Bidding on the Billionaire

By: Rachel Angel

Sergio looked at Mandi and smiled. It was easy to see her lovely smile even in the dimly lit room. She knew how to command a presence, and he was looking at someone he’d never really noticed before.

What a difference a couple of years or so could make. That was about how long it had been since Sergio had seen Mandi, and she had definitely matured. She was no longer the happy go lucky person he’d used to see at his house all the time. He’d always thought she was beautiful, fun, and very interesting, but she was definitely off limits. Guys didn’t go after their younger sister’s best friends—that was not acceptable, and there were always other eligible women around to enjoy without going there.

Another thing that Sergio was very aware of was that he hadn’t seen Mandi ever since her mother passed away. She’s grown so serious and focused, seemingly loosing that happiness and joy that used to light up a room. Yet, in this moment as she was going head to head with Olivia, Sergio noticed a bit of that returning. Mandi’s mannerisms and gestures showed that she had the spirit of competition in her, and that she didn’t hesitate to pursue something once she set her mind to it. What an interesting thought that he might actually be what she was pursuing. What would he do? Was Mandi the one that would make him consider entering into a relationship again, and moving on with his personal life?

Sophia had been dropping hints to Sergio about if he had any available friends that would be a good fit for Mandi, and not some jerk that would cause her pain, and he’d never really answered her. Why would someone as gorgeous and perfect as Mandi need to be set up on a date? He didn’t like the idea of Mandi dating around. Somehow the thought made him seeing red. Beside, being a matchmaker was not something he had interest in, or time to do. Life was too busy without adding the emotional journey of dating into the mix. He’d never mentioned himself because the time didn’t seem right, and he didn’t want to feel like he was being forced into a relationship. Things of that nature developed in their own time, and in their own way if they were meant to be.

Olivia’s voice calling out a bid caused Sergio’s gaze to turn to her. It irked him and disturbed him a bit that he still had such strong emotional responses to her. Part of him wanted to forgive her and go back to a relationship that he thought was good and possibly even heading toward marriage. A feat, especially since he was happy being a bachelor. And then there was the other part of him and that part of him hoped she’d just disappear so he wouldn’t have to see her or be tempted by her again. She’d unraveled him but good, and he wanted to move on. He really did, but that kept getting put on the back burner in lieu of business deals and empire building. Business he got. Women, now that was a different story.

With Mandi’s latest bit of $60,000.00 she showed her determination to win when she set her mind to it. Aside from loving the competition, Mandi’s determination sparked a desire in Sergio and it was rather surprising to him. He suddenly wanted to see her happy and smiling, not worrying about whatever concerns she had going on her life. Mandi reminded him of what Olivia was like when she was younger, and it was fascinating. Her spirited passion and lack of hesitation to make smarmy faces at Olivia, and show her that she didn’t rule the roost was absolutely enchanting. He wanted to see more.

At that moment, Sergio knew that he wanted something more for Mandi, and he knew that all the money in the world would not deliver it. He needed to offer more if he really wanted to see that. If he helped her it would be by giving of himself, not his checkbook, and he’d have to show he had a genuine heart and purpose. Although she was grown and composed, Mandi seemed to wear her heart on her sleeve, and you could just see it in her fiery green eyes that when she got consumed by passion or a desire for something she did not hesitate.

Now the question Sergio needed to ask himself was if he could be the man to do that for Mandi? It was risky, but it was worth a try. One thing that Sergio could trust was his instincts.

It looked like the opportunity Sergio hoped for was about to come because without warning, Olivia shouted out she conceded and stormed off in a huff. A group of willing comforters followed her around, ready to help sooth her wounded pride in any way she demanded.

As Sergio turned toward Mandi he saw the smile of a woman who enjoyed the thrill of victory. How interesting that he was the prize. Mandi may have won the auction, but Sergio had a feeling that he was the true winner in this situation and he couldn’t wait to see what it brought.

Chapter 5

Mandi couldn’t believe how amazing it felt to win that auction. She tried to tell herself that it was in honor of Sophia and how protective she was of Sergio, but deep down Mandi knew that some time with Sergio was something that she wanted to explore, and she welcomed it. She’d always had a bit of a crush on him when he was younger, but now she saw a mature man, a reliable man in front of her. Okay, a gorgeous reliable and sexy-as-hell man.

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