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The Sweetest Deal
An impossible demand...
Max Jernigan is ready to close the most important business deal of his life?all he has to do is agree to one request from Grayson Crowell: impregnate the mogul's daughter.
No way can Max do this. He's a decent guy. But he would love a child. He just doesn't want a wife.
An impossible man...
C.C. Crowell gave up on dreams of a family after Mr. Worse-Than-Wrong broke her heart. Hiding behind spreadsheets, boring suits and an icy attitude, she's more than a little suspicious when arrogant, handsome Max is suddenly chasing her. But she can't deny their chemistry. Until she learns about the deal and plans to pay Max back in kind....
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"You want me to seduce your daughter?"Max Jerrnigan stared at the silver-haired business mogul seated across the desk as if he'd just asked Max to vault from the twenty-story building and land on his head.
"That's a rather crass way of putting it, don't you think, Max?"
"No, I don't. I think saying, I want you to give my daughter a baby,' is crass." Surely the man couldn't be serious. No father would make such a request. Max was here to negotiate a business deal involving large chunks of land, not bodily fluids, especially his own.
"Don't look so shocked. I doubt this is the first time someone's asked you to give them a baby."
Max rubbed the back of his neck, wanting to squash this conversation before Grayson Crowell started asking for the names of old girlfriends. Talk of babies made him sick to his stomach.
"Look, Grayson, I'm not going to continue this conversation."
"Hmph. You're put off because I speak my mind? That's part of business, Max. Saying what's really on your mind, the stuff most people shy away from because it makes them uncomfortable. But that's what makes me stand out from every other developer on the coast. How do you think I've amassed all of this?" He pointed to the construction maps and architect models. "You think I waited until the opposition thought of a better plan, or the customer decided they might want to sell me their land? No, my boy; I createdthe need."
"And you're trying to create the need in me to impregnate your daughter. Sorry, that just isn't a burning need in me right now. I don't even know your daughter." What was her name anyway? Charlotte? Cynthia?
"That's irrelevant. If you agree, you'll know her soon enough."
He was serious. "You're talking about knowing her in the biblical sense, right?" Max pushed back his chair and stood. How had he gotten into this conversation in the first place? "No thanks."
Grayson Crowell remained silent. The man had a reputation as a shrewd businessman who'd taken risks when others wouldn't, which resulted in enormous tracts of undeveloped, prime real estate dotting the country. One of which Max wanted. Badly.
But to barter land for a baby? Didn't the daughter have a say in any of this? Or was she just a pawn in her father's bizarre plan to become a grandparent?
"I've been thinking about your most recent proposal," Grayson said, cutting into Max's growing outrage. "It's a brilliant idea."
What, no more talk of impregnation and babies? This was too easy. Max braced for another "baby" onslaught. "It has enormous potential," he said, trying to read the mega developer's expression. "Rhyder and I are very excited."
"As you should be." Grayson rubbed his jaw and nodded. "All you need is the land and a few strategically placed investors, and you could go nationwide."
Yes, that's exactly what they needed and where Grayson's company came in. "Then you see the merits of the project?"
"Indeed. Building nature and community-friendly office parks would have a twofold benefit: provide a serene environment for the employees and keep the wildlife advocates happy." A wide smile spread across his tanned face. "Employees can follow the nature trail during lunch while ducks waddle after them toward a peaceful pond. Everybody wins. Excellent strategy."
Good, still no talk of babies. "It was my dad's dream. When he died, I vowed to make it a reality." Close, he was so close. Max could picture the dedication speech now.
"I applaud your desire to achieve your dream."
Something in the way he said it made Max nervous.