Fugitive Millionaire (Fugitive Millionaire Book One)

BOOK: Fugitive Millionaire (Fugitive Millionaire Book One)
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Fugitive Millionaire
 

 

 
 

Jaclyn Brooks

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2014 Jaclyn Brooks

Diamond Flower Romance

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the author.

This work of fiction was created and reproduced in the United States of America.

The characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.

 

 

 

Part One: Escape
 

 

Story starts on next page.

 

 

P1.Chapter 1
 

 

Dashingly handsome Fabian Cooper is standing in the office that was supposed to be his by birth. The comfortable spacious office with modern furniture is on the 20th floor of a mid-town Manhattan skyscraper. Fabian admires the view of the city from the large squeaky-clean windows. That magnificent view is one of the few things he enjoyed about being inside the corporate office of Cooper Enterprises (CE).

His grandfather, James Cooper, had started the company back in the 1950s with the renovation of a dumpy hotel. He transformed it into a high-class destination for upscale businessmen. Within ten years there was a chain of hotels in several major cities—all of them very profitable. James retired in the early 70s and turned the reigns of CE over to his son, Gray.

Gray Cooper turned out to be a natural at running a large hospitality business. Gray expanded into luxury resorts and entertainment. Today, Cooper Enterprises is a massively successful hospitality and real estate empire with dozens of domestic and international properties. The Cooper’s joined the ranks of New York’s rich elite and lived accordingly.

Fabian was born into this stinking rich family and as the only son of Gray’s two children, he was expected to one day step into the shoes of his father. At the tender age of twelve, Fabian knew that if he was forced into running Cooper Enterprises his free-spirited soul would shrivel up and die. He had come to this realization after his dad took him to the former headquarters, which wasn’t anything near as impressive as the company’s current digs.

Gray had proudly introduced Fabian to all of the key managers and secretaries he worked closely with each day.

“This is my son, Fabian. He’s going to be the boss here some day,” Gray said proudly.

Fabian remembers the fawning looks he got from those adults that assumed his future as a business empire king was a lock. One manager in particular really turned him off. His name was Mick and he was a Vice President of one of the divisions. Mick went out of his way to shower Fabian with flattery and overblown compliments about his minor school and extracurricular achievements. Fabian quickly concluded that Mick got where he was by being a major kiss ass, which he despised.

As a boy, Fabian looked down on those kids that sucked up to him simply because he had a lot of money. He treated them like dirt, and yet they still hovered around him like flies attracted to sugary food. Mick was one of these people. Always wanting to ride the coattails of someone more successful.

Fabian cherishes the few true friends in his life. They accept him for who he is as a person. He can relax, let his hair down and simply be himself around his real friends.

“Hey, Fabian. Did you hear what I said, man?”

Fabian snaps out of his brief trip down memory lane.

“What? Sorry man. You know how much I love this view.”

Fabian breaks away from gazing at the Manhattan skyline and fixes his gaze on his best friend, Nathan Prewitt.

“You were saying?”

“When can I go see your film at the theater?”

“Um, not until next year some time. Once we wrap up editing, we’re going on the film festival circuit. Gotta build up some buzz first, you know?”

“Yeah, that makes sense. Wow, man. I can’t believe you’re really a movie producer.”

“I told you I was serious.”

“Yeah, but you’ve talked about doing all sorts of shit that never came to fruition.”

This was true. Fabian has earned a reputation for being someone that kind of jumps around from one thing to the next. He’s never really found a career path that captured his unbridled attention, until he got an opportunity to be a part of making a film.

“That other stuff was just passing fancies. I really think I’ve found my true calling, Nathan. I love everything about making movies. I especially love hanging out with creative, passionate people.”

“Well, whatever floats your boat. I’m just glad you found something constructive to do with your time.”

“You sound like, Gray.” Fabian says this to poke at Nathan for parroting one of his father’s backhanded compliments.

“Really? Hey, I’m not riding your ass or anything. As far as I’m concerned, you can live your life however you choose. You know I’m in your corner, right?”

“Yeah. I’m not questioning that. It’s just that you spend so much time around Gray that his attitude towards me is bound to rub off on you a little bit.”

Nathan is visibly uncomfortable after hearing this remark. “Nah, I just care about you man. I want you to be happy.”

