MoboReader> Romance > The Billionaire's Games

   Chapter 1 Nick’s Offer

The Billionaire's Games By Shafira Sardar Characters: 18307

Updated: 2018-10-09 12:02


Closing my laptop screen I suppressed the urge to throw it out the window. For one I lived on the eleventh floor and I'd hurt someone who was walking down the street, I didn't want to have that on my conscious. And the second reason was that I needed to pull myself together, finish my article and send it to the editor. She counted on me and I seriously needed that paycheck to keep living the way I did. I wasn't living large but I did love my apartment, clothes, make-up, and outings with friends. I couldn't imagine losing it all. If that made me one hell of a shallow person than so be it.

Putting my laptop on the coffee table I got off the couch and stretched a bit. Yawning, my eyes landed on my phone vibrating against the coffee table. I figured it was the editor asking me what the hell I was doing. Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines! Reaching for my phone I nearly dropped it seeing Nick's picture staring right back at me.

It had been a while since I last saw him. Nick was always busy, moving around town, going from meeting to meeting. Jumping on planes to fly to lively cities in the world to check on his properties. He made time for his friends, but I wasn't part of his inner circle. That didn't mean I didn't like spending time with him, I did. He was just too busy most of the time.

"Hey, Nick!"

"Zoey, it's been a while."

It definitely had been a while, I knew Nick was busy most of the time, but I could have reached out. I didn't because like him life got in the way. Moving into a new apartment, getting new writing jobs and of course spending time with my best friends. It wouldn't have been too much of an effort to pick up the phone and send a lousy text, but I didn't do it.

"It has, I'm sorry I should have contacted you sooner."

"Never mind that. We've been busy, that doesn't mean our friendship is suddenly over."

"I still feel bad though. I know you've been through a lot."

"I'm fine, my girl is fine so don't worry about it, okay?" He sounded happy so I assumed he wasn't lying about it, "Besides it works both ways, doesn't it?"

It does and I was glad Nick was intelligent enough to figure that out. He handled the situation calmly and always searched for a way to end it on a good note. I loved him for it.

"So how is your girl doing?" I asked, wondering about the girl I had seen pictures of online, they had been the talk of the city for quite some time, "She looked lovely in her silver dress."

Nick chuckled, "I'll tell her you said that-"

"She doesn't even know me, she'll be confused."

"Emily is cool." I could tell by the tone of his voice how much he cherished her, "We should definitely meet up soon so I can introduce you to her."

I couldn't help but smirk as I realized where Nick was going with this. I was working for a fashion magazine and gossip was nothing new to me. I knew his girl, Emily, was surrounded by guys. Hot guys. Nick wasn't someone who doubted himself, but as a confident alpha billionaire, he'd feel better if Emily had at least one female friend in her life.

"Sounds good to me." I took a seat on my comfy worn out grey couch again, putting my feet up upon my coffee table, "So why the sudden call?"

He was silent for a minute, I heard some movement in the background so I figured Mr. billionaire was on the move once again. Smiling I listened closely, having to suppress a giggle when I heard him curse one of his friends and close business partners Chris. Then I heard a door close, probably a car door and it was completely silent again.

"Sorry, I was getting in my car." He apologized, "So yeah there is a reason I called you, but I prefer to discuss it in person. Do you have time today?"

"I actually don't have time right now." I glared at my laptop sitting peacefully on my coffee table, "I'm working on an article."

"Okay, how about tomorrow? Lunch?"

"Sounds good to me." I pulled my feet down and reached for my laptop, holding it carefully in one hand as I moved to my home office, "Where do you want to meet?"

Moving into my home office which was decorated in white, blue and silver I took a seat behind my desk and placed my laptop on the desktop.

"My office, eleven-thirty?"

Glancing at my opened planner on my desk I quickly scanned the date, "Yeah, I can do that." I had nothing scheduled then so it worked out perfectly, "I'll be there."

"Great. I have a few things to take care of so I'll see you tomorrow and we'll catch up."

"Right."

"Later."

I smiled, "Later Nick."

Ending the call I placed my cell phone on my desk and stared at my laptop for a minute. It was great talking to Nick again. Him wanting to meet me at his office meant business though and I was intrigued. Doing business with Nick meant you were more or less set for life. Nick had things figured out and only a bit of publicity with him made sure people knew who you were. Reaching for my pen I quickly scribbled down the meeting time and place in my planner. I was a planner girl and I loved looking back at it. It was more like my diary, great memories were scribbled down in it, along with brightly colored stickers. Putting the pen down I opened my laptop again and went back to work. I had to finish that article so I didn't have anything to stress about when I was meeting Nick tomorrow.

***

Running my fingers through my hair I made the curls loose and wavy. I had done a smoky grey look on my eyes with a nude pink lip. Pulling down my sweater, grey dress I straightened it. Doing a swirl I nodded at myself, liking the way my look turned out. Slipping into my black flats I grabbed my bag and phone and walked out of my bedroom, leaving the door ajar. I texted Nick as I left my apartment letting him know I was leaving the house. He didn't reply back to me, but I knew he appreciated it so he could wrap up whatever he was doing. I didn't want to waste his time even though he'd tell me I was an idiot for even thinking that.

