Once the ink was dry, and with help from another founding partner, we had the majority vote and were able to secure Debra a spot in the firm as Steven’s replacement. Everybody won. Steven knew his family name was secure in the company, and his daughter wouldn’t have to worry about her future at the firm.
I was a workaholic already and didn’t have a social life outside of work. When I did find myself out for the evening, women were just attracted to the suit and the money. Women made things messy and complicated, and I didn’t need either in my life. Debra and I both had the same motivation and drive, and neither of us had time for love. Our arrangement was the perfect, until Debra suddenly passed away, leaving me to pick up all the pieces of their family. A family that wasn’t even really mine.
“She’ll be here tomorrow. She’s packing up the rest of her stuff from the boarding school today. She graduated last weekend,” Jim says, shaking me from my thoughts.
“I’m just supposed to take in a girl I’ve never met and let her live with me?” I snap, still agitated and taking it out on Jim. What the fuck do I know about teenagers, or even making a home for one? I know nothing about family. Can’t she just stay at the boarding school? She’s eighteen. Legally, she doesn’t need a guardian, and I’m sure she can find her own place before she starts college in the fall. She’s going to college right?”
I bring up tomorrow's schedule. Fucking hell, I have a dinner meeting I can’t miss with one of the firm's biggest clients.
“I’m not sure of her plans for college, but she’s Debra’s daughter. Her mother’s just died, she’s been holed up in boarding school—do you really want to shunt her off to some soulless hotel or apartment so she can be alone with her thoughts? This is just until matters with Debra’s estate have been resolved.” He rubs his hand through his hair and shrugs his shoulders. “Do with her what you wish.”
My cock jerks at his offhand comment. Do with her what you wish. As if she’s mine.
Apparently I need to get laid. I’m getting hard at the idea of owning some young thing who doesn't know what to do with a dick. I rub my eyes and try to think of the last time I had sex.
Debra and I might have been married, but we never shared more than a quick embrace for public events. All I’ve had to get me off over the years is my hand. While we were married, the last thing I needed was some scandal about how our nuptials were a sham or that I was cheating. After her father passed, we talked about getting a divorce, but we never got around to it with our busy schedules.
We never planned for anything in the event of something happening to either of us, and now I’m a widower...and apparently a stepfather.
Well, I guess I’m a stepfather for the next week or so. I can handle her for a week. I can keep busy while she stays in the condo. I’m never there anyway, and how hard can it really be? I’ll look into helping her find a condo to stay at until it’s time for her to start college. I bet there are probably a few units available in my building, and it’s the least I can do. Her mother and I may have not been close, but we did help each other out when needed.
“Fine, I’ll leave a key for her at the front desk for when she arrives, and I’ll have one of the rooms set up for her. Is there anything else I should know? Any problems?”
“I don’t think she’ll give you any problems. Her academic records are spotless with no mention of bad behavior. She volunteered at the library, and it seems that’s where she spent most of her time, from what little info I could gather on her. Hell, I was shocked when I found out Debra had a kid, she never talked about anything but work. But she seems like a good kid. I don’t think she’ll be much of a burden.”
I nod my head in agreement. I knew Debra for years, lived with her, and often forgot she had a daughter. It wasn't until Jim was going over and settling Debra’s estate that we remembered her. It’s probably why she missed the funeral. I don’t think she knew about it.
“Well, I guess that’s settles it.” There’s no point to fighting the issue and look like a fucking asshole. How hard could it be to live with an eighteen-year-old girl for a few weeks?