A waitress struggling to take care of her sick brother is made an offer she can’t refuse. If she marries a rich and domineering CEO and gives him an heir within a year, he will pay her one million dollars and help her brother get the surgery he needs. Will life in the castle be pure torture, or can she find happiness? Maybe even love?
Age Rating: 18+
Marrying the CEO by Kimi L. Davis is now available to read on the Galatea app! Read the first two chapters below, or download Galatea for the full experience.
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I crossed my right leg over my left one, glancing at the clock that told me I had been sitting here for an hour.
Clutching my file, I waited for my turn to go into the CEO’s office for my interview.
But as I looked around me, taking note of nearly fifty women waiting for their turns, I knew it was going to be a long time before I was allowed to go in, which didn’t help lessen my anxiety in the least.
I needed to get this interview over with as soon as possible. My little brother was at home alone, which was not ideal for his current condition, and I needed be with him.
The door of the CEO’s office opened, and a woman with blonde hair exited, crying her eyes out. Her mascara was running down in thin black streams while her gray eyes were bloodshot.
Without saying a word, the woman stormed toward the lone elevator on the floor and stabbed the call button repeatedly until the elevator arrived. Entering the elevator, she vanished as the doors closed.
“Number twenty-seven, Ms. Hannah, Mr. Maslow will see you now,” the lady at the reception said in a monotone.
A lady with jet-black hair and green cat-like eyes stood up gracefully and smoothed her already smooth pink dress.
Pasting on a seductive smile, she confidently sashayed inside the office. I didn’t understand how she wasn’t freezing in that flimsy dress.
My confidence faltered for the twenty-seventh time as I saw yet another beautiful woman go for her interview. Even though I had absolutely zero interest in the man himself, I was interested in what he was offering. Money.
Gideon Maslow owned the world’s biggest business empire and was the very definition of rich; he was practically royalty. There was nothing in this world that the man couldn’t buy.
He owned five private islands and was planning on buying one in the Bahamas, something I got to know after doing some research on him when I saw the newspaper advertisement.
It was just another day in which I was scanning the newspaper searching for a third job when I came across an unusual advertisement.
Gideon Maslow, a world-renowned entrepreneur is in need of a potential bride who can, in less than a year, provide him with an heir who will inherit his empire in the future.
Mr. Maslow will pay the woman one million pounds in cash after the baby is born and the year-long contract is over.
Interviews for Mr. Maslow’s potential bride will be conducted from December 6th, 2015 till December 7th, 2015.
All interested candidates must bring their résumés containing every detail about themselves, including their age, race, background, genetic diseases, etcetera. Candidates with forged information will be disqualified.
For more information contact, Maslow Enterprises Headquarters.
A contact number had been provided
Seeing the hefty amount the man was paying was the only reason I was sitting outside his office, waiting for my turn, ignoring the cramps in my butt from sitting for so long.
When I saw the amount, I knew the money would be enough for my brother’s surgery, and I needed to do everything I could to make sure Mr. Maslow picked me to be his wife.
All I had to do was give him an heir, and then I would be able to save my brother’s life. I just wished he’d pick me.
The door opened once again, and the lady, Hannah, stormed out looking livid. Her lips were pulled back in a snarl. Grunting angrily, she stormed toward the elevator.
“That tosser rejected me because I’m not a virgin! What planet is he from?!” she shouted, earning gasps from a few women. The elevator doors opened, and Hannah wasted little time in getting in.
Once the elevator doors closed, I sighed in relief, glad for the fact that I was still a virgin. I began fiddling with the necklace around my neck. Nico, my little brother, had given me the necklace on my nineteenth birthday.
It was nothing extravagant, just a simple rose-gold charm with a thin gold plated chain, but it meant the world to me. It had been four years, and I never took it off; it was my lucky charm.
“Number twenty-eight, Ms. Alice. Mr. Maslow will see you now,” the lady at the reception said in the same flat voice.
My heart started thumping as I slowly stood up, trying my best to look graceful, doing it just like the other women, but I knew I wasn’t exactly successful.
Tightening the belt of my coat around my waist, I clutched my file to my chest and slowly walked toward the wooden door that might or might not help save my brother’s life, my heart hammering against my ribcage.
Taking a deep breath, I gently turned the knob and entered Gideon Maslow’s office. The office was beautiful to say the least. The interior wasn’t fancy, but it looked expensive.
There were two white full-size couches, one in front of the huge floor-to-ceiling glass window and the other across from the first one, with a glass table in the middle.
On my right, there was a desk with all the office supplies neatly placed with a big dark brown swivel chair behind it.
