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Love In High Stakes

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“From my bed to his office?!” Lucas exclaimed caustically. “It’s not what you are thinking, Lucas,” Olivia said in a nearly inaudible tone. “You lost your voice or what?!” Lucas yelled, while his right hand was on the steering of his Bugatti. “You have no right to shout at me!” Olivia burst out. “I own you!” Lucas exploded as it was the umpteenth time he had been saying the same words to her. “Soon, you won’t!!!” Olivia challenged. “We’ll see, baby,” Lucas stopped the car in the middle of nowhere and now Olivia felt her heart beating at an uneven rate. §§§ Olivia Montgomery, a twenty-six-year-old young lady living in the heart of New York City, is the heiress of The Montgomery Art Gallery. Inheriting The Montgomery Art Gallery, a family legacy steeped in artistry, she sees it as her ticket to escape the shadow of her father's debts after his untimely passing. Left without any family or financial support, Olivia not only needs to find a way out of this chaos, but she also needs to find out why her father fell into debt. After his death, her life turned miserable, for her late father made a pact with the Kennedys. With the Kennedys relentless threats looming over her, Olivia has only three months to pay off the debts, or else, she will find herself at the billionaire’s mercy. However, when she meets the famous CEO, Alexander Sterling, she thinks that she has found a light at the end of the tunnel until his stained past resurfaces. Torn between two billionaires, Olivia’s life is at high stake… And then her love.

Chapter 1

Prologue

Olivia Montgomery, a young lady of twenty-six years old, hailing from a middle-class family that turned rich just by selling art in the past, was now cursing her name and ancestral relics because the family business left her with nothing.

Roaming the streets of New York hoping to find a ray of hope, at times, she thought, perhaps she should just become a bar dancer to come out of her problems.

Chapter 1

Sitting on the balcony of her shabby-chic studio, Olivia Montgomery sipped a cup of black coffee, pondering on the unimaginable turns it had taken in less than a year. Everything moved so fast that she could barely remember the last time she smiled.

After the death of her dear father, Joseph Montgomery, Olivia inherited The Montgomery Art Gallery which had stood proud and lucrative for about half a century in one of the busiest streets of New York City. Anyone would have thought that inheriting such a ducal place would be lucky, but that was not Olivia’s case.

To her, The Montgomery Art Gallery was a burden. Since the beginning of 2008, the year was the doom period. Many businesses crumbled once the recession hit. The industry that suffered the most was art, real estate and retail, compared to the year 1958 when the Pop Art era attracted Olivia’s family from France to New York.

Once rich, she was turning poorer day by day. Olivia had thought about selling the place after her father’s death, but the latter had left a lot of debts hovering over her head, so she had to sell only their mansion and pay only seventy percent of the debts. To her shock, The Montgomery Art Gallery was on the mortgage.

Therefore, she only had to use the rest of the money from the mansion sale to buy a place of her own to live. Additionally, she was the last of the Montgomery, as her previous generations had not had more than one child or two children per couple. Over the years, some passed away, whereas her cousins migrated to other parts of the world and she lost contact with them.

Massaging her temple, Olivia was worried about the pact her late father made with the Kennedys in case the debts could not be paid by the Montgomery. A dangerous deal that was done without her consent. Where the hell should she find nine hundred thousand dollars to pay them off? She had been trying hard to get a job as an interior designer after completing her Bachelor in Fine Arts, but most of the notable firms did not want a fresher while they had their already appointed designers.

All of a sudden, Olivia’s cell phone rang. She immediately turned her gaze to the device lying on the coffee table. Thankfully, it was not the Kennedys. After all, they had given her only three months' notice to pay off the debts, else…

“Hey girl, how are you doing?” Olivia’s best friend greeted her on the other line.

“I’m alright, Amelia,” Olivia replied.

“Wanna go to the bar for a drink tonight? I finish my shift after three hours,” Amelia asked excitedly.

“No, thanks. I would rather stay home,” Olivia said.

“Oh, come on. You always have the same excuse, every time I ask you to join me for a drink. You’ve changed so much, Olivia,” Amelia consequently stated what she wanted to blurt out for quite some time now.

“You know my situation, Amelia… I just can’t,” Olivia replied gently.

“I know, baby. That’s why I want to cheer you up,” Amelia said.

“I don’t have a dime for parties, Amelia,” Olivia felt embarrassed.

“Did I ask you to pay? Amelia felt offended.

“Every time you pay and it’s not cool at all,” Olivia stated sadly.

“Olivia, you are the only friend I have and if I was a millionaire, I would still lavish on you, just as you used to do for me out of love,” Amelia reminded Olivia.

“Alright. I’ll wait for you at your workplace after three hours,” Olivia finally agreed.

“That’s my good bestie!” Amelia responded with joy, “I’ll hang up now. See you soon.”

“OK. Take care,” Olivia said before hanging up.

She reminisced about the time when she had become friends with Amelia at Clayton High School since ninth grade. They had been inseparable since then. Despite Olivia being poverty-stricken, Amelia never left her side. On the contrary, she was her backbone.

Olivia stared at the screen of her laptop and seeing the rejection emails of the applications she submitted for work, she logged out and shut it down. She could not do this anymore. If only she had the money to start her business as an interior designer, her life would at least not be in such a mess. Ancestors left millions, but here she was, living on peanuts. The love that she had harboured for them, was fading day by day. She understood that there were bad times in everyone’s life, but why had none of them done anything? Was it her father’s fault? How she wished that she knew what wrong step her father had taken to lead them, or rather, her to indigence. Olivia never tried to find out because she was scared of talking too much to the Kennedys.

It was not the time to think about them, particularly, the son, for she had despised the way he was staring at her when they first met in their office. He was more amused by Olivia’s state than even feeling a bit of sympathy.

Olivia felt that she would go crazy over-thinking. Therefore, she pulled out the book she started a few days back, opened it where the bookmark was left and continued reading. It was a billionaire romance; a great escape from reality. It was not that a billionaire would come and sweep her off her feet. The only billionaire she knew was the person she hated the most and there was no way that she would ever wish to meet him again.

Chapter 2

Thankfully, Olivia still had her clothes and other accessories, even if there were not too many. In any case, although they were rich, she always used to dress in simple attire as she was not a showoff. She removed a black pair of jeans and a red top and red pump heels to meet her best friend for a drink at the renowned bar- Buddha Bar.

Olivia could not understand why Amelia liked this place. It was always crowded and Olivia hated crowds. A glance in the mirror, her long chestnut hair cascaded down her back in loose waves made her look so feminine. Olivia was blessed with amazing features, great skin and above all, she was slender. She could have been a model, but she was not interested in being popular.

“I need to head to Walmart. Try to have fun tonight, Olivia,” she said to herself.

She picked up her black leather handbag, walked towards the door and headed out, locking it. Then she slid the key into the pocket inside her bag and walked off. It was a ten-minute

Heroes

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