Tough Luck: A New Adult Billionaire Romance (The Vegas Billionaire Obsession Series Book 3) (6 page)

BOOK: Tough Luck: A New Adult Billionaire Romance (The Vegas Billionaire Obsession Series Book 3)
11.53Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads
Chapter 11

Leslie

There was time before we left for the tour, so the four of us took a walk through the indoor shops on the main level. Drew and I held hands, and I felt so close to him. I could see us together as a couple, and it seemed like Monica and Max didn’t mind us acting like two lovesick teenagers. They appeared to be getting along great too.

“Try this on!” Monica called to him, tossing him a hat.

He put it on and pulled it down over his eyes. “What do you think?”

“It is so you,” she said, laughing.

I looked up at Drew for a minute, and he seemed distant. While Monica and Max stepped into the hat shop, I turned to look at him.

“Is everything okay, Drew?”

“Yes. It’s fine,” he said with hesitation. He looked around and then turned back to me. “Leslie. I need to talk to you.”

Oh boy. This didn’t sound good. His body was tense, his eyebrows furrowed, and he could barely look me in the eye. “What is it?”

“Let’s sit in there.”

He led me to a small café and took me inside to sit, waving off the server when he came by. He took my hands, took a long breath and looked at me.

“Leslie. I’ve been meaning to tell you a few things this past week, and it seems like the timing is never right. I promised myself that no matter what, I wouldn’t let this weekend go by without letting you know everything about me.”

“Just tell me, Drew. Right now all you’re doing is making me worried sick about what it could be.”

“Okay. Well, you learned that Max is my brother, or half-brother.”

“Yes.”

“Well, his father—our father—left us in charge of his company. It’s all new and I have no details at all, but I’ll learn more in a few days.”

“What do you mean, you’re in charge of a company. What company?”

“Gorber Oil.”

“Which Gorber Oil?”

“The one you definitely know about. The Gorber Oil everyone knows about.”

“You mean—”

“Yes, that one.”

“Oh. So you’re—”

“I think so.”

“Well that’s interesting. Do the people at work know?”

“No. I’m just finding out. But that’s not all.”

“What? Well that’s a lot. What else could there be?” He looked at me, completely pensive and nervous. “Just spit it out, Drew.”

“Leslie, I’m going through a difficult divorce. It’s almost over, the judge has ruled on the case but—”

I stood up and could not control my voice. “Did you just tell me that you’re…you’re still married, Drew?”

He stood up and took my hands in his. “Technically, yes, but very soon it—”

I was reeling. The room was spinning. I ripped my hands out from his and looked up at him, hoping it was his naïve idea of a joke. I looked around to see if Monica and Max were in on it, hoping I was just being punked. When I looked back at him, I knew I was not.

He reached for me again and I took a step back. “Don’t touch me!” I shouted. “You’ve been married all along? Who is she? Where is she, Drew!”

He tried to answer, saying something about it being over years before, but I wasn’t listening anymore. I could only hear the echo of the shrillness in my voice. All I could sense was the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, and my only thought was of my humiliation by his confession.
Was I the other woman
? I didn’t dare to ask. I had to get out of there. I turned and ran out of the café, and he followed me out.

“Just leave me alone!” I screamed.

The sound echoed through the halls and he stopped short. I didn’t bother to look for Monica. I ran all the way back to the hotel elevator, made it to my room, and sank to the floor when the door closed behind me.

 

***

 

Drew

Leslie refused to speak with me at the airport, during the flight, and when we got off the plane in Dallas. She pulled away when I tried to speak with her once, and Monica did a great job of telling me to back off. She pulled me aside, told me to give her time, and that Leslie would see the light and come back to me soon enough. Thankfully, Monica agreed to take the gifts I had bought Leslie after she had run off.

Max and Monica ended up taking the helicopter tour on their own. For me, there was no enjoyment to be had, seeing Leslie get so upset then storm off like that. It hurt badly—but I felt more unhappy about what she was probably going through. She didn’t deserve the pain my news doled out. I had spent the final few hours perusing the stores, looking for things Leslie might like. She was mad as hell, but I wasn’t ready to give up on her.

I dreaded what would come next at work. I resigned myself to giving her space. I needed to let her come around when she figured things out, and hoped she would eventually see the big picture. There wasn’t more I could do. She had all the facts, and although the timing wasn’t great, it was now up to her to decide what she wanted.

Thursday soon came around, and after work, I met Max for lunch before we went to the formal reading of our father’s will. I didn’t know what to expect, and when twelve people gathered at the reading, I had even less of an idea.

“Didn’t you mention you and I were the only ones in his will?”

“Yes. These are the company’s lawyers. And that man in the blue suit is the Gorber CEO. Come on, I’ll introduce you to everyone.”

