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Virgin Bride(5)

By:B. B. Hamel

When I get around the corner, I spot the black car that my father sent to pick me up. Nervous, I head over to it, and I start to mentally prepare what I’m going to say when I get home.



James sits across from me, a little smirk on his face. “Well?” he asks.

“Well what?” I lean back in my chair, eyebrow raised. He came in here on the pretext of wanting to talk about some minor clause in the merger contract, but clearly that’s not where this is going.

“Erin. The nanny. What do you think?”

“She seems good with Lacey,” I say, ignoring the undertones.

He’s not letting that slide, though. “Come on, man. I know what she looks like.”

“I don’t know what you mean.”

He grins and leans forward. “Did you fuck her yet?”

I groan a little bit. “Man. Come on. She’s my nanny.”

“So what?”

“I met her once. Well, twice now, I guess.”

“So what?” he repeats. “I don’t see the issue.”

“She takes care of my kid. And when I see her, I’m either on my way out, or just coming home.”

“Come on, you’re Griffin McGrath, playboy billionaire. Since when did you let a little thing like timing stop you from getting pussy?”

I wince a little bit. “My daughter stops me,” I say. “It’s not like that with Erin.”

“Sure it is,” James says, laughing. “I can tell already. You want this one.”

“Maybe,” I admit. “But even if I did, it doesn’t matter. I’m not going to be a fucking cliché. And I’m not going to ruin it for Lacey. She seems to like Erin.”

“What’s cliché about wanting to fuck the nanny?” James asks, laughing. “Okay, yeah, I heard it.”

“Besides,” I say, “I don’t know if she’s interested. And she’s young.”

“She’s more than old enough.”

“Doesn’t matter. I’m not crossing that line.” I shake my head and shuffle some papers on my desk. “Aren’t we supposed to be working?”

“Whatever,” James says, laughing again. “I don’t care if you fuck her or not. I don’t live my life through the great Griffin. I just know you.”

I hate when he calls me that. It’s his little cutting nickname for me. He’s been trotting it out more and more this last year, and it always bugs me. I don’t know when James got so bitter, but it’s gotten worse and worse lately. I pay him well and treat him well, and I trust him with absolutely everything. He’s basically my co-owner in everything but name. Still, there’s a weird tension that I don’t really understand.

“Where’d you find her anyway?” I ask him, trying to change the subject to something friendlier.

“Oh you know, just heard good things,” he says.

“From who?” I ask.

“Just around,” he answers, and then grabs a file from my desk. “Listen, let’s talk about this merger now.”

I frown a little bit. That was a vague answer, but it doesn’t matter. I’m happy with Erin and that’s all I care about.

We dive into discussing the contract some more and I forget all about that conversation regarding Erin. James knows this deal backwards and forwards, probably even better than I do, and he’s such an important asset to me.

This should be easier. The merger makes sense. Fisher’s company hasn’t been growing nearly as fast as projections said it would, and they’re starting to bleed money. Merging with my company will give them the size and strength they need to analyze their data, and it would give my company the size boost and access to their data that it really needs. It’s a win-win situation.

But Rick Fisher himself has been stalling from day one. Right now, there’s some discussions about how their proprietary data will be used, citing all these privacy concerns, which is really bullshit. Big data guys don’t give a fuck about privacy concerns, or at least most of them don’t. My company is one of the few that actually takes privacy seriously and tries to be respectful of consumers. The Fisher Consortium doesn’t care about privacy, or at least they didn’t until a couple days ago.

Before that, it was the name of the company. Fisher wanted to keep his. And before that, it was pay scale issues, and before that it was personnel management problems, and so on and so on. Every step of the way has been a fight, but I can smell it now. I can smell blood in the water, and I’m a hungry fucking shark. I just need to swim up to Fisher and close this goddamn deal, but first we need to solve all these lingering issues.