Stolen the billionaire d.., p.36
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       The Billionaire Deception, p.36
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         Part #1 of Stolen series by Holly Rayner
I don’t remember when I’ve ever been such a mixture of joy and anxiety before. I was joyous for two main reasons. First and foremost because of hours of fun in the heated pool, Seth had taken me upstairs to his room and I had spent the night in his loving arms, and second: we were finally taking what could very well be the final step to gaining control of my company. Ten and a half years finally coming to fruition. It was all I had wanted and everything I’d dreamed of and now that it was within my grasp it felt surreal to me.

  Seth and I walked hand and hand into James Hunter’s living room at the estate. He was sitting on the couch with a cup of coffee, reading his morning paper. When we walked in, he looked up and smirked. I vowed that would be the last time he looked at either one of us that way again. Seth must have been thinking the same thing because he smiled radiantly and said, “Good morning, Father. Adele and I have great news.”

  He glanced at me and I could see the confidence there in his eyes. He wasn’t afraid of this man any longer. James put the paper down and took a sip of his coffee. Looking me over with disgust he asked Seth, “So, you’ve decided a liar is the best you can do for a girlfriend I see.”

  “No Father. I’ve found out that it’s the best I could do in the father department. As far as girlfriends go, I’m going to stick with this one. She’s a top of the line model.”

  Seth was squeezing my hand tight as James jumped to his feet and said, “How dare you come into my house and talk to me that way. Who do you think you are?”

  “I know who I am,” Seth said, smoothly. “I am a smart, capable man who doesn’t need you or your name or your money. I have what I need right here, and as soon as you give her back what is rightfully hers, she will have all that she needs too.”

  James snorted. “Get off my property,” he said. “Or I’ll have you both thrown off.”

  “Sure, Dad.” It was Seth’s turn for a smirk. He reached in the bag slung over my shoulder and pulled out the documents we had put together. One stack was the evidence we had against him and the other were the papers Phillip had Paul draw up. They reverted ownership of Hunter Corp. back to Morgan Corps. original heir. It included all of the corporate assets as well as the townhouse which Phillip found out was paid off with money he’d gotten from my estate.

  “What is that?” James asked his son, irritably.

  “Read them, Dad. We’ll wait.” He handed them to James and we sat down as he read through them. I will never forget the look on his face the moment he realized it was over. He wasn’t going to go down that easily, however. It’s a good thing Seth and I both knew that before we’d come over.

  “So what? You’ve got a bunch of stupid old documents. If and I mean “IF” there was a crime committed or any wrong-doing… it would be way past the statute by now.”

  “You know what, Dad? We thought of that. But you know what else we thought of? We both have noticed how much you love to be in the limelight. Your name, your estate, your money and your prestige, it all means so much to you. So in exchange for you doing the right thing here, Adele has graciously decided that she will settle for having back her assets without dragging you through the mud you so rightfully deserve to be pulled through.”

  “What the hell does that mean?” he said. I could tell he was putting it together in his head and he was getting really nervous. I let Seth go on, for now. He pulled the notebook out of our bag and turned it on. Then he pulled up a segment that had appeared earlier that morning on “Good Morning Manhattan.” It was a former attorney who had retired from what he called “The Game” of high finance and corporate espionage. He talked about some of the shady deals he had witnessed and some of the unethical things he himself had been involved in. He said he was in recovery now from the substances that “led him down that evil path” and he was working with high school and college aged youth, teaching them how to stay on the right path. He had just that morning been offered a book deal. A six figure deal if he was willing to “name names.” He told the interviewer he was still on the fence about it. He thought those people should “get their reckoning,” but he hadn’t decided yet if he would be the one to give it to them. As James watched the show, the color drained out of his face. He recognized Paul and he also recognized how his entire way of life could be gone in an instant.

  He looked up at his son and said, “What do I have to do?”

  Seth smiled and said, “I think you need to address that question to Adele. She very sweetly holds your life in her hands, as did you hers at one time.”

  James looked at me and I saw him swallow his revulsion before he said, “What do you want?”

  “I want to see the records from the very day you took over the company. I want whatever was there the day you moved in, including the paperclips. I want the cash that was in the accounts and I want the townhouse to replace the one you took from me. It’s all in that paperwork you have in front of you. All you have to do is sign.”

  “You are a…”

  “I wouldn’t finish that sentence if I were you, James. You see, my revenge on you will be that this will forever be hanging over you. If I get wind of you even thinking about stealing from anyone ever again, I expose you. If you mistreat your son or disparage me again in any way… guess what? I expose you.” I handed him the ink pen I’d brought with me and said, “The places for you to sign and initial are clearly marked.”

