Home > The Spanish Tycoon's Temptress

The Spanish Tycoon's Temptress
Author: Elizabeth Lennox

Elizabeth Lennox - The Spanish Tycoon's Temptress

The Spanish Tycoon's Temptress
Elizabeth Lennox



Chapter 1

Gaston Montebello walked into the office, absently noting the general sense of disrepair and the absence of an efficient staff moving about the hallways. The old man was probably desperate by now which was exactly what Gaston had planned.

He walked into Rufus Catelano’s office without knocking which was simple since his assistant wasn’t in her place outside.

The old man looked up as soon as the door banged open, furious at the interruption. “What the hell are you doing here?” Rufus demanded gruffly, his grey, bushy eyebrows drawing together in anger at the arrogance of his uninvited guest.

Gaston unbuttoned his dark jacket before taking a seat in one of the green plastic chairs in front of the large, heavy desk. “You know exactly what I’m doing here.” He paused for emphasis and also to make the other man squirm for a moment. “I want it back, Rufus.” Gaston stared hard at the old man, hiding his fury and impatience. “You’ve lost about forty percent of your empire fighting this war. And I will make sure that there is nothing left if you don’t give me what I want.”

Rufus leaned back in his leather chair, satisfaction smoothing out the anger. Despite his hatred of the younger man, Rufus had to admit that Gaston was a prime specimen of masculinity with his height well over six feet tall and every bit of him packed with hard, bulging muscles, a fact of which Rufus silently admitted he was jealous. Rufus supposed that most women would consider Gaston Montebello a handsome man with his black hair and dark, intense eyes, not to mention the angular face that, in most circles, women thought were sexy and mysterious. Not in Rufus’ circles, but the gossip columns certainly enjoyed following this man’s activities.

There was no denying that Gaston Montebello was ruthless in business. He’d never have amassed such an enormous fortune and controlled such a huge empire if that weren’t the case. Rufus hated this man with every fiber of his being, but he accepted that there must be some redeeming qualities if his tender hearted daughter had fallen in love with him. And he suspected that she was still pining for the bastard! A fact which continually ate at him but had also led up to this confrontation.

He hated to admit it, but if Gaston was what his daughter wanted, even after all these years, he would help her get him back. Not that he would ever admit to his part in their original breakup. No, that secret Rufus would take to the grave!

With a hot sense of satisfaction, Rufus leaned back in his creaking chair, lacing his hands over his protruding stomach. Gaston had finally come. It had been a hard struggle to get him here, a painful, deliberate chess game played out in financial markets and corporate boardrooms, but Rufus had finally won. The end was in sight and all would be well with his precious daughter Elana if he played this situation correctly. He leaned back in his leather chair, ignoring the squeak that needed to be fixed as he continued to glare at the younger man. “You think you can push me into a corner and I’ll roll over and weep, but that’s simply not going to happen.”

Gaston raised a sardonic eyebrow. “You have almost no resources left that you can sell off, your companies are losing contracts almost daily and your own house is so heavily mortgaged even the banks are going to start calling in the loans. What do you have left? Just give me what I want and I’ll make it all stop.”

Rufus chuckled, the sound echoing his Gaelic ancestry and coming across as both arrogant and amused, fully in charge despite strong evidence denying that possibility. “You don’t understand me very well, do you?” He lifted the cigar to his mouth and inhaled deeply, filling his lungs with the pungent smoke before releasing it into the air.

Gaston ignored the smoke despite the way it temporarily obliterated his view of the man. Thankfully, the scent was almost pleasant if it weren’t for the fact that the particles were carcinogens that would eventually kill the older man. “I understand that you’re a lying thief and an old man who is losing his grip on an empire that meant so much to him once upon a time,” Gaston said with disgust. He hid his rage, his fury and distaste for this man as much as possible.

“You don’t know what I prize.” Rufus laughed softly, squinting at the younger man to keep himself from chortling with victory. He was so close, he could almost taste success now.

Gaston was impatient with this farce. “Okay, let’s have it. You know what I want. Tell me your terms and I’ll have the money in your account by this afternoon.”

Rufus shook his head, smirking. “I don’t want your money.”

Gaston waited, but when the man only sat there smiling, he shook his head. “Explain your terms. I don’t have time for your ridiculous games.”

This is exactly where Rufus wanted the younger man to be. Now he had him. All his dreams would finally be realized. “If I give you what you want, you have to give me what I want.”

“Just name your price, old man.”

Rufus chuckled softly. “I want my daughter married.”

Gaston froze, his stomach clenching with renewed fury but he hid his reaction, not wanting to give his nemesis any power. Even the knowledge that his daughter would marry eventually seared his brain with rage. “Fine,” he replied stiffly. “Get her married.”

Rufus paused, enjoying the tension, reveling in it. Finally, he said the words that would infuriate the younger man even further. “To you.”

Gaston stopped breathing for a long moment. He was still, his body absorbing the impact of those words. “Impossible,” Gaston snapped. If he never saw that woman again it would be perfectly fine.

Rufus shrugged his shoulders, pretending the younger man’s response was unimportant. “Then you’ll never see the book again. I won’t live forever and in my will, I have instructions to have the book destroyed.” He paused to let those words sink in before he said, “Although I might grow impatient with the expense of hiding the book from you. You have massive resources and, over the years, your investigators have caused me a great many problems. I have had to work hard to keep one or two steps ahead of them. Perhaps I should just destroy the damn thing now and be done with it.”

Gaston shoved out of the seat, not even aware that it fell backwards with the force of his fury. “If you do that, I will make sure that everything you own will be destroyed, including your precious, faithless daughter!”

Rufus wasn’t impressed by the man’s threat. “All you have to do is convince Elana to marry you and the book is yours. Free and clear.”

“You’re out of your mind! I wouldn’t touch your daughter! You know the history! You yourself showed me the evidence of her betrayal.”

Rufus still had some pride left and knew he didn’t want to admit all of his errors to this powerful man. He shrugged once again. “Elana is a very smart woman. If you can’t keep her faithful to you, then you don’t deserve her.”

Gaston fisted his hands at his side to keep himself from throttling the older man. “Trust is two sided. She broke my trust.” He paused to try and regain his composure. “This is all beside the point. I want the book and it has nothing to do with your daughter.”

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