Legal Ease (Sutton Capital Series)

BOOK: Legal Ease (Sutton Capital Series)
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Legal Ease: Sutton Capital Series, Book One

By: Lori Ryan

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2013, Cara Shannon. All rights reserved.

This book contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author / publisher.
 

Legal Ease: Book One of the Sutton Capital Series

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-one

Chapter Twenty-two

Chapter Twenty-three

Chapter Twenty-four

Chapter Twenty-five

Chapter Twenty-six

Chapter Twenty-seven

Chapter Twenty-eight

Chapter Twenty-nine

Chapter Thirty

Chapter Thirty-one

Chapter Thirty-two

Chapter Thirty-three

Chapter Thirty-four

Chapter Thirty-five

Chapter Thirty-six

Chapter Thirty-seven

Chapter Thirty-eight

Epilogue

C
hapter One

Jack Sutton
stalked through the lobby of his New Haven office with his jaw clenched, glaring at people on his way up to the 26
th
floor offices of Sutton Capital. People moved out of his way as he stepped onto the elevator and stabbed “26” on the panel.

Jack was used to people moving out of his way. When he was in a good mood, people paid him a healthy, well-earned respect and they smiled. When his mood was foul like today, people moved and they moved quickly.

Ding.
The elevator doors slid open to reveal the reception desk and modern waiting area of Jack’s company. His nod to the receptionist was curt but polite as he moved past her toward his corner office.

He stopped in front of his secretary’s desk before entering his office and glanced down at the temp. “Jennie, Andrew will be here in a few minutes. Show him right in when he arrives.”

“Yes, Mr. Sutton,” Jennie, said with a nod.

Jack strode to his office and shut the door. He paced and
waited for his best friend – the Chief Financial Officer of his company – to arrive. He hoped that Andrew would have good news to help him out of the colossal mess he found himself in. Andrew was one of the few people that knew Jack the man beyond Jack the CEO of Sutton Capital. They went far enough back that neither saw the other the way their adversaries did.

Jack was used to his opponents fearing him and his investors respecting him. Jack never felt weak or anxious when he stepped up to the negotiating table and he normally thrived on stress and pressure. But, o
n this, possibly the biggest deal of his life, the unique circumstances had him feeling like he had maneuvered and negotiated his ass right into a sling.

Jack moved to his granite-topped desk and scowled down at his reflection in its uncluttered surface. He considered how quickly his plans had fallen apart. He had been so certain that his strategy would work that he’d become overconfident and that wasn’t like him at all. His late mother’s involvement in his current situation had thrown him off his game and he needed to come up with another plan and execute it quickly if he were going to save his position in the family company.

Jack knew if there were ever a time to pull a miracle out of thin air, this was it. He and Andrew had known each other long enough and pulled enough miracles out of thin air that if any two men could do it, they would. He just had no idea how to accomplish that right now.

When
Jennie opened the door and ushered Andrew inside as directed, the slump of Andrew’s shoulders and the tight line of his lips told Jack that things hadn’t gone as they’d hoped.

Andrew had been in on his plan from the beginning. He was Jack’s closest confidant and supporter but right now it didn’t look like his friend had the news Jack needed.

“Thank you, Jennie. Hold my calls,” Jack directed.

“Yes, sir.” Jennie
closed the door behind her, leaving the two men in silence.

***

Jennie rushed back to her desk to turn on her intercom. As a temp secretary, she took a lot of liberties that she might not take if her job were more secure – and listening in on what promised to be a juicy conversation was one of those liberties.

Early on at
Sutton Capital, she discovered that the indicator light on the intercom between Jack’s office and her desk didn’t light up when it should and she’d been listening in on conversations ever since.

The one her boss had with his aunt and cousin yesterday
was the best by far. From what she could gather, when Jack’s mother had passed away five years ago, she’d held the largest single chunk of shares in the company, at forty-five percent. The remaining shares of the privately held company were held in varying amounts by the six members of the board of directors, including Jack. Jack’s mother, who cared more about her son’s marital status than the state of the family business, placed her shares in a trust.

Yesterday, his aunt had gloated that though Jack
held the proxy rights, that could change in a week, when Jack turned thirty-five. She reminded him that if he wasn’t married by then, the trust remained – but the proxy rights reverted to her, his Aunt Mabry. Aunt Mabry threatened to use the strength of her shares to make a bid for her son Chad to take Jack’s place as CEO of the family business. Apparently, for some reason not clarified in the conversation Jennie had overheard, his Aunt Mabry wanted to hurt Jack. She didn’t care that her son, Chad, had no interest in being CEO or that Jack was the best man to head the company. As Jennie listened to their conversation, one thing had been clear; for whatever reason, Mabry seemed to want Jack to hurt.

