Authors: Olivia Thorne
Tags: #connor, #lily, #sebastian, #miranda, #johnny, #all that he wants, #all that he loves, #connor templeton, #lily ross, #the billionaires seduction
Warning: this is a ‘thank you’ to fans of the
Billionaire’s Seduction series. It is the first volume of that
series retold from the hero’s point of view. If this is your first
introduction to the story and characters, I strongly suggest
reading the first book in the series, ALL THAT HE WANTS (The
Billionaire’s Seduction Part 1) , and then reading the rest of the
series before you read this one. There are several pretty big
spoilers in All That She Wants that are far more fun to find out as
the story unfolds in the original series.
But, if you decide not to read the other
books first, ‘Welcome’ all the same!
It had been the worst goddamn year of my
Betrayed by the woman I was supposed to
marry, and to the worst enemies I had: my own family.
Obstructed and frustrated at every turn in
the biggest business deal I had ever embarked on.
Miserable, lonely, bitter, angry, with
failure seemingly waiting for me around every corner.
And the constant reminder of how
failed – failed to see my fiancée for what she really was, even up
to the point when she plunged the knife in my back. Me, the guy who
can look at a $5 billion business and see all the angles, all the
flaws, all the opportunities – I got played. And had my heart
ripped out for good measure.
And then, just like that, it all turned
…and became the
year of my
Don’t get me wrong; there was still hell to
But for the first time in ages, I caught my
first glimpse of heaven.
I was in the back of the Bentley, watching
the lights of downtown Los Angeles go by, and trying to ignore my
right-hand man Sebastian as he droned on about pointless
I need you back on the plane by midnight
if you’re going to make the 9AM meeting tomorrow in New York,”
he said over the limo’s backseat speaker.
“Remind me why you scheduled a meeting for
9AM on a Saturday?” I asked grumpily, though I knew exactly
And, of course, Sebastian told me. In detail.
As he always does.
Because you need the go-ahead from the
regulatory commission, and the supervisory meeting is Monday
morning, and if you don’t have DeWeiss in your pocket by then –
“Yeah, yeah, okay, fine.”
Words, words, words.
Wait, that was
What was that
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, creeps
in this petty pace from day to day…
“What?” I snapped, yanked out of my
Do I have your word you’re going to be in
and out of there and back on the Gulfstream by midnight?”
“YES. It’s not going to take that long. All I
need to do is look over some accounts.”
I never can tell with you.”
“What do you think’s going to happen?” I
smirked. “That I’m going to meet a woman?”
Sebastian paused – and then launched in, full
I wish you would.”
“What, in a consulting firm at 6PM on a
Friday? Not likely.”
I don’t care WHERE you meet her. No,
scratch that, just don’t make it a whorehouse or a strip club. Or a
Republican Party fundraiser.”
“Yeah, okay, thanks,” I said, sorry I’d even
brought it up.
On second thought, libertarian
Republicans are fine. In fact, regular Republicans are fine, just
make sure she’s not anti-ME.”
Full disclosure: Sebastian is gay.
I snorted. “Anybody who talks to you longer
than 15 seconds is ‘anti-you.’”
Love you, too, Connor,”
“You know what, I don’t even care, go find a nice
Mormon girl – you just REALLY need to get over that bitch.”
“Got the message; you can quit anytime you
Really? ‘Cause I’ve been telling you
FOREVER – ”
Seriously, you need to stop marching your
pity parade through town and get back in the saddle.”
“I think you’re mixing your metaphors.”
You need to do a little mixing of your
own. Just make sure you do it AFTER your meeting with DeWeiss
tomorrow morning, and NOT before.”
“You don’t need to worry about that.”
“Based on the last
eight months, a reasonable person might agree – but I’m ALWAYS
worried when YOU’RE in the equation.”
“That’s why you make the big bucks.”
That’s one of the MANY reasons I make the
“Go home, I can handle it from here.”
Fine – but I’m staying up and waiting for
a call until you’re on that plane.”
“GOODBYE,” I snapped, and hit the hang-up
I love the guy and, honestly, it would take a
fleet of assistants to replace what he does for me – but
he can be a pain in the ass.
The Bentley pulled up outside the Exerton
building just a few minutes before 6PM.
Before I could reach for the door, my
bodyguard and chauffeur already had it open for me.
John Inaba. Former Special Forces, U.S. Army.
Fourth degree black belt in ninjutsu. On first glance, he looks
more like a Hollywood actor than a bodyguard. Which would be a
deadly mistake on your part if you tried to fuck with him.
Twenty-nine years old, he’d been with me the
last three – ever since that situation in Brazil. I guess I should
have taken the hint when my father was kidnapped five years ago,
but… I’m a little stubborn sometimes.
