Authors: Kylie Knight
© Copyright 2016 by (Kylie Knight) - All rights reserved.
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Sheikh’s Surprise Baby
Billionaire Bachelors Club
By: Kylie Knight
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There was no way to really process the flood of thoughts going through Sasha’s mind when she looked down at the black binder—fifty pages full of details about her baby, Mason Technologies, and all the reasons that Infinity Investments had for wanting to purchase it. For a cool two million dollars on top of its net worth.
That was a lot of vacations.
That was a lot of opportunity for limitless adventures.
That was a lot of philanthropic work that could help endless people.
Every reason to say “yes” was screaming out in her mind, but she just could not do it. Something was stopping her. This couldn’t all be as simple as it looked. What was the catch, much less the reason? She wondered all of this as she paced around her office, back and forth, her sandy brown wavy hair covering each side of her face, keeping her emotions hidden from the rest of the world that existed outside of her glass-walled office.
Two million dollars was more than she’d ever imagined; especially since she was only twenty-nine years old, on the cusp of thirty. What a kick-off to a new decade she could have with that type of money. Still…why did something seem off?
“Bev, can you come in here?” she called out, knowing that her voice was louder than it should be at that moment, likely revealing an array of emotions that showed just how off-kilter she was.
Her assistant Bev came in and looked at her expectantly.
When Sasha looked up she saw that she wore a curious expression and beyond her there were a few people who were also looking toward the office—the fish bowl that had seemed to be appropriate for her company’s culture at first—looking at her curiously. Yeah, everybody knew that something was off.
“You said that someone just dropped this off? Like a courier or something?” She pointed to her desk to the black binder, which cost a pretty penny in itself.
“I think it was an assistant for a law firm, based on the card and the name on the back of the binder.” Bev tilted her head, not sure what to say, or if silence was golden in that moment. “You okay, Sasha?”
Sasha looked over at her, her blue eyes growing into a steel shade, and said, “That is an offer from someone who wants to buy the company.”
“What!” Bev exclaimed. Now she walked closer. “It must be good.”
Sasha squinted. “Why would you assume that?”
“Well, if it was lousy you wouldn’t be pacing around like a caged animal, startling every pair of eyes that can see you in this office.”
“Good point,” Sasha said. She turned so her back was to everyone who might be assessing what was happening with her. Risking them suspecting anything was not good…as well as possibly unnecessary.
Bev still stood there, not sure what to say. She was very close with her boss, but she was still her boss and there was a professional line there where she couldn’t just assume that she would be the sounding board for everything that bothered her; although she fit the bill about three-fourths of the time.
“This is a ‘triple finger cross’,” Sasha finally said. That was her code term for “never tell a soul”.
“Wow, okay.” Bev sat down, suddenly feeling nervous herself. What was in that binder?
“The someone who wants to buy this company is willing to pay two million cash, aside from its net value,” Sasha blurted, finally walking over to her desk and sitting down.
“That is a lot of money,” Bev said, stating the obvious and tucking her pen behind her ear and leaning forward, elbows on the glass top of the desk.
“More than someone should really offer, to be honest, Bev. I don’t get it.”
“Think it’s legit?”
“Well, I have to research it, I guess, but it seems to be. Who was that attorney again?”
Bev turned the binder over and looked at the name. “They’re good; really good. I see them on business channels all the time.”
“Well, then we know it’s likely legit. I just don’t get it, though.”
“You’re surprised. I get it. You sure weren’t expecting that when you came to work today, Sasha. You don’t have to decide right away. Take some time to think about it, maybe it’s a blessing.”
“I suppose you’re right,” Sasha said. “I think I’m going to get out of here early and go take a run, get some clarity. My head feels like it’s going to explode.
“Good plan,” Bev said. “I’ll give the option two excuse,” she said with a chuckle. The two had developed this crazy code language, making them kind of like those couples who indicated what they were thinking through vague terms and subtle signs. You know—a single touch of the wrist to indicate that it’s time to go, a clearing of the throat to indicate that a conversation is boring. That type of thing.
“Nice, unexpected business meeting. Well, it’s true; so what if it’s with me, myself, and I.”
“You make quite the trio.” Bev laughed and stood up. “Just trust your gut. You always have and it has always taken you the distance.”
Sasha just smiled; already diving into her email for one last check and preparing to exit her office in the business incubator that had brought Mason Technologies into the forefront of drone technology, situated in New York City, the place she was born and raised and loved.
Two days later, her decision was made. She was shaking as she held the business card for the law firm in her hand and called from her home. No fish bowl office for this call, because she halfway felt like she could throw up. It sounded like she was listening to a rock concert underwater and she wondered if she was having a breakdown of some sort.
“Hi, Mr. Chapman, yes, this is Sasha Mason of Mason Technologies. I wanted to thank your client Infinity Investments for their generous offer, but the company is not for sale.”
