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Dirty Rotten Billionaire (Part One) by Paige North (1)

Ajax

I am everywhere.

The New York press has always been vicious, and especially toward me, but with my big new real estate deal it’s all gone next level. I flip through the evening news channels to hear what they’re saying now, just days after my latest, and biggest, deal.

“…estimated four billion dollars, although other sources say as high as six…”

“…gambled on the prime real estate property in Manhattan’s midtown, but can he turn a profit with the market’s current saturation…”

“…young renegade, known as much for his rotating door of young women—specifically models—as he is for his real estate deals…”

“…Las Vegas odds on his imminent bankruptcy are now being placed…”

“…finally gone too far…”

“…a gamble that is unlikely to pay off…”

“…may ultimately be Ajax Remington’s downfall.”

I finally cut off the TV in my new office. I look at the collection of newspapers and magazine covers spread out before me and it’s the same thing—every single one of them touting my latest real estate purchase as my most irresponsible deal yet.

I’m used to being questioned and doubted. My career has gone at lightening speed, and I’ve made it to the top of this game at the age of twenty-seven by taking risks, investing well, and generally knowing what the hell I’m doing. But this latest purchase is definitely my riskiest yet.

When the bidding war began for this high-rise, on this prime spot in midtown Manhattan, I simply could not lose the deal. I was up against investors more than twice my age—one old-timer was three times my age—and I know what they all think of me. Despite the magnitude of my success so far, the whole real estate scene here in New York—the toughest in the country, one of the toughest in the world—all thinks I’m a joke. They’re all waiting for me to crash and burn into bankruptcy.

No way was I losing this deal. So I did something I’d never done before: I scraped together cash and assets, everything I could, and I paid cash for this building.

Four billion dollars in cold, hard cash. And they still think I'm a joke.

This building is now and forever called Remington Plaza. It is mine, every square inch of it.

Well, almost.

“Mr. Remington?”

I turn to the doorway of my new tenth-floor office, the showpiece of what the other offices on this floor will look like when the full-gut renovation is complete.

“Yes, Patrick?” I say to my first assistant.

“I just wanted to let you know that, as of today, construction is still on schedule.”

“Thank God for that.”

“And Corrine has secured two more retail tenants.”

“Perfect,” I say. Little things like this do help ease a fraction of the enormous pressure I feel, but it’s still not enough. Not even close.

“But there’s been a delay with the materials for the hotel rooms on fifteen through thirty. The warehouse in New Jersey—”

“Just fix it,” I say. The last word I want to hear is “delay.” Delay means no money coming in, and if I don’t start making back the money I spent buying this place, my entire fortune, not to mention my legacy, will be sunk. I’ll become the joke they all want me to be. “Call Sigmund out there in Jersey and tell him if we don’t get our materials in two days we’re going with someone else.”

“Who else will we go with?” Patrick asks.

“Just tell him,” I snap. “What else?”

Patrick looks at his notes. “The city still hasn’t gotten back to us on the permits for the pool, and—”

“Call Cynthia at City Hall. She’ll help expedite it. What else?”

“That’s about all for today,” Patrick says, and I can hear the weariness in his voice. He thinks his job is hard? Christ.

“Good night, Patrick.”

“Um, there is just one more thing,” he says. “The apartment down the hall—10F.”

If my blood pressure weren’t already at 140, it is now. This freaking apartment…

“We can show the floor to prospective businesses,” Patrick begins, “but it doesn’t make much sense considering that one apartment right in the middle of the floor is still occupied.”

“I’m well aware,” I say through gritted teeth. Warehouse delays I can deal with. Permits I can get. But this one pesky tenant is about to send me—and my project, fortune, and legacy—over the edge of this eighty-six-story building.

The buy was the thrill. Snatching this prime bit of property away from all those developers who have decades, lifetimes of experience on me was one of the greatest moments of my career. But now that my accounts are wiped out from the purchase, the reality of the situation is sinking in. I need to get this place up and running and fast. And what I can’t have is one random apartment in the middle of someone’s office.

I take a deep breath. It’s late. Another fourteen-hour day on the books, and I’ll go upstairs to my new penthouse—which still needs a little renovating to make it perfect—and then work for another four or five hours. I send Patrick home.

The elevator whisks me up to my new home on the top floor. The view is of city lights sparkling with the darkness of Central Park in the center. That black spot is like the tenth-floor apartment—the one issue we still haven’t resolved. But I didn’t come all this way to let one tenant take me down. There’s a way around everything, and I intend to solve this issue, one way or another.