1 Life with Paula
"Not a subject to discuss, Nate. I keep telling you since last year when you've started your university applications. I need you here, son, working with me. These damn businesses will not run by themselves and I'll surely not leave them on the hands of some board."
Nate glares at his father, weighing his words.
Chase always insisted that he didn't move to the UK although Nate wanted that since his mother moved away.
This imperium his father had built all his life was going to lean on his shoulders one day and he felt it was too much.
While moving to his mother would definitely drive him to the career he always wanted, being a lawyer. Why was this so hard for his dad to understand?
They kept having talks around this topic way too many times and his father never bent. He was going to follow university in the US and there was no other way.
He just couldn't understand why his father was so damn determined to pass him the business, there was plenty of time for that, he was only 38 years old. Friends of his father at this age haven't got married yet and still run their life in the neatest bachelor way possible.
Nate challenges his father one more time, both holding each other's looks searching for dominance
"I spoke with mom last night," finally Nate says, leaning comfortably in the chair and gazing at his father react.
"I see. What about?" Chase inquires standing up to remove his suit jacket and tie, his tall frame almost towering the glass wall next to his desk, swaying to the back of his office chair to place the jacket on the backrest and his long thin fingers, perfectly proportioned to his height, hooking on the knot of his tie, loosening it.
"Me moving to the UK."
Chase shakes his head with a bitter smile.
"You two never give up, do you? Nate, I haven't seen any kind of negotiation from your side to convince me to accept that. You always bluntly put it on my table. You need to give some to get some, son. That's how the business world runs. And that's exactly the reason I want you to stay here and work with me. You'll take over this company one day and you need to be ready. Your mom's reasoning and as well as yours are not strong enough so I believe you have plenty to learn. I'm not going to sponsor any university unless it's from New York and I strongly advise you to pick one as soon as possible."
When shifting to business and negotiations Chase was always fearfully calm, not losing sight of any detail or control over the subject for that matter.
And Nate hated that in him. He didn't sound human when doing business and he could never be like his father. Nate was rather soft, like his mother, more of an artist nature.
Maybe this was why Chase never believed in him becoming a good lawyer.
It takes a tooth of a shark to be a lawyer rather than a daydreamer.
Marie knocks shortly at the office door and peeks her head inside.
"Mr. Chase, your brother is here," she says.
Chase straightens his posture showing impatience to meet his younger brother.
He was expecting news from Singapore where Bennet was sent for some not so random business meetings.
"Show him in," and before Marie could do so, the door opens wide and an enthusiastic Bennet comes in.
He was always full of life, always as if he was injecting some good loads of coffee first thing in the morning.
Well, he was younger, of course, more cheerful.
"Chase, you fucker, I'm back!" Bennet sprawls while walking in.
"Jesus Bennet! I really hope this is not the way you've spoken with the Koreans in Singapore," Chase scolds his younger brother hugging him at the same time, tapping each other's backs.
"I beg to differ. This is exactly the way I've spoken with them. And couldn't say they didn't like it."
"They don't like it, Bennet, they just bear with you. Brandy? I was going to fix myself one."
"Make it double. I want to get in the mood today. We're going out," Bennet says hugging Nate as well and giving him a meaningful look, wiggling his eyebrows a few times.
"Out? This is why you are my favorite uncle," Nate winks.
"That's because you don't have other uncles. Lucky me!" Bennet scolds and rolls this eyes.
Chase walks back to his desk handing Bennet the glass and sipping the burning liquid from his own.
Bennet and Nate are now sitting before him and he leans against the backrest of his office chair once he sits, pinning his elbows on the armrests of the chair.
"Give me good news, Bennet. That deal has to be settled before the end of the month or else we lose the contract on the gulf field and that will not make me happy," Chase gets directly to business.
Bennet smirks and leans proudly on the back, staring cockily at his brother but joyfully addressing his nephew.
"You see Nate, when your father was just a year older than you he got stuck with the wrong woman, don't take it personally. And that, my friend, was the end of his youth and charms."
Chase rolls his eyes in annoyance but holding a smile on his face.
It was true, though. When he was just nineteen his father planned for his marriage and that was when he met Medeea, Nate's mother. It was more of a trade rather than a marriage, but in the short period, they had in hand to know each other Medeea fell for him and he also got attached. No less than six months later Medeea got pregnant with Nate and they had to rush the wedding.
They did live a quiet life, but Chase soon became more involved in the business he took over from his father, and the hours spent home decrease to the level of not going home anymore after long hours of work.
In his office, an extra room has been set with a bed where he would sleep late at night and a pile of suits to change. He also bought an apartment a few blocks away from his office building where he lived most of the time.
It took Medeea five years to grow fed up with him and she finally filed for a divorce. It was a friendly one and she got all of her rights.
She was the mother of his only son, by the end of the day. And they did care about each other even though the distance was well felt.
Two years later she moved to the UK as an art exhibition specialist and ever since then she wanted to take Nate with her but Chase would not agree.
Rowllings Inc. was never going to be run by any other but a Rowllings, as it had always been.
Bennet stands straight and leans forward, handing Chase a white file.
"Chase, you've just got richer, motherfucker," he says with a proud look.
He knew Chase would like it.
"The deal has been set and I have got an extra 10% for you from the initial bargain. Now, that calls for a celebration."
"Well done, Bennet. Your shares have just multiplied," Chase replies running his eyes over the contract he has been given, plastering a satisfied smirk on his face.
"So, The Tube? Tonight?" Bennet asks, eager for the fun he has been planning for tonight.
"No funky business, Nate," Chase warns his son still reading the terms of the contract.
