The Billionaire's Indecent Proposal
- 137.7K words
"I have a proposal.” Nicholas softly stroked my skin as he watched me. “I want children. And I want you to help me with that.” He wanted me to give him a child! "In return, I will give you everything you could ever want.” - - - - - Orphaned and with no place to call home, Willow's only chance at happiness was to attend college. When her scholarship fell through, she could only contact Nicholas Rowe, a mysterious and downright sinful billionaire, to give her the money she rightfully deserves. How would she have known that not only would he be willing to fund her education, but he also wanted her to be the mother of his children! This was not part of the plan. But when faced with temptation, Willow could only accept the indecent proposal and fall into the older man's clutches. Will their relationship last? What will happen when the ghosts of Nicholas’ past appear to tear the couple apart? Can they survive the storm?
It seemed nothing in my life was going according to my charted-out plan. As I typed out the letter and waited for my old printer to spit the inked paper out, I hoped the letter would be the one destined to work in my favor. All the emails I had sent received the standard auto-response and not a single word more. Now, I hoped and prayed that a physical letter would do the magic needed to get my concerns across…
Mr. Nicholas Rowe,
I am writing to you directly since every other medium of communication with you regarding the Rowe Scholarship has been blocked and exhausted.
I, Willow Taylor, am currently a student at your alma mater, Atkins High School. Three weeks ago, I received a letter from your employee Julia Reyes which stated that I had been selected as the recipient of your prestigious scholarship. As it is awarded to a final-year student with outstanding scholastic aptitude from Atkins High School, I received the news with great excitement.
Upon realizing that my entire college tuition would be sponsored, I accepted my admission to my first choice of college, Quentin Central University, to start as a first-year student. Further, I sent Quentin Central University a non-refundable deposit for my room and boarding. This has significantly impacted my personal savings, which I have spent the last five years working towards in preparation for the above.
However, a week after I received the news that I had secured the scholarship, I was informed by the same employee, Miss Julia Reyes, that there had been a grave miscommunication. A fellow classmate of mine was the initial recipient of the scholarship. You can imagine that this has crushed me both financially and emotionally.
While it is perfectly understandable that a mishap of this nature can occur in a prestigious enterprise such as yours, I pray that you pay attention to my situation. It would be a great honor if you reassessed the aforementioned circumstance and made an exception and fund both the now-appointed winner and me.
I am including a copy of my most recent scholastic transcripts as well as the original essay submission for the scholarship.
One painful week passed with me checking the mailbox every few hours in a single day. Finally, at the end of the week, I received a response. I rushed to the front door, threw my bag aside, and ripped the envelope open like a savage. Usually, I was the kind who would carefully take out the contents, but my anxiety made me be at the edge. I opened the letter and read the contents.
Thank you for your interest in Rowe-Hampton, Inc. We are pleased to report that since the merger with Hampton Entertainment, Rowe-Hampton Incorporated has become one of the leading media institutions in the world. As a company, we engage in the production and marketing of entertainment, information products, and OTT services to a global customer base.
I have included a pamphlet on our charitable vertical in response to your inquiry.
All of us at RHI thank you for your viewership and support.
CEO, Rowe-Hampton, Inc.]
My blood boiled hotter with every word I read. I had gotten a copy-paste response. Even the signature was digitally placed. Meaning, Nicholas hadn't even paid attention to the letter.
After all the hoops I had jumped through! My head was about to explode with the weight of explicits threatening to escape my lips.
They had written off their mistake as miscommunication while my entire future was shrouded in darkness because of it. And they had the gall to treat me like an insect who kept lurking around them without cause. There was no way I would take this slight lying down .
If Nicholas Rowe thought he had gotten rid of it, he was grossly incorrect.
"Can you believe the audacity? What a bunch of nincompoops, all of them," I grumbled.
I had just finished ranting about the contents of the letter I had received the day before to my best friend Lorelei Adams. With only a couple of weeks left before we graduated high school, it was a chore to get up and ready to attend school. But we were driving towards it together. I sat in the passenger of her Dad's old car and cursed the never-ending bad luck.
"You don't need to be at their mercy like this. Just come to Quentin with me and we will figure something out."
I shook my head.
Lory and I had been best friends since we were toddlers. I met her in the neighborhood park in the evening and played with her when my mother was around. We were a year apart but our dreams had lined up. We wanted to get out of Atkins and live in the biggest city in the country… Quentin. The fact that Quentin was over three thousand miles away was considered a bonus, in my opinion.
