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Blackmail

Heather Teston

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Summary

When Trixie’s billionaire grandfather passes away, she’s shocked to learn about a stipulation in his will: find love and get married for a year or never receive the fortune. Faced with the prospect of having to look after herself for the first time in her life, Trixie desperately tries to think of anyone she can marry temporarily. Throughout her years of partying, she’s burned bridges. But then she remembers a young lawyer she kissed in a bar who, in his drunken stupor, shared a terrible secret with her; a secret she can exploit. With the sham marriage underway, all she has to do is wait out the year to get her money. But she never counted on falling for the lawyer, or having to deal with the consequences of his secret.

Age Rating: 18+

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Chapter 1

“I don’t understand,” she said with a look of horror on her face.

“I’ll go through it again,” Mr. Weston said, picking up his papers. “All of your grandfather’s money will go to you, but not until you are married and have been so for a total of one year.”

“But it could be years before I get married.”

The lawyer cleared his throat before continuing. “Until then, you may live in his condo in the city.”

Her eyes shot up. “But what about his mansion, why can’t I live there? It’s my home, it’s where I grew up. What am I supposed to do for money?”

She couldn’t for the life of her understand why her grandfather was doing this to her.

Trixie Brown had been just a baby when her parents died in a plane crash. Her grandfather stepped in and raised her as she had no other living relatives.

He had loved Trixie to death and spoiled her rotten, giving her everything she asked for, including the best education that money could buy.

She had done her best to make him proud by getting good grades and graduating at the top of her class in business. He had been, after all, a mother and father to her.

Nonetheless, Trixie had grown up with people waiting on her, never having to lift a finger. Instead of getting a job, she enjoyed shopping and traveling and partying with her friends.

As a result, the only things he’d neglected to give her were the tools to be independent, and she had depended on him for everything.

Trixie had liked this arrangement. Any time her grandfather had suggested she find a job, she would twirl her finger around a strand of her long blonde hair and smile sweetly at him until he’d cave.

Letting the subject drop, he would give her money so that she could travel or go shopping.

After all, how could he deny her when she was the spitting image of her mother, his only daughter? And he would say he knew she had a good heart for she was always willing to help anyone in need.

Trixie had loved her grandfather with all of her heart, so when he died of a heart attack two weeks earlier, she was heartbroken.

But she had never expected how worried he’d been about what would happen to her when his time on earth was up. The condition of this will, that she must marry, had come as a total surprise.

Yes, she would be financially well off, but she had to find true love to receive her inheritance? To go to work every day?

“The mansion is to be sold right away. There is already a buyer, and you have one month to move out.

“All the expenses for the condo will be taken care of, and you will be given an allowance of two thousand dollars a month for food, et cetera.”

She got to her feet in anger. “Two thousand dollars? I can’t live on that.”

The lawyer looked at her purse, which alone was worth over two thousand dollars, not to mention her shoes and clothes. “You have a business degree; perhaps you could find a job?”

“A job,” she scoffed. “I want my money and if getting married is what I have to do, then I will,” she said as she stormed out of the office.

***

Anna walked into the small restaurant and was shown to the table where Trixie was already seated and sipping on a glass of white wine.

She sat down across from her and knew something bad had happened by the look on her face. “Trixie, I’m sorry about your grandfather. I know how close you were to him.”

“Thank you. I loved him… I thought he loved me too.”

“Why would you say that? Of course, he loved you.”

“Then why did he do what he did?”

“Whatever are you talking about?”

Trixie looked up at Anna, whom she had met a couple of years back. They’d hit it off right from the beginning and traveled and partied a lot together.

Anna was a tall brunette and a real beauty who loved to party and pick up men wherever they went.

“I just came from the lawyer’s office. It seems my grandfather has sold the mansion and his other properties, except for the condo, which I’m allowed to live in until I marry.”

“Oh, no, I know how much you loved living in the mansion.

“But you have the condo to live in, and it’s not as if you will be spending much time there. You, my girl, are now one of the richest women in Los Angeles.”

With tears in her eyes, Trixie looked up at Anna. “That’s just it, I’m not. Actually, I’m broke.”

Anna’s eyes grew wide; she wasn’t sure if she had heard right. “What are you talking about? Surely, everything was left to you.”

Discussing this was hard for Trixie, but she had to confide in somebody. “It is…but it isn’t. My grandfather ordered that his fortune can only go to me once I am married and have been for one year.”

Anna was totally shocked. “Oh, my God! What was your grandfather thinking about putting such a clause in his will? I thought he loved you? Why would he force you into marriage?”

