Authors: Kimmy Love
This is a work of fiction. Similarities to real people, places or events are entirely coincidental.
Copyright 2015 KIMMY LOVE
All Rights Reserved To Kimmy Love
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“Like a modern day Pretty Woman...”
When Billionaire Damian Hedley arrived in New York for the weekend he had only one aim. He wanted to add to his growing empire by purchasing a chain of hotels from a retiring businessman. A deal like this was nothing new to a man like Damian and he expected it to be a mere formality.
However, the seller is worried that Damian's reputation as a womanizing playboy might taint the brand that he has spent a lifetime building up.
It seems the deal is off.
That is until Damian enlists the help of local escort Sonia Wright to pose as his wife for the weekend and help him get the deal sealed.
The business deal was his original aim but Damian was about get more than he bargained for once he got to know Sonia on a more personal level...
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LUST AT FIRST SIGHT – KIMMY LOVE
A BILLIONAIRE ROMANCE
Kaya was the opposite of many women. She was not impressed by men with money one little bit. She was sick of men trying to impress her with fast cars, fancy restaurants and fancy gifts.
She just wanted a man who could enjoy the simple pleasures in life. Some normal. Someone down to earth.
So when she met the handsome Henry she thought she had finally found the man she was looking for. An uncontrollable feeling inside of her wanted him right away and left her wondering, was this love at first sight? Or was it LUST at first sight?
Table Of Contents
THE BILLIONAIRE'S WEEKEND BRIDE
Damian Hedley sat in his vast office. His friend, Max Smith, whom he'd met in Harvard when they studied for their MBA, sat opposite him. They had stayed good friends ever since. Sitting there in their designer suits and hand crafted shirts, they filled the office with jokes and laughter about their recent skiing trip to Aspen. Damian, dark haired, tall and broad shouldered with a rugged attractiveness, contrasted with the shorter and fairer Max, who could be a walking advertisement for toothpaste.
Max met a girl when the guys were in Aspen. Like them, she lived and worked in Washington, DC.
“You're a lucky bastard, that's all I can say.” Damian was shaking his head. “She'll soon get wise when she sees how many other numbers you have in your phone.”
“It's only dinner, I never said I was going to marry her. Besides, Mister 'Girl-in-every-Port,’ you should talk. Who was it you were screwing last night? Do you even remember her name?”
“Er….” Damian scratched his chin. “No, I don't.”
They laughed aloud again and were interrupted by the intercom on Damian's desk.
“Yes, Penny? What is it?” he asked, still smiling.
“I'm sorry, Mr. Hedley, but you told me to let you know the second Mr. Merriman called.”
“Yes, of course. Put him through. Hold on, Max, I gotta take this.”
Max nodded and put his feet up on Damian's desk.
“Mr. Merriman, nice to hear from you.” Damian leaned far back in his leather chair and swiveled it from side to side as he put Mr. Merriman on speaker-phone.
“So, I've been mulling over your offer, Mr. Hedley,” Joseph Merriman said. “And I must say, it looks very tempting, very tempting indeed.”
“I can tell in your voice that there's a 'but' somewhere.” Damian frowned over to Max. “Let me assure you, Mr. Merriman, I completely respect the branding of your hotels. There's no way I want to change what you've created. As I always say, if it ain't broke, don't try to fix it, right?”
“Quite. But you have to understand, the Merriman Hotel chain has been in the family over a hundred years. I never would have thought I'd have to sell it to the highest bidder. I felt assured that it would stay in the family but, you know my son – he has his finger in several pies. Sadly, none of them are things I approve of and he just doesn't have an eye for the finer things.”
“And that's exactly what I appreciate about Merriman,” Damian enthused. “It speaks class, yet comfort. It’s a special experience and I've stayed at practically all of them.”
“Seven hotels,” Mr. Merriman said in a far off, dreamlike way. “That's a lot to say goodbye to, you know? But I know that I have to sell. I'm an old man, I can't be as competitive as I'd like and the wife is pushing for me to retire.”
“I can't blame her. I heard about your stroke and I'm very sorry.”
Max looked at him and mouthed “Nice touch.”
“Look, Mr. Hedley,” Merriman continued.
“Call me Damian – please.”
“Damian, I know you have a good business head. You wouldn't be a billionaire if you didn't. But my wife, Gloria, and I, we're concerned about the reputation of the place. There are only two or three bidders I'm taking seriously – and I appreciate yours is a very healthy bid – but I want the hotels to go to someone who can keep them all in business. I want my legacy to carry on. Plus, you're a Harvard man, like me, and I like that.”
Max gave Damian a cheesy grin and a big thumbs up. Damian had to turn away from him so as not to laugh.
“Harvard through and through,” said Damian. “I'm getting the feeling that although I'm looking good on paper, I still need to convince you of something.”
“There is something, if I can be frank, Mr. Hedley.”
“Yes, Damian. It's a name my wife and I have seen on the television a few times. The newspapers too and not because of your business acumen.”
“How do you mean?” Damian pulled a face at Max like he was a school boy about to be told off. He was thirty-five, so that hadn't happened in a long time.
“Your reputation with women, Damian. It's been reported that you play the field, as it were. You're never pictured with the same woman twice.” He gave an embarrassed laugh.
“Now, that's just hearsay, Mr. Merriman. The truth is …” He looked at Max and shrugged. What was the truth? What should he say to get old Joseph Merriman to part with his business and sign his seven hotels over to Hedley Duke Incorporated?