“What?” Mr. Chapman asked.
She sensed that he was shocked and instantly frazzled. “I’m sorry; it’s just not the time and I have a lot of things that are in the works—all that would fit under the umbrella of this company.”
“But surely the money would help—”
Sasha cut him off before she changed her mind. “Perhaps, but I didn’t need all that money to start Mason Technologies, so hopefully I have a bit more resourcefulness in the hopper. But thank you. I appreciate it.”
He kept trying to talk her into changing her mind, but her mind was made up. She cut the call short, seeing no need to listen to desperate last minute pleas that might make her break down her defenses and change her mind. She didn’t disagree that she sounded almost insane to turn her back on that kind of money, but when she walked into her office that day she’d have to look a whole lot of people in the eye—each and every one of them was someone she could never turn her back on. She’d grown the company from just three people all the way up to fifty and attached her heart and soul into it, sacrificing a lot but gaining even more. That drove her and motivated her, even more than the money.
Stop it before you call him back and change your mind, she thought.
The offer had been cancelled out and it was time for her to get back to work, not distracted by tempting offers. She had three government contracts to procure and whole lot else going on that involved her being fully present.
“Excuse me, I must have misunderstood you,” Sheikh Ravi Kapoor said, walking back and forth in his office, staring out at the skyline of the thriving and beautiful Dubai, the city that he found to be beautiful in every way.
Mr. Chapman was on the other end, sounding nervous and his voice almost shrill from the emotions rushing through him. “Yes, she said that it wasn’t time; that she still had more to do and that doing it through the business was her preferred choice.”
“You assured me that the money was enough,” Ravi said, running his right hand through his curly, shoulder length black hair and then rubbing it on his closely groomed beard.
“It should have been. Perhaps if you consider Monroe Aviation you could save money and achieve the same success,” Mr. Chapman offered.
“That was subpar. Do I appear to be someone who settles for subpar?” There was silence on the line and Ravi finally continued. “Thank you for your effort.” The he hung up.
He walked out of his office quickly, the door slamming into the wall when he opened it and went right up to his secretary, Jada, and said, “Book me a flight to New York City, as quickly as possible.”
“For how long.”
“Leave it open ended. I am not certain. For me and ‘the team’.”
“All five of you?”
“Would you like to leave on Friday, after your charity event and the board meeting?” Jada asked. She knew it was a silly question, but it had to be asked, as a way of warning him that his father would be very displeased if he disrupted the plan.
“If I can leave in an hour, I will leave that soon. I’ll make the necessary calls to explain the sudden change of plans.”
“Yes.” She didn’t waste a moment to begin searching online and to also call the private aviation service that the sheikh always used for business. Ten minutes later, she came in with an itinerary printed and handed it over to him. “You leave in the morning; you’re booked out at the top executive suite at the Ritz Carlton and there is a limousine service at your disposal—a Mercedes S600.”
“Thank you.” Ravi nodded his head and opened his lips slightly.
Before he could say another word, Jada added, “And your driver will be prepared to take you; the driver that will assist you in New York also knows the rules—no talking to you, no glancing in your direction in the rear view mirror, and no lingering for tips, that tips only come at the end and based upon how well the rules were followed.”
Ravi’s intense eyes suddenly went bright and he began to laugh. “Jada, you’re a gem. What would I do without you?”
“You’ll never know, because as you know, your father and my father will never let me quit.”
Then the two started laughing again. They were cousins and so similar in personality, but only one was meant to be the corporate mogul, and that was Ravi. Jada, she was meant to eventually be the socialite wife of a sheikh that both she and her family found worthy. Needless to say, they all had high enough standards that they realized she might be single for longer than your average sheikha.
Sasha and Bev were in the conference room, along with their electrical engineer and his project team. There had been a glitch in the motor of the drone controls and motion sensors in the last two prototypes that had been launched. It was time to find out what was being done to solve the problem, exactly. They couldn’t put the latest model out there until that was solved and able to pass extensive quality control measures.
As Sasha asked Benjamin, the project lead, question after question, Bev took notes on her laptop in one open document, while shifting to the split screen to add to her rapidly increasing to-do list from the meeting.
“I am just wondering if—” Sasha began and stopped mid-track, her jaw dropping as she stared through the sidelight of the conference room. There was a man standing there, talking with the receptionist. He was handsome and someone she didn’t know—behind him was an entourage of people that all looked serious, serious enough that their funny bones must have been broken and never repaired, she thought.
“Sasha,” Bev said and she followed where her eyes were looking.
Benjamin’s and the rest of the team’s eyes followed, as well.
The receptionist turned around and looked toward the conference room and her face was clearly flustered, intimidated by the larger than life presence of the six mysterious guests in the lobby. When her eyes connected with Sasha’s, Sasha waved her back.
“I’m sorry to interrupt,” she said, her smile forced.
“Who is that?”