Matched to a Billionaire

By: Kat Cantrell

One


Leo Reynolds wished he could marry his admin. It would make life so much simpler.

Unfortunately, she was already married and nearly twice his age. Plus, women didn’t stick around once they figured out he worked a hundred hours a week on a consistent basis. Loneliness was the price of catapulting Reynolds Capital Management into the big leagues of the venture capital game.

“You’re a life saver, Mrs. Gordon.” Leo shot her a grateful smile and leaned back in his chair.

His laptop was refusing to speak to the printer and a critical document had gotten caught in the middle of the dispute. The signed hard copy now in his hand was due to Garrett Engineering on the other side of Dallas in less than an hour.

“I’d hardly call printing a proposal saving your life.” Mrs. Gordon glanced at her watch in a deliberate gesture designed to point out the time. “It’s late and it’s Friday. Take Jenna to that new restaurant in Victory Park and let me handle the proposal. Relax for once. It’ll be good for you.”

Leo grimaced as a ping of remorse bloomed and faded. “Jenna and I split up. She’s already seeing someone else.”

Hopefully, the new relationship would make her happy. She deserved a man who could shower her with attention and affection. He regretted not being able to give her what she wanted, but it would be patently unfair to let Jenna keep hoping he’d ever become a man capable of focusing on a relationship. As a result, he’d lost a comfortable companion.

“Of course she is. It’s not like she ever saw you.” Mrs. Gordon crossed her arms and looked down her nose at Leo with a tsk. “Now who are you going to take to the museum dedication?”

Leo groaned. He’d conveniently forgotten about that, but it wasn’t as if he could skip the dedication. The new children’s museum in the Dallas Arts District bore his name, after all, since he’d donated the money to build it. “You’re free next Saturday, aren’t you?”

Mrs. Gordon cackled as though Leo had been joking. “One of these days, I’m going to say yes when you ask me out and really mess with you. If Jenna’s not in the picture, find another woman. They seem to be pretty thick on the ground.”

Yeah, he tripped over women on a regular basis who would like to go out with him. Or at least they thought they did, right up until they realized they wouldn’t be satisfied with what little time and attention he could give. It never took very long to reach that point.

A vague hollow feeling invaded his gut, one he’d experienced more and more lately. He’d written it off as an increased urgency to hit that elusive, unachieved mark of success. But now that it had happened during a discussion about his personal life, he wasn’t so convinced.

“I hate dating.” And small talk. That getting-to-know-you period took time and energy he didn’t care to expend. Reynolds Capital Management came first. Always.

“That’s because you don’t do it often enough.”

Here they went, off on her favorite subject. She never got tired of scolding him about the lack of a permanent female in his life.

“Have you been talking to my mother again?”

“We went to lunch Tuesday, as a matter of fact. She says hi.” Mrs. Gordon raised her eyebrows and planted guilt simultaneously, as Leo was sure she intended. He got it. He should call his mother. And date eligible women.

Problem was, he not only hated dating, he also hated constantly standing up dates and disappointing women who deserved better. But he liked companionship and, well, he was a guy—sex was nice, too. Why couldn’t the perfect woman fall in his lap so he could focus on work?

“It is late,” Leo said in what was no doubt a transparent attempt to change the subject. “Why don’t you go home and I’ll take the proposal to Garrett?”

He had until five o’clock to get it to Garrett Engineering, formally expressing his interest in doing business with them.

What Steve Jobs was to cell phones, Tommy Garrett was to internal combustion engines. Or would be, as soon as funding was in place. Garrett had invented a revolutionary modification to increase the gas mileage of a standard car engine and Leo intended to be Garrett’s venture capital firm of choice. The partnership would net a sizable, long-term profit for both men, and Leo could do what he did best—pull strings behind the scenes.

If Leo won the deal.

No, not if. When.

Leo would never rest until his company hit that sweet spot of security, where longevity was a given, not a question mark. His first million hadn’t done it. Neither had the first eight figures, because his profits went straight back into leveraged investments that wouldn’t pay off until some point in the future. So he didn’t rest.

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