Against the wall were several large cabinets made out of dark wood, and a few potted plants placed expertly in the room completed the look.
Sitting on the couch against the glass window were four immaculately dressed men. All of them were wearing expensive designer suits.
The one sitting on the left corner looked to be the oldest with dark brown hair, which was graying slightly on the edges, with piercing brown eyes. His face was hard, with only a few wrinkles that hinted at his older age.
Next to the oldest man sat a young man who looked no older than twenty. He looked similar to the man on the left, except he had curly blond hair and sea-green eyes. His face was smooth, and he had a lean body.
Beside the young man sat a man who was about twenty-seven. He had a sharp jawline, thick brown hair and piercing sea-green eyes. He looked vaguely familiar; however, I couldn’t recall where I had seen him.
Just looking at him had a shiver running down my spine. The man looked deadly, ready to strike. I knew he was the kind of man who wouldn’t hesitate to take down his opponent, no matter who it was.
The next man in line looked to be around twenty-five with curly brown hair and soft brown eyes. His handsome face was sporting a soft smile, which strangely put me at ease.
He looked a little bulky, as if he worked out a lot. Bu, I really liked him. Out of the four of them, the last one was the one who didn’t make me feel as if I had just entered the lion’s den.
“Sit down, miss. We don’t have much time,” the deadly man said.
I quickly sat on the opposite couch and put my file on the glass table, which the deadly man instantly took, opening it and quickly scanning its contents, his face void of emotions.
“What’s your name?” the oldest of the four men asked. He had a deep voice, and he talked with purpose.
“Alice Gardner, sir,” I answered politely, digging my nails into my palms to stop my heart from pounding.
“Where are you from?” the same man questioned.
“East End London, sir,” I replied.
“You’re poor,” the deadly man with sea-green eyes stated. His voice was rich and smooth, like melted chocolate, but he spoke with a dangerous tint in his tone.
His eyes were hard as they scrutinized me, making me feel like a rat under observation.
“I-I—” I was at a loss for words. I couldn’t deny the fact that I was indeed very poor. But hearing it said in such a derogatory manner made me feel stupid for ever thinking about coming here.
“Why did you come here?” the youngest of the four inquired.
My hand instantly flew to my necklace as I felt overwhelmed sitting in front of these rich men. “I need the money,” I answered honestly.
“Wow, honest much? And here we thought you would profess your undying love for my brother,” the bulky man stated with an amused smile.
Lowering my gaze as a blush colored my cheeks, I continued fiddling with my necklace.
“With all due respect, sir, how can I profess my love for a man I had no clue even existed until two days ago?” I blurted out then cursed myself for babbling.
“Ouch, that must’ve hurt, eh, Gideon?” the bulky man taunted, glancing at his brother, who looked as if he wanted to murder me.
My eyes widened slightly. This was Gideon? The Gideon Maslow?! No wonder he looked familiar. I had seen his pictures on the internet. He really did look like one of London’s most eligible bachelors.
“Why do you want the money?” Gideon questioned.
“My little brother has VSD, Ventricular Septal Defect. He has a hole in his heart, and I need money for his surgery,” I responded, my fingers not leaving my necklace.
“So you’re willing to marry me and provide me with an heir in order to get money for your little brother’s surgery, is that right?” he asked, as if confirming what I’d just said.
I nodded, hoping he would agree to the marriage. “Yes, sir.”
“What makes you think I would marry you?” he inquired arrogantly.
“After going through your information, I’m not really convinced that I want you as my wife. Both of your parents died due to heart disease, and your brother is also suffering from a heart disease, which means, in the future, there is a strong possibility that you, too, will suffer from heart disease, and I don’t want my child to have a defective heart,” he stated.
“It’s not necessarily true that I’ll suffer from heart disease,” I argued.
“Yes, you might not, but there are also other things. You are only a high school graduate, which means you’re not highly educated either.
You work at a trashy bar and at a gas station, meaning an unhygienic environment, meaning your body is flowing with all sorts of toxic chemicals that you’ve inhaled, not to mention the fact that you live in East End London, a place for the poor,” he countered, making me feel smaller with every word.
“The only reason I didn’t go to college was because both my parents passed away and I had to take care of my younger brother. I have to work two jobs in order to buy medicines for my brother and still need to save some money for his surgery.
East End London is the place I was born and grew up in. I can’t and won’t apologize for that,” I explained, desperately wanting to run away.
“Tell me, have you ever eaten at an expensive restaurant? Have you ever been to a charity event?” he questioned.
“I don’t have that kind of money, sir, and if I did, the first thing I would do is get my brother the surgery he needs,” I responded firmly.
