A Family for the Billionaire

By: Dani Wade

She might look like a lady, but she had more strength than most men. The tragedies in her life had demanded it. “Well, I believe I left him with some food for thought.”

“So, you were wearing your blue dress?”

Jasmine frowned. Her sister’s guess hit a little too close to home. “I didn’t wear the dress to entice him. It’s perfectly presentable.”

Her sisters shared a grin. Jasmine tried to let it go. After all, she knew more than most that a little cleavage helped smooth the path she traveled. She’d be a fool not to take advantage of her God-given assets—especially when they’d helped her put both of her little sisters through college—in a completely respectable manner.

“Well, maybe the dress helped a little...” she admitted in a low voice as Auntie stepped into the kitchen with Rosie. The sight of her adopted daughter, and being surrounded by the people who meant the most to her in the world, filled Jasmine’s heart and pushed aside thoughts of today’s tedious meeting.

She reached out for six-month-old Rosie. She was in her snuggly jammies, her skin lavender-scented from her bath. As she settled into Jasmine’s lap, Jasmine breathed deep. “I love you, baby girl,” she whispered against Rosie’s curly black hair.

Then she smiled up at the older woman. “Thank you, Auntie.”

“You’re most welcome,” Auntie said, bending to hug Jasmine and the baby together.

Jasmine would never have made it through the first six months of Rosie’s life without Auntie. Technically, she wasn’t their aunt. She’d been their mother’s nanny when she’d been small. She’d returned to Savannah when their mother hadn’t needed her anymore.

But when the girls’ parents had died, leaving them with no family at a very young age, Auntie had brought them home to Savannah. Jasmine had been a young teen, but her sisters were even younger. Auntie had finished raising them in this house and never once complained. She was as close to a mother as she could get without being a blood relation.

Each of the girls loved her just the same.

Jasmine’s baby sister, Ivy, joined them at the table with a plate of oatmeal cookies Auntie had made while they were all at work that day. “I’ve seen Royce Brazier at some of the meetings of the transportation planning commission, since he owns one of the biggest shipping companies on the East Coast,” she said, her bright blue eyes wide. “He’s pretty hunky.”

Jasmine could practically see every set of ears around the table perk up.

Ivy continued, “But I’ve heard he’s all business, 24/7.”

Jasmine agreed. “He made that very clear.”

Willow pouted. “What’s the fun in that?”

“Dealing with demands is a lot easier when they’re pretty,” Ivy said, with a grimace that still managed to look cute.

Jasmine threw her napkin across the table at her sister, making a sleepy Rosie giggle.

“The last thing I have time for right now is a man,” Jasmine insisted.

Her cell phone gave a quiet chirp, which was the ringtone she used at home so she didn’t accidentally wake the baby. She glanced at the screen. “He certainly is a workaholic,” she mused as she handed Rosie over to her youngest sister. She hadn’t expected to see Royce’s name on the caller ID at this time of night—or at all, really. She’d assumed he would never go for her conditions. Which had made her sad, because she could have used the work. But she had her principles.

She needed to remember that.

“This is Jasmine,” she answered, walking toward the door to the front parlor as her sisters mimed something and Auntie watched them indulgently.

“Brazier here.”

She smiled. I know. “What can I do for you?”

“After careful consideration, I’ve decided to renegotiate our terms, if that’s still possible.”

Interesting. “May I ask why?”

“Well, you certainly have a lot to offer.”

Was she just imagining his voice growing deeper?

He went on. “So I’ll agree to your terms—within reason.”


“I’ll attend meetings with the charity and vendors and such, but I’m not decorating rooms or tying bows or stuffing bags. Understood?”

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