I took his hand in mine. “You miss her a lot, don’t you?”
“Every day,” Seth said. “You are so much like her, you know? No matter what life throws at you, you just bend and twist and reshape yourself and move-on. She was like that, strong and confident. My father should have appreciated her, but he didn’t.”
“I’m sure she knew that you did. That had to be pretty special to her.”
“Yeah, I’m sure she knew how much I adored her. Since the day she died until I met you, I’ve never felt that loved.”
I picked up the hand I was holding and put it over my heart. “It beats just for you now,” I told him.
He leaned in and kissed my lips. I wrapped my hands behind his neck and pulled him in closer. As I did we were both set off balance and before we knew it, we were thrown head first into the pool. The water was heated and it felt like a comfortable bath. We barely took a breath before we continued our kiss. It was the first time I had ever made love in a swimming pool.
I don’t remember when I’ve ever been such a mixture of joy and anxiety before. I was joyous for two main reasons. First and foremost because of hours of fun in the heated pool, Seth had taken me upstairs to his room and I had spent the night in his loving arms, and second: we were finally taking what could very well be the final step to gaining control of my company. Ten and a half years finally coming to fruition. It was all I had wanted and everything I’d dreamed of and now that it was within my grasp it felt surreal to me.
Seth and I walked hand and hand into James Hunter’s living room at the estate. He was sitting on the couch with a cup of coffee, reading his morning paper. When we walked in, he looked up and smirked. I vowed that would be the last time he looked at either one of us that way again. Seth must have been thinking the same thing because he smiled radiantly and said, “Good morning, Father. Adele and I have great news.”
He glanced at me and I could see the confidence there in his eyes. He wasn’t afraid of this man any longer. James put the paper down and took a sip of his coffee. Looking me over with disgust he asked Seth, “So, you’ve decided a liar is the best you can do for a girlfriend I see.”
“No Father. I’ve found out that it’s the best I could do in the father department. As far as girlfriends go, I’m going to stick with this one. She’s a top of the line model.”
Seth was squeezing my hand tight as James jumped to his feet and said, “How dare you come into my house and talk to me that way. Who do you think you are?”
“I know who I am,” Seth said, smoothly. “I am a smart, capable man who doesn’t need you or your name or your money. I have what I need right here, and as soon as you give her back what is rightfully hers, she will have all that she needs too.”
James snorted. “Get off my property,” he said. “Or I’ll have you both thrown off.”
“Sure, Dad.” It was Seth’s turn for a smirk. He reached in the bag slung over my shoulder and pulled out the documents we had put together. One stack was the evidence we had against him and the other were the papers Phillip had Paul draw up. They reverted ownership of Hunter Corp. back to Morgan Corps. original heir. It included all of the corporate assets as well as the townhouse which Phillip found out was paid off with money he’d gotten from my estate.
“What is that?” James asked his son, irritably.
“Read them, Dad. We’ll wait.” He handed them to James and we sat down as he read through them. I will never forget the look on his face the moment he realized it was over. He wasn’t going to go down that easily, however. It’s a good thing Seth and I both knew that before we’d come over.
“So what? You’ve got a bunch of stupid old documents. If and I mean “IF” there was a crime committed or any wrong-doing… it would be way past the statute by now.”
“You know what, Dad? We thought of that. But you know what else we thought of? We both have noticed how much you love to be in the limelight. Your name, your estate, your money and your prestige, it all means so much to you. So in exchange for you doing the right thing here, Adele has graciously decided that she will settle for having back her assets without dragging you through the mud you so rightfully deserve to be pulled through.”
“What the hell does that mean?” he said. I could tell he was putting it together in his head and he was getting really nervous. I let Seth go on, for now. He pulled the notebook out of our bag and turned it on. Then he pulled up a segment that had appeared earlier that morning on “Good Morning Manhattan.” It was a former attorney who had retired from what he called “The Game” of high finance and corporate espionage. He talked about some of the shady deals he had witnessed and some of the unethical things he himself had been involved in. He said he was in recovery now from the substances that “led him down that evil path” and he was working with high school and college aged youth, teaching them how to stay on the right path. He had just that morning been offered a book deal. A six figure deal if he was willing to “name names.” He told the interviewer he was still on the fence about it. He thought those people should “get their reckoning,” but he hadn’t decided yet if he would be the one to give it to them. As James watched the show, the color drained out of his face. He recognized Paul and he also recognized how his entire way of life could be gone in an instant.