Blackmail - Book cover


Heather Teston

Age Rating


When Trixie’s billionaire grandfather passes away, she’s shocked to learn about a stipulation in his will: find love and get married for a year or never receive the fortune. Faced with the prospect of having to look after herself for the first time in her life, Trixie desperately tries to think of anyone she can marry temporarily. Throughout her years of partying, she’s burned bridges. But then she remembers a young lawyer she kissed in a bar who, in his drunken stupor, shared a terrible secret with her; a secret she can exploit. With the sham marriage underway, all she has to do is wait out the year to get her money. But she never counted on falling for the lawyer, or having to deal with the consequences of his secret.

Age Rating: 18+

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Chapter 1

“I can’t wrap my head around this,” she said, her face a mask of disbelief.

“Let me explain it again,” Mr. Weston said, gathering his papers. “Your grandfather’s fortune will be yours, but only after you’ve been married for a year.”

“But I might not get married for years.”

The lawyer cleared his throat before going on. “In the meantime, you can live in his city condo.”

Her eyes widened. “But what about his mansion? Why can’t I live there? That’s my home, where I grew up. How am I supposed to get by?”

She couldn’t fathom why her grandfather would do this to her.

Trixie Brown was just a baby when her parents died in a plane crash. Her grandfather stepped in to raise her, as she had no other living relatives.

He adored Trixie and spoiled her rotten, giving her everything she wanted, including the best education money could buy.

She did her best to make him proud by earning good grades and graduating at the top of her business class. After all, he had been both a mother and father to her.

But Trixie had grown up with people catering to her every need, never having to lift a finger. Instead of working, she enjoyed shopping, traveling, and partying with her friends.

As a result, the only things he hadn’t given her were the skills to be independent, and she had relied on him for everything.

Trixie was comfortable with this arrangement. Whenever her grandfather suggested she get a job, she would twirl a strand of her long blonde hair and flash him a sweet smile until he backed down.

He would drop the subject and give her money for her travels or shopping sprees.

After all, how could he resist her when she looked so much like her mother, his only daughter? And he always said he knew she had a good heart because she was always ready to help anyone in need.

Trixie loved her grandfather with all her heart, so when he died of a heart attack two weeks ago, she was devastated.

But she had never anticipated how concerned he’d been about her future after his death. The condition in his will, that she must marry, was a complete shock.

Sure, she would be financially secure, but she had to find true love to get her inheritance? To work every day?

“The mansion will be sold immediately. There’s already a buyer, and you have one month to move out.

“All the condo expenses will be covered, and you’ll receive a monthly allowance of two thousand dollars for food and such.”

She stood up, fuming. “Two thousand dollars? I can’t live on that.”

The lawyer glanced at her purse, which alone was worth over two thousand dollars, not to mention her shoes and clothes. “You have a business degree; maybe you could get a job?”

“A job,” she scoffed. “I want my money and if getting married is what it takes, then so be it,” she declared, storming out of the office.


Anna entered the cozy restaurant and was led to the table where Trixie was already seated, sipping a glass of white wine.

She sat down across from her and could tell something was wrong by the look on her face. “Trixie, I’m sorry about your grandfather. I know how close you two were.”

“Thanks. I loved him… I thought he loved me too.”

“Why would you say that? Of course, he loved you.”

“Then why did he do what he did?”

“What are you talking about?”

Trixie looked at Anna, her friend of a couple of years. They’d clicked right from the start and had many adventures together.

Anna was a tall brunette, a real beauty who loved to party and meet men wherever they went.

“I just came from the lawyer’s office. It turns out my grandfather sold the mansion and his other properties, except for the condo, which I can live in until I get married.”

“Oh, no, I know how much you loved living in the mansion.

“But you have the condo, and it’s not like you’ll be spending much time there. You’re now one of the richest women in Los Angeles.”

Tears welled up in Trixie’s eyes as she looked at Anna. “That’s just it, I’m not. Actually, I’m broke.”

Anna’s eyes widened; she wasn’t sure she’d heard right. “What are you talking about? Surely, everything was left to you.”

It was hard for Trixie to talk about this, but she needed to confide in someone. “It is…but it isn’t. My grandfather stipulated that his fortune can only go to me once I’m married and have been for a year.”