“Your hair color, is it natural?” Gideon asked.
Running a hand through my wavy, strawberry-blonde hair, I nodded. “Yes, it’s natural. My mum had strawberry-blonde hair as well,” I answered with a smile, my mum’s angelic face flashing before my eyes.
“Interesting, however, I must say there is nothing about you, other than the fact that you’re a virgin, appealing to me. Not your genetics, not your financial status, nothing. I’m looking for a woman with class and status, and unfortunately, you lack these traits.
I’m not looking for a one-night stand; I’m looking for a wife, and I just don’t see a wife in you,” he stated, his eyes not showing a hint of emotion.
“I know how to be a wife,” I defended, trying to find some way in which I could convince Gideon to marry me. I needed the money for Nico.
I’d promised myself when I left my apartment that I would do whatever it took to convince Gideon to marry me.
“Do you now? If you become my wife, I am going to be your priority, not your brother, not anyone else, me, do you realize that?” Gideon questioned.
“I know how to divide my time according to my priorities, and I’m telling you, you will not be disappointed,” I stated firmly.
Gideon shook his head, and I knew that there was no convincing him. My heart sank. I had to find some other way to get the money.
I couldn’t let Nico, my little brother, my only family, suffer for much longer. I was just going to have to find a decent-paying job.
“I’m sorry, Ms. Gardner. I just don’t think you’re the right woman for me. However, I can pay for your brother’s surgery,” Gideon offered.
Shaking my head, I smiled and stood up. “Thank you, but no thanks. I would prefer to earn money for my brother’s surgery. I might not be rich, Mr. Maslow, but I’m not a charity case either.”
Taking my file from him, I clutched it to my chest.
“You sure? It would benefit you and your brother greatly,” Gideon persisted, but I wasn’t going to budge.
“I may lack class and status, but I do have dignity and self-respect. Thank you for your time, Mr. Maslow. I’ll be going now. Goodbye, Mr. Maslow,” I stated.
Turning on my heel, making sure to keep my head held high, I walked out of Gideon Maslow’s office and out of his life.
Exiting the lofty building that was Maslow Enterprises, I began fiddling with my necklace again, as the weight of my problems and responsibilities threatened to pull me down.
Looking around the busy London street, I had only one thought swirling in my head.
How was I going to pay for Nico’s surgery now?
What was I going to do now?
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I knocked on my apartment door and waited for Nico to come and open the door. Anxiety and desperation were eating at my insides. What was I going to do now? Where would I find a lucrative job?
All the companies preferred college graduates, whereas I was only a high school graduate. If only my father had never gotten sick and my mother had a lucrative job, then today I would be working in some successful company.
But if I started wondering about all the what-ifs, then I would lose everything, and even though I didn’t have much to lose, I had enough.
The door of my apartment opened. Nico stood in front of me, grinning. His green eyes, very much like my own, were sparkling. His blond hair a mess. Just seeing him happy made my lips curve in an involuntary smile.
Even though my little brother didn’t exactly have a normal life, he was always happy, always optimistic. I tried my best not to let anything worry him, but he was happy without me even doing much.
“Hey, Nico, how are you?” I asked with a smile, even though anxiety had my heart pounding. I quickly ran my eyes over him, making sure he was all right.
“I’m great, how are you? Did you get the job you wanted?” he queried, raising his head a little to look me in the eyes.
Even though he was only ten years old, Nico was already as tall as me. However, because of my high heels, I appeared a little taller.
I shook my head in response. “No, they had already hired someone before I had a chance,” I lied, not wanting him to worry.
“Oh, well, it’s okay. I’m sure there are better jobs for you,” he replied with a smile.
“Yeah, I hope so.” I muttered the last part to myself, not wanting Nico to see me upset; his heart would not be able to handle the stress and anxiety.
“Can we go out today? I’m bored,” Nico complained.
My heart clenched in sorrow. Because of his heart condition, I tried my best to make sure Nico didn’t exert himself; five times he had suffered from an attack and I had to rush him to the hospital, praying to God to let him be all right.
Every time the doctors instructed me to make sure Nico didn’t engage in a lot of physical activity and to get his surgery done as soon as possible. If only the doctors knew just how difficult it was to get the money.
“We can do something at home. You know you’re not supposed to exert yourself,” I said, wishing that somehow, from somewhere, I would get the money for Nico’s surgery so he could go out and run around with kids his own age, instead of staying cooped up in the apartment.
Guilt and desperation stabbed my heart when the smile on Nico’s face fell. The sparkle in his eyes dulled as he sighed audibly.
