The Billionaire's Promise (An Heir At Any Price Book 3) (6 page)

BOOK: The Billionaire's Promise (An Heir At Any Price Book 3)
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I didn’t sleep all night. I knew that Holly had gone to her mother’s because I drove by there to make sure that her car was there. I at least knew they were safe. I wanted them home with me, but I didn’t think that talking to her last night would solve anything. It would be a mess of tears and emotions and guilt. So I left it alone and drove home for the time being. I lay awake until dawn and then I made a strong pot of coffee and set about making things right…I wanted to call her with solutions, not excuses.


After I had my coffee and showered, I called Randall.


“Hey Randall, I have a huge task for you.”


“Yes sir, what can I do for you?”


“I need executives. Anyone that’s applied recently that looks promising. Anyone that the headhunters have sent over or called about recently too.”


“Okay, are you firing me?” Randall said. He didn’t have much of a sense of humor, so he may have been serious. I laughed anyways.


“No Randall, I need help for you so that I can spend some time with my family. My wife needs me, and my kid is growing up way too fast and I’m missing it all. I won’t be able to get any of that back so I need to be there for it now while it’s happening.”


“I will have them all lined up when you get here,” he said.


“Great, thank you. I have something else I need to do first. I’ll be in within a few hours.”


I hung up with Randall and then taking a deep breath to steady my nerves I did something that I’d refused to do for the past four years…I called Jake.


“Aiden?” he said when he answered the phone. I still had the same private number. He sounded surprised to hear from me.


“Yeah, it’s me. How are you, Jake?”


“Ah, I’ve been better. How about you?”


“Same here. I’m guessing both of our troubles are stemming from the antics of the same woman?”


Jake laughed, but it was a dry laugh with no humor in it. “Yeah, you’re probably guessing right. I had a visit from your wife’s investigator a few days ago.”


“Yeah, I have the dossier in front of me. What a mess. What are you planning to do, if you don’t mind me asking?”


“I plan on getting my son back, first and foremost,” he said. I felt the old familiar pang in my chest when he said, “my son.” I know it’s stupid, I know Mark is not my son, but it still hurts all these years later. “Hey Aiden, I hate myself for what I did to you, sleeping with your wife. I don’t want to make any excuses but if you’ll let me, I’d like to at least tell you how it happened.”


I didn’t know that it made any difference now, but I guess a little closure wouldn’t hurt any of us. “Yeah, okay,” I said.


“Do you remember that big party we had when we closed the deal with that Chinese company?”


“The one at the Plaza? Yeah, vaguely. I was a little bit drunk.”


“Yeah, we all were. I don’t know, now that I think about it, maybe Cecile wasn’t. Anyways, I passed out in the ballroom, do you remember that?”


“Yeah, I helped carry you to your room.”


“I have no recollection from the time I puked and keeled over on the dance floor until early the next morning. I woke up in bed with your wife, Aiden. We were both nude and she was all over me. I should have kicked her out, I have no excuse…but she had me all hot and I let it happen. After that, I avoided her at every turn. I even went months without seeing her. She would call me and she invited me to every dinner party you two had. I always made sure to bring a date because she made me so uncomfortable. I was so afraid she would tell you and you would hate me. I could barely look you in the eyes back then…”


“She got pregnant that night?” I had already done the math in my head; it fit.


“Yeah, she had to have. We didn’t have sex after that until much later…after she left you.”


“So when did she tell you that Mark was your son?”


“When he was two. She said she was leaving you and if I wanted to be a father to him, then she would tell you the truth. The whole thing made me sick, but I guess my paternal instincts were stronger than my friend ones. I had to go over in my head the ramifications of walking away from a friend, and then do the same with the idea of walking away from my son. Then there was Cecile and the fact that I didn’t trust Cecile enough to take what she said at face value. I told her that if a DNA test proved he was mine, I wanted to be his father. We had one done back then in secret, but because of what happened when you had yours, you know, it was positive. I swear though Aiden, I didn’t know she planned on taking him completely away from you. Then when the court stuff was going on, and I said it was wrong for her to keep him from you, that you loved him…that was when she started telling me that you were abusive towards him. I didn’t think that I had any reason not to believe her at that point although I knew you well enough that I should have known in my heart you wouldn’t hurt a child…”


“Don’t beat yourself up. I bought the story too. Sheesh! She’s a master manipulator, isn’t she?”


“Yeah, like I said, none of this negates my part of the responsibility and I’m so damned sorry. But at least you know that I wasn’t quite sleazy enough to carry on a three year affair with your wife while looking you in the eye every day.”


“Honestly, it does make it all feel a little bit better,” I told him. It at least sounded like my best friend didn’t set out to screw me over behind my back.


“Can I ask you another question? I’m sure after you charge her with theft and fraud and you tell the court she’s having an affair currently and the circumstances of Mark’s birth that you’ll win custody. Is there any way I can hope to keep seeing him?”


“Absolutely, Aiden. I promise you that once I get custody, our boy will never be taken from you again.”

I breathed a sigh of relief and said, “Thank you, Jake.”


