On Dublin Street The Bonus Material - Samantha Young
Braden’s POV - The First Meeting
ON DUBLIN STREET
Braden shook Thomas Prendergast’s hand with a congenial smile and stepped out of the small restaurant Thomas owned in Bruntsfield. Thomas was an excellent chef and an even better businessman. He owned four restaurants — one in Edinburgh, two in Glasgow and one in Newcastle. They had been acquaintances for a long time and Braden liked him, respected him, and he believed the respect was reciprocated.
Braden just wished Thomas would accept his proposition to sell his father’s French restaurant La Cour to him.
Sighing, Braden shrugged his shoulders back and looked up at the sky, squinting against the sunlight. Decked out in a three-piece suit on a sweltering day like this didn’t ease his growing frustration. No one knew he was thinking of selling La Cour except for Thomas. In passing Thomas had mentioned numerous times that he’d be interested in opening another restaurant in Edinburgh, but he didn’t know if the timing was right. Braden thought he’d jump at the chance to buy La Cour—a thriving, ready-made five-star restaurant—and he trusted Prendergast could maintain its high standards. Feeling stretched too thin and not interested in the restaurant, Braden had no qualms about selling. All his concentration and focus was going into making his nightclub Fire a success, developing properties that turned profits, and he still had his father’s estate agency to keep up with. Moreover, he had a restaurant he was interested in. A successful Scottish seasonal restaurant he co-owned with the chef, Frazier Allie, down on the Shore.
La Cour as it stood was a nuisance, a nuisance Braden felt obligated to attend to since his father worked so hard to make it the success it was. But his father had always told him that when business became a nuisance rather than a challenge, and was no longer satisfying, it was time to move on to greener pastures.
Braden glanced back at the restaurant. Come on, Thomas, make up your fucking mind, man.
His phone beeped in his pocket. Braden pulled it out and glanced at the digital reminder informing him he had a meeting in twenty minutes with one of his managers at Douglas Carmichael & Co, the estate agency his father built up from the ground to become one of the primary agencies in Lothian. Shit. Braden had spent longer with Thomas than he’d intended and would be lucky to make the meeting. He hated being late. He didn’t tolerate lateness among his staff and disdained bosses who held themselves to lesser standards than their employees.
Scowling, Braden walked toward Bruntsfield Church, his eyes trained on the road ahead, willing a taxi to make an appearance. Only seconds later one turned around the corner and he stepped out onto the curb with his arm raised. When it slowed to a halt, he reached for the handle on the passenger side. A clean, fruity smell drifted towards him seconds before a warm, small and very feminine hand collided with his.
Braden dipped his chin and looked down into the face of a woman, her skin bright from the sunlight, her eyes narrowed to slits as she squinted against the sun shining behind his head.
His father always told him Braden’s ability to read people would prove his greatest asset as a businessman. More often than not his intuition proved him correct about the people he encountered—except for his traitorous ex-wife, but he blamed his lack of awareness in that situation on his twenty-two-year-old dick and its fascination for her long legs and perky tits.
In the case of the short woman in front of him, Braden read stubbornness in the features he could make out and in the obstinate tension she held in her shoulders. He was in no mood for stubbornness or fighting over a bloody taxi.
He sighed. “Which way are you headed?”
Braden heard the words “Dublin Street” and did what he always did: maneuvered things to his liking. “Good.” He pulled the taxi door open. “I’m heading in that direction, and since I’m already running late, might I suggest we share the taxi instead of wasting ten minutes deciding who needs it more.” He placed a hand on the small of her back and nudged her into the taxi.
Relieved she didn’t stall them, Braden got in after her and gave the taxi driver their first destination. His sister, Ellie, lived on Dublin Street in a flat he’d renovated and then gifted to her. Ellie was his half-sister—they shared the same father. She’d never had it particularly easy