“I don’t know…”

“What are you going to do?”

Trixie wiped away the tear that was falling from her eye. “I have no choice but to find someone to marry. Until then, I’ve only been given an allowance of two thousand dollars a month.”

“Sweet Jesus, how could he expect you to live on such a small amount? Besides, I thought you said you never wanted to get married?”

“I don’t but I don’t have a choice if I want that money.

“But I’ve been thinking, if I can find someone who will agree to marry me, I’ll make it clear it’s for just one year. Afterwards, we’ll get a quickie divorce.”

“Who would agree to do that? And what makes you think that once you get your inheritance that this husband-to-be will leave and give you the divorce?”

“It will only be a marriage of convenience, and I will offer him two million dollars in exchange for him helping me.”

Anna shook her head. “He may agree but he might change his mind and decide he wants more.”

“I’ll have my lawyer draw up a contract and I’ll get him to sign a prenup. That way, he won’t be able to touch the money I get when the year is up.”

“The only way that will happen is if you find someone who has a big secret, so you can blackmail him if he tries anything.”

Trixie’s eyes lit up. “Then that’s what I’ll do. And I think I know who I can get to help me.”

“Who is it? Do I know this man?”

“No, you don’t know him. He’s just a man I met a year ago in the bar, and we made out. We were both tipsy and were telling each other our biggest secret, and he told me his.

“I haven’t seen him since but I remember who he is and where he works, so I think I will pay him a visit.”

“Are you going to tell me who he is and his secret?”

“I’ll tell you that his name is Titus Albani, but I won’t say anything more.”

“Why not? You know you can trust me.”

Trixie wasn’t a fool. Even though they were friends, she knew that Anna had a big mouth and would love to gossip with all their friends. “I think it’s best if I keep it to myself for now.”

Anna sat back in the chair and folded her arms across her chest. “Fine, don’t tell me. Are you still going abroad with me and the rest of the group next week?”

“I want to go but I don’t have the money.”

Trixie had been hoping Anna would volunteer to pay for her. It kind of pissed her off because there had been many times in the past when she and her grandfather had paid for Anna on other trips.

Letting out a sigh, Anna reached for her purse. “It’s too bad you can’t come with us. But I’d better get going. Can you give me a ride back to my apartment?”

Trixie waved the waiter over and asked for the bill, and when it was handed to her, she reached for her credit card and gave it to him.

A few moments later, he came back. “Sorry, miss, I’m afraid your credit card has been declined. Do you have another one?”

Trixie’s face turned bright red. She had forgotten that the lawyer had told her all her credit cards have been closed.

She rooted through her purse and grabbed her wallet. Taking out the hundred-dollar bill, she handed it to the waiter.

Trixie swallowed the lump in her throat. It was clear she had to be careful with what she spent so as to make her monthly allowance last.

“If you want, I can pay for lunch?” Anna said even though she didn’t bother reaching for her purse.

“It’s fine, I’ve got this,” Trixie said as she tried to hide her embarrassment.

She had to move quickly, so after dropping Anna off, she drove to the office where Titus worked.

***

Titus was sitting behind his desk when the door to his office flung open and a gorgeous blonde came charging in, his secretary following behind her.

After a year, he still recognized the woman as the one from the bar who’d left him with a hard-on after they’d made out a year ago.

Titus Albani was tall and good looking, so he’d never had trouble getting the ladies. But he wasn’t a player by any means, nor did he have a lot of time for dating.

As an ambitious lawyer, he’d worked his way up the firm and, at just twenty-eight, he was already close to becoming a partner—a vital step on his road to opening his own firm and being his own boss.

He didn’t have a lot of time for fun with women, so when he did, he made the most of it.

After making out with the young blonde at the bar, he’d hoped they’d bang in the alley outside, but she’d promptly left him standing there with one hell of a boner.

Ever since, he’d hoped to run into her so he could do the same to her. Titus wasn’t the type to want revenge, but he felt she was spoiled and a tease and would deserve it.

But not even he could have imagined the blonde from the bar would have come crashing into his office.

“Miss Connolly, what the hell is going on here?”

“I’m so sorry, sir. I told her she needed an appointment to see you, but she charged past me and barged right in.”

“Titus, it’s been a long time.”

He looked at Trixie with a scowl on his face. “You can’t just come bursting into my office like this.”

He couldn’t help but check her out; she was as beautiful as the last time he saw her. To make matters worse, she was wearing a push-up bra that emphasized her cleavage.

