The Wedding Rescue, Book Four (An Alpha Billionaire Club BBW Romance)

BOOK: The Wedding Rescue, Book Four (An Alpha Billionaire Club BBW Romance)
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The Wedding Rescue, Book Four
An Alpha Billionaire Club Romance
Alexa Wilder
Contents
About The Wedding Rescue, Book Four

S
he thinks
she's not his type. He's determined to prove her wrong.

Leigha Carmichael is used to the quiet life. A junior accountant by day, she knows girls like her don't have exciting lives. She's smart, shy, and her curvy body doesn't fit in among the beauty queens of Las Vegas. Still reeling from her ex-boyfriend's betrayal, Leigha's sworn off all men. Except she has a huge problem, and only the right man can solve it.

The moment he sees her across a crowded bar, Dylan Kane knows he wants her. And Dylan Kane always gets what he wants. Especially when the object of his desire is sitting in his own casino. She's nothing like the skinny, overly made up women he's used to. From her clear gray eyes to her luscious curves, Leigha is the real thing. Exactly the change of pace he's been looking for. And even better, she needs something from him. With the bargain he has in mind, they'll both get exactly what they want.

In the few days she's his, Dylan plans to take control of every delectable inch of Leigha's body. But when the weekend is over, will he be able to let her go?

1
Leigha

I
’ll be there
.

The text I’d just sent glared up at me like an accusation. I was out of time to debate right vs. wrong. I’d set things in motion. Now I had to act. It was two thirty-seven in the morning. I had until three am to get to my house or Steven would send out the video he’d taken of Dylan and me in the hallway at the Delecta, Dylan’s hand up my dress in the act of making me come, complete with my ecstatic moans.

My stomach rolled at the thought of that video on phones and computers across the world. I wouldn’t attract that kind of attention on my own, but Dylan would. He was Dylan Kane. Plenty of people would love to see such a successful, attractive man brought low. More important, his board of directors would not be happy. If this spun out of control, he could lose the business he’d worked so hard for.

I stood, peeling myself off the cold bathroom floor, and looked in the mirror. My eyes were red, my skin pale, and my hair a dark tangle still caught in the pins from my formal up-do. Frantic, I yanked at the pins, and pulled a brush through my hair.

I had to get out of here without being noticed. Severe bedhead was not going to help. No makeup and a ponytail were a start. The gleam of gold at my throat caught my eye. I’d forgotten the jewelry Dylan had bought me. I couldn’t take it with me. My eyes closed in despair, I unfastened the necklace and removed the earrings, setting them on the counter beside the sink. The bracelet was a little trickier, especially with my sight blurred by tears.

I shut off the bathroom light and cracked the door open. Dylan slept on his stomach, head turned to the side, away from the bathroom and closet. Trying to keep absolutely silent, I crept across the carpet and sneaked into the closet. The drawers holding my underwear opened on smooth bearings, making no sound.

I pulled a pair of jeans from a hangar and hoped they fit. They did. With a dressy blouse, I’d fit in with the casino crowd. I didn’t have my purse or my wallet. Ditto on house keys. My phone, with its payment app for some of the local taxis, would get me home. The hidden key beneath my back deck would get me in. That would have to be good enough.

I needed to know how much time I had left, but I wasn’t foolish enough to turn on my phone in the dark room. It was going to be enough of a challenge to get out without Dylan hearing. I felt for a pair of shoes on the closet floor, hoping I grabbed something I could walk in. Still in my bare feet, I sneaked out of the bedroom, every nerve alert for the sound of Dylan moving. All I heard were his quiet breaths.

My heart hurt at what I was doing. He’d hate me for this. I knew it. But I wouldn’t let Steven ruin him. Steven had done enough to me. I couldn’t allow his ugliness to take anything away from Dylan. As hard as Dylan worked, and as much as he loved his company, he didn’t deserve to have Steven jeopardize it all.

At the door to the penthouse, I paused. Dylan used a pass-card to access the penthouse floor. Would I need it to leave? I guessed I’d find out soon enough. The heavy front door was too well built to creak, but I was careful with the handle, afraid it would click into place loudly enough to wake Dylan. I waited until I was in the elevator, moving to the first floor without needing the key, before I put on my shoes. I’d grabbed high heeled sandals. Not the best match for my jeans and blouse, but they’d do.

