“Big enough. She used several aliases. And this was a different time—”
“Yes, before the Internet. You said.” My voice had an edge to it now. “He couldn’t have tried that hard to find me.”
“It became much more difficult once Miss Cruise became incarcerated.”
I winced at the words.
“You no longer lived with her and as we didn’t know your real name, we had no way to search for you. We contacted all of her known relatives and associates, but most hadn’t seen her for some time. None had any knowledge of your whereabouts.”
I swallowed, tense. “I was in foster care.”
“I only learned of that recently.”
“Richard Kavanaugh.” I repeated the name, my eyes fixed on the table as I realized. “I met him.”
“You did,” Nelson confirmed.
“That night at the Met.”
“He attended the charity event,” the lawyer said. “He’d read about you and become curious. You resemble your mother more than your father, but he wondered. He always worried about you.”
I bristled at the assertion, not exactly ready to buy this version of reality. My long-lost father searching for me, worrying about me. But I said nothing while he continued, explaining that my father had become convinced of my identity after we’d spoken that night. But it had taken time to piece it all together, and he didn’t have time.
“As you may have noted when you spoke,” Nelson remarked, “he was quite ill. He passed away from cancer shortly thereafter. Only 62, far too young.”
The lawyer paused. I kept perfectly composed, my poker face firmly in place.
“It was a source of great pain to him that he could not find you. Even given all of his considerable resources,” Nelson continued. “It was his dying wish to give you a full inheritance alongside your brothers and sister.”
“What?” Kara spoke up at that. She clutched her hand to my arm. “Brothers and sister?” Of course she was more excited about the revelation of family than the inheritance.
“Yes, three half-brothers and a half-sister. Gigi is the youngest. She just turned 20. All of them are from his marriage to his first wife, Margo.”
“Gigi’s 20?” Kara asked. Oh man, here we go. Kara was probably crocheting her a scarf as we spoke.
Nelson nodded, then continued. “Richard also left behind his wife and stepson from his second marriage. Your presence, Declan, has come as quite a shock to them all.”
I snorted. “I’ll bet.”
“Do you doubt that?” The lawyer’s eyes narrowed, but only slightly. He clearly knew how to keep emotions in check as well.
“I don’t doubt it. Not at all. I’m sure they all hate the idea of splitting their pie with me.”
“There’s no need to be crude about it,” he scolded me.
“You forget,” I grinned without mirth, “I didn’t grow up with a silver spoon in my mouth. You couldn’t find me. I got dragged all over, sometimes without a winter coat or shoes that fit my feet. I am the definition of crude.”
Kara cringed at my words, at the image of me young and helpless. I never talked about those days. She likely knew how much I hated to do it now.
But I didn’t need to, did I? I didn’t need to sit there and re-live my worst days, hear more news about how my mother had lied and cheated and screwed me over. I was done with this meeting.
“It doesn’t matter. I don’t want any inheritance.” I stood up from the table. “This meeting is over.”
“I thought you might say that.” My lawyer, Stephen, spoke up for the first time all meeting. I’d almost forgotten he was there.
“You knew about all this?” I looked at him, accusatory.
“Only for the past day. I was briefed on the details. But I thought you should hear it all in person. And I told him there was a good chance that you would refuse your inheritance.”
“If you prefer,” Nelson spoke to me, “the inheritance will be gifted entirely to your charity for foster children. Your father admired your work greatly.”
I grunted, non-committal.
“But first you must do one thing.”
I stood and waited for it, my whole body tense.
“It was Mr. Kavanaugh’s wish that you meet your family. For any funds to be released, you must agree to do so.”
“No,” I declined, abruptly.
But he continued, undeterred. “There’s an annual family gathering he specified that he’d very much like you to attend. It’s in a few months, around the holidays. It would present the ideal opportunity to meet all of your relations.”
“No,” I answered quickly and decisively, then turned to leave the room. Kara rose to join me.
