Authors: Bella Love-Wins
A New Adult Romance Novella
Billionaire Romance Series
Empire Part Two
First edition. May 9, 2015.
Copyright © 2015 Bella Love-Wins.
All Rights Reserved.
Written by Bella Love-Wins.
~ They say with enough money, you can buy anything. But can money buy silence for the billionaire’s crimes of passion?
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Once again thank you, I hope you enjoy Empire!
My dad has to know something about why this cop was at the condo this morning. In case this guy is just fishing, I don’t call Dad right away. I drop off Rebecca and head into work, just like any morning. I’m so fucking pissed off right now, I can’t even think. I’m already behind from going to Long Island yesterday, and now this.
I get a call from my dad. He wants me to meet him at a friend’s office over the lunch hour. I don’t have the time, but he says it’s important to the future of Sloan Sports and Entertainment. I tell him I’ll come—I also need some answers from the man—and ask my assistant to rework my schedule for the day. I need to keep busy this morning.
My dad picks me up in his limo just before noon.
“What’s this about, Dad?”
“I want you in the loop in this. I think I should have kept you at Sloan instead of let Fairchild hire you. I need more people I can trust.”
“Who are we meeting? Jeff Silva?”
“And why do you need me?”
“Just sit in with me for this meeting. I’ll fill you in on the rest tonight.”
“Dad, we need to talk about the octagon,” I say. I won’t dare mention the girls when we’re out in his limo or in the open like this.
“We will. Just not now. There’s no time.”
We drive less than fifteen minutes before we’re let off at his friend’s office building. We take the elevator up to the fifteenth floor. The doors open onto a palatial open concept floor, decorated with ornate antique furniture. The receptionist greets us and immediately takes us down a long hallway and into a large, glass conference room.
Jeff Silva is in the room, speaking on his phone until we walk in. He ends the call and stands to welcome us.
“Solomon, Johnny, how have you been?” He comes around to give Dad a bear hug, and then turns to shake my hand. “What’s it been, Johnny? Three years since I saw you last?”
“Probably five, Mr. Silva.”
“Time sure flies. Well, it’s great to see you. And cut it out with that Mister bullshit. You’re a man now. Call me Jeff.”
“Have a seat and let’s get into it, Solomon.”
I still have no idea why I’m at this meeting, so I hang back and let them have their discussion.
“So how can I help you, Jeff?” My dad asks when we’re all seated.
Jeff laughs. “Did you get amnesia?”
“I didn’t. Why did you ask me here? You said it was important, so here I am.”
“Yes, you’re here, but guess what’s not?”
“Jeff, we already talked about this last week. I told you I’m…”
“Yes, you’re working on it,” Jeff finishes Dad’s sentence. “And while you’re working on it, do you know what that means?”
“I’m not stupid, Jeff.” My dad’s clearly agitated, but looks like he’s doing his best not to blow up at Jeff.
“Let me tell you anyway.”
“It means my five hundred and seventeen million dollars is sitting in Sloan escrow accounts, making zero interest while you wait for this Warrior Revolution deal to happen.”
“We’re getting closer, Jeff.”
“Yeah, well closer isn’t enough. This was supposed to be a seven business day favor, Solomon. We’re at forty-one days. Do you know what kind of return I could have had on my money in that time?”
“I don’t know what you want me to tell you.”
“Tell me when that money is coming back to me instead of spinning me all this bullshit. Better yet, don’t tell me. Just get the funds. I don’t care where. Talk to Mandy if you have to.”
“I can’t do that right now.”
“That’s not my problem. Get that deal signed with Warrior, then go to your usual bankers to wrap it up.”
“That’s what I’m working on. You know these deals take time.”
“Not as much time as it took for you to lose five hundred million of your own cash, it didn’t.”
“Quit acting like such a self-righteous prick,” my dad says. He’s steaming now.
“I will, when you drop the smug bastard routine.”
“I’ll have this problem solved shortly. You’ll have your money back, and interest, just like we discussed. Soon.”
“As soon as Warrior signs.”
“You know, it’s not my business where you get that money, but maybe you should be thinking of holding off on Warrior and resolving the real issue.”
“You’re right, Silva. It’s not your business.”
“And I didn’t get you into this mess, remember? You came to me long before. You asked me if it was a good idea to invest all those liquid assets into that fucking real estate development in Dubai.”
“Watch your tone, Silva. And the development is profitable.”
“Yes. But it’s not liquid! That’s why I’ve advised you over and over again to stick to short options.”
“Right. Well I can’t go back and change that. But we’re friends. So if you need to hang tight for just a little longer…”
“I can’t do that, Solomon.”
Dad stands and begins walking to the door. “Was that it? I think we’re done here. I’ll be in touch, Jeff.”
I get up and follow him out. The look on Jeff’s face is one of pure contempt at first. He remains seated, takes a breath and returns to his friendly self.
“I’m taking the money back in three days.”
“You can’t do that, Jeff,” Dad tells him, shaking his head.
“Like hell I can’t. You agreed to one-day call rights, remember?”
“You don’t want to do that, Silva. And don’t play me.”
