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A Billionaire in Disguise #1 : Forbidden Disclosure

By:Terri Marie

Terri Marie - A Billionaire in Disguise #1 - Forbidden Disclosure

Forbidden Disclosure (A Billionaire in Disguise #1)
Terri Marie


Chapter 1

Francesco Giordano glared at his son from across the large mahogany desk. Daniel could tell that his father's blood vessels were ready to pop any second. His father was always impeccably dressed, which just added to his ability to be intimidating.

"Are you listening to me, Daniel?"

"Yes, Father, I hear you loud and clear." Daniel was beginning to squirm. He hadn't seen his father this angry in years.

"You are making a joke of this family! Your mother, God rest her soul, is probably turning over in her grave. This has got to stop!" he yelled. His heavy Italian accent was very prominent. "You promised me you'd turn over a new leaf this year, and here it is, the end of March, and you've gotten more out of control!"

"Father, I'm sorry about the car."

"The car? The car?"

"Okay, cars … "

"Daniel, you know I love you, you're my only child. I am sixty-nine years old and would love to hand over my reins to you! But how can I?"

"Father, I can run the business."

"And what do you think you'll do, Daniel? Destroy it like you have every single vehicle I've given you? Run it without dedication and perseverance? Perhaps you could run it while you're chasing women!"

"Father, I don't see it as a big deal. I'm young, and I know I get careless sometimes, but vehicles are easily replaced."

"Easily? Daniel, I got this far by working hard. Very hard! I started Giordano Seas from the ground up. I was born into poverty, Daniel, and your mother, God rest her soul, and I worked incredibly hard. All you have done is taken everything for granted. You were pampered, Daniel, and that's my fault. How do they say it? 'Born with a cucchiaio d'argento in your mouth.' You never worked a day in your life."

"That isn't true, Father. I've gone to work with you many times."

"Daniel! You call flirting with the secretaries, going out for five hour lunches, working?"

"Father, I love attractive women. Is that so bad?"

"Daniel, I didn't bring you in here to argue with you. Do you want to take over my shipping business?"

"Father, you know I do. I'm your only child, who else would you give it to?"


"You would give Victor the company? He isn't even family!"

"Daniel, Victor has been a devoted employee for two decades." 

"Father, Victor is a go-to boy. I hardly think that gives him any kind of skill at running the company."

Normally by this time, Daniel would see his father start to soften. But now there was no hint of Francesco Giordano backing down at all. It was this fierceness that got the old shipping mogul his billions. Unfortunately, it never worked on his son. But this was definitely beginning to look like the times were changing. Daniel continued to squirm.

"If you want it, Daniel, you are going to have to show me that you would be willing to start from the bottom. It is only then that you'll actually value my business, make our family proud, and take care of it! You need to learn about life, not about blowing money and bedding women!"

"I think you're underestimating me. I am more than capable of running this business."

"Your mother, God rest her soul, she worked just as hard as I did. She did so much work it wasn't even funny. She worked until her hands would be crippling her with pain from hours on a typewriter, for God sakes! And here you are, Daniel, twenty-six years old, acting like you're sixteen."

"Okay, Father, I get your point. What do I have to do to prove to you that I'm capable of running Giordano Seas?" Daniel left no time for a reply from his father. "I know the business. I know how to run a competitive shipping business. I know the ins and outs of running all of it."

"Daniel, you aren't responsible enough. You take everything in life for granted. I've told you this many times! You may know how to run the business, but you would run it into the ground. You don't care about anything other than playing like a schoolboy. You have no appreciation and no respect!"

"Father, I have my own place, I pay my bills on time-"

"You live in a penthouse in Manhattan, which I paid for. You have charge accounts that I pay for, and you bed a new woman every single night. You wreck cars, you-"

"What is it you want me to do, Father?" Daniel was finally ready to get to the bottom line. He let his father answer the question while he waited quietly.

"Well, I'm so glad you asked." Francesco reached down to the bottom drawer and pulled out a file. He slowly slid it across the desk and then leaned back in his chair. With his hands linked behind his head, he smiled.

