The Scandalous Billionaires Collection

By: Drew Sinclair

Chapter One

"This looks like an intervention." Jason Demovic said drily. He wasn't smiling and neither was anybody else. His mother had asked him to come by the family home for a private talk but instead he found himself confronted by Rodney Smyth, the Demovic corporation CFO, Ernst Pitchford, the family lawyer and his two brothers, Zach and Harrison.

Jason wasn't the type of person to back down; something all these people knew very well.

The atmosphere was tense.

In looks he was very alike his two brothers. All three were Mediterranean in skin tone, hair and eye color, but tall, angular and Scandinavian in their build. All three were strikingly, impossibly good looking by any standards and a picture of the three brothers together at a function or a night spot was pure gold to the local celebrity media.

At just twenty-nine years of age Jason was the eldest of the three.

"As nobody here seems to want to speak, let me begin." He said. "What exactly is this all about?"

An uncomfortable silence reigned for five long seconds.

"Jason," his mother said in a frail voice, "we all appreciate that what you are doing is good. Good for the world, good for the individual charities involved and in many ways good for the Demovic Corporation as well."

"I agree. So why are we here?"

CFO Rodney Smyth interjected.

"You've given away nearly 10% of Demovic in the last six months alone Jason. This can't go on."

"The current net worth of the Demovic family remains at over 75 billion dollars." He replied with a cold economy of expression. "There's plenty more we can give away before anyone has to cut back on the champagne."

Zach, the middle brother of the Demovic family and its technical genius, weighed in.

"I think we're all aware of the numbers here Jason, so that's not the issue and neither is the champagne, but if you continue to donate like this then there won't be anything left to give. If we want to maintain the philanthropic tradition of our family then it needs to be done at a sustainable rate."

"I understand that Zach, and you don't need to worry. I know exactly what I'm doing." His face betrayed no emotion but his steely gaze spoke volumes. It was a gaze that inspired loyalty in some, fear in others, but obedience in everyone.

Nearly everyone.

Today he was speaking to his inner circle; his fierce independence of spirit and natural leadership was matched by almost everyone he could see. It was the reason his mother had invited them; not only was he looking at the entire board of directors of the Demovic corporation, but if anyone in his world was able to stand up to him, then they were sitting right in front of him.

Harrison, the youngest of the three brothers, spoke up. If the impulsiveness of youth had long ago left the two older brothers, Harrison still held an edge of fieriness that his mother and older brothers hoped would soon soften with age.

"We all get it Jason, we all miss dad--"

"You? Miss dad?" Jason said accusingly. Harrison hesitated, looking briefly away from his older brother before continuing.

"We all respect the tradition of giving, but this is just crazy. Give it all away and then what happens? We're just as poor as the people we're trying to help. That's no good to anybody."

"Every donation is tax deductible. Charity is good for business." Jason said, refusing to give an inch.

"Don't patronize us Jay." Zach said. "We all know that, but 10% of Demovic in just six months? It's financial suicide. Speculation in the media that something is wrong at the heart of Demovic Inc is rife and sooner or later it's going to affect business."

Jason held up his hands and the group went silent, waiting for him to speak as he looked each of them in the eye, slowly, one by one.

"I'm acting CEO of Demovic Corporation." He said. "Now unless there's something else to discuss, I have somewhere I need to be."

He stood up to go.

"Sit down Jay." Zach said. The tension in the air was near unbearable. The Demovic family was not accustomed to internal strife in business matters since the passing of Mr. Demovic senior. Normally they spoke as one voice, guided by Jason's acknowledged razor sharp business sense.

That guidance had been accepted without resentment or question until his seemingly endless spree of philanthropy threatened to bankrupt the corporation.

Jason gave Zach a long, cold look before he sat down. Like all of them, he was used to giving orders, not taking them.

"This better be good." he with quiet intensity.

Their mother spoke quickly, hoping to defuse the situation.

"It is good Jason. Good for everyone. We have come together today simply to discuss how much money Demovic Inc. should give away in philanthropic contributions in any given financial quarter, that's all."

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