“I pay her pretty well, but college is expensive. She’s a single mom trying to do her best.”
I sighed, shaking my head. “I don’t want to hear this from you.”
“No kidding.” Carter stepped closer to me. “But do it for your mother.”
“What was with you back there, anyway?” I asked, changing the subject.
He grinned. “Just messing with my new daughter.”
“Stop. Don’t ever call me that again. It makes me feel . . . unclean.”
“Good. I want to make you dirty.” His grin got bigger.
I rolled my eyes. “Real clever.”
He shrugged. “I can’t help it around you.”
“What, can’t help making bad jokes?”
“No,” he said, getting serious. “I can’t help wanting to tear those tight jeans off your perfect legs and taste that dripping pussy.”
I stared at him, totally taken by surprise. His serious look softened as he turned to leave.
“Do it for your mother,” he said then waved and headed back inside.
I stared after him, heart hammering in my chest. I couldn’t believe he said that to me. He was supposed to be convincing me to play along with their game, not saying such filthy things. And yet . . .
I shook my head. I couldn’t entertain any thoughts of what I wanted that cocky asshole to do to me. He loved that he was going to become my stepdad, and he was going to rub it in my face. He just liked teasing me, that was all, and I wasn’t going to give in to that teasing.
Still, there was something in the way he looked at me when he said it that was different from before. There wasn’t any of that playfulness, it was just intense lust and desire clear in his expression.
I didn’t know what I was going to do. I wanted to fight this and didn’t want anything to do with Carter Green, but my mother clearly needed my help if this was going to work. She was taking a hug personal risk, and I didn’t want to see her embarrassed. My reasons for not helping were mostly selfish, and I was totally aware of that fact, but that didn’t change anything.
I took a deep breath, looking at the home of my childhood. It was all I ever knew and now my mother wanted me to move into some rich asshole’s mansion for the summer.
Well, that didn’t sound so bad, actually. There was probably a pool and the place was sure to be really gorgeous. Maybe if it was big enough, I could avoid seeing Carter entirely. This would hopefully be a short-lived experiment and they’d be divorced by the time I left to return to school.
I groaned, leaning back on my elbows. I was going to help my mother, even though I really didn’t want to, because it was the right thing to do and she’d do it for me.
This was going to be a really, really weird summer.
I sat outside of the boardroom, staring blankly at my phone, waiting for them to call me inside. I wasn’t used to waiting, but the board was pretty pissed and I wasn’t in a position to complain at the moment.
I leaned back in my chair, putting my hands behind my head and staring up at the ceiling. How the fuck had it come to this?
That was a stupid question. I knew exactly how it came to this.
I founded Valor Tech when I was eighteen years old and writing code in my mom’s basement. I went on to design websites on the side, saving up money until I had enough cash to launch my real product: a real-time optical recognition algorithm. It started out with that, at least, but Valor quickly grew into an enormous tech conglomerate.