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The Rich man

The Rich man

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Published by Joe Tedesco
A story about a war hero who also happens to be a self-made billionaire.
He's young, rich, good looking,...basically everything we all either now or at one time in our lives wished we were. It is going to be a mixture of a intrigue/love story. But this story isn't going to be of the Harlequin variety you see everywhere. And that is my challenge.
A story about a war hero who also happens to be a self-made billionaire.
He's young, rich, good looking,...basically everything we all either now or at one time in our lives wished we were. It is going to be a mixture of a intrigue/love story. But this story isn't going to be of the Harlequin variety you see everywhere. And that is my challenge.

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Published by: Joe Tedesco on Jul 04, 2008
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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11/16/2011

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The limousine pulled up to the curb and stopped in front of the entrance to the building. The man that emerged from the car didn’t appear to take any notice of hissurroundings. Steam plumed from his mouth in the frigid air as he walked toward theentrance. He was embarrassed by the bodyguards who immediately surrounded andushered him into the eighty-story building and into the private elevator. Two remained atthe elevator after the doors slid closed and stood impassively watching the lobby. Whenthe elevator reached its destination the doors slid open directly to a suite of rooms. As heentered the rooms he turned to the two remaining men and dismissed them.“I’d like to be alone tonight guys if you don’t mind, I’m pretty tired and need somespace.”“Sure Mr. Cobb, we’ll be right down stairs if you need anything.” Downstairs meantthey would be on the next floor down from the penthouse. The two top floors were the private floors of Jared T. Cobb, owner and CEO of Cobb Enterprise. Lately he had feltlike it was Cobb Prison’s Inc. It wasn’t as though he wasn’t grateful for what he had, Godhad blessed him with a talent and he had turned that talent into a billion dollar empire,one that had brought him as close as a man can get these days on cornering a market. Thesoftware that he designed made it possible for military hardware to communicate with outthe conflicts that had plagued real-time computer systems for years. There were manydifferent companies that provided the hardware that worked in various vehicles,controlled different weapons systems, and then communicated with still other systemsmanufactured by other companies. All these systems came with software of course thatwas theoretically compatible with other military systems. Of course theory very seldomhad anything to do with an actual combat environment. For all the testing and real timeexercises that were performed on the systems, when it came time for these same pieces of equipment to do their thing in combat they invariably had problems when trying tointegrate one system with another as they were “designed” to do. Communication wasslow and at times stopped all together. Of course many factors went into the deploymentand success of the various systems the military used to engage an enemy. The bottom linehowever was that the stuff just didn’t perform up to standards.Jared Cobb had spent almost eight years at MIT in Massachusetts before beingcommissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps. He joined the Marines just after Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded his smaller and much weaker neighbor Kuwait. Of course his father thought him crazy even though he himself had fought inKorea and Vietnam, or maybe it was because he had fought in those wars he was soagainst his only son joining. To the elder Cobbs’ way of thinking Jared had too much potential to go and possibly get himself killed in the Marines. Why had he spent all thattime at MIT if he was just going to throw it all away on some damn fool crusade in theMiddle East?Jared Cobb was built to be a Marine, taller than his fathers’ six feet he seemed born towear a military uniform. His dark eyes rarely smiled and his baritone voice was almostalways at an even pitch. Marines under his direct authority always knew where theystood, there were never any tantrums or fits of anger. If one of them screwed up theyknew by the look in Cobbs’ eyes and seldom made the same mistake twice.Jared’s job in the Marines was intelligence and where he learned first hand theequipment and software problems of the military. Almost immediately upon his return tothe U.S. he began his hunt for an answer.1
 
