Authors: Cj Howard
A BWWM BILLIONAIRE ROMANCE By..
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For Billionaire Playboy Justin it was the hangover from
A celebration in Vegas got out of control and now he has more then a headache to deal with in the morning. Justin discovers that in his drunken state he married Chantelle, a cute Vegas girl he had never seen or met before.
Justin faced a race against time to get the marriage annulled before she discovered his true identity and wanted to take him for half of his fortune.
At least that is what Justin was worried about anyway.
Justin actually had no idea, that when he got to know his Vegas bride a little better, he may not want their marriage to end so quickly after all...
The Billionaire's Vegas Bride © 2015, CJ Howard
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.
The wind whipped around the corner of the building as Justin emerged from his limousine. Justin was appreciative of the fact that he was able to take a car to the door of the restaurant rather than navigating the subways of Manhattan, or trying to get a cab. In spite of his vast wealth, he had spent many years, both in college and grad school, with his friends who didn’t have quite the same luxuries he was born having. When he was with them, he often chose not to flaunt his wealth, however, today was an important outing. He was meeting his father at “The Pavilion”, an upscale restaurant his family used for important events, private gatherings, and serious business that required socialization.
The weather was dreary and the limo driver, who opened the door for him, eased the walk from curb to the restaurant. He had no idea what a striking figure he cut, as he drew his long legs gracefully from the car and stood to his full height of six feet, four inches. The umbrella held by the driver protected Justin’s blond, wavy hair from the wind.
“Thanks, Dan. It’s quite a day.” Justin gave his driver a heartfelt nod, his deep blue eyes twinkling his thanks, and strode toward the door of the restaurant.
Dan had always liked Justin. Many of his clients who were born into money were not appreciative of his hard work. But Dan, a distinguished man of average build and gray hair, had been with the Fullertons for years and knew Justin had a good and kind heart.
As a young boy, Justin treated Dan like one of the family. When Dan drove Justin alone in the car, he let him sit in the front seat with them and they talked about everything from sports to Justin’s favorite songs. Dan let Justin choose the music and sometimes they both sang along. Dan, not Justin’s father, was the one to sit next to Justin while he learned to drive and gave him tips that made him an exceptionally good driver. He loved helping the boy because he was always so appreciative and quick with a smile.
Dan, in his crisp uniform, gave Justin a wink and a nod. The exchange made Justin feel a little more confident as he approached a meeting with his father that left him feeling apprehensive and confused.
Justin’s father had always been distant and was usually straight-forward about any business that needed to be conducted. Justin was born late in Mr. Fullerton’s life. At the age of thirty, he knew that his eighty-five year old father would not be with them much longer because of health issues that had been accumulating over the last few years. As unchanging as ever, he had not noticed any sentiment seeping into the old man’s invitation to meet with him.
Justin hoped that his father might’ve finally decided to spend time with him out of true love and respect. It was unusual to be summoned without an agenda, and so Justin hoped beyond hope that his father truly wanted to spend his thirtieth birthday with him for purely familial reasons and that the two would bond a bit more.
He was ushered into the fine lobby by the doorman, where he was immediately relieved of his coat and greeted with the utmost respect. Although born into wealth and most often comfortable in any situations, Justin realized he was among a small few who received this kind of treatment in the world. He slipped a generous tip to the doorman and straightened himself in preparation for meeting his father.
The restaurant was plush and reserved with a hushed wait staff hovering and ready to meet any needs. The lobby was furnished with solid, comfortable furniture designed in rich earth tones. Justin’s father preferred to give his business to establishments that were understated and relaxing to his worn senses.
Justin was escorted to the dining area where most of the tables were full. Each table seemed much like the next. The women were trying to hang on to middle age with loose fitting clothing in elegant fabrics, with jewelry that had been carefully appraised and insured. The men had long ago forgotten to look at their dinner companions with appreciation and stared at the menus or sipped their drinks with a vacant expression.
