The billionaires obsessi.., p.1
The Billionaire's Obsession, p.1Part #1 of An Heir At Any Price series by Holly Rayner
An Heir At Any Price:
The Billionaire’s Obsession
By Holly Rayner
Copyright 2014 by Holly Rayner
All rights reserved. Except for use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work in whole or in part by any means, now known or hereafter invented, including xerography, photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, is forbidden without the explicit written permission of the author.
All characters depicted in this fictional work are consenting adults, of at least eighteen years of age. Any resemblance to persons living or deceased, particular businesses, events, or exact locations are entirely coincidental.
Table of Contents:
I smiled at the man with the hundred thousand dollar ring on his pinky and the three thousand dollar suit on his back as I poured him another cup of coffee. When I’m poised above him this way and the light hits him just right, I can see the tiny little black dots where his hair plugs had been put in recently. When he tilts his head up and smiles at me his upper lip pulls back so far that I can see where the tops of his veneers end along his gum line. If he turns to the right as the sun comes through the big picture window, I can see the loose skin along his neck that has slipped out of the knot the plastic surgeon has tied, likely more than once. His name is Bob Carlton and he is the CEO of some company or other and although he is at least fifty years older than me, he still seems to think that we’re hitting it off. Perhaps it’s because I’m nice to him, because I smile and ask about his day, but come on guy… I’m a waitress, that’s my job. It’s like being an actress. I look at it as working for my tips. Then again, I look around me and I can count at least three of my co-workers, one of them male, who would overlook the astronomical age difference if it involved early retirement and jet setting around the world.
It was Monday and it was passing slowly, as usual. I don’t understand why the days here always drag, it’s not like we’re standing around doing nothing. I don’t even have to go to the gym any longer; I get a great workout right here. Sometimes I think it’s because I feel like my life itself is just standing still. It never evolves or changes, it’s always the same.
I would love to be somewhere else, anywhere else. When I’m home at night, alone in the cocoon of my tidy little low rent apartment I dream about it, but there are bills to be paid and I’m the only one available to pay them. In other words, at twenty-four I’m taking care of my alcoholic mother as well as paying my own not so cheap rent. I don’t really dislike my job, but when you’re a little girl, no one ever says, “I want to be a waitress and spend my days kissing the asses of rich old men all day when I grow up.” I dream daily of a quick escape. I have a fantasy of a sudden opportunity presenting itself, but that dream never involves a Bob Carlton or a comfortable life in return for having to remove his withered old hand from my hip five times a day. So I work and I go home and I work some more and for the most part, I accept my lot in life. I was dealt a hand and I have to play it, or fold. I wasn’t ready to fold just yet.
I have to be grateful that I was able to get a job at this place. It’s an upscale café located in the heart of the business district. My customers are rich and most of the time their tips are big. It was the one area in my life where I could count myself truly lucky.
The lunch rush was beginning to subside and I was just starting to catch my breath when it was completely taken away again by the man who walked in the door. It was Aiden Scott. He came in almost every day at least once lately, sometimes twice. He was in his late twenties and tall, dark and dreamy, he added some color to my otherwise dark world. His dark hair was perfectly mussed at all times and his dark eyes were so intense that sometimes if I looked directly at them I felt like they were penetrating my very soul. My stomach fluttered just at the sight of him, but unlike Bob, when Mr. Scott smiles at me I swear my heart physically jumps up into my throat leaving my chest aching and my breaths shortened. The best part was that he would come in and make actual real conversation with me. I’d even started watching the news, a thing I hadn’t thought I had time for in the past, so that I could hold an intelligent conversation with him.
“There’s your boyfriend,” Myra, one of my co-workers whispered into my ear when he walked in the door. Myra was thirty-something and married to a man that she loved dearly and thought the rest of us should be married and as happy as she was. She was always trying to set me up, but since Aiden had been coming in for the past two months, she’d decided that he was the one for me.
“Yeah right,” I said with a laugh. I wasn’t sure what Aiden Scott’s background was, or what he did for a living, but I could tell just by the way he dressed and how he carried himself that he didn’t come from the same place I did. Unlike the other businessmen who came in, I never heard him talking about his business, or bragging about some big million dollar deal he closed. He made polite conversation with me, and occasionally others at the café, but it was never personal. Not about him anyways, he did seem interested in my life….not that I had much of one.
I had noticed that the other businessmen treated him differently than they did each other. There was no crass talk or backslapping. I wasn’t sure if that was because they didn’t really like him, or because they were for some reason, intimidated by him. Even the older wealthy guys are deferential to him. In the two months that he’s been coming in here to the coffee shop, and in all of the conversations that I’ve had with him I still had no idea if he was even married or not. I hadn’t asked him either. It wasn’t something a waitress should be asking her customers, and either way I was certain that he was way out of my league, I was okay with it. The last thing I had time for in my life was a relationship anyways.