When his six-year obligation to the Marines was up Captain Cobb resigned hiscommission and resumed his mission to find an answer to the software problem plaguing military computer systems. At the age of thirty-two he found it and wasimmediately beset by Uncle Sam and manufacturers nation wide. The nature of hiscompanies work was considered National Security-Sensitive and Jared’s circle of friends, never that big to begin with got even smaller.With the military contracts also came more money than one man could spend inten lifetimes and Jared immediately hired people smarter than himself to manage hismoney, of course they had to have back ground investigations done on them beforethey could have access to his books.Five years and two contract renewals later he was one of America’s most eligible bachelors and featured on Fortune 500 magazine three times. Though he was under enormous amount of pressure to go public with his company that was something heflatly refused to do. He didn’t want a committee making his business decisions for him after all the work he had done to build up his company, and he liked the idea thathis people (as he liked to call them) could come directly to him or Peter with their  problems.As he walked toward the bar built into one whole wall Jared smiled ruefully tohimself at the memory of Peter’s discomfort when Jared flatly refused to do another magazine cover. Time magazine had been after him for three months now and he hadavoided them all he really could without looking like he had some thing to hide. Heheard the
ding 
of the elevator and turned just in time to see Peter step from theelevator. The man seemed never to sleep.“Jared I just got off the phone with Stanley Graves, he is pissed and is not happyabout being stonewalled. I told him to give me a week and he said he’d alreadywaited three months, he would give us three days and then he would use his ownresources to write his story.”“You know what Peter, let him write his story using his own resources, I’m tiredof being beholden to people other than those who work for me. And no I won’t do itfor you either even though you work for me or are my closest friend. I’ve had enoughof reporters and photo ops and questions about my personal life, anything worthknowing is already out there, what else is there to ask me, what color skivvies I wear?I’m not telling!”Peter stared at Jared as though he had said something bad about his mother.“What? Jared you got to be kidding me right? I mean you can’t tell Stanley Gravesyes and then tell him no after three weeks, you can’t string guys like Graves along,he’ll…”“What Peter?” Jared demanded, “What is that self righteous, left wing witchhunter going to do? I own this company, I am the one who took all the risks, I usedmy own money to start this company and didn’t ask for any breaks, I made my own breaks and because I don’t want to go public with the company or sell to the bigger  boys I’m accused of not playing fair, of “stonewalling” as you so succinctly put it. I prefer to call it keeping to myself, I call it invasion of privacy, I call it screw them,I’m not going to cave in any more and be so agreeable to their demands every timesome reporter wants a piece of me, unless it’s some thing I agree to on my terms.”2
 
“Okay Jared, I promise, no more interviews unless you say so after Graves, Jared just do this last one.”“I’m sorry Peter, but I’m not sorry. I’m not going to do it, not this time. I have todraw a line some wear and I’m drawing it here. Hey I pay you large sums of money todeal with the press so I guess you’ll have to deal with Graves. And if you don’t mindI really want to be alone tonight, no press, no bodyguards, and no P.R. guys either Peter.”That was Peters’ dismissal and he knew it, slowly he turned to leave wonderingwhat he was going to tell Stanley Graves and suddenly feeling very sick of the wholething himself.For Jared this was one more stick that was on the camels back and it was about to break. The urge to get away, just take off was almost over powering, but he knew hecould not do something so irresponsible as that. But there was something he could do;he could take a vacation. He owned the company and that meant he could do anything he wanted, theoretically. All he really had to do was get Peter back here and tellhim what he was going to do. No, he couldn’t just up and leave, he had a business torun…
wait, I can do it, I’m going to do it, I need to get out of here or I’m going to saythe wrong thing to some innocent reporter who asks me some inane question about the Marine Corps.
Jared grabbed his cell phone from the coat he was still wearing and punched in Peter’s number. The phone rang only twice when he heard, “Ya.”“Peter I need to see you up here again there is something I need to run by you.”“No problem Jared I’m right out side the building, did you rethink the Gravesthing? Because I think that…”“Peter, hold on a second, don’t get your pants in a bunch I didn’t change my mindabout that its some thing else and its more important to me than an interview, now doyou want to be the head of my public relations twenty-four hours a day or would youlike to be my friend once in a while like you use to be?”Peter caught the note of pain and anger in Jared’s voice and respondedimmediately. “Jared I’m sorry, I’ve just been sulking and wondering how to get myfat out of the fire with Graves and I’ll be honest I was hoping that you had changedyour mind so I wouldn’t have to come up with something.”“Sorry Peter, your on your own on that one, you got yourself into it…”“Yeah I know and I think I know how to get my self out of it, I’ll see you in aminute.”When Peter stepped out of the elevator Jared was nowhere to be seen. “Jared?”“In here Peter, come on back.”“Jared I was thinking about something, I’m getting a little tired of these pressthings too and I’m tempted to tell Graves too bad, Mr. Cobb has changed his mindand decided not to do another interview at this time.”Jared answered. “You know some thing Peter, that is exactly what you ought tosay to him.”“Well I just might do that. What did you need to see me…”? Peter stopped in midsentence when he saw Jared Packing a suitcase. “What are you doing?”“Peter, I am taking a vacation. And before you blow a gasket let me fill you in onsomething, every thing is going fine. I have already checked with Jeanie and she said3

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