With his fiancée, no doubt. I nodded and headed for the kitchen.
“I so want to tap that,” Thad said as I walked away.
“Shut up,” Grant snapped.
When I brought Woods coffee I managed to get away without any more interaction with him.
Jimmy sauntered in and I breathed a sigh of relief.
“Jimmy, I will give you half my tips today if you change sections with me right now.”
Jimmy cocked one of his perfectly plucked eyebrows and stared at me like I was crazy. “Girl, I’m not taking half your tips. What’s wrong with the section you’re in?”
I didn’t want to tell him about Woods. I thought about it a second then said, “Those guys make me nervous and I don’t like waiting on Mr. Kerrington. Please,” I finished with a final plea.
He rolled his eyes and tied on his apron. “Fine. We can change sides but I got one through seven. You get eight through fourteen. You’re still new and need to earn more tables.”
I nodded. “Of course, thank you.”
“I think I’m gonna like you. About time Woods hired another server I like working with.”
His praise was nice. I liked feeling as if I fit in.
I stood at my office window and watched as Della’s red car drove away. I could lie to myself and say it was a coincidence that I came to look out the window the same time she was leaving. But I knew her schedule. I knew her shift was over and pathetically I came here to watch her get in her car and leave. I had gotten very little sleep worrying that she would leave without a word after last night.
When I had walked into the clubhouse today and she’d come walking up to me calling me Mr. Kerrington and making sure she still had a job I was so damn relieved I hadn’t been able to properly apologize to her before she was walking off.
Then I’d decided it was for the best. No need for us to keep pretending there could be more to this. She was cutting me out and I needed to let her do it. For both our sakes. It was the best way to keep me from caving and begging her for something I couldn’t have.
The door opened behind me without a knock and I didn’t have to look to see who it was. Only one person would walk into my office without a knock first.
“Hello, Dad,” I said without turning around to look at him. I’d idolized him from the time I was a kid. Now, a part of me hated him.
“Woods. I came to make sure plans were still firmly in place for tonight. Howard and Samantha will be here tonight. They’re planning on this announcement. Letting Howard Greystone down isn’t something I intend to do.”
He knew I didn’t want this but here he was still reasserting the importance of it.
“Nothing’s changed.” Those two words went much deeper than I knew he took them. Nothing had changed. He was still controlling things. I still couldn’t stand the idea of being married to Angelina and he still didn’t give a shit.
“Good. Your mother is already planning the wedding with Samantha. They’ve been planning this wedding since the two of you were young. This isn’t just securing our future and the success of what your grandfather built; it is also making your mother very happy. She loves Angelina. This will all work out for the best. You’ll see. Left up to your own devices you would have never gotten married.” The amusement in his voice was lost on me. There was nothing humorous about the fact that both my parents expected me to sacrifice my happiness for theirs.
“At least someone is happy,” I said without emotion.
“When you’re married and sitting in your new office looking out over the eighteenth hole with the title of Vice President on your door, you’ll be happy too. Right now you’re just sulking like a child who isn’t getting his way. I know what you need to be successful and Angelina Greystone is your answer.”
I couldn’t look at him. The rage burning a hole in my gut would no doubt be flashing in my eyes. My father’s footsteps moved away from me and the door closed behind him. I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to forgive him for this. Or maybe it was me I would never be able to forgive. What man let another control his life? His future?
Angelina had almost circled the entire ballroom showing off the ring I’d placed on her finger in front of everyone over an hour ago. She was gushing with excitement and the entire room was buying it. You would think we were madly in love. I wasn’t that good of an actor. I preferred to stand over by the bar and drink shots of whiskey.
“She’s a looker. If you’re gonna get hitched at least you picked beauty and money. Surely that’s something. You look ready to murder anyone who gets close to you,” Jace said as he took up the spot beside me at the bar.
Angelina was beautiful in a cold classical way. She was elegant and refined and manipulative.
“Can’t be happy that I’ve become my dad’s f**king puppet,” I replied and heard the slur in my words. Maybe I’d had too much to drink.
“There’s that,” he agreed and picked up my whiskey and finished it off before I could. “Probably need to cut yourself off.”
“Probably, but then I’d have to endure this sober.”
Jace let out a sigh. “I wasn’t going to bring this up but what happened last night with Della?”
I picked up my empty glass and shook it at the bartender. “Nothing,” I lied.
Jace smirked. “That’s not what Bethy said. Apparently your shirt was off and your pants were undone.”