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Adelaide is a farm girl who will do anything to save her family farm. When Paxton West comes to foreclose the home he offers Adelaide a deal she couldn't refuse, her for the farm. Will Adelaide lose her heart in The Deal too? Would she learn to love and embrace the cold, wealthy businessman who always irritates her and leave her dumbfounded after saying he likes her? Or can she stay in a relationship after she learned that Paxton West just use her for his business and his family to avoid them after repeatedly forcing him to find a wife and have kids to settle down with.
I hear the purr of an engine coming up the driveway as I'm washing Duke; my two year old black lab. Actually, he's not all mine, I have to share him with my three older brothers. Its easy to restrain Duke from running over to the person in the Land Rover.
Duke loves his bath more than he loves people.
I watch as Paxton West exits his expensive vehicle and turn towards me. What the hell is he doing here?
He looks so out of place in his grey Italian suit standing in front of our modest ranch style home. I wait for him to turn around to go towards the house, but he stares at me until my father comes out from the barn and walks purposefully towards him.
I start rubbing the shampoo into Duke's fur. Why would my father have to meet with that man?
Paxton West is known to be a ruthless in business at the young age of 29, that's six years older than me, which is impressive. Paxton West's name keeps the gossips of this town's tongues wagging. From what has been said I've gathered he takes what he wants and doesn't have much regard for anyone or anything.
Handsome and rich; he's the most sought after man in the county, hell, probably the state. I know most of the women in town swoon over him. I get it, he's good looking and wealthy but his steel grey eyes are ice cold. I don't get how women find that attractive.
He looks very calculating. As if he's always plotting or planning to destroying something or someone likely both.
I finish washing Duke and towel dry him. I hold on to him until we get into the house; I know if I let him go he'll roll in the dirt, just to get another bath.
I release his collar and walk to the back of the house to the kitchen. I smell my mother's chilli shimmering on the stove and my stomach growls.
"Need help?" I ask, going to the refrigerator pulling out a coke.
"No, it's all set now. Just waiting on the cornbread." She replies, tiredly.
"Where are the boys?"
"Trevor and Brent are with your father and Mr. West in the study." She states, annoyed with my questions.
Trevor, Brent and I still live at home and help with the farm. Liam lives with his wife Ashley in a house on the property, but a few miles down the lane. Liam never had any interest in farming.
He got his degree in accounting and went to work at a law firm just outside of town. Trevor will be the next to move out. He started building his house on the property my father owns as well. It's almost complete but Trevor is a perfectionist, the wood
work alone has taken him months. After the floors are strained and walls painted, he'll be gone.
"You need to change, Addie. You're as wet as Duke and you smell like him too." I hear ma complain and roll my eyes.
My mother and I couldn't be further apart, in looks and personality. My brothers were lucky enough to look like her; auburn hair that shines, deep brown eyes and an olive complexion that I'd kill for. She's really is gorgeous.
I, of course, would get all my traits from my father; golden hair, blue eyes, and skin so light I burn to a crisp if I'm not careful. Everyone makes fun of the fact that all my brothers look like my beautiful
mother, but me, the last born, looks like a dead ringer for my manly father.
I don't mind too much though, I'm used to it.
I walk out of the kitchen and head to my room. Passing my father's study I hear arguing and something slam on the desk.
I'm about to go in when I hear Trevor yell, "You have to give us more time! We can get you the money. We can't lose the farm, it's all we have!"
I back away from the door in shock. Lose the farm. Where would we go? Why didn't they tell me about this?
I'm a part of this family too; this farm is as much my life as it is their's! Pissed off, I enter the room without knocking and everyone turns to me.
"What the hell is going on in here?" I question the four men in the room.
I don't care who answers me. I glance at my father who looks down at his desk. I look to Trevor and Brent and they are both studying their boots. I chose to ignore the man about to make me is homeless and glare at my father.
"Well?" I ask again. Finally, Pa looks up and I see the stress around the eyes that mirror mine.
"Relax, Honey. Everything is fine." he states, trying to smile. I see the tension around his mouth and roll my eyes.
I scoff at his attempt to sound normal. "Don't you dare lie to me." I demand, my hands automatically going to my hips.
With a deep sigh and shoulders slumped, he explains. "We're losing the farm. We haven't met the payments and the bank is foreclosing by the end of next week if we can't get the money to pay it off."
I turn to Paxton West, I know he's rich. I know he owns must of our town and many neighboring ones as well. However, I had no idea he owned a bank as well.
"You're the bank I take it?"
He seems shocked that I asked, but quickly recovers. "Yes," he replies.
"How much?" I ask.
"1.5 million," he answers, without batting an eyelash. Holy shit! I think about the new barns and fencing that needs to be done.
A few years ago we took money against the house for new farming equipment, I just didn't think it was this much. We're done for, there's no way. We've lost everything.
"Why did you leave me in the dark? I have just as much to lose as they do," I say, pointing to Trevor and Brent.
"I didn't want to worry you or your mother." Father responds, sadly.
"Ma doesn't know either? What the hell! How is that going to help?" I question, outraged.
"Watch your mouth, Adelaide," he scolds.
I ignore him. "So, what's the plan?" I ask.
"There is no plan, we're screwed," Trevor replies, standing with his arms crossed and a scowl on his face.
