There were a lot of moving pieces and uncertainty with this plan, but that was okay. I worked best when I improvised, although I’d never had a distraction and a problem quite like Emily before.
I was going to need to learn some serious self-restraint over the next few months, or else I might not get what I wanted in the end.
Carter wasn’t joking when he said I could have an entire wing of the house to myself.
I followed a young housekeeper through large and spacious hallways into the east side of the house, which is usually reserved for guests, but had been converted into a living space for me. I had my own kitchen, my own living room, my own bedroom, and at least two bathrooms that I knew about. The kitchen was stocked with whatever I wanted and I had access to the outdoor pool and the indoor pool. My mother was staying in Carter’s room, though really she was in the room adjacent to his. As I unpacked and looked around my new living situation, I had to admit that I was a little blown away.
I knew that people like Carter lived this way, but I’d never really seen it before. My father left my mother when I was very young, and my mother never really found another partner after he was gone. She was a single mother raising a daughter on a secretary’s salary, and although Carter paid Mom very well, that wasn’t always the case with her bosses before him. There were times where we really struggled, but Mom managed to give me a comfortable life despite all that.
Still, I’d never seen luxury like Carter’s palatial mansion. He lived on the outskirts of San Francisco, up in the hills surrounded by natural wildlife and trees. He kept away from the other tech billionaires for reasons that I didn’t understand and wasn’t going to bother to ask him about. From what I could tell, there were three main wings in the house attached to a central hub. I had one wing, Carter and Mom had the other, and the third was being switched over to guest duty. Before, it had been some kind of recreational place. I wasn’t really sure what that meant and didn’t bother to ask.
I was too busy wandering around the grounds.
From what I understood, there were two pools, one indoor and one outdoor, plus a full gym, bar, and restaurant that was only open when guests were around. There were tennis courts, a basketball court, an indoor volleyball court, a bowling alley, two movie theaters, and something like two hundred computers. There was a machine shop and a robotics lab, plus an infirmary with in-house medical staff.
In short, it was more like a resort than a house, and I got lost immediately.
Not that I minded being lost. I came across housekeepers every once in awhile, but they basically just ignored me. I was too busy looking into rooms, staring at paintings, and basically trying to come to grips that a single person could afford all of this stuff. I knew Carter was rich, but I had no clue what that really meant.
It was becoming clearer and clearer to me that Carter Green really was the spoiled rich playboy that the media made him seem to be. His home was extravagant, like a resort for the insanely wealthy, except owned and operated for one man. He apparently had guests constantly, but I hadn’t seen anybody yet, and doubted I ever would. Even if people were staying there, the place was just too huge to stumble across someone.
And I liked it that way. I didn’t want to see Carter Green and really wanted to just pretend that I was living in some lavish hotel for the summer. I didn’t want to be reminded that the man was my stepfather, even though he was the age of a man I’d consider dating. Not that I’d ever date Carter, of course, but it just made no sense for him to be my stepfather. There was no real relationship there anyway, since he was just using my mother for the good press, and she was using him for money.