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Mr. Blackwell’s Bride (A Good Wife #2)
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She was supposed to be my perfect little bride. Quiet. Uncomplicated. Unemotional.
I didn’t foresee the stunning firecracker who tumbled into my life and woke things in me I thought were long dead. I didn’t count on her turning my world upside down.
And I definitely didn’t plan on falling for this beauty.
He was supposed to be a boring old man. Distant. Uncomplicated. Passionless.
I didn’t foresee the rude, arrogant and beautiful brute who made my body react like fire and smoke. I didn’t count on there being more underneath his gruff exterior.
And I’m definitely not supposed to fall in love with the beast.
This is a NEW story using old characters from the unpublished novel, Girl Wife Prisoner. This version has no Keir, no cheating and a Happily Ever After. Although this book is part of a series, it is a standalone novel.
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“What the hell do you mean, Carter’s backing out of the deal?” I growled.
Roger, my second in command, was practically jogging at my side to keep up with me as I barreled through the corridors of Blackwell Industries’ head office. Following close behind us were the heads of the analyst and legal team working on this deal.
A deal that I thought we had stitched up.
Roger rambled on about how this was unpredictable, it was one of those things, there were other companies out there to buy.
I ignored him. I wanted this one.
“Sam,” I barked out as I approached my office.
My personal assistant’s blonde head popped up from behind her desk. “Drake?”
“Get me Carter on the phone. Now.” I slammed open my door and strode into my corner office, a spacious and stylish space on the top floor with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the boxy cityscape of Los Angeles.
“Line two,” Sam called.
It was game time.
I kicked a chair out of my way and leaned over my desk, pressing the flashing button to put Carter on speakerphone.
“Carter, buddy,” I started, my voice friendly, even as I unbuttoned my collar and ripped my silk Hermes tie off from around my neck, throwing it across one of my expensive leather chairs. “What’s this I hear about you getting cold feet?”
Through the speaker, I heard Carter sucking in a breath. I wasn’t supposed to know yet. He’d only just decided to pull the plug. The truth was I had little birdies everywhere. Every-fucking-where. Sending information to me from all levels of every organization I was either competing against or looking to buy. Especially companies I was looking to buy.
“How do you know about—?”
“That’s not important, Carter. What’s important is why you want to back out of such a lucrative deal.”
“Come on, Carter. Talk to me. We’re friends.” I snatched my stress ball off my desk and crushed it in my hands. “What’s going through your mind? Has someone else made you another offer?” I bet you it was Wright. I was going to kill that asshole sonofabitch. No, I would burn his company down and bury him in the rubble. Then I would kill him.
“Jed?” I clicked my fingers at Roger and Sam, both standing at my doorway, mouthing, Who the fuck is Jed? They both looked at each other, then shook their heads at me.
“My son,” Carter clarified.
“Your son?” I repeated. That little brat barely out of fucking diapers? What the fuck did he have to do with anything? I inhaled slowly, then exhaled. Stay calm. Stay in control. “What has your son got to do with this deal?” The deal we’d spent six fucking months hammering out.
“Well, you see, I’ve been thinking.” Here we fucking go. “About Jed. About his future. About what kind of father I want to be to him. He’s my first boy, you know. The wife and I spent years trying. We had to go the IVF route.”
Yes, yes, I fucking know this. And…? “It must have been a trying time for you both,” I said, my voice as soothing as I could possibly make it.
“It was incredibly stressful for us, you know? I don’t know whether Julie can go through that again. He…well, he might be our only child…”
I squeezed my eyes shut, fighting the urge to reach into the receiver and choke the living shit out of him. My voice, however, was calm and patient. “And that means?”
“If I sell my company to you, then I have nothing to pass on to him.”
There it was. His actual objection to selling his company. A company that under his useless command was inefficient, turning over well below what it should be. The only reason why Carter’s company grew to where it was today was luck. Pure dumb luck. Right product, right timing.
If I bought his company, I’d increase the profits by fourfold in the first goddamn year. I could already feel it shaping underneath my hands. I could see how and where I was going to trim all the fat. This company was already mine.
If I didn’t figure out a way to get Carter to stick with the deal, then not ever.
Roger, Sam, all the heads of the project teams—Analysis, Legal, Finance—along with a bunch of other rubbernecking slackers were all gathered at my door. All waiting with a collective breath, wondering how the fuck I was going to convince this indecisive, toe-tapping man-bitch to get back on the train. Because we couldn’t leave this station without him.
All that work for nothing.
I wouldn’t let it happen.
I took in a deep breath and the faces at my door blurred. I exhaled, my mind focusing, thoughts sharpening.
“Carter, the best thing you can do for your son is to sell your company now. Put that money in a trust for him so he can build his own future. Who knows what will happen to the market in ten years’ time? Who knows whether your company will even exist when he turns eighteen?”