The Billionaire's Affair: Billionaire Brothers

By: Julie Farrell

Chapter One




Trying to ignore her thrashing nerves, Sarah rushed in her suit and heels down the corridor to investigate the sound of a woman’s scream. Her heart pounded in her ears. She felt like a cop on a twilight stakeout as she crept towards the room where the shriek had come from, but it was eerily quiet up here now, and this lavish hallway suddenly seemed daunting. Her frantic gaze was drawn to a dirty stain on the pristine carpet and she made a mental note to alert housekeeping. She sighed. Even in the face of potential peril, she never stopped being a hotel manager.

Sarah halted in front of the sturdy gilded door of the Mayfair Suite. The door was ajar, so she pushed it open and peered into the shadows. The huge suite was outlined by the ornate doorframe, but it was dimly lit, meaning that all Sarah could see were the blurred shapes of the king-size bed, the massive couches, and the antique mahogany cabinet. This room was one of the biggest in the hotel – bigger than Sarah’s apartment – so the woman who’d screamed could be anywhere. She pressed herself to go in. Come on, Sarah, here goes nothing.

She swept her brown bobbed hair out of her face and tiptoed inside, but she straightaway halted. A man’s voice was whispering in an aggressive tone around the corner, and Sarah wondered whether she should call the police. But what would she tell them? Someone was whispering in their room? No, she needed to resolve this herself.

With her fear swishing in her stomach, Sarah crept further inside and prepared herself to see something terrible. Even though the lights were off in the room, the deep-orange setting sun was streaming in through the window, casting a spotlight over the whispering man and allowing her to see the scene clearly. She froze. The whispering man had his back to her, but the world jolted like an earthquake as her gaze fell upon the other person in the room. The person she’d least expected to see in a million years.

Dylan Quinlan…

Dylan Quinlan – her college sweetheart – was pinned against the wall by a thug who was holding a knife at his throat. Sarah’s mind churned with confusion. Dylan! What the hell was he doing in London? In her hotel? She never thought she’d see him again, let alone find him here… held at knifepoint… Her heart squeezed painfully against her ribcage as she tried to figure out what the hell to do. With a knife at his throat, Dylan looked understandably apprehensive, but he was even more handsome than Sarah remembered. Time had transformed him from a reasonably attractive twenty-year-old into the striking pinnacle of hot masculinity before her. He still had those lovely brown curls, but now his designer stubble and rugged face complemented them perfectly in an exquisite expression of manliness. He’d always had a reputation for being surly. But now he seemed to reflect the very essence of mean and moody. Sarah’s heart fluttered at the sight of him looking so tough, yet so vulnerable.

The world spiralled beneath her. The only two things in existence now were her pounding heart, and the realisation that her first love was possibly about to breathe his last. She forced herself to get a grip; he needed help.

Dylan was currently negotiating with the thug, telling him he had the wrong man and denying knowing someone called Natalia. But the assassin didn’t seem to be listening; he was speaking over Dylan with a thick Russian accent. Sarah stared at Dylan as he coolly glanced over the assassin’s shoulder, then his expression recoiled in surprise as he noticed her. His gaze froze and they held eye contact – gazing into each other’s souls as if no time had passed. Had it really been seven years since she’d last lost herself in those big brown eyes?

But this was no time to reminisce. Dylan broke eye contact and glanced to the side, urgently trying to communicate with her. Sarah looked around for something heavy…

“Listen,” the thug said in his thick Russian accent. “You tell me who is in bathroom or I break down door and kill them after I kill you.”

Sarah’s chest tightened as she realised there must be someone else in this room – a woman hiding in the bathroom. That must’ve been who’d screamed. Maybe she was this Russian man’s wife. Dylan, you scoundrel!

But whoever the woman was, Sarah needed to prevent this homicide from happening in her hotel. But how? Her inner-Britishness wanted to politely request that the assassin put the knife down, but her inner-logic told her that brute force was going to be required…

Sarah’s gaze landed on an Art Deco lamp that was worth more than some Londoners earned in a month. But right now it was a handy weapon, so she silently bent to unplug it and held it aloft. Dylan started talking loudly to cover the sounds that Sarah made as she crept closer behind the assassin, then she raised her arm and brought the lamp down heavily over the thug’s head. He let out a groan, then collapsed to the soft carpet like a felled tree. Sarah prayed she hadn’t killed him. The tense atmosphere in the room unwound suddenly like a spring, and she caught her breath. Now that she could see the assassin’s face, she realised he was young and boyish, but strong and wiry. And even though he was currently unconscious, Sarah could tell he was cunning – the sort of person who might pull a knife on you at any moment. Which obviously he had. His features were clearly Russian… She’d been correct about the accent.

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