This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
“Are you even listening?” Linus Maverick yelled at his youngest son, chubby fingers gripping the magazine tight.
Jericho buttoned up his white dress shirt, before pulling on his suit jacket and grabbing his briefcase off the kitchen bar. “I don’t have time for this.”
Linus slammed the magazine on the marble counter, his face red with anger. “I talked to that damn pretty boy, you call your assistant. You don’t have any cases today, so you’ll sit down and explain to me why you’re in the fucking newspaper again.”
Jericho lazily looked at the headline of the magazine, his left eyebrow raising just slightly.
“Billionaire Jericho Maverick spotted with a baby on his arm. Is the child secretly his?” Jericho read out quietly, afterwards meeting his father’s accusing eyes.
“Like I said, I don’t have time for this nor do I have time for you. Get out my house before I call security.” Jericho remarked, dumping the magazine in the trash without a second thought.
Linus looked ready to jump over the dinning table and knock some sense into his son. “Why can’t you be like your brother and sister and stay out of the newspaper for a fucking week?! I can’t believe you-”
Jericho didn’t have the nerve or the time to listen to his father’s weekly rant about his behavior. Linus didn’t know anything about Jericho, besides the bullshit the press published. The baby photographed had belonged to one of Jericho’s clients.
Jericho grabbed his coat off of the hook, before stepping into the elevator that led to the lobby of his apartment building, Linus left behind in the expensive penthouse. Reaching the spacious lobby, Jericho was greeted by Tony the receptionist.
“Mr. Maverick, working this weekend?” The Jamaican man asked, his dark eyes flickering to Jericho’s leather briefcase.
“It’s not work, if you love it.” Jericho chuckled.
It was true and Jericho loved being a lawyer. Not because the job paid well, but the happiness you could provide for your clients. The feeling of winning a case, was indescribable and seeing the smile on your client’s face was even better.
“Good luck with the case, not that you need it though.” Tony replied, a large smile on his square shaped face.
Jericho Maverick had never lost a case, and in return was very sought after.
“You can never have too much luck on your side.” Jericho laughed lightly, while glancing at the clock on the wall behind Tony.
“I need you to change the code for my apartment once my father leaves. He is not to have access anymore.” Jericho stated, slipping his toned arms into his coat.
Tony hit a few keys on the keyboard. “Of course, Mr. Maverick.”
“Thank you, Tony.” Jericho thanked the man before, leaving the large apartment building and going down to the car garage. He passed the many expensive cars of his neighbors, before unlocking his own and getting in.
Jericho pulled out of the underground garage, ignoring the flashing of the cameras. Not too much later, Jericho was driving on the busy streets of Los Angeles, making his way to one of the poorer neighborhoods of the city. He had agreed to take on a simple case, involving a family owned restaurant and a few insurance problems.
Reaching the restaurant, Jericho parked his car across the street and locked the door. He walked into the small building with confident strides, his tailored suit and expensive haircut catching the eyes of the diners.
Seconds later a tall blonde squealed and walked over to Jericho in her black pumped heels. Her green eyes shining and her hands on her tiny waist as she stood before Jericho. “I’m Lillian Morris, my father made the appointment.”
“Jericho Maverick.” He introduced himself, although it was clear that the young woman already knew who he was. “Where is your father?”
“He’s upstairs, follow me.” Lillian made sure to sway her hips as she walked up the wooden steps, looking over her shoulder to make sure the billionaire was following her.
Jericho couldn’t have been less interested in Lillian, as he ignored her obvious attempts to gain his attention. It wasn’t that she wasn’t beautiful, she just wasn’t his type. It was simple; he didn’t do crazy fan girls.
Lillian pushed the door open and led Jericho into the small apartment above the restaurant. The apartment gave off the whole homey vibe, with family portraits in each corner, flowers in vases, fluffy carpets laid down and colorful magnets on the fridge.
“I’m Jeffrey Morris, thank you for coming Mr. Maverick.” The short man introduced himself to Jericho. “This is my daughter Lillian.”
Jericho gave a closed lipped smile towards the man, and shook his hand. “Let’s get down to business.”
“I’ll call my friend up in New York and see what’s possible.” Jericho said, while closing his briefcase.
“Of course. You’ll have the first half of the money by Monday.” Jeffrey replied, already feeling the loss in his wallet. “Would you like to stay for dinner?”
Jericho didn’t usually stay longer than needed, but a home cooked meal sounded better than his old man waiting in his apartment. “I’d like too.”
“Honey, come help me set the table.” Jeffrey called his daughter. “Mr. Maverick you can take a seat at the table.”
