Authors: Emma Holly
Beck & Call: The Billionaires
Copyright 2015 Emma Holly. All rights reserved. With the exception of quotes used in reviews, this book may not be reproduced or used in whole or in part by any means existing without written permission of the author.
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to the vendor and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
This story is a work of fiction and should be treated as such. It includes sexually explicit content that is only appropriate for adults—and not every adult at that. Those who are offended by more adventurous depictions of sexuality or frank language possibly shouldn’t read it. Literary license has been taken in this book. It is not intended to be a sexual manual. Any resemblance to actual places, events, or persons living or dead is either fictitious or coincidental. That said, the author hopes you enjoy this tale!
Beck & Call: the Billionaires
is an approximately 91,000-word novel.
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Cover photos: www.bigstockphoto.com/forewer
Beck & Call …
The man everybody wants
Women can’t keep their hands off billionaire Damien Call. The mysterious mogul has it all: fast cars, killer looks, and a brain that just might be his best asset.
The woman he can’t resist
Mia Beck loves her job at a PI firm. Her coworker Jake stars in most of her daydreams, so seeing him everyday is no hardship.
The dom who masters both
Jake hasn’t believed in human goodness since he worked black ops for the CIA. Romancing innocent Mia is unthinkable, no matter how enticingly submissive she seems to be. Then a case of corporate espionage forces them to pose as dom/sub duo, to catch the eye of accused wrongdoer Damien. No fantasy is off limits for this voyeur—until the attraction the pair exerts lures him to go hands on …
A smile flirted around Damien’s mouth. “Before we sign my proposed agreement, would you two consent to a test of your chemistry? I’d like to confirm that the electricity you generated at Audition wasn’t a fluke.”
“Here?” Mia asked, startled.
“We’re private,” Damien assured her.
“This is your workplace.”
“So it is.” Damien flashed a grin that made him look more like a pirate than a sober captain of industry. “I thought, perhaps, you’d like to turn the tables on your friend.”
The CEO caught Jake unprepared. Lust streaked through his veins and heated his genitals. Damien wasn’t the only one with a hard-on then.
Mia blushed and stammered. “I’m not … I don’t …”
“We’ll keep it simple,” Damien soothed. “No whips. No chains. Just you in control of him. Do you think you’d enjoy that?”
Table of Contents
got the morning coffee for Discreet Investigations was never up for grabs. Twenty-two-year-old Mia Beck was the three-man office’s secretary and bottle washer, so the task fell to her. Her degree from a fancy liberal arts college didn’t matter. She was “it,” rain or shine.
Today the forecast was rain, a steady, misty curtain that turned the buildings of Brooklyn’s riverfront moody and romantic. Fog swallowed the bridge to Manhattan until it seemed more ghost than structure. As she juggled bags and shoved her key in their metal door, Mia indulged in one of her favorite daydreams: pretending she was a PI’s dame from an old movie. Her Humphrey Bogart couldn’t manage without her, and of course he was secretly in love with her.
Reality was more prosaic. Her boss was gay, their cases were mostly down to earth, and apart from one notable exception, her skills were replaceable.
At least her workplace fit her fantasy. The investigative firm leased space in a century old brick warehouse. They shared the slightly rundown building with a dog groomer, a CPA, and—in her opinion—a dubious spice shipper. Fortunately, Discreet had a separate back entrance. Not so fortunately, it was in the alley next to the trash dumpsters. Mia hissed as her canvas sneaker splashed in a cold puddle. She shook her foot, but the remedy came too late. She’d have to change into her work heels as soon as she got inside. Her boss, who she otherwise adored, insisted heels set the right business tone.
Mia preferred to put off donning the “right” shoes as long as possible.
“Coffee’s here,” she called as she did every day.
The heavy door clanged shut behind her, the sound echoing in the high-ceilinged space. Their second PI, Jake Reed, looked up from his perch on the front of his dinged steel desk. He’d been casually flipping through the contents of a manila folder—probably the cheating case they’d been working on. They were presenting a report to the client this afternoon.
Admittedly, Mia didn’t have a ton of experience, but Jake Reed was sexiest, most darkly dangerous male she’d ever laid eyes on. Somewhere shy of forty, he topped six feet by a couple inches and had a deceptively relaxed-looking rangy build. Former military, he practiced a form of martial arts whose name she suspected was top secret. Twice in the year they’d worked together she’d seen him subdue angry men with no more effort than a wolf yawning.
Jake observed the office dress code with a series of identical dark gray suits. At least, she thought the suits were a series. If it was the same suit, he managed to clean it every day.
Refusing to pair his shirts with ties saved him from looking like a drone.
“Hey, beautiful,” he greeted her in his raspy Clint Eastwood voice.
Mia blushed, which she suspected was his goal. She wasn’t ugly or anything, but he was so far out of her league she couldn’t take the compliment seriously. Mostly, her reaction seemed to amuse him.
“Black plus a bagel,” she announced, handing him his personal bag.
Jake took the sack, peered inside, and pulled out the lidded cup. He regarded her for a moment without prying open the plastic top. She tried not to dwell on how deeply blue his eyes were.
“Thanks, doll,” he said—another favorite endearment.
“Sure,” she responded, doing her best not to squirm under his erotic smirk.
, she told herself. And he was just teasing. “What’s Curtis up to today?”