If Jack wanted to save his position as CEO, he either needed to have enough Board Members on his side to know he could win a vote…or he needed to get married before he turned thirty-five. By the next week.

If Jack were married, the shares his mother left in trust would become Jack’s outright and Mabry wouldn’t be able to touch him.

In the two months Jennie had filled in as secretary for Jack Sutton she
’d heard no mention of a fiancé or even a serious girlfriend, so she’d almost fallen out of her chair when she heard Jack tell his aunt and cousin that he planned to marry his fiancé at the end of the week. Jack Sutton was seen with a different woman on his arm every week and none of the women had any marriage potential, from the looks of them. They were partying debutantes, at best.

When his aunt pressed for details, or a name, he had remained vague and told
his aunt that she could drop by the next afternoon to meet her.

As she listened
in on Jack’s meeting with Andrew, Jennie had a clearer understanding of why he had told his aunt such a flat-out lie.

***

“Not good news, huh.” Jack said this as a statement rather than a question, knowing from the look on Andrew’s face that he didn’t have anything but bad news.

“Sorry, Jack, but John Barton’s death put a
real kink in things for us. Our plan to get enough of the share holders on our side to ensure your place as CEO may not work now. It seems that his shares were left to his son, Bryan. I’ve been trying to find out more about the son so we can decide which side of the aisle his vote will go, but I can’t be certain yet. It turns out that Bryan Barton went to school with Chad. What I haven’t been able to find out is whether they were friends, enemies, or indifferent,” Andrew reported.

Jack
leaned back in his chair and let out a frustrated growl. “How is it possible that it’s all falling apart at the last minute? If we don’t have him on our side, I’ll be out.” Jack frowned.

“Oh hell, I know it’s
fucked up to talk about a man’s death like this, but the timing couldn’t be worse. Andrew, you know it’s not even the money that matters to me.” Jack was silent for a long time as he scowled at nothing in particular.

Andrew nodded
. Jack’s family had been wealthy before Jack took over Sutton Capital and Andrew had personally helped Jack wisely invest his inheritance and the money he had earned over the years, so he was well aware of Jack’s financial comfort. Jack had more than enough money to last him ten lifetimes, whether he worked another day in his life or not.

“Hell, my dad started this company from the ground up and I was proud to take over from him. I think I’ve done a damn good job expanding it, too,” Jack said, crossing his arms as if he dared Andrew or anyone else to deny the assertion.

“I know it, Jack. Hell, we all do. That’s why any of the existing board members would have voted for you. Your risky decisions seem to pay off as if you had the Midas touch and people trust your judgment. But, Bryan Barton is a wild card. We just don’t know what he’ll do.” Andrew shook his head. He leaned forward, his forearms resting on his thighs and looked at his longtime friend. “I guess you’re going to have to get married, bro.”


How in the hell will I find someone to marry me by the end of the week? Never mind the fact that I have no interest in getting married. I happen to like my life just the way it is,” Jack said, but even as he said it, he knew on some level that he was lying to himself. Jack would kill to have what his mom and dad had when they were alive; his parents shared a love so powerful, it lasted until the day they died.

Andrew sat quietly and let Jack vent. The ability to do so was one of Andrew’s strengths – knowing when to be quiet and wait out a storm.
Jack knew there really wasn’t anything Andrew could say to ease his situation for the moment but it helped to gripe for a few minutes.

“I’m perfectly happy living as a bachelor. I don’t know why my mom couldn’t understand that. Just because they had a great marriage doesn’t mean that’s the only way I’ll be happy, does it? Well, does it?”
Yeah, it does, thought Jack, but then forced that thought out of his mind. He had never met anyone that made him feel the way he knew his mother and father felt together so he was careful not to let those hopes surface anymore.

Andrew remained silent
but shook his head.

Jack knew he sounded more like a toddler than the CEO of a multimillion-dollar corporation
, but he had come to realize a long time ago that he wasn’t cut out to have the kind of love his parents had found and being forced to marry to save his company sent his mood into a downward spiral.

“No,
marriage isn’t the only way you’ll be happy, but that’s hardly the issue now. What do you want to do? We can gamble that your aunt won’t be able to get the swing votes she needs or we can go to Chad and ask him to step in and stop her,” Andrew suggested.

Jack ran his hands through his hair and
leaned back in his chair to think. He stayed that way for a few moments and then sat up and turned back toward Andrew before speaking.


I don’t want to leave things up to chance but I won’t ask Chad to step in and confront his mother over this. I know it’s hard to understand, but I remember what my Aunt Mabry was like before her husband walked out on her. You can’t see it now because she’s so filled with hate but she was once so happy and loving. In those days I loved her as much as I loved my own mom. When my uncle left her, she just cracked.

BOOK: Legal Ease (Sutton Capital Series)
4.65Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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