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Authors: Kathleen Brooks

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BOOK: Acquiring Trouble
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Miles read over the report that Claire had handed him upon arrival. He shook his head as he put the last piece of paper down. Top Producers were only interested in buying up companies and destroying them. They overtook them, pushed out the controlling parties, and
fired all the employees. In the case of farms
,
they made deals
outside of
the best interest of the owners of the farm so that the farmers
couldn’t
fulfill the contract. Most of the fa
rmers put out a lot of money up
front on equipment in o
rder to fulfill huge contracts.

In almost all of the cases Top Producers loaned that money and held a lien on the equipment. They also went to the banks and took over the mortgages on the farms. When the farmers failed to fulfill the contract they didn't get paid and couldn't cover the payments on the equipment. It would landslide and soon they couldn't cover the mortgage. Top Producers would go in and force a quick foreclosure. The farms would be bought by a subsidiary of Top Producers for pennies on the dollar.

Miles' intercom buzzed and he knew he had only a couple of minutes before Claire brought Morgan in. He put th
e folder away, smoothed down his
shirt and tightened his tie.
Morgan walked in with her briefcase and glanced around the room b
efore stopping before his desk.

"Good to see you again, Miles."

"I wish I could say the same. Let's make this meeting quick and to the point.
I'm not selling. Tell David he wasted money in sending you here." Miles leaned forward in his chair, not bothering to get up. This was going to be short.

"Now, we haven't seen each other in all this time. I think we should chat a little before you reject me again." Morgan unbuttoned her suit jacket and sat in the chair opposite Miles. "Besides, I know that
as soon as I give you our proposal you’ll need to take it to all your members. So it looks like
we’re
going to have a lot of time to spend together.” She smirked and leaned back in his leather chair, slowly crossing her stocking
-
clad legs.

"Let me guess, you're going to do everything possible
to prevent me from getting the
signatures
needed to reject whatever the offer is
, probably pay them off, buy their votes," Miles accused.

"Why would you say that?
I’ve
done nothing to make you accuse me of breaking the law, not t
o
mention
the ethics of business." Her purple eyes flared even though her voice remained calm, almost teasing.

"Probably because
you were a constant law breaker and
you work with Davi
d Washington, a felon in a suit. Y
ou wonder why I question you? That night after graduation is enough to make me question you." Miles sat back in his chair and watch
ed
a blush creep up her face.

"You don't know what happened that night any more than you think you know about me. You know the saying about assuming…"

"I don't need to assume, the whole town knows exactly what type of person you are and what type of deals you'll probably make and then break." Miles had had enough playing. She was tormenting him with her straight
-
lace
d
appearance and attitude
,
yet
he
knew what passion hid under that suit. Regardless of lust
,
he wasn't going to let her walk
all
over him to close a deal that would hurt his
fellow
farmers.

"Oh," Morgan whispered as she ducked her head.

Miles watched as she slowly raised her eyes and looked at him from under her dark lashes.
She slowly licked her bottom lip with her pink tongue before nibbling on her lip with her teeth.

"I'm so sorry I ever gave that impression. I always work
hard
,
very
hard
for what I want," Morgan said breathily as she
put her hands on his desk and slowly stood up, leaning over toward Miles.

Miles felt his heart speed up and his pants tighten. He couldn't help but lean forward to get closer to her. She was spellbinding. He couldn't take his eyes off of her as she gently
bit d
own on one red nail. He watched
in anticipation as she
slow
ly trailed that one perfect red nail over
her
plump lip, down her sweetheart chin, and between the
valley
of her full breasts.

Morgan closed the gap and brushed her lips against his
with a feather-light touch
.
With a growl that came from
an animal long caged, he grabbed her with a frenzied passion. His lips melded to hers as he wrapped one strong arm around her waist and pulled her across his desk and into his lap. She was kissing him back with the same intensity that she had all those years ago, but she had learned a trick or two since that inexperienced kiss.

Her hand yanked his shirt from his pants. She was breathing
heavily
, her breasts pressed against his chest
,
his erection yearning for her touch.
His breath caught as he felt her fingers dance slightly along his waistband. Morgan broke from the kiss and leaned forward to tr
ail her lips along
his masculine
jaw
to his ear.

"I thought I'd give you what you expected from me," she breathed into his ear as she ran that perfect nail over his length, "Maybe you even expect me to sleep with you to close the deal
—b
e
cause I'm nothing but a criminal who lac
ks ethics and who liked to shop
lift packs of gum when I was a kid."

"
Geezus
Morgan!" Miles leapt up, dumping Morgan onto the ground. "That is exactly what I was talking about.
So
me people never change and this…
this was completely inappropriate."

Morgan just smiled from where she was sitting on the ground.
Her skirt pushed up to her thighs
allowing her
black garters
to
peek out.
She
stood
slowly and straightened out her
clothes
. Damn her, she didn't even look a bit as frustrated as he felt.

