Davis sat at his desk, looking over some evaluations that were being put in place thanks to his stunning woman, who by some miracle was now in his life. She’d only been gone a single day, and by damn the woman ran through his head the full twenty-four hours she’d been gone. He decided that he was going to text her, just to let her know that he couldn’t wait to see her again. And as he was about to do so, the buzz from the intercom went off.
His cell was in his hand and he was still thinking of something witty to say to her while he pushed the button. “Yes, Terry?”
“Mr. Mills, your mother is on line one,” she informed him.
He loved his mother, but he wanted to let Abie know that he was thinking of her. He wanted her to get used to all the simple vanilla things he wanted to do with her, so it became second nature to her in their relationship. “Tell her I’ll call her right back, Terry.”
She didn’t click off; instead she paused before she spoke once again. “Sir, she is most insistent that you talk with her this moment.”
“All right, buzz her through,” he told his secretary, a little irritated.
He picked up the phone, already knowing it had something to do with his father, and he didn’t want to deal with that when the sexy Abie was on his mind. “Hello Momma, what’s all the ruckus about?” he asked, wondering if he could text her while speaking with his mother.
He heard people in the background through the phone, telling him his mother was already at the Gravin building. “Bubba, your father’s heading to Boston as we speak, and I just wanted to give you a heads up is all. He’s right angry with all that’s been happening here in Houston. You see, your granddaddy left things to me in such a way that, unbeknownst to William, he was never in control of anything, nor was he ever going to have a dime of my family’s money if things went south for us. Your granddad made sure of that,” she said, and he could tell she’d been crying.
He sat back in his chair, thinking of his father’s anger over finding out such information. “So I’m taking it from the sound of your voice, things went with him all hat and no cattle,” he commented, rubbing his head against the headache that was sure to happen.
His mother sighed. “Y’all know how he can be, Davis. He’s thinking despite his indiscretions, he’s owed for his services to my family, as he so kindly informed me of, just this morning. But baby, even if I wanted to give him a pinch to live on, I can’t.”
He sighed in disgust. “I don’t think he really deserves shit, Momma. He needs to clean himself up, and get himself back in line. Y’all have been letting him have his way for so many years now, of course he thinks he’s done nothin’ but good for you in his eyes. When all you did was spare the rod and spoil the child!” he told her agitatedly.
Nothing came from the other end, and he knew he’d upset his mother with his harsh words and scolding tone. His hand went to his face, rubbing away the irritation that his father brought out of him. “I’m sorry, Momma. I took my anger out on you knowin’ he’s making his way over to come see me. And y’all know he’s too big for his britches when it comes to speakin’ with me.”
“I know, baby, and I’m sorry about everything. Your granddad has left you in charge of all the oil companies, Davis. And unlike your father, you really do own them all now. There’s a clause in the will for your sister and me to be taken care of, but as of this morning, you’re the face of Gravin Oil Corporation, Davis.”
His eyes closed as the full magnitude of what his mother told him fell upon his shoulders. “Okay, Momma, thanks for updating me on all that’s happened with the companies. Now is there anything that I need to come home and finalize for you?”
He heard her sigh sadly. “No, bubba. Everything was done when I signed the papers this morning.”
He nodded to himself, mentally preparing for the hell that would inevitably come through the door with his father’s entrance. Someone who had been informed of such information should be very excited. But as for Davis, all he thought about now was that more time away from his ranch was inevitable. “Okay, Momma, thanks for the warning about father coming to see me, and what I’m going to be having to deal with this afternoon.”
“Bubba…” she said sadly, and he could hear the tears once again in her voice.
“Momma, please don’t fret. Y’all know I know how to deal with that man. Besides, I’ll call Jessie over to soften him up while he’s here.” He spoke calmly to his mother, hoping to ease her worn nerves.
The sound of her relief made all the shit he was going to have to deal with bearable for him. “All right, Davis. I know you’re a good boy, and will make your granddaddy proud of you. And I know y’all know how to deal with your daddy as well… Love you, bubba,” she said softly.
