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The Billionaire And the Banker

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Money doesn't always drive the world; sometimes, it brings everything to a halt. Magda Onassis and her two friends create a groundbreaking app that sends the banking world into a frenzy, making her a billionaire by twenty-six. Since her family cut her off financially at eighteen, she has longed for financial independence and to defy her haughty parents. During a presentation to the company that tested their app, Magda encounters Ares Winter, the CEO of Winter Financials International. Sparks fly between them. A notorious playboy, Ares pursues Magda with the intent of making her his next lover. He is captivated by her like no one else and will do whatever it takes to win her. Magda is torn between wondering if Ares is using her attraction as a negotiation tactic or if he genuinely reciprocates her feelings. No stranger to challenges, Magda's unsupportive family and unfortunate dating experiences make her highly suspicious of Ares' intentions. With her friends' encouragement, she prepares to face the man of her dreams head-on. As soon as Magda becomes a billionaire, her life turns chaotic. Tabloid reporters, angry family members, and a persistent suitor invade her once peaceful life of beaches and surfing. Additionally, Ares' past comes back to haunt them, putting Magda's life in danger when their relationship is exposed by the press. Time is running out when Magda mysteriously disappears. It's unclear if she left by choice or if the person Ares has kept locked away for fifteen years is involved. Urgency becomes paramount as Ares risks losing his first chance at true love. He will learn the hard way that not everything in life can be bought, regardless of wealth.

CHAPTER 1 Prologue

Magda felt the flush from the alcohol as she swayed to the music of the party.

When she’d accepted her scholarship to MIT, she had never envisioned she’d be at a huge party for Halloween with three new friends and being drunk underage. In school she’d never even had one best friend because she’d been the class nerd. She’d been valedictorian but the title hadn’t come with buddies. Now she had three best friends and a social life.

She’d had a crush on a boy all through high school and he’d finally told her he reciprocated her feelings and they’d planned on sleeping together for the first time on prom night. But her overbearing mother and her overprotective daddy had ruined it with a cheque two hours before prom.

But she was away from them. Her overzealous parents who thought her virtue was able to be preserved at a cost. She had been very shy but something about having your parents pay your boyfriend to go away had been the height of humiliation. Every one in her graduating class had known about it. He’d taken the cheque and had laughed all the way to the bank at her expense.

Now as she gyrated on the floor in her costume with her friends who had not only accepted her costume of choice but had all gone with her as creatures from Lord of The Rings, she was feeling accepted and appreciated by her peers.

Her parents might have picked out her college, her major and had insisted she take on a courseload which would bar her from having even the slightest of a social life but what they hadn’t counted on was her need to have even just one friend who understood her. She now had three and they were bumping and grinding with glee. Her mother would have had a conniption.

“Magda Onassis!”

She blinked as the sound of her mother’s voice penetrated her ear drum and she looked into the bottom of the empty solo cup. She was hallucinating. She stopped moving and lifted the cup to her ear and then looked back into it. “Mom?”

She looked to her friends and was strangely curious when it appeared they heard her too. “Um, I think there were drugs in my drink because I’m hearing my mom’s voice.” She whispered at Dimitra. The pretty brunette was making not-so-subtle slices across her neck as if warning her to stop speaking and then as the effects of the alcohol suddenly vanished, she felt her stomach drop to her feet. She turned slowly to see her mother standing not six feet away from her.

Lois Onassis was every bit the upper crust of the social echelon and as she stood furiously eyeballing her daughter with the same green eyes her daughter possessed, Magda considered for a brief moment she was being punked.

“Did someone come dressed as my mom?” she leaned sideways to Darya and whispered. Her sound echoed in the weird silence surrounding them and she cringed as the woman charged at her.

Darya’s whispered “oh sh*t” did not reassure her.

Her mother’s tight grip on her forearm dragging her from the party and through the house out into the parking lot was horrifying. She looked over her shoulder to see her three friends following at a respectable distance. Her mother couldn’t murder her with witnesses.

The woman was dragging her across campus by her arm, scolding her the entire time as if she were a toddler who had taken a cookie from the jar without permission.

“I gave you strict orders not to engage in this sort of partying with the riffraff, and where do I find you? Dressed like the village waif, drunk and rubbing your genitalia all over another girl’s bottom.”

She peered back at the girls who had snickered at her mother’s comment. As they approached the dorm, her mother held up her hand. “Where do you think you three are going?”

