The billionaires obsessi.., p.2
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       The Billionaire's Obsession, p.2
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         Part #1 of An Heir At Any Price series by Holly Rayner
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  That was another dreaded question to me. What did I like to do? I wasn’t even sure anymore. I never did anything but work and take care of my mother who had no hobbies of her own besides lifting a glass to her lips and a bottle to her glass.

  “I mostly just work, and read,” I told him.

  “Okay but do this for me, picture yourself at a place in your life where you don’t have to work so much, and your choices are so much more wide open than reading, what would you like to do?”

  I thought about that and then I said, “Well, I love horses. I don’t get much of a chance to see them in real life, but when I was a kid, we lived next to an elderly couple who had horses that they weren’t able to ride any longer. The man, I called him “Grandpa,” he taught me how to take care of them, brush them out, feed them, saddle and bridle them, and once I was able to do all of that on my own, he let me ride them whenever I wanted to. It was such a free feeling, you know?”

  “I do know,” he said with a smile. “I love to ride too. Maybe you and I could take a ride together someday.” I only smiled at that, I didn’t answer him. I was sure he was only saying it to be polite anyways. “So tell me more, what else will you do when you have more time?”

  I shrugged, “I love the beach,” I said. “I’d like to just sit on the beach with a good book and some suntan lotion. I might like to try one of those whale-watching tours someday. I’d like to take a flight somewhere, anywhere…I’ve never been on a plane, or a train, and I’d love to take a train across the country. I want to go skydiving….” I realized that he was laughing and I said, “What?”

  “I was just thinking, you finally get on a plane and you want to jump out of it.”

  I laughed too, the man had a point. “I was babbling anyways,” I said. “Do you want some more coffee?”

  “I’d love some,” he said. “If we still have time? I know you’re trying to close up.”

  “Everything’s done,” I told him, and then surprising myself I said, “I’m going to turn the sign and you can have another cup, one more won’t hurt. I’m enjoying the conversation.”

  He grinned and said, “Me too. Pour me another cup. You can go on with your list. You weren’t babbling at all. But first I’m going to visit the men’s room.” I nodded and poured the coffee while I watched him go. He was just so incredibly handsome that it was hard to believe he was here in real life. It was like he walked off of a movie set or something. It was even harder for me to believe that he thought I was pretty, and interesting enough to have a conversation with. Maybe he was just that nice. I sat the pot back down and flipped it off so I wouldn’t forget. Then I went over to turn the sign. Just as I got to the front door a man pushed it open, so hard that he nearly knocked me over. Once I got my bearings back I said, “I’m sorry sir, we’re closed.”

  The man was dressed in a black suit. He was middle-aged, balding in back and he had a significant paunch in the front. None of that was what stood out about him though. What stood out was the fact that he absolutely reeked of alcohol. It smelled like it was coming out of his pores. He looked at me then, like he’d only just noticed me. His eyes ran down and then up my body in a leery, disgusting way. Then he licked his lips. I had to choke down the bile in the back of my throat. He smiled then and it made his face with its thin lips and close-set eyes look as warm as a reptile. He still hadn’t said anything, which made the whole encounter even creepier.

  “Um, sir….I’m going to have to ask you to leave and come back when we’re open…”

  Slurring his speech slightly he said, “Your sign says you’re open.”

  “Yes, I’m sorry about that. I was just going to turn it.”

  “I’m inside now though so turn it all you want. Then get me a cup of coffee and maybe a piece of pie too will you sweet cheeks?”

  I didn’t care for where this was going, but there was no way I was getting this creep a cup of coffee unless it was to pour over his head.

  “Listen,” I said, trying a firmer tone. “We’re closed. I’m not going to make you any coffee and I’m only going to ask you one more time to go. If you choose not to I’ll be forced to call the police.”

  He seemed to find my firm tone amusing as he stepped forward and into my face. I could smell his sour breath, whatever he ate for dinner mixed with too many gin and tonics and I actually retched. I was so busy trying to evade this creep that I didn’t notice Aiden had come out of the bathroom. The creepy drunk was suddenly grabbed by the shoulders and hauled backwards. Aiden shoved the man against the glass window of the café and said, “I believe the lady said she was closed. It’s time for you to go.”

  The man was either so drunk that his faculties weren’t working properly or he was just an idiot, I’m not sure which but when Aiden who was close to a foot taller than this man and could match him pound for pound in pure muscle, let go of him, the drunk took a swing. Aiden moved back and the man’s fist swing through the air as if in slow motion. Shaking his head like he was thinking this guy was as big a moron as I thought he was, Aiden grabbed him again and took him over to the door. He opened it with one hand shoved him out with the other. I watched as the man stumbled and fell on his face on the pavement. Aiden turned the lock on the door and then turned to me.

  “Excuse me for one minute.”

  He took out his phone and a second later I heard him talking to the police saying, “Yes, I actually get the feeling the alcohol has made him braver than he might otherwise be but I don’t want him hurting anyone before that happens.”

  After he hung up he turned to me and said, “Are you okay, Holly? He didn’t hurt you, did he?”

