PLAYBOY'S BABY (Billionaire Bad Boy Romance) - Mia Carson
“Please don’t let me be late. I don’t want to take the next train,” I mumbled to myself as I increased my pace. I virtually ran from the cab to the train station, my mind alight with panicked thoughts. Always anal about time, I was obsessed with the fear of being late. I was returning home to Brooklyn from Philadelphia after graduating from college to plan this anniversary, which wasn’t on my ideal list of things to do, but I loved my parents and had to save money while I decided on my next step in life—whatever that step might be.
“I hope I figure everything out,” I muttered. I was good at prioritizing, but for some reason, having to deal with the anniversary and my own undecided future seemed doubly daunting. I wanted to run and hide. Regardless, I was going home to do something vitally important—something I had to do because I cared.
Thus far, I had only been home on breaks due to my hectic school schedule, but my parents had come to see me often. The thought of home was hazy, although every time I managed the trip nothing had changed. I, on the other hand, had changed so much during college it was hard to imagine everything at home was exactly the same as it had been growing up.
I approached the ticket booth and fumbled for my ticket, which I’d filed carefully in my wallet. I handed it to a lady who looked eerily like my elementary education professor.
“Sasha. What a pretty name,” she commented with a smile. I could see the reflection of my tired face in her big glasses. Looking at her was almost painful because it reminded me of Professor McCotti barking about finals, which had thankfully just ended. I’d also finished my teaching internship with excellent results, much to my satisfaction.
“Thank you,” I replied.
“And you’re on your way to Penn Station, New York,” she muttered, fumbling with the computer.
“Yes. Oh, and I also have a student discount!” I exclaimed.
“Okay, just a second,” she answered and continued mumbling to herself. “Here you go. I’m sure Philly will miss you.” She handed me my ticket.
I nearly ripped it out of her hand in my excitement. I wanted to get to the train as quickly as I could, and I made my way down the long corridor to the waiting room, hoping this Amtrak ride would be a better experience than my previous ones. I always encountered the oddest people and the strangest situations. Once this dude told me about his son for the whole ride just to look at me, bewildered, when I asked his son’s name as we disembarked. That kind of craziness was hard for me to process, and the train ride never gave me the space I needed to think about my life.
Speaking of process, I had to go to the bathroom and knew better than to use the ones on the train. I looked for the nearest one, dodging the cleaning cart parked outside. Luckily, it had been recently cleaned, because for an admitted clean-freak like me, this was very important.
I tried to ignore the other women in the bathroom and quickly handled my business. I washed my hands, looking in the mirror. My dark hazel eyes stared back at me, framed by my shoulder-length hair, which I tied back as I looked in the mirror. I had recently gotten my hair cut in a side-bangs style and really liked the way it fell. I wore my skull t-shirt and skinny jeans with black combat boots. Now that I was out of school, I had the summer to look as unprofessional as possible. My usual gothic attire did not blend well in the school setting, and I was constantly forced to look appropriate.
“Attention, all Amtrak passengers. The train to New York Penn Station is now boarding.”
“Crap,” I muttered. I dried my hands hastily on my pants and grabbed my bag, making my weary way to the train, ready to be done with the day already. I had a strange anxiety that I would miss the train—as if it would just disappear and I’d have to wait for another one.
I dodged a sea of people, some of whom who were walking far too slowly. Definitely not city-dwellers, I decided irritably. I was out of breath by the time I got to the train, the back of my neck simmering with sweat from the warm, crowded station.
The conductor looked sleepy and uninterested, as