Jake laughed and said, “No thanks needed. It is the very least that I can do. I’ll keep you posted on things. I know Cecile being arrested will affect Mark no matter how we play it…so I’m still figuring it all out.”


“Good luck and let me know if I can help,” I told him. I hung up feeling better than I had in a while. Seeing Mark with Jake involved instead of Cecile will be a whole different ballgame for all of us.


I made a few more phone calls after that. I was making arrangements for Holly, Eric and I to go on a family vacation. Once I had it all arranged and the loose ends tied up at work, I would call her. I only hoped she’d be willing to listen.






I woke up the next morning to my phone buzzing. I looked at it and saw that it was Aiden. I stared at it as it buzzed, wondering if I should answer it or not. Finally, I did. I had known all along that I would.




“Hi baby,” he sounded nervous.


“Hi,” was all I said. I pushed myself up in the bed. I wished I had at least had my coffee.


“I’m sorry I didn’t call sooner. I have a lot of explaining to do and I’d really love to see my wife and my son…if you’ll let me.”


“I’m willing to listen,” I said. I wanted to cry. I wanted to tell him that I just wanted to come home, but he was right, he still had explaining to do.


“Can I send the car for the two of you? We’ll take a walk down near the docks and have a talk.”


“Okay, in an hour?”


“Perfect,” he said. “Holly?”




“I love you.”


With tears in my eyes I said, “I love you too.” I hung up and had a good cry. Then, I had my coffee and my shower. Mom fed Eric his breakfast for me and by the time the car arrived we were ready. Mom hugged me and wished me luck. I thanked her for everything and hugged her back. Then, Eric and I were off to see the man we both loved the most in the whole world.


The car took us to the docks, but it must have been a private dock. There was no one else around. I couldn’t even see Aiden, yet. There was a little sandy area that had been gated off for Eric to play in; it even had toys in it, beach balls and blocks. I sat the baby down in it and he squealed with delight. When I turned back around, Aiden was standing there looking at me. I wish sometimes that he wasn’t so good-looking. It would be easier to stay mad at him for a while.


“Hi,” he said with a grin. God I love him, was all that I could think at that moment.


“Hi, this place is nice.”


“Yeah, it’s where I keep the yacht. It’s nice and quiet here most of the time.”


I looked around; I didn’t see any boats at all. “So, where’s the yacht?”


“He’s out there,” he pointed out near a tiny little slip of land that I could barely see. “He’s on his way back in. I was hoping that you would agree for us all to go on a family vacation for about a week.”


“A week? How did you get that much time off work?”


“I hired an executive to help Randall and tied up a lot of loose ends yesterday. It’s why I didn’t call until today. I’m sorry, but I wanted to come to you with solutions, not excuses. I fixed the problem at work, and thanks to you and your P.I., and Jake…my eyes are open at last to Cecile and her…manipulative ways.”


“What about Mark?” I desperately wanted Cecile out of his life, but I was still feeling guilty about him losing Mark. I know that wasn’t my choice on either side but not just his eyes light up when Mark is in the room, his whole persona does. I couldn’t deny him something that meant that much to him.

“Jake promised he’d make sure I can see him. I believe he’ll keep his word. I guess I should have called him a long time ago to compare notes. Cecile did a number on us both. You were right baby; he had a lot to say that I didn’t even know.”


“Good. We still need to talk about the kiss,” I said. “I’m trying to tell myself that it doesn’t matter but I’m sorry, I just can’t.”


“I have to accept responsibility for that. I fell for her pathetic, damsel in distress routine and for about three seconds, I lost my head. I stopped it right away and I felt sick about it. That’s why I had to tell you as soon as I got in…but I have no excuses, just extreme remorse and apologies. I love you, Holly. That will never stop I will never want anyone but you and my boys in my life. I’m learning how to be grown-up, I promise.”


I laughed at that. This man had taken the financial world by storm before he was thirty years old, yet he admitted himself that he had yet to become a grown-up.


“I’m learning too,” I admitted. “Sometimes it all feels like play-acting, doesn’t it?”


“It does, I thought I was the only one that felt that way about it. It was my strange little secret. Do you think you can forgive me?”


“I think I can,” I told him with another smile. “I might need a bit of physical convincing.”


He grinned and stepped up towards me then and he took my face in his hands. Wrapping his fingers up in my hair he put his face close to me.
“Physical convincing is my specialty,” he said with his own grin. Then turning serious, he added, “I couldn’t live without you, Holly. I don’t know when I actually realized that, but I know it now, in my heart. I need you to live as surely as I do air to breathe.” Then he kissed me, and I promptly melted in his arms. I would have loved to stay there too, but two things happened, first, as the yacht came into dock it honked, loud, then, poor Eric began to scream. I calmed him down while Aiden went out to talk to his captain. When he came back he said, “Are you two ready?”


“What about our luggage, and all of Eric’s things?”


“I made sure everything we might need is on the boat. I promise, it’s well stocked.”


“Okay then, we’re ready. Are you ready little man?” I asked Eric. I could just be a proud mama but it sounded like he said, “Yes.”

BOOK: The Billionaire's Promise (An Heir At Any Price Book 3)
11.43Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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