Justin began to feel the same sense of boredom he felt throughout many family excursions while growing up. He scanned the room for his father. Mr. Fullerton was seated at a richly appointed table by a window overlooking scenery, which his rather limited vision prohibited him from seeing.
“Hello, father.” Justin nodded his thanks to the maître d' and sat across from his father.
“Justin, you look well.” Mr. Fullerton eyes looked his son up and down with approval before gesturing to the sommelier to bring a carefully chosen bottle of fine wine to the table. Justin had dressed carefully that evening. His tailored suit and conservative tie fit him well and were sure to bring approval from his father. As the sommelier approached to allow Mr. Fullerton to approve the chosen wine, Justin recognized him from a recent party at a friend’s house and had to hold back a friendly greeting.
While Justin was not particular about social distinction, his father was. Mr. Fullerton would have been appalled to realize that his son had social contact with the wait staff. Fortunately for Justin, the sommelier, Sam, had a great sense of humor as well as an understanding of the level of respect and professionalism he had to show to Mr. Fullerton. His green eyes sparkled as they landed on Justin’s uncomfortable face.
The last time they saw each other, they were playing video games while waiting for the reviews to come out regarding a play written by a mutual friend. They had attended the off-Broadway play with a group of the playwright’s friends who wanted to support the new artist with both their friendly support as well as their purchase of tickets. Sam and Justin had spent the time keeping up the spirits of the other guests and eventually convincing the new playwright that the next time would be better. Who better to cheer someone up than Sam, with his red hair and those eyes that promised fun and mischief when they weren’t tamed for the workplace?
As soon as Justin saw the slight wink from Sam, he knew that they were on the same page. Sam would not make this meeting uncomfortable, but they would definitely have a good chuckle about it later with their other friends.
Justin and his father enjoyed an exquisite meal. The wine and food was paired beautifully. Each course was carefully prepared and served as if for kings.
“Justin, we have some business to attend to,” Mr. Fullerton said as the two men settled in with their after dinner drinks.
Justin became somewhat concerned but tried to sound casual as he replied, “Certainly, father. What do you have on your mind?”
“I want you to know that you have come into your full inheritance today. While this may seem like good news to you, I hope that you realize that it brings with it a great deal of responsibility. You are a bright young man, but you have to try to move past your tendency to dally with the wrong type of people.
“You are now one of the elite and must take over for me. I have needed to retire for years but I wanted to make sure that you are old enough to carry the weight of your fortune. You must carry on the family name with dignity and pride.”
Justin shifted uncomfortably in his chair. While the idea of taking over his father’s fortune was invigorating, his father’s expectations for Justin’s social conformation were not what Justin wanted.
“Father, thank you for your trust in me. I want to make you proud, but what exactly are you expecting in terms of the type of people I am to ‘dally’ with?” Justin looked at his father in the hopes that they could truly communicate and understand each other.
Mr. Fullerton shook his head in disgust and threw down his napkin. “Boy, you know what I mean. No more playing around with artists and writers! Quit messing around with people outside of your social class! It’s time for you to be responsible and settle into the life I planned for you.”
Justin stood up from the table and looked down at his father. “Father, I will respect you and mother for the rest of my life. I will handle the business and assets of the family with integrity, but I will not allow you to determine the boundaries of my social life. Please do not see this as rebellion but rather, as my stand as a man. You have determined that I am of age to handle this responsibility. Now it is time for you to step back and allow me to do just that.”
Mr. Fullerton sputtered and rose slowly from the table. “Well, boy, I can’t stop you from doing what you’re going to do, but mark my words, if you keep spending time with people who aren’t as good as you, it will bring you down.”
Mr. Fullerton seemed to lose some of his vigor after his words and slowly eased himself back into his chair, wheezing in an alarming way. Justin quickly went to his side.
“Father, I’m so sorry to have distressed you. I will carry on with the family businesses and make you proud. Please rest and I’ll have your valet assist you.” Justin’s brows furrowed with worry over his father’s state of health.
He was torn between his desire to keep his father content and his own need to break free from the confines of this world with so many social rules and monetary demands.
