Caught:A Dark Mafia Romance

By: Piper Stone

“Let’s talk about this in the office. No need to bother the employees as they are trying to work.”

He grasped onto my elbow, trying his best to pull me in the direction he wanted me to go. I jerked away, holding out my hands. “Hold on here.” Now, the receptionist looked like she was going to pass out. “The employees aren’t going to be kept in the dark about anything.”

William took a step back. “This is simply something that we should talk about in private first, Lola. Whatever you want to do and whoever you want to talk with at a later point is entirely up to you. I’m just the man hired to keep everything in order and that’s what I’ve done.”

If he was trying to make me feel any additional guilt, it wasn’t working, but I went along with his agenda anyway, just so I would know what I was dealing with. “The office will be fine.” I trailed behind him and into what had to be my father’s office. The room wasn’t large, not by the standards of a CEO running a company, but everything about the space was so very much him. From the dark furniture to the bookshelves lined with actual books, everything reeked of him.

Two sides of the office had floor-to-ceiling windows, another surprise and I walked toward them, peering out at the city. “Why did he move the office here?”

“Why? Because he was given an offer and additional space was needed.”

“Nothing else?” Perhaps I’d hoped that my father wanted to be close to me in some small way.

“Simply real estate, my dear. Now, here is the contract that you’re going to want to look over. The details are in the various pages. The price is very reasonable and there are certain concessions for some of the employees,” William chattered on.

I noticed his reflection in the glass, the pompous look, and remained quiet. I wanted to hear every goddamn detail.

“Then there is the matter of the will, which I have a copy of for you as well. As you might imagine, he left everything to you including his house and cars, and some jewelry I believe belonged to your mother. There are other items I am not privy to.”

“I understand.” Just saying the words created bile in my throat. I longed to have someone here to hold my hand, walk me through this. My father had been ready to sell the business before his death, but why? Because I hadn’t wanted to take this on? Because I hadn’t called him? This was all my father had ever wanted, besides his family. You bet something smelled and I was determined to find out what. “William. Thank you so much for your help. That will be all for now.”

“Lola, we need to go over the contract. The new owners are expecting for you to sign as early as tomorrow.”

I walked closer, making certain he saw the whites of my eyes. “I don’t give a damn what the possible purchaser wants. I will only sign if I feel it’s right. Now, you can go. I’ll call you if and when you’re needed.” I made certain I had a smile on my face as his turned beet red, befuddled from my direction.

“I’ll leave my card. Call me when you’re ready.”

I nodded, the smile remaining, half expecting him to argue. But he didn’t.

Then he left.

I waited, glaring down the hallway until he was no longer in the periphery of my vision before I closed the door. Then I began to shake. What in the hell was going on? My feet were heavy as I walked around my father’s desk, easing onto his chair, wondering when he’d sat here last.

I had no time to grieve at this point. That would come later. I needed to find out fast who my father had deemed acceptable to sell to and maybe even why. There had to be a reason.

I opened the file with the contract and the name of the rather determined purchaser seemed familiar, even though I couldn’t place the name at first. The contract terms were for shit. That was easy to tell from merely seeing the bottom line price. Bishop Enterprises believed they could buy my father’s company for a song.

After finding the assets page, the year’s end financials and last month’s income and expense statement, I knew the business was worth well over ten million dollars minimum and I hadn’t even seen the financials of the second site. The concept of selling for one third of that meant there was more to the story.

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