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.Do you honestly think I would’ve given your father a second look if not for his healthy trust fund? He was so grateful when I became pregnant.But even gratitude wears thin after a while.”Although, I knew what she was doing, her words still hit their mark, and I retreated behind my menu when the waiter returned, but the ugly turn of our conversation had stolen my appetite.Mom ordered another cocktail as I handed the menu back, just wanting to leave.“I think we’re done here unless there’s a specific reason you asked me to lunch.”“Actually, there is.My last encounter with Bob occurred under less than ideal circumstances.”“Ya think?”“Please Angelina, there’s no need to be snide.” No need to be snide? She was the queen of snide.“I need to know what you’ve heard.”“Bob hasn’t shared the details with me.”“Of course he hasn’t, but obviously you’ve heard something.”“Oh, I’ve heard all kinds of things.You’re the latest sensation.Thanks for that.It was delightful hearing about your escapades from my colleagues.Where to start… Mmmm… Surprisingly, your trolling for young cock is old news, well to everyone but me.Probably, your getting served while getting serviced is the most salacious bit of gossip.” Wearing crudeness like amour, I waited, hoping she'd deny, or at least, justify her indiscretions.She did neither.“I need you need to ensure Bob won’t testify for your father in court.”“Why does that matter? You obviously don’t want this marriage.”“It matters because your father’s trust required a prenup, and there’s too much money involved not to try getting it thrown out.Unfortunately, there’s an infidelity clause.Not only could I be denied alimony, I could actually be sued for damages.”“So what, you expect Bob to commit perjury?”“You’d be surprised what people will do for you, if you ask.”“So ask him.”She grimaced.“He’s not taking my calls.”“He’s pretty much a black and white kind of guy.He’s not going to lie for you.”“He might not lie for me, but he would for you.Use that special relationship you have with him and ask for a favor.Just look at him with your big sad eyes, squeeze out a few tears…” She was unbelievable.“Don’t you shake your head at me.This is entirely your fault.We wouldn’t be in this position if you hadn’t gone crying to your father over that scene your boyfriend made.”“Wow— Why would— Just— Wow… You know what? I’m done.This sounds like something you should discuss with your attorney.”This so messed up.I was reasonably sure conspiring to commit perjury was illegal.I practically sprinted for the door.What was I supposed to do? Normally, I’d ask Daddy for advice, but I couldn’t this time.As for confiding in Mat, what if he was only interested in me of my family’s money? I knew better than to overestimate my appeal, despite not seeing dollar signs in his eyes.But for the moment he was mine, if my issues didn't drive him away first.And, after Monday’s events, I wasn’t about to share any more drama.Jack answered my knock.“Hey, she just got home, so it’ll be a few minutes.”“No worries, we’re just hanging out.How you doing?” I asked, offering my hand.“Good… Good… Can I get you anything?”“Well, I wouldn’t say no to a beer.”“Sure, make yourself at home.”Handing me a sweating bottle, he settled on the sofa next to me, an episode of Top Gear filling the silence.Holy shit.Apparently, the show’s hosts seriously underestimated Louisianans’ propensity for violence, and were fleeing for their lives in graffitied cars, professing gay love and pro Hillary slogans.“I’ll be glad once everything’s settled—the divorce I mean,” Jack said, not taking his eyes off the television.“I miss tinkering.I don’t know what to do with idle hands.” He took a slug of beer.“And, Angie needs her privacy, ‘though she’ll never admit it.” Was this his way of saying he was okay with me bedding his daughter?“Do you have any idea how long it’s going to take?”“Optimistically? About six months.We have a prenup to deal with, but not all of it’s enforceable.Unlike Florida, where it was written, California’s a no fault divorce state.As soon as we’ve hammered out a separation agreement, I’ll start looking for a place of my own.”“What part is unenforceable? I mean if you don’t mind me asking.”“There’s a morals and infidelity clause, not that it matters, I’d never invoke it.I wouldn’t expose Angie to that sort of ugliness.” How in the hell did such a good guy end up with someone like Stephanie?“Hey.” Angie greeted me uneasily.“Hey babe,” I grabbed her backpack.I'd been around her enough to know something was weighing on her.“Rough day?”She shrugged.“Same as always.Daddy, are you sure you’ll be okay?”“I’ll be fine.You got your phone? Mad money?” Jack said.“And you, you take good care of my baby.” Silently adding ‘or else’ with a fatherly evil eye.“Yes Sir.”“Mad money?” I asked when we were driving down the street.“Yeah, just in case things go south, I’m supposed to carry enough cash so I’m not stranded.”“That’s cool.Have you ever had to use it?”“Just once.The night of my one and only marriage proposal.”“Go on…”“Please, you don’t want to hear about that.”“Oh, but I do.” I waited.If her fidgeting was any indication, this was one hell of a story.“God, I can’t believe I’m telling you this… Okay, a few years ago, several months before my twenty-first birthday, a friend set me up on a blind date with this Navy guy.He was slightly plump, not fat really, just sort of doughy.But that was okay.Beggars can’t be choosers, right?” Christ, I hated when she put herself down like that.“It was even okay when he couldn’t read the menu at dinner.It was written in French after all, and I found his honesty and willingness to let me order for him refreshing.I’d chosen the restaurant knowing it was pricey, so I’d insisted on paying for dinner, but I asked him to pick up dessert so he could save face.Unfortunately, his idea of dessert was fruity drinks at a strip bar.”“You’re shitting me.” I just couldn't imagine her in a place like that.“Oh, I shit you not.He must’ve been a regular because they knew him by name and didn’t card me; they wouldn’t have let me in, otherwise.Needless to say there was no second date.”“So when did he propose?”“Oh, on our way to get dessert.I think he only asked because he was living in the barracks, and he’d get extra money to live off base if he were married.”“I wish I could’ve seen your face when you walked into the strip club.”“Oh my God, this place wasn’t classy enough to call a club.The inside was red.Really, really red [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]