Anna was stunned. “Oh, my God! Why would your grandfather put such a clause in his will? I thought he loved you? Why would he force you into marriage?”

“I don’t know…”

“What are you going to do?”

Trixie wiped a tear from her eye. “I have no choice but to find someone to marry. Until then, I’ve been given a monthly allowance of two thousand dollars.”

“Sweet Jesus, how could he expect you to live on such a small amount? Besides, I thought you said you never wanted to get married?”

“I don’t but I don’t have a choice if I want that money.

“But I’ve been thinking, if I can find someone who will agree to marry me, I’ll make it clear it’s just for a year. After that, we’ll get a quick divorce.”

“Who would agree to do that? And what makes you think that once you get your inheritance, this husband-to-be will leave and give you the divorce?”

“It will only be a marriage of convenience, and I’ll offer him two million dollars in return for his help.”

Anna shook her head. “He might agree, but he could change his mind and decide he wants more.”

“I’ll have my lawyer draft a contract, and I’ll get him to sign a prenup. That way, he won’t be able to touch the money I get when the year is up.”

“The only way that will work is if you find someone with a big secret, so you can blackmail him if he tries anything.”

Trixie’s eyes sparkled with determination. “That’s exactly what I’m going to do. And I think I know just the person to help me.”

“Who? Do I know him?”

“No, you don’t. He’s a guy I met at a bar a year ago. We were both a little drunk and ended up sharing our deepest secrets. I haven’t seen him since, but I remember who he is and where he works. I think I’ll pay him a visit.”

“Are you going to tell me who he is and what his secret is?”

“I’ll tell you his name is Titus Albani, but that’s all I’m going to say.”

“Why not? You know you can trust me.”

Trixie wasn’t naive. She knew that despite their friendship, Anna had a tendency to gossip. “I think it’s best if I keep it to myself for now.”

Anna leaned back in her chair, crossing her arms over her chest. “Fine, keep your secrets. Are you still planning on going on the trip with us next week?”

“I’d love to, but I can’t afford it.”

Trixie had hoped Anna might offer to cover her costs. It was a bit irritating, considering the number of times she and her grandfather had paid for Anna’s trips in the past.

Anna sighed, reaching for her purse. “It’s a shame you can’t come. But I should get going. Can you give me a ride back to my place?”

Trixie flagged down the waiter and asked for the check. When it arrived, she handed over her credit card.

A few moments later, the waiter returned. “I’m sorry, miss, but your card has been declined. Do you have another one?”

Trixie’s cheeks flushed. She’d forgotten that her lawyer had told her all her credit cards were closed.

She rummaged through her purse and pulled out her wallet. She handed the waiter a hundred-dollar bill.

Trixie swallowed hard. She’d have to be careful with her spending if she wanted her monthly allowance to last.

“I can cover lunch if you want,” Anna offered, though she made no move to reach for her purse.

“No, it’s okay. I’ve got it,” Trixie said, trying to hide her embarrassment.

She needed to act fast. After dropping Anna off, she drove straight to Titus’s office.


Titus was at his desk when the office door swung open and a stunning blonde stormed in, his secretary trailing behind her.

Even after a year, he recognized her as the woman from the bar who’d left him aroused and wanting more.

Titus Albani was tall, handsome, and never had trouble attracting women. But he wasn’t a player, and his demanding career as a lawyer left little time for dating.

At just twenty-eight, he was on the fast track to becoming a partner in his firm—an essential step towards his goal of opening his own practice.

His encounters with women were few and far between, so he made them count. After their make-out session at the bar, he’d hoped they’d end up in the alley outside, but she’d left him standing there, frustrated and unsatisfied.

He’d often thought about running into her again, just so he could return the favor. Titus wasn’t one for revenge, but he felt she was spoiled and a tease, and deserved a taste of her own medicine.

But he never imagined she’d show up at his office.

“Miss Connolly, what’s going on?” he asked.

“I’m so sorry, sir. I told her she needed an appointment, but she just barged right in.”

“Titus, it’s been a while.”

He glared at Trixie. “You can’t just barge into my office like this.”