“I love you too, Momma. I’ll call you tonight when everything’s said and done,” he told her, knowing that would soothe her even further.
“All right, bubba. I’ll talk to you tonight,” she whispered before hanging up.
Only five hours later William Davis Mills came storming into Davis’s office, all puffed up and put out of place by the finality of his divorce, and the loss of the life he was accustomed to. The door swung open violently as poor Terry followed close behind him, trying to get him to see reason.
When his father stood in front of Davis’s desk, he knew getting actual work accomplished for the remainder of the day was never going to happen. “Son,” came his father’s harsh accusing tone.
Davis just shook his head at his father’s arrogance.“Hello father, why don’t you take a seat?” he offered, happy that he’d taken the ibuprofen this morning after knowing his father was on his way.
He father looked very unhappy at him, and the circumstances that he found himself in.His only son was now in charge of his office, as well as the company. He was pissed beyond reason that he was now the one who was offered a place in the office that he once occupied. “I see Betty Ann has already put her claws into you, son,” he growled.
Instead of coming back with a nasty reply to what was said about his mother, he pushed the intercom button to get Terry. “Yes, sir?”
“Can you please let my sister know that our father is here?” he told her, as his father snorted at him. “Yes, sir. Right away,” she complied.
Once he was off the phone, William tore into Davis. “So you think that having Jessica in here will still my anger on this whole fucking situation?” he bellowed at him.
Davis sat back, watching the man who had devastated his mother’s heart over the long years together. Remembering the times when he was young, hearing her hush her cries so he and Jess wouldn’t hear them, as their father was once again caught cheating on her.
“Father, I think you know that Momma would never do anything that would leave you destitute. With that being said, we both know Granddaddy would do anything to make sure Momma would always be taken care of, and if you hurt her, he’d getcha in the end,” he stated unsympathetically.
The door to the office opened and in came Jessie, going to their father. “Oh Daddy, I’m so sorry,” she said, and sat next to him on the arm of the chair, wrapping her arms around his neck.
He patted her arm. “Thank you, jelly bean, but your brother and I have business to discuss, and what we have to say needn’t be said in front of a beautiful young woman,” he told her, as Davis rolled his eyes at the spectacle in front of him. His father always acted like Jess was so innocent, when the whole damn family knew she was far from it.
His hand went to his temple, as the ibuprofen wasn’t working to fend off the headache this meeting was going to cause him. “Father, I’ve managed to put the penthouse in my name, so now you won’t have to sell it. As soon as I can, I’ll get hold of some real estate agencies to find me a new place here in Boston,” he said, hoping to somewhat appease him.
His father let go of Jess, jumping out of the chair. “Great! I get the old family penthouse while my son goes off buying anything he wishes.” He stood in front of the desk, all but snarling at him.
Jess slid into the chair that their father just vacated, appalled by his attitude. But she looked at Davis imploringly. “All right,” he said. “I’ll keep the Mills family penthouse, and I’ll give you an allowance to go and get yourself a new place. Does that sound more accommodating to you, father?”
His father’s eyes roamed over him. “Yes, I like the sound of that much better,” he allowed, then frowned. “Since when did you start using such words, boy?” he barked at him now.
Jess giggled, and Davis knew she was going to spill his secrets to the man in front of him. “It’s the woman Davis is seeing, Daddy. She’s absolutely stunning. You’re going to love her!” She grinned as their father turned his head to her.
His head swung back to Davis. “So you’ve found yourself a new lady friend. I wonder if this one will stick around, or if she’ll find one of your best friends more appealing to her than you, just as your last one did,” he said hurtfully.
“Daddy!” Jess jumped up, pained at her father’s hate-filled words towards her brother. But he just ignored her. “Well, I hope you remember that marrying into money is the only way to go for the top families. Our society only accepts people in their own class, son. Now tell me, is she of good standing and a wealthy family?” he gruffed, his mind switching gears.
