Billionaire Trent Sherbrooke works hard and plays harder. He’s never once cared what the media or society says about him, until now. In order to make into the United States Senate Trent needs to clean up his reputation and Addison Raimono is just the woman to help him. But soon what he assumed would be a relationship to salvage his reputation turns into so much more. But can a relationship started on a lie ever survive?
Marty folded up the sleeves of his shirt. “It’s all a matter of importance. The who doesn’t matter. The wonderful opportunity it presents does. Now, I need to know everything. How did you meet her? How long have you known her? Have you slept with her yet?”
Trent pinched the bridge of his nose. Christ, couldn’t he have a cup of coffee with a woman without someone assuming he’d slept with her? “I met her just before we met last week. I bumped into her on the sidewalk and spilled coffee on her. When this picture was taken I had stopped in the bakery and when I saw her again I said hello. We talked for a few minutes before she left.”
As Marty chewed he jotted notes down on a legal pad. “That’s it? You didn’t ask her out to dinner? Get her phone number?”
Did the man think he asked out every attractive female he met? “More or less.”
Marty looked up at him. “More or less, I need to know everything. And when I say everything, I mean it.”
“I told her I wanted this office redecorated and asked if she might be interested. Shirley called and set up an appointment with her.” After giving Shirley the instructions, he hadn’t thought anymore about it.
“I’ll have to check my calendar.”
Marty tapped his pen against his pad several times before he spoke. “We might have to change our time table a little, but I’d like to keep to it if possible. A wedding at the end of next summer is ideal. That would give you a solid year of marriage before the actual election.”
Caution flags jumped up as he listened to Marty. The advisor’s original plan had been acceptable. A marriage to a wealthy socialite who viewed their relationship as a way to achieve her own goals was one thing. What Marty proposed now was entirely something else.
“Perhaps we should stick with what we originally discussed. Why don’t I go through these and pick a candidate.” Trent reached for the binders Marty had put together. “Then they’ll be no need to adjust our timeline.”
“You hired me because you want to win.” Marty pointed his pen at the picture of Addison. “She’s your ticket to the Senate.”
Trent’s eyes focused on the picture. What had she just said to him when the picture was taken? It must have been funny because he had a huge smile on his face. Come to think of it, he’d smiled through much of their conversation. She’d had an easygoing nature with a great sense of humor. There had been no awkward moments or long gaps of silence. Under different circumstances he wouldn’t mind getting to know her better.
“The women in here may help repair your reputation.” Marty pointed to the binders he’d put together of potential wife candidates. “This one though will win the hearts of voters.” He nodded toward the newspaper on the table. “I don’t understand the problem. She’s beautiful and well-educated.”
Marty had him there. Addison was attractive and, from all he could tell, intelligent. Even with that knowledge, a corner of his conscience prickled at the idea.
Across the table Marty popped a pickle in his mouth and chewed as he waited. “If it helps look at it this way. Her involvement with you will put her business on the fast track. The whole thing will still more or less be a business agreement.”
Trent nodded. Marty had a point. If he and Addison became romantically involved it would do more for her business than an ad during the Super Bowl.
“If you’re going to make it in politics you need to learn to do what’s right for your career, everything else comes second. Trust me, I’ve been around long enough to know that few politicians make it with their conscience intact.” Marty pushed the paper closer to him. “So what’s it going to be?”
Addison’s face beamed up at him. “We’ll try it your way, but if it’s not working we will fall back to our original plan.” Sure, they’d had an enjoyable conversation over coffee but he was not prepared to wager the rest of his life on that. He picked up his untouched sandwich. “I’m assuming you made sure she’s not involved with anyone.”
The look Marty gave him said it all. “Unless she’s got a secret lover tucked in her closet, she’s single and has been for over a year.”
“Okay, I’ll let you know how things go. But in the meantime, keep working on who leaked this picture.”
On sale for .99 cents