Authors: Meredith Clarke
Tags: #Paranormal, #Contemporary, #Fiction, #Romance, #Forever Love, #Adult, #Erotic, #Bear Shifter, #Chosen Mate, #Romantic Suspense, #Supernatural, #Protection, #Bachelor, #Single Woman, #Sarkozy Brothers, #Trust Fund, #Millions, #Pro-Bono Law Firm, #Charade, #Identity, #Benefactor
for the BEAR
(SARKOZY Brothers #2)
An Heiress for the Bear (Sarkozy Brothers #2)
Published By Pia Milan
Copyright © 2015 Pia Milan
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places or events are entirely the work of the author. Any resemblance to actual persons, events, or places is entirely coincidental.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. Please purchase only authorized editions and do not participate in piracy of copyrighted materials.
Cover art by MH Silver
KATRIONA BRANDON SLAMMED THE SMALL box down onto the counter so hard that she winced as her wrist twinged from the impact.
"Kat?" Carson shuffled into the kitchen, pushing her unruly black hair from her face. "What's wrong?" Her voice was husky from sleep.
Kat's heart-broken friend Carson Grant had been doing way too much sleeping since her return from the Klamath Mountains. Breakups sucked all round, even for the people watching from the sideline.
Kat felt a ripple of guilt run through her. As yet, she hadn't revealed to Carson that Aleksander & Lukas Pro Bono were actually Aleksander and Lukas Sarkozy Pro Bono.
She'd encouraged Carson to pursue a relationship with Marek, thinking he'd be good for her, but as it turned out, Sarkozy men weren't to be trusted.
"Sorry." Kat winced and gave her friend a rueful smile. "I'm sorry I woke you."
"Well, I'm awake now. So spill," Carson grumbled as she padded to the kitchen in her fluffy bed slippers to pour coffee into her silly mug. The misshapen mug bore the wise words of "Keep Calm and Sing a Song
and it looked like Carson had begun to take that very advice.
Carson slid the decanter back into the coffee machine and glared at Kat, rapping her nails over the countertop.
"Okay, Miss Grumpy Pants." Kat lifted a finger and shoved the rectangular black box towards her.
Kat retracted the finger and used it to tuck a lock of her silky red hair behind her ear. Unlike Carson's clear complexion, Kat had been cursed with freckles, and only a good dousing of concealer hid the spots from the world. Her crowning feature, according to her step-mother Brianna, was her pale, silvery-blue eye color, which had been a sore point in itself, given that she'd inherited those gorgeous silvers from her late mother.
Kat's mother Rachel Brandon had come from money. More money than her father H. Carter, Jr. and his entire family could dream of. Kat had known that one day her mother's fortune would come to her and her brother Wolf, and now, she watched as Carson caught the velvet box just before it skidded off the edge.
"Geez, woman. It says freaking Tiffany's on the box and you treat it like that?"
Kat rolled her eyes. "It's worse than Tiffany's. Trust me." She waited as Carson set her mug down and lifted the lid off the box. Carson's dark head remained bowed as she paused and stared down at the folded piece of paper. It fit perfectly, folded neatly in half, the crease smooth and tight, as if someone had run their fingernail along the folded edge.
"It's not from Tiffany's. That's just a box he used to keep it in." Kat's fingers tightened into fists.
Carson glanced up, her bright blue eyes wide. She pointed a finger at the letterhead. "Is that gold?" she asked, her voice less husky, more aware now that she sensed something big was about to be revealed.
When Kat didn't answer, Carson reluctantly lifted the letter and flicked it open. Her eyes moved left to right, speeding through the missive before she set it down carefully and took a step away, as if it was entirely capable of springing up and chomping on her with very sharp teeth.
Kat had felt the same way when she'd read that damned letter.
Carson let out a breath. "Holy shit."
"Do you know what this means?" Carson's voice hit a pitch that was a little too high.
"You're a bajillionaire."
Carson narrowed her eyes at Kat. "Can't you manage more than just 'Yup'?"
Kat ignored the question and waved a hand at the box. "There's more."
Carson moved gingerly to the box and lifted the navy blue silk fabric to reveal the object beneath.