Fabian accepts the sincerity in Nathan’s voice. He looks his best friend squarely in the eyes. “I’m finally doing something that makes me happy.”

“Good. Now you can make your mark in something you really enjoy doing, and maybe Gray will recognize that you’re successful in your own right.”

Nathan checks the time on his authentic Cartier Santos 100 XL chronograph watch—a Christmas gift from Gray. “It’s almost lunchtime. Why don’t we blow this place and get a bite to eat.”

“Sure. I’m up for anything. I’ve got nothing else to do today.”

Nathan’s cell phone rings. “Excuse me a moment. Nathan speaking. Ah, yeah. Hold on a moment. Sorry, I gotta take this call.”

“No problem.” Fabian flops down in a chair and whips out his smartphone. He decides this is a good time to goof off with a game of Angry Birds.

Meanwhile, Nathan frantically searches his laptop for something. “I don’t see it here, Scotty. Let me get my assistant.”

Nathan switches to the office landline phone. “Hey, Claire. Look up the current Vegas project and bring me the file with the contracts. Thanks.”

Fabian finds humor in the notion of him sitting in the main hub of CE management playing a silly game while someone else runs the show at the big desk. “Aw…almost had it,” he says with a tad bit of irony after missing a tricky scoring opportunity.

Fabian could have easily been referring to the seat of power that Nathan now occupies.
 

An attractive female voice breaks his concentration.

“I’ve got the files you want, Nathan.”

Fabian automatically looks up at the female form that accompanies this pleasant voice. She’s a very cute, brown-eyed girl next door type. He is already sizing her up to see if he should bother making an effort to meet her. Right now, he’s got her pegged as an eight on his attractiveness scale. She’s not model beautiful, but she’s got above average looks.

Nathan takes the file from his assistant. “Thanks, Claire. I know I’ll find what I need in here.”

“Okay. I’ll go back to my desk.”

Nathan snaps his fingers at her. “Wait around until I finish this call. I want you to meet Fabian.”

Claire quickly glances at Fabian and just as quickly turns away. “Okay.”

Fabian ignores Claire and pretends to be deeply engrossed in his game play. He is purposely allowing her to check him out without feeling pressure to speak. He knows he’s easy on the eyes and that many women are drawn to his low-key vibe. He never has to come on to a woman—they always find a way to let him know he is welcome in their space.

He’s not sure he’s interested in Claire yet. He’s still feeling out her energy. Over the years he’s learned that the women he is most attracted to always emit a strong positive energy that he is able to connect with. After he is formally introduced, he’ll know for sure if he wants to date her.

Fabian finally looks up at Claire and smiles. She smiles back shyly with blushing cheeks. This immediately tells him that she is not an overly aggressive type. He figures she’s probably a nice girl that expects to be treated with kindness and respect. He better be on his best behavior in order to get anywhere with this one. There is one thing about this cute girl he likes already—her wonderfully expressive eyes.

Fabian continues his game as Claire stands awkwardly off to one side until Nathan ends his call.

“Fabian. Have you met Claire, my assistant?”

Fabian knows that this is his cue to get up and approach the young lady.

“No, but I’m very glad that I get the opportunity right now. Hello, I’m Fabian Cooper.”

Fabian extends his hand to Claire. She shakes it. Fabian keeps his gaze on those brown eyes.

“Hi. Claire Decker. Nice to meet you,” she says in a friendly, but formal manner.

Fabian can already tell that Claire is intensely attracted to him, even as she tries her best to remain professional. If they were in a bar or nightclub, he would buy her a drink. Because they are in a professional office setting, he is restricted to what he can say and do. At the moment, he is allowing himself to imagine what her body looks like underneath that smart-looking skirt and blouse ensemble she’s wearing.

“Fabian just got back into town and stopped by to watch me slave away at the office while he kicks back and does as he pleases,” Nathan says half-jokingly.

“Hey, you’re the one that wanted to run Cooper Enterprises. Don’t blame me if you’re swamped.”

“That’s true. Well, I can say that the only reason I manage is because I have such great help from Claire here, right?”

“Yep. I do my best to keep things on track. I’m the real brains of this operation. Nathan just takes all the credit.”

Fabian thinks she’s being serious until he sees Nathan crack a smile.

“There’s some truth to that. My brains are often scrambled after a hectic day. Anyway, Claire and I love to joke around. It makes the day go by faster.”

