The Bachelor Auction (The Bachelors of Arizona Book 1)(3)

By: Rachel van Dyken



“Yes.” Essence twirled a few times to show off her dress to full effect. “How sweet of you, Jane.” With her eyebrows drawn in perfect arches, it was amazing she could even move them. “Jane, why aren’t you dressed?”

“I think I’m just going to stay in,” Jane answered, tugging at her dress self-consciously. It was the best one she could find at the last minute. She hadn’t even known about the party until an hour ago, and the best she’d been able to scrounge up was a dress she’d borrowed for prom four years ago from one of her sisters.

She’d tried her best to make the black cocktail dress appealing.

But you couldn’t fix plain.

And that’s what it was.

What Jane was.

Plain Jane.

Her sisters gave her the same empty-eyed stare. Arguing with them was completely useless. When it was two against one, she never won, not that it mattered in the long run. Her sisters typically got their way regardless of what Jane said. They were pushy—but they were family.

Swallowing back her insecurity, she nodded quickly. “I’ll just grab my purse, then.”

Her sisters whispered under their breaths, though Jane heard every mean word.

“Doesn’t she have any other dresses? Poor Jane.”

“Hey, I offered to help her shop and she said no.”

Jane snorted quietly. She’d said no because Essence’s shopping style was more like buy everything name brand and go into major credit card debt. At one point, Jane had had to use all of the money her parents had left them to pay off the bill.

“Poor Jane,” Esmeralda said again.

She hated pity.

Especially theirs.

She would move out of the house if she thought her sisters wouldn’t starve without her. Well, that and the fact that they were family and family stuck together. Even if family exhausted you, stressed you out, and made you want to scream at least ninety percent of the time.

“Let’s go!” Esmeralda clapped her hands loudly and they were off…headed to a party that Jane didn’t even care about.





Chapter Three



Admit it. This is one of the best ideas he’s had in years. The sheer publicity alone is priceless.” Bentley tossed back his third drink of the night and slapped Brock on the back then showed him his phone. “Hey look, you’re trending.”

“I will literally break your phone in half with my bare hands if you show me one more tweet with my name and ‘auction’ in the same sentence.” Brock barely managed a polite nod in his grandfather’s direction as he greeted people filling the large downtown nightclub for the annual Wellington party.

He tossed back a gulp of whiskey, watching as his grandfather winced in pain after a particular hearty handshake from a journalist chomping to get in on the story of the century. Brock grimaced. The press had gone wild when they’d caught wind of the auction.

CNN.

The World News.

The New York Times.

God, every damn newspaper in the universe thought the auction was the most newsworthy thing they’d ever heard of.

One of the country’s richest bachelors was allowing women to bid on him.

And allowing his grandfather to pick a winner from the bidders.

A winner that Brock would date—and even potentially marry. That was the worst part about the press: give them a crumb and they’d make a feast.

Brock sure as hell hadn’t agreed to marry anyone.

One of the newspapers had hinted at a future Mrs. Brock Wellington.

And they’d taken it and ran.

Date a stranger? He could do it. For the good of the company. For the press. And most importantly, for his family’s reputation.

His grandfather had informed him that the Board didn’t trust his brothers to do anything right—hell, he agreed with that assessment—but Grandfather had also let it slip that they were starting to doubt Brock’s ability to be a team player.

Because he wasn’t a team player.

He kept to himself.

He made them hundreds of millions.

And they still weren’t happy.

He stared into his empty glass.

“Do it for me and for your reputation in the company.” Grandfather had slapped him on the back. “You’re a stick in the mud. Hell, have you ever even been to any of the company baseball games?”

No, because he hated baseball.

“Fine,” he’d whispered while his hands shook, with rage, with the need to hit something that would break.

The only silver lining was that the money that would be raised was going toward cancer research—one of his passions—so there was that, at least.

It was stupidity at its finest, but Brock had agreed to do it. Maybe because he was just as insane as his grandfather. Or, even worse, maybe because he was convinced he would never find love, nor cared to.

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