The merger, p.1

The Merger, page 1

 part  #1 of  The Ryan Family Series

 

The Merger
 


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The Merger


  The Merger: Extended Epilogue

  The Ryan Family Books One-Three By: Loni Ree

  Copyright © 2019 by Loni Ree

  All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

  Please respect the author and do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials that would violate the author’s rights.

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

  Edited By: Kendra's Editing and Book Services

  Cover Design By: Karlee Fast at KL’s Book Designs

  Created with Vellum

  Contents

  LUKAS’ ANGEL

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Epilogue: Lukas

  BLAKE’S BOMBSHELL

  Prologue

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Chapter 20

  Chapter 21

  Chapter 22

  Chapter 23

  Epilogue: Blake

  DREW’S UNDOING

  Prologue

  Chapter 24

  Chapter 25

  Chapter 26

  Chapter 27

  Chapter 28

  Chapter 29

  Chapter 30

  Chapter 31

  Chapter 32

  Chapter 33

  Chapter 34

  Chapter 35

  Epilogue 1: Drew

  Epilogue 2: Annie

  EXTENDED EPILOGUE

  Also by Loni Ree

  Acknowledgments

  About the Author

  Lukas’ Angel

  By: Loni Ree

  Copyright © 2019 by Loni Ree

  All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

  Please respect the author and do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials that would violate the author’s rights.

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

  Edited By: Kendra's Editing and Book Services

  Cover Design By: Karlee Fast at KL’s Book Designs

  Created with Vellum

  1

  Lukas

  “Fuck, taking care of my idiot brothers and this place is driving me insane. How the hell am I gonna babysit Useless Steele, too?” Gramps shakes his head and drops onto my sofa while I complain about this stupid fucking merger.

  “The boy has a name other than Useless, and you will come out of this with a position on the Board of Steele Co. Consulting and a beautiful wife.” After picking up his drink and pointing at the tall building that can be seen out my high-rise window, he arches his eyebrows.

  “The board position sounds good. I’ll pass on the wife.” As the words leave my mouth, Marta, my pain in the ass assistant, comes gliding in the door.

  “Wife? Are you getting married, darling?” Her eyes turn glacial, and the urge to strangle her for the hundredth time today courses through my body. I ended our short-lived affair a few days ago, but she isn’t getting the message.

  “This is a private conversation. We don’t need anything at the moment,” Gramps George says, turning to look at her.

  She looks between the two of us for a few seconds before turning and grabbing the door handle. “Buzz if you need anything, Lukas.”

  “Mark my words, that vulture is going to cause problems. Now, the merger is a done deal. Let’s get lunch.” After rolling my eyes at him, we ignore Marta on the way out and take my brothers, Brayden and Nikolas, out for lunch.

  For the past eight years, I have been responsible for my brothers and Sterling-Ryan, ever since my parents, Lawrence and Michelle Ryan, were killed in a plane crash on their way to celebrate their thirtieth anniversary in Tahiti. My grandfather, Gramps George, has helped, but pushing my brothers to succeed and maintaining Sterling-Ryan’s success are two things I owe my parents. Two years before Mom and Dad died, Gramps George retired from Sterling-Ryan after working hard for many years. He and my grandmother had created Sterling-Ryan and built it into the multi-billion-dollar company it is today. After taking over at the helm, I expected each of my brothers to take a small role in running our family company, and I work hard to keep control of the chaos.

  Despite me telling Gramps George a partnership with the Steele family would be a mistake, he agreed to help them anyway. Like my plate isn't overflowing already with our own problems. Now, I'm being forced to babysit fucking Steele Co. for Drew and Bradley Steele because Gramps is sentimental. He went to college with Christopher Steele, the former CEO of Steele Co. Consulting. After Christopher and his son, Christopher II, died in an accident, their business nearly fell apart.

  Christopher's remaining son, Useless, I mean Bradley, knows jack shit about business. After such a short time, he’s already fucking drowning. He's a teacher for God's sake. Christopher Steele's younger brother, Drew, who owns DRS Security, Inc., a large Security Firm, asked Gramps George to arrange a partnership of sorts between our two companies. The agreement states that, in exchange for a significant portion of Steele Co. shares, we will step in and lend our expertise to stabilize Steele Co. until Bradley is ready to take the reins fully. My position on the Board of Directors will protect our interests while allowing me to keep an eye on young Bradley Steele in the future.

  For our agreement to work, Gramps and Drew Steele agree we need to make the partnership look more authentic with two marriages between our families—a union between Lucy Steele and myself, and then, another between Bradley and my sister, Annie. That part of the deal, of course, is not public knowledge. The idea of having a wife chosen for me does not sit well with me. The idea pisses me off, royally.

