Facade

By: Lexy Timms

Billionaire in Disguise Series, Volume 1



Prologue




Derek





THE DAY WAS SO UNASSUMING. The sun was shining, and the windows of the house were opened. The rays of sun drenching my furniture in its wondrous glow, illuminating the dark corners of my home. Birds chirped, filling the silence of the compound I called home. I looked out along the rolling hills that made up my backyard, grinning as I stretched.

One of the wonderful things about being a billionaire was that I got to set my own schedule. Bringing a company to the top meant my days were mine, and work hours were set when I was available. If I wanted to sleep in, one well-timed email blasted out to all my colleagues meant a late start for me. If I wanted to move a meeting, one well-placed email to my personal assistant, Emma, moved any meeting or phone call to any other time I could take it. With money, came success, and with success, came freedom.

Unfortunately, success also bred enemies, silent enemies who lurked in the shadows threatening to destroy all I’d created.

Even though I was stretching my body in my own home, it wasn’t because I had switched a meeting. It wasn’t because I had pushed a phone call or wanted a late start. It wasn’t even because I’d jet lag from a business trip.

It was because someone wanted me dead.

And that, I took very seriously.

The death threats started in the mailroom. In my company. The one I’d built. At first, I thought they were cute. “Step down or else” messages. The words were spelled in cutout letters from magazines, and I had a grand time trying to figure out what newspapers and magazines they had come from. Cosmopolitan. The New York Times. The Miami Herald. Golf Weekly. It was kind of fun for me, trying to pinpoint all the magazines this asshole might have pulled out of dumpsters to try and wreak havoc on my life. I figured a teenage kid was trying to get popular on social media.

Or something like that.

Then, the letters became personal.

Soon, the cutout letters were exchanged for typed letters. Then, the typing got exchanged for handwriting. They became intimate, documenting moments in my day that should have otherwise been private affairs, pictures of me walking on the street with women on my arm, wining and dining them before bringing them back to my home for a night of passion they would never forget.

I was being stalked by someone who wanted me killed.

Groaning, I raked my hands through my hair. Thinking about it all dimmed the beauty of the property I called my home. Even with all the security measures I had taken, I still didn’t feel safe. Even with the electronic gate and the security system that ran throughout the house and the well-placed cameras on my property, there was still something lurking. Something was in the shadows I could feel but not see. I didn’t enjoy not knowing all the pieces in play. Having all the information at my disposal helped me to be the best businessman I could be.

And right now, I was working with only half the intel.

I shuffled to the bathroom and cleaned myself up. Today was going to be a day of working from home. I had a to do a video conference call with the stockholders of the company, and there were also two very important phone calls I’d already rescheduled twice. Work didn’t stop because I wasn’t in the office building. I took the time to shave my face and wash myself down in the shower. I went through the ritual of putting on my suit as if I was going to work. Feeling my best meant looking my best, even if I wasn’t leaving the confines of my property today.

A knock at my door halted me in my tracks.

I raced down the stairs, my heels clicking on the marble staircase as I made my way to the front door. I stood behind it, listening for anyone who could be standing behind it and waiting for me to open. I peeked through the windows and saw no one standing there, but I did see something lying on my welcome mat.

A pearly white envelope.

Feeling my heart leap in my chest, I ripped open my door. I picked the letter up and looked around, trying to spot anyone running away from my property. The mail wasn’t supposed to run for another hour, and the mailman always called at the gate for me to let him in. There was no way in hell he would’ve come early, and there was no way for him to get through that gate without my letting him in first.

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