The weight of the world on her shoulders…
Sabrina Thomas needs to catch a break. By day she juggles two jobs, only to head home at night to care for her mentally ill brother. With their parents gone, the responsibility for his care, the doctor’s bills, the hospital stays, the at home care, falls to her. Six months ago, the trust fund their parents left them dried up and with the mounting bills, she has until the end of the month to make good on late rent payments before they are evicted. Sabrina knows where she could make a lot of quick cash with her looks: Bayou Sin, the classiest strip joint on Bourbon Street. But her plans go awry when Dante hauls her off the stage and takes her to his penthouse.
His lifestyle called into question…
Billionaire Michael Fitzgerald and his partner in crime, Dante Rousseau, have been topping submissives together for years. As the owner of the fifth largest sugarcane supplier, with a host of multi-conglomerate corporations to run, Michael has always kept his bedroom preferences under wraps. When a rival on the board attempts to engage in a hostile takeover and have Michael expelled from his own company, he knows he needs to find a woman he can trust to pretend to be his fiancée and put the kibosh on the illicit rumors spreading like wildfire through the company’s board members. When Dante shows up with their housekeeper, Sabrina, who is spitting mad at being denied the opportunity to make some fast cash, Michael knows she is just the woman for the job.
An offer neither can refuse…
Michael and Dante make Sabrina a deal: pretend to be Michael’s sole love interest for thirty days to dispel the rumors and stop the takeover. In exchange, they will pay her ten million dollars at month’s end. But the lines soon become blurred as to what is real and what is make believe. And when their time together is up, will they be able to walk away, or will they take the chance to make their relationship the real deal?
Brad Coldwell, the CFO of Fitzgerald-Logan Realty, added, with a pensive, concerned expression on his face, “Now, we plan on conducting a discreet investigation over the next thirty days. If these claims are true, we will be forced to take action at that time.” Michael could tell that the matter troubled the longtime associate of the realty company. His salt and pepper hair looked like he had been running a frustrated hand through it all morning.
“I can promise you those claims aren’t true. In fact, I will be announcing my engagement shortly,” Michael lied through his teeth, and kept his face stone cold as he surveyed his board. He wondered which one of them was the culprit behind the claims. At this time, they were all suspect. And he hated that because, until this meeting, he had considered the people in this room to be individuals he trusted—otherwise they wouldn’t be on the board. It was true he didn’t care much for Dan personally, but he knew the work Dan did for his company, and that he was at the top of his game.
“Oh, really? I hadn’t heard you were dating anyone,” Dan stated with a hard gleam.
The man always had been a sanctimonious asshole. Once Michael got past this blip, he would see about replacing the ingrate. Keeping his tone smooth as butter yet with an edge of steel behind it, Michael said, “That’s because she is no one you know, Dan. We’ve kept our relationship low key and out of the press.”
“Well, that’s wonderful news,” Robert said, with relief covering his expression, “And if that’s the case, we can put this nasty business behind us.”
“And who, might I ask, is she?” Dan asked with a tick in his jaw.
The fucking bastard was trying to shove Michael out of his own company. The company his grandfather and father had built. Fucking prick. “Look for the announcement in the papers next week.”
Every board member but Dan seemed to relax at Michael’s proclamation. But Dan was like a dog with a damn bone that didn’t belong to him.
“Be that as it may, these charges still must be investigated. I vote that we reassess in thirty days,” Dan spoke to the group, ignoring Michael entirely.
“I second that,” Victoria stated with a tilt of her head, making her curly ginger hair bounce and sway over her slim shoulder.
There was no getting out of this. Michael’s life was going to be examined under a microscope for the next thirty days.
He had the distinct urge to head back to his gym and pummel the punching bag until it was nothing but a pile of dust.
“Fine. Now, unless we have other business to discuss, as I mentioned before, I have a packed schedule today,” Michael replied stonily, not allowing the group to witness the disquiet roiling through him—not when there was a vulture among them waiting for the perfect moment to strike and rip him to shreds.
“That should be all for now,” James stated, closing his file.
“Great.” Michael rose, grabbed his briefcase, and nodded. “You may contact my assistant to schedule the review.”
He left the conference room. They had an intruder at Club Underworld. It was the only explanation that made sense. Michael was uber careful; they all were. They had non-disclosure agreements for members for a reason. He didn’t stop at Barbara’s office. Instead, he direct messaged her, telling her that something had come up and he needed her to cancel the rest of his appointments for today. And to give his regards to the Senator.
In his car—today he’d chosen to drive his black Bentley—he called Dante.
“Yo, what’s up?” Dante answered.
“We have a major fucking problem. Email the founders. Emergency meeting as soon as everyone can make it to the penthouse.”
“What the hell? I thought you had a board meeting.”
“I did. Someone knows about us, about our activities at the club, and is leaking that information to members of the board to get me not only removed from the board, but as CEO of my own fucking company.”
“Son of a bitch. I’m on it. When can you get here?” Dante asked him.
Michael switched lanes on the freeway, heading toward the exit for interstate ten from the six-ten. “I’m on my way now. Barbara is cancelling my appointments for the day. Oh, and Dante, we need to find me a fake fiancée on the double—one who will agree to a non-disclosure agreement. Start combing through the single submissives at Underworld looking at whom we might be able to vet.”
“Jesus Fucking Christ. It would be easier for me to resurrect Marie Laveau. No offense to the subs, but none of them will be on the level that you would need to convince the board.”
“I already mentioned it was someone they wouldn’t know, hopefully indicating they aren’t of the same class. Be there shortly. We can talk more about it then.” Michael hung up. Fury had him punching the gas. Dan was behind it, he had to be. Michael knew the son of a bitch was a climber, but he had never expected this type of subterfuge. That Dan would convince a member of Michael’s inner sanctum to collect dirt on his lifestyle.
Michael would discover who was behind the betrayal, and crush the motherfucker.