  “No, he didn’t, I’m fine. He just scared me a little bit. Your coffee is there, I’m just going to finish putting those pies away and make sure everything’s turned off in the kitchen before I leave.”

  “How about I help you do all that? I’ll even wash my own coffee cup. Then you can join me for some dinner.”

  It was said like a statement, not a question, “Um…I’m really not very….”

  “Don’t say no, Holly, please. It’s only dinner.”

  “Um….Okay, I guess I have to eat,” I said. Smooth, Holly.

  He grinned and took out his phone again. I thought that he was calling a cab until we finished cleaning up and shutting things and I saw the limousine sitting out front with a well-dressed driver standing with the back door open. I swallowed hard and glanced down at my black waitress uniform with a tiny gravy stain on the bottom. I hoped wherever we were going didn’t match the elegance of the car that was taking us there.

  ~

  Chapter Three

  ~

  My wish didn’t come true. If I thought I felt out of place in the back of the big, black, shiny car I knew for a fact that I would feel out of place at the restaurant. As Aiden helped me out of the car I said, “I’m not exactly dressed for a place like this.” He slid his eyes over me, leaving a trail of heat in its wake.

  “You look beautiful. We’ve got no one to impress.” He maybe has no one to impress. I don’t think my confidence would hold up to his under scrutiny. Before I could protest further, he held out his arm and I took it. It was that or run for a cab. He led me into the upscale Italian restaurant where the lighting was dim and soft Italian love songs were playing in the background and I was suddenly thrust into his world. The hostess immediately greeted us and led us back to, “Mr. Scott’s table.” On our walk through the restaurant I could feel all eyes on us. My shoddy self-confidence would like to believe it was related to my appearance, but I honestly think I was practically invisible. The eyes were on him, and who could blame them? Tonight he was wearing a black dress shirt that he probably had a jacket and tie on with it at some point. They were gone now and I appreciated that as I watched the smooth material of the shirt ripple across his tight muscles with his every movement.

  We were seated at a beautiful little table next to a floor to ceiling window that looked out on a lovely man-
made canal with a sweet little bridge going across it. The light from the almost full moon danced across the water and the reflection played across the table where we sat. Our table was secluded from the rest of the patrons by large, lush sego palms in giant pots. For that, I was grateful. The walk to and from the table was humiliating enough. The table was thick, shiny oak and so were the chairs. Ours held a vase of fresh flowers and a set of red candles in a silver sconce on the table.

  Without Aiden even asking, a bottle of wine was brought to the table and when the waiter left I said, “This place is beautiful; it seems they know you well.”

  He grinned and said, “Yes, I come here often. I don’t know if you like seafood, but their Lobster Alfredo is world renowned.”

  “I love seafood,” I told him. Not that on my budget I get to taste it that often. “That sounds perfect.”

  We were brought a plate of sourdough toast and a bowl of tapenade and Aiden poured us each a glass of wine.

  “Do you not care for wine, Holly? I’d be happy to have them bring you something else.”

  “One glass would be perfect. Thank you Aiden.” I replied. Thanks to my mother’s bad habit I had never been much of a drinker, however I did allow myself the odd glass now and again.

  I looked around the restaurant again and I had to wonder what a guy that could afford to, “come here often,” could possibly see in a coffee girl. He must just be one of those really nice people who felt blessed and wanted to share his good fortune with those of us who were less fortunate. In other words, he felt sorry for me.

  “I think not drinking too much alcohol is a very respectable choice,” he said. He looked sincere when he said it and before I knew what I was doing, I opened my mouth and said, “It saves me a lot of money.” What the hell was that?

  “That’s true,” he said.

  “I’m sorry, I don’t know why I said that.” I felt my face go hot again.

  “Don’t be sorry for being honest, Holly. I find it refreshing. I get exhausted sometimes just trying to sort through what is the truth and what’s not when dealing with people. I would imagine it’s difficult in this economy to make it on a waitress salary.”

  I smiled, I couldn’t believe I was discussing my finances with this man whose limousine I’d just ridden in. He was just really easy to talk to. “If not for the tips it would be virtually impossible. I’m thankful for the generosity of my customers.”

  “So no husband or boyfriend Holly? No roommate or anyone who helps you out?”

  He was easy to talk to and he seemed very non-judgmental but I couldn’t bring myself to tell him about my mother. When you grow up as the child of an alcoholic you learn at a young age how to cover what was going on at home.

  “No, no husband or boyfriend,” I told him. I didn’t mention my mother, but I didn’t lie. “What about you?”

  “No, no husband or boyfriend,” he said with a smile. I laughed and then he said, “I’m divorced, from a woman,” he grinned on the last part.

  “Oh, I’m sorry,” I said. I never know what the appropriate response was for, “I’m divorced.” Some people were happy about it and some weren’t who knew?

  He smiled and said, “Don’t be sorry, it’s much better this way. She wasn’t happy with me.”

  I couldn’t imagine that, not being happy with him.

  “Do you have children?” I asked him. He had a strange look on his face and it took him an inordinately long time to answer the question.

