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Authors: Kathi S Barton

Nickolas-1

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Nickolas

The Grant Brothers Series

By

Kathi S. Barton

World Castle Publishing

http://www.worldcastlepublishing.com

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used factiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locations, organizations, or person, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

World Castle Publishing

Pensacola, Florida

Copyright © by Kathi S. Barton 2011

ISBN: 9781937085421

Library of Congress Catalogue Number 2011928101

First Edition World Castle Publishing June 15, 2011

http://www.worldcastlepublishing.com

License Notes

This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please purchase your own copy. Thank you respecting the hard work of this author.

Cover Artist: Fantasia Frogs Design

Editor: Brieanna Robertson

Dedication:

To my very best friend and the biggest nag I know, Charlotte Blackwell. Thank you for pushing me to write these for you and keeping me on my toes with your help and comments. I love you very much, Kiddo.

CHAPTER ONE

Nick looked across his desk at the young woman applying for the position.

Okay, I must have heard her wrong. There’s no way she just said what I think she said.

I’m just tired. I’ve conducted at least twenty of these interviews today and I’m just a
little punch drunk. Hiring a receptionist/secretary is not as easy as I thought. Let’s try
this again.

“You came here today for this interview, why, again?” Same question really, just a bit more...specific.

“I said my parole officer said I had to come. She said that I needed to make

‘amends,’ or some other crap. I don’t know. Look, Randall didn’t take anything from you, so I don’t know why she said I had to come here precisely. I told her I thought it was a bad idea, but she was insistent.” He just stared.
Okay. Take. She said she did not take anything from him. A thief.

Why on earth would I want to hire a thief?

“I haven’t the foggiest idea either. Ms. Morgan, I think this is a mistake.

Maybe my brothers know your, ummm...parole officer and set this up as a joke of some sort.”

Nickolas was going to kill Damon. This sounded just like something he would do. He gathered up Becky Morgan’s file and closed it. He stood up to walk her to the door to his office, but got no further than just standing up. He’d toss it in the trash after she left. She stood up, too, and pulled down her mini-skirt again. She had done that several times already. Well, he would give her points for that; she was not stupid enough to believe he would hire her just because she had a nice set of, shapely legs and a pretty face.

Her eyes were a shade of blue he had never seen before, almost silver. Her hair hung in a, fat braid down her back. Wisps of it curled around her face and, slim neck, making her swipe at it annoyingly. Her lips were full and kissable, without a trace of gloss or lipstick. Freckles danced across her nose and along her high cheekbones. She was tall, probably five-ten in her bare feet. She’d just fit under his chin if he were to stand next to her. Her breasts were full, if the view from where he was sitting was any indication. Nick shook his head.
What am I
thinking? Focus here, idiot.
On her, not her body, damn it.

“Yeah, could be. Well, you’ll tell Ms. Parker that I came by before you throw out my application, won’t you? Yeah, I can see you eyeing the circular filing cabinet. She said to have you call her, that you’d know the number and all.”

“Margaret Parker? Margaret Parker is your parole officer?” He sat back down, harder than he expected, and clipped his tongue with his teeth coming together.
Shit!

“Yeah, she said you knew her or some other sh…stuff. You okay? You look sort of ... well, I was gonna say stiff, but that’s probably not possible. You already look like a rod has replaced your spine.” She was glaring at him.

His mother. His mother sent him a thief as a potential employee. He opened her file again and really looked at it. He was going to ignore the reference to his spine and the rod; his brothers had been saying something similar to that to him for the past six months. Then, he leaned back in his chair and began to massage his forehead right between his eyes. Why did the tension always start there?

There was an annoyance in the middle of his chest too.

Okay, let’s get to the bottom of this.
He sat upright again and forced himself to focus on the task at hand. “This is an investment firm, Ms. Morgan. We handle other people’s money, a lot of money, every day. Tell me what you stole and why?” He wanted to get to the bottom of this quickly so he could truthfully tell his mother that he had interviewed Ms. Morgan, but wouldn’t be able to hire her.

He looked up at her when he didn’t hear anything from her for a few seconds.

“I didn’t steal anything. Randall did. I wasn’t even convicted. At least not of that—I didn’t even know that was going on. I didn’t go to jail for that anyway. I went to jail for murder, Mr. Pompous Ass.”

