, but the name of the business she runs is somehow off record. A well-kept secret, I suppose.

I’ll find it out.

She alternates spin and lifting, but occasionally meets a friend for a yoga class, a short blonde with curly hair named Katie. She’s here nearly every damn day, and it shows.

I know she lives nearby, so close she can walk here. Sometimes at the end of her day, she comes back in the evening to use the sauna. To relax, unwind. I’ve seen the tension leave her face as she sinks down into the jets. It’s like this is her private sanctuary or something.

She keeps protein bars and bottled water in her locker. The protein bars are mostly ignored. The water she drinks from a glass bottle with a lilac sleeve.

Alright, so I might be a little on the obsessive side. But it’s harmless, really. I’m just… fascinated by her.

I watch as she goes to cycling class, and frown as she sways a little. I’m on my feet, taking an involuntary step toward the camera before I know it.

Is she alright?

I didn’t see her eat one of the protein bars before her workout. I doubt she treated herself to a muffin. Is she hungry? Dehydrated? Or am I too obsessed and the woman’s just fine?

I watch her take her class, but today, something seems... off. I swear she doesn’t look right. Even with the dimmed lights in the spinning studio, her face looks a bit pale, her complexion haggard. This isn’t like her.

I pace my office, thinking of an excuse to barge in there and interrupt her class.

Declined credit card.

Question about membership.

Fire alarm?

But before I can make a decision, I watch in sickening horror as she collapses right there off the bike, falling to the floor. There are screams from the studio as my office door slams behind me.

 

 

Chapter Two

 

 

Miranda

“Faster! Faster! He’s after us! He’s just over that hill and you know what he’ll do to us if he catches us.”

Tori’s hair flies behind her as she rides like a demon straight out of hell. A strand loosens from her ponytail and it clings to her cheek, her skin red and damp from exertion. Her words send a surge of adrenaline through me. I press my feet into the pedals of the bike and rise on my feet to mimic her stance. Lifting and dropping each knee one torturous push at a time, I ride as hard as I can. My heart hammers against the cage of my ribs, threatening to pump right out of my body. My hands wrap tighter around the bars of the bike, slick with sweat.

She pumps a fist in the air. “Go! Go! Over this hill. Give it all you’ve got. Now follow me—let’s cross that bridge. Don’t give up now. Faster! We’ll lose everything we’ve worked for if he gets to us.”

Glancing down at the screen that’s attached to my bike handles, I see we’ve got another mile to go in this class. A chocolate covered vampire inches up from the bottom corner. It’s The Calorie Count, stalking us from behind. If he gets to us, he’ll dump a pack of double chocolate chip macaroons on us, wiping our entire calorie count from the screen.

Totally fake, but still motivating as hell. Seeing that hard earned 300 cal burned erase to zero—it’s devastating.

The figures on the monitor look blurry. I wipe the sweat from my brow and narrow my vision.

I’m getting tired.

I feel slower than usual today. My can do anything attitude seems just out of my grasp, no matter how deep I dig. I raise my eyes from the screen, scanning around the room.

They switch the black lights on. The dark room is suddenly a sea of neon designer sports bras, highlighted hair, and freakishly bright white smiles. I can feel the grimace etching on my face. I close my eyes, try to tune out the thumping music that blares through the speakers.

I feel… off. Lightheaded. Fatigued. Nauseous.

Maybe I should have skipped the second espresso and opted for a real breakfast. But I can’t slow down my pace. I can’t let this bike, this silly screen, this chocolate monster… I can’t let them beat me.

I can’t let anything overpower me.

Not again.

“Let’s go! Let’s go! Come on girls, ride harder. Give me everything you’ve got!” Tori’s chirpy lisp swirls around in my head.

But now, they are jumbling… fading… disappearing.

My mind is clouds. The brightness of the neon’s dull as the room grows darker. I feel as if I’m floating, tipping, falling.

There’s a strange sensation of a dull thud as my head hits the floor. But I feel no pain, my mind seems disconnected from my body. The echo of screams fills the room.

A woman stands over me, her face a mask of terror as her eyes widen. Sweat runs down her décolletage and I find myself watching the beads as they disappear into her sports bra. Her mouth opens, the whites of her eyes and her teeth are an inhuman white beneath the blacklights as she screams, “Miranda!”

That’s… my name.

The world goes totally dark.

When I come to, my mouth feels like cotton. My head aches. I’ve no idea where I am.

I open my eyes. And I know I’ve died and gone to heaven. Because I’m looking straight into a bright white beam of light.

There’s a figure dressed in white, hazy behind the light. Is it God?

He’s peering into my eyes with an annoyingly bright flashlight. Strange. His lips form a thin line as he moves his inspection to my other eye.

I take a closer look at him… wait… is that a white… lab coat? What I mistook for the keys of the pearly gates are a stethoscope hanging from his neck.

This is no celestial being. This is a doctor. Am I sick?

I’m not dead.

I'm very much alive.

What am I wearing? A papery blue gown. I pull the neckline forward, only to discover I’m totally nude beneath the thin material.

So, moms aren’t kidding when they tell you to wear clean underwear because you never know when you’ll be in an accident. Good thing I wasn’t wearing any? I picture a nurse peeling the sweaty spandex cropped leggings from my body then decide against thinking about how I came to be naked.

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