“Are you going to disclose the vital stats on the hottie who dropped you off this morning?” Holding a cup of coffee, Ethan swaggered into the office, sandy-blond hair slicked back and ultra-white veneers on display.
Leave it to Séamus’ best friend and co-worker to always bring statistics into the conversation. Being the business analyst for Daughtery Enterprises, of course Ethan spoke and thought in terms of acquired or soon-to-be acquired data to assess.
“She’s my driver, nothing more.” Séamus shoved away his laptop.
“Hey, if you don’t sample the domestics, you can’t analyze whether they’ll be effective at their duties or not.” Ethan threw back his head and chuckled. He plopped in the chair opposite the desk in front of the big window.
“I’m aware what you do each time you hire a new cleaner for your place.” Séamus picked the mug off the desk and sipped the hot brew. Naturally, Ethan’s father didn’t care if his son had been enjoying bedroom romps with the staff ever since he’d turned eighteen. Ethan’s father did the same thing and wasn’t an overbearing ass.
“Talk to me, bud.” Ethan set his Italian leather shoes on the desk and crossed his legs at the ankles. “You passed on clubbing tonight, and I caught you staring at your laptop instead of working. What’s piloting around your head? What’d your ol’ man do this time?”
Séamus might as well fess up the truth. Ethan wouldn’t relent until he got the scoop. “Father’s requesting a special dinner tonight.”
“Ah, how lovely. Just what you enjoy—another order from the tyrant.” Ethan glanced beyond Séamus’ shoulder. “I think it’s time you—”
“And have him cut me off?” Séamus snorted. He’d be renting a room at the local Motel Six.
“He’s been threatening to disinherit you since elementary school.” Ethan moved his mug back and forth in a cheers sort of manner. “I’d say it’s time you called his bluff.”
Séamus set aside his coffee that no longer smelled of fresh roasted beans but resembled day-old garbage. “And lose my job?”
“You can always find another.” Ethan sipped.
“You know what this job means to me. And if I leave, he’ll have me blacklisted. He’ll smear my name.”
“Oh, c’mon. Disinheriting is one thing. But outright sabotaging his own flesh and blood’s career?”
“Maybe I’m not his flesh and blood and that’s why he’s always had it out for me?”
Ethan’s blue eyes widened. “Don’t talk nonsense. You’re his flesh and blood. I can hardly see your mother stepping out on your ol’ man. She’s too classy a lady.”
True, if anything, Mom’s upbringing demanded the ultimate elegance and refinement. She’d never have an affair on Father, no matter how miserable he’d made her life. “I s’pose I’m not the product of the gardener. Mind you, Sam does a fine job.” Séamus winked.
“There we go. Chin up.” Ethan’s eyes brightened. “There’s always a way out of a hopeless situation. If he orders you to marry, go ahead and marry. Marry someone before the dinner takes place.” The roar of his chuckle said he was simply jesting.
A lightbulb went off inside Séamus’ brain, almost blinding his li’l thinker. He tapped his finger on his mouth. As the director of marketing, he should’ve devised such a scheme. If he married before the dinner happened, Father could not expound the requirements for a potential bride, because once the dinner occurred, his future fiancée would have to meet the same prerequisites that Cillian’s wife had met.
First, he had to buy some time—such as jetting off in the private plane to a destination far from Toronto, and then convince…yes, convince the stunning Shannon Nadjiwon to marry him. She’d be a perfect bride. A woman with her own job, goals, and life. A woman not impressed by wealth.
He’d bring her with him, put forth his proposition, and see if she’d buy. His game was marketing, after all, and he knew how to sell anything with his persuasive tongue.