Owned by the Billionaire

By: Lacy Dae

"She hasn't won anything, darling." His hand slid down my cheek as I sat up to stare at him.

"B-but the votes... you agreed to vote her way, you were really upset!" I was floundering, as the solid truth I had thought I'd known dissolved into quicksand.

"I had gotten rid of my voting stock just before the meeting, darling. I'll bet Clarice was royally ticked when she learned that! And it's not like the agreement would have held up in court, anyways." He smoothed back a wandering tendril of my hair.

It took a moment for his meaning to sink in, and then I felt sick, my stomach churning as bile rose up in my throat. "Th-the thugs... you let them... Oh, God." I jerked away from him. The scale was the betrayal was numbing. I had been so hurt, so scared and violated, for no reason at all. He could have stopped the attack at any time without any sacrifice whatsoever. But he hadn't.

He looked a bit uncomfortable, which I was dimly glad to see. Maybe he wasn't a sociopath after all. "I am sorry for that, darling. At first, I wasn't sure that you weren't a part of her plot. And then, once you were so brave for me and I realized you were truly innocent, well, I couldn't give in to her too easily."

I stared at him blankly, and he went on, sounding infuriatingly reasonable. "If I had just handed over the votes, she'd have been suspicious. She could have checked on my stocks with just a phone call, darling, and once she'd known the truth, the bitch would never have given you back to me. She had to believe my reluctance!" He looked just a bit smug at the clever trick he'd pulled on his ex-wife.

My fists clenched and I flew off the bed, suddenly desperate to escape. Snatching up my discarded t-shirt, I yanked it down over my head. Dimly I heard words, but the buzzing in my head drowned out their meaning. I became totally fixated on finding my underwear instead. I couldn't leave in just a t-shirt! "Where are my panties?" I interrupted the stranger sitting up in the rumpled bed. He looked distressed. Too damned bad.

"Rachel, darling, don't you want to talk about this?" I shook my head violently, and then nodded just as hard. Finally finding my wayward panties on the floor, I turned my back to the bed and yanked them on.

"I just have one fucking question for you, darling." From the corner of my eye, I saw him jerk as the venom hit home. "How did you get rid of your stocks so fast? Surely she'd have noticed a transaction of that size. You can't move billions of dollars that easily! She had to have known." The truth of my words struck me, and I froze in mid-stride towards the door. "She had to have known. Oh, fuck me, the two of you were in this together, weren't you. This really was some sick perverted game." I gulped for air, trying not to throw up as spots danced before my eyes.

"No! Rachel, I swear, it wasn't like that." I sank to the floor as my knees weakened. Rapid footsteps approached and then warm hands brushed back my hair and rubbed my back. I swatted at them weakly, burying my face against my knees. I had been so used. "You're right, Rachel, I couldn't just sell the stock, not without her finding out. So I did the next best thing."

He caught my chin, forcing me to look up at him. I shuddered, trying to twist away, but his grip was too tight. Reluctantly, I met his eyes, glimmering through the haze of unshed tears that clouded my vision. He stared back soberly, his dark eyes pleading. "I set up a trust fund. For my child. All the stocks belong to him, or her, I suppose. I purposefully didn't appoint a trustee for the fund, so nobody can vote the stocks. Not until the child takes possession at twenty-five."

He released me and sat back with a pained sigh. For the first time since I'd met him, he looked his age, and I ached to sooth him. I hastily quashed that dangerous urge, struggling to focus on his words.

"Child? What child?!" Baffled, I shook my head. He hadn't had any kids with his ex-wife, and had been notoriously reclusive since their divorce. He looked away for a moment, crossing his arms over his chest, before taking a deep breath and turning back to me.

"Well, the one you might already be carrying." He reached out and this time I let him touch my face without a struggle, my mind reeling. "Or perhaps the one you can give me?"

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