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Charlie was young and eager, but certainly no pushover because she had the determination to become a successful lawyer. All is well until Conner Blackwell walks into her life again after a six year gap. Back then he shunned her, but now he could see how she had blossomed into a beautiful young woman. Yes, she was now strong-willed, independant and career-minded, but for Conner's charms she was no match. What she did not know however, was that whatever Conner wanted, he usually got.
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Theodore Blackwell looked over the edge of his paper he was reading at his son. He gave it a shake to straighten the spine after he turned the page, but left his eyes on him.
As he studied his handsome profile, a surge of pride went through him. Conner had just finished his MBA at Yale and Theo was taking him to his Chicago cooperate office which he intended his son to manage. He'd taken it upon himself to mentor his son for the first year and then it would be his. Then when his youngest son Ryan finished his degree, he intended to do the same and together both of his sons would run his multibillion dollar communications company. That is if Ryan quit his wild ways and finished school.
Conner was no angel either, but he was able to manage both a social life and completing his masters. Although he'd been schooling him since he was five in financial matters, so the MBA was a breeze for him. Of course it helped that Conner's I.Q was off the charts. Theo was certain that he was probably perfectly capable of stepping into his shoes as if he'd never left.
Conner was looking out the side window of the limousine so Theo kept eyes on him with no less than arrogant admiration in their depths knowing that he came from his loins. At twenty- five, his son was exceedingly attractive to the opposite sex, which made him know he possessed charisma as well. Even when he was a toddler, complete strangers were drawn to him, especially women. Some things didn't change. Women were still drawn to him but for entirely different reasons. That type of appeal was needed in this cutthroat business. He couldn't deny that he had a charm about him that he himself lacked. It must be inherited from his mother. That thought brought a smile to his face. Although that was all Theo would admit. He blamed his son's intelligence and good looks on himself.
Driving to Chicago from New York was Theo's idea. There was a horse ranch that he intended to look at and wanted to buy from one of his retired cooperate lawyers as a tax write off. Also it gave him time with Conner. He wasn't getting any younger and sending the boy away to expensive boarding schools then college throughout his life made him miss him. It was a sacrifice he was willing to make for both of his sons, just so he could give them the proper education they needed. Although his wife Linda and he made sure the boys were home as often as possible, it still didn't leave much for the loneliness in their lives for their sons. Now, he was looking forward to grandchildren, but neither one of his boys were willing to settle down just yet. It was all right. He would give his oldest a few years to settle in then he would start pressuring him. Theo's and his wife's health was good, so they could wait. For now.
Conner agreed to the road trip without hesitation and Theo had hoped it was for the same reasons he had in spending time together. Conner wasn't very expressive, which was good in many ways, especially with business, yet he was always polite and respectful of his parents. He had him schooled in such a way, but he had an air of authority around him always. When he spoke, people would listen.
He watched Conner adjust his posture and flip one leg over the other resting his ankle above the knee of his other leg. He couldn't possibly look any more relaxed. As if feeling he was being watched, he adjusted his eyes to his father's and smiled when he saw him looking at him inclining his head in question.
Theo returned his smile and shook his head if it was nothing before returning his attention back to his paper.
Conner knew without question that his father was proud of him. He never said the words, but the look he'd just received was the same at the presentation of his Master's degree several weeks ago, the same when he came in first at the nationals for the two
hundred meter freestyle at twenty and when he got accepted to Yale when he was barely seventeen. There were many events like that in his life thanks to the privileged upbringing his father gave him. Now it was his turn to prove that he was worthy of stepping in his stead.
About four hours into the trip they had hit dirt roads. Barney their driver had let them know that he thought they were lost and pulled over several times to check the GPS. Theo could hear the big man swearing that they never include the back roads on the maps. Conner looked at his father sharing unspoken look and smiled.
Theo knew what this was about. Barney was talented in many ways, but driving and understanding anything electronic wasn't included. It was true the man had never been in an accident, but he came close a few times. He turned over his shoulder to speak to him, although he was amused by the man's frustration, it wasn't fair to leave him suffer. "Barney, we'll ask for directions at the next store, garage, or whomever we find first. Don't worry about it. We don't have to be in Chicago for another two days." He heard Barney grunt and push more buttons on the GPS followed by a bunch of digital blips and a sound of large granite fist hitting the consol. The man had a bit of a temper, which always amused Theo. He actually used to work for a senator as a bodyguard and was trained well in his trade. Theo hired him by offering him a ridiculous amount of money after he'd stopped a man from attacking his employer when they were at the same dinner five years ago. It impressed him enough to think he could use him. Barney was a big man, well muscled and looked like a professional wrestler at six foot six, two inches taller than Conner.
After another hour without a soul in sight, Theo heard the car sputter and Barney started swearing again.
"What is it?" Theo said over his shoulder.
"There's steam coming out from under the hood." Barney said from the front. "but there's a garage up here." He guided the car into the gravelled lot, thankful that he finally found civilization. "And it's overheating so we might have some luck after all."
The 'garage' happened to look like a dilapidated shack. It was made up with weathered cracked wood and evidence of blue paint flecks were the only indication of its original color. Over the door was a faded sign of red and white that said 'Sam's garage'. Off to the left was two bay garage that was pretty much the same aged wood exterior. There were old tires leaning against the side and the long grass next to it was littered with car parts and old cars long since abandoned by the weathered paint. Both doors of the garages were open and as far as anyone could see, dust covered everything.
Theo could hear Barney tapping more things up front, probably the temperature gage.
Barney turned off the car and swearing some more exited the limo after mumbling something about seeing if there was anyone alive in the shack.
Conner turned to his father suppressing a smile at Barney's frustration, "I need to stretch my legs." He said before he opened the door and got out. All we need is tumbleweeds, he thought with amusement as he adjusted the lines of his charcoal suit and glanced around his surroundings. It was warm out. Quite the contrast to the air conditioned interior of the limousine. However his surroundings interested him.
The place was a back hick town for sure. Who knew they still existed? The only sound he could hear besides the wind in the trees was the pounding of metal on metal from the open doors of the garage. Obviously they had a mechanic. He decided to follow Barney into the garage 'shack'.