His Instant Heir(10)

By: Katherine Garbera

Dec looked at the guard. “Good evening. What was your name again?” he asked. He knew in takeovers it was important to have a face to go with every name on his list. Kell wanted this place gutted and soon there would be no need for two teams of security. And this man looked like a prime candidate for early retirement.

“Frank Jones,” the older man said. His blue security uniform was neatly pressed, he presented himself in a well-groomed manner and despite his age, Frank was in good shape.

“Declan Montrose,” he said, holding out his hand. The handshake was firm and strong. There might be some gray in his hair, but Frank’s posture and attitude weren’t as elderly as it had seemed from across the lobby.

“Who hired you?”

“Ms. Cari. She said we needed someone who took this job seriously and understood that security was the most important part of making a game,” Frank said.

“And that convinced you to take the job?” Dec asked.

“That and her smile,” Frank said.

“Her smile?”

“She has this way of making you feel like you’re the only one for the job when she smiles at you. Makes me want to do my best,” Frank said.

“She does have a way,” Dec agreed. Suddenly he had an inkling of why Cari was so popular with her team. There was something to be said about being made to feel important. Obviously it was a skill that Cari had in spades.

His iPhone rang as soon as he was in his Maserati GranTurismo convertible. He glanced at the caller ID and wanted to toss the phone out of the car. He wasn’t ready to download information to Kell, but as the man was his boss and not just his cousin, ignoring the call wasn’t an option.

“Montrose here.”

“Here, as well,” Kell said. “Is it as bad as we feared?”

“Worse. The staff is really loyal. I think if we kick the Chandlers out we might have a mutiny. I’ve spent the better part of the day listening to how great they are.”

“That doesn’t concern me,” Kell said. “We knew the takeover was going to be messy.”

“And I’m mitigating the mess, but it’s going to take some time.”

Kell cursed under his breath. “You said six weeks.”

“And that’s still exactly how long I need. Calling and badgering me isn’t going to speed it up.”

“I know that. I was wondering how the Chandler girl was…Cari?”

She was nervous and sexy and sweet. But his cousin didn’t need to know any of that. And if Dec had learned one thing from his socialite mother it was to keep some information to himself. “She’s hiding something.”

“What? There is no other investor in the wings,” Kell said with surety.

“I’ll find out what I can. But there is definitely something she’s protecting. Maybe one of her sisters. From what I gather, the oldest one, Emma, is something of a barracuda. The staff spoke of her the way our team talks about you.”

“I’ll get in touch and see if I can find out what they are hiding. You keep working on Cari. I think that Allan’s best friend is married to the middle Chandler girl’s best friend.”

“Why do you know this?” Dec asked. Kell just didn’t do personal stuff. If it didn’t affect Playtone Games, usually Kell didn’t bother with it.

“I had the misfortune to try to drink our cousin under the table last weekend and heard all about the girl.”

So Allan knew the middle sister, and unless Dec was very much mistaken—and he was seldom wrong about anything—he himself was going to know the youngest sister very intimately. Again. And this time he was going to… What? He was the adopted son of the Montrose dynasty. He had been abandoned, adopted, pretty much left to his own devices again. He knew he wasn’t a man for commitment. What could he do with Cari except have an elusive affair?

In fact the only thing he’d ever stuck with was his cousins and Playtone Games.

When he was in this twenties he’d tried to strike out on his own, but then Kell had called and the chance to be part of this new generation of game-making Montroses was too much of a lure. Dec still wanted to prove himself to a generation that was all but gone.

“You still there?” Kell asked.

“Yeah, but I’ve got to go. Dinner meeting tonight.”

“With?” Kell asked. In the background Dec heard the sound of the evening financial news show that Kell watched religiously. He was a genius when it came to reading the market, which was in no small part the reason for their success.

Dec had always marveled that he and his cousins, Kell and Allan, each brought something unique to the table that no one else could. They made a very strong triumvirate, and though he knew he wasn’t a blood Montrose, he was definitely a necessary part of Playtone Games.

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