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Billionaire Bachelors 6 ; Runaway Heiress

By´╝ÜMelody Anne

Prologue

"Rummy," George called as he laid his cards on the table and grinned at his brother. They were both competitive by nature and always trying to one up the other but it never caused hard feelings.

"That's the third game in a row. I think you're cheating somehow," Joseph said while he eyed his brother.

"Don't be a sore loser," George replied, then stood and headed to the bar to poor each of them a drink. "What do you want?"

"I'll just have a sprite on the rocks. Damn Doc said nothing harder than carbonation for me until my blood pressure comes down," Joseph mumbled. George poured Joseph a sprite and himself a nice glass of aged whiskey. He received a glare when he sat down, sipping it in front of Joseph.

"Quit glaring, I'm not the one with the medical problems," George said with a laugh. Joseph shrugged his shoulders and sat back. It was late and Katherine would be expecting him soon.

"Make any headway with Bree, yet?" Joseph asked.

"I don't know what's been going on with her lately. She's restless. If only she'd settle down," George trailed off.

"You know Chad's back home." Joseph let his sentence sink in.

"Mmm, definite possibilities there, that boy can't be easily intimidated," George replied as the wheels in his head started turning. Bree could barely look at a man before her brothers scared him away. Now, Chad wasn't only strong, but had been friends with Mark and his brothers since they were kids. He wasn't easily pushed around and George had a feeling he could put up with a lot without breaking.

"Maybe it's time we have a family dinner, a nice welcome home party for Chad," George said, his eyes lighting up. He was afraid Bree was pulling so far away from him he'd never get her back. He'd also received some worrisome letters, lately. Most of the time his security staff assured him hate mail was harmless, but one particular type of letter had come in repeatedly. They feared it was from the same person …  and the man wasn't backing down.

"I think you're right. We'll have dinner on Friday," Joseph agreed. The two men made plans long into the night, their spirits rejuvenated with another matchmaking mission on the horizon.

Chapter One

"It's so good to have you back, Chad. Are you home permanently?"

"Yes, It's time for me to retire from the military and settle down," Chad answered Joseph. They were sitting in Joseph's inviting den, catching up. Chad had been out of the country more than in it over the last twenty years. He'd joined the military right out of high school with his missions being top secret, he wasn't often able to talk to his friends for months on end. 

"I'm glad to have you home," Mark said. He'd missed his friend. He knew Chad was dealing with a lot of demons, but hopefully being around friends would help.

Chad and Mark had a lot of similar features, both tall with dark hair and blazing blue eyes. When they'd been younger, they had used those similarities when on the prowl for women. Chad was virtually a third brother to Mark.

Chad had originally joined the army right out of high school, but after five years and several successful missions, he was recruited by the Special Operations Group to be a SEAL. He'd only been twenty-three at the time and excited to be called up. After a couple years, he'd become secretive.

Then about ten years ago, he'd closed up completely. They knew he was involved in top secret missions and they knew his life was always on the line, but they couldn't do anything to stop it. All they could do was offer their support when he came home. They were grateful he'd decided to retire.

Mark spent six years in the reserves. He'd thought about making a career out of the military, but he'd changed his mind. He had too much love for the land and his personal freedom. He knew you either gave your all, or nothing. Those men depended on each other to stay alive.

As he watched his friend, he almost wished he would've gone with him. Maybe then Chad wouldn't have so many demons to fight.

Whatever his last mission had been, it hadn't been pleasant. Maybe someday he'd open up about it.

"It's time," Chad replied before taking another sip from his bottle.

"Time for what, Chad?" Mark asked.

"That's what I wanted to tell you. I purchased that ranch, south of your place. Everything closed a month ago but I wanted to wait until I saw you to say anything," Chad answered, his face breaking out in a smile for the first time that evening.

"Seriously? That's great! I was thinking about obtaining that piece of land but they told me someone already had it. They wouldn't say who, though," Mark exclaimed. He'd been upset when he found out the land was purchased without being placed on the market. He'd asked the previous owners to give him first choice, but the cranky old man who owned it said Mark had enough land and didn't need any more. Mark hadn't fought him on the matter but he'd hoped to one day own it and expand his ranch further. He no longer cared, though because he'd much rather have Chad as a neighbor than add acreage he really didn't need.

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