“I’m going to my room,” Sienna, her roommate whispered. “My feet hurt after dancing like a dwarf?” She pulled her beard off and gave Lois a wide smile, lifting her feet ensconced in work boots up for view. “They really ache.”

Lois huffed, “fine, you can come in but you two,” she pointed, glaring at Dimi and Darya as if they were poison, “should return to your own rooms before I call the Dean and let him know you were all underaged drinking. I’m sure he would make the call to your parents.”

“I’m sure he would,” Dimi nodded and backed up. As the woman marched forward keeping her hand tight on Magda’s arm, she mouthed to Magda, “call us!”

In their room Sienna immediately began taking her costume off and Lois shrieked. “Child! Do you have no sense of decorum? You do not strip in front of strangers!”

“It’s only Magda! We’ve been sharing a room for three full months. At this point, I’ve heard all of her bodily functions more than once, especially after the chicken catastrophe three weeks ago. She had to poo in that can right over there.”

Magda glared at her over her mother’s shoulder. Clearly the quietest of the bunch of them turned into a raging maniac when liquor was poured into her body in vast quantities. “Sienna!”

“You were sick? You didn’t call home to let me know?”

“Mom, the entire student body was sick. It was bad processed chicken.”

“Magda, you have a delicate constitution. Why were you eating processed chicken? Fish and rice and green leafy vegetables.” Her mother clutched the pearls hanging around her neck as if horrified Magda would put anything other than pre-approved sustenance into her body.

“Mom. I’m fine.” She frowned, “why are you here. Is daddy with you?”

“No. Your father had an important meeting to attend this weekend. I knew you were up to no good when I called you this morning so I boarded the first flight. There will be no more of this Magda!” she pointed at her wagging her finger frantically. “No drinking. No boys. No s*x. You are here to get your education so you can work at your father’s company with him and then you will return home.”

“No boys?” Sienna asked as she pulled a big hairy wig off her head and tossed it on the floor. “What about girls? Can she date girls?” As Lois rounded on her she held her hands up, “not me, Mrs. Onassis. I like boys. Well from a distance. Usually, they scare the sh*t out of me. Frightening creatures with their penises and testosterone.” She made wide wild eyes and shook her hands out. “No thank you. Girls are worse though. They’ll steal your soul for a nickel and a tickle.”

“Oh my god, Sienna, would you shut up!” Magda hissed at her as her friend and roommate fell backwards onto the bed groaning and kicking her legs in the air trying to remove the oversized pants she had on.

“We should order pizza. I bet Dimi would pay for it.” She looked to Lois, “her family is loaded. They send her so much money each month it’s sinful. If I had that kind of money, I’d be evil. I know I wouldn’t use it for good purposes. I’d have male hookers and blow every single day of my life.”

“Sienna!” Magda grabbed a pillow and threw it at her. “You are not helping.”

“I wasn’t trying to,” she whispered back. “I’m deflecting her anger off you onto me. Go with it. She can’t pull me out of college.”

“Magda, get into your pyjamas. We are going to bed.”

“We?” Magda blinked at her mother. The woman’s perfect complexion with nary a freckle was smooth and even despite the rage oozing off her. Magda considered the vast quantity of martinis were keeping her mother preserved like one of those fetal pigs in the bio lab.

“Yes, we. I will be staying here tonight to ensure you do not attempt any more foolish endeavors to sneak out to a party and engage in further underage drinking, dancing like whores,” her mother pronounced the ‘wh’ in whores like it was a whistle, “or whatever other debauchery your so-called friends are pulling you into. I raised you better. You are an Onassis and you forget the world is watching.”

“Can I just say –” Sienna interrupted.

“No!” both Magda and her mother spoke unanimously.

Lois continued, “Magda. I saw a copy of your test scores and one of them was quite low. A ninety-four!”

“That was the test you took while trying not to sh*t yourself from bad chicken!” Sienna giggled as she wriggled up into her bed and slipped under the sheets. She pulled out a chocolate bar wrapper and examined, “oh phooey. I was hoping there was still some in here.”

Lois ripped the foil away from the girl and tossed it in the bin. “This room is a pigsty. In the morning, you two are going to go through this room and clean it to my satisfaction. Is this understood?”

“Yes ma’am,” Magda nodded once as Sienna made a loud snoring sound. She quickly pulled a clean t-shirt and shorts on and turned back to face her mother who was watching Sienna like a deer in the headlights.