I nod back to Jeff before following Dad as he stalks down the hallway and out to the elevator. Jeff does not follow us.
“You tied up half a billion dollars in Dubai, Dad?” I ask. I’ve not been keeping up with Sloan business, but he would have shared that kind of news.
“Not now,” he answers when the elevator doors open. He’s silent until we get back to the limousine.
“So what are you going to do?” I ask.
“I’ll talk to Mandy and Charles.”
“Does this Warrior deal have to happen right now? Maybe you can just regroup and look at it again in a year.”
“Don’t you start sounding like Jeff’s parrot, now. I’ll figure something out.”
I leave it alone. What I really want to do was talk to Dad about that detective who showed up this morning.
“Fine. When can we talk about the octagon?”
“I can’t do that right now. Meet me at the condo tonight.”
He lets me off in front of my building and I get back to work.
After we leave Jonathan’s condo this morning, I’m reeling. Something stinks. Badly. First of all, why was detective Robert Bateman waiting for Jonathan, to begin with? If this is about Doreen Rushton, they must have some kind of evidence on Jonathan, for them to have shown up already. The only way that’s possible is if they put a rush on the evidence analysis. Or they have a witness, or they have something damning that’s directly connected to him.
He drops me off outside my office building. I tell him not to worry; that I’ll take care of it, and find out what’s going on. He thanks me and comes around to open my passenger side door. For such a reputation as a playboy and all around woman-eating wolf, the man still knows how to be a gentleman. Maybe that’s part of the act. Part of the danger about him. I park everything my boss’s told me about him to the side. Everyone deserves a chance.
When he helps me out of the car, I remember my manners. I thank him again for last night. I could’ve been stuck in a hospital right now, or worse, if he wasn’t there. I don’t mention the part about sleeping with him. I’m not ready to stroke his ego quite yet, although to be honest, after what he did to my body, I should be bowing at his feet.
He is a sensible man. As we’re right outside my workplace, he shakes my hand. There’s a whole lot more that I would probably do if we weren’t here. He walks around to the driver side and tells me to call him later. I promise him that I will. I hope to God he knows it’s all business from here on out. I can’t afford to cross the line again with this man. He’s my client, and getting personal is only going to make things worse. For him and for me.
I turn after he’s gone and walked inside. I bumped into Kara on the elevator up. I greet her and ask if she has a couple minutes to speak this morning and that it’s urgent. She nods and when we get off the elevator, she tells me to follow her to her office.
I get a serious tongue lashing as soon as she closes the door. She warns me never to say the word urgent to her on an elevator ever again. I don’t question the woman. I have the good sense not to challenge her. She asks me what’s wrong and I tell her what happened this morning. Of course, the first question she asks is how I ended up at the front door of his condo before work this morning. I decide to lie.
I tell her everything that happened last night from my job to him showing up at the door, to him waiting in my living room, to me passing out to him helping me, and even into where he fed me dinner and slept on the couch. I conveniently leave out the part where I jump his bones. She eyes me intently during my entire account. I feel like she strapped a lie detector on me. I do my best not to panic, I manage my breathing, and I keep her eye contact.
I think I passed, but after I finish she says to me, “It’s a good thing you were there, Rebecca. You put that detective in his place.”
I tell her my suspicion; that they must have something on top of that already; and she agrees. Somehow, she seems relieved. But I should know better. Her mission is to protect Solomon and probably at all costs. Whatever it is the cops have on Jonathan only keeps her true asset shiny and glowing and insulated from this case.
She tells me she has no more information than what I already do, and instructs me to find out everything I can from Detective Bateman. She informs me she’s clearing my caseload; completely. Jonathan’s my one and only client from here on out. She reiterates that I need to watch myself where Jonathan is concerned, and as she walks to her door and is about to open it, she says to me, “You only get one fuck pass, Becky.”
I have no idea what she means. “Sorry, Kara. I don’t believe I understand. Come again?”
“You heard me, Rebecca. This is your one and only fuck pass at this law firm. Use it wisely. I’ll fire your ass if you try to get another one.”
She holds the door open. She tells me to come back later today, when her assistant can fit me in, and signals for me to leave. I do, and walk away quickly. The woman reads me like a book after all. No lying, or denying anything. I walk right past my assistant—she’s saying something about meetings and scheduling. I completely ignore her and close my door when I’m safely inside my office. That’s when I take my next breath.
I sit at my desk and I clear my head. From everything she’s told me, the future of my career at this law firm is now inextricably linked to the outcome of any criminal or other charges laid against Jonathan Sloan. I renew my commitment to keeping it professional with him from here on out. Neither of us is going to survive the fallout if we don’t keep our priorities straight.
I call my assistant into the office. She looks like she’s gun-shy from my earlier rejection. I asked her if she knows about all my casework being reassigned. She tells me she already knows, and it’s already been done. My schedule is clear today, and I have no distractions. I decide it’s time to find out for myself what I’m up against; hopefully off the record.
My first stop is a visit to detective Robert Bateman. I need to know what he knows, and how deep Jonathan is buried in this shit.