DREW SAT AT THE BAR, nursing a scotch—his back ramrod straight and his stomach roiling with anger and frustration. How dare his dad pull this shit on him? He'd cleaned up his act. He'd focused on business instead of pleasure. Hell, he did everything but ask how high he had to jump.
He glanced at his watch and grimaced.
"Sorry, I'm late," Blake York said, in that smooth British accent of his as he sat beside him. At first, Drew had hated Blake York on sight, with his smooth ways and pretentious manners ... until Drew discovered that all those smooth ways paved the way for multi-million dollar deals. York could talk a man out of his last penny and be thanked for it. "What's up?"
"My dad won't allow me to take over MI unless I get married."
"That's not remotely funny." Blake ordered a drink and turned his attention to Drew. "Please tell me you're joking."
"If I don't, then he'll ask Connor and London to take over. If they say no, then he'll sell off the majority shares and give the money to charity. The board will decide who to hire, while I'll have nothing. No job. No stocks ... nothing." It would be like he'd never existed when his dad was done.
Blake's blue eyes widened slightly. "Fuck me, mate."
"I have until the end of the month, but the Stratford deal is in three weeks. I can't chance it that my dad won't put someone in place before then. Hell, I don't put it past him to try to put it off."
"That's a billion dollar contract. Why in the hell would he jeopardize it?"
Drew smiled tightly. "Family is more important. Contracts can wait for me to find the right woman." Forget right women. At this point, any woman would do.
"Good luck with that," Blake said on a chuckle.
"Remind me why I asked you to meet for drinks?"
Blake exhaled deeply. "You could always hire someone. Have them play the part and give them your expectations up front. Hell, I bet you could even pretend to get married. Unless William said he had to be present at the ceremony."
Drew lifted the glass of scotch to his lips, then paused as a glimmer of hope started to form in his chest. "Actually, no, he didn't."
"I'll make a list, shall I." Blake took out his phone and began to search for names. "Won't be easy. I'm fairly certain you've pissed off most of the female population in our circles."
"Then I'll just have to make it worth their while."