Bonus epilogue—Will & Virginia

Thanks so much reading Will & Virginia’s grumpy/sunshine, later-in-life, billionaire rom-com. I had so much fun getting to know Will with his doom and gloom outlook on life (if you’ve ever suffered from menopausal insomnia, I suspect you could relate to some of his grumpiness) and Virginia with her “everything’s coming up smelling like roses” life perspective!

As my thanks for supporting this crazy job of writing happily ever afters, here’s an exclusive bonus epilogue that’s only available to my newsletter subscribers.



The next day

“Six thousand dollars in hairdressing bills?” Otto Astor, aka Old Guy #1, literally spits when he says it.

“A bar tab in Paris for thirteen thousand Euros. Eight thousand to rent four tour buses in Milan. And, am I reading this right, you hired a professional photographer in Spain and so far that bill amounts to twenty-on thousand Euros?” Old Guy #2 is much more calm in his delivery.

Old Guy #3 taps the bottom of the expense summary page which, at Mother’s request, has two columns of totals: one with the amount Aiden spent while on his first round of solo seminar deliveries and the other what I spent on my last spring tour a year ago. The difference is the GDP for a small European country.

“Aiden, we put a lot of faith in you—faith that it would seem was misguided. I don’t know about the others, but I will take some responsibility for having voted in favor of allowing you to assume this role. But, based on these numbers, I would like to put forward a vote to bring Will back as the face of Power Family Industries,” Harvey Boss says.

I keep as neutral an expression as I can because there is no way in hell I’m giving up my new life with Virginia in Lily Valley. I tune out while Aiden has his ass handed to him by these old guys who are so focused on the expense lines they haven’t bothered to flip the page to see that Aiden’s investment in client relations has almost doubled the income line.

Holding my phone on my lap, I scroll through texts from Virginia. She’s had less than twenty-four hours to think about this puppy she wants and we’ve already got meetings with two breeders. She’s been sending me puppy pix all morning and I have to admit—baby huskies are damned cute.

My attention is drawn back to the meeting when Mother barks, “Harvey, shut up.”

Horse stands. “Will, are you prepared to come back and lead the Come Into Power seminars?”

“Not on your life,” I say with no emotion since my contract has been signed and I’m at no risk of being conscripted.

“It’s your birth responsibility, son,” Silas, Old Guy #2 says with the same authoritative tone we used to cow to when we were green.

“Not your son. And not your call,” I say.

Aiden stands.

“When this board agreed to let me have a trial run at delivering the Come Into Power sessions with Will last fall, the deal was that if we pulled it off without any requests for refunds, the job would be mine. We achieved that goal and you all signed my contract to become the new face of the company. I’m sorry—” he tilts his chin down and mutters “not sorry” loud enough for them to hear, like a smart-ass— “that you’re not happy with your decision, but this is my show now and this is the way I’m going to play it.

“If you still don’t have faith in my strategy for the seminars, I’m sure we can find buyers for your company shares. Why not step down now, before Firepower spends us into bankruptcy and the value of your shares tanks.”

Silas stands now and points to Brian. “Brian, you’ve always had the best head on your shoulders—”

“Brainpower,” Colt, Aiden and I mutter with the requisite eye roll.

The Old Guy stops and levels us each with a glare. “This is the kind immature attitude you men should have outgrown twenty years ago. We should have added more caveats to the bylaws before you were given voting rights.” He tilts his head toward the two other Old Guys. “Without our guidance this company would be just another mediocre family business.”

That’s when Mother jumps in. “Silas, you make an excellent point.”

He smiles and nods with the arrogance of an eighty-year-old white man who’s rarely been challenged and always gotten the last word.

I rest my phone on the table and text Virginia, not even trying to hide the fact I’m barely listening. I’ve basically checked out, trusting my brothers and mother to make the best decisions for our family.

The bickering between Mother and the Old Guys is a mumble of background noise. When she stands, the family follow her lead. The old guys remain seated.

“Reshma has proposed Share Purchase Agreements for each of you that I trust you’ll find agreeable. She’ll remain behind in case you need anything.”

The meeting is adjourned and we head to the elevator, unified.

Once the door closes, Horse whoops.

I check my watch. “I’m heading back to the house to get Virginia. Keep me posted on what happens. Mother, I’m proud of you.” I lean down and kiss her cheek. “I don’t imagine that was easy.”

“It was time,” she says. The door opens to her floor and she steps out into her penthouse suite. “Speaking of time, I want all at the event no later than six forty-five tonight.”

The door closes and heads back down three floors.

“My office for a debrief?” Horse asks.

My brothers all step out of the car and I give them a wave before the door shuts.

“I’m heading home to pick up Virginia. See you at seven.”

*** *** *** *** *** ***

Virginia and I have been stuck at a dead stop on the Sea to Sky highway for almost an hour. Aiden’s already given the thank you speech to Dawes and, as much as I appreciate the man’s service, I don’t feel a strong need to show up two hours late to his retirement party just to shake his hand. I can do that anytime.

We lean against the car, looking out over the ocean. It’s a beautiful evening in the middle of nowhere.

“Have anything on your calendar for tomorrow or Sunday?”

Virginia taps her phone. “Busy, busy day.”

“Anything you can reschedule?”

“Hmm … Sex at six … I’d rather not change that,” she says.

“No, we will not be changing that,” I agree.

“Breakfast in bed from seven to eight.”

“That’s important to keep as well.”

“A walk in the forest from ten to mid-afternoon.”

“That one. How would you feel, if instead of a hike, we hop on the ferry tonight, head over to the island, and spend the day playing with baby huskies?”

Virginia squeals so loudly, several people standing around us on the highway turn to look.

“We’re getting a puppy!” she explains to the people on our right. She turns and faces the people to our left, “We’re getting a puppy!”

I laugh because even standing on a highway, stuck and not knowing when we’ll be rolling again, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.

It took losing a golden ticket, but I’ve won the life lottery with Virginia.

The next of the Power brothers to be tamed by a strong woman is Aiden. His story is an opposites attract, he falls first and he falls hard rom-com. It *should* be out in October. You’ll be the first to know since you’re on my news list!

Until then, if you’d like to learn how Nick and Sophie, the his and hers firefighters in Lily Valley, reached their happily ever after, download First In: Cheeky with the Fire Chief

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