Bought For Love by Michelle Hughes - First Chapter and Book Links!!

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Chapter One

“This shit right here! It’s just what I’ve been talking about. People don’t respect anything these days.”

Kim was already on a rampage and I hadn’t even had my morning coffee yet. I wondered what was making her mad at the world today. It was going to have to wait until I poured my first cup. Last night I’d barely slept worrying about our financial situation. I loved my older sister, but she got angry at the stupidest things. Sitting down at the worn kitchen table, my warm cup held protectively in my hands, I took a deep sip.

Kim was shaking her head and gritting her teeth as she continued to read through some article on her outdated laptop. “Can you believe the nerve of his asshole? He thinks he can just buy women like cars or something!”

Okay. That caught my attention. A man was buying women. Was that even allowed in today’s society? “That can’t be legal.” I’d regret getting into this conversation, but the topic was too interesting to not ask.

You have to understand my sister. She works at a homeless shelter making minimum wage and seeing the things she has, well it made her bitter toward the world’s upper one percent. Her resentment was for the people living in the shelters, but we were on the brink of poverty ourselves. I guess it was selfish but I worried about us instead.

“Of course it’s legal if you’re a billionaire. Hell, they get away with raping people and serving out probation instead of jail time because it might not be good for them”. 
She was still angry, and rightly so, at that heir that supposedly got away with raping his daughter. I had trouble sleeping at night after finding out the truth behind that story. Unlike Kim though, I knew there was nothing I could do about the situation and focused on keeping our rent paid.
“The bastard even states he wants an inexperienced woman that he can mold into becoming his perfect partner! Basically, he wants some virgin who won’t know how bad he sucks in bed so he can make her his personal love slave. Fucking asshole.” She turned the computer toward me, and my breath caught in my throat.

The man was unbelievably gorgeous. As in stepped right off the big screen handsome. Dark brown hair, cut just above the collar on his button down. Deep blue eyes that almost matched his jacket, and that dimple in his chin? I wondered why he had to buy anyone. He could probably charm a girl just by giving her a smile.

“Just goes to show, you can’t judge a guy by looks. You’d think he’d have some class. But no, he’s no different than some of the pimps you see hustling girls on the street.” Kim turned the laptop back and I almost sighed.

You definitely didn’t see men that looked like that in our neighborhood. Not that I was paying attention. When I walked home from the library or my part time job I was more worried about getting mugged than caring what the person next to me looked like. Since neither of us owned a car, public transportation was our only travel option. Lately the transit system had gotten even worse than before. Muggings were not only possible but likely.

“What’s he offering the woman?” I drank another sip of my coffee, and wondered what it would be like to belong to a man like him. No worrying about bills, or groceries, just living the good life.

“Get this shit. A long-term relationship with monetary value to be discussed at the interview.” Kim scoffed before closing the lid on her computer. “I hope someone kicks his ass.” She stood up and put her used coffee cup in the sink. “I’m staying over at the shelter tonight. You want to come hang out?”
Just like that her mind was on work. I guess I should’ve been thankful that she had a job to do. When she went off on one of her rampages, they could sometimes last for hours. “Actually, I was hoping you’d leave the computer with me so I could look for another job. They’re cutting my hours at the store again and I need something better.”

I worked at a little convenience store at the end of the block. Besides being dangerous, I really needed forty hours or more if we were going to eat something more than sandwiches next month.
“This damn economy is killing us all. Of course I’ll leave it. Just remember to check out the bus situation on any jobs you apply for.” She bent down and kissed my cheek.
“Yes, Mom.” I smiled at the familiarity of the situation. Kim was ten years older than me and had been my mother since our own passed away five years back. I was a freshman in high school when my mom had been hit by a drunk driver, changing our lives forever. I owed her so much for stepping up to the plate.

“I wish I had her skills. Need to run, baby girl, you get freaked out just walk on down.”
I nodded and watched her walk out the door. The shelter was only a few blocks from our apartment, but I hated walking the streets at night. I also didn’t like hanging out here without her after a few shootings happened last month in our building that shook me up.

I pulled the laptop over to my side of the table and opened it up. The gorgeous billionaire guy was staring back at me. Jack Duncan, I let his name roll off my lips and wondered how someone with such an average name managed to acquire two point five billion dollars
Parents both deceased now, and he was the youngest of four children. I admit it, I was curious so I continued reading. Thirty years old, okay that was almost ancient, but he definitely didn’t look a day over twenty-five. Good genes? The article went into detail about his business which had something to do with buying and selling companies. I grew a little bored as the details got away from the personal and into his companies stock market portfolio. He was looking for a companion not a stock broker so why did it matter?

I wondered again what it would be like to have a life of luxury. There was a link at the end of the post for applicants, and for grins I decided to click on it. An application appeared and knowing that Mr. Billionaire would never be interested in a girl like me, I decided to fill it out.

