Built Strong (The Middleton Hotels Series Book 3)

By: C.M. Steele

Chapter 1


There was a knock at my office door, but I was still on a call. What was the point of an assistant if they didn’t do their job? The door opened, then I understood why she didn’t stop the person.

“Excuse me, Mom. I’m going to have to call you back. Your son is here and he still hasn’t learned manners, even after getting married,” I grumbled on the line while my little brother laughed.

“Which one?” she asked, already knowing who it was. Joseph only acted out of character when his wife was around.

“Jake, the little brat,” I replied, shrugging when he gave me the finger.

I covered the receiver and said, “Mom said she should have gotten a dog.”

He scoffed and tossed out, “She did when she had your bitch ass.”

“Okay, I love you, too.” I hung up the phone, this time flipping Jake off; it was his turn to shrug.

"What do you want, Jake?" I asked as my brother didn't bother to put his ass in a chair, but instead planted it on my desk. He was lucky I was in a damn good mood. Everything was running smoothly and two remodels were ahead of schedule.

"I need a favor,” he said.

"So, coming in and annoying me by sitting on my desk is your idea of buttering me up?" I asked, looking at my brother then down at my desk.

"No, but since Joe's married, taking time away from Rachael isn't going to happen." He's got another great property to look at already? The shithead was on a roll finding them, making the rest of us look like slackers.

"Away? A new business opportunity already?” I asked, wondering if this boy was a property guru.

"No, I need someone I trust to look in on the remodel for the hotel in Reese."

"Oh, the one for Harley?" We agreed that Jake could name the hotel after his wife, but it was a surprise that he'd give her when it was complete. We all loved Harley after she became a part of our family.

Jake fidgeted with his tie nervously for a moment before he answered, "Yep, and she's about due any day, so I don't want to leave her." The guy was madly in love with his wife and even if she wasn't that close to delivering my nephew, he still didn't want to spend a night away from her.

"I suppose. Is there something wrong with the project?" I’d been working on the contracts with the lawyers for other deals and this wasn’t up my alley, but we did this as a team.

"No, but the original interior designer with the firm we hired quit. This one is fresh off the bus and I want you to meet with her to check out our initial concept that we spent months coming up with. Also, I need to know if there's going to be a delay."

"When do you need me to leave? I have two conference calls this week with our lawyer and the marketing department."

"As soon as possible," he said, twisting his face, rubbing his hand on the back of his neck.

I opened the calendar on my computer to see the calls were tomorrow and Wednesday. If I was going to make them I would need to leave tonight. “I’d have to leave today or not until Thursday.”

“I’d prefer today. I could get everything together. Please, bro,” he pleaded.

“Get me the jet. I’ll get everything ready for my meetings,” I said.

“Thanks, bro. Really, this is important to me,” he said, hopping off my desk. “Oh, by the way, I’ll get you her number so you can set up your appointment with her.”

“Great. I’ll try to get it scheduled tonight before I get on the plane. Now get out of my office,” I barked out.

“Bossy fucker. You need to get laid,” Jake teased, walking happily to the door. Of course he was happy, he got laid all the time. I learned that my brothers kept their dicks on lockdown until they met the one. I did, too, but I didn’t tell anyone. I was the one who partied with the celebs. I hadn’t planned on a pact of any sort, I just took my father’s advice to heart and didn’t let pussy get ahead of the family business. Maybe it was time for me to look for the right one. I’d just turned twenty-seven, a bit too old to be holding onto my virginity.

“It certainly helped your ass,” I grumbled, hating he was on point about it.

“Damn right, maybe you’ll have luck in Reese like me.”

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