"I told you already, even if I could get loans on my own, they'd never cover everything." I didn't add that I hated the thought of being knee-deep in debt after graduation. Moreover, no matter how much I tried, I didn't have anything to leverage a loan against. "And I am absolutely not taking any money from your parents." I looked over at her to make sure she understood. I knew she was thinking about it. "No way," I hammered it in.
I had gotten great grades but I still wasn't as good as some of my peers. They had good family backgrounds and more time to study than I had after I worked jobs to save up for college. The fact I was a year older than my peers didn't help either. The only reason I had pushed through all the load was because of Lory. Her enthusiastic and rose-tinted approach to life helped to lighten the gloom that surrounded me at all times.
When we pulled in, she turned to me with a question, "So what do you want to do? What is the plan?"
I could see she was just as stressed about it as I was. I had tried to minimize the damage the blow had on my mental state, but she had caught it nonetheless. We had strung our dreams together as we grew up and though it had changed since we were still hoping to be together. She had been admitted to Havens University, and I was accepted into QCU, both in the same city.
I bit back my tears, unwilling to fall into despair. Lory didn't need to see this.
Everything would have been perfect if I'd received the Rowe Scholarship. I could work a job while taking classes and make enough for my dorm fees. My fists clenched with anger that it was instead going to that piece of turd, Chris Grant. He was headed to the university a stone's throw away from his house. His family could afford his tuition in full and then some. He would probably use the extra money to stock up on alcohol and snacks that would clog his arteries.
I hoped he choked on them. Idiot.
But it was not Grant's fault. He had gone through the same procedure as I had. I could only direct my anger towards Mr. Nicholas Rowe, whose employee made the mistake and I had to pay for it. Mr. High and Mighty, whose employee employees seemed to think it was perfectly acceptable to toy with people's lives and crush their dreams. They promised me everything and then ripped it away, and now they didn't even have the decency to discuss it with me. Even the initial apology had seemed so insincere. That was one of the reasons why I persisted in seeking Mr. Rowe out.
"I have to get in contact with Mr. Rowe." That was the only option I had left.
"And how do you intend on doing that?" Lory asked anxiously.
"I have no idea. But I have to find a way to talk to him." I sighed.
"You mean try to get his non-work email address or phone number?"
I nod at her, feeling determined. "Exactly. I need to get both."
I would pester him until he gave me a reasonable solution.
But that was easier said than done. When had things worked out smoothly for little old me?
She must have read my mind because she exclaimed quickly, "You have an evil glint in your eyes. You are supposed to be the level-headed one of our duo. Why are you acting like me all of a sudden?" she asked. "Okay. Imagine we get our hands on his number… somehow. What happens then? What if it doesn't work? What if he refuses to help you?" She made a great point, but that didn't make a difference to me.
"He has to, Lory." In my mind, he owed me. I just had to make him realize it.
"All right, then. Operation 'Get Nicholas Rowe' starts tonight."
“That is an awfully misleading name.”
I grinned at my best friend. She always knew how to lighten my mood. Yes, the plan was a shot in the dark but with Lorelei on my side, I felt like nothing could stop me.
We walked to class together and I thanked the lord I had her by my side in this life. I didn't know how I would survive without her support.
Lory and I scrambled back to her house right after school ended. I stayed over frequently and had a number of clothes stowed away in her closet. I could just change if I came over suddenly.
"Is your stepdad still planning to end the lease once you graduate?" she asked.
I plopped down on Lory's bed and watched her do something on the computer. She was a genius when it came to computers… in my humble opinion. And I was glad she could put her skills to good use to help me dig out Mr. Rowe's personal contact information. As to how good she was, I had never tried to test it out before that day.
"Yep. I didn't tell him about the scholarship mixup." That wouldn't change anything.
I had to shake off the anxiety that fluttered in my stomach whenever I thought about my life from that moment onwards. The truth was, I had been alone for years. But no longer having a house to call my own would be the nail in the tomb. There was no going back after that.
My biological father had been an engineer who got into a work-related accident when I was five, and my mom had married Oliver Shaw when I was ten. We barely got time to bond. On my twelfth birthday, my mom rushed to the restaurant we had booked for the party and we got into an accident. I was injured, but not as bad as her. She was in critical condition but hung on for several days. She knew she was going to die, and legally arranged for Oliver, my stepfather, to be appointed as my legal guardian until I turned eighteen. There was no other family to take me in.