Max made a gesture. He frantically pointed to the third finger of his left hand. Damian looked at him with a knotted brow. What was Max doing? He coughed so he could stall for a second.
“Mr. Merriman,” Damian said, clearing his throat. “Please, rest assured. Trust me when I say that …”
Max made the curvy outline shape of a woman and pointed to his ring finger again. Damian caught on.
“I'm married, Mr. Merriman,” Damian blurted out.
“You're what?” Mr. Merriman said this at the same time Max dropped his feet to the floor and mouthed the exact same words.
“Yes, married,” continued Damian. “It was all a bit hush-hush because my wife didn't want the publicity. I'm trying to keep a low profile with my personal life these days. It makes good business sense. Yes, those days of women, wine and song are well and truly over for me, Mr. Merriman. From Harvard man to married man and that's just the way I like it.”
“Well then, congratulations are in order. When did you tie the knot?”
“Oh, just a few weeks ago.”
“So you're still in the honeymoon phase. I remember it well – old as I am.” Mr. Merriman started to chuckle. “I tell you what, Damian, if you and your wife are going to be in New York any time soon, then I'd love to meet with you in person. Come to the Manhattan hotel and we'll have dinner. What do you say?”
“I say that's a great idea and I'll be in New York on the weekend, as it happens.”
“Splendid. Much better if we continue this discussion face to face, don't you think?”
“Oh, absolutely. I'll give you a call when we land.”
“And does this mystery wife have a name?”
“Yes, yes she does,” Damian was back pedaling.
“Care to share it with me?” Mr. Merriman prompted.
Just then Damian's secretary walked in.
“Penny. Her name is Penelope,” he stuttered. His secretary, Penny, looked at him, puzzled. He let his shoulders rise and fall.
“Well good,” Joseph Merriman continued. “Let's talk at the weekend and see how it goes.”
“Fine. Wonderful. Goodbye, Mr. Merriman.”
Both Penny and Max looked at Damian.
“Why did you say you were married?” Max asked him, shaking his head slowly from side to side.
“Well that's what you told me to say.”
“I didn't tell you to say you were married.”
“So why were you pointing to your ring finger?”
“I was trying to tell you that you've devoted your life to being single and you're not playing the field anymore. You're a changed man.”
“Huh!” grunted Penny and dumped a file of papers on his desk.
“And what's that supposed to mean?” Damian asked her as she walked to the door.
“Really, Mr. Hedley? Single. You’re like a seventeen-year-old frat boy in a room full of hookers.”
“Am I lying?” She slammed the door behind her.
“I really need to speak to that woman,” Damian said.
“No,” said Max. “What you need to do is get married by the weekend.”
“Shit, I never thought of that.” He got up and shoved his hands into his pants pockets. “Maybe I can call a favor of someone. Nora, or Janie. They look like they're married. Maybe I can get one of them to pose as my wife.”
“Nora or Janie will want a real ring and a real wedding. You know that. No. What you need is someone who'll treat it as business only. No strings attached, no questions asked,” Max said.
“True. Who do I know like that?”
Just then, Penny walked in again with a coffee for each of them. They both followed her with their eyes as she placed the cups down and gave them both a strange look. Penny had dyed red hair, cropped short. She was also in her late forties with two grown up sons and no patience for men like Damian, ever since she found her husband was cheating on her.
“Will there be anything else?” she asked, sharply.
Damian and Max looked at each other and shook their heads. No, she wouldn’t do at all.
“That's okay, Penny,” Damian said. “Hold all my calls. I've got a problem to solve.”
Damian and Max sat pondering the dilemma. A wife by the weekend. They racked their brains and then both sat with their phones, going through the list of women they thought likely to do Damian a favor. They came up with four between them. One by one, Damian called and tried to win them over and one by one they rejected his proposition.
“You don't call me in months,” one of them said. “And you expect me to drop everything, fly out to New York and pretend to be a woman called Penny? Forget it.”
Their one New York possibility was a flat-out no with at least twenty expletives poured into the five minute rant. Damian had slept with not only her, but her flat mate, too, and hadn't called either of them back in six months.
“Well, that's the deal already blown,” Damian said.
“You have another option,” Max told him.
“Who? We’ve exhausted all the women we know.”
“What about the ones we don't know?”
“What's that supposed to mean? You want me to proposition some random stranger?”
“No, pay for a random stranger. I'm talking call girl.”
“Jesus Christ, Max. You want me to show up with a hooker on my arm.”
“No, something classier. An escort. They have some really attractive women in these agencies. You can ask for someone who looks like wife material.”
“Is that what this has come to?” Damian said rubbing his chin. “I don't know any escorts. I never pay women for sex.”
“The classy ones are not about sex. Here.” Max pulled a card from his wallet.
“Call my friend Maisie. She's in New York. She's got her finger on the pulse and she'll know exactly where you should go to get the right girl.”
Damian reached across the desk for the card. He looked long and hard at it.
“You know you don't have a choice,” Max said.
“Thanks to you and your lousy miming skills.”
“I wasn't the one who told a lie.”
“I did lie, didn't I?” Damian said. “These things have a way of coming back to bite us in the ass.”
“Not to you they don't, Mr. Golden Boy. Whatever you do you always come up smelling of roses. Call Maisie. She's your only hope.”
“I will. How bad can it be? I meet the escort, we meet Mr. Merriman and his wife, he signs over his business to me and I never have to see or hear from him again. The perfect marriage.”
Max raised his coffee cup to Damian and took a sip of the brew he'd let get cold in their quest to find a wife for Damian.