Home > A Million Dirty Secrets (Million Dollar Duet #1)(12)

A Million Dirty Secrets (Million Dollar Duet #1)(12)
Author: C.L. Parker

I trudged to the bathroom and ran a hot bath in my oversized Jacuzzi. It would be the first time I’d used it since I had found them there.

I was the primary shareholder of my father’s company, Scarlet Lotus. My mother, Elizabeth, who had been a Buddhist, had named the company. The lotus flower starts as a seed in the mud beneath a body of water and gradually grows upward until it reaches the surface to bloom. The color red symbolizes love, passion, compassion, and all matters of the heart. My father, Noah senior, felt the name suited the company well. Scarlet Lotus was where people could bring their unique ideas—ideas that were near and dear to their hearts, but which they just didn’t have the capital to bring to fruition—and watch them grow until they blossomed. For a portion of the proceeds, Scarlet Lotus helped them do just that. My mother had insisted that the company give back to the community, and so charity work had become just as much a part of what we did as idea development.

My parents had died in a car accident almost six years ago, leaving everything to me: the money, the house, and all the shares of the company that my father had owned. None of it could ever begin to replace them, and I was nowhere near deserving.

My father’s partner, Harrison Stone, had retired three years ago and handed over all of his stock to his only son, David. David and I had been the best of friends while growing up. With our parents’ success, it was nearly impossible to tell who was befriending you because they genuinely liked you and who was just sucking up to you because of the money. David and I had learned the hard way that we could only depend on each other. We were always getting into trouble, spurring each other on to do the most ridiculous stunts. Of course, our parents always cleaned up our messes; they couldn’t have the heirs of the Scarlet Lotus fortune all over the tabloids. It would have been very bad for business. Plus we’d be running the company someday, and no one in their right mind would put their valuable ideas in the hands of a couple of punks with a reputation for screwing up.

I’d just never thought I’d be twenty-two and fresh out of college when my day came. David had already been shadowing his father by that point and really learning the ropes. Together we were invincible, and we quickly became the talk of the business world. When we became partners, like our fathers, we already knew we were a good fit.

Or so we thought.

It turned out that David had never agreed with how much money the company was “squandering” on charitable deeds. He was a greedy motherfucker and thought lining his own pocket was far more important than helping the less fortunate. But it had been my mother’s passion, and thus my father’s, so I wasn’t budging. Plus, it made me feel really good to give something back.

About a year ago I had flown to New York to meet with an agency that specialized in community projects to keep kids off the streets. When I had returned, I found David in my Jacuzzi with Julie, my girlfriend of two years.

To be precise, he was fucking her in the ass while she screamed, “Your cock is bigger than Noah’s!”

That was a lie. I walked in on them, so I saw for myself. Regardless, I wasn’t exactly worried about that point at the time. I was in love with Julie, and David knew it. Well, I’d thought I was in love with her.

He also knew I had planned on asking her to marry me when I got back from that trip, and he’d done his best to talk me out of it. David was a chauvinistic ass. He truly believed that the only thing a woman was good for was satiating his sexual desires.

“Keep ’em naked and on their knees or back twenty-four/seven, and make sure they know their place,” he’d said. “There’s too much pussy in the world to be tied down to one woman.”

He’d told me men like us couldn’t trust any woman because they were all a bunch of gold-digging whores anyway; either they wanted a fat bank account or they wanted a fat cock. He thought I was stupid for falling in love, that it made me vulnerable and weak.

He was right. I was broken after I caught him with Julie, but so was his nose, a kneecap, and three of his ribs.

He’d fucked her just to prove a point. And although our friendship was over, the partnership was not. It wasn’t that I didn’t try to buy him out. I did, but he’d refused to sell. And there was no way I was giving up the company my father and mother had worked so hard to build. So I bit the bullet and went to work every day with my head held high and conducted business as usual.

I learned my lesson and refused to let a woman get close enough to hurt me again.

But I was lonely. And slightly addicted to pussy.

Sure, I’d had flings with several women, but I’d always cut them off the second they got a little too close for comfort. Sex was a very therapeutic way for me to get out my frustrations, but women didn’t seem to want to stick around for just that purpose. There were some who had said they understood that it was just sex for me, but inevitably they’d get clingy and want me to feel things I simply didn’t and wouldn’t, so they had to go.

I could have random one-night stands, but that was like playing Russian roulette with my dick, even with a condom, and I’d grown quite attached to it over my young life, thank you very much.

What I wanted was the same woman in my bed every night and every morning, someone to greet me when I arrived home after a long and trying day at work, eager to please me. Someone who would tend to my every need, no strings attached. Yeah, I knew it was every man’s fantasy and that it wasn’t likely to come true for most men, but I had enough money to buy that fantasy. So I did.

And that was what had led me to Delaine.

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