Oliver was a decent guy. We had always had a pleasant but distant relationship when my mother was around. But it grew more distant afterward, probably because he was gone most of the time. He worked as a commercial driver, keeping him out on the road instead of at home around the year. When he was around, we politely avoided each other once I started to get into my rebellious phase. Not that we spoke enough to have fights.
But he had made good on his promise to Mom, and I had never lacked the essentials over the last seven years. He had made sure my long stay at the hospital and subsequent rehabilitation was funded even though the payout from my father's accident hadn't covered all the hospital expenses. Later, I had a roof over my head, food to eat, and clothes to wear, and he occasionally left an envelope with some extra money in it for me. It was not easy for a parent to support a sick child and he had been my step-father and lost the love of his life.
On my eighteenth, we had a long and emotional conversation. He was no longer obligated to take care of me since I was an adult, but he wanted me to finish high school before we parted. He had told me he would keep renting the house until I graduated, but when the lease ended, he would not renew it. He was on the verge of tears as he apologized. I had to assure him that it was okay. That I didn't want to stay in Atkins either. He Had been relieved. I knew it was excruciating for him to return to the house he had chosen with my mother. He had imagined a rosy future with her, but instead, he came to a home that no longer had her., the constant reminder of her death walked around it unashamedly. I understood why he took extra work and kept away as much as he was allowed to.
"Willow?" Lorelei asked hesitantly. I turned my head to find her watching me. "What happens if this doesn't work? What are you going to do?"
"It has to work." I wrung my hands and stared at my lap stubbornly. "And if it doesn't, then I'm going to Quentin anyway. I could get a job… save up enough to attend college in a few years. I'm going to Quentin no matter what."
"You know you always have me, right?"
I gave her the best smile I could. There was little she wouldn't do for me. And I felt the same way for her. I didn't want to take advantage of her feelings, though. I respected her and even though she would share a cot with me if I asked, I wouldn't. She had put down a deposit for a single housing unit and was leaving two weeks after we graduated. She would be a part of a special program for gifted first-year students and I didn't want to put a wrench in her plans.
"I know. I plan on leaving with you. It's all going to work out somehow, Lory."
She patted me on my back. "Yes, it will. We're moving on to bigger and better things. The City of Opportunities won't know what hit it!"
I grinned as she turned back to the computer.
"Okay, now let's unravel the elusive Mr. Rowe," her voice was filled with determination.
I pulled her beanbag next to the desk and watched as her fingers flew over the keys. I tried to remember what I knew of him… Mr.
Rowe, that is. His family came from generational wealth. They had only resided in this area for a short period, during which time Mr. Rowe had graduated from Atkins High School. That was about twelve years ago.
He had attended the best university in the country and started his own entertainment business. Using his own strength and possibly his family's money, he disrupted how people consume television and content, and gained a lot of success in the entertainment business. With the merger between Rowe and Hampton, his company now rivaled the biggest media giants and producers in the world.
"Damn, he's got the looks of an angel!"
I straightened up and looked at the pictures, jolting out of my thoughts from Lory's exclamation. He was definitely a good-looking man. I could barely stop myself from noticing his chiseled features and piercing eyes. I tore my eyes away before I drooled over her keyboard, effectively ruining it.
"He'd be even better looking if he paid my tuition," I quipped. I gave her a smirk and she laughed.
"Well, he's a step up from Josh." She elbowed me lightly and I scowled at her mention of my ex-boyfriend.
"You should be the last person to tease me about that. You dated his best friend Tony!"
She groaned as I elbowed her right back. As we were equally embarrassed about our ex-boyfriends, I didn't push it further. I chalked it up to a learning experience.
"I still believe in true love and soul mates."
I rolled my eyes at her. She was a hopeless romantic. It was all the romance novels she was reading in her free time. I, on the other hand, had slowly given up on the idea of true love. It always seemed to end in tragedy.
"The last thing I'm worried about right now is falling in love. I just want to get out of here and have a bright future. Haven't you heard? Love flies out of the back door if you are poor?" I tickled her side. "Now, are you going to find me the contact information or just stare at his pretty face?"
"Keep your pants on. I think I have his email. I need more time to get a hold of his personal number. It will be hard, though. That may be a few days."
By the time Lory's mom informed us dinner was served, we had already crafted an email and sent it off. I carefully told him the same thing as my previous letter and hoped this would get a different treatment.
Read novels from various genres