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My Secret Billionaire

My Secret Billionaire

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"Anna Shelby grew up in a small, rural town in the Midwest where everyone knows everyone, but people living outside town in the country are a bit more of a mystery. There have been rumors lately about a handsome man renovating a small farmhouse on some acreage a few miles out of town. When Anna meets Ethan Greenfield, there’s an instant attraction … but she soon finds out that there’s so much more to this handsome stranger than anyone knew, and it will change her life forever. My Secret Billionaire is created by Olivia Bhelle Kildare, an eGlobal Creative Publishing Signed author."

Chapter 1 : A Quiet Life

“That’s beautiful, Carrie.”

Anna Shelby beamed as her student presented her latest artwork assignment. It was only Anna’s second year of teaching after graduating from college not long ago, and she loved all the students in her sixth-grade class.

Anna turned 26 last month, and since then she had felt like time was getting away from her. She spent hours dreaming about the future she wished she could have, married to a handsome and caring man who adored her, with two children of her own. She wanted a boy and a girl, which she imagined to be the perfect family. Her children would rush ahead into the shelter they ran for homeless animals, excited to pet the new litter of kittens that had just arrived.

“Do you think it will look good on display in the community center?”

The eager student’s voice snapped Anna out of her brief daydream. “Yes, Carrie, I think it will look beautiful on our spring art display.”

Anna taught her class at the only school in a small Midwestern town called Belleville, Anna’s hometown. The community center was one of only a few larger buildings in the town center, and it was used for most of the events in town, including the school’s annual art display. Every class in the school would present their best artwork, so preparing for the unveiling was at the top of Anna’s mind for the past several weeks.

Until that afternoon.

Class was over, and Anna went about her routine of putting away supplies and locking up her classroom for the day. She needed to stop by the grocery store on her way home, since she realized that there wasn’t anything that wasn’t frozen to make for dinner. Most nights, she ate quietly by herself at home, unless she and her best friend Kelly Skitmore had plans for that night. Kelly also worked at the school as a fifth-grade teacher, and as they both closed up for the afternoon, they passed each other in the hallway.

“I need to grab something at the Savings Mart on the way home. Need anything?” Anna asked Kelly.

“No, thanks, John is coming over to make me lasagna,” Kelly answered with a huge grin on her face.

“Lucky you! God, I wish I could find the right guy.”

“I wish you could, too. I can’t wait till we can double date. I hate leaving you alone in that house while I’m having all the fun,” said Kelly, her smile falling into a frown.

“It’s not that bad. I spent a lot of time and money fixing up my place. I don’t mind spending time there. Besides, I’m so happy for you and John. I think you’re perfect together.” Anna wondered when her own luck would change. She’d broken up with her now-ex boyfriend Alan Shangle just a few months before. He was nice at first, but something about the way he treated her just never sat right with Anna. They’d known each other for a long time and had even talked about getting married. She had always dreamed of being treated like a respected princess, but she wondered now if that was just asking too much. Perhaps she shouldn’t let her dreams interfere with reality, or time really would slip away from her.

“Are you there, Anna? I asked if you had any plans this weekend.” Kelly looked at Anna, concerned, since she seemed to become so distant so quickly.

“Oh, I’m sorry. No, after the art display Friday night I don’t have anything planned, other than I thought I might go shopping in Devon City.” Devon City was about an hour away from Belleville. It was a medium-sized city but seemed huge compared with Anna’s tiny hometown, with traffic jams and crammed parking lots compared to her town’s wide, open spaces. There was only one stoplight in the entire town of Belleville.

“Perfect, I think I’ll join you. I need a new dress for the festival next week.”

“I’d forgotten about that. I guess I’d better get something for that, too.” Anna always had fun at the town’s annual festival in the park, which had live music, games, and concession stands with lots of food. Even without a date to accompany her, she had plenty of friends and family members who would attend.

“I’m headed out,” said Kelly. “You sure you don’t want to join us for dinner?”

“I’m not gonna be a third wheel. You two have a fun night,” Anna said, smiling at her best friend.

“Alright, see you tomorrow.”

“Bye, Kelly,” Anna said, holding her smile until just after Kelly got into her car. Anna and Kelly had been friends since childhood, which happens often in such a small town. Most people find jobs at the school, at the grocery store, or at a shop on Main Street to try to hold the community together. She’d been happy for Kelly when she finally got together with John, who had also been a friend in school. They hadn’t started dating until after college graduation.

Sighing, Anna got in her car and went on her grocery shopping errand.

“Hi, Anna,” said the cashier, Elizabeth. Everyone was on a first-name basis in Belleville, and for Elizabeth it was even more casual, since everyone called her Liz.

“Hi, Liz,” Anna answered, pulling out a cart and walking on. When she passed by a couple of aisles, she overheard some women whispering and giggling.

“Have you seen that man? Oh, my goodness, he has muscles on top of muscles.”

“How could I miss him? It’s not like you see that every day here in this town.”

“That’s for sure. We get Henry at the hardware store, who can’t reach the paint.”

The two women laughed more and walked on, not noticing Anna. She giggled to herself and wondered who they were talking about. She hadn’t seen anyone handsome and muscle-bound anywhere in Belleville, but she secretly hoped he was shopping on the next aisle.

But that was not the case, and Anna finished her shopping without seeing anyone else in the store. She chose a deli plate and thought about spending the night catching up on reading.

The giggling women were still gossiping when she got back up to the check-out counter. This time, Liz joined in. Apparently, this mystery man was really something special.

“I would die if that man came up and spoke to me. I’d just die because I wouldn’t know what to think or do or say,” Liz said excitedly. The other women laughed.

“Who are you all talking about?” Anna asked.

“You haven’t seen him? Oh, my goodness, woman, you are missing out. This Greek god of a man came into the store just a few minutes ago. You just missed him. I have no idea who he was, but thank God Regina was at the register then because I would have died.” Liz couldn’t seem to control herself as the words flew out of her mouth.

“Well, I sure am sorry I missed out on that,” laughed Anna. When the women finished their purchase, she paid for her meal and left, driving home.

She pulled into her garage, which was back behind her house. Anna was proud to have bought her own home, and she spent a lot of time decorating the interior and planting flowers in the yard. It was an older home, as were all the houses in the old Midwestern town, but she loved it. She felt so comfortable in it and smiled with pride at being able to purchase a house at her young age.

But she knew there was something missing in her life, and for some reason she felt that more strongly now.

The next day, she found out why.

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