Her Billionaire Dream by Ellen Lane by Ellen Lane - Read Online

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Her Billionaire Dream - Ellen Lane

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Chapter 1: The Offer

Lauren was eating her lunch behind the Size 9s when she heard the other two girls working the sales floor start to giggle. These were the sorts of giggles that were usually reserved for giddy high school freshmen—girls that swoon whenever the quarterback smiled at them in the halls. She sat what remained of her ham on rye down on her little hideout behind the women’s Adidas running shoes and walked to the stock-room entryway that led out to the floor. She peeked out, not wanting to seem like she was interested in whatever had them so happy.

She spotted them easily enough. They were up at the register, which Lauren could clearly see between the aisles for men’s boots and dress shoes. Both of them were leaning across the counter and being far too friendly to a man in a suit that was speaking to them in a near-whisper.

Brittany was easily the worst of the two. She was a waifish twenty-three-year-old that seemed to think copious amounts of inappropriate flirting compensated for her flat chest and lack of any sort of curves. She was very pretty but seemed to not realize it, always trying to compensate by practically offering herself to any cute man that walked into Farr Brother’s Shoes.

Shelly was almost just as bad, only she had the body to back up her look-at-me-I’m-so-cute attitude. While she wasn’t as flirty or crude as Brittany, she knew how to work her cleavage and what she called The Bottom Lip Bite to get just about any man wanting her.

Lauren stayed where she was, spying on Brittany and Shelly. She looked to the man that they were ogling but was only able to see him from the side. It was apparent that he was handsome, even just from the left side. His suit looked like it cost more than Lauren’s car and it made him seem very out of place in a rundown little shoe store that could barely pay its bills.

Lauren wondered what it would be like to be able to openly flirt with a man like that. Hell, she wondered what it would be like to openly flirt with any man. Lauren was twenty-six, weighed two hundred and twenty-eight pounds, and seemed to keep a small patch of acne just below her hairline that had been there since high school, apparently to stay. Her hair was plain and black, her eyes were the same, and she could only pull off pretty if she spent half an hour or more in front of the mirror in the morning with some very expensive makeup.

She’d given up on trying to live the life that Shelly and Brittany had almost five years ago. That had been after finding out that her college boyfriend—the only man she’d ever slept with—had been cheating on her for nearly two years. She never asked him why he’d done it. She’d just assumed. The other girl had been at least sixty pounds lighter than she was and smiled about every damned thing.

Lauren rarely smiled. There was nothing in her life to make her smile, much less make her think about smiling. Not even cute businessmen that came into this crappy little shoe store.

With a heavy sigh, Lauren went back to her sandwich. There was no actual break room in Farr Brother’s Shoes, so she always ate lunch in the large stockroom and tucked herself in the far corner by the outdated women’s tennis shoes.

She sat there and finished off her sandwich, washing it down with a lukewarm Pepsi. As she was drinking the last of her soda, she heard Brittany and Shelly heading to the back of the store. They were snickering and giggling, again making Lauren have high school flashbacks. When they came back into the stock room and took a seat behind the security monitors so that they could see the floor without actually being out there, they were still giggling.

I wonder what he would pay me per hour? Brittany said.

Would you actually do that? Shelly asked.

I don’t know. It depends on how much money. A guy like him, I think he’d be clean, you know? Nothing to worry about really. Hell, I probably wouldn’t even charge him.

You’re awful, Brit.

Brittany pointed a playful finger at Shelly and said, You mean to tell me that you wouldn’t bang him if given the chance?

Eh, Shelly said. Yeah, I probably would.

Brittany turned around and gave Lauren an evil grin that she didn’t like one bit.

How about you, Lauren? Brittany said. How much would he have to pay you to get you in the sack?

I don’t know, Lauren said. I didn’t even see him.

Doesn’t matter. You know him, all right. It was Riley Thomson. Everyone knows him.

The man that was just in here was Riley Thomson? Lauren asked, legitimately shocked. Riley Thomson was a multi-millionaire—probably a billionaire—that owned just about every inch of the industrial districts in the city. She found it hard to believe that he had stepped foot into Farr Brother’s Shoes. So yes, she knew him. Both Brittany and Shelly were right; he was not only incredibly wealthy…he was drop-dead handsome and the thought of being intimate with a man like that was, to Lauren, like picturing herself riding a unicorn…it wasn’t going to happen.

Look at her, Shelly said slyly. She would!

I always knew she had a nasty side to her, Brittany said, giving her a playful hug. I bet there’s a ton about Lauren that we don’t know about!

Lauren blushed, not even trying to hide it. The truth of the matter was that Brittany and Shelly were generally pretty nice to her. Sure, Lauren despised them a little bit because of their bodies and how it seemed that they could eat anything and stay slim, but they never demeaned her or spoke down to her. Lauren wouldn’t go so far as to call them friends by any means, but they were okay for the most part. She’d learned in high school and college how the beautiful skinny girls had a way of making the hefty girls feel inferior. Back then, it had been a social norm that Lauren had simply accepted. But now, working with promiscuous and great looking women like Brittany and Shelly, she was pleased to know that such nonsense tended to die off in the real world.

Lauren’s lunch break ended and she took over the floor while Brittany put together an invoice order for the following day. Shelly left, her shift now over as Tuesday afternoon became Tuesday night.

While Lauren and Brittany were cleaning up, counting down the final hour of the day, Lauren found herself looking to the counter, again amazed at how any woman could be so open and flirty with a man like Riley Thomson. How empowering that must be!

What did Mr. Thomson want, anyway? Lauren asked, surprised that she had actually asked the question.

Not shoes, I can tell you that, Brittany said. She stopped pushing her broom across the entryway where the newest and most expensive shoes were piled and held it almost thoughtfully. He asked to speak to Mr. Farr. He was sort of sly about it, especially when I told him that Mr. Farr wasn’t in. I even asked if he wanted Mr. Farr’s number, and he said no. He said he’d drop back in some other time.

What on earth does he have to do with Mr. Farr? Lauren asked.

Hell if I know, Brittany said.