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The Most Eligible Bachelor Bella Winters 2022/7/22 14:15:11

I was already bored to tears.

“What do you think, Chance?”

I looked up and lifted an eyebrow at the man sitting to my right. Dennis East was my best friend and right-hand man, and the one person on the planet that I truly trusted. Ever since freshman year at college, we had been stuck to each other’s sides like ticks on a blue hound. I had started my company with the little bit of inheritance my good-for-nothing old man had left me when he finally choked and died, and building it up to the billion-dollar tech conglomerate that it was now had been a real challenge. A challenge I could not have overcome without the help of Dennis.

He was as ruthless as I was, his charming smile hiding the true tiger that hid behind it. He could compliment a man one minute, then tear off his head in the next. If there was one person I knew who could run my company as well as I could, it was Dennis. That was a thought that gave me both comfort and pause. Sometimes, Dennis acted like he did run the place. I’d have to gently nudge him back into the second chair to get us back on track.

That made me wonder why the hell he was wasting my time with this crap. I had no idea what this kid was pitching, but it wasn’t something I was the least bit interested in. Dennis knew it, so why was he wasting my time?

“I’m not really sure what Poindexter is pitching,” I said with a long sigh. “Hell, I’m not sure he knows what he’s talking about.”

Dennis shot me a glare, his signature “play nice” look that I was slowly getting tired of, especially when he set up useless meetings like these.

“I think Alan’s idea has tremendous potential,” Dennis said, waving a hand at the kid, who was fidgeting like he had to take a piss.

“Oh, man?” I said, lifting my hands up in apology. “I’m sorry, I thought this was a high school science fair. Were you pitching an idea for a real business? Alan?”

“Chance,” Dennis hissed.

The kid was fiddling with the pointer in his hand, his face bright red, visibly uncomfortable.

“Okay, I’m sorry, I’ll be serious,” I said, leaning in. “You’re asking me to invest millions of dollars into a software that directly competes with something my company already has on the market, based on research that directly contradicts what we know about customer satisfaction and future product development.”

“Erm, well, um…” the kid stuttered like a village idiot.

“Not only that, what you’re showing me here is a demo of what is only half-developed, based on a concept that is not fully thought out, with the promise that what I’ll be getting surpasses our own product tremendously.”

“What Alan is suggesting,” Dennis cut in, glaring at me, “is that what he’s offering can be developed into a newer version of our own software, with much better compatibility options, for a much lower cost. And is a lot more stable.”

“Alan, are you looking for a job in our research and development department?” I asked. “Because if that’s the case, then you’re in the wrong room, and I just wasted half an hour of my time I’ll never get back. If, however, you’re trying to sell us something that we can’t make ourselves, then you’ve gone about it all wrong, and I highly recommend you get your ass out of my conference room and back to high school before the bell rings.”

“Chance!” Dennis growled between gritted teeth. “Don’t be such an asshole.”

I got up, buttoned my jacket and gave Dennis my best smile. “Next time you set up a meeting with a monkey, make sure it can dance. At least then I’d be a little more entertained. And much less of an asshole.”

I stepped out of the conference room and made my way down the hall to my office. Behind me, I could hear Dennis apologizing to the kid, and I shook my head in disbelief. Of all the fucking demands I had to my schedule, this shouldn’t have been one of them.

Alice met me halfway down the hall and handed me a manila folder. “What the fuck is this?”

“The quarterly reports from last week,” she said. “I need your signature on all of them. Also, you’ve got three calls on waiting, two from board members, one from our client in Sweden.”

I frowned at her. “Jesus, Alice, couldn’t you just take a message? I don’t have the energy to deal with the fucking board right now.”

“I’ve taken messages,” she said defensively. “Twice in the past three days. You just never called them back.”

“How did the meeting go?” she asked.

“Did you make another one cry?”

“No, this one just shit himself.” I opened the door to my office, slumped down in my chair and threw the folder on my desk. I sighed, laid back and rubbed my eyes. I felt a heavy weight on my chest, as if someone were sitting on me. I undid my tie and took a few deep breaths. When I opened my eyes, Alice was still there.

“Signatures,” she said, nodding at the folder on my desk.