"Holy shit." Carson struggled to shift her gaze from the box to Kat's face. "Do you know what that is?"
Carson let out a breath and stepped closer only long enough to grab her mug off the counter. After a sip, and an extended length of silence, she said, "What are you planning to do?"
Kat sighed and reached for the box, pulling it closer. "This was part of my great grandmother Katerina's dowry. She was a Prussian princess, and this was a family heirloom." Kat gave a soft sigh and lifted the necklace of diamonds from its silk bed. She held it up to the light, watching the morning sunshine sparkle within the facets of the multitude of jewels. "Every single individual diamond on this is worth more than ten thousand dollars. Altogether, this piece could sell for eight, maybe ten million dollars."
Her voice had shifted to a lower volume, her last words petering away into silence.
"Why did he give it to you?" asked Carson, only now brave enough to move closer to study the choker.
Kat shook her head. "I'm the oldest granddaughter. It was my great-grandmother's wish that the necklace pass down through the women of the family. Since my mother died, he's held it for safe-keeping until I came of age."
"I think your age pretty much came and went." Carson lifted an eyebrow, her mind so focused on the necklace and Kat's new status as a bajillionaire that she'd forgotten her heart troubles.
Kat smiled. "I refused to take it. There were too many strings attached to it. But he did tell say I'd never be able to hide from my heritage." Kat sighed and laid the necklace back onto the satin. "He's just proved to me that he's right."
"He's dead, Kat. He's got no hold over you any longer."
Kat pursed her lips. "He does. I've inherited most of his money, Carson. He... It's so out of character that it frightens me."
Carson was pale. She'd read the letter too, and as Kat stared at the gold lettering, with its twenty-four-carat gold-embossed family stationery, she felt the chains begin to wind themselves around her again.
"I swore I'd have nothing to do with their money."
"It's now your money."
"I don't want it."
"Not like you can give it back to him." Carson sipped her coffee primly, as if the sight of the necklace had stolen her ability to slurp.
Kat lifted a shoulder. "He gave eighty percent of his wealth to the one grandchild who didn't want it. Franklin and Regina may want a share."
Her cousins were both money-hungry users. She was in for trouble from the two of them.
Carson snorted. "You've told me enough about them for me to know they won't leave this alone. So what are you going to do?"
Kat sucked in a breath. "Well, they don't know where I am. I never told them where I worked. Only old Constantine. And he won't tell a soul."
"That's not even funny." Carson glared at her, then took a slow sip of her coffee. "You heard of the internet? They can Google you, woman. And what about that brother of yours?"
Letting out a ragged laugh, Kat said, "Wolf won't tell. He hates them as much as I do. And he got most of the remaining twenty percent too. So his ass is also on the line."
"Where is he right now?"
"Climbing Everest, I think." At that moment, Wolfgang Brandon-Carter was probably hanging off an icy precipice, daring death to take him.
"Does anyone in your family do anything by halves?"
"Apparently not," said Kat, staring at the shimmering diamonds.
"So, you have all this money. What are you going to do with it?" Carson was watching her, probably waiting to see if Kat was going to go into hysterics.
But Kat smiled. "I'll have to think about it. But whatever it is, it will be something that the late Constantine Brandon would abhor."
LUKAS SARKOZY SET HIS MOBILE phone on his desk and stared off into space. His mind had been so focused on his cousin Marek's near miss with The Legion that he'd paid little attention to the developments within the company.
Offering free legal representation was one thing, providing additional support to the abused women who came to them was another thing entirely. They needed money to run their operation, and it seemed that their comfortable ride was well and truly over.
"Everything is prepared for Friday night. I've sent out all the invitations and we've already received almost ninety percent acceptance." Alana Franc was pacing the wood floor, arms folded, tapping one manicured finger on her arm. Her dark beauty was startling, and he'd often wondered why he'd never found her attractive. A distant cousin, and a bear shifter too, Alana knew as well as Lukas that their family line was dying out.
She'd made it clear that their legal relationship could be more if he wanted it.
Right now, she was glaring at him, waiting for an answer.