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Ruthless: A Billionaire Secret Baby Romance (The Alabaster Club Series Book 2) by Athena Braveheart (1)

Chapter 1

“Gentlemen, I need you to pay attention here. I know how you all feel about this upcoming meeting, and while none of us really want to step up and handle it, I’m sure we’ll work something out.” Mr. Capone glanced around the table as he spoke, but Chase Ellis was far too engrossed in his phone to notice. It was just another routine meeting at the Alabaster Club, and he hadn’t been able to find a good excuse to skip it.

Chase sat scrolling through his social media messages, trying to piece together something to do that evening when he was finally free to return to his social life. Mr. Capone’s voice faded into the background as he grew more absorbed in his phone screen. All his social media updates had been met with the hearty approval of dozens of women, but there was one in particular whom he had a special interest in.

Melody Cash, a girl who had been messaging him most of the morning, was clearly trying to get him to commit to going out with her that evening. Though he was used to women vying for his attention, that didn’t make it any less flattering for this beautiful woman to want to see him.

The only trouble was, she seemed to know him personally, and he only had a vague recollection of who she was. The name sounded familiar, that was for sure, but he couldn’t find any trace of her on his social media accounts. More often than not, he would meet these women online or during his nights out, but there had been so many women constantly filtering in and out of his direct messages that it was impossible to remember all of them.

The flirting would ensue, then he would meet them, bed them, and get rid of them as soon as possible. He wasn’t interested in finding a long-term relationship, nor was he interested in the drama that came with pretending that he did want one. He had no trouble finding a woman to sleep with, so why bother entertaining one more than a couple of times before getting rid of her for good?

He knew it was only a matter of time before another would be throwing herself at his feet, begging him to have his way with her. Sure, they didn’t explicitly say so, and they would pull it off with more dignity than that, but it was all so transparent. Women found him completely irresistible.

Come on! Why are you being so hesitant? Dont you want to see me again? You sure seemed to enjoy yourself last time.

She sent the text with a winking face emoji, and Chase sighed deep within himself. He wanted to figure out who this woman was, but he couldn’t come out and ask her directly. He wasn’t at all embarrassed about the fact he didn’t fully remember who she was, but he could imagine the shitstorm he’d face. A barrage of texts from a random woman was something he wasn’t trying to deal with. He decided to go with a vague text and hope that along the way, he’d get a hint of who she was.

Im pretty sure I wasnt the only one who was enjoying myself.

He sent the text back and waited. Mr. Capone’s voice droned on in the background, but Chase didn’t hear anything that sounded too important. As always, he was merely talking about how to keep improving the Alabaster Club with some new idea he had come up with. All in all, Chase knew that it would affect him to some extent, but being the youngest member of the club, he didn’t think he was going to be assigned anything crucial.

At twenty-nine, it was solely because of his father that he got into the club when he had. The man was an expert salesman, and he was able to convince just about anyone to do anything he wanted. When it came to getting his son in the club, it was nothing more than a conversation with those who were in charge and all of a sudden, Chase found himself on the inside.

Of course, he proudly followed in his father’s footsteps, and he, too, had become a powerful billionaire in the furniture industry. While that meant he wasn’t the same kind of tycoon as the rest of the men who were sitting around the table at that moment, it did mean he knew how to hold his own. His cocky confidence was enough to earn him a level of respect among even the hardest to please in the club, and he was proud of his accomplishments.

His phone vibrated and he glanced down. He always kept it on vibrate during these meetings, and for good reason. The woman he had been texting sent him a photo and he casually unlocked his phone, curious to see what it was. He immediately covered his phone with his hand when he saw her enormous tits fill his screen, quickly glancing around the table to make sure no one saw the image.

Chase’s heart sank when he saw that several of the other men around the table were staring at him, and he quickly turned his attention to the front of the room, realizing that Mr. Capone was staring him down expectantly.

“I’m sorry, Mr. Capone, I was a million miles away. What was that?” he asked quickly. Mr. Capone gave him a look, then glanced toward his phone.

“I don’t even want to know what it is you are so preoccupied with on that thing, but you’re going to have to pay attention. Prince Shahid Hussein is going to be visiting with his father within the next couple of weeks, and it’ll be your responsibility to entertain him during his trip.”

“Entertain him?” Chase asked, raising his eyebrows.

“Yes. Take him out to one of the clubs around town. Show him a good time and ensure he leaves with a good impression of us. I don’t care how you do it, just get it done,” Mr. Capone said.

Chase nodded, not allowing his face to betray the true emotion he was feeling. “Of course, sir. I’ll show him everything our town has to offer. No doubt he’s going to want to make some renovations to his own city when he gets back.”

Chase laughed at his own joke, but no one else joined in. He cleared his throat and glanced around the table once more, looking from one cold face to the next. He felt the frustration rise in his chest. Though he had a large part in this potential investment deal by keeping the prince happy, Chase knew that the real meeting was going to be taking place elsewhere with the king. Mr. Capone and several of the elder members of the club would no doubt do their own form of entertaining with the prince’s father, while Chase was the one who was out doing the job no one wanted to do. He was just a simple distraction so the “grown-ups” could talk amongst themselves.

“No doubt,” Mr. Capone said after a moment of cold silence. He then turned to the rest of the table and started addressing other issues within the club, and Chase sighed quietly to himself. It was rare for him to be assigned anything, given his age and rank in the club. It seemed to him he was given the jobs no one else wanted to do, the same shitty work that only fell to those who didn’t hold enough rank within the club to pass it down to someone else.

“Just don’t cut me out of any special investments the king proposes. You know you’re going to need my money to reach the investment price, after all,” he said, only half-joking. He knew he was reaching dangerous territory and it would be better to just let the topic drop before he said something he regretted.

Mr. Capone gave him an icy glance before moving on without further comment. They all knew he’d take the work and he’d do it without complaining, though he didn’t really care to babysit some prince. He glanced down at his phone, finally making the connection with the nude photo and the name. He now remembered picking up the woman at the club the week before. He was trashed at the time, but then again, so was she. They had gone back to his place and enjoyed some rough sex, and she’d gone home satisfied early next morning.

Though he remembered those tits fondly and the sleepless night they had, he didn’t know if he wanted to get together with her again. He’d only slept with her the one time, but it was enough for him. He didn’t want to deal with any of the drama that he knew would come if she got too attached.

He slid his phone into his pocket and clasped his hands, listening to the rest of the meeting. He could deal with that woman later. Right now, he had other things going on, things that he knew deserved his attention more than some hookup he had the other night.

He was going to be entertaining a prince, after all. Perhaps he ought to pay attention.