The Billionaire's Baby (The Romero Brothers, Book 5)

BOOK: The Billionaire's Baby (The Romero Brothers, Book 5)
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THE
BILLIONAIRE’S BABY

(THE
ROMERO BROTHERS, BOOK 5)

Shadonna
Richards

Copyright 2014 by
Shadonna
Richards

 
 

Author Contact:

Website:
www.ShadonnaRichards.blogspot.com

Email:
[email protected]

Facebook:
http://www.Facebook.com/AuthorShadonnaRichards

Twitter:
@
Shadonna

 

Cover by Keri Knutson

 

All rights reserved; no part of this publication may be reproduced or
transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise,
without the prior permission of the publisher.

This book is a work of
fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the
writer’s
imagination or have been used fictitiously. Any
resemblance to persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Thank you, God, for all my
blessings. To my cherished son and husband for your unconditional love.
With gratitude to my family and friends for your endless support.
To Solomon, Jermaine,
Merdella
,
Nesitta
,
Monica, and
Percell
. To my editor M.M. for always
being brilliant. To
M.H
. and
K.D
.
for your wonderful support.

 
 

 

 

THE BILLIONAIRE’S BABY (THE ROMERO BROTHERS, BOOK 5)

 
 

Pregnant and alone, Amber
Johnson-Murray, aka “Miss Always-Careful,” never in her life thought she’d end
up single while expecting a child. After leaving an emotionally abusive
relationship, she has sworn off men until further notice. That is, until she
bumps into an old friend, hot and delicious property developer, Jules Romero.
The baby growing inside her is a precious miracle. But how can she control the
feelings growing inside her for too-hot-to-handle Jules?

 

High-flying billionaire Jules
Romero is determined to bury himself in his work acquiring properties after suffering
injuries from a near-fatal accident, but meeting up with sweet Amber has thrown
a kink in his plans. Though Amber is determined to keep the identity of her
baby’s real father a secret, he wants nothing more than to take care of Amber
and her child.

 
CHAPTER ONE
 

“My God, Jules, I
thought you were dead!” Dr. Alonso Romero uttered to his athletic, carefree brother
Jules as he lay on the hospital bed. Alonso’s voice rang with authority as he
spoke to his younger sibling. “Do you know how lucky you are to even be
breathing? When I saw that video of the ski-a-thon on YouTube, I panicked and
called Granddad. Took the first flight in from Haiti.”

“Thanks, bro,” Jules
said, grinding his teeth to ease the pain as he clutched the side of his ribs
where the incision was.
Pain shot through him as he propped
himself up on the bed.
Even though Alonso and Jules were only two years
apart, Alonso was always the protective brother. Jules was glad Alonso flew in
to see him considering his medical guru brother was often busy managing
operations at one of his international clinics. In fact, Jules was overwhelmed
the whole Romero clan stopped by to see him despite their hectic schedules. The
room was filled with family members, several of his brothers and his
grandfather along with his wife. Just goes to show how really important it was
to have family by your side when you’re at your lowest, or heck, when you’re
vulnerable.

 
“I appreciate you being here,” Jules
continued, “but, honestly, I don’t feel so lucky to be alive, right now.” And
that was the truth. He felt a jolt of agonizing electricity shoot through his
bones. That darn morphine was wearing off too fast for his liking. His
tolerance for pain was usually high but not in this case. The impact his body
took as he collided on the ski slope was damaging in more ways than one.

The hospital room
door flung open and Dion, his other brother, bolted through. “Those damn
reporters!”

“What’s wrong
now?” Jules asked, trying to keep his cool.

“They’re everywhere.
They’re like bugs, in your face, annoying the crap out of you!” Dion announced,
leaving a Starbucks
grande
coffee on Jules’s bedside table.
“One of the cleaning staff just told me an undercover reporter tried to pay her
for some inside information about your progress.”

“That’s disgusting,”
Grandpa Toni Romero rebuked. The old man’s lips were pinched into a thin line.
He was seated near the window beside his considerably younger wife, Shelly.

Toni then waved
his cane in the air. “I bet they’re from one of those darn gossip rags. You
can’t trust anyone these days. They’ll sell you out for the right price. Good
thing we have
twenty-four-seven
security outside your
door, Jules. We Romeros can’t be too careful, as you know.”

“Grandpa, I don’t
need security outside my door,” Jules replied with potency, heat rushing
through his blood. The last thing Jules needed was to feel like some helpless
cripple. “Please tell ‘
em
to go away. I can take care
of myself!”

“Take care of
yourself
? You mean, like you did out
there on the ski slope?” Toni argued, arching a brow over his round-rimmed
glasses. “Don’t tell me you don’t need security, grandson. We don’t need to
take any more chances. Why do you and your brothers have to be so stubborn at
times? Look what we’ve been through in the past with invasion of our privacy by
the press.”

“It’s okay,
Gramps, let it rest,” Jules attempted to pacify. He loved his old man to bits and
would throw himself under a bus to save his life but sometimes, he could be a
bit much. He was beginning to wonder if he should have limited the number of
visitors in his room. How the heck was he supposed to recover with all this
fussing and commotion?

“Okay? No, it’s
not okay, Jules,” Toni continued. “My God! Why does the media have to be up in
our business around the clock? Can’t we even get
sick
in peace?”

Zack, Jules’s
brother who owned the Romero Winery and Vineyard, cleared his throat after
unsuccessfully suppressing a chuckle. “Oh, Granddad, you’re always the same,”
Zack commented. He knew what it was like to be on the receiving end of
Granddad’s strongly-worded chastising when a scandalous sex-tape from Zack’s ex
threatened to surface and ruin his nomination for a prestigious winery of the
year award not so long ago.

