Irresistible Billionaires by Summer Brooks



Walking up to my door, exhausted from work, I shuffled around in my pocket for the keys. I could already feel the bed calling for me. As I slid the key into the lock, the door creaked open, and my brow furrowed in confusion.

Someone left it unlocked?

I hesitated before very slowly walking inside. All the lights were on, and from my initial glance, nothing looked out of place. My father immediately popped into my mind, and my heart beat faster. I raced up the stairs and headed toward my dad’s wing of the mansion. I kept scanning my surroundings, searching for anything that was missing or stolen.

By the time I reached my father's room, I was sweating and my breath was labored. I swung open his bedroom door and sighed in relief. He was sitting in his favorite chair, watching television. His feet were propped up, and I could see one white sock and one blue sock peeking from under the throw. His tie was half undone and lopsided. His usually pressed suit was wrinkled all to hell like he had forgotten to take off his jacket when he got home.

Did he leave the door unlocked when he got home from work? Andwhat happened to his outfit? He's usually so put together.

I walked over to him and waved a hand in front of his face. "Dad, is anyone in there, or are you zoned out, watching your show?"

He turned to me, but his gaze was blank for a moment like he didn't recognize me. Then he refocused, although his voice was still far off when he spoke. "Oh. Hi, Zach. What're you doing home so early?"

I glanced down at my watch. My brow knitted in concern, but I played it off with a laugh. "Ha. I think you've been watching too much TV. It's nearly seven o'clock."

My father's eyes widened, and he looked out the window. "Ah, so it is. I must've lost track of time."

Seeing him like that made my heart sink a little. I reached out and grabbed his shoulder. "Dad, I think maybe we should talk about the future."

He cocked his head to one side, and his eyes drooped with sleep. "How about we talk about it tomorrow?"

I nodded reluctantly, though inside, I was relieved not to be forced into the conversation without serious mental preparedness. "Do you want help taking off your tie?" I reached out to help him, but he pushed my hand away.

There's the stubborn goat I know and love.

He glared at me. "I can do it myself. Thank you very much. I'm not that old yet." He groaned as he stood, letting the throw fall to the floor. He pulled off his jacket, and I followed behind, picking up his trail of clothing. My father made quick work of his tie and placed it on the bed beside him.

I raised my hands in surrender. "All right, you've got me there. I'll let you get ready for bed. Goodnight."

"Goodnight," he called out.

I shut the door and paused, my eyes staring down at his shoes sitting outside of his bedroom door as if he thought it was the front of the house. There was nothing I could do that night, but I knew the time was upon me.


I tossed and turned the entire night. Dreams, memories, and anxiety plagued me. When I woke up in the morning, the start of dark circles had formed under my eyes, so I put some Preparation-H on them—a trick a girl at my hair salon taught me—to hide the weariness from my father. I didn't want him to worry.

A quick glance at my watch as I entered the dining room let me know I had time for a quick cup of coffee before my father arrived. He was usually down for breakfast at the same time every day, but on that morning, he was running late. I paced back and forth, my eyes burning holes into the floor while I waited for him. We needed to talk about the future of the company, but I was nervous.

Will he be the dad we know or a stranger who just looks like him? And will he be willing to give up control or fight us to keep hold of the company?

Logan descended the stairs and trotted into the dining room. He glanced around. "Where's Dad?"

I shrugged. "Not exactly sure. He's running late, I guess."

Logan just blinked at me.

I shook my head. "I know. I told him we were going to talk about the company today, so I'm waiting."

Logan pursed his lips. "Well, I guess I won't throw you to the wolves." He leaned against the wall that separated the dining room from the kitchen. Still, his gaze plainly showed his disinterest in the conversation that was about to happen.

He said he'd be down in a few minutes. Where is he?

My jaw tensed, and I continued to pace. I kept glancing at my watch.

He's fifteen minutes late for breakfast. At this rate, there won't be any time for a conversation.

