14 You Agree
FINALLY.Hannah had peace and quiet.
It had been a couple of days since she last saw Drew Montgomery, but she hadn't been able to get him out of her head. What in the world could he need from her?
What did it matter? He was a jerk to her ten years ago, and now, he was even more of a jerk.
Dressed in a loose pair of shorts and an oversized t-shirt that hung off one shoulder, she plopped down on the sofa and propped her feet on the ottoman. She clicked on Netflix, scrolling to the latest episode of Sherlock.
Soon the pizza guy would be here. Then she could carb it up to her heart's content and drool over the leading man. Maybe even forget the piles of bills on her kitchen counter that grew higher each day.
What she needed to do something about, was the ninety thousand dollars in student loans she still owed. It was like an albatross around her neck, preventing her from ever getting anywhere or buying anything special—like a reliable car that spent more time out of the shop than in it.
The doorbell rang.
She scrambled off the sofa, pressing pause and tossing the remote on the ottoman.
It rang again while she searched her purse for a tip. "Coming!" After snagging some money, she jogged to the front door and opened it. "Just in ti—"
"I'm done playing games, Hannah."
She narrowed her eyes. "Are you seriously stalking me?"
Drew held up his hands, his tie askew and his hair standing up in places, like he'd run his hand through it. He looked ... frazzled, but she didn't give a damn. "I tried to be ... nice about this, but you owe me."
"I owe you nothing." She started to shut the door in his face, but he shoved his foot in at the last second, blocking the motion. "Move."
"Just open the door, Hannah, and hear me out."
"Then you'll leave?"
With a growl, she opened the door and he wedged half his body against it. "Dude, you're not coming inside."
"Won't take another step until you say so."
A car drove slowly past her house. Super. That was all she needed, some nosy nelly blabbing to the world about the man stuck in her front door.
"Like I was saying." He pulled a yellow piece of paper from an inside pocket of his jacket and held it out. "You owe me."
She stared at the three letters written in bold: IOU
Her heart fluttered and her stomach flipped. "I don't know what that is ..."
"Of course, you do." He smirked. "It's an IOU, for me, from you."
"I don't remember ever giving you one of those." She lied and felt her cheeks heating. "That doesn't even look like my handwriting."
"In that case," he said, unfolding it and holding it closer to her face, "take a look for yourself."
On the wrinkled paper were familiar words from her past, written in her undeniable, super curly handwriting.
I, Hannah Miller, promise to never go swimming alone again, and I promise to never change.
I also promise to give Drew Montgomery whatever he wants, whenever he wants, (one time only) in the future, in exchange for saving my life.
This is an official I.O.U., hereby signed by Hannah Miller.
He flipped it over again and ran his fingers over her handwriting. It didn't look to be a copy, and she couldn't believe he'd kept that note for all these years.
"Hannah Coral Miller—that's your signature." He smiled.
"We were kids, Drew. This deal doesn't mean anything."
"A deal is a deal," he said. "If it weren't for me, you wouldn't even be standing here right now. You'd be six feet under the ground. I'm way overdue for my favor, don't you think?"
"Fine ..." she said on a groan. "What do you need?"
"I need you to give me whatever I want, just like the IOU says."
Okay, this has to be a joke. She laughed. "Ask one of your ex-girlfriends. I'm sure they'd love to help you out."
"You're my last option."
Imagine that."Ask Alexis George."
"I did that already." He grimaced. "Like I said, you're my last option."
"Why didn't you say that up front?" She placed her hand over her heart. " Gee, now that I know that ...Yes, Drew you can have anything you want, since I'm your last resort. Be serious."
"I'm very real and very serious."
With a roll of her eyes, she attempted to slam the door in his face, but he made it impossible by firmly holding it in place. "Move, you oaf."
"Let me inside, so we can talk."
"Do you have a special inside voice that will somehow change my mind?"
"I have been accused of having a silver tongue."
"More like a forked tongue."
"That, too," he agreed.
She eyed him in open confusion. "There is something seriously wrong with you."
"Look, I don't have time for this. My dad is ready to retire and for me to take over the company."
Hannah tilted her head to one side. "That's what you needed to tell me?"
"I don't have time to play games." She pushed at his arm. "If you don't move, I'll call the police."
He muttered a curse. "You just can't be reasonable, can you?"
"I've been more than reasonable by not calling the cops before now," she pointed out. "You have exactly three seconds to tell me the real reason you keeping showing up."
"Just say yes, first."
He glared at her.
She gave him a dazzling smile in return. "Two."
"Just wait a fucking minute."
"I need to get married, so I can take control of my family's company."
"You mean, he wants you to make some poor woman miserable?" She shot back.
His mouth quirked. "Only temporarily. I swear to make it worth your while."
"My while? You mean that's the favor you want from me?" Oh my Lord. "You're out of your mind." He had to be. Who showed up on someone's doorstep in the middle of dinner ... and at her place of employment ... and at her favorite coffee shop?
Oh shit. He was telling her the truth.
"Possibly. Actually, I am out of my mind."
"You really know how to charm a girl." She waved a hand in front of her face. "I'm so into you right now."
He grimaced. "Listen, I'll give you millions and you'll never have to work another day. All you have to do is marry me, make my father believe that we're really married, and after he signs everything over, you're free to go."
She pressed a hand against her heart. "Aw, Drew. That's the most romantic proposal ever. My grandparents will love to hear about this."
"Does that mean you agree?"
"Do you really think I'm so easily swayed by money?"
"With all the debt you have? Hell, yes, you should be swayed by money." He shook his head. "To sweeten the deal, I'll give The Majestic Dunes' net profits to your grandparents. All their medical bills would disappear forever."
He had a point and she was tempted. He was like the snake in the Garden of Eden, offering her the easy way out, when she knew it would lead to nothing but destruction. "I don—"
"How about sleeping on my offer for a week before you make your final decision."
"I don't need a week. I know the answer right now."
"I'm serious," he said, looking somewhat genuine. "Meet me at Fortune next Sunday and let me know your decision either way. That's what I want from your IOU. Your decision."
"And if I show up and tell you that I'm not interested?"
He shrugged. "Then you won't hear from me again ... and you'll still be drowning in debt."
"How do you know I'm in ... Go away, Drew."
He stepped back. "The choice is yours, Hannah."