Getting in my cab I told the driver the directions for the office and checked all my messages and emails while we passed the busy streets. It always amazed me to see how lively it was, the city was gorgeous and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Arriving at the office I headed straight up, being impressed by how polite the staff was. Reaching Nick's office I was greeted by a male assistant which surprised me. I didn't comment on it in front of the nervous looking blonde guy, but when I entered Nick's office and the door was closed behind me I pointed behind me with my thumb, confused by this change.

"Where is the bitch on heels?"

"Language." Nick warned me as he got out of his chair, walked around the desk and pulled me in for a hug, "I had to let Giselle go for being inappropriate toward my girl and being way too nosy about me. My personal life has nothing to do with her." He let me go and gestured to the chair in front of his big, wooden desk.

I took a seat like he suggested not being able to stop smirking, putting my bag on the empty chair beside me I met Nick's icy cold gaze. He was famous for it, it didn't scare me away though. I knew a lot of people did find his look too intimidating, I was just one of those people who dared to cross him and not give a shit about it. He liked that about me so he kept me in his life.

"Glad you got rid of her, never liked her, to begin with."

Nick smirked, "She was a bitch."

"Total bitch!"

He threw his head back and chuckled. Man, Emily was the luckiest girl alive since she managed to melt his icy heart and make him commit. He wasn't like that, not when I met him. He was different than the people he hung out with, but that didn't mean he didn't play as hard as them. A different girl on his arm every week. That reminded me of his close friend Mr. Evan Black.

"How is Evan doing?"

Nick's eyes sparkled amusingly, "Don't sound so excited when you talk about him." He leaned back against his chair, "You can ask him when he gets here."

That's when my mood dropped, "You invited him as well?"

It wasn't that I disliked Evan, I just didn't like his lifestyle. He was fun to hang out with, but there was something about him that didn't sit right with me. I never told him that or tried to show it, but somehow Nick still got it.

"What I want to discuss with you also affects him, so I'd like him to be here as well."

"Nick."

"Just hear me out, Zoey, and if you still don't like the idea we'll try and find another solution."

Taking a deep breath I crossed my legs and got comfortable in my chair, "Fine."

We talked about my new job at the magazine and the way Nick listened and questioned me about it told me what the offer entailed. I was smart enough to put one and one together, especially since he made it clear it was business why he approached me in the first place. I didn't hold back, being honest about everything is the way I had always been with him and he didn't seem to mind. He listened, actually listened to me.

"I get that." Nick nodded, "Competition is hard these days. Especially in fashion magazines. Do you still enjoy it?"

"Honestl

y? Not so much anymore. It's just that the women in the office are mostly like Giselle. Only a few really have your back. Most of them are nice in your face but stab you in the back the minute you turn around. I don't love it, but it pays for my lifestyle, you know."

"Yeah, I know." He reached for his phone when it vibrated, tapped a few times and then looked back at me, "So you should really think about what I'm going to ask of you. I know you won't like collaborating with Evan, but he'll always have your back no matter what. It will pay well and I think you're going to love your job again and isn't that what matters the most?"

It was. I always had this conversation with friends and family. They couldn't understand what I was doing since a job as a writer for a fashion magazine wasn't a traditional job. They didn't even acknowledge it as a real job. They assumed I was hopping from runway show to another, always partying and having a good time when in reality my life wasn't that glamorous at all. If I did attend a party it was only to write a good story about it, exaggerating things to get the most out of it. Most of the article being fake to either sell products or praise companies to strengthen their image. In the end, it was all about money and good relationships with sponsors. I hated the game.

"It matters the most." I agreed, "I'll be open to it." I promised Nick, "Despite the company."

Nick smiled, "Evan isn't that bad."

I narrowed my eyes on him, "There was a time those words would have made you want to stab yourself for daring to say it out loud."

"Emily made me realize Evan had my back no matter what."

"I need to meet this Emily, " I told him straight out.

"You'll meet her." He promised me.

We discussed movies, TV-shows and the clubs Nick was running. It was fun and we were having a great time reconnecting when suddenly the door burst open and Evan loudly announced his presence to us.

"Nick!" Evan closed the door behind him and closed in on us, I quickly took my bag off the chair and placed it on my lap, "What the hell man? You texted me ten minutes ago to get my ass at your office or else? You can't text me shit like that because you know I'll worry. I blew off a meeting for you and you're here sweet talking this girl." He pointed at me.

"Excuse me?"

Nick sighed, "Evan take a seat."

Evan did take a seat, his eyes lingering on me. Then it hit him who I was and his coldness faded away like snow before the sun. I, however, wasn't that pleased to see him. Not after his entrance. The way he said 'this' girl made me feel like a two dollar stripper who was trying to lure Nick away from a good girl. Like hell, I'd warm up to him after that.

"Zoey?"

"Evan." I greeted not even bothering to look at him.

I felt his eyes taking me in, scanning me as if he couldn't quite understand I was the same girl he met a few years ago, "You've changed a lot. I mean I didn't even recognize you when I walked in."