I moved to get him, but Logan reached out and grabbed my arm.

"Be patient. You know he usually takes a long time to get ready in the morning."

I nodded and stayed put. After what felt like an eternity, the housekeeper poked her head into the living room. She shrank away when she saw the look on my face.

I plastered on a charming smile so I wouldn't scare her. "Hi, Jen. Is Robert almost ready to speak with us?"

Her eyes widened, and she blushed. "Yes. He'll be right in."

Logan waltzed over to her, took her hand, and feathered a kiss on her fingertips. When she looked up at my brother, her face was beet red. She looked like she was about to faint.

"Thank you very much. Maybe I'll see you later?" Logan's voice came out slick, and I resisted the urge to poke fun at him for his flirtatious tendencies.

He winked at her, and she nodded mechanically. She grabbed a pen and a piece of paper and scribbled down her number and handed it to him. Jen mouthed, "Call me," before rushing off without another word.

Hook, line, and sinker. Not that I can blame her. We'd both always had a way with women, although Logan abused that gift more than I did.

Logan smiled to himself and then looked up at the blank expression on my face. "What? It's a little pick me up this morning. Besides, she's relatively new. I gave her the typical three-month introduction to the job and family before hitting on her."

I opened my mouth to respond, but our father beat me to it. "I see you still haven't grown up much. Hitting on a housekeeper…classy." He leveled a disbelieving gaze at Logan and then sat down in one of the chairs at the dining room table in the center of the room.

My father cracked a smile, and I stiffened. I could see Logan freeze beside me. Our father's smile looked forced, and the icy-blue eyes that mirrored mine stared into my soul. I walked over to the chair next to him and sat without breaking eye contact. My father steepled his fingers on the table. "So, what is it that you wanted to talk to me about?"

I gulped but didn't speak up.

"Use your words, boy." he chastised.

I grimaced, feeling like I did when I was a child. My father loved us, but he was a hard man sometimes. "Yes, Father. I was thinking about the future of the company and the recent disconnect that I think you can agree that we've all seen from you. I was hoping that you would realize that retirement might be the best thing for the company…and you, at this point. I know you don't like for people to beat around the bush, so there it is. I have some great ideas—"

He held up a hand and cut me off. "What makes you think I would give up control of the company so easily? Your brother seems more interested in wooing any woman he can get his hands on. I could hear him last night, and this isn't exactly a small house."

He gestured to the mansion surrounding him. Then he raised an eyebrow at me in a challenge.

I leaned back in my chair. "What about having me take over the company?"

Our father's gaze turned thoughtful for a moment. He rested his chin in his hands. "Well, out of the two of you, I'd trust you over Logan." He turned to Logan. "No offense."

Logan smirked and said, "None taken," before walking away.

I smiled. "In that case, I can take over. I'm not that interested in the whole business, but I care about the family legacy, so I'd be happy to—"

Robert cut in, "I'm not done yet. I don't think you're ready. How long have you been a real estate investor?"

I narrowed my eyes at him, "What does this have to do with—"

"Answer the question."

I shrugged. "Maybe seven years."

He leaned in closer to me. "You've had a lot of extra time in those seven years. Would you say that you've used it wisely?"

I frowned and mentally rolled my eyes, but I knew he had a point. "I guess not."

"At least you're willing to admit to it. That's a step in the right direction. I trust you, but you're not responsible enough to take over the company. Neither of you is. Last night I could hear the call of the wild coming from Logan's room, for Christ's sake. He can't even take sleep seriously anymore."

My lip quirked up in a smile. "I'm really glad that I apparently have some sort of audio block on my brother's wails of passion."

My father laughed in response. "To be fair, it's probably because you sleep like a rock." He leaned forward before speaking again. "If you can show me some stability, then the company is yours."

He reached out a hand to me, and we shook on it. I was shocked that it was that easy. Not that finding the stability he was looking for would be easy, but there was no yelling or fighting. Maybe somewhere deep inside of him, he knew he was reaching a point in his life where running the company like he had for five decades wasn't feasible anymore.