“I just need a few minutes of your time,” she said, twirling her index finger through a strand of her hair.

Needless to say, he was curious as to what she wanted. “Miss Connolly, hold my calls for ten minutes.”

Without being offered a seat, Trixie sat down in the chair by his desk. “I wasn’t sure if you would remember me or not,” she said with a coy smile on her face.

Titus sat down behind his desk, tapping his fingers while staring at her.

“It’s a little hard to forget someone who ground against my cock. You left me with a hard-on, and I’ve never forgiven you for that. I was hoping to meet you again to give you the same treatment.

“But now that I see you, I realize you’re not worth it.”

The look of shock and hurt on her face told him she wasn’t expecting that answer. But what did he care about how she felt? She was nothing but a cock teaser.

“Just because a woman makes out with a man, it doesn’t mean she’s going to have sex with him.”

He stopped drumming his fingers on the desk and glared at her. “You have less than ten minutes. I suggest you start talking about why you’re here.”

“As you have probably heard, Joseph Brown, my grandfather, passed away a few weeks ago.”

Yes, he knew of Joseph Brown; everyone knew of one of the wealthiest men in town. “I am sorry for your loss, but what do you want with me? I know you have your own lawyer and don’t need my services.”

“Oh, but in a way, I do need your service.”

“Explain,” he said as he checked his watch.

“I need you to marry me.”

His eyes grew wide, and he stood up from his chair. “Excuse me?”

“My grandfather’s money will only be mine if I am married for at least one year. I will only need you for that time, and then, once the year is up, we can divorce.

“Of course, you will have to sign a prenup. But for your trouble and time, I am willing to give you two million dollars when the year is up.”

“What you’re doing is not only illegal but morally disgusting. If and when I marry, it will be for love, and you are the last woman on earth I would consider marrying.”

“What’s wrong with me? I know that you are sexually attracted to me from the way you behaved a year ago.”

“You are a spoiled brat who loves to spend her grandfather’s money on expensive items and lavish trips.”

“You don’t know me.”

“Not personally, but I’ve read all about you, and your name has popped up in many conversations. I also know from experience that you are nothing but a cock tease.

“I suggest you find some other poor sucker to marry you.”

“I don’t have time to find a husband. I suggest you accept my offer…or else.”

Now he was getting pissed off. He didn’t like being threatened, especially by a spoiled brat. “Or else, what?”

An evil grin crossed her lips. “Or else I’ll tell your boss that little secret you told me at the bar. Not only will you lose any chance of a promotion, but you’ll most likely lose your job as well.”

He closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose. He thought back to that night and, for the life of him, he didn’t know what had possessed him to tell her his secret.

When he finally looked up at her, his anger towards her flashed in his eyes. “You wouldn’t dare.”

“Try me,” she said as she got to her feet. Placing the palms of her hands on the desk, she leaned towards him. “I will do whatever it takes to get my money.

“Now, you have a choice. You can accept my offer, and your secret will be safe with me.

“What have you got to lose? Nothing, that’s what. Not to mention, you will walk away with two million dollars. You can open your own law firm with that, if you so choose.”

Titus got to his feet, as well, and with his hands on his desk, he leaned even closer to her, their faces almost touching. “This is blackmail.”

“Call it what you want. I will give you till the end of the week to make your decision. Be smart, take my offer.”

“You are one nasty bitch,” he growled as he banged his fist on the desk.

She traced her fingertip over his bottom lip. “Now, that’s no way to talk to a lady.”

He brushed her hand away and stood up straight. “You’re right, that isn’t any way to talk to a lady. But you’re no lady.”

Just then, his secretary popped her head through the doorway after knocking lightly. “Sir, your next appointment is here.”

His heart was racing, and the blood in his veins was boiling. “Miss Brown was just leaving. Send him right in.”

Trixie picked up her purse, flung the strap over her shoulder, and started walking towards the door.

She stopped and turned to look at Titus. “I’ll be back on Friday, when I’ll expect your answer. Bye, sweetheart. Have a wonderful week.”

When she walked out, Titus sat down and rubbed his temples with his fingertips. He couldn’t believe that he was being blackmailed by a woman he’d made out with a year ago.

All this time, he had been so careful not to tell anyone his secret. Of all people, he had to blab it to this woman, and now, he was going to pay the price for his sins.

He had no idea what he was going to do. Should he risk losing his chance at a partnership—and possibly his job—or was she bluffing?

Perhaps he should consider her proposition… It was only for a year, and he would come out of it with enough money to open his own firm.

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