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Bad Boy’s Secret Baby
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I have to tell him.
He’s the same rebel that had me begging for his touch,
Now he’s back and determined to make me his.
He used to be my brother’s best friend.
Will the secrets of our past destroy us?
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It had been years, eight years to be exact, since I’d darkened the door of Burning Butte, North Dakota. I had thought things would have changed dramatically. I had. The small town had not. I stared out the heavily tinted driver’s-side window of my Ford F-350 and saw the ice cream shop was still in the same place. On the other side of the street was what I thought had to be the tiniest bookstore in the world. Most of the buildings were A-frames. The northern town got a lot of snow in the winter, and the buildings with the flat roofs always suffered. I could see there were still a few holding up, but I imagined it was only a matter of time before they were demolished under the weight of the snow.
The businesses lined the main road through town, all vying for that prime piece of real estate. I passed the Old Flame Saloon and grinned. It was amazing that place was still operating. Of course, not that surprising. The bar was one of two in town, where everyone went to get a drink. The other tavern was more of a restaurant and was always packed with families with mommies and daddies who wanted to drink but were also stuck with the kids. Parents could pretend to be getting in some family time while throwing back a few beers.
I kept my speed slow as I rolled through the small town, taking it all in. It felt good to be back. It felt even better to be back in my new position. I wasn’t the same kid who’d been run out of town by the local sheriff all those years ago. I was a man. A man with money and power. Not a lot of either, but a hell of a lot more than what I had when I’d left.
I was back and I was determined to show Sheriff Arthur Maxwell I wasn’t the kind of man who allowed himself to be pushed around anymore. I dared him to try and pull the same bullshit he did back then. I was back and I was determined as hell to prove I wasn’t a worthless piece of trash from the wrong side of town with no future. There had been other adjectives used to describe me, but they didn’t matter. I was going to prove them all wrong.
I drove through town, heading out to the outskirts where Western Energies had set up shop. There were a few houses on sprawling farmland dotting the area with green pastures and cows lazily grazing as the road bent to the right. The old warehouse that had been used as a feedstore didn’t even look the same. I wouldn’t have known it had ever been a warehouse if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes as a kid. I was surprised to see the old, decrepit buildings that had once dotted the barren land gone and replaced by a paved parking lot. The old buildings that once stood in the area were dangerous, more of an attraction for kids to get up to no good. Like me. I was one of those kids, drinking and partying and doing other things I shouldn’t have.
I drove through the smooth parking lot, looking for a spot close to the door, and was surprised to see my name on a sign in front of a spot near the door.
“Well, look at that,” I cooed. “Reserved for Jacob Miner, Vice President of Western Energies,” I read aloud, unable to stop smiling as I pulled my truck into the spot.
I threw it into park, grabbed my phone, and hopped out of the truck, smoothing down the dark polo shirt with the Western Energies logo on the upper left. I’d worn a pair of nice jeans for my first day. I bent down to check my reflection in the side mirror, making sure my hair was in place. I hadn’t been able to resist driving down the highway with my window down and the music blaring. I used my fingertips to comb back my short brown hair before standing to my full six-two height again.
I strode up the couple of steps to the front doors and walked into the sleek, modern building that looked completely out of place in the old mining town. There was muted lighting throughout the lobby that was covered with tasteful, modern art and several little seating areas arranged around the wide-open space. It was like something one would expect to see in a big city, not a little out of the way town like Burning Butte. A receptionist was sitting behind a tall desk, a headset on her head as she smiled at me.
“Hi, I’m Jacob Miner, here to see Larry Welsh,” I said in a friendly tone.