A Deal with Alejandro (Rival Brothers 1) - Page 56

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Alejandro opened his mouth to dismiss the offer outright, but paused. ‘Why?’

‘Why not? It’s the best of all worlds. You bring the e-commerce arm, I deliver the digital streaming and cloud-based services. They provide the infrastructure. Together we’ll be unstoppable.’

Just as Elise had suggested.

He watched Gael pick up his remaining sandwich and bite into it, and tried to swallow past the ashes in his own mouth.

Pushing his plate away, he shook his head. ‘There are no guarantees they won’t start getting us to jump through hoops again. It doesn’t work for me.’

Gael’s unforgiving gaze connected with his. ‘Is that the real reason? Or it is something—or someone—else? Someone like Elise, perhaps?’

He froze. ‘Watch it,’ he warned.

Of course, his brother didn’t heed him. ‘Six months later and you’re still hung up about her?’


Gael plucked a bottle of water off the table and gulped down several mouthfuls. ‘Have you seen her since Kyoto?’

Alejandro’s insides knotted. Icy fury and other emotions he didn’t want to name wrestled within him. ‘No. Why are you asking me this?’

‘Because you’re right. There’s one tiny condition to this deal.’

A hot curse erupted from him before he could stop it. ‘I’m overwhelmed with shock.’

Gael grimaced. ‘The old man wants Elise back in on the deal.’

‘Ni hablar! Hell, no.’

Gael’s jaw clenched. ‘We’re both businessmen, Andro. There have been women in the past and there will be women in the future—hey, don’t growl at me. If you intend to live like a monk, go right ahead. But you’re letting her get in the way of a revolutionary deal. The longest she’ll need to be involved in the negotiations is a couple of months. Are you telling me you can’t handle that?’

‘Don’t test me, Gael,’ he snarled, deeply unsettled by the raw sensations moving inside him.

His brother eyed him for a minute, then reached into his pocket. ‘Your private life is your own. But this is business.’ He pulled out a folded piece of paper and set it down on the table. ‘You’ll need this if you want the deal to go ahead. When you decide, call me.’ Gael walked to the door. ‘Thanks for lunch,’ he tossed over his shoulder before he exited.

Alejandro stared at the paper for a full minute before he reached for it. The address was out of state. In fact it was several states away. But it wasn’t the other side of the world. It isn’t Kyoto.

The distant thrumming of his blood gathered speed. Grew louder.

The image of her in another man’s arms tore through him. He’d walked away. He needed to let this be.


I am different... Shame you’re too blind to see it.

She’d dared to taunt him. And in the last six months, those words had flashed through his mind more times than he cared for.

I am different...

He stared at the address until the letters were burned into his retinas.

It looked as if he was going to Montana.

* * *

The sound of the vehicle thundering down the dirt road was different from the rattle of tractors or Steven’s banged-up old truck. Elise was in the zone, so she didn’t lift her head or move an inch from her position beneath the apple tree. She continued to sketch, sending a silent plea that her rare moment of concentration wouldn’t be disturbed.

Peace had been so hard to come by. Ironically, the more breathtaking the landscape in Montana grew, the unhappier she became. Summer had been the worst. Sultry evenings that were handpicked for harvest and lovers had seen her curled up in bed, stifling her sobs with her fist. In those desolate weeks, she’d wished for the numbness of May and June, when her emotions had remained in suspended animation. Because with the thaw had come the stark truth that her feelings for Alejandro were in no way resolved. Another truth was knowing the way she’d handled that last night in Kyoto had hammered nails into a door she wished she could prise open just one last time.

Tags: Maya Blake Rival Brothers Billionaire Romance
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