The Stubborn Suitor, Book TwoBy: Alexa Wilder
Drew shifted in his seat uncomfortably. This was supposed to be a “casual breakfast amongst friends.” In all actuality, it was a business meeting with James Cook, a potential investor in his company. But instead of a straightforward meeting in his office, Cook had insisted on this “casual breakfast amongst friends” that included his wife Nancy and his daughter Analise, neither of whom were on Drew’s very short list of those he actually considered friends.
A few other investors from Cook’s firm had shown up as well, and Drew couldn’t help but feel restless under all of the scrutiny. The men were all deferring to Cook, laughing at his off-colored jokes and flirting with his wife and daughter just enough to be flattering.
Drew took a sip of water as he tried his best to smile and appear excited to be there. He really was, after all, thrilled about the prospect of the investment. If only it could be handled in the normal way—in boardrooms with contracts. Not here, in the baking sun of the Cooks’ summer home patio, feigning interest in Nancy’s latest art acquisition.
“I don’t really get it,” she was saying with a kind of faux-humility that Drew found pathetic. “It just looks like paint on canvas to me. But the dealer was raving about the artist. Some starving genius who’d started painting while he was homeless, I guess. I’m probably just providing him with more drug money, but what can you do? The colors really do match my drapes in the foyer.”
Drew bit his cheek to keep from grimacing as polite chuckles sounded around the table. The way in which the Cooks constantly equated poverty with criminality was highly offensive to Drew, who’d grown up quite poor himself. Drew had worked very hard for his scholarship to Harvard and had then built his company from nothing into a multi-billion-dollar corporation. And in that time, he’d never forgotten his roots. In fact, a large percentage of his paycheck went to charity each month—completely anonymously, of course.
And it was his company—his baby, which he’d spent the last decade growing—that kept him quiet and in his seat while everything inside him yearned to get away from these people.
Just a few more weeks, he told himself as he took another sip of water.
“Is everything okay, Drew?” Analise’s soft voice whispered in his ear as her hand came up to massage his neck.
He had obviously not been doing as good of a job at schooling his expression as he thought he was.
“I’m fine,” Drew lied as he turned towards her with a fake smile. “It’s just the heat. I should have worn a more breathable suit. Hadn’t realized we would be dining outside.”
“Oh my,” she replied with an exaggerated pout. “Let’s get you inside to cool off a little.” Without waiting for a response, Analise stood up and faced the rest of the table. “Drew is a little warm, so we’re going inside to cool off for a bit.”
It took all of Drew’s self-control not to hide his face in his hands.
“Of course, my dear,” Nancy said with a delighted smile.
Drew then had no choice but to stand and offer Analise his arm. Cook gave Drew a knowing wink as he smiled at the two of them as well. Drew knew that the Cooks were trying to push him towards their daughter, perhaps believing that it would be easier to do business with a son-in-law. James Cook’s willingness to use his daughter in order to ensure a successful business venture just reconfirmed Drew’s already-existing low opinion of the man.
And it wasn’t like Analise minded being used by her father. At the moment, she was leaning into him unnecessarily, so that her small breasts were pressed against his arm as she directed them into the house. Her naturally tall frame was lifted even more by six-inch heels, so that she was almost as tall as Drew himself. She was beautiful—Drew could admit that much. She was a model, after all—thin and lithe, with high cheekbones and delicate facial features. But she was also cold and spoiled and almost as clueless and conceited as her parents; in other words—definitely not his type. In fact, she was the opposite of his type.
Drew could not help but be reminded of the woman who was his type—the woman who was everything he had ever wanted in a partner. Cami was absolutely gorgeous, with a luscious petite frame he could easily lift and press against a wall. And yet she had been blessed with curves for days—large, voluptuous breasts and wide, sensuous hips. Her face was breathtaking, with large green eyes and pouty lips.
And Cami wasn’t just a sexy body. Her personality was just as fiery as her long red hair. She was strong and independent and funny as hell. But she was also sweet and nurturing. She really was, all around, the perfect woman. Exactly the type of woman Drew would want for a wife.