The Playboy Billionaire (The Romero Brothers, Book 3) (3 page)

BOOK: The Playboy Billionaire (The Romero Brothers, Book 3)
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“Don’t worry about me, Court. I’ll be fine.
Besides, my office is in my kitchen. I can use the studio at the college to do
final production. I’ve still got my contacts there. Now go. Go and ace that mid-term
exam!”

Courtney smiled and gave her sister a firm
hug. “And go get that hottie,” she teased her older sister and winked.

“Not funny, Courtney. Not funny at all.
Besides, I’ve got to be going. I’m going to see Mom and Dad first then I’m
going to the appointment. I’ve still got an hour and a half.”

“You’re going to visit Mom and Dad, today?”

“Yes, today. It’s Mom’s…birthday.”

“I know.” Courtney said quietly before
grabbing her jacket and her backpack. She wore blue jeans and a white plain
t-shirt with her sandals.

“I’ll give you a ride to school. Come on,
let’s go.”

 

*
  
*
  
*

 

Twenty minutes after Blue dropped Courtney
at the high school parking lot to go into her summer school class, she drove
off to a local florist. When she walked through the door, the door chime
sounded. “Hey, my favorite customer,” the owner cheerfully greeted her.

“Mr. Lockwin, you say that about all your
customers,” she playfully dismissed the man.

“Maybe, but I only mean it for some! Here
to pick out a nice bunch for your mom, right.”

“How did you know?”

“I always remember her birthday. She’s a
nice lady, she is.”

Blue’s
heart beat
raced. A nervous beat entered her body. “Yes. Very nice.”

She chose a beautiful lilac arrangement.
Her mother's favorite.

After driving up north towards the Romero
Winery and Estate she stopped off to drop off her mother’s bouquet.

Nervously, she opened the gate. “Why do you
and Dad have to be here? It’s so not fair.” Blue wished in her heart that she
didn’t have to visit her parents at a place like this. She walked a few steps
and stopped.
The summer breeze blowing through her hair.
Her breath stopped momentarily. This was hard. In reality, it was never going
to be easy. She knelt beside the tall marble gravestone with a beautiful
picture of her mother and father secured inside the stone with the words:
Mom and Dad. Forever loved.

Their parents were taken from them so
suddenly. It wasn’t fair. They were both killed in a deadly fire that was
originally suspected to be the result of arson. The kids were away at the time.
The pain gripping Blue’s heart was unbearable. But she would be brave. She
could do this.

She kissed the marble stone where they were
buried together underneath, coffin over coffin in a grave for two. She placed
the flowers in front. “Happy birthday, Mom!” An ache lodged in her throat. “Hey,
Dad!” she whispered, pain evident. “Courtney and I are fine. We’re going to be
just fine. Please pray for us up there, that all goes well with…I know you’re
both looking over us. I love you. Forever.”

With those words, Blue left the Pine Berry Cemetery
and walked towards her car. But oddly, she heard shuffling behind one of the
trees. Was it the strong summer breeze?
Or her imagination?
Why did she get the sinking feeling she was being watched? This unnerved her
very much. She wouldn’t dare tell Courtney what was going on but for the last
few weeks, she’d been taunted. Not just taunted but harassed. Her cell phone received
a multitude of harassing phone calls and
hang ups
from
an unknown number. Blue turned her head in both directions and looked far
beyond the many rows of tombstones in the cemetery. She drew in a deep breath.

It was probably just her imagination. Who
would follow her here?

 
 
CHAPTER THREE
 
 

Zack heaved the heavy weights off his muscular
chest and replaced them on the bar. He sat up on the bench press seat,
breathing deeply after an accelerated exercise regime. After
bench
pressing
a hefty two-hundred-and-sixty pounds of iron weights, he was
done with his late morning workout.

Turbulent thoughts raced through his mind. The
weights on the barbell were nothing compared to the weight on his shoulders.
His thoughts raced dangerously as he considered the future of his winery
enterprise and all that he’d worked for to create viable employment and a
future for young entrepreneurs who needed a boost in life, like the one he and
his brothers were fortunate to receive.

Just then his cell phone vibrated. It was
Jen, his latest girl. Well, actually, his latest ex-girlfriend. They called it
quits a few days ago. He couldn’t answer the phone. But his voicemail came on.
He pressed the button to listen.

“Hey, sweetie,” the husky voice sounded on
the recorder. “I know we’re supposed to be uh, not seeing each other right now,
but, hmmm, I want you, Zack. Now! Please call me back. I’ll meet you anywhere,
baby…” she cooed into the phone.

Zack grimaced, pain shooting through his
gut. He groaned thinking of the time when he sat at his desk and she sat
underneath his desk deep throating him. Something she loved to do. It was her
idea to get all kinky in the office during a lunch break. It caught him by
pleasant surprise the first time she did that to him.

“One month?” Thirty days of no physical contact
with a woman? Was his grandfather out of his ever-loving mind? He couldn’t wait
until those four weeks were up to prove he could do anything he put his mind
to. He was a true Romero. Romero men were tough as hell and could do the
impossible.

Zack read somewhere that although it’s
average to have sex with your partner three times a week, one in five people
were having sex less than once a month. Well, typically, he was never in
that
statistic but…one month of no sex shouldn’t
be hard. He was a man who could master his emotions and control his
libido—if need be. It was going to be hard as hell but, surely, he could
do it.

That was nothing, Zack thought to himself
bitterly as he dried the sweat off his face with the towel in his hand. He
could do better than that. Zack was a man who was known for his strength and his
stamina both in the boardroom and outside the corporate world. He could do
anything he set his mind to. He never lost a bet yet. And this was about his
dream, his future,
the
very essence of who he was. So,
the old man wanted him to control himself? Fine. He’d do just that.