“She’s not kidding,” Rose, another of my fellow wait staffers said. “He only comes in when you’re working, I swear. He’s memorized your schedule.”
“And he always sits in your section no matter how many other tables are open,” Myra added.
“And, he can’t take his eyes off of you. And he’s oh so dreamy…Now pick up your orders, all three of you and take your fine little butts out there on the floor and serve them before my food gets cold!”
That was Joe, our boss. He seems like an old grump and that’s probably good because that’s what he wants us and everyone else to believe, but the truth be told I have never worked for a better guy. He had a heart of gold, no matter how grumpy he likes to pretend to be. Joe was about fifty years old and built like a truck. Running a café for wealthy people is not something you’d think if you just saw him on the street. But he’d been successful, thanks in part to his baking and cooking skills and in part to his knack for hiring waiters and waitresses that fit in and stuck. His rate of turnover was very low.
To keep him from saying dreamy again, we did as we were told and picked up our orders. On the way to serve my table, I smiled at Aiden.
“I’ll be right back with you.” He smiled back and my heart lurched once again.
“No hurry, Holly.”
For some reason when he said my name it sounded so much prettier than when anyone else said it. It may have been my imagination, sparked by Rose and Myra’s goading, but I swear I could feel his eyes on me the entire time I was serving my table. When I turned back towards him, he was still looking at me. I wondered if he knew how he turned my insides to mush whenever he looked at me that way.
“Are you ready to order Mr. Scott or do you need a few minutes?” I asked him.
“How’s the special today?” he asked. Our special of the day was, ‘Blackened Tilapia with rice pilaf.’ It was pretty good and I told him so.
He handed me his menu and said, “I’ll trust you on the tilapia, Holly.” He smiled again, never taking his eyes off of mine. His intense eye contact made me a nervous wreck sometimes, but it was incredibly sexy too. I swallowed hard around the lump in my throat.
“Just water to drink?” He always just had water to drink. He never deviated, no coke or tea or coffee, always just water for the two straight months he’d been coming in here every day. He must have some awesomely healthy kidneys.
“Yes, Holly. Just water,” he said. The way he said my name with almost every sentence he spoke was incredibly sexy as well. It made my mind take little trips down a road where we were laying together and he was whispering my name into my ear right before he kissed me...I told him I’d be right back and laughed at myself as I walked away. That man is not interested in a meek little waitress. I needed to leave that notion where it belonged…in my co-workers heads.
I got two other tables while I was waiting for Aiden’s order to come up. Both of my tables were on the other side of his so each time I went over, I had to pass his table and each time I did, he would smile and run his eyes slowly from my head all the way down to my toes. That sort of thing from a man I didn’t know generally made me uncomfortable. In Aiden’s case, it made me nervous, and it made me shudder, but in a good way. It wasn’t creepy, it was more….appreciative.
Holly knew I was watching her. I could tell by the way she would nervously tuck a piece of hair behind her ear as she walked by, or act like she was looking at someone or something on the other side of the room so she didn’t have to make eye contact with me. I didn’t want to make her nervous, that was not my intention, but I honestly couldn’t take my eyes off of her. This girl had no idea how pretty she is. I know this because when you make eye contact with a beautiful woman who knows that she’s beautiful she’ll hold your gaze and dare you to ask her out. A woman that doesn’t know she’s beautiful will get nervous and flustered when you look her in the eyes. Holly was definitely the latter, but that may work to my advantage.
I’d been coming in this little coffee shop every day for the past two months for the sole purpose of getting to know her. I know that simply asking her out might be a quicker approach, but if she accepted, and because of her meekness I’m not convinced that she would, people aren’t always themselves on the first few dozen dates. I figured that in her workplace when she was in her own element, she was more likely to be herself.
I was testing her, bringing up current events to see what she would say. So far, she was doing very well. Holly showed me time and time again that she was not only reading the news, but she was also using her brain to form her own opinions about it. She was definitely starting to look like she might be just who I’ve been looking for.
We talked about the weather and the changing climate. We talked about recycling and going green. We talked about where I was from and where I’d gone to high school. In every conversation I was impressed by her insightfulness and intelligence. Occasionally it was interjected with humor and she was raised in my mind to the next level of my plan.
