The Power of Love
- Genre: Romance
- Age: 18+
- Status: Completed
- Language: English
- Author: Useful
“Marry my daughter, then.” The low baritone of Matthew Hussey echoed in the silent room. The room was designed in a modern functional style and reflected the man’s wealth.
Adam blinked in shock and then did something crazy; he laughed, slapping Matt’s thighs.
“Are you kidding me?”
“No. I’m dead serious.”
He looked into his cold blue eyes and was chilled to the bones.
“Why would you marry off your daughter to your worst enemy?”
He raised his glass of martini and sipped slowly.
“Let’s say you are the man I want for Veronica. As incredible as it sounds, you are the only one who can handle her.”
He sipped his whiskey slowly and turned to stare at the million-dollar painting of a nude woman on the wall. They were in his penthouse office, and he was reminded of his financial mess.
“Handle her? You make her sound like some crazy bitch.”
He glowered at Adam and pretended to pick a flint off his designer’s three-piece suit. It had been hand-stitched by a tailor in France and cost a fortune. He had been named the city’s most handsome man of the year five times in a row.
“Veronica is like fire; she will burn you if you try coming close.”
Adam chuckled and sipped the scalding whiskey. He knew Matthew had an only child, a girl that was conveniently kept out of the tabloids. She was probably some bossy prude, and he shook his head.
“I don’t want your daughter. She’s not my type.”
“Then, Mr. Adam, you will have to save yourself. If I must help you, this is what you need to do.”
“Damn you. You are ruthless.” He bared his teeth in a smile and realized he looked just like a wolf, a big bad wolf.
“So are you, Adam Livingston. Your reputation precedes you.”
Adam stood up and straightened his creased clothes. He had been sitting with the wealthiest and most dangerous man in the city for an hour, and he longed for a bubble bath.
“Thank you, Matthew. I guess I have to find another way.”
He laughed at Adam then, loud throaty sounds that shook his big frame. He was a good-looking man, with hawklike blue eyes that blazed with intelligence, a solid suntanned face, and a bald head that reminded you of a prisoner.
“There is no other way for you, Adam. You are quickly running out of cash. Soon you will be sleeping on the street with your handsome look.”
Adam wanted to call his talk bullshit, but Matt knew better. The bank manager had called that morning, and just before his visit, he had visited a pawn shop and sold off his diamond ring for some cash. He gritted his teeth, burning all over in rage.
“Damn you! I don’t want to marry your daughter. Hell, I don’t even think I will like her.” He wanted to reason with Matthew. He needed a loan, not a wife.
“You don’t have to like her. You must marry her and possibly get me a son by Christmas. If you can do that, I’m willing to save your sorry ass from bankruptcy.”
Adam felt the blood rush to his face, and he tightened his fist. “What are you talking about?” he asked, bemused.
He waved him to take a seat. “I’m fifty-seven years old, and I had a nasty bypass. I don’t think I’m going to live much longer. I need a son for my legacy.”
“You mean you want me to fuck your daughter and get her pregnant so you can have the son you couldn’t have?”
Matthew glared at him. “That’s a rotten thing to say, but yes, you are getting the picture now.”
“This is bullshit. I can’t accept this and think it’s a shitty thing to do to your daughter. Don’t you care about her happiness?”
He narrowed his eyes at him, and he saw a rage that matched his. He scratched his jaws slowly and, in a flippant tone. “Love is fickle. She’s going to be fine having someone like you by her side. I’m afraid my daughter doesn’t take much interest in men.”
Adam stood up again and advanced closer to him. He was sitting on a revolving seat that cost six digits. “Find someone else to do your dirty work. I’m out of here.”
“Alright. I guess you are ready for a taste of poverty.”
Adam glared at him, but the mean older man only waved him to the door.
“This isn’t over, Matthew.”
His laughter followed him out the door. Adam gritted his teeth hard as he strode to the elevator. He had come seeking help, and the arrogant bastard had made a fool of him. He held his head high as he passed the bodyguards stationed outside the elevator.
They were dressed in black, and he could tell from the bulge in their clothes where their guns lay. He remembered his current situation and sniffed to push the tears away.
He was Adam Livingston. The tiger. He had adopted the name in Leo’s club because it suited him just fine. Now it looked like he was going to hide away in shame.
His troubles had started two weeks ago. When his assistant called, he had been living his best life on his private island in Paris.
“Everything is crumbling; come home.”
When he arrived home, he stood gobsmacked as she regaled him with the stories of his woes. Someone had broken into his factory and laced the drinks with cyanide. An intelligent worker at the factory had discovered that, but not before, five persons had collapsed after taking the beverage.
His safe had been broken into, and the family heirloom diamond worth millions of dollars had been stolen. His nightclub had been gutted by fire, and his company had been shut down due to an allegation of fraud.
Then he had seen…damn! It hurt too much to even think about it.
