Something to Prove

Something to Prove by Shannyn Schroeder Read Free Book Online

Book: Something to Prove by Shannyn Schroeder Read Free Book Online
Authors: Shannyn Schroeder
memories from her mind and pasted on her business smile and
     said, “Hi, I’m looking for Mr. O’Leary.”
    He slapped the towel against the bar. “You found him.”
    Oh, Christ. Why couldn’t she catch a break? How was she supposed to negotiate with
     a guy who turned her on with a simple look?
    She cleared her throat. “Mr. O’Leary, I’m Elizabeth Brannigan, and I have a proposition
     for you.”
    He leaned his forearms on the bar and lowered his voice. “As good as the proposition
     I made the other night?”
    Although his jaw had been smooth the other night, it looked like he hadn’t shaved
     since. His scruffiness added to his sex appeal, and she tried to block it. Her ears
     burned, and she wished she hadn’t pulled her hair back. Before she could respond and
     make her intentions clear, a petite blonde sped around the corner.
    “Hey, Colin, there’s a problem in the kitchen.”
    Elizabeth straightened. “Colin? You’re not Ryan O’Leary?”
    Colin pressed his lips together. “Nope.” He stuck a thumb over his shoulder. “He’s
     in the back office.”
    She clenched her teeth and turned on her heel, anger burning in her chest. She’d done
     her homework. Why didn’t she know there was a brother?
    “A word of warning. He won’t be as receptive to a proposition as I would, given he
     has a wife and a baby on the way.” He tossed a grin over his shoulder as he headed
     into the kitchen.
    She strode toward the office, practicing her speech again. She could do this. It was
     different from their usual approach. Keith would normally hire an all-new staff and
     then send her in to supervise them. Maybe it was because her dad had kept the bar
     for a dozen years and never said anything.
    She wanted to make this work, not pay someone else to do it.
    She knocked on the office door and waited.
    “Come in.”
    She swung the door open into a small but tidy office. Of course, it was bigger than
     the one she’d been trying to work in. A leather couch sat in the corner and a huge
     oak desk dominated the other end of the room. The man behind the desk was a dead ringer
     for Colin. Even if she had known there was a brother, she could see where one could
     easily be mistaken for the other.
    She cleared her throat and began her speech again. “Mr. O’Leary, I’m Elizabeth Brannigan,
     and I have a business proposition for you.”
    He stood and his eyebrows quirked up. He gestured to the chairs in front of the desk.
     “I’m not really looking to expand.”
    She took a seat, putting her briefcase at her feet. “I own a bar that is in desperate
     need of an overhaul. I’ve done research on the bars in the area, and yours is the
     most successful and closest to what I’m trying to build.”
    Sitting behind the desk, he steepled his fingers in front of his face. “You want me
     to help you build up my competition?”
    “I’m not in direct competition with you. I would make it in your interest to help
     me succeed. I’m offering you a percentage of profits and a bonus when I sell.” She’d
     spent hours running numbers to put together an attractive package. She laid the proposal
     in front of him. Even if she failed, which she wouldn’t, she would be able to pay
     him from her own savings.
    “I’ll admit, it’s an intriguing offer, but I have too much on my plate right now.
     I’m already running two bars and I’m about to become a father.”
    Her heart sank. “I wouldn’t need you to run the bar. You would be more like a consultant.
     I’m in new territory with this business and could use some guidance from someone who’s
     been there.”
    “Sorry. If you had caught me last year, I’d be all over this. I just don’t have the
     time right now to devote to another business.”
    She swallowed hard past the lump in her throat. “I understand your position. Here’s
     my card.” She slid it onto the desk. “Give me a call if you change your mind.”
    She stood, willing her hand not to

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