Security wasn’t watching me as far as I knew. I wasn’t a prisoner at the Delecta despite Dylan commandeering my keys and purse. But he might pull up the security cameras to see where I went when I left. I thought about catching a cab from a different casino, but Dylan had my driver’s license. He wouldn’t have to work very hard to find me. And I was running out of time to meet Steven. I made my way to the front doors and pulled up the app on my phone to pay for the taxi. Fortunately, one of the taxis that accepted electronic payments was waiting for a passenger. I slid into the back and gave him my address, checking the time. Seven minutes.

I’m on my way
, I typed. A few seconds later my phone pinged with a reply.

I said not to be late
. My head was twisted with fear and my heart heavy at the decision I’d made. But now that I was committed to leaving, anger was taking the front seat. I’d moved as quickly as I could. Why did Steven have to be such an asshole about it? Hadn’t he taken enough from me? Now he was getting ready to take more and he couldn’t give me an extra five minutes.

I reminded myself that losing my temper would not help. Steven had that video of Dylan and me. He was probably looking for an excuse to use it. Pissing him off wouldn’t help me. The whole point of leaving Dylan was to protect him from Steven. If I couldn’t control myself, not only would I be losing Dylan, Dylan might lose his company.

Taking a deep breath to calm my racing heart, I tapped out another text.

Sorry. I had to sneak out. Couldn’t rush. Just a few more minutes.

No response. Watching the city flash by outside the window of the cab, I tried to take Steven’s silence as a good sign. My eyes blurred as tears filled them. I didn’t want to feel sorry for myself, but I was having a hard time not adding self-pity to all the other emotions roiling inside me. I’d sworn to stay away from men. Then I’d met Dylan, and for once it seemed like I’d found a good man, one worth loving. Now I had to leave him to protect him from my previous terrible choice.

My future stretched before me, clouded by Steven. If he was back for more this time, what was to say he wouldn’t return over and over? Especially now that he had that video. I had no real way to get it from him. I could demand the phone he’d used to film it, but surely he’d already uploaded it to a cloud storage site or put in on a computer. I could never be sure all copies of it were truly gone. Never. It would always exist.

A tiny voice in my head whispered that Dylan could take care of this. He could make one call to Axel and the two of them would be all over it. Except if I didn’t face Steven in about two minutes, the video would be out there for the world to see and all the data recovery in the world couldn’t stop it. Steven was an asshole, but he was smart. Maybe if he’d given me a little more time to think this over, I could have come up with a better solution than giving in to blackmail. Twenty minutes had left me barely enough time to dress and flee the Delecta. Not even. Twenty minutes had just passed, and I was still a mile from my house.

Two minutes
, I typed.

I’m on your back deck.

Great. The last place I wanted to be with Steven was alone in the dark. But we’d do this outside. I wasn’t letting that bastard in my house. The cab pulled onto my quiet residential street, lined with small bungalows like my own, all dark for the night. I lived in a community of families and older residents. No one would be up at this hour. I couldn’t decide if that was good or bad.

Exiting the taxi, I closed the door as quietly as I could and headed around the side of my house. My back deck came into view, enveloped in shadows. I couldn’t see Steven, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t there, watching me. I kept the spare key to the house in a hidden compartment under my deck, secured by a combination lock. I’d never had to use it before. I hoped the lock still worked. I waited a few seconds for Steven to show himself. When he didn’t, I decided to get the key. I’d have to move it later if Steven saw where I kept it. But I’d worry about that tomorrow. I had enough to stress over without adding about my spare key.

The combination lock was stiff, and I had to lay on my back in the gravel beneath the low deck, but I got the key. I was coming to my feet, shoving the key in my pocket, when Steven stepped out from behind a nearby tree.

I jumped in surprise, the heels of my sandals slipping in the gravel, but I managed to stay quiet. I really didn’t want to wake the neighbors. The family on the left side of the house had two young kids. They were sweet. On my right was Mrs. Carmody. She had ears like a hawk and hated noise. I was quiet, so it wasn’t usually a problem, but if she caught us skulking in the dark on my back deck, she’d call the police. That would be a problem.

“You’re alone,” Steven said, sounding oddly curious.

“What do you want?” I was surprised at how steady my voice was. Inside I was trembling with fear and rage.

“I wasn’t sure you’d be smart enough to ditch the guy. You almost hit the mother-load there, didn’t you? How’d you like my video? Hot, right? I must have jerked off watching you come five times already.”

“What do you want?” I hissed again, my stomach turning at the thought of Steven watching me with Dylan.

