Cruel Billionaire (Rich & Shameless #1) - Luma Rose


Chapter One


Most people never see the catastrophic event on its way to detour their life’s path. They don’t see the black ice on the pavement that’s ready to send their car careening off the road. Nor do they see the microscopic germ infiltrating their body that will land them in a hospital.

This happened once in my life. Prom night of my senior year changed my life’s course—and not in a good way. It wasn’t like I lost my virginity. Don’t mistake disastrous as monumental. To be certain I’m not caught by surprise again, I’ve vowed to know everything that could touch me. And there isn’t a lot when you’re twenty-eight, and a billionaire.

But even money can’t buy you psychic abilities. Which is why the universe is about to bend me over and stick it in without lube just to show me who’s in charge.

My phone vibrates in my pocket, so I set my mug down on the marble counter.

Richard Stone

“Not a chance, old man,” I mumble, hitting the ignore button and pocketing my phone. That asshole isn’t going to ruin my day at six a.m. on a Monday. He has all week to fuck with me.

“Which woman you dodging now?”

Ryker strolls into our common area wearing a pair of pajama pants, scratching his chest like a fucking teenager, not a twenty-seven-year-old VP of operations.

“No one.” I sip my coffee and straighten my tie.

“Oh, that’s right.” He raises his finger in the air. “When you pay to bang them, they leave the same night.” He walks past me toward the coffeepot, laughing.

I flip him off on the way to the couch.

“Relax. I could give a shit what and who you do.”

“Who’s Stone doing?” Ford steps into the Titans’ Den, his pants open, still tucking in his shirt. At least one other person besides me is dressed to start his day.

“Oh, come on. You know Stone doesn’t do names,” Ryker says, looking over his shoulder with his typical smirk while pouring himself a coffee.

Sometimes I wonder how I let my friends convince me to live in the same building as them. And when I say building, I mean a high-rise. We were young and na?ve, but it seemed like a good idea at the time when Ford thought of it. Each of us having our own private floor, and one communal floor to meet and hang out, throw parties, get laid, or whatever. It’s like when chicks dream of marrying best friends and living next door to each other for the rest of their lives.

When you’re heirs to billions, there isn’t much you can’t get away with. The reality of living in one building is awesome—that is, until my friends get up in my shit.

“Probably doesn’t remember her name, considering she was my date,” Ford says. He leans against the counter with his mug in one hand and the other hand in his pocket.

He can act like he gives a shit, but we both know he doesn’t. The woman he escorted to the hospital fundraiser last night was just another in a long line of preapproved political princesses who look good on his arm. That’s why she found her way into my bed instead of his.

I tilt my mug up to take another sip. “I did you a favor. She gave shitty head, and she sounded like a hyena when she came. Pick better next time.”

Ryker laughs, almost spitting out his coffee. “That’s Stone Cold.”

Even Ford can’t hide his smile.

I shrug and sit down on the oversized leather couch, flicking on the television.

Ryker joins me and puts his feet up on the table. “Awesome, right?”

I look at him, baffled over what he’s talking about. “The TV? Yeah.”

“It won’t even hit the US market for two months.” He smiles proudly.

“Cool.” I turn up the volume.

“Ford doesn’t even get a sorry?” Ryker asks. I was willing to let this conversation die.

“He deserved it for the joke he made about my sister.” My teeth gnash together at Ford’s chuckle and smug look.

“What’d you say?” Ryker asks, looking over his shoulder at Ford.

“I might’ve made some comment about how good she’s looking and how one of us could end up being the father of his nieces and nephews one day if she doesn’t stop showing off her assets.”

Ryker blows out a long breath. He, Ford, Asher, and Lincoln all know my little sister is off-limits. Even the joke isn’t funny. The five of us have been through our share of shit, but one of them banging my