Daniel picked up the file and opened it up.

"What is this? Who is John Williams? And why do you have all of his documents? This guy lives in Prairie, Tennessee. We have nothing to do with little cow towns. Please don't tell me you're actually going to hire someone from there … " Daniel started to crack up. Abruptly he stopped after seeing a look of triumph in his father's eyes. Daniel's uneasiness grew tenfold. He was shocked that his father would actually be serious about hiring this John Williams character.

Francesco pushed a button on his desk, and in walked Carl, the family's long-time trusted butler. Over the years Carl had become Francesco's greatest friend. Even though he was part of the staff at the big mansion, Carl was treated like family. He stopped just inside the door and looked as serious as Francesco.

Francesco reached out his hand to his son. Daniel stood up with a puzzled look on his face, but placed his hand in his father's and began to shake it. His father's grip tightened.

"It's so very nice to meet you, Mr. John Williams." Francesco turned on his heels and walked out of the room.

"Good afternoon, Daniel," said Carl as he sat down beside the puzzled young man.

"Carl, what's going on?"

"Your father has created a new identity for you."

"What?!" Daniel busted out in nervous laughter.




"I am to take you to Prairie, to your new apartment. You will be given a weekly allowance until you find a job. But you only have two weeks to do so."

"This is ridiculous!" Daniel rolled his eyes.

"If you can last and prove to your father that you can survive on your own, work hard, and learn some lessons, you will be invited back and the business will be handed to you." Carl was trying hard not to laugh.

"Carl, we live here, in New York. Not Prairie, Tennessee."

"I am to accompany you."

"Carl, I'm not going. My father has lost his mind. There has to be some kind of hidden camera in here."

"Then I shall go speak with him, Daniel. I'm sure he'll be calling Victor."

"Carl, this is a joke, right? I'm supposed to get all upset just to humor my father. I wish he'd get some hobbies. Some of his practical jokes are funny, but this one is a bit out there."

"No, Daniel. There are no jokes. Our flight leaves in four hours."

"Wait a minute. He's actually going to get the jet fueled up to go fly me out to corn country?"

"No, not exactly … "

"Carl, tell me exactly. I'm not playing any more games!"

"We're flying coach." Carl stood to hurry out of Francesco's study. The tall, elegant fifty-five-year-old butler fell out in laughter when he closed the door behind him. He passed Francesco in the hallway and they gave each other a high five.

Daniel sped off of the estate in his white Lamborghini Aventador. It was his third expensive sports car over a two month period. He may have been driving too fast, but the small accidents weren't his fault. His father should just be happy that no one was injured. I can't believe he's pissed about a few cars! What the hell? His cell phone rang as he pulled into his secured parking spot at his penthouse.


"What is it, Carl?" growled Daniel. He was gripping his phone tightly.

"You are to leave all access to money behind. Don't bother packing luggage. I have everything you'll need. We are to leave soon, so feel free to eat a meal and get washed up. I'll arrive in an hour." Carl hung up.

Daniel threw his phone against the passenger door and yelled loudly. "Damn it!"

He didn't have the stomach to eat anything. It was in knots. How could he do this to me? He thought of calling Marissa, the hot swimsuit model he had a date with this evening, but he figured that this entire mess would be cleaned up before then. Daniel climbed in the shower and let the hot water loosen his muscles. Suddenly it hit him. Neither his father, nor Carl for that matter, had ever let a joke go on for this long. I'll play his little game. It'll just take a week before the Great Francesco finds out how much he needs me. I'll go to Tennessee and start up another business. Who'll have the last laugh then? 

Daniel spent the next thirty minutes pumping himself up for the biggest trial of his life. He wasn't a failure. He got what he wanted, when he wanted it. He had the brains and the looks. Victor can bite me.

He looked at himself in the mirror with approval. Dark hair, dark brown eyes, olive complexion … Daniel smiled at the thoughts of heads turning in Prairie, Tennessee. His muscles made his expensive black suit fit just right. The material was hand-woven wool, soft to the touch and one of a kind.