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After marrying 'into' the Cochan family, Conor's life hit rock bottom, especially after the mysterious death of his mother. He had tried his best, but things didn't get any better. Instead, ironically, his mother-in-law started looking eagerly for a new son-in-law for his wife, Jessica. There was no hope for Conor to turn the tables, it seemed, until one day — Conor's 25th birthday when a lawyer knocked at the door and a long-forgotten heirloom from his mother. Something that will change his life forever and start him on the path to glory. Book 1 is now complete and is made up of 3 seasons, or releases. Book 2 will likely be available late in 2023.
CHAPTER 1: Rude Awakening
Rejected Billionaire book 1
Post-Dragon Era, Year 2000
Kingdom of Golan
Conor Brantley awoke to a freezing cold autumn breeze teasing his bare chest.
‘Where the hell is the blanket?’
He opened his eyes, wincing as the eastern sun streamed through an open window. His wife, Jessica, stood at the foot of the bed, holding the comforter she had ripped off him. Her malicious grin said everything.
“Get up, you lazy turd.” Jessica snarled at him, “It's time you get a real job! My father was insane to think you would amount to anything, and I must be crazy for putting up with your pathetic ass this long.”
“Jess!” Conor complained, trying to block the sunlight from his eyes. “Do you have to be so cruel?”
“Do you have to be so lazy? Rent is twelve silver dragons this month, Conor. TWELVE!” Jessica fumed.
Conor sat up, frustrated, belittled, and ashamed. It was true that his current employment situation was less than optimistic
Hell, when he was honest with himself, it was shameful that at almost twenty-five years old he was relying on Jessica to pay their rent, and utilities…. and food. But he had so many good business ideas that were always just on the edge of being realized…
The comforter hit him in the face, jarring him back to reality.
“Get dressed. Lucky for you, Father found a job for you at his downtown GrizleHut. Maybe you will actually earn enough to pay for rent for once. You CAN roll pizza dough, right?” She snapped before storming out of the room, slamming the door behind her.
Conor groaned as he flopped back on the bed. Pizza was well within his capabilities. What hurt most was the blow to his ego that Jessica had lost so much faith in him she even felt the need to question his ability to do this simple job.
After four years of marriage, he had hoped their relationship would be in a better place. Before their wedding, he had seen the reluctance in Jessica’s eyes.
It had been her father, Mr. Sebastian Cochan with some influence from her grandfather that had been the real driving force behind their contract marriage.
Conor also suspected she had finally relented more to avoid being forced to marry Kelan Benedict than out of any appreciation for Conor’s accomplishments. Kelan had been almost predatory in his constant circling of Jessica over the years. Conor couldnt believe his luck when he had won out and had been able to marry the hottest girl in high school.
While things had been pleasant enough during their first year, Jessica had always kept her own room in their small two-bedroom apartment.
Regardless of any hostilities or reluctance, there had been some sparks in the first year as Conor’s business took off and his handmade cosmetics gained fame around town. Conor had even thought it was turning into genuine love between them, if the bedroom activites in those early months had been any indication.
‘Some Marriage,’ he thought, thinking back on how cold things had become these last few years. Conor didnt want to blame Jessica for the downward spiral of their relationship.
After all, when her father had arranged their marriage, Conor had been a profitable entrepreneur and owned Celia’s Herbals in the Cochan Family mall.
Not only that, but Conor’s mother was well known as the high priestess of the temple of Celia, their dragon god, and was greatly respected across the kingdom. Now, his business had failed and caused them ridicule along the way and his mother had been lost and all but forgotten.
Conor felt a tear slide down his cheek as he remembered the last time he’d heard news about his mother. Three years ago, a gang war broke out in Jinstain, and the temple was ransacked. Rumors that wealth was heaped upon the priestesses of the temple by local businessmen, merchants, and royals seeking Celia’s wisdom and blessing might have spurred such ambitious violence. After the gang cleared the treasure rooms, they burned the temple to the ground. His mother's body was never recovered. At first, Conor dreamed that she had escaped into the mountains, but over the years, that dream faded into wishful thinking...
It wasn’t long after the loss of his mother that things had gone sour at his newly opened shop, Celia’s Herbals. The handmade soaps and essential oils had sold well at first. But a partner in that venture had changed their supplier without him realizing it. Some of the coal and minerals had somehow been tainted, and customers were not happy, and several even got sick.
Many called him and Jessica blasphemers for selling such products under the name of Celia. The public turned on him. Over the years? the Cochan mall… and their marriage, also began to suffer due to the association with that failure.
Conor pulled himself out of his melancholy and dressed for the day. He grabbed a t-shirt and a pair of cargo pants and called it good. When he stepped out into the kitchen, Jessica was finishing her breakfast, her blonde locks pulled back in a ponytail.
“Hurry up, Father expects you to be there by nine. He has already called the franchise manager to expect you. Don’t embarrass me further by being late,” she griped.
Jessica paused, her demeanor softening before continuing in a gentle tone, “Conor, this is your last chance. I had to convince Dad to give you this opportunity. He was not pleased and is just waiting for you to fail again. Your last few ideas for new businesses… just didn’t pan out. Take this time to earn some actual money for once, and, maybe, you will find a real solid job soon.”
Conor was startled by her change in demeanor, but grasped on to what he hoped was a lifeline for their marriage. He nodded and decided he would give this opportunity a real shot if it would be a new start for them.
Jessica put her cereal bowl away before grabbing a coat by the door. “You are to meet with the manager, Pops. The old man used to own the shop before Father bought it so be nice to him. Anyway, I will be home late,” She left, heading off to her job at her father’s corporate office. He was glad that she at least had successfully put her business degree to use managing payroll for her father’s several companies. Perhaps he would once again be able to climb the corporate ladder.
Conor watched as she left, admiring her retreating form. The door slamming woke him from his momentary trance, and he fixed his own breakfast. He knew many men would be envious to be married to an attractive woman with curves like hers, but if they knew what home life was like, they might not be so quick to trade places.
CHAPTER 2: Grizlhut
Conor walked the streets of Jinstain toward the Grizlhut. The town felt crowded with its tall modern glass buildings, massive multistory shopping malls, and row after row of towering apartment buildings with tiny two-bedroom homes.
The wealthy still managed to have a bit of grass around their homes but for the most part, Jinstain had grown faster than the city planners could keep up with.
While it was a long walk to the city center near the port where Mr. Cochan had his GrizlHut pizza shop, it was still faster than trying to drive in this traffic.
When Conor arrived at the GrizleHut on the east end of town, he paused just outside the door to smell the salty sea breeze. Instead of a pleasant sea smell, the pungent odor of dead fish from the nearby market filled his nose. He nearly gagged and quickly rushed inside to find Pops, the manager and former owner, scrubbing tables with an old rag.
“We’re closed, come back in an hour.”
“Um, sir, I’m supposed to s
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