Davis sat still and crossed his arms, but that was the only evidence to see that he was unhappy with his father’s words. “I couldn’t answer all of those questions for you. But I do know she makes a very nice living with what she does. And I know she comes from Revere, Mass,” he informed him.
His father started to laugh. “Oh shit, son, you haven’t learned a damn thing, have you? You take one little girl nine years your junior to be your wife, who runs off on you, and when you decide to get back in the game you date a girl from Revere?” he exclaimed, pissed and baffled at him. “Girls that come from Revere, Chelsea, and Evert. Those are the girls you take out for a good screw, not bring home to meet the family and marry!”
Davis stood, his chair flying backwards, livid at his father’s words. “You sorry son of a bitch! I will not having you talking about her that way!” he yelled, seeing red, now lost in the anger that his father provoked. “That woman has more class and sophistication than Jenna ever had!”
The two of them stood staring at each other over the massive desk, till Jessica came up, taking their father around the waist. “Come on, Daddy, let’s go get something to eat and let this discussion cool down a bit,” she pacified him, but really trying to get him away from Davis at the moment.
He looked at his daughter, taking a deep breath and nodding his head. “All right, jelly bean. Let’s go get something to eat, then we’ll go penthouse hunting together. My girl always had the best taste when it comes to floor plans and décor,” he complimented her.
He turned back to his son. “I’m staying at the penthouse as well until I’ve found my new residence. So if you bring your white trash around me, I’ll be sure to give her what I really think about this low-class woman from Revere coming after my son, and his money,” he informed him before he left.
Davis fell back in his chair after his father and sister finally left. The last thing he wanted was to have Abie anywhere near his father and his stupid-ass remarks about where she came from, or what the hell he thought at all for that matter.
He buzzed Terry once again. “Sir?”
“Terry, please find my father the best hotel suite in Boston you can, and have someone go to my place, retrieve his bags and take them to his new room,” he told her.
“Yes, sir. When would you like this done?” she asked.
He sighed, staring out the office window. “Within the hour,” he replied.
“Yes, sir,” she said, quietly clicking off.
All he wanted to do was call Abie up, just to hear her voice. But she was a very perceptive woman, and she would know that something had happened to him just by his tone. And as much as she wanted to pretend that she was all rough, with no silk, he knew better. No, he would text her after his temper had cooled, just like Jess suggested.
Wrapping things up quickly in the morning was smooth and simple, which I was thankful for. The Hugo Corporation had applied all of the implementations that we had informed them on, and now were completely pleased with the outlook.
After saying goodbye to Inga and thanking her for the advice that I really needed to hear, I placed my one piece of luggage in the small rental car I’d gotten for the day to take me to Amsterdam, then back to the airport in Brussels, and headed off to see what the hell was going on with Yvette.
It was an easy two and a half hour trip by vehicle and the drive was stunning, helping me relax a little bit before heading out this evening back to Boston. At least changing my flight wasn’t a problem like I had expected it to be.
Grayson had not called me since that day Yvette’s number rang twice, then hung up. I hoped to find that maybe Yvette was really just pissed at losing someone she considered more of a sister and a partner, lost to a lifestyle she didn’t agree with.
If that was the case, I knew in time Yvette would come to like Stephan as well as I had in just two short days of acquaintance. But until then I knew she’d leave all kinds of dismay and chaos in her wake.
Yvette lived on the outskirts of Amsterdam, in a clean and tidy little neighborhood. Her brick and glass modern duplex was kept just like its owner…pristine.
So when I pulled into her driveway to see her cream Mercedes covered in dirt and bird droppings, the fear I was trying to keep in check and talk myself out of was now in full force.
Getting out of the car, I called the house number first. Through the door I could hear it ringing and prayed she’d pick up. When no answer came from the house phone I called her cell, and once again prayed she’d pick up, but at the same time that I wouldn’t hear it ring in the house.