Murder? Pompous ass? Whoa!

“Hold on a minute. You went to jail for
murder
?”

“Yeah, but not for long. They let me off. I was ... I can’t remember what it’s called, but they figured out I was telling the truth and that it was self-defense. He deserved to die.” Her voice was hard; he could hear the barely controlled anger.

“Who deserved to die?” Nick’s head was spinning with all this information.

Die? Self-defense? What the...?

“Some guy. It’s none of your business since you’ve already decided I’m not good enough for your precious firm.”

He watched as she leaned over and picked up her bag, and he got a very nice view down her blouse. Oh yeah, those were very nice and full. Her bag, the thing was really too big to call a purse, was slung it over her shoulder as she stood back up. She was halfway to the door when he cleared his throat.

“Are you leaving? Now? I thought you said that you had to come here for this?” He stood, moved to the other side of his desk, and leaned against it. His headache was now thrumming through his body, making him slightly sick to his stomach.

She stood by the door, her hand on the knob and her back to him. Even from across the room, he could see that she was trembling. From what, he wasn’t sure; anger came to mind first, but why she was mad, he didn’t know. He’d been the one who had been tricked into this mess.

“Yes. Yes, I’m leaving now. I’m leaving before I say something I’ll regret.

Maybe I’ll regret, I don’t know. Maybe I won’t regret it until tomorrow or the next day, if ever, you ... you stupid jerk. Have a good day, Mr. Investment Banker Grant.” She opened the door without a backward glance and closed it quietly behind her.

Nick sat there for a good two minutes without a thought in his head and stared at the door she’d just left through. Then he jumped up and called the lobby. He knew he’d be cutting it close, but he wasn’t going to let her get away with that last comment. Jerk indeed.

“David, its Nick Grant. There’s a young woman coming down. I need you to detain her. Hummm...nice body, she has a head of dark red hair, a short skirt, huge pink bag. Tell her I’ll be down momentarily.” He hung up, confident in David Tulle’s ability as his security guard to keep her there until he made another phone call.

“Mom, it’s Nick, your son. Want to explain to me why you sent me an ex-con to interview?” He was moving toward the stairs, knowing that if he took the elevator, he’d lose the connection with her. And he wanted to hear her reasons before he talked with Ms. Morgan again.

CHAPTER TWO

“Nicky, love, I know it’s you. They’ve invented this new thing called caller ID, perhaps you’ve heard of it. It puts your name right there on the phone for me to see, along with your phone number. And what ex-con did I send you? Because I do believe I’d remember even that in my dotage.” It was a good thing he loved her, he thought, or he’d seriously have to consider parenticide.

“Becky Morgan. And don’t try to deny it, because she told me that you told me to call you when she left.” He had to stop on the stairs and catch his breath.

He ran eighteen miles a day on the treadmill. What was wrong with him? he wondered.

“First of all, her name is not Becky Morgan. Don’t you read anything anymore? Secondly...hang on; I have to take this call.” He pulled the phone from his ear and looked at it. She put him on hold! He started walking down the steps again, a little slower. Just three more flights to go. After five minutes, she came back on the line.

“Nicky, darling, did you have that poor man David try to detain your so called ex-con?”

He was almost afraid to answer that. He could hear that tone in her voice, the
Mom
tone. It said, “Don’t even try lying because I already know the truth.”

“I might have. Why?” He was at the door at the lobby now, but didn’t go through it. If he had to grovel to his mom, he was
not
going to let everyone in the lobby hear it.

“Well, they’ve just called the paramedics for him. He is bleeding on the ugly carpet I told you not to put in. It’s much too sedate and boring. You should have gone with the royal blue one—”

“Mom! I need you to focus here. Why are the paramedics on their way for David?” He pushed the door open with a bang. He was three feet from a crowd gathered around what he could only assume was his security guard.

“She said that she asked him several times not to touch her, and she also warned him that she could and would defend herself if he did. She said that he grabbed her arm and ripped her shirt—a borrowed shirt I might add. What is wrong with you? Are you actually telling your employees to accost young women now? Nicholas Patrick Grant, I’m very angry with you right now.” He could hear it too.

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