“It’s been three weeks since I went out. Please, Alice, just for twenty minutes. Take me to the park, anywhere,” Nico pleaded, his eyes begging me to give in.
Sighing in defeat, I looked my brother in the eyes. “Okay, fine, we’ll go to the library, and you can read books,” I conceded. The library was the only place I could think of where Nico would be able to spend time without exerting himself.
Nico smiled, a full megawatt smile that I loved so much. Punching in the air, Nico hooted in excitement. “Yes! I’ll go get my jacket,” he stated then jogged to his room.
“Don’t run,” I chided. Shaking my head, I went to my room to get my wallet. Since I was already wearing my trench coat, I just had to get my woolen cap and my gloves out of the closet.
Even though it was afternoon, I made sure to remain protected. London winters could be vicious.
Exchanging my high heels with comfortable trainers, I shut my closet and made my way out of my room to the living room, where Nico was already standing.
“Hurry up, Alice, we don’t want the library to close up,” Nico said in a rush.
“It’s not going to close up this early, and where is your backpack?” I questioned.
“On the chair.” I picked up the black backpack and slung it over my shoulder. I had to take the backpack to the library so Nico wouldn’t have to carry heavy books.
“Let’s go,” I stated. Nico wasted no time in running out of the apartment, giving my heart a sudden jolt. “Stop running!” I scolded, following after him, making sure to lock the front door.
Outside was fairly chilly, but that was to be expected. Nico and I might live in one of the poorer areas of London, but the streets were always crowded. People were milling about, rushing here and there.
It was nearly time for lunch, which explained the crowd. I made sure to hold Nico’s hand tightly, to make sure he wouldn’t get lost.
After about twenty minutes of weaving in and out of the East End London crowd, Nico and I finally arrived at the library. Nico wasted no time in going inside and immediately rushing off to the biology aisle, leaving me alone.
Wanting to make sure that he was okay, I followed Nico to the biology section, only to find him sitting on one of the many beanbags in a corner, reading a big, fat book, while a whole bunch of books sat beside him on the small table.
“You seem to have an obsession with biology,” I commented, looking over to see Nico reading about the heart.
Whenever Nico and I visited the library, he always opted to read science books, mainly biology, which I found strange yet impressive, as a boy his age usually wanted to read about superheroes and stuff.
“I want to be a doctor, Alice. This is why I need to study a lot, so I can help people with heart diseases. Then no one will have to stay home because of a bad heart,” he answered, a determined look in his eyes.
Unwanted tears pricked my eyes at hearing my brother’s answer. His heart condition was affecting him so much, both physically and emotionally, and I couldn’t do anything about it.
Blinking my eyes rapidly to stop the tears from falling, I reached for my necklace and began fiddling with it. “You stay here and read. I’m going to go do some research, okay?”
“Okay, but please, can we stay here for a few hours? I want to sit and read here,” Nico requested.
I nodded with a smile. “We’ll leave when you want to,” I replied then turned and walked to the checkout desk.
“Hi, are any of the computers available?” I asked the cute brunette sitting behind the desk, typing away on the keyboard.
“Sure, there are a few computers that are free. You can go and see,” she answered politely.
“Thanks.” I turned and strode to the computer area. The computer area had lots of computers, which were arranged five to a table, each with its own mini cubicle.
Which was amazing, as one would have complete privacy when working.
Finding an empty cubicle, I sat on the swivel chair and turned on the computer. As soon as I opened the internet tab, I hurriedly searched for lucrative online jobs.
I would prefer to get an online job so I could work from home. That way I wouldn’t have to leave Nico alone and would be able to take care of him.
When I turned on the computer, I was full of hope, but now, after searching through nearly fifty links, I was starting to lose it. No online job was paying more than what I was already earning at the bar and the gas station.
Even if I did opt for an online job, I realized now that I wouldn’t be able to manage working online due to my odd hours at the bar and the gas station. However, I continued searching link after link, praying to God to get me a job.
“Hey, Alice?” Nico’s voice startled me. I looked to my right to see Nico standing with his arms folded across his chest.
“Yeah, what is it? Are you all right?” I asked, concerned.
“Yes, I just wanted to tell you that I think we should go. Your shift is about to start,” he told me.
Looking at my wristwatch, I cursed under my breath. It had been five hours since Nico and I had come here, and he was right; my shift at the gas station was about to start.
Hurriedly turning off the computer, I stood up and grabbed the backpack. “Did you borrow any books?” I asked Nico.
He nodded. “Yeah, they’re at the checkout desk,” he answered.
