Mr. Mayfair - Louise Bay Page 0,1

information. I hoped it was worth it.

“Well, I hope you and Joshua end up in jail.”

I ignored his assumption that another member of our brothers-in-arms, Joshua, was involved. It was an obvious assumption—Joshua liked to hack into government agencies to unwind. The rest of us played squash. “I’m well connected—some would say powerful in real estate circles. I’ve got money and resources. For Christ’s sake, I know the brand of loo paper this guy uses. But apparently, it’s not enough to get a meeting.” Things would be very different if my birth certificate had carried my biological father’s name.

“You need to calm down and figure it the fuck out.”

“Great advice,” I mumbled as I scrolled through my emails. One was from Joshua with Henry’s itinerary and schedule for the next couple of months. I slumped onto the bench and opened the attachment, hoping to find he’d finally arranged a lunch or a meeting with someone I knew.

But no. Nothing. Although there was an entire week blocked out. Perhaps he was going on holiday?

“This is the guy who you want to buy the building in Mayfair from, right?”

“Yeah, I own every other piece of property in the row except that one—the most run-down of the lot of them, and he’s done nothing with it. It’s standing empty and prime for redevelopment. It’s prime for me redeveloping it.” It was a building I’d been obsessed with since I could remember.

“Look, worst case, you just work around it.”

I shook my head. “I don’t work around things. I take a wrecking ball to them.” I’d crunched the numbers. I wouldn’t make a profit if I didn’t have Henry’s building. And I didn’t take losses. And anyway, it wasn’t just the money.

It was the building my mother lived in when she found out she was pregnant with me.

It was the building my mother was evicted from as soon as her boyfriend, the owner of the building and my biological father, found out she was pregnant.

When he died, it had been inherited by a distant cousin, and since my mother told me the story when I was a teenager, I’d been laser-focused on buying that building. Maybe I thought if I owned it—owned what I should have inherited—wrongs would be righted.

Then I could tear it down and start again.

I’d rewrite history.

I studied the document Joshua had sent. Why had Henry blocked out an entire week? The man didn’t take holidays. I looked closer. The only reference in the entire week was M&K. I typed it into the search engine on my phone. What could M&K stand for? As I scrolled through the results, I couldn’t see how a furniture shop in Wigan or an American DJ could be relevant. Henry wasn’t just old money, he was titled—an earl or something, although he didn’t seem to use it. I was pretty sure he wasn’t shopping in Wigan or entertaining DJs.

I switched screens, and just as I was about to call Joshua to try to get more information, another email flashed up with an attachment. When I opened it, the dates of the M&K week were the first thing I saw. It was a glossy, electronic wedding invitation. Apparently Joshua had been just as curious as I had. A wedding that lasted an entire week? Did these people and their guests not have jobs? M stood for Matthew and K for Karen. The bride and groom. I plugged their names into Google. They were no one I knew. But there was no surprise there. They looked like the type to have met on a croquet field—Matthew was all sports jackets and straw boaters. I didn’t know how old-Etonians and people with inherited wealth looked different from most normal human beings, but they did. It must be the floppy hair or the air of entitlement they wore.

A society wedding would be a perfect place to approach Henry. He’d be relaxed and in a good mood as he spent time with his people.

But his people weren’t my people.

My money was as new as the dawn and that left me on the outside of the wedding party, peering inside, at the end of unreturned phone calls and unable to meet with Henry Dawnay.

“Speaking of wrecking balls, how’s Danielle? Managed to destroy that relationship yet?” Dexter asked, pulling me out of my Henry obsession.

I glanced up from my phone. “What? She’s fine.” I wasn’t sure she was exactly fine. I’d pissed her off. Again. The last conversation we had over dinner, she’d