The Irish Prince (The Billionaire Dynasties)(3)

By: Virginia Nelson

While Aiden? Felt like there was a war being waged in his brain. His emotions were raw, his thoughts were in chaos, and he had no idea what he wanted to come of this meeting. So he decided to be honest.

“Margo, you’ve had ten years with our child.” He held up a hand when she opened her mouth to speak. “Ten years that I never even knew Waverley existed. I didn’t get to name her; I didn’t get to buy her gifts; I didn’t get to be there for her. I know, you come from money and likely don’t comprehend why any of this would matter to me. But it does. She’s mine, and you basically stole my ability to be there for her for a decade.”

Margo frowned. Clearly, he wasn’t reacting in the way that she’d hoped. “And, as I said when you brought me into your office, with a check I can make your life just as it was this morning again. Be realistic here, Aiden. You don’t want a child right now. You have a life, a business to run. I’m simply asking for you to make a donation toward her support. This isn’t complicated at all.”

But it was complicated. The child was part of his life but completely unexpected. Part of how he functioned was by controlling situations, knowing what happened next. Doctors called it anxiety disorder, but he just considered it part of who he was. So he liked organization—not a bad thing, generally. He liked routine, schedule, planning…and this situation left his hands shaking and dizziness threatening. Showing any of that to Margo, though, was out of the question.

But easy as the answer seemed—just let Margo keep handling the situation—it wasn’t acceptable to him. Aiden’s dad was one of the most important people in his life. He’d been there when Aiden wanted to enlist and cried when he’d sworn into the service. He’d loaned Aiden part of the money to start his business. His dad was amazing, hands down the best father Aiden could’ve hoped for.

And Aiden would die before he failed to live up to that example. Hell, Margo had stolen away his parents’ only grandchild, too. All in all, her crimes against him were heinous.

All that said, attacking the model wasn’t going to fix any of it. This woman had raised his child, albeit without his consent, and Waverley likely loved her mother. Fighting with her would only distance him further from the child who thought of him as a stranger.

That was it! He needed time with Waverley. “What if I agree to your request, but I have some terms of my own?”

Margo raised an eyebrow. “Such as?”

“You’ve had ten years with her, and I want some time. I want a chance to get to know her. I’ll give you every dime you asked for and then some, but I want to be a part of her life going forward.”

Margo sat back in her chair, looking surprised. “You want to be part of her life?”

He nodded. Now that he’d thought of it, it was the only thing that would do. The only way he could hope to make something good out of what was a very shitty situation. It wasn’t much control, but it was a handhold. A way up the cliff out of disorder back into rational ordered life…via a scheduled visitation or something to that effect. Just the thought calmed his racing pulse, eased the churning in his stomach.

“If I agree, you’ll give me the money?” Margo added.

“Every dime and then some,” he repeated.

Sliding one leg over the other to cross them elegantly, Margo seemed to consider his request. Realistically, she had to recognize that any refusal on her part would simply begin a war. Now that he knew he had a child, he wasn’t letting her walk back out of his life. He’d take Margo to court if he had to and to hell with the press and consequences. He’d rather, though, settle the situation amicably.

Hopefully, Margo would come to the same conclusion.

“I have a demand of my own, then,” Margo finally said.

“You already demanded money and stole my child for ten years. What more can you ask for?” The words weren’t intended to come out quite so venomous, but he spoke with his emotions rather than his logic. He raised a hand again, asking her silently to give him a second, before adding, “That was harsh, and I’m sorry. My emotions got the best of me. What more would you like me to do, Margo?”

Her frown didn’t vanish, but she sighed. “Waverley is a bit of a rock hound. Loves all things geology, and with work… I’ve never managed to take her to the Grand Canyon. You want to get to know her; she wants to see the Canyon. Take her to see it, and we’ll arrange further visitation from there.”

He held out his hand. “Deal.”

Only as Margo shook and confirmed the arrangement did he realize what he’d agreed to.