Despite his annoyance, he couldn’t help but appreciate her beauty. She was just as stunning as he remembered, and her push-up bra accentuated her curves.

“I just need a few minutes of your time,” she said, twirling a strand of her hair around her finger.

Curiosity piqued, he instructed his secretary, “Miss Connolly, hold my calls for ten minutes.”

Without waiting for an invitation, Trixie sat down in the chair across from his desk. “I wasn’t sure if you’d remember me,” she said, a coy smile playing on her lips.

Titus drummed his fingers on his desk, studying her. “It’s hard to forget someone who left me in the state you did. I’ve been hoping to run into you again, just to give you a taste of your own medicine. But seeing you now, I realize you’re not worth the effort.”

The shock and hurt on her face told him she hadn’t expected that response. But why should he care about her feelings? She was nothing more than a tease.

“Just because a woman kisses a man, it doesn’t mean she owes him sex.”

He stopped drumming his fingers and glared at her. “You have less than ten minutes. I suggest you start explaining why you’re here.”

“As you may have heard, my grandfather, Joseph Brown, passed away a few weeks ago.”

He knew of Joseph Brown; everyone did. He was one of the wealthiest men in town. “I’m sorry for your loss, but what do you want from me? You have your own lawyer. You don’t need my services.”

“Actually, in a way, I do need your services.”

“Explain,” he said, glancing at his watch.

“I need you to marry me.”

His eyes widened, and he stood up abruptly. “Excuse me?”

“My grandfather’s will stipulates that I can only inherit his fortune if I’m married for at least a year. I only need you for that long. After the year is up, we can divorce.

“You’ll need to sign a prenup, of course. But for your trouble, I’ll give you two million dollars at the end of the year.”

“Your proposal is not just illegal, it’s morally repugnant. If I ever get married, it’ll be for love. And you’re the last woman I’d ever think of marrying.”

“What’s your problem with me? I know you were attracted to me a year ago.”

“You’re a spoiled little girl who loves to blow her grandfather’s money on fancy things and extravagant trips.”

“You don’t know me.”

“Maybe not personally, but I’ve read about you. Your name comes up in conversations. And from my own experience, you’re nothing more than a tease.”

“Find someone else to marry you.”

“I don’t have time to find a husband. You should take my offer…or else.”

His anger flared at her threat. He didn’t like being pushed around, especially by a spoiled brat. “Or else, what?”

A wicked smile spread across her face. “Or else I’ll spill your secret to your boss. You can kiss your promotion goodbye, and probably your job, too.”

He closed his eyes, pinching the bridge of his nose. He remembered that night and couldn’t figure out why he’d told her his secret.

When he finally looked at her, his eyes were blazing with anger. “You wouldn’t dare.”

“Try me,” she said, standing up. She leaned over the desk, hands flat on the surface. “I’ll do whatever it takes to get my money.

“You have a choice. Take my offer, and your secret stays safe.

“What do you have to lose? Nothing. Plus, you’ll walk away with two million dollars. You could start your own law firm.”

Titus stood up, too, leaning in close to her, their faces almost touching. “This is blackmail.”

“Call it whatever you want. You have until the end of the week to decide. Be smart, take my offer.”

“You’re a real piece of work,” he growled, slamming his fist on the desk.

She traced her finger over his bottom lip. “That’s no way to talk to a lady.”

He brushed her hand away and straightened up. “You’re right, it’s not. But you’re no lady.”

Just then, his secretary peeked in after a light knock. “Sir, your next appointment is here.”

His heart pounded, his blood boiling. “Miss Brown was just leaving. Send him in.”

Trixie grabbed her purse, slung it over her shoulder, and headed for the door.

She paused and turned to Titus. “I’ll be back on Friday for your answer. Bye, sweetheart. Have a great week.”

Once she was gone, Titus sat down and massaged his temples. He couldn’t believe he was being blackmailed by a woman he’d kissed a year ago.

He’d been so careful to keep his secret. Of all people, he had to spill it to her. Now he was going to pay for his mistake.

He didn’t know what to do. Should he risk losing his shot at a partnership—and maybe his job—or was she bluffing?

Maybe he should think about her offer... It was only for a year, and he’d walk away with enough money to start his own firm.

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