Her mother turned away from the young woman, wrinkling her nose in disgust. “Magda, you need to choose your friends more discerningly. I checked and she’s not as bright as you. Her GPA is a three-point-seven. Hardly enough to compete with the brain power you have.”

“Mom, she’s brilliant in her own field. It’s just hard when you have to take prerequisites which aren’t your favorites because its program dictated.”

“You make excuses for her.”

“It’s not an excuse if it’s factual,” she sighed and sat on the edge of the bed. “Why did you come here? Everyone is going to be making fun of me. I wanted to fit in and make friends and instead my mother just pulled me from a party. It’s humiliating.”

“Magda,” her mother shook her head, reaching an elegant finger out to tilt her head upwards. “I am here for you. You are so important and special and I never want anyone to take advantage of the kindness and gentle nature of your heart. You also don’t make great decisions. You once spent an entire summer dressed in purple thinking with your eye color and hair it would be attractive. The bathing suit made you appear like an eggplant.”

“Mother!” she frowned at her. “I was eight.”

“You were wrong and still too proud to admit it,” her mother corrected with a sneer before smiling softly. “I love you too much to let you devalue yourself or lower yourself to the levels of these girls who would trade their lives away on their looks. We,” she waved her fingers between them, “we will never be the most beautiful women in the room but we can be the smartest. The women in our family are handsome women who rely on their brains. If you start messing up now, you will end up like your cousin Jasper.”

“What’s wrong with Jasper?” Magda blinked at her mother.

“Can you believe she’s going to be a kindergarten teacher?”

This was news to her and while she saw no issue herself with the girl pursuing her own dreams of working with snotty nosed kids, her family would be horrified. “All it took was one little photograph to circulate and she was no longer class president, her grades slipped and she is the laughingstock of our family. Do not be a Jasper Magda.”

“Mom, going to a Halloween party dressed as a hobbit isn’t going to send me on the wicked path of kindergarten teaching.” She tried not to roll her eyes. Her family full of scientists and engineers were snobby at best.

Her mother tapped her cheek warningly, “Magda. I am here to protect you and to warn you. If you fail to maintain the standards of our family and abide by the rules your father and I set for you, then you will come home. We will pull all your funding. You will lose your trust fund. You will not be permitted to stay here in Boston in the program you preferred over the others we selected for you. You are just barely eighteen. Hardly old enough to make decisions which will impact the rest of your life. Do not make me take you home and have you finish your entire program online under my constant supervision. Am I clear?”

“Yes ma’am,” she looked to the floor fighting the angriness she was feeling.

“Good. I missed an entire day of work in the lab today to come make sure you were safe. Scoot over. I want to cuddle my little darling and know you are okay.”

“Don’t you want something to change into?” Magda looked at her mother’s pencil skirt, tweed coat and white blouse.

“No. If I have to get up in the night to chase you down the hall, I won’t be doing it in shorts with the letters MIT emblazoned on my buttocks.”

In spite of herself she giggled as she nestled up in her mom’s open arms, resting her head on her shoulder. “Mom, at some point, you need to stop being so overprotective.”

“We can talk about it on your thirtieth birthday.” Her mom kissed her forehead. “You and your father are all I have in this world and I will do everything in my power to make sure you are safe and ready to take over the family business when it’s time.”

She wanted to rage at her mother and ask why she had to take over her father’s business when it was not what she wanted but instead, with the alcohol still buzzing low in her system, she closed her eyes and let her mother’s stroking of her hair, put her to sleep.

CHAPTER 2: The Presentation

“So, you see, Mr. Winter,” Dimitra continued, “the app will allow you to take electronic transferring of funds one step further. The beta testing confirmed it’s reliability. We’ve worked out all the bugs and kinks. Since your local bank was kind enough to let us beta test, we thought we would give you first kick at the can in terms of an offer.”

Magda stared at the computer screen in front of her, as Dimi finished the presentation. The minute she had walked in and met Ares Winter in person, she had felt like a bug on a microscope. He had been staring at her hard and his questions, while directed at the group of them, felt as if he were speaking to her and her alone.

Magda wasn’t the strong confident type. Having parents who had sheltered her most of her life and a childhood of engaging in activities which could be performed solo, like swimming and surfing, her social skills were limited. Dimi was assertive, outgoing, and bold while Darya was wicked and sinful. She rounde

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