"More like barged in." I corrected him, "And I figured since you so nicely referred to me as 'this' girl."

He didn't seem affected by my words though, probably because he was still in shock after realizing I was 'Zoey' the girl he had met a few years ago.

"You look great, Zoey."

I finally looked at him, taking him in as well, "You haven't changed Evan." I told him.

"That wasn't a compliment." Evan's surprise quickly faded and he caught onto my mood, "But I'll take it seeing I did barge in and said things in a rude manner."

I narrowed my eyes on him, "Glad you at least recognized that."

"It is very nice to see you again, Zo."

I didn't say it back and he also caught onto that. It was very nice to see Nick again, I was undecided about Evan mainly because of his behavior. He wasn't rude, he never was. He just wasn't serious about life when I was. We always collided, at least in my mind we did.

"So there is a reason why I asked both of you to meet me here." Nick started, "I'm sure you both know Chris and I partnered up for a club in Tokyo and things are going well. However, I promised Chris I'd do what I can on my end to improve sales and that's where you two come in."

"Nick." I started but he quickly cut me off.

"I know you hate being dishonest and that's not what I'm asking of you. What I want is for you two to be seen together at the club a few times hanging out with friends. I know Evan can easily arrange that. After the parties, I'd like you to write about it, but never being dishonest about it. I want you to share your story the way you want."

"What if it's not in your favor, Nick?"

"I don't care about that. Evan being seen there will do a lot already, but it always helps to have some word out. Even bad publicity-"

"Is still publicity."

"It will affect your current job, mainly because you have to move to Tokyo for a few months. So that's why I questioned you."

I realized that I called it the minute Nick started to be very curious about my thoughts about the magazine. I knew he cared as a friend, but the way he asked told me he didn't just ask as a friend.

"I probably have to quit my job."

Nick nodded, "I won't let you take that risk without a good offer, Zoey." He pushed a contract toward me which had bonuses written down along with a generous amount which would be paid if I completed the job, "You're a friend first and I know what I'm asking of you is huge."

"Life changing, " I whispered.

"Yeah, so sleep on it and let me know your answer by the end of the week."

I grabbed the contract, my eyes lingering on the amount which was insane for a stupid publicity stunt, "Nick. This is way too much. My blog doesn't have that many followers."

"Trust me when you're on Evan's arm going to parties at the club night after night it will affect your blog. I'm being generous because like you said when you take this offer it will change your life as you know it."

I raised my eyebrow at him, "So it's more or less payment to ease your mind because you're pimping me out to Evan?'

Evan beside me burst out in laughter, boyish laughter which resonated through my whole body. He might be the kind of man who played too much he was still cute. I could understand why women would take the risk with him knowing it would always end badly. They didn't care when they could be on this handsome guy's arm and in his bed. I'm sure he knew what he was doing when he did take you to his bed. I hated myself for going there, but I was definitely going there with my thoughts and when I looked up to meet Evan's gaze I knew he noticed.

"I forgot how freely you spoke your mind." Nick sighed, "You'd think I'd be used it seeing Emily has no filter at all. But you still surprise me, Zoey."

Evan smirked at me, "It's because she has a filthy mouth. Unlike Emily, she swears a lot."

I got defensive when he said that, but he was right. I did swear a lot, probably a lot more than Nick's girlfriend, but I wouldn't apologize for that. I couldn't help it but calling women like Giselle bitches.

"Is that a problem to you?" I waved the contract in front of his face, "Because if I accept this we'll be spending an awful lot of time together. You think you can handle words like 'fuck' and 'bitch' oh and 'asshole'? The last one I might not say out loud but I assure you that I will be thinking it."

He laughed again while Nick's eyes glittered amusingly, I was sure the side of his lips twitched as well, but he wasn't going to encourage me. Folding the paper up in half I stuffed it in my bag and got up.

"I'm going to think about it, we'll reschedule lunch. Maybe you can introduce Emily to me when we meet again?"

Nick got up and rounded his desk, placing his hand on my lower back as he led me to the door, "I'll be right back, Evan. I'll lead Zoey out. Don't try anything, I'll kick your ass and then tell Emily about it and she'll kick your ass too."

Evan held up his hands, "I wouldn't dare, Nick."

Nick opened the door and led me to the elevator bank. Nick turned to me when I pushed the button and waited for the elevator to arrive.

"Really think this through, okay?"

"I will, " I promised him.

"If you do accept a lot has to be dealt with, it will go full speed. Be prepared, Zoey."

"I know." I turned when the elevator ding echoed through the hallway, "I'm taking this seriously, Nick." Stepping inside the elevator I gave him a small wave, "Talk to you soon."

Taking a cab back home I ordered Pizza, settled on my couch and went through all the magazines I had an article published in. If I was going to think this through I'd really think about the pros and cons, making sure I didn't make a decision half-heartedly. It took me all night to make a decision, but when I made my mind I knew I did it because I knew what I wanted. At six AM I texted Nick to let him know I accepted his offer. What surprised me was that he actually texted me back. I had till the end of the week, but I figured things out before the time limit, he appreciated that. Things were going to change full speed, but I had no regrets.

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