Just then, Jen came back into the room with the home phone cradled in her hands. "Sorry to interrupt, but a woman is calling for you." My father reached out to take the phone, but she wagged a finger at him and kept the phone just out of his reach.

"She's calling for Zach. Apparently, she's been calling the office, trying to reach you." She handed the phone to me.

I shrugged and looked at my dad. My tone dripped with sarcasm. "They must have gotten the brothers mixed up. Or maybe it's my mysterious non-existent girlfriend."

He didn't pick up on my joking tone because his eyes lit up at the word girlfriend.

"I'll be right back," I said and walked into another room to take the call while my dad waited for breakfast. "Hello?"

"Hi, is this, Zach?" she asked.

"Yes, this is he. Who am I speaking with?"

Her voice sounded frantic. "I'm so glad I was able to get a hold of you. It's Clara from the coffee shop the other day."

I wrinkled my nose.

Of course, I would be the one to get the creepy stalker call. We might have to change the number for this phone.

"And why are you calling my house? Is this something I should be concerned about."

She sighed through the phone. "No. We went to high school together."

"Sure we did, you and every other gold digger." I chuckled and shook my head. "I’m not interested in whatever you want. Goodbye."

When I went to hang up the phone, I could hear her voice yell out. "Wait! Before you hang up on me, just listen to me for a second."

I rolled my eyes. "Fine, you have thirty seconds."

"Fine. You used to wear your favorite blue baseball cap every day in high school, and your best friend's name was Kyle. You had a huge falling out after—"

I scrunched my brow, curiosity running through me. "Okay, okay. You went to high school with me. What's this about?"

The line went dead for a moment. Static crackled on her end of the line. The whole call was getting stranger by the second.

How did she know about Kyle?

When she spoke up again, her voice was just above a whisper. "I saw online that OBEL is hiring a marketing manager. I have a degree in marketing and nearly ten years of experience. I was hoping that you could fit me in for an interview. The prospects in San Francisco are dwindling."

I mulled it quickly over. We needed a marketing manager badly, and the girl had enough guts to call me at home. I figured the worst that could happen would be security escorting her out. "Schedule it with our HR manager.” I gave her the direct line and told her to mention my name. “I don't currently do the hiring, but my father works closely with HR and I work closely with him."

"Awesome," she sighed. "Thank you so much."

I passed the phone back to Jen without another word. I meandered slowly back into the dining room, something Clara said suddenly striking my attention. She had seen me in the coffee shop…was she…

My father placed his napkin down onto the table, interrupting my thoughts. "Maybe I misjudged you when I said you didn't take things seriously. How serious is the relationship with this mystery girlfriend of yours? The one you were talking to on the phone."

I was about to correct him, but the look of happiness on his face, sent me spiraling into another direction.

Maybe I can kill two birds with one stone. I can get more authority in the company and Clara can get a job if he thinks we're serious about each other.

It was dumb, but at that moment, I was desperate to show my father that I was ready to take over the company. Being in a committed relationship would make him think I had grown up. "We're pretty serious. I'm thinking about proposing to her soon."

My father smiled. " I won't lie; I'm surprised. I thought after what happened with your mother, you'd sworn off love for good. Honestly, I wouldn’t blame you." He laughed.

I shook my head. "I felt that way at first, but I think I just needed time, distance, and a lot of therapy to move past it."

He straightened his back and looked me in the eye. "In that case, maybe you're ready to take on some more responsibility at the company. I’ll give you a chance. I'll start training you to manage OBEL tomorrow."

I smiled. "Thanks, Dad. Oh, and one more thing. My girlfriend is interested in the marketing manager position we have open."

My father smiled so wide that his eyes wrinkled at the corners. "If she wants to work at the company, then consider her hired."

Oh boy, things are about to get interesting.