“She's not ready yet,” I inform her.
“Oh, I’ll go join her.”
I step in Jenna’s path. “Knock first please,” I tell her. I don’t care if she’s a woman. Only I see my Dove naked. Period.
I step out of her way so she can head down the hallway. Two of the puppies follow her. Bruno stays at my side staring at my dad. He’s the little guard dog out of the three of them.
My dad walks in, pulling me in for a hug and catching me by surprise.
“Whiskey?” I ask him when he lets go of me.
I lead him back to my office and pour us both a glass. I throw mine back, enjoying the burn. I’m not looking forward to how this next conversation is going to go. I know my dad will be on me about a prenup and I also have something I need to tell him. I want this to go easy. I haven't talked to him much since that day in my office. I haven’t really talked to anyone. I've barely come up for air since I got Dove into bed.
I take a seat behind my desk. My dad follows suit, sitting down on the other side. He looks less stressed. Retirement seems to be doing him some good.
“I’m marrying her,” I blurt out, ripping the Band-Aid right off. He goes to open his mouth, but I cut him off. I need to get it all out. “There won’t be a prenup because I’ll never let her leave me. Ever.”
My dad studies me for a second before a grin splits his face.
“I wasn't going to say that.” He leans forward a little, resting his elbows on his knees. “I didn’t make Jenna sign one either.”
“What?” I say in shock. It doesn't matter to me if my father gets a prenup or not. It’s his money and he can do with it what he wants, but this is out of the norm for him. In fact, a lot about him lately is. Then it clicks. He’s been this way ever since Jenna came into his life.
“I wanted her to see that she was different. That she wasn't a mistake or one in a line of many. She means something to me, and like you, I’ll never let her go.”
I sit back in my seat. “I’m happy for you.”
“And I’m happy for you, too. That you found your girl early. You didn't make a mess of women along the way.”
I bark out a laugh. No, I never made a mess. Though at times with Dove I can be a little messy and out of control, but I like it. I love the things she makes me feel.
“There’s more,” I tell him. My father doesn't own the law firm anymore. He stepped aside when he retired. He knew as well as anyone that if he still owned part of it he would try to keep working. He needed a clean break. It’s worked, but I’m still not sure how he’ll feel about what I’m about to say. Either way, it must be done for my own sanity.
“I won’t be taking cases any longer from the firm.” His mouth drops open a little at my words. “I’m not shutting it down. I just won’t be taking on the divorce cases anymore. I’m opening a pro-bono division that I’ll be heading, and hand-picking cases I want to take on.”
I raise my hand to stop him. “I don’t want to do it anymore. I haven't for a while, and now that I have Dove there’s no way I’ll be able to keep doing the job I’m doing now and get myself to get out of bed in the morning with her lying next to me.” I don’t add that when I told Dove about making this change she was so excited she wanted to help. So much so she offered to quit her job at the florist to help me. I’d been trying to get her to do since I made her mine. I need her next to me.
My dad shoots back his whiskey, then stands and places the glass on my desk. “Jenna has made me see I haven't been living life as I should. I worked myself hard. Not that I regret it, I just wish I’d worked hard on something I was passionate about.” His eye meet mine. “I’m happy you're going to do that. I also don’t want you to regret the years of cases you’ve done already. Think of them as the years you spent fighting to make sure you had the capital to do what you're about to do. It makes me damn proud of you.”
For the first time since I was a kid I feel a closeness with my dad. I knew he was proud of me, but hearing him say it makes all the difference. It also makes me feel a little less dirty about some of the cases I’ve taken.