The Millionaire's Games


by Helen Cooper

Chapter 1

“It’s a bit early to be meeting your family isn’t it Ben?” Louise tried to keep her voice light but she was panicking inside. “I mean we’ve only been dating for a few weeks.”

“I want you to meet my family Louise. I have to go home any way, why not come?” Ben smiled at her and kissed her nose. “I want them to see how happy I am. I can’t wait to see Richard’s face.”

“Richard?” Louise sighed at his excitement. “Who is Richard?”

“My older brother. He is the apple of my father’s eye. He went to Harvard law school, he runs the family business and he’s a battle-axe. No one dares to try and interfere with the Beekman Companies any more. Not now that Richard has taken over.” Ben’s voice sounded rejected and envious.

“I’m guessing there’s no love lost there huh?” Louise laughed. “You are successful too Ben.”

“I’m a lowly associate in a small firm. He runs the family business. Dates supermodels. Or should I say sleeps with them and leaves.” He laughed bitterly.

“Is that what you wish you were doing?” Louise raised an eyebrow at him.

“No Louise. You know that’s not what I mean. I’m happy waiting on you, when you’re ready of course.” Ben smiled at her weakly. He was fed up of waiting for her to sleep with him. But he knew that if he pressured her, she would just leave him. He was hoping that she would see his family home and be impressed and sleep with him.

“I’ll come but only because I think you need the support.” Louise smiled at him while sighing inside. Why did she always find herself roped into situations like this? Not only did she not want to go to meet Ben’s family but she also wanted to break up with him. She studied his classical good looks: blond floppy hair, light blue eyes, and well dressed. She supposed many women would have been happy to date someone like him; especially when they found out he had a trust worth $50 million. But she thought he was dull and annoying. At 30, she thought he was too old to complain as much as he did and wished he would just grow up.

“Oh thank you Louise, you are my best girl.” He kissed her on the forehead and she wanted to tell him she wasn’t a little girl who needed her boo-boos kissed.

“Yeah, no problem. So shall we go and watch this movie then?” Louise prodded him towards the movie theatre. “It’s meant to be a good one.”

“Isn’t it an old movie?” He frowned at her.

“Yes, it’s an old French movie. Jules et Jim. I told you this already.”

“Look Louise, I don’t want you to be mad but do you mind if I take a rain check. Julia Jim just doesn’t sound like my type of movie.” He shrugged apologetically at her. “Look here’s $20, get some popcorn to go with the movie. I’ll catch you later.” He handed her the $20 and ran back towards his car.

Louise watched him get in his car and sighed. She should have seen this coming. It was the same thing he had done at the ballet the week before. She was pretty sure that his parent’s hadn’t raised him to be so rude and she wondered if he would treat any of his upper-class friends this way? Louise walked up and got her ticket and went and sat in the dark theatre waiting for the movie to start.

As she sat there, she knew she had to think of a way to get out of this quasi-relationship but she wasn’t sure how. She had met Ben at work, she was recently hired as a secretary for one of the other associates and Ben had invited her for drinks one night. She’d been pleasantly surprised. She hadn’t thought that a lawyer would want to take out a secretary but she wished that she had rejected that initial date. The law firm didn’t have a policy on interoffice dating and before she knew it, Ben had told everyone at the firm that they were an item. She wasn’t really sure why. She knew she was pretty but no more so than any other girl. She had no money, and no social status; she wasn’t in Ben’s league at all. As soon as one of the other secretaries had told her the information Ben was spreading she had gone to let him know that there had been a misunderstanding but she had walked in on him telling the senior partner of the firm that they were very happy together. She was scared that she would lose her job if she had tried to tell people that they weren’t together, so she had decided to give it a shot and date him for a bit.

That’s why she hadn’t slept with him. In fact, he thought she was a prude, something which made her laugh. But she just couldn’t bring herself to sleep with him. She no longer found him attractive and everything he said annoyed her. Frankly, she was ready to dump after the movie tonight but she supposed she could wait until after this weekend.

***

Louise packed a small suitcase with a variety of clothes. She had no idea what to pack. She knew that the Beekman’s were rich but did they dress formally for dinner? Would they expect her to wear a silk nightgown to work? She just had no clue what to expect in a world of money. She had grown up in a small city in Florida called Palm Bay, and going to Orlando to visit Disney was considered a big treat. Shoots, going to Applebee’s on a Friday night meant that your family had money. Louise wasn’t sure what to expect with one of the blue-blooded families of New York.

“Jackie, what should I take with me?” She wailed to her best friend on the phone. “I don’t even think I own the type of clothes they expect me to wear.”

“Louise, don’t even worry about it. You know you’re going to be done with that nitwit Ben by the end of the weekend. I say wear whatever you want, the scrubbier the better. Shock em, why don’t ya?” Jackie laughed down the phone. She was originally from England and so more familiar with the higher classes. “Look luv, I gotta go back to work now but call me when you arrive at the palace okay?”

“Yes Jackie, have fun.” Louise laughed.

“Yeah right. Seeya.” Jackie hung up and went back to her job of selling shoes to the rich wives of Wall Street brokers. The women in the store always looked down on Jackie but none of them knew that she actually had a Masters from Princeton University and her Uncle was a Lord back in England. She wanted to be a writer and so was working in the shoe store to research the industry. Louise thought Jackie was fabulous. They’d been best friends ever since they had worked together at a call center. They had bonded over their hatred of the job.

Ding-dong. Louise sighed as he heard her doorbell ringing. She was sure it was Ben and she wasn’t even fully packed. “Fuck it, I’ll take whatever.” Louise mumbled to herself as she flung a handful of clothes into the case.

“Hey.” She said breathlessly as she opened the door.

“I was wondering where you were. We need to go now before traffic gets bad.” Ben kissed her on the cheek and Louise nodded. They walked down to the car and Louise gasped at the sight of the limousine and chauffeur.

Ben grinned, ”Richard sent the limo up to pick up me and David. So we get to drive to The Hamptons in style.”

“David?” Louise looked at him confused. “Who is David?”

“My younger brother.” Ben looked at her bemused. “I guess I never mentioned him before huh? He’s a mess. He is trying to become an actor and so basically does nothing.”

“Oh, I see.” And she did. Obviously David had no hold on the family company and so Ben didn’t see him as a threat. “Is he a lot younger than you?”