Authors: Mia Caldwell
Alpha Billionaire’s Bride, Part 1
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© 2015 Mia Caldwell
All Rights Reserved. This book or any portion thereof may
not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express
permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book
This book is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons,
living or dead, or places, events or locations is purely coincidental. The
characters are all productions of the author’s imagination.
Please note that this work is intended only for adults over
the age of 18 and all characters represented as 18 or over.
Cover photos © 2015 aarrttuurr, rabbit75_dep, lina_s,
iconogenic, nadiya under license from Depositphotos
Mia Caldwell has been fantasizing about stories of
“Happily-Ever-After” since she was a little girl, and now that she’s all grown
up her “Happily-Ever-After” stories have taken a steamier turn!
After graduating from college Mia still wasn't quite sure
what she wanted to do with her life. Bored with her day job as an
administrative assistant for a non-profit, she started writing stories on the
side and sharing them with her friends. They gave her the push she needed to
share them with you!
She lives in New York with two rascally cats named Link and
Zelda, eats too much chocolate and Chinese take-out, and goes on way too many
blind dates. She's still waiting for Mr. Right, but in the meantime she'll keep
dreaming up the perfect man!
Mia loves hearing from her fans and you can reach her at:
MARINA’S VOICE ROSE HIGH AND shrill. “Oh my God, did you
Jada didn’t look up from her phone. “Yes.”
“You did not see it. It’s mind-blowing.”
“I know.” Jada sipped her coffee and squinted at the small
type on her news app. She reminded herself to make an appointment with her eye
“Look! Just look.”
Hmm, Jada thought as she scanned an article, the feds
planned to raise interest rates next quarter. It’d be a wild day on Wall
Marina grabbed her arm, rudely pulling Jada’s phone away
with it. “Seriously. Check it out.”
Jada sighed, glanced at Marina’s tablet. It was exactly what
she thought she’d see: a handsome man escorting a beautiful woman to some
premier or other. More celebrity gossip. “Okay, I’ve seen it. My mind is
officially blown. Let go of my arm now.”
Marina blew out an exasperated breath and released her.
“Fine. I’d hate to keep you from your boring economic indicators.” She tossed
her tablet on the table and sipped her latte, staring out the coffee shop
window with a vengeance.
Jada didn’t know how her sister did it, but somehow, Marina
managed to drink coffee in a way that made Jada feel guilty.
She set her phone down. “I’m sorry. If something’s important
to you, it’s important to me. You have my complete attention.”
Marina glanced at her sideways. “Really?”
Marina smiled, a sparkling and infectious grin. “Good.”
Jada wondered for what was probably the millionth time in
her life, if Marina had just played her.
Marina snatched up her tablet and passed it over. “Look at
that. I can’t believe it. Ian Buckley is engaged.”
Jada eyed the photo. The man certainly was attractive,
well-muscled, tanned and manly in his dark suit. The rail-thin woman clinging
to his arm had the face of an angel, a hungry, hungry angel. “What show does he
“What? He’s not an actor.” Marina said “actor” the way most
people in this circumstance might say “septic tank scrubber.”
“Oh. Sorry. Singer?”
“It’s Ian Buckley. I-annnn Buck-leyyyy.”
“Saying it slowly won’t tell me who he is or what he does.”
“He’s one of my billionaires. Damn, Jada. It’s like you
don’t listen to me at all.”
Uh-oh, Jada thought. Marina was going to whip out a pout any
second. “Oh! THAT Ian Buckley. I got confused, I guess. Sure, I remember.”
“Liar. It doesn’t matter, though. I’m going to forgive you
because you’re my older sister and it’s not your fault that your priorities are
in the wrong place.”
Jada couldn’t resist. “Right. Focusing on my financial
future and trying to excel at my career are obviously screwy priorities.”
“Exactly.” Marina’s finely-shaped brows knitted. “I can’t
believe Ian is engaged. One less billionaire on the market. This one hurts
especially bad because Ian’s so fine.”
Jada studied the photo, read the caption under the picture
which made mention of Ian’s company, BGH. Jada might not have recognized his
face, but she knew Buckley Group Holdings. Now that she really looked at his
picture, she realized she should have known who he was on sight, and recalled
Marina showing her his photo before. Jada simply hadn’t looked closely enough.
