BWWM: The Billionaire's Marriage of Convenience (BWWM Russian Alpha Male Romance) (Interracial BBW Billionaire Pregnancy Short Stories)

Billionaire’s Marriage of Convenience

***

Will I be willing to take the chance and risk it all for love?

 

Being a charming, billionaire playboy in Russia isn’t all it’s cracked up to be for
Dominic Strokowki
. He was trained his entire life to take over the family business after his father retired, but tragedy strikes, and his world is suddenly flipped upside down. After his parents are killed in a tragic accident, he is forced to pick up the pieces, alone, but a secret amendment to his father’s will just might change all of that.  He learns that before he can inherit his family’s empire, his birthright, he must marry and have a child.

 

              That’s where I walk in. Well, crash in, really. Dealing with my own string of tragedies, I thought I had it all figured out until my mother’s death changes everything. I struggled to put myself through Harvard Law School, only to be rejected time and time again. That’s when things become truly desperate. Jobless, penniless, alone, I’m about to lose my childhood home when fate throws me into Dominic Strokowski’s path.

 

              I am desperate for help to crawl out of the mountain of debt that is threatening to destroy my life, and Dominic needs a wife, fast. It seems like the perfect solution to both of our problems, but things soon heat up when we both realize that our hearts are on the line. Will I be willing to take the chance and risk it all for love?

 

 

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Copyright 2015 by Serena Vale - All rights reserved.

 

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Billionaire’s Marriage of Convenience

Chapter 1

The law firm of Hawke and Harrison request your immediate presence in the matter of the reading of the wills of Mrs. Talia Sullivan-Strokowski and Mr. Dominic Strokowski III.

 

Dominic read the words for what must have been the fiftieth time. That was it. The only words printed in deep black ink on the soft vellum that had been on the equally blank envelope. Not even a signature. But he was familiar enough with his father’s lawyers to know that they, and their clients, prized inconspicuousness above all else. 

His parent’s names looked like those of strangers. He didn’t recognize them, still couldn’t comprehend them even after weeks of knowing. His mother and father were dead. He was alone.

It was still so hard to believe. His parents weren’t that old, both in their mid-sixties. Hadn’t been that old, Dominic corrected himself. Their private jet had crashed, some unexplainable technical failure that cost the lives of his mother, father, and the pilot that had been steering the plane. It was supposed to be just a quick trip to Tokyo and then back to Russia. Back to their palatial home just outside of Moscow. They never made it back.

As he stood up from the massive, red mahogany desk that used to be his father’s, Dominic stalked out of the office with the lawyer’s letter still crumpled in his hands. It was a long flight to Boston from Moscow, where his father’s law firm was located. Where they were summoning him. It was also where his mother grew up, before falling in love with the enigmatic billionaire and moving with him to Russia to start a new life.

He knew she still had family there, but they had basically cut her out of their lives when she’d moved away. It was something his mother had never gotten over, he knew. Dominic slowed as he walked to the long, carpeted hall to where his bedroom was in the west wing of the house, noticing the gilt-framed photograph hanging on the wall.

It was a picture of them, of his parents. He grabbed it off the wall, staring at their familiar faces, feeling a lump of emotion form in his throat, threatening to choke him. He swallowed it. He was head of the family now, the only one besides his younger sister who was back in boarding school in England. He was also head of the business, and it needed a strong leader. Someone who could step into the giant hole his father left behind. But he had been trained and tutored his entire life to take over running the business after his father retired.

Dominic choked up again at the thought. His father had never gotten the chance, a freak accident ending his life way too soon. Gently, he hung the photo back on the wall and headed to his suite to pack. He was already calling the private airstrip to get a jet ready for the long flight to Boston.

*

“…Do you have any questions for us regarding the final amendments to the will, Mr. Strokowski?”

Dominic stared blankly at the legal document, then up at the lawyer who sat staring at his from across the large desk. Against his will, his light blue grey eyes were drawn back to the papers in his hand. There was a lot of legal jargon mixed in there, but basically it declared that he would never be able to inherit the family’s business unless he was married with a child, let alone have access to any of the vast fortune stashed in several banks across Europe.

He sawed out a harsh, bitter laugh. There was no humor in it.

“Is this real? Is this even…possible?” Dominic struggled to make sense of it. Why would his father do this to him? He was only thirty three!

“Yes, Mr. Strokowki, it is completely real, possible, and binding. As of now, all of your family’s assets are frozen, except your own funds, of course. Your father also allowed for a small stipend to be released each month until…” The beady eyed lawyer cleared his throat, “Well, until the terms are met.”

“The terms are met!” Dominic exploded. “You mean until I’ve trapped myself into some loveless marriage and somehow procured a child!” He ranted in angry Russian for several minutes as he paced the large office. After a few minutes, he regained some measure of control.

