Breaking Love Page 25

“You’ve impressed me immensely in a short amount of time. Just let me know how long I have to find a temporary assistant.”

“I think I’m safe to stay on for another month. I’m not very far.”

“Great. Write up a two-week training schedule. You’ll be training the temp yourself. I’ll notify human resources so they can contact a temp agency and prepare you for disability leave.”

“Thank you, again.” She stood from her seat and crossed the room to the door. I watched her hesitate and then turn back. “You’re very kind.”

“I’m not—”

“You’re nothing like your father…” her head tilted and a sad smile crossed her lips, “…no matter how many times you punish yourself by thinking so.”

She left and the rest of the day was a blur. Before long, I was leaving the office building and stepping into the dusk. Ten minutes later, I was walking into the dimly lit bar and grill.

I was starting to feel tightly confined in my suit but didn’t have the time to change. For the next few minutes, I silently rehearsed what I would say. I did my homework on the man who was the only one who managed not to give in to my father’s selling or intimidation tactics.

Richard Simon had no wife or kids. He rarely spent time in the company of others except to golf every Sunday. He had a passion for boats and expensive whores. I also knew he weighed over two hundred pounds and founded his company five years before my father but was now on the verge of bankruptcy. Like a proud man, he refused to sell or close his company, which could mean thousands of people would be out of a job unexpectedly. I wasn’t going to let that happen.

On cue, Simon walked through the double doors searching. His eyes narrowed when he spotted me sitting at the bar alone. “Dash Chambers. You finally left the sandbox, huh?”

“I’m definitely out, but I don’t know much about leaving.” My bitterness was hard to hide even to a stranger.

“Your father isn’t known for being patient. I think it was a big mistake making you the head of the company, but I guess it’s better for business… at least for me.”

What business? Wisely, I left the question to bounce around in my head.

“You can settle down and have a drink. I’m not here to take your company. Not tonight anyway.”

“Then why am I here, son?” If he narrowed his eyes, anymore, they’d be completely closed.

“To drink.”

“To... What?”

“Drink. I need one, and I don’t want to drink alone.”

His bushy eyebrows furrowed as they reached for his receding hairline. “Don’t you have some college friends you can drink with? I’m almost three times your age, boy. Besides, you wouldn’t keep up.”

Two hours later, I led him to his victory. I’d stopped drinking after the fifth shot and got him nice and drunk at ten shots in two hours.

He clapped me hard on the back and slurred, “I said you wouldn’t be able to keep up.”

“Yeah, you got me.”

“Not to worry, boy. You’ll get better with age.” His grin spread even wider as he sat back with a look of content.

“It seems like you’ve had a lot of practice.”

“When you get to be my age with money and power, sometimes a good drink is all you need to keep from throwing it all away.”

“Something troubling you?”

“You mean besides your father trying to steal my company?”

“My father is retired.”

“Your father will never retire, and I think you know that. He made you the head of the company, but he will never relinquish the power. He’s hungry for it.”

I was the one to signal for a drink. “He can’t control me.”

“Then why are you here?”

“He doesn’t know about this meeting, Richard.”

“And your VP?”

“James has nothing to do with this.”

“Now you’ve got my attention. You want to work for me?”

“Don’t flatter yourself. I want to help you.”

“Help me? How the hell do you think you can help me? I have the experience. You’re just a fresh-faced kid out of college whose daddy handed him his success.”


“Is that so bad?”

“You may be an heir, but proper preparation is still required.”

“I think my childhood can attest to the fact that my father has been preparing me for some time now.”

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