  “No, no children,” he said, finally. We ate in silence until we’d finished our meal. I was worried because he’d stopped talking. I thought I’d said something wrong, over-stepped somehow. He asked me if I wanted dessert and I declined and then with that same strange look he said, “Holly, I have a proposition for you.”

  Here it goes, he’s going to tell me why a man like him would consider having a date with a waitress like me…This should be good….Or not….

  “Okay.”

  “First of all let me tell you about myself. I’m twenty-nine years old and I’m the CEO and owner of Scotto Enterprises, have you heard of it?” I was hoping that my mouth wasn’t hanging open at this point. Of course I’d heard of it. It started as a computer software corporation and being no financial expert, I’m not sure what it’s involved in now, but I do work in a café surrounded by businessmen every day and I’d definitely heard of it. The rumor was that the business was worth billions.

  “Yes, I’ve heard of it,” I said, trying to keep my voice steady.

  “I was married when I was twenty-three to a woman that I thought was the love of my life. We were together for about a year when she told me that she was pregnant. Words can’t even describe how happy that made me. All I ever wanted was a family of my own, and I thought we were well on the way. She had the baby, a beautiful, healthy little boy. I was over the moon. I did everything, I changed diapers, I fed him, and I bathed him. She wanted to hire a nanny, so we did, but I still usually had him with me. I only let the nanny take care of him when I was busy or at work. It wasn’t much though I had arranged my schedule in advance so that I could be home with him during the day. His name was Mark.”

  I didn’t like the way he kept saying, “was.” People with babies don’t generally say their child’s name, “was.” If this story ends with a dead baby I might lose my dinner. I didn’t interrupt him though and he continued.

  “Just after Mark’s second birthday my wife came to me and said that we needed to talk. She told me that she was having an affair, and had been for over three years. The affair was with a man named Jake, a man I considered my best friend since high school. I gave him a job….Anyways, that was upsetting, what was devastating was what she told me next. She said that Mark wasn’t mine and that she was leaving me, her and Jake intended to move overseas with my child.”

  “Oh my God, Aiden that’s horrible.”

  “Yes, it was. I didn’t take her word for it of course. I had a DNA test done right away. It turned out that she wasn’t lying. I thought about fighting it in court, but my attorney said that since she was his biological mother and was not considered, “unfit” that I would lose. I thought it was too much to put the baby through if I was going to lose anyways, so I gave up the fight. Sometimes I still feel like I gave up on my son. Then I have to remind myself that he was never mine, and his mother and bi-dad knew it.

  Jake moved his new little family to Europe. He quit his job with me to take one with a corporation that was headquartered in Belgium. I haven’t seen them since. My heart was left with an empty space and for a few years I had no idea what to do. After a lot of thought and research, I’ve come to a decision, and that’s where you come in.”

  I was so entranced by his story and so honored that he’d choose me of all people to share it with, that it took me a second to process what he’d said at the end. Then, I was confused. I had no idea how I could help him with this. I was even a little bit afraid to ask. He didn’t wait for me to ask though, instead he just blurted out, “I’d like for you to agree to give me an heir.”

  I’m glad he waited until I was finished eating or I may have choked.

 

  ~

  Chapter Four

  ~

  I think I was in shock, just a little bit. I barely knew this guy. Until tonight, I didn’t even really know who he was. An heir, he wants me to have his baby? How do I even answer that? Maybe he’s a little bit crazy. He was staring at me though, looking at me with those damned beautiful, deep intelligent eyes…

  “I-I-don’t even know what to say,” I finally sputtered out.

  “Holly, I know this must be a shock to you. I’m sorry if it upsets you at all, but let me finish okay?” I nodded dumbly and he continued, “I will of course pay you…extremely well. While you’re with child I will pay all of your living expenses and you will live in luxury. I will pay all of the medical bills, I will give you a clothing allowance, and then, after my child is born, I will give you an
other large sum of money.” He wrote a number on a napkin that contained more zeros than I’d ever seen in reference to money I could ever earn. “Then afterwards, you will not have any further contact with us.”

  I was still looking at him like he had two heads. This was surreal. Who asks a person they don’t know to have a baby for money? A lot of money, but money nonetheless, but who does that?

  “Holly, I can see that you’re in shock, and I don’t blame you. I will give you a week to think this over and if you have any questions at all, I will answer them. This is a huge decision, I understand that. But, women do this all the time, right? It’s called surrogacy and it’s perfectly legal and socially acceptable. I will have my attorney’s draw up a tight contract. In the meantime, we can get to know each other better. You can get to know me better and see that I would have a lot to offer as a father.”

  And then I go away. No further contact. “Why me?” That was all I could think to ask.

  “I spent two months watching you, Holly, talking to you, seeing you with your friends, co-workers, customers and boss. You’re beautiful, you’re intelligent, you’re young enough to do this, and you’re in financial need. I could go on and on. There were certain qualities that I was looking for and you have them all. You’ll come out the other end of it with money enough to do all of those things you told me you wanted to do and then some. It would be a win-win situation.”

 
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