Billionaires and Baby Rattles

By: Dahlia Rose

Chapter One

Ethan sat at his desk numbly after his grandfather’s will was read. He guessed his twin brother, Easton, was just as shocked since he’d stormed out without even a word, holding a letter in his hand, while his stepmother had started to spew her venom because William Tremaine purposely left her out of the will. That part made him grin, at least. Watching her face turn from pale to red while she screeched was entertainment. How did Lurlene Purdy think she was going to get her hands on a penny? His grandfather had barely let her in their large Boston mansion.

But he had to give the old man credit. He had secured his legacy well. He and Easton had one year to get married and have a child. If not, billions of dollars went into a trust until they did, and board members would run the business if that happened. Sneaky old man. Ethan said the words fondly in his head. His grandfather was the one who had formed the sexist unspoken rule in the company that women with children rarely moved up in the ranks. His exact words were that estrogen and lactation didn’t make for good boardroom meetings. It was one of the things Ethan abhorred, and both he and Easton had agreed that it would change when the old man passed away. They already had a list of people they planned to give promotions and pay raises. Did his grandfather have the best intentions at heart, or was this another ploy to make sure his bloodline went on?

Either way, he’d stuck them in the middle of the muck, married with kids within a year. How did one accomplish that, and who would want to? Ethan was very comfortable with his bachelor life.

A knock made him look up at the polished door of his office. His personal assistant, Mya Spencer, peeked her head around the door. As usual, as soon as he saw her face, a twinge of arousal struck him. Ethan had wanted her from the first time she came up from the office pool to work. It was meant to be temporary, but when his previous assistant left, she was given the job full-time. She was like a machine, remembering dates and numbers and fending off calls, especially when their grandfather got sick.

“Hey, Ethan, do you have a minute to talk?” Her voice had a sweet, almost timid sound to it. He’d learned quickly that her spirit was one of pure fire. She was referred to in the company as “the Dragon” because she guarded the gates of his office like one of the mythical beasts.

“Yeah, come on in. Please tell me you have a bottle of whiskey in your hand,” Ethan said.

“The will reading went badly. Did your stepwitch get her hands on your money?” Mya asked.

Ethan laughed. “Hell no, Grandfather wrote her so far out of it, she’s in another area code. He’s stopped paying for the apartment and essentially wrote in the will, ‘Take your ass back to Oklahoma, where my son found you.’”

“Wow, that’s cold.” Mya sat down in the chair across from him at his desk. He watched her idly play with the stitched seam of the leather-and-mahogany combo. It was a nervous habit she had, one that he’d noticed over the last two years. She had something on her mind.

“Yeah, it was, but she deserves every bit of what she gets,” Ethan said. “Dad died trying to escape her viciousness. They were one step from divorce when the yacht capsized. But you’re not here to hear this crap rehashed. What do you want to talk to me about?”

Mya took a deep breath. “I’m giving my two weeks’ notice.”

Her news stunned him. “W-What, but why? I thought you liked it here.”

“Because, Ethan, I’m pregnant, and we all know that since I chose to be a mother, this will now mean I’ll be your assistant for life. I have to look out for us now. So I’ll be leaving in two weeks. I’ve been saving to start my own business. This was a perfect time.”

Mya leaving, Mya pregnant! Ethan’s mind raced, and he felt the loss already even though she was giving her two weeks’ notice. Even more, he felt jealousy that someone else had her first and got her pregnant. In his mind and his fantasies, she was his, and now she was off the market permanently.

“You don’t have to leave. Nothing will change,” Ethan said firmly. “Now Granddad has passed, myself and Easton plan to implement a few changes—that’s including the unspoken good old boys rule that women with children can’t focus on work. I’m surprised we haven’t been sued out the ass for this by now. It’s being taken care of, and permanently, at the next board meeting. Some of the old fogies will be retiring. We just haven’t told them yet.”

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