Their boss could be seen in his glassed-in office, lounged back in his swiveling chair talking on the phone. Though the door was open, he spoke too quietly to be heard. He was younger than Jake, his leadership accounted for by his superior people skills.
Though he lacked his employee’s edge, Curtis was also a handsome guy. Running and workouts at the gym hardened his lean physique. His hair was red-gold, his eyes a complementary crystal green. He wore neckties every day. Today’s was royal blue. With one hooked finger, he tugged the loosened knot. The absentminded habit signaled that something troubled him.
Even from a distance Mia saw the furrow between his brows.
She’d known Curtis since she was ten, when he’d started dating her big brother. Curtis was as much her family as Mike had been, as dear and as protective. She wouldn’t have this job if it weren’t for him. In truth, she might not be employed at all.
Bachelors in art history didn’t exactly fast track a person to success.
“Anniversary’s coming up,” Jake observed, answering the question she’d really asked.
He meant the anniversary of Mike’s death. Her brother had died of an unsuspected aneurysm five years before, just dropped like a stone one morning on the subway he took to work. Mia had been entering college at the time. She loved her parents, but without Curtis to watch over her, she wasn’t sure she’d have survived the loss with her sanity. Mike had been the best brother ever: loving, fun, with an acceptance of her oddities no one else could match. To him, Mia had been normal—better than, actually. When she dreamed about things she’d do in the future, she always pictured him being there.
Mike and Curtis had been the love of each other’s lives. Curtis still kept Mike’s picture on the right corner of his desk. As far as Mia knew, her standin sibling hadn’t dated since the funeral.
That made her sadder than she knew how to say.
Not sure this was appropriate to discuss with Curtis’s coworker, Mia hung her damp leather trench coat on the coat tree beside the entryway. When she glanced back, Curtis’s body language said he was wrapping up the call. She could take him his coffee; maybe say something to let him know she cared. She pinched her lip indecisively. Mia wasn’t always great at guessing what people wished to hear.
“Mia,” Curtis called, coming to his office door.
She jumped forward and seized his bag. “I got your usual: skinny hazelnut plus a scone.”
He smiled like she’d amused him, though she noticed the underlying set of his mouth was grim. “Bring your coffee too. I need to discuss a possible job with you. See if you’d be willing to lend your special skill to it.”
Her legs slowed their hurried roll. Mia liked helping in the field—so long as she stayed in the background. If both men were out on assignment, the office got boring. Plus, it felt good to be Curtis’s secret weapon. It meant she’d been more than a pity hire. Her instinctive hesitation stemmed from Curtis’s expression.
He had a complicated favor to ask today.
“You want me to sit in?” Jake asked. Clearly, he’d noticed their boss’s mood as well.
“Yes,” he said. “I’d value your opinion.”
This was sounding more and more ominous. Deciding changing out of her damp sneaks would wait, Mia grabbed her coffee. She tried to hide her apprehension as she smoothed her creased knee-length skirt—ironing was
her thing—and slid into one of Curtis’s two guest chairs. To settle herself, she straightened her ponytail. Rather than take the second chair, Jake propped his shoulder on the wall. Though his pose was casual, the look he slid her was measuring.
She was relieved when he slid it away again.
“So,” he said to Curtis, now back behind his desk. “Who’s our client?”
“Genbolt Industries,” Curtis said.
Genbolt Industries?” Mia’s jaw dropped, and Jake let out a low whistle. Genbolt was a multinational corporation—not as recognizable as Apple or GE, but in its own way just as interwoven into the fabric of modern life. “Why on earth would they hire a small potatoes firm like us?”
Curtis coughed with amusement at her question.
“I mean, of course they’d be lucky to have you. Or Jake. You’re both awesome.”
Jake added his own snort. Curtis touched her brother’s picture, adjusted it a millimeter, and sat back with folded hands.
“Perhaps I overstated,” he said wryly. “Sam Raeburn’s personal head of security is considering engaging us.” Mia knew Sam Raeburn was Genbolt’s founder and CEO. “Evidently, Raeburn has a job his own people can’t be directly involved in.”
“Can’t be?” Jake repeated, his tone alert.
Curtis pulled his mouth askew. “It’s sensitive.”
Mia’s brain did the party trick it sometimes performed—assembling seemingly unremarked facts into a pattern she hadn’t guessed was there. “This has to do with his daughter. The one who slapped him at last month’s Save the Kids dinner.”
Mia pictured the incident clear as day, though she’d only glimpsed it in passing on an online news site. Two angry faces. One old, one young. A family resemblance. The silver manicure on the woman’s hand had been caught mid-lash by an alert photographer. Silk had draped the twist of her slim body. “Zoe Raeburn wore a white Halston gown and a bonkers nice diamond cuff.”
The daughter’s outfit was irrelevant, but Mia’s mouth tumbled out stuff like that anyway.
Though he was used to the habit, Curtis blinked. “Raeburn’s daughter is part of it,” he acknowledged. “Zoe has become a bone of contention in Genbolt’s ongoing rivalry with WorldWide.”
“You mean with Damien Call,” Jake said.
“Right.” Curtis exchanged a look with his employee Mia didn’t understand.
“Damien Call, the car maker? The superfast electric ones?”
“That’s him,” her boss confirmed. “Though WorldWide builds more than cars. Basically, if it’s fast and a billionaire would want one, Call has his fingers in the pie. Call’s company produces yachts, jets—”