With introductions out of the way, Max and one of the trust lawyers sat at the front. After a few formalities to kick it off, Max turned it over to the lawyer to deliver the formal reading. I could admit, the entire event was long, drawn out, and so complex, the only thing I understood was when I heard “
to my sons Andrew and Maximilian.
” Everything said before and after might as well have been said in Greek. It was procedural and didn’t help me come to grips with the details. We all sat patiently until the lawyer stopped, and Max gave some concluding remarks.

“That was helpful,” I told him as we left to head to our vehicles. “And by helpful, I mean completely confusing. I didn’t understand a word, except our names. That’s bad, isn’t it?”

“No,” he laughed. “Not at all. All the lawyer said was what I told you before. Yes, there were details on the asset distribution, and other drab minutia. But I’ve already told the head lawyer to make time for any questions you have.”

“Great.”

He reached into his briefcase and pulled out a stack of papers. “And the will is public record. Here’s a copy. You’ve got a lawyer you trust, right?”

“Yes.”

“Good. Take this to them and have them give you the run down, just so you’re comfortable.”

“Thanks Max.”

“And congratulations.”

“For what?”

“You’re almost officially a billionaire now.”

“Oh.”

“Come on. It’s not like I just told you you’ve got a terminal illness. Cheer up. Let’s go for drinks, big brother. Time to celebrate.”

 

***

 

Leslie

The minute I got back to Texas, I knew I didn’t want my life to go back to what it was. I enjoyed my newfound body, confidence and attitude. I had quickly grown accustomed to enjoying some of the finer things in life. I was ready to make some changes, starting with getting a new car. Everyone seemed surprised that I chose a red hot Ferrari. Everyone but Monica. She came with me to shop for it, and reminded me I deserved it.

It was my first big purchase since winning the lottery. It felt good signing on the purchase document, knowing it was a small gift to myself. The only thing missing was Drew. All week, he would try to get me to talk to him, but I wasn’t having it. He had enough time to drop the bomb on me about being married—at least, I think he was married. I guess I was so angry when he laid it all on the table, I couldn’t really remember. The point was he didn’t tell me soon enough.

How could he have slept with me, followed me to Vegas, make me feel so special, and then tell me all that, like it was nothing? When I finally broke down and told Monica, her reaction surprised me. All she wanted to know was when his divorce would be settled. She didn’t think it was a big deal.
How could she not think it was a massive deal?
She told me Drew was for real, and he had only been sweet to me, and nothing else mattered.
Some bestie.
She must have fallen for her co-anchor’s slick talking and smooth moves. Whatever it was, she gave me no encouragement when it came to how I cut him out. 

One afternoon, as we sat for lunch after work, my phone rang. I had glanced at the screen and saw Drew’s number was scrolling across the caller ID. I had been ignoring his calls and text messages, figuring eventually, he would take the hint and leave me alone. This time, Monica prodded me to answer it. I held the phone and stared at it. I almost answered it, but then I put it back down.

“Screw him,” I mumbled.

“You’re being silly about this, Les.”

“Really? Why am I suddenly wrong? I didn’t hide anything from him, Monica. I don’t even feel I know him.”

“You knew what you needed to know.”

“And what’s that?”

“He’s a good guy. He adores you. He puts your needs before his own. He flew over a thousand miles to be with you. What else do you need to know?”

“He flew out there to be with his brother.”

“That’s semantics, Les. You’re missing the point.”

“And what’s the point?”

She stood up and left her share of the bill on the table. “You know what? I’m not talking to you about this anymore, Les. I don’t know what else I can say for you to open your eyes. Let’s just change the subject.”

“Fine,” I answered, and left some cash before following her outside.

“Are we still going house-hunting now?”

“Definitely. I can’t stay at my apartment anymore. And I’m tired of crashing on my bestie’s couch.”

She held me around my shoulder before I opened my car door. “You’re welcome to crash with me anytime.”

“Thanks Monica. Look, I don’t mean to be hard on Drew. He just hurt me, you know? I still feel like a fool for not knowing.”

“I know. His timing sucked. But that doesn’t change a thing.”

“What about his wife?”

“He’s divorced, Les. Or wrapping it up in court. You told me yourself he hadn’t seen his wife for over a year.”

“And his brother? I practically dry humped the TV that night at his place when the Billionaire Takes a Wife special was on, and he never told me he was related to Max. And seriously? He’s rich, and he didn’t tell me that either.”

“Who tells someone they’re dating every last detail the second they meet? I don’t know about you, but I don’t. And I would never tell them what I had until I knew I could trust them. You’re looking at this all wrong. He told you everything. He just didn’t tell you the day he met you.”

“You know what, Monica? You’re right.”