How had I ever thought I liked him? Looking at Steven in the shadows of my deck, he was completely unassuming. By all rights he should have looked like a dirty, greasy weasel. Instead he was blandly handsome. Blond hair in a conservative cut. Khakis. A dark blue polo shirt. An evil bastard wearing the costume of a normal, everyday guy, and I’d fallen for it.

“You don’t want to talk about my movie making skills? How about we talk about distribution? I can have that video up where the whole world can see it anytime. Won’t take me more than a minute or two.”

“What. Do. You. Want?” I demanded one more time. If he wouldn’t tell me what he wanted, I couldn’t give it to him and make him leave me alone.

“I want your 401k,” he said. “I saw the statement in your files. You’ve got almost sixty grand in that thing. Sign it over to me and I’ll give you the video. And I don’t want you to see that guy again. Dylan Kane is a problem I don’t need. You go back to him, I show the video.”

2
Leigha

I
stared
at him in shock. What an idiot. He was right; I did have a lot in my 401k. I was an accountant. I was responsible with money. And Haywood & Cross had a very generous employer matching policy. But I couldn’t just withdraw the money and hand it over to Steven.

“That’s not how it works,” I whispered. “It’s not a bank account. I can’t go to an ATM or write you a check. I have to fill out paperwork, send it in through my human resources manager. It takes at least a week, probably more. And then there’s an early withdrawal penalty. At least 10%.”

Steven’s eyes narrowed. He kicked one foot at the corner of my deck like a frustrated child.

“You’re lying,” he said.

“Why would I lie about this? I want that video. I want you to go away.”

“You have to give me something. I’m not giving you the video for nothing. Anyway, you make good money and you never spend any of it. I’m not leaving with nothing.”

My mind raced furiously. I didn’t have anything to give him. No jewelry worth pawning. Same for electronics. He’d already taken my easily accessible savings. Then a thought occurred to me.

“Why the hurry? You know I called the police after you emptied my savings. Did you know I hired a lawyer to sue you?” He shrugged and looked away. “So why risk coming after me? And you obviously know who Dylan is. If I’d told him, he would have crushed you.”

“Not before I uploaded that video,” Steven sneered at me.

“True, but can you imagine what Dylan would have done to you? So why come after me again? Why not find some other sucker?”

In my panic, the weirdness of Steven’s actions hadn’t penetrated. I’d only thought of protecting Dylan by coming here to meet him, not why Steven would be doing all this in the first place. Steven shuffled his feet in the gravel and murmured something I didn’t catch.

“What?”

“I said, I owe some people money.”

“How much money?” I asked. I didn’t have cash, but I needed to know how deep in the hole he was. And how desperate he would get.

“Forty grand,” he whispered. “These aren’t people you owe money to. If I don’t get them something by tomorrow, they’re going hurt me.”

I bit back a scathing comment about how I hoped they broke both his legs. I did, but telling him that wouldn’t get rid of him.

“Forty grand? What did you do? Borrow it?”

“No,” he whined. “I took your ten grand to a game and lost it. They gave me a marker for the forty. I was on a hot streak. I was going to win it back, and then some.”

“Idiot,” I said under my breath. I should have kept my mouth shut. Steven’s fist slammed into my face, catching me on my jaw, and sending me to my ass in the gravel. I’d never been hit like that in my life. His hands weren’t that big, but his fist felt like a sledgehammer, the pain ballooning out from my jaw, clouding my head. Saying it hurt didn’t really cover it. How did boxers do it? One punch and I was down, stunned and a little confused.

Lifting my hand to my face, I looked at him smirking down at me. How long had he been thinking about hitting me? The knowing smile on his face spoke of a well loved thought made real. My stomach tightened. Coming here had been a mistake. I should have woken Dylan. I should
not
have tried to deal with this on my own.

“Don’t call me an idiot,” he said, not looking the least bit sorry about hitting me. “My luck turned. It wasn’t my fault.”

“I don’t have forty grand, Steven. I don’t even have twenty.”

“You better come up with something, you stupid bitch. I saw you go shopping with that guy. Don’t tell me he didn’t buy you stuff I can pawn.”

“He did,” I said in a low voice, trying to soothe him despite my bad news. “But it’s all at his place. You could maybe get a few hundred for these shoes.” I pulled at the silver straps, getting the sandals off as fast as I could. I knew they were designer, but I didn’t know which one. Used, they could be worth a hundred or a thousand. Steven wouldn’t know the difference. Getting to my feet, I handed him the sandals.

