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My Last Love Affair (Bancroft Billionaire Brothers #1)
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Get Married. Have a child.
These are the only two rules to get my inheritance.
Neither of which I want. My billionaire life doesn’t play well with either idea.
But no one asked me. My father’s company is up for grabs, and whichever of my brothers makes it to the finish line first wins.
In no time, I’ve found the perfect woman to play my fake fiancée while I figure things out.
Beautiful. Smart. Strong.
Everything I crave in a relationship and more.
But there’s a problem. She’s got a past I can’t ignore.
Not with just anyone.
With my younger brother.
To top it all off, she gets pregnant.
And the one person she doesn’t tell?
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I shifted in the executive chair at the head of the table and forced myself to pay attention to what the man on my left, a few chairs down, was saying. I adjusted the bright-blue tie I was wearing and looked around the table. It was our third investors meeting this week alone. The company was doing great and there was no shortage of people wanting to add their money to the pot. They wanted the payout. Bancroft Industries was booming. Who wouldn’t want to invest in a sure thing.
It made me feel powerful. They were all clamoring to get in now, because it had just been made very clear that the next several years were going to be very good for the company. I leaned back, eyeing the man who wanted to talk about holding back on a buyout presented at the first meeting of the week. He was a little surprised he was getting any kind of resistance.
“I understand your cautious nature, Henry, really, I do, but I think our track record proves itself,” I said in a smooth tone.
The other investors were nodding in agreement with me. Of course, they were. I had made them rich men with solid futures ahead of them.
Henry looked a little nervous. “I think we need to hold back a little. We’ve been buying up companies at a rapid pace. I don’t want to overextend ourselves.”
“Henry, really, have we let you down yet?” I said with a chuckle, staring directly into his eyes.
The man suddenly looked nervous with my directed stare. It wasn’t long before he nodded. “You’re right. I should know better and to trust you.”
I nodded, satisfied I had successfully changed the man’s opinion and got him to go along with my business plan. It was a knack, something that came very natural to me. It was my superpower. I leaned back once again, listening to the men talk. I was the eldest of six sons. It only made sense I would inherit the company. I had put in the time and effort and was the acting CEO. In my opinion, I was the only one who deserved the spot.
I glanced over to my younger brother Jack, sitting by my side as always. He had been working for the company nearly as long as I had, but I was the one pulling the strings and making the biggest decisions. When my father had died not too long ago, I had assumed I would naturally ascend to the throne of the Bancroft Estate. I hadn’t.
Nope, dear old dad had decided I wasn’t worthy. Not as I was, that is. He wanted me to be the man he was, popping out heirs left and right. I had been a very careful man making sure I did not plant my seed anywhere. The last thing I needed was a bunch of little Grayson Bancrofts running around with a bunch of baby mamas suing me for money. No thank you. I had taken my dad’s birds and the bees talk to heart. I wanted no babies and was very careful to make sure that didn’t happen.
Now, it looked like my careful nature could cost me the Estate. How was that even fair? He would have killed me had I knocked up one of the many women I had slept with over the last decade. Now, I needed to produce an heir to secure his seat at the head of the table. Life sure was funny sometimes, I mused.
“Was there anything else?” Jack asked me, interrupting my thoughts.
I blinked and shook my head. “No, I don’t think so.”
I listened to Jack wrap up the meeting and tried to imagine him as my boss. Jack was the only other brother to work at the company in a similar capacity. He knew the stipulations in the will. If he managed to produce the first heir, he’d win the race to the throne. That did not sit well with me. Jack wasn’t cut out for the job. And I was damn well not cut out to work for him. The very thought made me shudder. It was my birthright as far as I was concerned.
The men started to file out of the conference room, leaving me and Jack alone. “That went well,” I said with a smile.
“I think so,” he said, standing and buttoning his suit jacket.
I stood and followed him out of the room: I went left to my office at the end of the hall, while he turned right and went to his office at the opposite end. I got to my office, then wrapped up a few loose ends before heading out to meet my best friend, Justin Roth, for a drink or three.
He was sitting at a table in the center of the room, right where he liked to be. Justin liked everything on the up-and-up. He had a bit of a reputation to live down and had promised his wife he would never give her any reason to suspect he was back to his old ways. That meant no dark corner tables where there could be a clandestine meeting with a woman.