With a stiff nod at the blank faced lawyer, Dominic turned and made his way hastily out of the room.

Chapter 2

“I’m so sorry, Ms. Banks. There are no other openings available here at Hawke and Harrison. There are several other very good law firms in the area, and I’m sure they would be more than happy to hire you on.”

              Layla stared back at the smiling blue eyes and vapid expression on the woman sitting behind the desk, cheerfully, blankly. It didn’t matter to her one way or the other if Layla didn’t get the job, or the fact that she had gone to every other reputable law firm in the Boston area, without success. She also didn’t care that Layla had just suffered a massive tragedy, the death of her mother, and was about to lose her home. The home she had grown up in, and now couldn’t afford.

              Her mother had been the only person she’d had in the entire world. And now she was all alone. After a moment of silence, Layla realized that she had been dismissed, so she quickly stood, held out her hand, firmly shook the other woman’s, and left. She held on to her composure until she got through the oversized, heavy wooden door separating the hallway and the office she had just been in.

              She squeezed her big, dark brown eyes shut tight against the tears that threatened, but it was useless, as first one, then two, then a small flood made tracks over the velvet brown skin of her cheeks. Angrily, she swiped at them, casting them away as she took several deep breaths. She didn’t work her ass off to get through Harvard law school just have some secretary tell her that she wasn’t good enough.

              As Layla stalked down the office towards the lobby, she tried to continue her mental rant, spurring on her anger. Anything to drown out the constant sorrow that had followed her around like a shadow since her mother’s sudden heart attack just a few months before. It still felt like she would be waiting her Layla when she got home with a big cup of hot tea and her cinnamon cookies that her mom knew were her favorite.

              Layla stomped out into the expensive marble lobby, and just as she was passing the bank of elevators, filled with lawyers, and other employees of Hawke and Harrison, the right heel of her towering stiletto broke off with an audible snap. Gasping, and caught by surprise by the sudden unevenness, she tried to lean back and regain her sense of balance. But it was too late. Her groan of embarrassment at toppling over in front of all those people turned into an
oof
as a pair of strong arms wrapped around her waist, catching her at the last minute.

              “Hey, are you okay?” The warm, accented voice whispered too close to her ear, sending an alarming wave of pleasure rushing through her. It took her a moment to find her voice.

              “Um, yes…yes, I think so.” She slipped out of her now mismatched heels. “Thanks to you.” Layla looked up into his eyes, and was struck speechless again. Silver blue eyes stared down at her from the face of a demi-god. Thick black hair curled heedlessly around his ears, just brushing his jawline. He swept it back as if out of habit, but the motion took her breath away completely as every muscle across his impressive chest and shoulders flexed in perfect symmetry.

              Layla was not a small girl, she thought of her burgundy, size fourteen dress that hugged her ample hourglass curves, but this giant of a man made her feel down right petite. He towered over her, especially now that she now longer had the added five inches from her high heels that took her from her normal five and half feet to almost six.

              He led her over to a row of cushy armchairs that made up the waiting area just inside the lobby, and she sat, looking helplessly at the ruined shoes. It was the last nice pair she owned, the only one she’d kept after selling everything that she could, trying to raise extra money. She tried to keep the desperation at bay, but inevitably, it welled up, overwhelming her after yet another painful rejection.

              “I thought you said you were okay? Are you hurt?” The stranger who had saved her asked as he took the seat next to her, examining her for any injury. Layla gestured with one dark, delicate hand in the air, waving away his concern.

              “No, no it’s not that.” Layla protested. “I wasn’t hurt, I swear, it’s just…” She paused, taking a deep breath, trying to stem the flood of tears that she could feel welling just behind her big, dark eyes.

              “What? What is it then?” In an unexpectedly tender gesture, he tucked one lock of wavy, brown hair behind her ear. “You look so sad,
vozlyublennaya
.” That meant sweetheart, she knew, in Russian. She had lived there for almost a year in college as part of a study abroad program.

              Before she knew what she was doing, before she could even stop herself, the words were tumbling out of her mouth. The entire story about going to law school with dreams of becoming a high powered lawyer, the last year of upheaval with her mother’s death, suddenly finding herself up to her ears in debt, and about to lose the only home she had ever known. And now, she didn’t even have a job.

              Layla knew it had been a long shot, applying at one of the best law firms in the country, but she was out of options. Desperate. After she was done telling the handsome stranger her sad story, she couldn’t meet his hard eyed gaze, and so she turned away, scanning the now empty lobby as she tried to calm her racing heart.

              Her breath caught as she felt his strong fingers under her chin, tilting her head toward him, making her look at him. There was a strange light of determination growing in his silver blue eyes, and it made it impossible to look away. A long moment of tension-filled silence held between them, wrapping around them. Finally, he spoke.

              “I want to offer you a deal.”

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