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Indecent Proposal

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Mills was used to getting what he wanted, whether it was a priceless Codex recovered from the previously lost HMS Victoria, one of the strange mutant polar bear Yeti creatures that had attacked the Arctic recovery team... or the acquisition of a former rival's business.

Financial schemer, Alexander Weaver, had been a shark with a reputation for underhand dealings, extortion, and theft, but Mills had heard rumors that his son, Jeffrey, was the complete opposite; a philanthropist with scruples. It made him all the more intriguing and Mills was fascinated as he watched Jeffrey Weaver schmooze the crowd in this latest of dull, high-brow afternoon functions in New York, leaving smiles in his wake as he moved from party to party. The photos that graced magazines and the occasional media footage did not do justice to the beauty of the man moving through the well-heeled crowd.

Weaver looked stunning in a tuxedo that fitted him perfectly, with a dark red cummerbund accentuating his trim waist and contrasting beautifully with his dark, artfully tousled hair. By his physique, Mills could tell Weaver was not the type to sit behind a desk all day, and Mills made a mental note to spend more time in the expensive gymnasium he'd installed in the east wing of his current residence in New York.

As he watched the handsome man move onto the next set of guests, Mills sipped at an exquisite Chardonnay and considered how he could approach Weaver. Mills had made his money by reading people, knowing when to make conciliatory gestures and when to attack, but Weaver was not an easy man to read. Still, he had several options but he suspected most of those overtures would be met with either bland indifference or would be shot down politely, and neither of those results was acceptable. All he could do was act upon information he had garnered on the Weavers - father and only son.

Upon his father's death, Jeffrey had inherited all of the Weaver estate but Mills had discovered most of Weaver's assets were now caught up in legal battles due to the father's illegal activities regarding the acquisition of Native American antiquities. Plus there was recent noise about a set of four sculptures, created by Walter Burleigh as a tribute to the Creation myth, going missing too. Mills had paid good money to see a copy of the court files and he knew it was only a matter of time before Weaver's wealth was reduced to a handful of dollars as the settlements demanded in reparation would leave Weaver destitute.

Until an hour earlier, he had not given a damn about Weaver's misfortune, seeing it as a personal victory as he would be able to swoop in and takeover many of Weaver's former clients. With another sip of the expensive wine to fortify himself, Mills intercepted Weaver before he could engage in conversation with the next group.

"Mr. Weaver, may I introduce myself. Alan Mills."

He held out a hand and was pleased by the firm grip he gained in response, looking up just as a shaft of sunlight flared through the nearby window. He knew from all the information bought on the Weavers that Weaver had hazel eyes but he had never really thought much of that particular shade until he saw them now, clear and bright in the sunlight, shining green and blue with flecks of gold. Beautiful eyes in a handsome face, and Alan had never wanted anything more than he wanted this man, right now. It threw him, disarming him completely, but rather than taking advantage of his sudden loss of composure, Weaver smiled back with genuine warmth.

"Please, call me Jeff."

His eyes held intrigue but once Alan had regained his senses he could see no sign of deceit in them so either Jeff was as open and principled as rumored, or he was extremely good at concealing his true nature. Alan's gut instinct was honed from years of financial dealings with types like Alexander Weaver and he could sense so subterfuge on Jeff Weaver's part. It made him all the more desirable to Mills.

"I have a proposal for you." He smiled when Jeff looked intrigued, and all of Alan's previous intentions of stripping away the Weaver fortune fell away. "Some might call it an indecent proposal."

Both of Jeff's dark eyebrows rose in mild amusement. "Really?"

Looking back many years later, Alan wondered at how a simple shaft of sunlight at just the right time could have affected both of them so deeply. Jeff talked of how Alan's eyes had shone like Indian sapphires, like blue skies on a cloudless Winter day, though Alan's memory was of beautiful hazel eyes flecked with gold.

Alan still had his billions and once all his debts had been discharged by Alan, Jeff still had his family business, but more important than all the money in the universe, they had each other.