Some of the information was really personal and my fingers faltered on the keyboard. Breast size? Could you really ask that on application? I wasn’t sure I wanted to put that information out on the web, even though it said the page was encrypted. Deciding it was just a joke anyway I typed in 32 C. My small frame was heavily stacked in that area, and believe me, it was not a good thing.
I had no idea what my waist size was, but I wore a zero, so I typed that in. I’d tried to gain weight all my life, but unfortunately it just didn’t happen. My sister always griped about that, because she fought with hers all the time. I didn’t want to be that thin. Getting nagged all the time about eating more was a pain in the butt.

I almost died laughing when the interview question asked about my dating preferences. Since I’d never been on a date, I decided to come up with what I thought would be a perfect romantic evening. Taking a dinner cruise on a yacht from the New York Harbor. If you’re going to dream, dream big, right?

I finished up the application and added the only picture I had of me in somewhat formal wear. It was from a wedding I attended with my sister for one of the owners of the homeless shelter. It was only a year old and I hadn’t changed that much.

I’d worn a second-hand formal dress we’d found in a thrift store. My sister had piled up my long chestnut hair in a flip and even fixed my makeup that day. I wasn’t big on dressing up, but I didn’t look half bad in that picture. Sending off the application, I decided it was time to step back into reality and started looking for a job.

Two hours later I was ready to scream in frustration. Even minimum wage jobs were impossible to find lately. Taking a break from my search, I walked over to the refrigerator and pulled out all the fixings for a sandwich. Guess we were going to be living on those next month, because I didn’t see some miracle job dropping out of the sky to save us.

I fixed my simple meal, ate quickly and decided a hot shower might make me feel better. Walking back to the bathroom I stripped quickly and waited for the water to heat up. It managed to get lukewarm, which was better than some of the icy cold ones I was forced to take.
Knowing I didn’t have long before another icy blast, I washed quickly. I wasn’t a violent person by nature, but our landlord deserved a swift kick in the butt. There was no reason to have such a limited hot water supply!

Finishing up in the bathroom, I dried my thick locks and managed to pull on a tank top and a pair of shorts before the phone started ringing. Walking into the living room I answered, thinking it was probably just my sister extending another invite to come stay with her tonight.

“Ms. Yates?” A refined woman’s voice spoke.
“Um, I’m Emily, can I help you?” I didn’t know if the call was for me or Kim.
“I’m a representative for Mr. Jack Duncan. He’s looked over your application and would like to set up an interview.”

Holy crap! I’d done that whole thing as a joke, never thinking the man would be interested. “An interview?” I’m sure my answer made me seem like an idiot, but I was seriously blown away.
“Yes. It’s just an informal meeting and shouldn’t take up more than an hour of your time. How does today at three sound?”
“Today at three. I’m not doing anything this afternoon.” Those words were supposed to be said in my head no out loud.
“Wonderful. He’ll send a car for you. Thank you for your time.” The caller hung up before I could catch my breath.
Holy crap, holy crap, holy crap. What was I going to do? There was no way I could go meet some billionaire, no matter how hot he looked in a photo. Not to mention, I wouldn’t know what to say to the guy and I sure wasn’t interested in becoming some high priced call girl. Nope. No way in hell I was going to meet with him. What would my sister say? Okay, she didn’t exactly have to find out, but still. No! Normal people didn’t drive off to meet some strange man, even if he was gorgeous, knowing that he was looking for some hookup.

What if he wasn’t looking for sex, though? Maybe he was just lonely. I knew a lot about being lonely. I didn’t really have any friends here and outside of my job and sister my social life was pretty non-existent. What would it hurt to just talk to the guy? I mean honestly, how often does a person like me get to meet someone that interesting?

Kim was going to kill me. I really wasn’t considering going. Just because I walked back to my closet and started throwing outfits on the bed, didn’t mean I was thinking about doing this. So what if walked into her room and rummaged through her makeup, hoping I didn’t look like a clown as I fixed my face?

Everyone’s entitled to getting dressed up once in a while. I slid on the only presentable dress I had, another find at the thrift store, and paired up the white cotton garment with a light pink jacket. Standing in my bedroom, looking at myself in the cracked full length mirror, I could pass for decent.

Sliding on a pair of white Mary Janes, I looked ready to go to church instead of possibly going to meet some man interested in a date. I didn’t have a clue what to do with my hair, so I just left it hanging down my back after I brushed it until the thick locks fell in a curtain. The excitement was something I hadn’t felt since I graduated high school, and there were even butterflies in my stomach. Walking down to the curb, I still wasn’t sure I would go through with it. Not until a driver walked around to the back passenger door, and I slid into the softest leather seats imaginable did I really make up my mind.


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