  He snatched the pen and signed and initialed the paperwork. I handed him his copy and said, “Paul will notarize these signatures today in case you were thinking of going back on this in any way. I’d like it if you could send someone by the office to pick up your things before the trash is picked up on Friday. Otherwise it will be the problem of city sanitation.”

  I took Seth’s hand and we stood up. We started to walk out together and I heard James say, “You’re just like your mother… worthless.”

  Seth’s muscles tensed and he let go of my hand as he turned slowly around to face his father. I watched him clear the space between then in two steps and suddenly he was inches from his father’s face.

  “Last condition of this arrangement, old man. You never say my mother’s name in my presence. You were not fit to wipe her heels on. She was the absolute best thing that ever happened to you and you were too daft to know it. I am proud to be her son. I’m proud enough of that to make up for getting stuck with you as a father.”

  He turned then and we left James Hunter standing there. He would still be a wealthy man. He would have his wealth and his privilege… but he didn’t have his son and he wouldn’t ever be able to walk into another boardroom and feel that power he loved so much. We left him broken and alone the way he had left me when I was a little girl.

  Once we were outside we both stopped and sucked in a few breaths of the fresh air. “God that felt good!” Seth said. He was riding a high that only came from standing up for yourself and for those that you love.

  “It did,” I agreed. My high was coming from gaining back what was mine and knowing that Seth and I were going to do this a thousand times better than his father had done it, because from here on out it would all be right and legal and ethical. No more shady business for our corporation.

  We climbed into the back of the limousine and Seth popped the cork on a bottle of champagne as the driver took us back to Manhattan. He poured us each a glass and we toasted to “Us.” I saw a shift in his eyes as we reached the city and he began looking out on all of the tall buildings. He looked sad suddenly.

  “What’s wrong?” I asked him.

  He smiled but his eyes still looked sad. “Oh nothing,” he said. “I love you. I’m so proud of you. I’ll get my stuff from the office this week and hopefully by next week I can have my things out of the townhouse.”

  I reached into our bag and pulled out two more papers. I rested the palm of my hand against his face as he looked at me curiously and I said, “You can do that, or you can sign these two papers instead.”

  He gave me a “What are you up to
?” look and picked up the first paper. It was the deed his father signed over on the townhouse.

  “Flip to the last page,” I told him. He did and as he read it, the light began to return to his eyes. I was so happy that it did, I was a little bit worried myself.

  “The deed has my name on it too. You want us to live together?”

  “If that’s okay with you?” I asked.

  “No,” he said, making my stomach fall. “No, that’s not good enough for you. Marry me, Adele?”

  The fire he kept burning inside of me stoked up and filled my chest with heat. I grinned at him and said, “I’ll seriously consider your proposition. But in the meantime, will you sign the paperwork so your name is on the townhouse too?”

  He signed it and then said, “I’m going to ask you again every day until you get sick of it and say yes.”

  “Good,” I said. “Now read the next one.” He picked up the second one and as he read that one, tears sprang to his eyes.

  “I can’t accept this. You fought too hard to get that company back and that CEO spot is so rightfully yours…”

  “Seth, it’s rightfully yours too. You are more than qualified and you are the only one I would ever want at my side running it with me.” I’d had the papers drawn up to show him as co-CEO and the company as being renamed, Morgan & Hunter Inc.

  “Are you sure, baby?”

  I grinned again. I’d never had a happier day than this. “I’m as sure of this as I am my hair is red and my name is Adele. I’ve never been surer of anything.”

  With a broad smile, he picked the pen back up and signed the contract. We officially owned a house and a company together. After he sat down the pen, he slid down to one knee and said, “I haven’t had time to get a ring with all of this going on, but now that you know I wasn’t just trying to get the company back, will you consent to marry me? I’ll buy you a ring today.”

  I laughed and said, “I was never worried you were trying to scam me. We just have so much going on. Let’s take just a little more time before we jump into one more new thing, okay?”

  He looked disappointed, but he said, “Okay, but this isn’t over.”

  I took his face back in my hands and said, “No way. Not by a long shot. I love you, Seth.”

  “I love you, Adele Louise Morgan.” I pulled him into me and our lips met. I knew without a doubt he was the man I would marry and he would someday be the father of my children. We just needed to get our lives started first and then there would be nothing left to do but move forward. I was looking forward to every single second to come.

  Holly Rayner

  The sequel to this story is available now!

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