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Baby Mistake (Alphalicious Billionaires #3)
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They are sworn enemies but she’s having his baby.
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It wasn’t every day that a big douchey billionaire buys out the little mom and pop company and threatens to fire exactly twenty-two employees (because yes, even though Alexander Daniels showed up to work hungover and gets tanked again by noon from the bottle he kept in his office in the top drawer of his desk, three days out of five, he still counts as an employee- a manager to be exact).
Then again, it wasn’t every day that a person finds themselves knocked up after being artificially inseminated with stolen sperm, but hey… different topic, different story, different animal entirely.
The baby thing, and not getting caught after what she and her bestie had done, had been number one at the top of Teela’s Things To Worry About list, but it dropped right off the radar when she had to start worrying about her ass being fired by the corporate takeover Troll.
Pastelman’s Fine Foods had been Teela’s second home for the past eight years. Arguably, it was probably her first home when it came right down to the hours she spent there and some of the hole in the wall hovels she’d lived in. So she didn’t want to be forcibly ejected, especially not when she had a tiny little secret brewing up in her belly that she hadn’t exactly disclosed to upper management, meaning Cheryl and Bob Pastelman. That’s right. She was counting down the months until she could rock maternity leave. And god, would she ever rock it.
The main opposition, her new enemy numero uno, came in the form of one Ross Day. Douche bag extraordinaire. Troll to the extreme. The guy probably made his living selling ultra-fancy condos built under bridges to trolls just like him.
Unfortunately, as he stood at the head of the small conference room and surveyed all those assembled, he didn’t look like a troll. And since he was buying out a grocery store, he probably wasn’t in the real estate business either.
He looked like a six-foot-tall, impeccably dressed, strikingly blue-eyed, dark haired, bronzed skin, chiseled prince. Or something along those lines. He was probably rich. It’s easy to look good when you have money. And yeah. He was jacked. As in, fit and fabulous. As in, probably worked out for hours every single day and did a six-mile run on top of it. Even at nearly thirty-five, because he had to be somewhere near that age, though maybe he was nearing forty and just happened to be born with the world’s most amazing set of genetics, he was stacked.
Teela found it easy to hate him just on that account. She knew how the bastard made his money. He got rich by buying up mom and pop shops and turning them into chain deals. In no time, their little independent grocer, yes, the kind that actually cared about organic goodness and saving the planet and all that, as well as selling goods for local artisans, artists, bakers, chefs, canners, gardeners, florists, and crafters, was just going to be one big soulless supermarket.
The bastard. The troll bastard. He should have some warts. Or some zits. Some flaws.
Unfortunately, he was acres and acres of hard lean muscle and tailored clothing.
Never trust a man in a suit. Her mother had told her that.
It was one of the few pieces of advice from her mom that Teela had ever listened to.
She gulped hard as The Troll Numero Uno, aka Ross Day (and who the hell has a name like that anyway?) stared her down. Nausea made her stomach clench up hard while her throat moistened ominously. She was reminded that she was nearly eight weeks pregnant and that right from the start she’d been sick every single morning. And at other inopportune times throughout the day on and off.
She hadn’t barfed that morning, but then again, there was definitely still time.
Teela swallowed back the threatening bile, oatmeal, and strawberries she’d had for breakfast. She hadn’t expected to be ambushed half an hour into her Monday morning with Cheryl and Bob calling them all into the conference room at the back of the store, locking the front door, and turning the ON sign OFF. There they announced that they’d sold the store and their business to The Troll himself, and promptly left the room.
Left the building.
Left the whole damn thing behind.
Left them in the hands of the well dressed, black-suited, corporate monster.
“Sales are staggeringly low,” The Troll was going on and Teela finally tuned in. “Every single person here is going to have to pull up their socks. We don’t believe in keeping jobs on that aren’t needed and keeping people who aren’t performing. We care about profit. Profit drives business. You’ll see that I’m a fair boss. A very fair boss. The more profit the company makes, the more successful each and every single person here will be. Profit is how companies afford to pay salaries, give benefits, and provide paid vacation time. Profit is how we make jobs. Without profit, there isn’t a reason for any of you to be here. So, I hope it’s with open arms that you welcome all the changes that will be taking place from here on out.”