"Oh, you're coming too, my brother."
Chase raises his eyes to both of the men in front of him little confused as he hasn't paid much attention to the subject, but they have mentioned something about going with them.
He stares at the two for a few moments and once connecting the dots of the earlier talk of his brother, he remembers he has other plans for tonight.
"Oh, I don't know. I've promised Paula a dinner tonight."
"So bring her along. I'll have my date. And we can find someone for Nate."
Nate rolls his eyes to the back of his head hearing his uncle still treating him as a kid.
"Jesus, why don't you tie the laces of my shoes as well while you are at that? I'm very capable of finding my own date, Bennet. Besides, your options are somehow ..."
"Don't you dare, young man!" Bennet replies amused pretending to start a fistfight with his nephew.
"What? I was going to say sexy, but since you take it so personally ..." Nate tries to play smart, making Bennet chuckle.
He always felt close to Nate almost like an older brother. He initiated his nephew in some 'secrets of life' that Chase would have never, not only because he was the father but also because Chase has always been the good guy, the decent guy, the one that knew his duties, and he was always adamant to keep them, except for college period when he was more of a bad boy rather than the young father he should have been, with a wife and a child in his parents' home.
But that bad boy vanished the moment he graduated and took over the businesses. Even his affairs with women, after his divorce, were always short, in the shadow, with no strings attached, not letting tabloids write about them.
He took over the business from his father at an early age and he wished that Nate did the same, but his son was more like his mother, softer and less interested in his father's business.
But rather than bothered Chase was happy that Bennet was so close to Nate. His son needed a friend of a closer age, and Bennet being that friend made Chase feel comfortable and at ease. Especially that Bennet was a real man, tough when needed and fair at all times.
"I'll pick both of you at ten tonight. I have to run," Bennet dismisses himself and with a nod of his head leaves the room leaving his brother and nephew sunk into silence.
"I'll take Marie with me tonight," Nate says a few minutes later staring at Chase's assistant through the mirrored glass wall that is framing the wood doors of the office.
Chase traces his eyes to the point of his son's stare just to see Marie bending over her desk to catch the pen holder that is just about to fall.
Her long legs showing from the short skirt she's always wearing are stretched emphasizing her round noticeable butt.
"Down, boy. I need my assistant fresh tomorrow morning," Chase scolds with a smile at himself for finding such a silly excuse.
"It's Saturday, Dad. Give her a break," Nat protests, still staring and daydreaming.
"Well, she'll be your assistant one day. That if you don't decide to move to the UK," Chase challenges his son trying to look rather unconcerned.
"You're not being fair, Dad."
"No, son. I'm a good negotiator," he winks and grabs his suit jacket strolling towards the exit with his son following him, rolling his eyes again at his father's words always full of wisdom.
It didn't sound such an awful thing to go out tonight.
Chase was not much of a sociable person but this week had been a particularly hard one and he needed a night out.
He just hoped Paula wouldn't mind. Her swinging moods were hard to put up with lately and she changed after one of their discussions when she tried to mention marriage.
Chase dismissed the idea without any chance to discuss it any further.
They were together for about five years. Her father was one of the most important clients for Chase so there shouldn't have been any issue or misunderstanding about their marriage.
Actually, she always felt that they were perfect for each other. Both coming from disgusting reach families, both determined in their lives, both sharks when it needed. Added to all of that, she was madly in love with him.
And what was there not to love? Chase was still a damn handsome man of thirty-eight years old, looking even younger than his actual age.
Rather thin but tone muscular body shaped in long hours spent in the gym (being not so sociable as we said), tall enough to tower any door frame, black hair not tinted gray yet, coal-black eyes shadowed by perfectly arched eyebrows aligned with sharp jaws lines.
He could have very well had any woman drooling, had any goddess at his feet. He was dashing handsome but never aware of it, or intentionally ignoring it.
Passing through the hallway Chase enters the living to find Paula sitting in one of the armchairs with a book in her hands.
Paula lifts her blue eyes hearing Chase coming in, a shining smile spreading on her face.
She was indeed a beautiful woman and Chase knew it.
"Chase ..." she whispers as if she sees him after a long period even though it has been just this morning they've seen each other last, before pursuing their work.
Chase walks towards her dropping his suit jacket on one of the chairs grabbing Paula in his arms with a kiss on her forehead. The sparkles of passion and desire in sex have long been gone but hey, isn't that the normal course of a long relationship that might one day culminate in a marriage?
Not that he wished for one but he was comfortable in the type of a stable relationship. Even though that seemed normal to Chase, he would miss at times the burning need of each other's bodies, melting one another in heat and touches and kisses and bites making the world spin around them.
"How are you?" he asks with a smile.
"Missing you," she replies softly leaning her head on his chest.
"Good. This will make our evening even more interesting," he wishes but Paula's eyes remain as neutral as always, although filled with love for him but still empty of the crazy passion he has been craving for.
Sex was regular, weekends mostly, repetitive in routine and mechanic pace, him releasing first, her... not each time.
He kisses her lips in a long soft touch.
"How was your day?" Paula asks.
"It's not the day really. It's been actually the whole week, a very long one but it's been worth it. I really need a relaxing shower," replies with a sigh and relief.
"Bennet is back, I presume," Paula says.
"Yeah, he's back. And with good news as well. Koreans agreed with the contract which means I might be traveling quite often to Seoul shortly."
"When do you start?" Paula inquires, showing already signs of disapproval.
"Should be in two months. We still need to adjust some details on their demand. No major changes so I guess it shouldn't take long," he replies without more details.
Enough business for this