  As I was about to put my foot down and demand a different Ryan brother be the one to marry Lucy, Lucy dropped a bombshell on all of us. She has been secretly seeing one of Drew's security operatives.

  They have been going hot and heavy for a while because she is, in fact, pregnant. When Lucy revealed her pregnancy, Gramps and Drew moved on to plan B and pulled the little sister, Madison, out of their hat.

  Madison, at twenty-four, is seven years younger than Lucy and five years younger than Bradley. The Steeles have sheltered Madison her entire life. She lived with her mother since her parents divorced several years ago until her mother’s death three years ago. Now, she lives alone and works as an accountant, of all things. She avoids the public spotlight, completely, which makes her the total opposite of her sister.

  We all decided one of my brothers is going to have to bite the bullet and marry Madison, for the partnership to work. At thirty-five, I am way too old, and I refuse to marry her. I have already stated, I expect my brother to treat her well, but no
one expects a love match. I have no problem if whichever brother I choose decides to keep seeing other women on the side as long as he is discreet. Drew and Bradley are less than thrilled with my indifference, but oh well.

  Lukas

  Since we decided Madison will marry one of my brothers, Bradley has been a pain in my ass. Who the fuck does Useless think he is? Calling and demanding an emergency meeting with me like he thinks I have all the time in the world to cater to him.

  I let my assistant know I'm ready to deal with him. "Marta, send Mr. Steele in." I casually recline at my desk and watch as he marches through the door ready for battle, a battle I already won.

  He couldn't even wait to be invited to be seated before spouting off, "Lucy overheard Marta in the fitting rooms at La Femme, discussing your plans for Madison. She gave all the details of the merger and went on and on about how you aren't concerned if he keeps his girls on the side as long as he agrees not to beat her. My sister should have someone who cares for her and is going to treat her right."

  Wow, the vein is going to bulge out of the side of his neck any minute. The man didn’t take a single breath the whole time he ranted. My fucking day is getting better and better. Holding in the laughter is hard, but laughing in his face may push him over the edge.

  Time to set him straight now. "Then you need to find a new family to sell your sister to because this is all I’ve got. We will treat her as we outlined before. My brother will protect her and won't abuse her. I will make no other promises. It’s up to them if they get along, and well, she is in for a big disappointment. Now, your sensitive bullshit is starting to turn my stomach. You need the partnership because you’re too much of a pussy to control your shit, and your fucking uncle came begging to us to bail you out. So, if you are unhappy with the agreement, walk! My conditions stand. We will proceed with the agreement as previously stated. You still get the better end. You get all the help, and you get my sister! One of my brothers has to sacrifice his freedom, and we are bailing your ass out! You better bet your ass I couldn’t give a shit if he gets relief elsewhere. Fuck off with your whiny demands.” There goes the vein again.

  "You cold bastard. I have no choice, and you know it.” Reality sinking in is a beautiful thing! He finally realizes who controls everything. He stands there clenching and unclenching his fists.

  Now, the time has come for him to leave. "Get the fuck out of my office and wait until I contact you. And one more thing; do not even think of calling another emergency meeting unless you have a true emergency." Actually, fuck off, I think to myself as he slams out of my office.

  2

  Lukas

  Getting through this fucking business dinner without either strangling Marta or firing her ass will be a miracle. I've explained to her stubborn ass over and over again how I expect her to behave at these work dinners. She's supposed to act like my assistant and not my goddamn lover. If she brushes up against me or tries to take my hand one more time, she's out of here. Since I haven't touched her in weeks, she has become more aggressive in her attempts to regain my attention. After her performance tonight, we are going to have a long overdue conversation tomorrow. I will never have an affair with an employee again. The end hits too close to home.

  Between fighting her off and listening to the annoying fucker in front of me, a massive headache is pounding behind my eyes, and I'm ready for the night to be over. As I'm listening to Jeffrey drone on and on, I glance to the right and nearly spew my twenty-five-year-old whiskey all over the table when the most perfect woman—no, she’s an angel—I have ever seen catches my eye. Because she is sitting down, knowing her height is impossible, but she is tiny. Her gorgeous, blonde hair curls down her back, and from across the room, I notice her unbelievable blue, almost purple eyes. There is no explanation for what the hell is happening to me. She is sitting at a table by herself, and fighting the urge to get up and join her is difficult.

  I'm losing my mind. Women never have this effect on me; the only explanation is me losing my fucking mind. The pressure of the upcoming partnership combined with Marta's shit and all the work stress have finally caused me to crack. There is no other reason for these feelings.