“The caption’s only reporting a rumor that Ian’s engaged,”
Jada said. “They haven’t gotten confirmation from either camp.”
Marina sighed. “Oh, I’m sure it’s true. These rumors don’t
come from nothing. Someone close to them leaked it. You forget, I’m part of the
press, so I know how this stuff works.”
Jada bit back a grin. Marina’s job as junior reporter at
their small-town community newspaper hardly qualified her as belonging to the
national press corp. “Well, all isn’t lost until official word comes down. So
far, we only know for sure that Ian is dating ...” she scanned the page again
for the woman’s name, “Sasha ... something. They don’t give a last name.”
“That’s because it’s just Sasha, the supermodel. One name.
You’d think you’d—”
Jada let her mind wander while Marina set her straight on
Sasha’s resume and how it qualified her to be known by a lone name. Jada couldn’t
stop looking at Ian Buckley. He truly was a handsome man. Tall and bronzed,
lean and muscular in all the right places. She liked how his hair was buzzed
short on the sides, and she liked the scruff that darkened his square jaw. His
hair was a dark color, too.
He had a long, distinguished nose, and nice lips, defined
cheekbones. She couldn’t make out the color of his eyes in the photo, but she
guessed they were blue, because the color would suit him.
Ian stood in a loose, limber kind of way, at ease in front
of the horde of photographers, completely in his element with a beautiful
blonde glamazon melting all over his side.
Marina’s saga finally interrupted Jada’s examination. “...
if I could get just one date with Ian, that’s all I’d need. One date, and he’d
forget all about Sasha.”
Jada took a last glance at the pair in the photo before
shoving the tablet away. “Marina, billionaires don’t date real women like us.”
Marina gasped, covered her mouth, her brown eyes
saucer-shaped. She shook her head, then dropped her hand. “I can’t believe you
said that. Take it back.”
“Nope. Sorry, but you have to face the truth.”
“I’ll do no such thing. You’re totally wrong. I can’t
believe you don’t think I’m hot enough to get a billionaire.”
Jada wasn’t falling for it. Marina was beautiful, and knew
it. Jada thought she, herself, wasn’t bad-looking, but that didn’t change the
fact that they weren’t ever going to snag any male of the mega-rich persuasion.
As women of color who weren’t famous, who were just normal, everyday women,
Jada and Marina didn’t have a chance in hell with men like Ian Buckley. Facts
were facts, and no amount of daydreaming or wishing would change it.
“Quit exaggerating,” Jada said. “You know you’re hot. We all
know it. But come on, when was the last time you saw a man like Buckley with
someone like us?”
“If you’re insinuating this is a race issue, I’m going to
have to point out that Michael Langdon, who is the sixty-fifth richest man in
the world, married—”
“I know. He married the daughter of a Sudanese oil magnate.
Hasn’t really worked out the way Langdon wanted, I bet, with the war and all.
Anyway, that was forever ago, and it was hardly a love match.”
“You don’t know that.”
“Right. Anyway, we don’t have a rich daddy to buy us an even
richer husband. And I’m okay with that. Maybe it’s time you should be, too.”
Marina crossed her arms over her chest. “Never. Ian Buckley
may be off the market, but there’s still plenty of single billionaires just
waiting to sweep me off my feet.”
Jada laughed. “I’ll give it to you, you’re a determined
“Damned right. And I tell you, Jada, there’s a billionaire
out there for you, too. I know it.”
“If you say so.” She took a final swig of her cooled coffee.
“I’ve gotta get to work. See you tomorrow morning at the gym? Six-thirty
“Yeah, yeah, yeah. I don’t have any choice. Gotta stay in
shape for my man.”
“What man? Are you dating someone?”
“For real? Duh. For my billionaire to come. Where’s your
“Reality. That’s where my head is, and that’s where it’s
staying.” Jada stood, grabbed her purse and jacket.
Marina stood, too. “One of these days, sister, I’m going to
make a believer out of you, then you’ll truly see what’s up.”
“That’s awesome. Good luck with that.” She strolled toward
the door, dropping her empty cup in the trash as she passed.
Marina called out behind her. “Reality is what we make it.”
Jada waved her hand in the air, not looking back or
bothering with a comeback. Poor, deluded Marina. The least Jada could do was
give her the last word.
