69 Million Things I Hate About You(5)

By: Kira Archer


“Rebecca.”

“Yes, her. You dated her for a while.”

Cole frowned, irritated at the reminder of his last girlfriend. She hadn’t worked out any more than the others had. “She objected to the prenup.”

Brooks raised an eyebrow. “There was talk of a prenup? I didn’t realize it had been that serious.”

“It wasn’t. But she started hinting around, so I showed her the prenup. That’s usually enough to get them to lay off the wedding nonsense.”

“Why? Prenups are fairly standard procedure for someone in your position.”

Cole sighed. “Because my prenup isn’t standard. We both agree to leave the union       with what we had when we entered it and with what was individually made during.”

Brooks’s eyes widened. “In other words, they’d get nothing.”

“Correct.”

“No matter the reason for the breakup? Even if you cheat?”

“Correct.”

“And if you die?”

“Then our union       would be very decisively over.”

“Well, obviously, but—”

“It doesn’t change anything.”

Brooks blew out a long breath. “Well, no wonder they don’t stick around.”

Cole frowned again. He knew his prenup was a bit unorthodox, but he had his reasons. He’d had it drawn up after he’d made his first hundred million…and had his heart broken by the first woman who’d been more interested in money than matrimony. It had taken several million to keep her from writing a tell-all book and selling it to the highest bidder. Now, his girlfriends signed non-disclosure agreements and anyone even hoping to be more than a girlfriend was going to get the prenup. So far, none had stuck around long enough to actually use it.

“I don’t see why it’s such an issue,” Cole said.

Brooks laughed. “Really?”

“The woman would be marrying me, not my money. She’d get to enjoy a certain lifestyle during the marriage, of course, but if the marriage ends, I don’t see why she should continue to enjoy what I worked hard to make, especially since the women I date typically make a better-than-average living on their own.”

“You’re never going to find someone who will agree to that.”

“Someone who loved me more than my money would.”

It was always the same. They all wanted to be Mrs. Harrington. Not because they loved him, but because, as his wife, they’d have better access to his fortune. A hefty settlement if it didn’t work out. Widow money if they could stick it out for the long haul. Bonus money if kids were ever a part of the picture.

Hence the prenup. He’d probably never follow through with it, not that he’d admit that to Brooks. But it didn’t matter, since so far no one had ever loved him enough to try it out. A document stating they got nothing was enough to make them all run.

“Well, good luck with that,” Brooks said.

He finished the last swallow of wine in his glass and wiped his mouth. “I don’t need luck. I just need to focus on work.”

Brooks shook his head and gave him that motherly look that made Cole cringe. He glared and Brooks laughed, holding his hands up in defeat.

“All right, all right. I’ll leave you to it. I’ve got a few late-night plans to get to anyway.”

Cole couldn’t hold back an indulgent smile. “What a shock.”

“You’re just jealous,” he said. He drained the last of his wine and stood to leave. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Cole watched him leave and then turned back to his files, doing his best to ignore the now familiar twinge of regret that poked at him. His life was what it was. He occasionally wished he had someone, but they all wanted one thing, and it wasn’t him. Sometimes he didn’t know why he bothered. But hell, even moguls got lonely.

He sighed, gathered his things and shoved a few hundreds into the restaurant’s billfold, and walked out into the night. Alone. He was better off that way. At least alone he couldn’t get hurt, used.

He grimaced and pulled out his phone. He might as well get some work done. He dialed Kiersten and asked her to meet him at the office. If she was surprised that he was calling her in to work at nine p.m., she didn’t say anything. Just agreed to meet him in his office. She was working out perfectly, so far.

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