  On the one hand, the undeniable urge to meet the gorgeous girl courses through me. But on the other hand, a voice in my head tells me she may change my life and for me to run while I can.

  When Marta starts running her hand up my thigh underneath the table, I turn to deal with her. Jeffrey asks some questions about his business, the same questions I have answered many times before. How does someone so obtuse run a multi-million-dollar business? Then I look over, and my Angel's table is empty. My heart drops, and it takes all of my control to stop myself from murdering Marta or throwing Jeffrey through the wall. I rush through the rest of the dinner before the temptation to kill a client and ex-mistress over missing my chance with the unknown woman overtakes me.

  Over the next week, I think about my Angel all the time. Kicking my own ass for stupidly neglecting to meet her is an option.

  Madison

  My parents' marriage was never happy. It had been doomed from the beginning when two incompatible people were thrust together. They were both in their mid-thirties, and their union was as suitable as oil and water. My grandparents told them the time had come to get married and produce heirs, and they’d allowed their parents to arrange the marriage with disastrous results. We endured years of fights and tension until they finally admitted their mistake and divorced. My mom was a wonderful woman, but my dad was the biggest ass around, and when you put them together, all hell broke loose.

  Christopher was the only sibling with any interest in Steele Co., and Lucy was my dad's favorite daughter, so Christopher and Lucy remained in the large mansion with our dad after the divorce. Bradley and I moved into a smaller house with our mother about an hour away, and our lives actually became a lot less stressful until three years ago.

  That time of my life was a nightmare. My mom died of cancer when I was twenty-one, and I was a few months away from graduating from college. She died only two short months after her diagnosis. It started with headaches, and by the time she went to the doctor, they found an aggressive form of brain cancer. Because of how aggressive the disease was, my mother chose to forgo treatment. She wanted to enjoy what time she had left, without suffering through the nasty effects of treatments. I will always treasure the time I had with her at the end. Her death was hard on me, but I still managed to graduate from college three months later. I wish she had lived long enough to see me graduate.

  After graduating, I got a job in my field and working helped with the loneliness I experienced. Bradley and I had always been close, but we became inseparable after our mother's death since we saw our other siblings so infrequently.

  Then, our world took another unbelievable hit when my dad and my older brother, Christopher, were killed in an automobile accident. Their deaths left our family reeling. The two of them ran a large business consulting firm, Steele Co. Consulting, which has been left with an uncertain future and no leadership.

  My Uncle Drew is busy with his own security business and can only take the time to help out for a short time. My remaining brother, Bradley, is now having to quit his teaching position. He’s stepping up to try to learn how to run a company he has never wanted to be a part of. My older sister, Lucy, was supposed to marry Lukas Ryan to create a partnership and strengthen our company. Only, sometimes, things don't work out as planned, and a positive pregnancy test has ended her agreement with Lukas.

  Tonight, the big jerk himself will announce which of his brothers I’m going to have to marry. From the pictures I’ve seen of the Ryan family, they could all be models. Lukas, the oldest and big jerk himself, is at least six and a half feet tall and nothing but muscles. Next is Nikolas, then Aiden and Annie, who are twins, and then finally, Brayden.

  Dark brown hair which is always cut in the latest style, with piercing blue eyes that seem to be a genetic calling card of al
l the Ryan brothers. The only difference between them is a few years and maybe a couple of inches in height. Annie is a beautiful, feminine version of her brothers. She’s tall and model thin, with straight, long, light brown, always perfectly styled hair. In every photo, her make-up is perfectly applied to her model-perfect face. The brothers are all so gorgeous, any woman would die to be married to any one of them. But, to me, this marriage is like a jail sentence I’ll have to endure for my family.

  The time has come to a stop feeling sorry for myself and get ready for the coming ordeal. Tonight, I’m wearing my violet A-line dress with matching five-inch heels. Hopefully, the dress will play up my most unique feature, my blue-purple eyes. A few curls in my waist-length, blonde hair, a swipe of mascara on my lashes, lip gloss on my lips, and I'm good to go.

  Lukas

  The night comes for our family dinner party with the Steeles, and I want to get this shit over. After spending the last week looking everywhere for my Angel, I have come to the conclusion I'm never going to find her. Since I've eaten at the fucking restaurant where I first saw her four times, in the hopes I will get lucky and she will be there, too, the management thinks I’m stalking a goddamn employee. In an attempt to forget her, I keep assuring myself, the effect she had on me was not as powerful as I remember.

 
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