When the phone started to ring but her home was silent, my nerves relaxed a little bit. I went over to the front door and gave it a knock before I placed my key in the doorknob, just to make sure I wasn’t interrupting something.
Once I was inside Yvette’s magnificent home, the first thing that struck me was how dark it was. Yvette loved the sun and keeping things light and bright. The thought that she would close up her home so tightly was disturbing to me.
I opened up all the large windows, letting the light shine through once more, and took a good look around me. Her once clean and orderly living space was now a disorderly, downright disaster. A person just doesn’t go from a type A personality to a type B… It just doesn’t happen!
I walked around the living space and headed back into the kitchen. “Yvette, it’s Adire,” I called out to the silent rooms. Once again, nothing. Making my way to the fridge, I opened the door to see that there was food inside, haphazardly put away, but food nonetheless. So that at least told me someone was staying here; now the question was…who?
As I climbed up to the loft, I swore my heart would leap out of my chest upon what I might find up there, but managed to make it. When I topped the stairs, I could see the bed was a crumpled mess and no one had bothered to wash or maintain it for quite some time.
Looking across the room and down into the living area, I stomped my foot in frustration. I knew something was off, hell, not off, wrong! Really wrong with everything that was in front of me. Now I just needed to decide what the hell I was going to do.
Traveling back down the stairs, I wound through the trash on the floor to sit on the couch, just taking everything in and listening to the environment around me. I just didn’t know if Yvette had dropped Grayson because of everything that had happened between her and Inga, and that’s why he was calling me to be his mistress again, or if something had truly happened to her?
My hands went to my thighs, rubbing thoughts away as I knew what I needed to do now, and had to do it quickly before my flight headed out. I got up to go to the police station to either fill out a missing person report, or inform them of my suspicions, or both.
Once I was outside and in the car my cell swooshed, letting me know I’d received a text. When I took it out I saw that Davis had once again texted me. I smiled to myself. I’d only been gone three days, and I’d received ten texts from him.
“Woman I’ve texted you ten times now with not a single word from you. Text me back now!” he ordered.
Persistent, pushy man that he is, I decided I would text him back. Yet another one of my rules I was breaking for this man.
“My, Davis, with all this persistence you’d think you were the one wore the pants in this relationship,” I texted back to him, chuckling at the face I presumed he’d make once he read it.
“The thought of you wearing my pants…” he teased me.
“I can manage that for you. As long as I can have a belt as well…”
“When you coming home? I’m hoping after that statement, now!”
“My flight leaves tonight, and lands at Logan around eight a.m.,” I told him, loving that he was turned on by my text.
“I’ll come and pick you up.”
“No, I’m fine. There’s no need to worry about me.”
“I’m not worried, I want to see you. I’m picking you up sugar.” Now he was being pushy once again. Why that made me smile, when anyone else who would say such things would make me annoyed…I really couldn’t say.
“Davis, I told you I’d come and see you when I get back. Let a woman freshen up a bit.”
“Alright, you’ll come over A.S.A.P, and not a moment later. Or I’ll head to your apartment!”
That had me smiling, but I needed to get going as well. I looked at Yvette’s home once more before starting the car.
“I’ll see you soon, pushy man,” I texted, then switched off the phone as I headed out to the Amsterdam police department.
Last night had been a disaster after Davis’s father found out about being put up at a hotel. It was a five-star hotel penthouse, but that was of little concern to his father. He stormed into the penthouse that night, without Jess and in full rage.
“Son, what right do you think you have taking me out of my own home and setting me up at a hotel!” he fumed.
Davis was in the kitchen making supper, and only spared a minute to look back at his father before tending to his steak once again. “Well actually, father, I was informed this afternoon that this is now my permanent residence here in Boston. So I saw no need to hurry up finding myself a new place, while you seemed hell bent on acquiring a new residence with Jess just this morning.”
William took a seat at the table, staring back at him. “Will you please stop with this ‘father’ business! It’s Dad, and you know this,” he informed him. “Father just sounds so damn strange coming from you.”
