Stolen the billionaire d.., p.34
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       The Billionaire Deception, p.34
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         Part #1 of Stolen series by Holly Rayner
I spent that whole day and night with Erin… Adele. It was going to be hard to call her that, but it was pretty and it fit her so I knew I’d get used to it. I ran into the roommate on my way out. He gave me the eyeball, but I think it’s funny. I can tell how much he cares about her and the way I look at it is who can blame him. She is hard to resist, that’s for sure.

  I went into the office that day for the first time in a few. I got a lot of curious stares, but no one came right out and asked where I had been, or what had happened to Erin. I would figure out what to tell them all eventually, but today I had an agenda. I went to the lounge we had created for the shareholders. It wasn’t frequently used any longer, but I had a feeling that I would be able to find Phillip there today. I was right. When I walked in, he was on the computer. I saw him physically jump as he tried to "x” out of whatever had been on his screen.

  “How’s it going, Phillip?”

  He looked guilty as hell when he said, “Good, good, Seth. How are you?” I knew it was mean, but I decided to have a little fun with him.

  “What were you looking at there?”

  “Oh nothing,” he said. “I was just doing a little research into a company I was considering putting some money into…”

  “Really? I have some extra cash I was looking to invest too. What company is it?”

  The poor guy had sweat running down his balding brow as he said, “I don’t think you’d be interested in this one, Seth. It’s a little risky.”

  I grinned at him and said, “I love risky, tell me more.”

  His hands were shaking and I saw him trying to casually shut down the computer. I’m a terrible, mean person. “Nah, I should be going,” he said, reaching straight out for the power button.

  When his fingers were hovering over it I jumped up and said, “Come on Phillip old boy, what are you hiding there? It wouldn’t have anything to do with Adele Morgan, would it?” When I said her name, his eyes went wide and his chest began to rise up and down in a rapid pace. I was suddenly afraid my teasing would give him a heart attack. I laughed then and now he was looking at me like I was insane. “I’m sorry, Phillip. I’m teasing you. Adele told me you’re helping her. I wanted to thank you and see if there was anything you need from me in order to do a better job of it.”

  He took a handkerchief out of his pocket and wiped the sweat from his brow. He looked like he was trying to figure out if I really knew something or if I was just trying to find out what he knew. Finally he said, “I’m not exactly certain I’m following you.”

  “I appreciate your loyalty, Phillip. Erin… Adele told me that she ran into you at the ball and you recognized her. She said that you told her she looked just like her mother and that her father would be proud. She said you committed to helping her and she knew you despised my father. Does that help you believe I know and I’m not just trying to trick you?”

  He chuckled nervously and said, “It all helped except that part about me despising James. Everyone knows that.”

  It was my turn to laugh. Then turning serious I said, “What do you think we should be looking for, Phillip?”

  “Anything related to the purchase of the business… anything with the Morgan’s name on it…”

  “Let me ask you this, do you remember a lawsuit between Adele’s father and mine? Something about a breach of confidentiality?”

  Phillip was nodding slowly but he looked like he was trying to reach back into his memory as he did. Finally he said, “Yeah, I remember. Adele’s father was livid. He found out that your father was using confidential information that he discovered while working for him as his attorney to set up his own investing firm on the side. Morgan probably could have gotten him disbarred for it, and he may have had he not been killed before it ultimately went to court.”

  “So what happened when it went to court?”

  “The documents that Morgan had on him had disappeared from his attorney’s office and Morgan wasn’t there to testify, so the judge threw it out. James had filed a counter suit at the same time for slander. Because again, Morgan wasn’t there to dispute it, James won that one. The estate was ordered to pay him damages. The records were sealed however as far as the settlement. I’m not sure how much he ended up with.”

  “Hmm, maybe he ended up with this company because of it. Do you think if he was devious enough to steal the evidence Morgan had against him… or buy it even that he would still have it? Wouldn’t that be awfully risky?”

  “Yes, it would be…. Can I speak freely to you about your father, Seth?”

  I smiled, sadly and said, “Go ahead, Phillip. You can’t say anything that will rival the way I’m feeling about him myself.”

  “The biggest reason I dislike your father is his extreme narcissism. He had the most wonderful wife. Your mother was an angel. He didn’t treat her the way she deserved to be treated, because he was so in love with himself. I was a very good friend of your mother’s and one day I confronted him about his philandering and told him that someday he would get caught and get what was coming to him. I couldn’t bring myself to tell her, she loved him so much that she was blind to his ways. James laughed when I told him that. He said that he was “smarter” than the rest of us and that he would always win. I believe that he truly believes that and I wouldn’t doubt that as with any true narcissist… he kept “trophies” from his victories. You are the only one who has that kind of access to his private life. He’s beat you down emotionally for years. He doesn’t believe for a second that you would turn against him.”

  I took a moment to process all that he was saying. My father, the narcissist. My mother, his victim and me… I guess I’d have to be called a victim too. It was a word that I didn’t care to be associated with and the thought of it gave me that last little bit of determination I needed to do what I knew I had to do.

  “Phillip, is the lawyer who was handling this “evidence” for the Morgan’s still around?”

  “He’s retired, but yes, he lives with his wife over on 7th Avenue. I still run into him frequently at charity events.”

  “Can I enlist you to do me a very large favor?”

  “Whatever,” he said. “As long as it ends with James Hunter finally losing.”

  I told Phillip what I needed him to do and then I headed out for the day. My father golfed all day on Fridays. I knew he wouldn’t be at the estate. I took my own car out. I didn’t want any witnesses. When I confronted my father I wanted to take him completely by surprise.

  ~

  CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO

  ~

  ADELE

 
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