“Exactly.”

“No, not about Drew. You’re right that we should change the subject and not talk about it anymore.”

“Sure.”

“Can we still go for drinks later?”

“Oh you couldn’t talk me out of that, Les. Now I
need
a drink.”

 

Chapter 12

Leslie

I took Monica’s advice and went home a little early on Friday. Except for buying a new car and finally receiving the first after-tax payout of lottery winnings in my account, the week had been torture. Drew respected my wishes and left me alone—and I hated it. I started wishing he would fight for me. But then again, I had been so hurtful and out of control when we had our argument back in Vegas.

I drove to my apartment for the first time this week. I had been staying at Monica’s, as I was tired of people showing up at my door on Monday when we got back from Vegas. For now though, this was still my home. What I needed was to take a shower, put on some comfy clothes, climb into bed and stop pining over Drew.

I got in and went straight to my bathroom. After a long shower, I found an oversized sweatshirt and yoga pants and towel dried my hair. I didn’t even feel like watching TV anymore. As I was about to hop into bed, I saw the three gift bags Drew had given to Monica to pass to me before we left Vegas. I had set them down when we came back from the airport, and as I had not been back home since, I never had the chance to see what it was.

I looked inside the largest bag. It was a two-piece hot pink lingerie set, and underneath were about six black lace panties. I laid them all out on the bed and sighed. There was a card at the bottom of the bag from Drew. It read:

 

Dear Leslie.

I saw this in a store window and had to get it for you. I hope you like it, and can’t wait to see you model it for me. 

Love,

Drew

P.S. These panties look just like the ones I ripped off your gorgeous body on Friday night. I got you six, just in case it becomes a habit. Wink.

 

Some of my anger melted away, and I couldn’t help but try it on. I stripped down naked and carefully put on the lingerie. It fit me perfectly, complimenting my curves. I turned to check it in the mirror, scoping out all the angles and how it fit. I silently wished Drew were there to see me in it.

I had to check the other two bags. The next one had a long, suede Tiffany necklace box, with a neat bow on one end. I held my breath as I opened it. It was a rose gold necklace with a heart-shaped pendant, lined in brilliant, round diamonds. Pinned at the opposite end of the box was a matching pair of heart-shaped diamond studs. It was stunning. The note with this was shorter, and read, ‘
A small symbol of how I’ve come to care for you, Leslie. Love, Drew.

It took my breath away. All of a sudden, I regretted being so terse with him. His confession to me had been so unexpected, with so many revelations, I was afraid I couldn’t trust him. Deep down, though, I had already fallen hard for Drew, and I had to admit, I believed he cared for me.

I rushed over to my phone and sent him a short text that I was sorry and wanted to talk, if he was free to come by. I placed it on my dresser and looked over at the third bag. I was hesitant to look inside. Before I could check, I heard the doorbell. I groaned. A big part of me wanted to ignore it, fearing it was the usual flow of pseudo-strangers, apartment building tenants, and old acquaintances stopping by to wish me well. But I held out the hope that Drew might have already been on the way, and had shown up to beg me to forgive him.

With that thought in mind, I hurried out of my bedroom opened the door without checking.
Shit.
It was Brad again. I told him I didn’t want to talk to him and he needed to leave, but he was able to wedge his shoe in the opening before I could close it. I don’t know what had gotten into him. He pushed the door open with his full body weight, and it caught me off guard. He stepped inside and closed the door, looking at me with darkened eyes.

Fear may have kicked in. As I stepped back, I lost my balance and fell back on my ass, scrambling backward on the floor. I’m not sure why I reacted that way.

“Is that any way to greet your boyfriend, Les?”

“Brad. You need to leave, okay? You’re not my boyfriend.”

I got to my feet and turned to run toward the bedroom to get my phone. Brad was not himself. He yanked back by my shoulder before I could get more than a few steps.

“Stop it Leslie. I just want to talk. Don’t you want to talk to me?”

“No. Don’t touch me. You need to leave now!” I shouted.

“That’s not very hospitable.”

By now I was officially scared. His fingers dug into my shoulder as he walked me over to sit on the sofa.

“Let me go, Brad! You’re hurting me. Get out now before I call the cops, okay?” This was getting her nowhere. I needed to think, to keep him talking. I needed to calm him down. “You’re right, Brad. I’m sorry. What did you want to talk about?”

His eyes flicked down my face, paused on my lips and then down my body. I was exposed, horribly exposed in this little negligee.

“I like your little outfit. Why didn’t you wear stuff like that when we were together?”

I nearly rolled my eyes, but didn’t want to set him off. Calm. Control. Keep talking. “Tell me what you want, Brad.”

His composure changed in an instant.

