The Billionaire's Secret

By: Julie Farrell

His eyes scrunched tight and Astrid was there again, sucking him off – her head bobbing; lips sliding up and down his shaft; taking him deep.

He groaned as he shot his load in her mouth – and all over his hand in reality.

The room rang with silence – other than the whooshing sound of the shower. He cleaned the discharge off his fingers, feeling empty and dirty somehow.

He wanted that woman so bad – but he knew he could never give her what she deserved.

He turned off the shower and dried himself with a soft towel, wishing she was here so he could make love to her in reality. But for now, he’d just have to make do with his fantasies.

Chapter Three

The next morning, Astrid awoke in her cramped apartment, and groaned. Her head throbbed with a hangover from hell, and the sunlight stabbed her eyes through the open drapes. She shifted her weight slowly, causing an errant mattress spring to poke painfully into her back.


But actually, her physical discomfort was the least of her worries. She scrunched up her eyes and tried to think… What had she done last night to get into this state? Consciousness trickled in and a dreaded memory drifted cruelly back. Jake… Oh god, she’d been so drunk! Had she really thrown herself at him like that? Her cheeks flushed red from embarrassment. The way she’d kept hinting that she liked him… and he’d kept saying no. He must’ve thought she was such a sad loser. Humiliation buzzed in her brain and she groaned again.

She wanted to go back to sleep – to bury herself under the comforter and never emerge, but she had an important meeting with the Quinlan Brothers this morning… Cole Graves, oh god… There was no way he was going to get away with trying to intimidate and bribe her last night. She planned to tell Adam and Dylan exactly what had happened… at least, she’d tell them everything up until she’d downed that first Scotch.

She sat up and grabbed her phone. It was nine o’clock and she already had a few missed calls from Simon. That was normal, and it was why she always left her phone on silent at night – to prevent him from waking her up with his aggressive demands to win her back.

She leaned against the headboard, dreading this morning’s meeting. The technology the Quinlan brothers wanted to invest in seemed progressive enough – artificial intelligence machines that sped into burning buildings and pulled out victims, thus saving lives. But the prototype hadn’t passed the most basic safety checks. Astrid was convinced this well-meaning technology would cause more injuries and deaths than it would prevent. As a health-and-safety officer, she couldn’t give it her blessing.

Reluctant to get out of bed, she opened up her emails. Her heart lurched with anticipation as she saw that a lead who she’d been in communication with over the last few days had replied. If her own conclusions on the new technology weren’t damning enough, this person was confirming that Graves had bribed a wounded factory worker at his plant to remain silent about injuries he’d sustained while working on the prototype device. The lead was a broker in an insurance company, and he’d confirmed that the worker had placed a claim, then canceled it – despite his hospital treatment costing thousands of dollars. The benefactor of the hospital treatment was Graves’ own company. It stunk of corruption. It was circumstantial evidence, but Astrid was satisfied that Graves’ project was harmful and needed to be stopped.

Also, there were rumors flying around that he planned to sell this technology to the Russian military…

She hauled herself out of bed and padded to the bathroom, clutching her head and hoping her stomach would hold up. She needed to get to the Quinlan Brothers meeting and try to wrap up this ridiculous situation. She had no idea why Adam and Dylan would want to stake their reputation on something this shady, but that was their problem. They were arrogant, bullying assholes and the sooner she finished this investigation, the sooner she could file her report recommending that her supervisor make the decision to ban the project. Then she’d be away from them and assigned to her next job.

She finished showering, put on her suit and heels, then left for the Quinlan Brothers building on the outskirts of Times Square – sticking to the backstreets to avoid the crowds. Her fear of crowds and confined spaces was relatively new, but sometimes she felt as if she might be stuck like this forever. Even just walking along the quieter streets caused her vision to blur up and her head to feel dizzy. Simon had a lot to answer for, and Astrid hoped she’d never have to see him again...

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