For Eternity: A Time for Love Series Novella by Bethany Lopez by Bethany Lopez - Read Online

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For Eternity - Bethany Lopez

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"You’re a no-good piece of shit, just like your mother, and you’re never gonna amount to anything. Your brother was the one with the talent, and now that he’s gone, we got nothin’. When I’m old and you’re wiping my ass, you’ll be lucky to be the fry guy at fucking McDonald’s, mark my words."

I ate my cereal, Sugar Snaps, and did my best to ignore my father’s rant. He often got like this after a night of drinking. My mother had left a long time ago, and my older brother had died, so it was just me and my Pops.

I got up, washed my bowl, and put it in the drying rack, then popped my head into the living room where my father was now dozing in his recliner.

Going to school, Pops, I said, grabbing my books off the table and shuffling to the door.

Who gives a fuck, was the reply that followed me out the door.

I vowed then and there, that not only would I become successful and have more money than my father could ever imagine, but I’d also never be around to wipe his ass; he’d never see a dime of it.

Thirty years later, I’d made good on my vow.

In my twenties, I’d started Brandt Industries as a medical supply company, and now, it was a corporation with more than twenty businesses, including my passion project, producing music. I’d signed Whiskey Heat over a year ago, and since then, I’d acquired three more bands.

On the outside, I appeared to have everything I could ever want. A successful business, money, good looks, great clothes, and great friends. But, in actuality, I’m the man who has everything … except the one thing he’s always wanted.

Someone to love, who will love me in return.

I’m no monk. I’ve had relationships, but none of the women I’d dated were ever the one. Most of them were looking for status. They liked the money, the car, the fact that I was CEO of Brandt Industries, but they couldn’t care less about who I was inside.

Although, to be fair, for the past year, no one could ever measure up to the one woman I wanted. The one who’s big blue eyes widened and got nervous, was chronically skittish, and practically ran in the other direction anytime I was near.

Lovely, with black hair that was almost as dark as my own, and had grown out to a flattering length just past her shoulder, Natalie was like a delicate flower, with a reinforced steel frame. She’d been in an abusive relationship that ended with her ex-husband in jail and her starting a new life.

I’d hired her as a favor to my friends, Brady and Ming O’Malley, but I would’ve hired her anyway. The second she’d stepped into my office for her interview, it was like my world suddenly came into focus.

I’d spent the year feeling uncharacteristically unsure of myself around her, and I could tell she was still healing and trying to find her footing again, so I hadn’t wanted to push.

Now, however, I was done standing in the wings.

What we needed was a change of scenery, and the opportunity to be alone. I needed her to see me as a man, an equal, a possible partner, and there was no way I was going to do that here in town, where I was her boss and arguably one of the most powerful men in town.

You buzzed for me, Mr. Brandt? Michael, my longtime executive assistant, asked as he stepped inside my office.

Yes, I need to schedule a trip to Ireland, I informed him.

Ireland? Michael said, sounding baffled as he probably looked through his mental calendar for a previous mention of this and came up lacking.

Ireland, I confirmed, turning from the window I’d been gazing out of to look at him. I’m thinking a cottage outside of Dublin. Something in the country, so we can get a feel of the countryside, but close enough to the city to still get some work accomplished. Check Airbnb, and I’ll ask Brendan and Bronagh where they stayed last time they flew over.

We, sir? Michael asked, picking that little tidbit immediately.

I’ll be taking Natalie, from HR. I want to look at the new offices there. They’re almost ready and I’d like to get started on hiring and training in Dublin. Please inform her of the trip and let me know if she has any questions.

Yes, sir. Do you have a timeline? he asked, taking the notebook out of his pocket so he could jot down my instructions.

I’d like to leave Saturday, and expect to return in two weeks’ time, I said, looking back out the window as I created a vision of how I wanted this trip to go and committed it to memory. I found visualizing my goals, even mentally, made them more prone to being realized.

I’ll get right on it.

Thank you, Michael, I said, and he saw himself out.

I strode to my desk and unbuttoned my suit jacket before sitting in my plush leather chair. Picking up my phone, I scrolled until I found Brendan O’Malley, then pressed send.

Carson, I was actually gonna shoot you a text later, Brendan said when he answered. You up for an impromptu poker game tomorrow night? I’m in need of some dude time.