The Other Side of Greed (The Seven Sins #5) - Lily Zante Page 0,1

St. Bernard Dog air. His love of red wine, blue cheese and rich foods have no doubt helped.

He gets rich off of people like me but he lacks the killer instinct that I have, which is why he’s a lawyer charging me by the hour, and why I’m where I am. Making deals, and obscene amounts of money, being driven by the urge and greed to possess, these things run in my blood.

Strange, because that wasn’t how my life started.

While I also like the finer things in life like fine dining, thousand dollar bottles of wine and whiskey, and watching sunsets from my private jet, making money is what truly makes me happy. Amassing things, possessions, properties.

Emma, my PA, who is smarter and sharper than I give her credit for, notices that my newfound interest in Jessica has a similar trait to my desire to own things. “She’s not a building or a commodity, Brandon,” she said to me when Jessica first came on the scene, “she’s not a ‘thing’ that you can own or possess; she’s a person.” I beg to differ. People, like things, can be bought, and owned and possessed. I believe that after much wining and dining, and whisking away on exotic holidays, after gifting her expensive trinkets, and clothes, and accessories, there will come such a time.

My lawyer grabs his briefcase by the handle and swings it off the table, then pauses.

“Greenways. Have you given it some thought?” His greedy little eyes settle on me awaiting orders for my next project. A fun project, I think, before I step into the limelight as Philip Hawks’ successor.

“I have.”

Neville cocks his head expectantly. “Care to share your plans with me?”

Greenways is a plot of land I am interested in acquiring. It’s a prime piece of real estate even if, to the unknowing eye, it looks like an eyesore. Once ignored and forgotten, the area is slowly becoming gentrified—due to money being pumped into the infrastructure in the surrounding areas.

It will be worth a hell of a lot in years to come. Naturally, I want it. My contact, Charlie Stagg, in the city’s planning and development department, is available to help as and when needed. The land presently houses a few factories and stores and it’s just a matter of getting business owners to move. The problem is, getting them to move isn’t easy; they’re stubborn, but Stagg can help us.

Reaching out to them in the hopes of coming to some sort of financial agreement isn’t going to work. I’ve seen other companies fail. I’ve come up with another strategy—which Charlie will help to facilitate by designating Greenways to be a redevelopment project area due to blight. Then the city can rehabilitate it later.

‘Later’ is when Hawks Enterprises will be given the contracts to build new condos. We’ll make a shitload of money in the process.

“I told you, I want to try another way,” I tell Neville.

When Neville’s thick caterpillar brows meet angrily in the middle, I try to assure him. “Don’t look so worried, Neville. I’ve got this.”

“That’s what I’m worried about.” Neville’s brain has short-circuited, and he seems to have forgotten who I am. When I broached this idea with him before, albeit briefly, he didn’t sound so eager.

“You are crazy to think you can change Kyra Lewis’s mind.”

“Shhhh.” I hold my finger to my lips. I scratch my chin, bored by this talk of worrying what the peasants at Greenways may or may not like. “Let’s not talk about her right now.” I’ve read up about this feisty little upstart. This poor girl do-gooder. Someone needs to warn her that I eat people like her for breakfast. “I want to have some fun with this.” I put on my jacket and adjust the cuffs of my shirt.

I’m also eager to be on my way. Working late is the norm for me, but tonight is a rare social evening. Art galleries are not my forte. I find them boring, but if my future wife-to-be is involved in that world, it’s something I’m going to have to get to like.

Though the door to my office is open, Emma still knocks on it and hovers, not coming in. “I have some paperwork for you to sign. It’s urgent.”

“Don’t you worry about Lewis,” I tell Neville. “I’ll update you in due time.” I motion for Emma to come in, then survey the sheaf of papers she hands me.

Neville doesn’t look amused. “You underestimate people sometimes, Brandon. The Greenways store