I stepped out and gave Johnny a look. “You’re
kind of blowing my cover.”
He shrugged. “I don’t have a uniform on.
They’ll just think I’m a sedan service or something.”
It was true; he was dressed in a regular
suit. He could follow me anywhere inconspicuously – which he was
about to suggest in three, two, one –
“I’m really not comfortable letting you go in
there by yourself,” he said.
“It’s a business building, not a slum. We’re
in LA, not Mexico City. And there hasn’t been anything on the radar
in over six months.”
“That doesn’t mean there’s not something on
the horizon,” he pointed out.
“Too bad. I can’t exactly waltz in there
incognito if I have a bodyguard with me.”
“You can tell them I’m a… a consultant.”
“A consultant for what, breaking arms?”
He grinned. “Whatever needs getting
“Look, I’ll be in and out, an hour tops.
Speaking of which, go get yourself an In ‘N Out burger. I know
you’ve been thinking about it ever since we landed.”
Johnny sighed. “You
I laughed. “That’s my gift, knowing people’s
weaknesses. Go on – I’ll text you when I’m finished.”
“Just promise me you won’t leave the building
until I get here.”
I held up my hand like I was taking the
Presidential Oath of office. “I swear.”
“Yeah, right,” he said, and gave me a
sideways glance as he got back in the Bentley.
“First Sebastian, now you – why does nobody
trust me?” I asked as I backed away towards the Exerton
“‘Cause we know you.”
“Yeah, yeah,” I said as he shut the door. He
hung out, though, until I was safely inside the building.
Bane of my existence.
I was the primary stockholder in LMGK, an
international consulting firm. The board of directors had been
making noise for years about acquiring Exerton – a much smaller
company with some top-notch contracts.
Only problem was, I was convinced that there
was some rot in the middle of the woodpile.
For one, their Executive Compensation
department was run by a halfwit named Klaus Zimmerman. The worst
kind of asshole – supremely confident yet inherently lazy. I’d seen
a report he’d put together for one of my friend’s companies, and it
just stank to high heaven of cooked numbers.
Then I’d actually listened in on him during a
It constantly amazes me how far some people
can fail upwards.
Which was another problem: any organization
that lets a guy like
stay on as an executive is a
corporation that needs a major gutting and overhauling.
one you pay top dollar for in a
I’d raised my concerns – loudly – but LMGK’s
CEO and the board were obsessed with acquiring Exerton. Which is
stupid beyond belief: never,
be so attached to
something that you can’t walk away from it at a second’s
That goes for businesses…
Everybody else thought I was being overly
cautious, overly demanding. They didn’t stop to wonder if that was
one of the reasons I was worth over ten billion and they weren’t,
but… oh well.
At 22% of outstanding stock, I didn’t have a
controlling share in LMGK, so I couldn’t torpedo the buyout alone.
And everybody wanted it but me. Next Monday was the big day when
the final decision would be made. Which meant that I stood to lose,
oh, fifty million if the stock price tanked. Which I was fairly
sure would happen, sooner or later.
I could have just sold the stock, but… fuck
tells me no.
I fought them so hard and so long, they
finally gave in out of exhaustion. LMGK’s board agreed I could
scuttle the deal –
I had proof.
Exerton’s CEO, a guy named Dave Westerholtz
(another problem; nice guy, but
CEO material) was so
damn eager to have the buyout go through that he was willing to
in looking at the Exec Comp
Which should have been another warning sign
since, strictly speaking, it wasn’t legal. Those reports were the
property of the corporations that had paid for them. I was a
shareholder in some of their competitors, so I doubt they would
have appreciated my going in and looking at what they’d paid
hundreds of thousands of dollars for. Their lawyers surely
Not that I was going to let
me. Fifty million dollars was a hell of a lot more than a $100,000
fine and a ninety-day suspended jail sentence.
All it meant was I had to go in and do
everything on the down-low.
I’d been to Exerton nine months before – a
meet-and-greet up in the penthouse boardroom. That was when I first
But I hadn’t met Klaus – which was exactly
the way I wanted to keep it. Stupid though he may be, I was pretty
sure he would still recognize the name ‘Connor Templeton’ – which
might prompt him to try to sweep the worst of his reports under the
If I was lucky, he was already gone for the
day, and I could get some unlucky subordinate to give me the keys
to the kingdom instead.
Which is why I was wasting my Friday night in
a goddamn consulting company.
Not that I would have been wasting it with a
beautiful woman instead, as Sebastian would gladly tell you. More
like working every evening past midnight, destroying companies and
then building them back up.