Breaking Love Page 43

“Why do you keep calling me that?”

“Calling you what?”


That brought me to a screeching halt. “I wasn’t aware that I was.”

“How couldn’t you? You never really say my name. Do you not like it?” I could detect the insecurity in her voice and shook off my raging lust long enough to offer the assuring she needed.

“There isn’t anything about you I don’t like. My feelings toward you are nothing short of an addiction. I crave you, Willow Waters.” Her name rolled off my tongue sensually, delivering sex with every syllable.

“Give me one good reason why you want me, Dash. I’m ten pounds overweight, my hair looks like the wild kingdom gone wilder, I’m a penny below poor and according to the rest of the world, I’m colorblind.”

I picked over every flaw she so graciously pointed out, nodded my head slowly, and then told her what she thought she wanted to hear.

“You’re right. You’re a fucking mess.” Her face fell in disappointment. “I’ve never met anyone more perfect.”

* * *


Leaving Angel behind, after the morning proved one for discoveries, seemed almost cruel. I was still fighting the need to track down Rosalyn and strangle her with my bare hands. The look on her face and the sound of her voice as she inadvertently begged me not to break her heart again wasn’t something I’d forget anytime soon.

Marrying her was the last thing I intended to let happen, which is why I kept the engagement secret. Richard Simon was the key to my freedom. By law, of course, I could simply refuse, but I didn’t care to live the rest of my life as a disgrace to not only him but also anyone who would listen.

Last night, while Angel showered, my father called to demand I meet with him this morning. Whatever his reasons, I no longer had the patience. Watching as Willow’s heart broke this morning because of me again had fucked me up.

By the time I arrived at the office, I was irritable. Celesha wisely chose to remain silent. She bit into her apple with wide eyes and watched me cross the suite to my office. I found my father had once again invaded my office, but this time he had James, the company Vice President, with him.

“Dad. James.” My greeting was short, but so was my temper. “I would have met you in the conference room.”

“This shouldn’t take long. James had some pressing concerns about your campaign to change the company’s acquisition procedures.”

“What particular concerns?”

“I want to know about this nonsense idea you have of a ‘gentler approach,’ as you put it.”

I looked between the two men before fixing my gaze on my father. “James, why don’t you get back to work while I speak with my father about your concerns?”

“Don’t be rude, son. He brought this to my attention. He needs to be here.”

“Which is precisely my reason for excusing him from this meeting. He brought his concerns to you instead of directly to me, so I’ll speak to you and you can relay the message.” I nodded to the vice president in dismissal. “James.”

James left without a word, and as soon as the door closed, my father stabbed his finger on top of the desk. “Your behavior is taxing, Dasher. I did not make you head of this company for you to behave like a petulant child.”

“Yet you speak so highly of the man who can’t even speak for himself. Listen well, father. I’m not going to continue to do this job with you breathing down my back and your spies watching my every move. Interfere again, I’ll quit, and you can find yourself another heir.”

“I’ll do no such thing.”

“Why did you give me all this so soon if you don’t trust me to do this job? You must have known I wasn’t ready. I’m fresh out of college.”

“What does age have to do with it? I wasn’t much older than you when I started this company.”

“But how long before you were actually good at it? I only have the skills you hand fed me.”

“Then learn more by listening to James. You cannot simply ignore decades of business practices just because it doesn’t suit you!”

“Your business practices are nothing more than carefully worded threats. Over eighty percent of your acquisitions were hostile. Instead of cultivating relationships, you’re making enemies.”

“We are not in the business of selling dreams, son. We’re conquerors and conquerors do not ask for permission.”

“I don’t want to be a conqueror. I want to be a smart man and smart men know how to pick their battles.”

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