I know it’s wrong. He’s my best friend’s dad. But I can’t help it. Tonight’s the night…
My world is full of people who are morally bankrupt and ethically deficient and I am no better than any of them.
My fist curls around my glass of scotch and I toss it back as I stand from my chair.
“She wants seventy percent.” My client’s voice sounds from the phone on my desk. “Her father talked me out of the prenup the night before the fucking wedding. I’d burn the bitch if she wasn’t finally pregnant. Is there a way to invalidate an agreement if you entered it under duress?”
“Being convinced not to pursue a prenup because you were too distracted snorting coke off a stripper’s ass doesn’t count as being under duress,” I husk, putting my finger in my collar to loosen my tie.
I walk to the window in my office, overlooking the pool and guest house out at the back of my property. This client still lives in Manhattan because he’s only 27 and thinks making seventy grand a month at his firm means he doesn’t have enough money to buy something “good.” I insert my fingers between two of the venetian slats over the window and split them to get a look at what’s going on a story below me.
“Jesus Christ,” I grit through my teeth, slamming my glass down on my desk. My fists curl at my sides. Angela is doing a back-stroke through my swimming pool and I can see the pebbles of her nipples from here. I am going to hell for the thoughts I’ve had about her for the past year. Since she was young — too young. Hell, she still is. Half my age. A perfect, lithe woman with a ripe young body.
I watch as her long limbs work in the water, dipping below the surface and emerging from it like four pendulums. Her movements are lazy and more than a mere distraction.
My client resumes telling me about his latest woe.
“She knew what this was before she signed up. Why the fuck would anyone marry me if it wasn’t for my money?” he boasts.
“And this is a source of pride for you.” His guffaw rasps into the room. He mistakes my dry insult for a compliment. “Listen to me. Don’t talk to her again. Don’t talk to her attorney. I’m the only one who talks to either of them from now on.”
My daughter’s soft voice sounds from the crack in my open door and is followed by a light, staccato rapping on the frame.
“One second, honey.” I punch the button on my phone to end the call without saying goodbye. Then I wave my daughter into my office.
She walks forward, pushing the door to make her way toward a chair facing my desk. I take a seat behind it. The formality is unnecessary but then I see Angela follow her into the room and suddenly the formality is very necessary.
“Hello,” I say, clearing my throat as the young woman and the source of all the new friction in my life saunters in. Maybe she thinks I don’t see her in a sexual way. Maybe she thinks I don’t remember what happened between us a year ago. Maybe she thinks I don’t want her — my nineteen-year-old daughter’s nineteen-year-old friend. If that’s what she thinks, she is beyond wrong.