Peter Burk drummed his fingers against his leg in a
steady tattoo. He was angryâ€”very angry. Angry because he
had read about this in the society column just like everybody
else. Angry because he hadnâ€™t been here to stop Cyrus
from making the biggest mistake of his life. Angry at being
summoned to the â€˜big houseâ€™ to wait in the hall like some
servant. Angry because it was a â€˜done dealâ€™ and would take
more than a few choice words in the right personâ€™s ear to fix
Now was not the time to have to deal with this
â€˜marriageâ€™. Things were topsy-turvy enough as it was.
Jamie had gone to Bogota, Colombia two months ago and
seemingly fell off the face of the earth. Then Jim had rushed
to Colombiaâ€”against his express adviceâ€”to look for Jamie
and now Jim was missing.
Peter jumped up and began pacing. He had been in
Bogota looking for them but an emergency at Burk Security
he had forced him to return two days ago. He had planned
on returning to Bogota tomorrow to continue the search.
Now those plans would have to be revised.
Arriving home to find out that Cyrus had married a
little golddigger and was turning his company over to her
lock, stock and barrel was a shock to say the least. Cyrus
had loved Rachel and never given the slightest hint that he
was interested in another woman much less ready to marry
She must be good, Peter thought. He had only been
in South America two weeks. In that time, she had managed
to come in under Cyrusâ€™ radar and sink her greedy claws into
Cy-Rac. Tonight was a mere formality. He was here to meet
the new CEO so it would â€˜look likeâ€™ he approved. Tomorrow
she would walk into Cy-Rac and officially take over.
Peter raked his hands through his hair. Cyrus was
a savvy old man. He could read people at a glance. That
was what had made him one of the top business moguls in
America; or for that matter, the world. He always placed
people where their talents would do them and the company
the most good. He could spot winners and didnâ€™t mind
paying for their services. He was patient with what he called
â€˜raw materialâ€™ but he never put up with slackers or people
looking for a free ride. That is why this little turn of events
was such a shock.
The lawyers had been called in, the papers drawn up
and signed before anyone else knew what was happening.
He couldnâ€™t believe that Cyrus had turned a multi-billion
dollar company over to a twenty-one year old girl.
Peter frowned. Something didnâ€™t add up here. Cyrus
didnâ€™t do things on the spur of the moment. This had to have
been brewing for some time. And, if this had been going on
long enough to result in marriage, how had it gotten past
him? Or Jim? Jim hadnâ€™t mentioned that Cyrus was seeing
anyone the last time they talked.
Peter tried to remember the last time he had seen
Cyrus. Counting back, he realized it had been nine months.
Nine months! It hadnâ€™t seemed that long. True, setting up
his own training grounds had taken up a lot of his time.
These last couple of months had been spent going between
Columbia and home. But stillâ€”nine months?
Cyrus had sent all pertinent details pertaining to Jim
and Jamieâ€™s disappearance by email. They had talked over
the phone but never face to face. In all that time, the old
man hadnâ€™t even hinted that anything was going on. Never
even came close to mentioning he was getting married.
What irked Peter the most was that Cyrus knew that
if he needed somethingâ€”anythingâ€”he just had to say so.
After everything the old man had done for himâ€¦it just went
Sure, he had been chasing leads in Columbia. That
was his business and he was good at it. But, his men were
good at it too. Good enough to continue searching for Jim
and Jamie while he helped Cyrus.
Peter went into the living room and walked to the big
picture window that looked out over the pool and onto the
formal gardens. The scene had always soothed himâ€”but not
tonight. The longer he had to wait, the angrier he got. What
was going on? And, where was everyone? Although it was
true that Cyrus didnâ€™t hold with keeping his staff up after
hours to wait on guest, he had expected to see Johnson.
He walked over to the bar and opened the whiskey
cabinet. It was empty. He opened every door. All the
cabinets were empty. Peter sighed. Cyrus used to keep some
of the finest Kentucky whiskey made. He looked in the little
refrigerator and saw one lone pitcher. He picked up and
smelled it. Lemonade?
The faint sound of tapping pushed past his swirling
thoughts. Someone was coming but it was slowly: very
slowly. He turned to find the source. Since it seemed to be
coming from the back of the house, Peter went back into the
He schooled his features. He knew he had done
nothing but frown since he had heard the â€˜newsâ€™. It wouldnâ€™t
do to start off on the wrong foot with the old man. He was a
tartar when it came to his family and his business. He didnâ€™t
tolerate trouble with either. Like it or not, until he could do
something about it, this little tart was â€˜familyâ€™.
Peter turned as he heard his name called. A shrunken
old man that barely resembled Cyrus Randal stood in the
doorway. Shock ripped through him. There was no way
Cyrus could have changed so much in the last nine months
unless something was terribly wrong. This was why the old
man had been duped by a golddigger.