Fabian is giving Claire Decker a thumbs up in his mind. He then tries to imagine what it would be like to have Claire Decker working as his executive assistant everyday, but it’s too much of a stretch for him. He’s content earning a living the untraditional way. Still, maybe there is room in Claire Decker’s life for a carefree guy like him.

“How long have you worked for Cooper Enterprises, Claire?”

“About ten months.”

“Give this girl a medal, Nathan,” Fabian jokes. “She has spent ten months putting up with you and still shows up for work each day.”

Claire chuckles at this needling.

“Don’t mind him, Claire. He’s just jealous that I get to work with an attractive lady such as yourself.”

Claire’s eyes dance from one man to the next. She is soaking up this attention like a sponge.

Fabian shoots back. “Okay, that’s fair. I admit I’m a little jealous. I’m single again and I certainly wouldn’t mind spending part of my day with a lovely lady like Claire.”

Before Claire can say a word Nathan pipes up. “Are you hitting on my assistant?”

Fabian winks at Claire. “Not yet. I haven’t been given the chance.”

“Watch out for him, Claire. He’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

“Oh, I think I can take care of myself,” Claire reassures her boss.

The office door opens and in walks perfectly coifed Sloane Cooper. Sloan’s slender figure is practically molded into her red designer dress and sexy black pumps. With all eyes on her the mood in the room changes immediately. Nathan is happy to see the new arrival, while Fabian is not.

“Hey guys. Am I interrupting anything?”

In an instant, Nathan’s demeanor has switched from high-powered executive to fawning admirer. “We were just getting ready to break for lunch. What do we owe the pleasure of this visit to, Mrs. Cooper?”

Fabian notes that Nathan uses her formal married name at the office. He doesn’t see the point of this. Maybe it is another one of her ridiculous requests.

“I’m planning on flying to Vegas next week,” Sloane says airily. “I had some questions about the new hotel we’re building. I was hoping Nathan here could fill me in. My girlfriend is coming with me and I don’t wanna come across like a dummy.”

Nathan gestures for Sloane to sit down in his executive chair. She does so with flair while he stands in front.

Claire quietly slips out of the office before Fabian can continue his flirtatious conversation with her. He doesn’t blame her one bit. Sloane has a tendency to act superior around women that are not in her inner social circle.

Sloane turns her attention to Fabian. “Fabian, were you going to do something with Nathan?”

Fabian tries hard to stop himself from becoming completely obnoxious. “Yeah. We’re doing lunch. But, I guess that’s put on hold for now thanks to your amazing sense of timing.”

“Don’t get all uptight. I’m just here for a little while. You guys have the rest of the day to hang out.”

Fabian can see right through her innocent act. He knows her too well to buy that her visit is completely out of the blue. “It just seems more than a bit of a coincidence that you just happened to barge in here when you knew this was the first time I’m seeing my buddy in a while.”

Sloane pulls a small compact out of her purse and checks her makeup. This seems totally unnecessary since it’s done to perfection as usual. “Stop acting like a spoiled brat, Fabian. The world doesn’t revolve around you. I didn’t plan this, okay. It was totally spur of the moment.”

“Yeah, don’t make a big deal out of this, man, okay?” Nathan says supportively.

Fabian can see that Nathan is totally in Sloane’s corner. He knows he needs to get out of this office before he loses his cool. The presence of his gold digging stepmother has put a sudden damper on his good mood.

“Uh huh. Well, I’m going to go out for a walk. Buzz me, man, when you’re ready to do lunch.”

“Sure thing.”

Before he leaves Fabian makes a mental note of Sloane making googly eyes at Nathan.
This woman has no shame. She’s a bigger flirt than me, and that’s saying something.

Fabian spots Claire sitting at her desk engrossed in reading the screen of her desktop computer. She looks busy, but that doesn’t stop him from sidling up close and aimlessly picking up a sheet of neatly typed notes. He pretends he’s interested in her to do list.

“There’s nothing interesting on there. Those are just notes to keep me on track for the day.”

Fabian puts down the paper and gazes into those lovely eyes again. “You probably think I’m a snoop. Nah, I’m just bored.”

“I thought you were going to lunch with Nathan?”

BOOK: Fugitive Millionaire (Fugitive Millionaire Book One)
3.32Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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