“We need to talk!” He yelled, his face turning red. I jumped at the suddenness of it.

I swallowed hard. “Talk about what?”

He laughed. “You’re trying to squeeze me out of these lottery winnings, Leslie. I played those numbers with you for years. And just because I didn’t throw my share of the ticked cost the last few times, you want to cut me out? Just like that?”

“Are you serious right now, Brad?” I said between clenched teeth. Suddenly it was me losing my temper. “How could you think you deserve a penny of this when you didn’t pay for the ticket?”

“You don’t get it, do you? It’s the principle of it, Les.”

“What principle is that, Brad? What kind of principles do you have, breaking up with me on a text message? Look I’m not going to dredge up the past, but you are not entitled to a penny of this money. Now get out.”

He stood up and looked down at me. He folded his arms and took a broad stance, like he wanted to intimidate me. It was working. “I’m not going anywhere this time, Les. Here’s want you’re going to do. You’re going to forgive me, and I’m going to move back in with you. We’re going to go back to the lottery office and you’ll add my name to the ticket claim.”

“I said get out or I’ll—”

“I’m talking here!” he yelled.

Brad was completely unstable. He was past talking down. I needed an out. I slowly looked around for anything I could use to defend myself. Nothing.

“You tried to hurt me, Leslie, cutting me out of the money like that. Don’t make me hurt you back.”

He’s insane.

I flinched as he leaned down toward me and took my face in his hands.

“Do you want me to hurt you?”

“You’re already hurting me, Brad. Let me go. Please. Just leave.”

“Answer me!”

I shook my head, which was difficult considering he held it in the vise of his hands. He dropped them and smiled. “Good.”

He stepped away again and began to pace back and forth. “I can’t believe you’d try to steal from me.”

“Steal?”

“Yes steal! You want to know why I came to see you that day last week? I wanted to see if you’d tell me the truth about the lottery and offer me my fair share. You kicked me out, remember?”

“You’re not making any sense, Brad. You haven’t played in months. You left me, remember?”

He looked up at the ceiling. “Leslie. Leslie. Leslie. What am I going to do with you?”

I stayed silent.

“Of course it doesn’t make sense to you. You’re a liar and thief. Now we’re going to get dressed now, and we’ll head to the lottery office and fix this. Today.”

“Brad,” I tried to reason with him, “The lottery head office is in Austin. Even if we left now, they’d be closed by the time we got there.”

“Minor details, Les. We’ll leave now, stay in a motel in Austin tonight, and wait for them to open tomorrow.” He faced me and his eyes flicked down my body again, desire gleaming in his eyes. “Oh, and make sure you bring what you’re wearing. You look like a sweet piece of ass in this. I’ll make sure I take care of you tonight.”

He dragged me off the couch and held on to my arm as he walked me back to the bedroom. His grip wasn’t tight, so I tugged my arm at an angle, and pulled away. I turned to run for the front door, but he grabbed me by the hair and yanked me back to him.

I struggled as he turned me around and pushed me against the wall beside the front door. He grabbed my hands and held them tightly over my head. I tried to knee him, but he just laughed against the side of her face.

“Please don’t, Brad.”

“Don’t what? Don’t do this?” He licked up the side of my cheek. “Or this.” He nuzzled my ear. “Or…”

I opened my mouth to scream but he covered it with his own. I screamed into his mouth and tried to turn away, but he was too strong. The sound was muffled in his kiss, and I could barely breathe.

“Hush now,” he said, taking my wrists into one hand and sliding his other hand down my arm. “Before we go, I’m just going to take a little of something else that belongs to me.”

He cupped my breast, and pressed his hips against mine. I begged him to stop, but he wouldn’t. He had me pinned to the wall, unable to move. He slid one strap off my shoulder, and pulled down one cup of the nighty, staring at my breast.

“This is still mine, Les.” He moved his lips in and latched onto my nipple, forcing my body to feel things that had been dormant since he left. I shook my torso, trying to force him off, and he looked up from my breast.

“I know what you want, baby. Just wait. I’ll give it to you hard tonight when we get to Austin. Just the way you liked it.”

BOOK: Tough Luck: A New Adult Billionaire Romance (The Vegas Billionaire Obsession Series Book 3)
11.53Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

A Convenient Wife by Carolyn Davidson
The Two Koreas: A Contemporary History by Oberdorfer, Don, Carlin, Robert
Working Man by Melanie Schuster
Mastered: Ten Tales of Sensual Surrender by Opal Carew, Portia Da Costa, Madelynne Ellis, Marie Harte, Joey Hill, T. J. Michaels, Kate Pearce, Carrie Ann Ryan, Sasha White, Emily Ryan-Davis, Jennifer Leeland
Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb
You Found Me by Joel Cobbs