Adam remembered that cold evening like it was yesterday. He had driven to Derek Lowe’s private residence. Derek was his best friend and the closest to him in the club. They had become friends in high school. They were on the school basketball team and had bonded in the private elite high school that catered to the very rich.
He parked his car in the underground garage and moved to the back door. When he climbed the stairs to the second floor, he was surprised to see Johnson standing guard in the corridor leading to his bedroom.
Johnson used to work on his security team. He was a diligent, ambitious young man, and Adam liked him. The twenty-nine-year-old spun around in shock and colored on seeing Adam.
“Mr. Livingston.” He kept his gaze on the floor.
“What the hell are you doing here?”
“I’m sorry, sir.”
Adam felt his ears ringing. Was this some sort of a joke?
“Fine. Where’s Derek?”
He glanced around nervously and kept his gaze on the floor.
He advanced slowly toward the armed man. “I’m going to see him. It’s a disaster. I need to talk to you.”
Now, this was getting serious.
He stood hands akimbo and glared at his ex-employee. “Is that his order?”
The lad nodded. “Yes. He warned me to make sure you never stepped foot here. He kept a guard downstairs too.”
Adam whistled. He had slipped in through the back door and missed the guard downstairs. Why was Derek suddenly avoiding him?
“I need to see him, Johnson.”
He pointed the deadly pistol at him and shook his head. There was a trace of pain in his eyes. “I’m afraid you can’t see him.”
Adam took a step backward. “Hey.” He raised his hand as though he saw someone. Johnson turned around and kicked the gun out of his hands. He had taekwondo training weekly, so it was easy to pin the struggling man to the floor and knock him out with a single blow to his jaw. He lay still.
Adam threw the gun into a flower vase and moved down the corridor to the bedroom.
“You animal!” he muttered as he saw the discarded lacy red panties on the floor. A leather skirt lay beside six inches of sexy black stilettos. At the door to the bedroom was a matching red bra.
He heard the animalistic groaning at this point. He wanted to talk to his best friend; he needed answers. He pushed the door aside and stepped in to meet his biggest horror story.
Derek was thrusting wildly into a familiar red hair — Erica Kings, his girlfriend.
He had a proposal planned out for the weekend. They were both in the throes of passion, their eyes closed in concentration. He settled on the couch and threw the blacktop on the floor. They had probably undressed in haste and taken action to the bedroom.
“I guess this is why you asked the bodyguards to throw me out,” he spoke loudly to be heard above the din.
The two lovers broke apart at the sound of his voice, and Erica had the decency to look remorseful. He focused on his best friend, the hurt gnawing at his heart.
“Adam? What the hell are you doing here?”
“I thought you were my friend. How wrong I was. You have my girl on your bed; nice surprise.”
He glared at the beautiful nude woman who started to speak, and she fell silent.
Derek chuckled wickedly and turned to kiss her on the lips.
“Erica is mine now. I’m going to ruin you, Adam, like you’ve done all these years. How does it feel to see your world breaking apart suddenly?”
Adam dropped his jaws in shock. It was Derek behind his woes. “Why?”
His former best friend looked him deep in the eyes and said, “You always had the best pick, and I was only a fixture in your life, second best.”
“Second best? What the hell are you talking about?”
Derek stood calmly and wore a bathrobe over his nude body. “High school, the basketball team. The girls were crazy about you, and I was always standing next to you, invisible.”
“It’s not my fault the ladies didn’t like you. Is that why you are doing this now?” Adam snarled.
“You have no idea how much I hated standing beside you.”
Adam took a deep breath. “The attacks, the nightclub… Did you do that?”
He held his breath, hoping.
Derek laughed. “I don’t know, man, but I can assure you it’s just the beginning.”
“Damn you, Derek,” Adam muttered as he dragged his thoughts to the present.
He suddenly realized that he would soon be roaming the cold streets, homeless if he didn’t act fast. His best bet was Matthew Hussey. He was his biggest competitor and arch-enemy, but also the man with enough money to save his ass.
It seemed like he was going to be screwed soon.
He was heading for the elevator doors when he bumped into something soft. He swore aloud as he snapped back to reality.
A woman was bent over some papers, swearing as she picked them up from the tiled floor.
“Can you please learn to keep your eyes on your path, mister?” She flung at him.
He drank in her look and felt better. She wore a pair of skinny black jeans that showed off her great thighs and ample butt. A white shirt molded against her rosy skin. Her boots were tasteful and expensive. She had the most beautiful black hair piled up in a ponytail.
Who was this damsel? She straightened from the floor, and he felt a kick. Like he had seen her before.
“You bumped into me, and I think you should apologize.”
He saw her eyes widen with fury. Her blue eyes were huge, and he felt he would drown in their depth.
A familiar voice rang out behind him just before she could get her retort out.
“Adam, I see you have met my beautiful daughter, Veronica.”
His daughter? Hell no.