Jericho sat down at the small table and minutes later the trio began to eat. Steak, roasted potatoes and smoked vegetables was served with German red wine. Lillian and Jeffrey were talking Jericho’s ears off, and the billionaire was grateful for the moment of silence as someone opened the front door.
“Daisy, you’re late!” Jeffrey raised his voice at the young woman that came through the door.
Daisy was unaware of the stranger seated at the dinner table.
“I ... I’m sorry.” She apologized quickly, head bowed in submission, as she stood in the middle of the room.
“Sit your ass down.” Jeffrey demanded, not caring that they had a guest over.
Daisy hurried over to the table, barely catching a glimpse of Jericho. She was to scared to look at the man in the suit next to her, afraid Jeffrey would scold her.
“Mr. Maverick this is my step daughter Daisy. I apologize for her behavior.”
Jericho wanted to punch the man in the face. There was no reason for him to yell and embarrass the girl. Sticking his hand out for her to shake, Jericho smiled softly at the timid girl. “Jericho.”
Daisy returned the smile, her breath hitching in her throat at the sight of the handsome billionaire. Her hands were shaky and sweaty in her lap, preventing her from shaking his hand. “D-daisy.”
“God you’re pathetic.” Lillian groaned under her breath, but everyone at the table heard.
Jericho continued to gaze at Daisy, her big blue eyes had him mesmerized. The girl blushed and tried to cover her cheeks with her brown hair.
Jeffrey cleared his throat, breaking up the moment between Jericho and Daisy. “Mr. Maverick is a well known lawyer and is willing to help us with the insurance problems.”
Daisy swung her head in her step father’s direction. “... I thought we had a l-lawyer. We can’t ... we don’t have the m-money.”
“I’ll do it pro-bono.” Jericho spoke up, gently placing his hand over Daisy’s, stopping the tapping of her fingers against the old tablecloth.
Daisy flinched from his sudden touch, pulling her hand close to her chest and simultaneously knocking Jericho’s wine glass over, the red liquid splashing over his white dress shirt.
“I’m so sorry.” Daisy rushed to get a napkin, as Jericho stood from the table.
“You’re so stupid, Daisy.” Lillian glared at her sister, before handing Jericho a small hand towel.
Jericho could see the anger in Jeffrey’s eyes as he watched the whole scene. He looked like he was ready to punish Daisy.
“I’m fine. She didn’t do it on purpose.” Jericho tried calming the situation. “Where’s the bathroom?”
“Daisy, go show Mr. Maverick the bathroom or can you not do that either?” Jeffrey raised his voice again as he spook with Daisy.
Said daughter hurried out of the room, Jericho on her heels.
“I’m really sorry.” Daisy apologized again once they were alone in the small bathroom.
“It’s just a shirt.” Jericho tried to assure her that no harm was done. He unbuttoned the stained shirt, revealing his tattooed chest and arms, with toned muscles that flexed with just the slightest movement.
Daisy could feel the blood rush to her cheeks. She pushed her thick framed glassed further up her nose, a weird sensation pooling in her stomach as Jericho watched her intensely.
“You shouldn’t let them treat you like that.” Jericho wrapped his long fingers around her thin wrist, silver eyes searching her face for some type of emotion.
Pulling away, Daisy ignored the man and threw his ruined dress shirt into the sink. She braced herself against the porcelain sink, fingers trembling and the familiar lump forming in her throat. Feeling his intense gaze burning into the back of her head, Daisy decided it was best he go.
“I ... you s-should go.” Daisy said quietly, but loud enough for him to hear. “I’ll bring your shirt to the dry cleaners and you’ll have it back by next week.”
Jericho met her big blue eyes in the mirror above the sink. “It’s fine, don’t worry.”
Shaking her head, Daisy insisted. “P-please. Just leave your card or something and I’ll drop it off at your office.”
The 6,4 man nodded silently, reaching in his wallet for a card. Jericho placed the business card on the dryer, afterwards pulling on his tailored suit jacket, the material cold against his naked chest.
Jericho took a few steps closer to Daisy, who had yet to turn around, his fingers landing gently on her shoulder. Daisy’s heart was racing, the touch of his fingertips burning through the thin material of her shapeless dress. Jericho leaned down, his warm breath brushing against the nape of her neck, then against the shell of her ear, hands on her slender shoulders.
“I’ll see you next week.” Just the sound of his voice made Daisy crave something she had never experienced before.
Daisy could feel the slight pressure of his warm lips against her flushing cheek. The smell of his expensive cologne mixed with his masculinity surrounding them like a bubble. Just as fast as the kiss came -it ended, leaving Daisy alone in the bathroom of her family home.
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