Episode 4 by Lena Hart
The bastard had some nerve.
Carina Stone continued to pace her office, still seething at Holt Bastion’s earlier callousness. The bastard had the nerve to demand she give up her seat for some tank-top wearing, late arriving office manager. In front of their new employees, no less!
Carina hated when Holt did that—hated his arrogance and the way he had fawned over Wright’s “Golden Girl.”
But most of all, Carina hated that she had let Holt Bastion see her naked.
Of all the men to have her first drunken one-night stand with, she had to pick her long-time business partner. She didn’t have much life regrets, but that night she most certainly did. Going to bed with Holt had been a huge mistake. Not only had he’d gotten it in his head that she had wanted more from him after that night, but their professional relationship had suffered for it.
Now he was treating her like some assistant instead of the partner who had helped shaped Bastion Coastal Industries into the company it was today. It had taken both of their hard work and tenacity to build BCI, and Carina would be damned if she let their one-time screw ruin her career or her plans for their company.
With a frustrated sigh, Carina stopped her useless pacing and leaned against her desk. Covering her face with her hands, she began counting down from ten.
She had to reign in her temper if she was going to get through the rest of the day. Holt may be an arrogant ass, and Wright & Sons may be a small-town company, but she had worked her ass off to make this merger happen. No one was going to take that accomplishment away from her.
Carina’s head jerked up at the deep, baritone voice and her gaze clashed with the most striking sea-green eyes she had ever seen. Framed against thick, dark-brown eyebrows, they were…hypnotizing. The man’s short, stylishly cropped blond hair and expensive suit had the look of someone comfortable with spending lots of money on himself.
This was no country bumpkin.
He also wasn’t an employee of Wright & Sons. There was no way she would have missed him around the small company office.
Carina was now intrigued. Cocking her head to the side, she studied the stranger as closely as he was admiring her. Only a blind fool would turn away from such exquisiteness and she was neither. Yet, as much as she admired such perfection in a man, she wasn’t the fawning type.
“How did you get pass security?”
The man lips curved in a way that made her think of tangled sheets and thrusting hips, but he held out his hand and said in that deep, sexy voice of his, “My name is Lance Burnham. Phillip Wright is my father.”
Carina frowned as his words slowly registered and absently slipped her hand into his. There was surprising strength in that well-groomed hand and she quickly pulled away from his lingering hold.
“We weren’t informed of any living sons of Mr. Wright,” Carina said, not bothering to keep the suspicion from her tone.
“That’s not surprising. I’m the Wright family’s dirty little secret, but it was my grandfather who saw to it that Wright & Sons is passed on to the next living son on the day of my father’s seventieth birthday. That day was yesterday. Since I’m the only surviving heir that makes me the new beneficiary to Wright & Sons.”
“Well, you’re too late. My business partner and I have legally acquired Wright & Sons and the merger has already been finalized.”
Something dangerous flashed in the man’s pale green eyes. “My apologies if you didn’t receive the memo, Ms. Stone. These things tend to become less fluid in small town companies such as this. But as of today, my father is no longer the majority holder of Wright & Sons. I am. And that includes Bastion Coastal Industries. Consider this a hostile takeover.”