Davis didn’t bother to reply to him about that. “Where’s Jess?” he asked instead, hoping she’d have been with him to soften him once more.
His father got up from his seat and went to the fridge to grab a beer. “I was told she had a date tonight.”
Davis got himself a plate, placing the steak on it along with the green salad he’d prepared for himself, before heading over to the table. “So are you staying in Boston permanently, or are you planning on living in a new area? Maybe get a fresh start somewhere?” he asked, cutting into his steak.
His father snickered. “I was born in Boston, I was raised in Boston, and I will die in Boston, son. You just don’t get the loyalty of a Bostonian.”
“Well, did you see anything promising when you went out with Jessie today?” he asked, hoping he’d say yes, and that it was hell and gone from where he was living.
“I did see a promising place. But I wanted to think on it,” he said. He continued to watch him while he ate. “You know that’s my company, don’t you, boy,” he stated to him.
With that comment, Davis dropped his utensils down upon the plate; he had hoped they could have a somewhat civil conversation this evening with each other. But from the sound of it, that wasn’t going to happen.
“No, Dad, what I see is, you had a company that Granddad let you run, and you managed to almost destroy it.” He wiped his mouth with his napkin, glaring at the arrogant old gentleman in front of him.
“You had everything. A wife who loved you more than anything, and I’m sure Granddad saw the writing on the wall, if he made his will out like he did in case there was ever a divorce between the two of you.
“But between your affairs, gambling, and running the companies almost into the ground from the scandals and mismanagement…and did I mention the paying for and boarding of three of your mistresses that lived abroad? No, this isn’t your company, and I honestly believe it never was,” Davis ragged at his father.
William banged the table with his large fist. Even at sixty the man was still in shape and massive, and very appealing to all the young women. “Boy, you better keep a civil tongue in your mouth when you’re addressing me,” his father growled.
Davis was once scared of this man in front of him. But at thirty-eight, Davis was just as big, just as massive, and just as pissed as his father was at this moment. “I’m not eighteen any more, and I choose to talk to you as your actions require me to!” He pushed himself up from the table, losing his appetite after speaking with his father. “Now if you don’t mind, I have to get ready for work tomorrow, and I would like to sit down and relax in my place before heading off to bed,” he scowled.
His father got up as well, full of bluster and arrogance. “You’re kicking me out of my own home?” he yelled.
“No, I’m kicking you out of my home. Now if you want to keep this place, then I will gladly pack my things and take the hotel room that I’d booked for you. But if that’s not the case, then yes, I would suggest that you leave!” he said quietly but firmly.
With that said his father pushed away from the table, glaring at his son. “We have more to discuss, but I’m not willing to sit here and listen to your gruff at the moment. You will watch your tongue when you talk to me, boy, and you will use those manners your mother instilled in you the next time we speak!” he commanded him, just like Davis was an employee at the company, and he was still the hard-assed CEO.
After he had said his piece, and had gotten the last word in like he always had to, William stormed out of the place, slamming the oak door behind him. To make sure Davis knew that he was beyond pissed, and this conversation, just like he was told, was far from over.
Davis sat back down at the table with an upset stomach and a ragging headache once again. All he wanted was for this day to be over, so his beautiful woman would be home and in his arms.
In these past few days with Abie gone, he couldn’t believe how attached he was to her. Or how much he missed her. Since Jenna, he really had steered clear from women, and their money-grubbing claws, and pushy wants.
Adire was something so unique, so refreshing that he knew exactly where his heart was heading, and damn, he couldn’t say he minded it at all. But this wasn’t the type of woman who’d go all soft and gooey with a declaration of love. No, this was the type of woman who would run the hell away from him quicker than a jackrabbit on the Fourth of July.
Making his way back to his bathroom, he found the ibuprofen and popped two pills, wanting to kill the ache in his head before settling down for what he hoped was a good night’s sleep…and maybe a dream of a soft porcelain hand that would be smacking his ass soon.