“Shoes? That’s the best you can do?”

My mind raced, searching for something, anything I could come up with to make him leave.

“My car,” I said. “It’s only three years old. Paid off. I have the title inside. I’ll sign it over to you. It has to be worth at least twenty grand.”

I loved that car. A beige sedan, it wasn’t exciting on the outside, but I’d splurged and gotten upgrades on the interior. Leather, sunroof, nav system, all the bells and whistles. I’d planned to drive it for at least another six or seven years. Along with the house, it was the first adult possession I’d purchased after I got my job. But if giving it to Steven would get him to leave, I’d do it. Steven’s expression brightened at my offer. His head lifted, and he looked around.

“You came here in a cab. Where’s the car?”

“At the Delecta, in the parking garage. The parking ticket is in the driver’s side visor. I have a spare key and the title inside. I’ll give them to you, and you can go get the car, take it, and sell it first thing in the morning for cash.”

“I won’t get twenty grand for it if I sell it to a used car dealer,” he said, sulking like a child. He might be acting immature, but he wasn’t entirely stupid. No way would he get twenty grand for it from a dealer. And he didn’t have the time to sell it to a private owner.

“No. But that’s the best I have for you. You know I don’t have any expensive jewelry or a big TV. That car is the only thing I own that you can turn into cash by tomorrow.”

Steven studied the ground between his feet, thinking. My heart thudded in my chest. If I gave him my car, I’d be screwed. Thanks to his raid on my savings account, I didn’t have enough for a down payment on a new one. But that was the least of my problems at the moment. I needed to make Steven happy enough to leave me alone. And to forget about using that video. Finally, he looked up.

“Let’s go inside and get the key and the title.”

Relief and dismay swamped me. Relief that he’d take the car. Dismay at being alone in the house with him. I didn’t trust him. He’d hit me already. And his admission about jerking off to the video creeped me out. Who knew what he’d do when we were alone?

“I’m not going in the house with you,” I said. I wasn’t budging on that. Out here I had Mrs. Carmody next door. She was sleeping, but if I screamed, she’d be on the phone with the cops in a second. Once I was inside the house, all bets were off. “You go in. The title is in my file cabinet, top drawer. In the file labeled Honda Accord EX-L. The spare key is in the same file. You can take them and go.”

Steven eyed me warily. “You’re not going to ask me for the video?”

I rolled my eyes. “Is the only copy on that phone?” I asked. Steven scoffed at me.

“Of course not.”

“Then what’s the point of getting the phone from you? You could have a hundred copies of the video stashed all over the place. But you know what would happen if you used them, right? The only thing keeping me from calling Dylan is that I don’t want that video to get out. If you release it, he’ll come straight for you. You do know that, don’t you?”

Steven glared at me, his jaw clenched tight. He knew I was right. A single woman with few resources was a good target for his brand of petty blackmail. But if he drew Dylan’s attention, he was fucked. Once that video was released, Dylan would have no reason to hold back. And I had nothing left for Steven to take.

“I want your 401k,” Steven said. I shook my head. He didn’t know when to give up.

“Steven, you don’t have time for that. It’ll leave a huge paper trail. And Dylan will want to know why I ran out on him. He’s going to come find me.”

As I said that, I realized it was the truth. Dylan would be pissed. He might hate me and want nothing more to do with me. But he’d at least track me down to get an explanation. My heart sank. If I told him the truth, he’d go after Steven. And as twitchy as Steven was, he might release the video the second he caught sight of Dylan. He could have already uploaded it to streaming sites, just one click shy of going wide. I needed to convince Steven to get out of Vegas.

“You need to take my car, trade it for cash and get lost. Find the rest of the money you need somewhere else. Like New York. Or Miami.”

“I told you to stay away from Kane,” he said. “You go near him, I’ll release the video.”

“I’m not going back to him, okay? But he knows where I live. He may come here. I can’t control Dylan Kane. This is your only chance. Take my car, get as much cash for it as you can, and run like hell. Don’t bother coming back for more. This is it. I don’t have anything else to give you. It’ll take me years to make up for what you’ve already taken.”

“Fine. But I’m not leaving you alone out here. Open the door and get in the house.”

BOOK: The Wedding Rescue, Book Four (An Alpha Billionaire Club BBW Romance)
3.91Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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