TWO DAYS LATER, A PERSISTENT pounding woke Jada from her
dreams. She sat upright in bed, pushed her hair off her face and blinked
stupidly. What the hell was with the noise? Was it the end times already? The
She rubbed her eyes and yawned. Bang-bang-bang. She jumped.
Someone was pounding on her bedroom window. There were more bangs and bashes.
It seemed multiple someones were beating on windows all around her house.
She glanced at the clock. It was only a little past eight.
Damn. It was Saturday and she’d hoped to sleep until nine. Whatever was going
on outside, it had better be important, especially since it sounded kind of
scary. Fire? Tornado? Gas leak?
She climbed out of bed and padded quickly down the hall to
the front door. It was dark in the living room and she couldn’t see outside
since she always closed her drapes at night. Reluctantly, she peered through
the door’s peephole. A man’s face fish-bowled before her. He was rapping on her
door. Deafening. This was crazy. What was wrong with him?
Jada flung the door open, ready to give the man an earful,
but the sight that greeted her on the front porch left her speechless, her
mouth hanging open.
There had to be twenty, thirty people on her front porch and
lawn. Some of them held microphones, others cameras, both still and video.
Bright lights raised overhead nearly blinded her when they swung her way.
She shaded her eyes and when the intruders began yelling at
her at the same time, she considered covering her ears, too. She vaguely noticed
that more people poured into the yard from the sides of the house and blended
into the crowd surging toward her.
Jada froze in place, thoroughly surprised and confused by
the unprecedented scene. Oddly, she recalled something she’d once read. In
ancient times, when people first saw men riding horses, they thought they were
seeing a new creature, a single entity, a magical man-horse. They hadn’t
considered that a person might train and ride an animal. Jada had always found
it fascinating, the way the brain chose to interpret sights it didn’t
That’s what was happening to her. She couldn’t identify
individuals in the crowd; they’d merged into one huge, deafening and blinding
mega-swarm of flailing arms, tramping feet and flashing lights. She feared the
awful creature was going to push forward and flatten her.
Jada did the only thing she could think to do in that
moment: she slammed the door shut and threw the deadbolt.
On the other side of the door, the volume level rose. She’d
angered the throng by shutting it out.
“I need coffee,” Jada said out loud, and half-staggered to
the kitchen. A hit of caffeine would jump-start her flatlined brain like a
Within a few minutes, she was seated at the table, a
fresh-brewed cup of coffee steaming under her nose. She sipped slowly.
The uproar outside hadn’t died down. The window pounders
were back at it, and whoever was on the doors was making them shake. Jada
wondered if they’d hold.
Slowly, everything became clear, and details of the crowd on
her front lawn began to separate out of the swarm. Those people were reporters,
television news crews. They’d been yelling her name and asking her questions
What was it? They’d asked her about ... a wedding? Bizarre.
Jada hadn’t been to a wedding in ages, not since a friend forced Jada to be her
maid of honor and she’d had to wear a classless hooker dress to the ceremony.
Jada still didn’t understand what that was about.
Regardless, it had no bearing on figuring out why there was
a crush of reporters on her porch and front lawn.
Now that she had a better grasp on the situation, she was
ready to know more. She returned to the front door, engaged the bar lock and
released the deadbolt. She opened the door as far as the bar allowed,
three-four inches or so, and peered out at the crowd.
The mass exploded again, and surged forward. Had it not been
for the lock, they would have overrun Jada and crashed into her living room.
She heard plenty of, “Jada! Jada! Look over here!” and
“Jada! Are you Jada Howarth?” and “Where was the wedding?” and “How’d you keep
it hidden?” and “Get down, assholes, you’re blocking the cameras.”
Jada gaped. She assumed the comment about the cameras wasn’t
aimed at her. As for the others, her only response was, “I have no idea what you’re
There was no way anyone could hear her, not even the two men
who were pressed in so close to the door crack that Jada could smell their
She took a step back. The crowd roared. “No, don’t go!”
“Just answer a few questions!” “Are you Jada?” “Shut up! She said something.”
The last came from the men nearest her.
Miracle of miracles, the crowd fell silent, mostly. It was
kind of creepy, all those eyes and lenses aimed at her, the rabid expectation.
Jada felt a nibble of stage fright. “Um. Why are you here?
All of you. I don’t know why—”