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Scandal Between The Sheets
By Brenda Jackson
Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.Copyright © 2004 Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
All right reserved.
Chapter OneWesley Brooks yawned away sleep as he pulled on his jeans, deciding to investigate the noise that had awakened him. A quick glance at the clock on his nightstand showed it was a little past one in the morning. His flight from Dallas to Savannah had been delayed due to thunderstorms and when he had finally arrived home he had quickly showered then collapsed onto the bed.
When he had first heard the noise it had taken him a few minutes to get his bearings and remember just where he was. He had moved into this house only a week before leaving to go out of town for a couple of days on important business.
He had to blink several times to recall that he was no longer living at the town house he had shared for the past few years with his best friend, Jacob Danforth.
Jake, the fun-loving, party animal, was now happily married to Larissa and was the father to a precious little boy name Peter. Deciding to give the newlyweds privacy, Wesley had moved out and purchased his dream home, a beautiful, old and prestigious house on the Savannah River.
Wesley heard another sound.
Not bothering to put on any shoes, he quietly slipped down the stairs to investigate, pretty sure at this point that he was not just hearing things. When he got to the bottom of the stairs he heard the noise again and quickly determined it was coming from the outside.
He opened the French doors and stepped out onto the terrace. It was April and spring was in the air. A full moon glowed in the sky and cast a shimmer of light across the landscaped yard where his garbage cans sat.
Remembering that he had failed to lock the security gate when he had come home, he quickly concluded the noise was probably a stray dog or cat trying to find scraps to eat. Wesley was about to turn around and go back inside when he saw the movement of a figure that was too large to be an animal of the four-legged kind.
His gaze sharpened as he watched someone hunched over his garbage cans rummaging through them. Immediately he felt a deep stirring in his heart for anyone that poverty-stricken. Thanks to the success of his Internet company he made millions, but the one thing he made a point of not doing was forgetting where he'd come from - although after thirty years the memory was pretty foggy in his mind. All he knew was that at the age of three months, he had been left on the doorstep of an orphanage and grew up being bounced from foster home to foster home. At the age of fourteen he had run away and had lived on the streets for three days before the police had found him. During those three days, a homeless old man by the name of Al Lombard had befriended him. Wesley had discovered that Al had once been a teacher in the school system and after losing his wife in a tragic house fire, with no family, close friends or insurance, he had fallen on hard times.
It was Al who had shared his food with him; Al who had shared his blankets at night so he could stay warm; and Al who had helped to keep him safe. To this very day he appreciated Al's kindness. As soon as Wesley had made his first million, he had hired a private investigator to find Al, only to discover the man had died of pneumonia the year before.
Bringing his thoughts back to the present, Wesley made a quick decision to offer this homeless person enough money to enjoy a decent meal someplace, as well as a warm place to spend the night. That was the least he could do. Quietly going back inside the house, he raced up the stairs to grab a few dollars from his wallet, hoping the person would still be there when he returned.
Some reporters will do just about anything for a story and I have become one of them.
That thought floated through Jasmine Carmody's mind as she continued looking through Wesley Brooks's garbage. You could learn a lot about a person by going through their trash, but so far the only thing she'd been able to discover about Wesley Brooks, dot.com millionaire and Savannah's number one player, was that he loved spaghetti, the microwave kind. What about the kind you made from scratch? Hadn't any of his numerous lady friends discovered that the way to most men's hearts was through their stomach and not necessarily that part of their anatomy that was located below the belt?
But then, if rumors were true, Wesley Brooks wasn't like most men. She had read his bio enough times to know the full story ... at least what there was of it. He'd been an orphan and had bounced back and forth from foster homes until he was sixteen. It was while he had been attending high school that he had struck up a close friendship with Jacob Danforth of the prominent Savannah Danforths.
Jacob and Wesley became the best of friends and when Wesley was about to be sent to yet another foster home, Jacob's parents, Harold and Miranda Danforth, stepped in and offered Wesley a home and a chance for stability in his life for the remainder of his high-school years, becoming the first family he'd ever known. When it came time for college, Wesley's proficiency in sports and his talent for math got him a scholarship to Georgia Tech University. Jacob Danforth also attended Georgia Tech and the two roomed together for the four years they were there.
Jasmine sighed as she continued to dig through the garbage. There wasn't too much about Wesley Brooks that she didn't know including the fact that the Internet-based restaurant supply business he'd created a few years ago had made him millions, and at the age of thirty he was considered one of the wealthiest men in Savannah - as well as one of the most sought after bachelors. She also knew about his close relationship to the Danforth family, which was the main reason she was digging through his garbage at this ungodly hour.
Jasmine suddenly went still. For a panicked moment, she'd thought she had heard something. When seconds passed and she didn't hear a thing, she continued with what she was doing.
Excerpted from Scandal Between The Sheets by Brenda Jackson Copyright © 2004 by Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd. . Excerpted by permission.
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