Her Billionaire's Bargain

By: Yvette Hines

“Not often. When you own and operate a small business you’re not afforded much time off that isn’t your sleeping hours.” Snatching up her wine, she drank—one, two, three little sips.

To him she appeared wound tight, a little stressed. He hoped that the city project he was spearheading wasn’t the cause for it. If she took the money he was offering her, she could possibly retire on it or open up her store somewhere else and hire more employees and she could step away from it. He kept those thoughts to himself.

“The same can be said for larger companies as well. My staff can attest to that.” He paused and smiled.

When she returned his smile, he continued. “Last thing I did for myself was allow a comedy show to play in the background while I was reviewing some end of month reports.”

“Gracious. My life isn’t that consumed. I do have a couple hours of free time each day. I just have other responsibilities.”

The silence between them grew as they sat and stared at each other. Two people, both driven by the desire to see their businesses succeed. However, Zac could recognize the signs. The tension growing between them had nothing to do with contracts or corporate restructuring—it was sexual.

As their first entrée was brought in Zac rested back in his chair and accessed the beauty before him. If he desired company, he could easily call several women that would appear at his door without a single question, but instead he’d manipulated Kourtney into joining him. Why?

“So, where are you from?” She slipped a piece of calamari between her plump lips.

“My family background is from Seattle originally, but I’m a Queen City native as well. Most of my mother’s side of the family lives there most of the year.”

“Are you from a big family?”

He reached to the center of the table and added a few of the fired squid onto his smaller plate. “Yes and no. It is just my older sister, younger brother and I, but the amount of cousins we were raised around is ridiculously in the twenties.”

She stopped a speared piece of food halfway to her mouth. “Oh, my. That is big. Everyone in business?”

After two bites of the tender meat, Zac nodded. “Yes, in one way or another. My sister Hannah runs my father’s company, and even my younger brother, who is more laid back and bohemian, owns a large gallery in Durham.”

“I’m sure your parents are proud of all three of you.”

He shrugged. “It’s been years since I looked toward my parents for approval of what I did. I think my father probably had dreams of all his children working with him at Powers and Powers Corporation, but it wasn’t for me.”

“Possibly too much like him to work for him, mister owner of Zac Acquisition & Development.” She saluted him with her wine before she drank.

Giving her a nod, he acknowledged her words. He was impressed how perceptive she was. Most people always just assumed that Zac started his own business to prove something to his father. However, he loved his dad, Jake Powers, was a formidable businessman, but a great parent as well.

Zac did something that he never did, he started talking about himself. “You know for years while I was in high school and college I worked for my father in one capacity or another. I wanted to be content, but I always felt as if I should be at the helm. Now, logically I knew that one day I possibly could have been running the family business, but—”

“It never seemed like enough.” She added as the waiter entered and removed their plates and brought in their main course.

When the man left, Zac agreed, “Exactly.”

“My father offered to set up my first contract for me. You know use his connections to get me started. However, I turned him down. From the first to the last contract I earn with Zac Acquisition & Development it will be because my team and I acquired it.”

“Is that the reason you went with placing your first name on your company?”

“Yes. The name Powers in Seattle and Durham, as well as a lot of places around the world opens doors. When people hear Zac it takes some investigative work to determine that owner of ZAD is the son of Jake Powers.”

She took a small bite of her steak. “It feels good to watch your business succeed. Have something to pass on to your children.”

Gazing at her, he pondered his words. Just like his father he did want to pass on his company to any offspring he had…once he decided he wanted them. He wondered if Kourtney desired children, marriage. She appeared to be close to thirty years old. Old enough to have been married with kids if she wanted.

There was no engagement ring on her left hand, which didn’t mean anything in this time and age, but Zac doubted if she had a boyfriend he would have allowed her to have dinner alone with him.

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