How to Get Auctioned to a Billionaire by London Casey

Prologue





(Jane (Mary))





I promised myself it would only be temporary.

Time had a funny way of deciding when it wanted to slow down, speed up, or just not show itself at all.

The lines of temporary and trapped forever were so blurred and close together, it was like melting two different color crayons together to make a new color.

Except mine was more of a shit brown than some cool teal-meets-lavender kind of thing that would win a contest where I’d get a tote bag and a voucher for a free steak.

Bitter, Jane?

Oh, just a fucking little.

I tapped my fingers to the counter, waiting for the coffee.

I moved to my toes and looked behind the counter.

The three baristas working the counter moved slower than sloths. Groggy, hungover, maybe still drunk from the night before, they didn’t quite understand the pressure I was under. If Mr. Haron didn’t get his morning coffee at the right moment, the entire day would be a disaster.

I should have gotten to the coffeeshop ten minutes earlier.

I was too busy dragging myself out of my bed, wondering how in the world I was ever going to get out of the life I was in. Renting a bedroom from some woman who collected cat statues and knew everything about cats but couldn’t have a cat because she was severely allergic. Having a schedule of when I could use the bathroom. Meaning if there was ever a moment of ut-oh-I-need-a-toilet-right-now I would have to leave and find some public bathroom to use.

One of the baristas put the coffee down and smiled.

“Woody,” he said and snickered. “Nice.”

I grabbed the coffee.

I wished that was a joke.

My boss’s name was Woody.

And it was difficult to face him each day and not make jokes or laugh at the ones that were so easily hanging there.

Woody this, Woody that. Woody. Woody. Woody.

When he hired me, he looked me dead in the eyes and said, “If you ever compare my name to a cock, I’ll fire you on the spot.”

I told him I liked his ability to rhyme and laughed.

Everyone else in the construction company laughed at his name.

Of course, only when he wasn’t around.

One time a guy said something tongue-in-cheek and Mr. Haron picked up a piece of wood and swung it like a baseball bat. He hit the guy so hard, the guy’s jaw was wired shut for weeks.

And Mr. Haron never got in trouble for it.

Why?

Because money and power rules the goddamn world.





I turned with the coffee and reached for my bag to get my phone.

I had a hunch Mr. Haron had already started texting me.

Two steps later I felt like I hit a brick wall.

I jumped back when I felt the hot coffee on my hand.

“Fuck!” I yelled as the cup hit the floor.

I quickly wiped my hand on my shirt and looked up to see some douchebag standing there in a fake leather jacket, a porn-star ‘stache, and a pair of black aviators on his face.

“What the hell, dude?” I asked.

He slowly pulled the sunglasses down the bridge of his nose. “You should come with a wide load sign, babe. Do those hips come with their own zip code?”

My first reaction was to put my fist through the guy’s face.

But I couldn’t do that because I needed to get Mr. Haron his coffee.

I spun around and the barista who laughed at the Woody name stared at me.

“Help?” I asked.

“Want me to fight that guy?”

“What? No. I want another coffee.”

“Oh, yeah,” the barista said.

“I mean, feel free to spit in his drink,” I said. “He’s probably going to order some hipster mango drink to be cool.”

I glanced back and the fake leather douchebag was studying the menu on the wall.

It took another five minutes to get another coffee.

I made sure to avoid the fake leather douchebag and hurried the hell out of the coffeeshop.

When I got to my company car, I looked at the time on my phone and let out a collective sigh and fuck.

I was late.

Mr. Haron was going to have my ass.





I sped to the office, lucky enough to not get a ticket.

Even if I did, I could just pass it along to Mr. Haron and he would somehow make it go away.

Stuff like that seemed cool at first, but then started to wear on me.

There was so much of what he did that was shady.

Which I learned to turn a blind eye to all of it.

I told myself I would be able to just deny anything and everything if shit ever hit the fan.