"We'll think of something," I reply, quietly.
"In two weeks? What are you going to do? Work the corner?" He questions, mockingly. Effectively breaking the tension in the room.
"Yeah, obviously." I say, in a 'duh' tone of voice. Making Trevor crack a smile and Brent laugh.
"I'll work the corner too; everyone knows I'm the prettiest," Brent offers seriously, while tossing his non-existent hair.
I laugh. "You'll do better than Trevor; he's already slept with all the girls in Marquette." I tease.
"Oh, please. I've covered more territory then that," Trevor brags.
I gag. "Gross. So, it's up to Brent and me," I say, high fiving him.
"It's in the bag," Brent agrees smiling sadly.
"In my experience women don't like their men prettier than they are." Trevor teases, an on going family joke.
Brent is handsome, but his long dark eyelashes that woman just fall over themselves for.
I tap my chin. "Only a man-whore would know. But you're right. Trevor your back in and Brents getting benched." I say, crossing my arms.
"Its not like you're going to make much money either. You won't even know what you're doing." Trevor pointes out.
I shrug. "I'Il do my research." I say, defensively. "It can't be that hard if this moron can do it." I say, pointing to Brent.
Pa sighs tiredly. "Thank you for coming Mr. West, but as you can see I need to talk sense into my kids and come up with a lot of money." My father says, standing.
"Mr. Pickett," Paxton West, replies with a nod and stands as well.
"Wait, I have an idea. West can have Adelaide. We'll sell her cheap. Only 1.5 mill and she cooks and cleans." Brent offers, trying to sweeten the pot.
I slap the back of his head. "You know you'd miss me. Who else will bake you chocolate cake on your birthday?" I ask.
"Freeman's grocery store has a bakery," he replies, in the same 'duh' tone I used earlier.
"Mine's better," I respond smugly.
"Not worth 1.5 mill. Sorry, Addey." He replies, shaking his head.
"Fine. I know when I'm not wanted. I'll go pack my things." I turn to leave, wiping away fake tears.
I open the door and I hear Ma calling down the hall.
"Dinner is ready. Mr. West, would you like to stay for dinner?" Oh, hell no.
"No, Ma. He's leaving!" I yell, not really caring how rude I sound.
"What? I thought we had a deal?" He asks quietly, looking me over from head to toe.
"I'd sooner sleep with a rattlesnake; even if they're just as cold blooded," I answer, glaring at him.
"Ouch. Good one, A." Trevor says, passing us to walk to the kitchen. Pa follows and so does Brent.
"Show Mr. West out. Its your punishment for being so rude." Pa scolds, as he walks by.
I narrow my eyes at the snake standing in of me and walk to the front door with him hot on my heels. I jerk the door wide open, waiting for him to walk by. He doesn't. I look over to him and he's watching me like I'm his prey.
"What? Don't know how to walk through a door? Get out." I order.
"I have a proposition for you." I don't say anything but I raise an eyebrow at his tone of voice.
"I like Brent's proposal, you for the farm. You have until this Friday before I start the paper work on
the foreclosure, to decide."
My mouth drops. "Me for the farm? Are you serious?" I ask, confused and in total disbelief.
"So I'd work the debt off with you? Like cooking, cleaning and yard work?" I ask, confused.
"Hell no. You wouldn't have to work." He says, in outrage. My confusion intensifies.
"Marry me and you'll save the family farm and your brothers homes."
After I get over the shock. I shake my head, to clear my murderous thoughts. "I'm not a whore." I point out, my blood boiling.
"I know. I think we established that in your father's office. You're still a virgin?" he asks, but by his smirk he knows he doesn't need to ask.
He's so tall I have to crane my head back to look up at him as he steps closer.
"I'm glad you know. I guess I'll let you leave with your balls still attached." I reply, snidely.
"It doesn't change the proposition. Think about it and come see me when you decide. Remember you have until Friday," he reminds me, taking out his card from the inside pocket of his jacket.
He tries to hand it to me but I don't take it. I won't need it. I'd never marry someone like him. "Take it," he orders.
"I won't need it. Goodbye, Mr. West," I say, nodding toward his car.
He grabs my hand and places his card in my palm, then closes my hands around it. He leans in and whispers in my ear, "You'll need it if you want to save your family from losing everything."
He states, unapologetically.
I back up and he smiles as he walks through the door. Asshole, I think watching him leave. What is he, like, 6' 5? I hate tall people; they think they can just walk all over you. I'm 5' 4 so I know all about it.
I finally snap out of it when I hear Pa call for me.
As I lay in bed I think about dinner. Pa, told all of us the whole story about how he got in over his head with the bank. He thought this year he could pull us out of it, but spring brought a flood that wiped out a lot of our crops; leaving us with a bigger hole to fill.
I just don't know what to do. I would never consider Paxton's proposition, but seeing my family suffer is not something I want to go through, especially if I can fix it. I can hear my parents yelling at one another down the hall. I don't know what they're
saying, but it doesn't sound good.
I must have dozed off because about an hour later I'm startled by a bump, Pa is cussing and telling Ma not to leave. I sit up in bed, pulling the blanket off my body when I hear my mother's car start.
She can't be leaving.
I run to the window and look out. My mother is driving away and my father is standing with his
head in his has, completely defeated. I
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