“It was his dying wish,” the lawyer said to my back, still not raising his voice.
“Not my problem,” I responded, hand on the doorknob.
“You may want to learn the amount of money that you’re refusing before you walk out the door.” Now he spoke up a bit, to make sure he was heard.
With great certainty, I turned to face him. “Nothing you have to say will change my mind.”
“Two hundred and fifty million dollars.”
The number sat there like a big cartoon word balloon hovering over all of our heads.
“What!?!” Kara exclaimed. Unschooled in the art of containing emotion, the words flew out of her mouth.
“Kara, we’re done here.” I took her hand and led her from the meeting room.
Back in our cabin, I didn’t know what to say. Everything we’d just heard swirled around my head like hallucinatory smoke coming out of a pipe.
“What just happened in there?” she asked me, her eyes wide, her face caught in a pantomime of astonishment.
“I have no idea,” I answered, honestly. I didn’t know what to believe, didn’t know what to do with it all. So I did the one thing I felt certain about. I wrapped my arms around Kara, exhaling into her hair, kissing her forehead.
“This is crazy,” she murmured, circling her arms around me, her hands along my back, tracing my muscles. Her touch felt so good, instantly igniting the flames within me. I kissed her neck, slow and loving, breathing her in, enjoying the hitch in her breath as I sucked on her soft skin.
“Are you all right?” she asked me, sounding more breathy, her hands clasping at my shoulders, traveling down to my chest.
“I am now,” I answered honestly, popping open a couple buttons on her shirt and taking her full breast in my palm. I leaned my head down and licked, pulling the silk down to get at her nipple.
“Declan!” she gasped, her peak hardening for me, so responsive. I sucked hard and she cried out again, her hands twining in my hair. Amidst all the uncertainty of the day, I knew what I needed. Right then, right there, hard and fast and raw.
I swept her up in my arms and carried her into the bedroom. My urgency built as I practically tore off her clothes. She fumbled at mine with just as much need. Nothing between us, I climbed over her on the bed. I grasped her legs and hooked them up a
nd over my shoulders. I needed to possess her, drive into her and feel her come on my cock.
She looked up at me, her lips parted with arousal. I sank into her with one, deep, long thrust. Her eyes rolled right back into her head with pure, intense pleasure.
“Yes, Declan!” she cried out. I angled her just right and thrust into her again, the width of my thick cock spreading her pussy. With her legs up and over my shoulders, I drove into her, claiming her with savage need. I plunged all of the way in, groaning deep in my chest. Then I grabbed her hands. This ride was going to get rough.
“Brace yourself,” I told her, placing her hands up on the headboard. “I need to fuck you hard.”
“Yes,” she replied, breathless, pressing against the headboard and tilting her hips up to meet me thrust for thrust. I launched in, taking her so hard the bed shook. Her head nearly banged against the headboard. She had to push against it with her palms. My body was so big, my need so great driving into her, but I couldn’t hold back. Not anymore. And she didn’t want me to. Even as I stretched her, as her small frame worked hard to take in all of me, I could see how much she wanted it, how she matched every thrust. She grunted and screamed with pleasure.
I kept her legs up and over my shoulders as I rammed my cock into her, hitting her just right, her slick depths taking me in all the way, fitting around me tight as a glove. I loved watching her, her eyes half-closed, her mouth open, her tits bouncing and her skin glistening in a sweaty sheen. I brought my finger down and pressed, circled, pressed on her swollen clit in rhythm with my strokes.
I rammed into her again and again, merciless until her orgasm rushed up and consumed her. It shuddered through her as her eyes flew open and she screamed in deep, orgasmic pleasure.
“Yes! That’s it!” I drove into her, again and again, claiming her, marking her like an animal, our sweat mingling as I didn’t stop. I took the crest of the wave of her orgasm and rode it straight into another one, greedy, demanding more of her, more pleasure. She gave it up wholeheartedly, surrendering yet again into complete bliss.