Carl entered the Romero private gym with
his workout gear and walked over to Zack who was making his way over to the
shower.

“Hey, how did the rest of the meeting go with
Granddad?”

“Not good.”

“No?”

“Nope. He wants me to stay sex free for the
next month.”

Carl grinned at first. Then he could not
help himself and burst into a full-blown, hearty laugh.

“Hey, that’s not even remotely funny, bro.”
Zack cocked a brow, slinging the towel over his shoulder.

“I’m laughing with you, Zack, not at you.”

“You know the funny thing about that
statement is I’m not even laughing,” Zack answered with a humorless expression.
“I’m going to hit the shower. I’ve got a business to run, a tour to do and a
young woman to fire.”

“You mean that Blue Monroe chick?”

“Yes.”

“You can’t do that, Zack. You know that
would tick off the old man.”

“That’s not my problem. He should not have
hired her during the preliminary interview without my final say. I just don’t
think she would be suitable for the job.”

“You're gonna go with that, huh? Come on,
Zack.”

“Hey, don’t you have to go into the city
for that meeting with the investors?”

“The manager of the firm will handle it.
I’m giving her more control of the business so I can focus more on civic
duties.”

“Oh, no. You’re still not thinking about
running for mayor, are you?”

“You know it’s been my dream to make a
difference, Zack.”

“Aren’t we all making a difference?”

“Yes. But politics is where my heart is. By
the way, if I never told you before. I’m really proud of you, man.”

“For what?”

“For all you’re doing. You’ve really turned
this vineyard thing around. Not only have to
nailed
the market but you’ve turned it into a lucrative deal for young entrepreneurs
and future winery businesses. The National News made you out to be some hero,
you know.”

“Really?” Zack kept abreast of industry
news through his assistants but he’d specifically asked them not to tell him
about gossip the press may have on him. He chose to ignore critics concerning
his personal life. It just wasn’t worth getting worked up about, just in case.

“Yeah, they said you created more jobs, not
just in the industry but related to the industry.
Some
economic growth impact.
Good job, bro. You’re not as bad as you want us
to believe,” Carl teased him.

Zack rolled his eyes and shook his head. “Don’t
work out those muscles too much in your head,” Zack joked back.

“Yeah. Whatever.”

 

After Zack showered and changed into
another suit, he left to go to the winery building and vineyard on the estate.
It was a cool midsummer
day,
the cloudless blue sky
glowed over the vineyard. He paused when he saw a white Ford
sedan
pull
up by the gate.

That must be his guest ... who would soon
be leaving.

Blue got out of her car unaware Zack was
watching her. She seemed to be having trouble with her skirt. It was a snug
fitting gray skirt that was riding up on her. A grin of amusement touched his
lips. He leaned back in the office gazing at her.

My God! The woman was…lovely. Damn!

He had met her on many occasions casually whenever
she was sent by her news station to cover events hosted by his family. He’d
also seen her up close at the house when she came to apologize personally for her
cell phone being used to record the private conversation of his brother and
grandfather.
A heaviness
centered on his chest at the
thought of that invasion—though she claimed it wasn’t her fault. Don't
they all?

Blue closed the door of her car and went to
the trunk to grab some equipment. She made her way up the stone pathway leading
to the vineyard.

Hmm. The woman had one heck of a figure.
She was shapely as sin, too. Her smooth, black, below-her-shoulders hair swayed
to the smooth rhythm of the summer breeze. Her beautiful,
deeply-tanned
complexion was exotic and pleasing on the eyes. She was stunning. Damn! He
wanted to know what it would feel like to brush his fingers against that
delicious caramel-tanned skin of hers.

Zack felt himself getting aroused. Not
good. Not good at all.
A bad sign.
Zack took full note
of her shapely legs and naughty thoughts crossed his mind of those slender legs
wrapped tightly around his waist as he pleasured the woman to oblivion.

Zack was known to make a woman scream out
his name while forgetting her own name during a passionate night of pure erotic
love-making
.

He squeezed his eyes shut momentarily then
opened them up. He had to get a hold of himself. He was on a celibate run right
now, anyway. Besides, he had to fire this woman. He was going to let her down
gently of course.

He watched as the guard let her through the
gates. Any moment now she would be making her way to the building. But gosh,
why was he so captivated by this gorgeous woman with the deep, rich, sultry
voice. One that sounded like it could be used on an adult phone line. Her voice
always had that seductive touch to it from what Zack recalled.

Women were nothing but trouble, he reminded
himself. Sure, it always started off good. The sparks. The seduction. The sex.
Then the departure because he let them know up from that he was not a guy who
did the commitment thing. And it almost always ended terribly because even
though he told them and they consented to his terms, they would change their
minds and want more from him. Damn!

Well, right now he had a potential sex tape
scandal to deal with that could ruin everything for him. So this good-looking
princess was going to have to go.

 

*
   
*
   
*

 

Blue sucked in a deep breath as she entered
the foyer of the winery building—a converted luxury mansion. It was, completely,
utterly intimidating. The office worker let her in and buzzed Zack through the
intercom. The woman then handed Blue, as she was probably instructed
beforehand, some brochures about the Romero Winery and Vineyard in addition to
a map of the grand estate. Blue glanced through the
digitally-colored
,
expensive-looking brochures.

“He’s really nice,
Blue
.
You’ll like working with him,” the young woman told Blue.

“Thank you. I’ve heard a lot of good things
about Mr. Romero in regards to his winery.”
And his women
.

BOOK: The Playboy Billionaire (The Romero Brothers, Book 3)
10.17Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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