"Your assumption of knowing me is what is inappropriate. I just had a little fun showing you how your little assumptions are going to lead to your downfall. Now, I have some farmers to talk to. I'm sure they'll b
e real ha
ppy to learn of our offer of fifteen million
dollars." Morgan picked up her brief case and looked back at Miles. "Good bye Miles. It's been titillating as always."

Miles watched as she lowered her eyes to his pants and he cursed under his breath as she gave a little smile at the evidence of just how titillating of an experience it had been. With a quick shrug of her shoulders she turned around and
left
him staring after her in a lust-
filled haze.
He wasn't quite sure, but he thought she
might
have gotten the best of him.

Miles rocked backed on his heels and smiled. It could possibly be one of the first real smiles he had had in a while and it felt good. This was going to be the most satisfying business negotiati
on he'd ever had the pleasure of
winning.

 

Chapter
Seven

 

Morgan held her back straight as she marched out of the office, down the stairs, and out to her car. She
started
the car and managed to drive two bloc
ks before she burst into tears.

The second she left Keeneston that dark night
seventeen years ago
she ceased to be the Morgan they
had known
. Instead she was a good student, a hard worker, a valued employee who
wasn’t
only law abiding,
but also
donated her time to charity. She was a respected member of the community
.

Then in the course of two hours she had been reminded of every horrible thing she did
—a
bandoning her family, even though they had disowned her, breaking up the
relationship of the
town's golden boy, and then told she lacked ethics and w
as a criminal. That's why she never came back to Keeneston. Away from here she could be her real self,
be
cause if she
were
her real self in Keeneston they'd eat her alive,
just like seventeen years ago.

 

Keeneston,
s
eventeen
y
ears ago…

 

Morgan tossed her graduation cap into the air
along with the rest of the class and watched it join in a cloud of blue and white caps. She had done it. She had graduated and today was her eighteenth birthday. She was legally free to do whatever she wanted and what she wanted was to get her own place, live her own life.

It didn't start out that way though. She had loved her parents and her sister. When she was young there were so many happy times. After turning seven years old it all changed. Her hair, which had been a light brown like her mother and father's, had darkened to the black it currently was. Her blue eyes had turned violet when she was four and for some reason her father looked at her sitting across from him at the dinner table and exploded.

She didn't understand it, but from that moment her mother detached from her and focused all she had on Pam.
Pam had
taken her cue from their parents and stopped being nice to her. She was suddenly a burden to the teenager instead of the best friend
she
used to be.
Her father barely tolerated her presence and came down on her hard whenever she got into trouble. When
she was good he just ignored her, so over time she learned that if she wanted his attention she had to be bad. So she'd lift a pack
et of gum or knock over a trash
can. But now, it was over. Now she was graduating and now s
he’d
be her own woman.

Morgan reached up into the air and plucked her cap from the sky.
Her classmates were surrounded by their parents and other family members and friends
. She stood alone on the
outskirts
of the groups and watched alone. She had told her mother that she was going over to a friend's for lunch, but it was a lie. She didn't have any friends.

She took off her cap and gown and started the short walk home. She was hoping to sneak in through the kitchen, grab a bite to eat, and hide out in her room until everyone went to be
d. Then she was going to leave forever. She looked up at the innocent looking house and dreaded having to go inside.

Morgan saw Pam's car in the driveway
—o
f course Pam had a car and she didn't even have a bike. Great. It was her birthday and graduation, but with Pam here she could forget anyone even remembering.  She cut across the well-manicured lawn
and
entered
the screened-
in porch. She opened the door
,
stepped into the kitchen
,
and came face to face with her family.

"What are you doing here?" Pam shot at her. "Mom, you said she wouldn't be here!"

"Morgan,
we’re
having brunch with Pam's boyfriend, Stephen. You were supposed to be busy. I don't have enough food for you," her mother told her.

"You need to respect us and not embarrass
your sister
. Leave now so we can enjoy our meal." Her father stood next to Pam as they glared at her.

Morgan didn't even pay attention to Stephen. He looked like
any of
Pam's typical boyfriends. Average. Average height, average build, average looks. Morgan just thought of him as boring. With a shrug of her shoulders she headed outside
and sat on the porch. She'd
wait until they moved into the front living room and sneak
in. It shouldn't take more than thirty minutes.

She was curled up against the wall with the warm sun coming in through the leaves. The breeze was moving the trees gently and before she knew it she was sound asleep. Sound asleep until she felt someone kissing her. Her eyes flew open to find Average Stephen
sitting next to her giving her an average kiss and with his average hand roaming up her leg.
Morgan slapped him hard and he just smiled and shoved her
hard
against the house.

BOOK: Acquiring Trouble
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ads

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