His father sensed Justin’s conflict and patted his hand. “I was young once, Justin. It was so long ago, but I do remember. Son, I want you to take your friends somewhere to celebrate your coming of age. This time away with your friends should help you to burn off some of that youthful fire, so that you can come back and take care of the business at hand.” Mr. Fullerton chuckled and Justin gave him a genuine smile. This was one of those rare moments when warm words and gestures passed between the father and son.
“So, Father, where do you recommend that I go?” Justin asked with one eyebrow slightly raised.
Mr. Fullerton let out one full laugh and said in a jovial tone, “Where else would one go to celebrate a fortune than Las Vegas, my dear boy?” His laugh turned into a slight cough and a wheeze. His valet, who was always nearby these days, came forward with the man's breathing treatment and when he was recovered, escorted Mr. Fullerton to his waiting limousine.
Justin stood by the table, trying to digest the reality of his father’s ill health. Then he began to contemplate the fact that he was now the legal head of their vast estate. As the responsibility and delicious freedom of this concept hit him, Sam came forward. Justin quickly adjusted his mood to greet Sam.
“Hey, thanks so much for your good service to my father. He can be a bit…” Justin began but Sam cut him off.
“No worries. I’m glad to help out. I’ve got an old man myself and he has his own issues. He won’t let anyone in the house who doesn’t drink beer!” Sam and Justin laughed quietly. It was comforting to know that people of all social echelons felt this problem.
Justin stopped and looked at Sam. “Hey, Sam. What are you doing this weekend? Want to go to Vegas? Let’s get Tim and the group and go. It’s on me.”
Sam looked astonished. “Are you serious? If you are, I’ll get my shifts covered.” The two men smiled like boys and the plan began to take root.
Sam’s friend Tim was still feeling down about the perceived failure of the off-Broadway production of his original play, “What, What, What.” Sam tried not to make him feel worse by mocking the title of the play, but it took a lot of restraint not to use it in conversation since it was such a ridiculous title.
But Tim was a good guy and a budding talent and his friends wanted to support him in his endeavors. Justin realized that the perfect way to get Tim out of his funk was to get him out of New York City and take him to Sin City for a weekend with the boys. Their group of friends would be all too glad to tag along.
The diverse bunch had met over the years and formed a brotherly bond. This would be the perfect group of people to celebrate his coming of age with. Justin knew that his father wouldn’t approve of his selection of companions, but he only gave instructions for him to go to Vegas with friends, so Justin felt that justified choosing this group of people.
Justin had chosen to go to a state university rather than the college chosen by his father. His friend Tim was a double major in English Literature and Theatre. His olive skin and thin waif-like build limited the roles he could play as an actor although his sullen expressions were the perfect vehicle for drama on and off the stage.
While he was a brilliant man, it seemed obvious to everyone, but Tim, that he would never make much money. But his friends loved him. They even threw a big party to celebrate his first paid television commercial acting gig. This was how Justin had developed a friendship with Tim and Sam. The rest of the group was comprised of Glenn, an electrical engineer who spent most of their college days in the computer lab and Rob, a business major who was doing quite well in several entrepreneurial pursuits.
The plans for the trip came together surprisingly well. Before they knew it, they were all on a private jet headed for Vegas. Justin had never spoken much about his money. His friends knew that he was comfortable because he often bought dinner, lent money that he didn’t expect to get back, and paid for tickets, but they had no idea of the extent of his fortune until they saw the private jet that they would take to Vegas.
“This is a joke, right?” said Tim
Justin gave the casual half smile that the others knew so well.
“You’re serious, aren’t you?” Sam stopped and looked around. “I knew you were rich when I saw you with your dad, but this is insane!”
Justin smiled again and said, “We do alright, but honestly, I’d rather hang out playing video games and eating pizza with you guys than most of the parties my dad and his friends throw. So, what do you want to do on the flight? We’ll have dinner in about an hour. Want to watch a movie or play cards?”