Jules glanced out
the enormous window viewing the white clouds against the blue sky and scenic
garden outside with a breathtaking view of the hills of the town known as Mayberry
Hill. His grandfather Toni had donated millions to upgrade the medical facility,
especially the flourishing garden to make it enchanting for patients who could
do no more than stare out the window while they convalesce in bed.

The Romeros might
be known to be enterprising
jet-setters
from the real
estate arena to the corporate boardrooms of Fortune 500 companies but when it
came to their own blood and supporting one another, family was first.
Each and every time.
They were tight as an intricately woven
rope and never forgot where they came from in their youth when they had nothing
but literally the clothes on their backs and hope in their hearts.

Good thing Jules’s
private hospital room was massive in space. Seated around his bedside were Shelly
and Toni, his grandfather and patriarch of the Romero dynasty, and his brothers
Dion and Carl, the recently elected—and youngest—mayor of Mayberry
Hill who stopped by from City Hall to see how Jules was doing today. Lucas, his
other brother and founder of the renowned Healthy Start software, had showed up
earlier that morning.

The surgeon, Dr.
Adeem
, suspended the two-visitors-only policy for a day since
Jules was improving. He was already three days post-op.

The fresh pine
scent of hospital disinfectant filled the air. The soft beeping of Jules’s monitor
could be heard faintly since the overhead pagers were going crazy outside the
room as doctors were being summoned.

 
“I don’t know what I would have done with
myself, Jules, if we’d lost you,” Toni softened his tone slightly. “If you ever
pull that stunt again, I’ll make sure you live to regret it.”

Jules grinned.
“If I ever pull that stunt again, Gramps, I won’t live to regret it. I’d
probably be dead!”

Toni smiled but
his eyes were misty and filled with pain. Jules knew his old man had been through
so much tragedy and heartache in his life as it was. He knew his grandfather
wanted nothing more than the best for his grandsons whom he’d help
raise
when he learned about their existence in their teens.

The brothers
often took part in the annual ski-a-thon to raise tons of dough for
underprivileged kids so they could go to school and be able to afford not only supplies,
but
the basics like food and shelter for their
families. The event was sponsored by one of many of Jules’s
privately-owned
companies,
R.M
. Fitness Centers. But something had
gone terribly wrong when Jules lost his balance—something that had never
happened before. Long story short, Jules crashed hard and the rest was a blur.
He’d blacked out and woke up post-op. But that wasn’t all there was to it.

Dr.
Adeem
also delivered some awful news to him. Jules couldn’t
bring himself to tell his family just yet. He didn’t want to hurt them any
further.

At least his
family—as much as he wanted to be alone right now—was taking his
mind off his real problem.
His own private hell.

Zack glanced at
his buzzing cell phone and answered it.

“Now aren’t you
supposed to have that thing switched off?” Toni rebuked Zack. “I don’t want
anything messing with the equipment in here.”

Jules tried to
resist the urge to chuckle. Besides, he would have to “guard” his rib cage if
he did. “Granddad, it’s fine for cell phones to be turned on in here. It’s a
medical surgical inpatient floor so it’s okay.”

Toni growled.
“Very well, then. I just wish you boys would leave business alone for a change.
It’s family time now. You’ll raise your blood pressure working around the
clock.”

Zack dramatically
placed his hand over his heart, feigning a crushed heart.

“And speaking of
family…” Toni continued.

“Oh, boy, here we
go again.” Dion rolled his eyes and shook his head.

“I’ve said it
before and I will say it again. Family is so vital. Jules, you almost lost your
life out there and just to think, if anything had happened to you and you
didn’t have us here, what would you do? Who would take care of you or visit you
and comfort you?”

Jules thought
about it for a moment. “But I’ve got you, Gramps.”

“Very funny,
Jules. You keep putting off settling down, and look. Look what almost happened
to you. Heaven forbid, but you would have no companion to leave behind to mourn
your passing or no little ones to carry on your legacy.”

Jules felt his
breath halt. Heaviness centered on his chest and it had nothing to do with the morphine
that had just worn off. His gut clenched so hard he felt his muscle pull.

Loneliness hurt
like hell.

Having crushed
bones was painful, but nothing compared to the pain of feeling lonely.

His grandfather
was right, wasn’t he?
As much as Jules hated to admit it.
He looked around the room and saw the content looks on his brothers’ faces. Though
his brothers and he vowed they would never marry—at least not until they
were well into middle age, he saw how happy Lucas was with Maxine and Zack, oh,
Zack the lady’s man, finally settled down with a loving wife, Blue. And Carl
was now happily wed to Venus. Jules was beginning to feel left out.

When all was said
and done, family was number one, but what about when he, as an adult, went
home—alone. They all had their own families to tend to. Jules wouldn’t
want to seem like a burden to anyone or heaven forbid—in the way. Of
course, they would never purposely make him feel that way. But he was a man
with his pride.

Everything’s all
good and done when you’re up and about.
But what about
someone to care for and reciprocate that feeling?
Heck, just being in
love could do wonders for your health. He dated a lot of beautiful women but he
never wanted anything more serious in those relationships. Then again, he
hadn’t met anyone he’d want to be serious with.
None who came
to mind at the moment—except Amber Johnson-Murray, a friend of Carl’s
wife.
Yeah, Amber was real nice. Only trouble was she was prim and
proper so he didn’t get too far with her—then again, he alerted her up
front he wasn’t into permanent relationships. But she probably moved on by now.

BOOK: The Billionaire's Baby (The Romero Brothers, Book 5)
11.38Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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