The Billionaire's Bet

By: Victoria Davies

For my family who always pushed me to try new things. Your constant love and support have helped me become the person, and the writer, I am today.

Chapter One

How many times had she stepped through this door and crossed into the glittering world of the elite? At least once more, it seemed, as she rolled her shoulders back and walked through the entrance.

Decadence was the name of the game at this particular lounge. A pianist played in one corner while the waitstaff weaved between the leather chairs grouped around black marble tables. Mirrors lined one wall, their function both decorative and purposeful. After all, in this place, you wanted to see and be seen.

She wondered how many thousands of dollars were spent here a night. Maybe she should give up law and ask the receptionist for an application. The servers at this club obviously had no complaints.

Scanning the room, she looked for familiar tousled blond curls. Though a spacious outside terrace offered one of the most spectacular views in the city, her boss preferred to hold court inside. This was Alec’s downtime. The place he came to unwind. Here he didn’t have to be a captain of industry ruling with an iron fist. Instead, he could be a billionaire playboy like all the rest.

And it looked like he was enjoying his freedom.

Her gaze zeroed in on him and the petite woman draped over his side.

Annoyance snaked through her even though she had no business feeling it. She wasn’t part of this glittering world. When it came to men like Alec, she was more assistant than woman. There to make his life easier without requiring much of his valuable time.

Cutting through the room, she walked toward the small group laughing over glasses of champagne and tumblers of scotch.

Her quarry looked up as she approached, his blue eyes narrowing.

“Hailey,” he greeted. “Trouble?”

“We need to talk,” she replied.

He nodded at her words, whispering something in his date’s ear before rising to his feet.

“Lead the way,” he said, buttoning his black suit closed.

She allowed herself only the briefest second to admire the image he presented as he moved toward her. Every inch of his six-foot-plus frame was encased in Armani cut to show off his physique to perfection. She’d seen him change his shirt once and knew damn well his body was all honed and muscled. Combined with a face that would make angels envious, the golden boy of the tech world would turn any woman’s head.

Forcing herself to focus on the job, she led Alec away from the main room of the club. Lux’s managers knew what sort of clientele they catered to and had been smart enough to install four smaller rooms in the back of their lounge. Each was private and equipped with everything one would need to handle urgent business. After all, they didn’t want their patrons running back to the office when they could handle smaller problems right here, complete with waitress service.

Lydia already waited by one of the open doors.

“Your room, Mr. Charr.”

She gave the woman a grateful smile as she ushered her boss through the door. When it closed behind them, the soft sound of music in the air was cut off. Soundproofing, of course, to ensure all conversations stayed confidential.

Alec collapsed into the leather-back chair behind a built-in desk. A telephone, paper and pens, and a menu waited on the smooth surface.

She pulled his laptop from her briefcase and set it before him.

“There’s a second offer on the Corus deal. It’s time to be more aggressive.”

“Damn.” He opened the computer to see the email she’d left up for him. “No rest for the wicked, eh?”

“Shouldn’t take you more than half an hour,” she replied. “Do you want me to wait and review the final bid?”

“No, no.” He waved her away, his eyes on the screen. “I can handle this. I’ll let you know the outcome in the morning.”

“Good luck.” She buckled up her briefcase once more.

He glanced at her as she turned to go. “Thanks for bringing this to me, Hailey. We make an excellent team.”

The words scraped against her nerves. We could be even better, she thought. But that would require Alec’s seeing her as something other than just the legal counsel at his beck and call.