Stolen: The Billionaire Deception - Page 48

He nodded. His blue eyes were watery as he said, “I hired a private investigator.”




“You hired a private investigator to check me out?”

“Yes. The other night after you left I questioned my father. I knew then that I wasn’t going to get a straight story. I wanted to believe you, but I had to hear it myself from a neutral party.”

“What did he tell you?”

“Almost exactly what you did right now.”

“Almost exactly? What was different?”

“You told me the story of your life and you didn’t once mention the struggles that you and the lady who raised you had financially. You didn’t tell me about the room you had to rent in an elderly couple’s house while you were in college because it was all that you could afford. You didn’t tell me that you worked two jobs on campus to help pay your tuition or that on the weekends you volunteered in a shelter for kids who had lost their parents. All hiring the investigator did for me was to reaffirm that I was in love with an exceptional woman.”

I was stunned. I’m not sure what I expected, but it wasn’t that. I sat there with my mouth open I think for a solid minute before I finally said, “So… are you saying…”

He smiled then. That warm, genuine, sexy smile that made my heart speed up to about a thousand beats a second. “I’m saying that I love you, Erin… No, Adele. I love you Adele Louise Morgan. I wish that I had your strength and your courage. I was given a job… it was handed to me, just like everything else in my life was handed to me, and that job wasn’t even his to give away. While I was living the good life you were working and struggling towards yours.”

“That’s not a hundred percent true. You’re excellent at your job. Your numbers are amazing. Your employees love you. You may have been given the job, but what you did with it from then on is all about your strengths and your determination, and most of all, your heart.”

“Thank you for saying that,” he said. “I love you. I’m so sorry for what my father did to you.”

“None of that was your fault.”

“I know. But I knew that his business practices were less than ethical. I should have questioned him more or done some research of my own before now to find out how he had achieved his “success.” At first, I just didn’t care. I was reaping the rewards and as long as he left me alone, I thought I was enjoying life on his dime. I fell in love with the lifestyle and I let myself believe like he did, that I somehow deserved it. I like to believe that had I truly known how it came to be… that a young girl’s life had been permanently altered because of it and not for the better… that I would have objected. I can’t honestly say what I would have done then. I know that no business and no amount of money is worth that. After I took over as CEO and I started finding things out here and there that he’d done that were questionable in terms of ethics and morality… I was just too afraid of him to stand up. I thought if I just did things right from there on out, I could make it right.”

“You can’t be held responsible for the sins of your father. That was a lesson I had to learn myself. Once I learned it I fell deeply in love with you.”

“I missed you. Can we go back and start over?”

“Can you forgive me for my lies?”

“I completely understand them and the only problem I’m going to have with any of it is remembering your name,” he said with a laugh. “Can you forgive me?”

“There’s nothing to forgive. You were a victim of your father and me both.”

Seth grinned and said, “The difference is I like being your victim.” Then turning serious he said, “I want to help you.”

I felt the first real hope I’d had in a while slip back into my soul. “You want to help me take back my company?”

He smiled again and nodded. “Yes, I want to help you get back what is yours. I’ll do whatever it takes, including standing up to my father. I want to make up for what he did to you, as much as I can.”

“What about your own job?”

“I don’t care about the job or the business or the money. I love you. I want to be with you and I want you to be happy and have everything you ever wanted… everything that you deserve. I admire you so much for going through all that you have and still holding onto your spirit and your good heart. You make me want to be a better man.”

Tags: Holly Rayner Billionaire Romance
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