Taking his hand, I walked to the checkout desk to see the lady checking out the last book and stacking it on top of the already big pile. Without saying anything, I unzipped the bag and put eight of the fat books in it.
Once all the books were in, I zipped the bag shut and slung it over my shoulder, making sure not to let anyone see how uncomfortable I was with the heavy bag. Bidding our farewells to the librarian, Nico and I left the library.
The crowd had thinned considerably in the span of five hours. Not many people were seen wandering around, which made it unnecessary to hold onto Nico’s hand.
Despite that, I made sure to have Nico walk as closely to me as possible. I couldn’t risk him walking at a distance; his heart disease had turned me into an anxious, worrisome mess.
We reached our apartment in less than twenty minutes. Unlocking the front door, I hurried inside and put the backpack in Nico’s bedroom. I didn’t want him to carry it or anything.
If I put the bag in his bedroom, then Nico could simply unzip the bag and read whatever book he wanted. If someday I did become rich, I would buy a bookshelf for Nico where he would be able to put his books and other knickknacks.
Rolling my shoulder to alleviate the pain, I left Nico’s room and went to the kitchen to prepare his dinner. I still had an hour before my shift actually started, which was enough to make some Italian vegetable soup.
I wanted to make Nico something like a grilled burger, which would have been easier, but it wasn’t good for his heart, and I would never put Nico’s health in jeopardy just to make my life easier.
The doorbell rang as I was cutting the vegetables. I frowned, curiosity blooming inside me. Who would visit us at this hour? It wasn’t time for the milkman or the landlord to arrive, so who was at the door?
I put the knife down and was about to go and see who it was, but Nico beat me to it.
“I got it, Alice. You make dinner,” Nico bellowed. I reluctantly picked up the knife again and went back to cutting; however, my mind was wondering who was at the door, as I strained my ears to listen to anything strange.
When all I heard were strange, incomprehensible words, I put the knife down again and went to check who Nico was talking to.
“Nico, who is—” My words died in my throat as I took in the men standing at the threshold of my apartment.
Gideon Maslow—along with his brother and the older man, who I presumed was his father—was standing on the threshold of my apartment, looking as deadly as ever, his eyes unreadable.
“Wow, you’re even shorter than I thought,” Gideon’s brother commented.
Ignoring his comment, I turned my attention to Gideon. “I—Is everything all right?”
“Aren’t you going to invite us in, young lady?” Gideon’s father queried.
My cheeks heated in embarrassment. “Of course, my apologies, please come in,” I stated politely.
All three men entered my apartment, and Nico closed the door. “Alice, do you know these people?” Nico inquired.
“Yes, I do, Nico. Why don’t you go in your room while I talk to them,” I told him.
“Are you in danger?” he asked anxiously.
“No, no, not at all, I just need to talk to them about something important, that’s all. I’ll call you out as soon as they leave,” I responded.
“Okay, but you call me if you’re in danger,” he stated.
“I will,” I replied.
“Promise?” He held up his pinkie finger.
Linking my pinkie finger with his, I smiled. “Promise.”
Satisfied, Nico sauntered into his room, closing the door softly behind him, while I went into the living room where Gideon was sitting with the other two men.
“So, shortcake, what are you? Four-eight, four-ten?” Gideon’s brother inquired.
“I’m five feet,” I stated. “Would you like something to drink?” I asked them, not forgetting my manners.
“No, go and pack your bags,” Gideon ordered, locking his sea-green eyes with mine. My heart flipped as Gideon stared me, his eyes willing me to submit.
“Why?” I questioned, dread creeping up my spine. If he had any intention of separating me from my brother, then he had another think coming.
“Because I said so,” Gideon stated simply.
I shook my head. “I’m sorry Mr. Maslow, but I won’t do anything you tell me if I don’t get a proper reasonable answer,” I stated.
Gideon’s eyes hardened, resembling green shards. “Do as I say,” he commanded.
“First give me a valid reason,” I demanded.
“Wow, you’re quite willful,” Gideon’s brother piped in.
“Shut up, Kieran,” Gideon snapped. Oh, so that was his name. I liked Kieran. He was not as intimidating as Gideon. I wondered where the younger one was.
Standing up, Gideon strode over to me until he was standing just a few inches from me. I raised my head to look at him. I wasn’t wearing high heels, and Gideon towered over me, making me feel vulnerable.
“Go and pack your bags, little peach. I won’t tell you again,” he stated in a dark tone, threatening.
“Why?” I questioned, not letting myself back down. I was not his slave. He had to give me a reason before I did anything he requested.
His next words had my eyes widening in shock.
“We are getting married.”
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