I had to be sure she was perfect though before I moved forward. I don’t mean perfect in the sense that she has no flaws, I mean perfect for my needs, my purposes. I’ve done a lot of research on nature vs nurture. I’ve found out a lot about what traits are more than likely inherited, and which ones are likely learned. I needed to find a woman with strong traits in the area of nature, those that would be passed on to her offspring.
I can get pretty much any woman that I want, but this isn’t about a date, or even a relationship. I’m not looking for a girlfriend or a wife. What I am looking for, what I need is a woman who is healthy, attractive, intelligent, and witty and will be willing to help me create a beautiful, perfect child and then walk away.
My day had been long and grueling. We were busy already when I got there for the lunch rush and I hit the ground running and didn’t stop. All of the worst customers, the ones that liked to make substitutions, the ones that liked to complain and the grabby old men that wanted to touch my butt had shown up, and to make it all worse, Aiden Scott hadn’t made a single appearance. I guess Rose and Myra were wrong; he didn’t come in every time I was on shift. I had looked towards the door every time it jangled, busy or not, expecting it to be him. I was hoping that it was him….It was silly. I knew there was no chance of Aiden Scott and I ever going anywhere except conversation and light flirting in the café, but I was okay with that. My life was so far from where I thought it would be and had hoped it would be at this stage. I work at a job that is going absolutely nowhere. I take care of a mother who loves to drink and is never going to stop. I don’t have much to look forward to, so I tell myself that looking forward to Aiden Scott walking in that door every day is no big deal. He’s more than nice to look at and he’s fun and interesting to talk to. It’s no big deal until days like today when he doesn’t.
I was on close-up duty tonight and was counting down the minutes. Everyone else was gone, even the cook. Joe said he had a football game to get to and all of the customers had left already. I’d closed up alone before, and I was okay with it. I hoped that was it for the night, but at least if anyone came in now it would be an easy coffee and pie. Everything was done and as soon as I turned that sign for the night, I would be out of here too. I had just over half an hour so I decided to go in the kitchen and check Joe’s supplies back there and see if there was anything I could help set up for him in the morning. Just as I walked into the back, the door jangled. Cursing under my breath I turned around and was looking into the dark chocolate eyes of Aiden Scott.
“Well hello,” I said. “I’m surprised to see you here so late.”
He smiled, God I love that smile… “I just finished up a long day and thought I’d see if you had any coffee left.”
“I do, but its mud. I’ll make you a fresh pot, have a seat.” Aiden sat down at the counter instead of his usual table.
“Long day for you too?” he asked, taking a seat on the vinyl stool.
“Yes, very,” I told him as I put a new pod in the coffee pot and pushed the brew button. “I am extremely happy that closing time is looming in the almost reachable distance.”
“Big plans for when you get out of here?” he asked.
I laughed, “Yes, I plan on taking a long soak in the tub, putting on my pajamas, making a cup of tea and reading my book.”
“That sounds like a perfect evening,” he said.
“Sure, I’ll bet you have gentleman clubs, fast cars and pretty girls in your near future.” I’m not sure why I said that. It wasn’t like me to be so direct.
Now he laughed, “I gave up the club life when I stopped being a child and became a man. As far as the pretty girls go, that’s why I come here.”
I felt my face go hot and I knew I was blushing. The coffee pot beeped and saved me, I was able to turn around, hopefully in time to keep him from seeing me turn red like a twelve year old.
“Coffee’s ready,” I sang out, sounding as nervous as I felt.
When I turned back towards him he was smiling. I flipped over his cup and filled it with the fragrant, steaming coffee. After I sat the pot back down he said, “You really have no idea how pretty you are, do you?”
Now there was nowhere for me to turn. I knew my face was bright red, and worst of all, I didn’t know what to say. How do you answer that question? Before I had to he said, “I’m sorry, Holly, I didn’t mean to embarrass you.”
I forced myself to smile and said, “Oh it’s fine, I’m just not used to such nice compliments. Thank you.”
“Why?” he said, tilting his head to one side like he was genuinely curious. I knew what he was asking, but I was stalling.
“Why aren’t you used to it? It seems to me that people should be telling you at least once a day if not more often how pretty you are.”
Now he was the one being direct, and as nice as his praise was, I was exceedingly uncomfortable with it.
“Would you like a piece of pie to go with your coffee?” I asked him.
He threw his head back this time and laughed. “My sweet Holly,” he said, causing my stomach to do a somersault. “Again, I’m sorry for embarrassing you but it’s hard for me to come in here every day and not at least comment on your beauty. I’ve done that now, so let’s move on to safer ground. Tell me about yourself, Holly. What do you like to do when you’re not here at Joe’s café?”
The Billionaire's Obsession by Holly Rayner / Romance & Love have rating 3.7 out of 5 / Based on26 votes