I shrugged. “Not so much anymore.”
Tripp glanced back at the door and then reached into his pocket and pulled out his phone. “I tell you what. Don’t go home just yet. Give it some time to heal from this and then hit the road again. Spend some time in a small town and take things slow.”
The way he explained it sounded nice but I wasn’t sure I was up for that either.
“I’m going to call my cousin. He has some pull in the coastal town I grew up in. It’s small and it’s a really nice place. Nothing like Dallas. My cousin can hook you up with a job and you can decide when you’re ready to hit the road again. He has friends in high places.” Tripp winked.
Before I could protest or come up with a reason why this was a bad idea Tripp was dialing his cousin’s number.
“Yeah, I know it’s been awhile. Life gets crazy.”
“No, you need to come to Dallas and tear yourself away from the girl your momma said you’re so wrapped up in you can’t see straight.”
Tripp laughed and I could see the happiness in his eyes. He loved the cousin he was talking to and it looked like he might miss him too.
“Listen. I need a favor. I got a friend. She’s had a hard go of things here and she needs somewhere to escape to.”
“No, I know you got a girl. I’m not asking you to take her in, idiot. She can stay at my place there. Someone might as well get some use out of it. Just talk to Kerrington. Have him give her a job. She just needs some down time.”
“Yeah. She is.”
“I’m positive he’ll be pleased.”
“Awesome. Thanks, man. I’ll call you back in a few. I’m gonna get her the info she needs and send her your way.”
Tripp grinned as he slipped the phone back in his pocket. “It’s all set up. You’ll have a good paying job and you can stay in my condo there free of charge. I’ve been needing to send someone over to check on it. With you there you can take care of things. It will help me out. Then the best bonus, you’ll be living near one of the most beautiful beaches in the south. Go find yourself while in the sunshine, Della.”
I paced back and forth in front of my desk. Every now and then I glanced down at the diamond ring sitting in the center of it. I knew what it meant. I also knew I wanted to throw it as far out into the damn ocean as I could. This was my dad’s not so subtle hint.
I’d gone to him yesterday to ask him when I would get to move on from management to take my place as a vice president of Kerrington Country Clubs. This was his answer. I had to marry Angelina.
Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!
I didn’t want to marry her. She would make me miserable. I’d finally given in last month and had sex with her again. She’d shown up at my house in nothing but a tiny red nightie, dropped to her knees, and sucked my dick. Between getting my c**k sucked and the whiskey I’d been chugging I’d f**ked her several times that night. Problem was the only way I’d managed to get off was by picturing the pretty blue eyes of Della Sloane’s looking up at me. Angelina’s practiced cries of pleasure turned me off. She was practiced in faking it. She didn’t like sex. She used it.
I knew her type well. I wasn’t interested.
I wasn’t my father. I couldn’t marry for money and connections and then have a woman on the side. It always made me angry that my parents screwed up marriage didn’t seem to affect them. It completely messed with my head.
If I was going to tie myself down to one woman and be faithful to her the rest of my life for the sake of my rightful place in the family business, I wasn’t sure I wanted in. Fuck all this shit. My dad was always controlling me.
A knock on my door stopped my endless pacing and silent ranting. I grabbed the ring and shoved it into my pocket. I didn’t need this getting out. And God help me if that was Angelina.
“Come in,” I called out and took a seat behind my desk.
Jace, my best friend since boarding school, opened the door and stepped into the room. “Hey, I thought you’d join us on the course for a round this morning but you never showed.”
I needed to talk to someone about this but I wasn’t sure I was ready. Jace would tell me to leave town and let them figure this shit out on their own. He’d been rebelling against his father’s wishes for years now. “I got busy,” was my only response.
Jace nodded. “Yeah, I figured.” He walked over and took a seat across from me. “I need to ask you for a favor.”
That got my attention. Jace didn’t ask me for favors often. I leaned back in my seat and waited. This had better not be about getting his girlfriend, Bethy who was also one of my beer cart girls, off work early. We had a rush in the evenings and I needed her.
“I got a call from Tripp,” he started. Tripp was his older cousin. He’d graduated a couple years before us but we’d had one awesome year in boarding school together before he left. I hadn’t seen him since he packed up and left town five years ago.
“Really? How is he?” I asked curiously. I’d always liked Tripp. He hadn’t wanted to bend to his parents’ demands either so he’d just left. Never looked back.
Jace shrugged. “Good, I guess. He sounded happy. He’s in Dallas now. I need to make it out there and see him. He didn’t come to Boston this Christmas with the rest of the family. I don’t expect he’ll be coming around anytime soon. Uncle Robert isn’t happy with him.”