Picking up my bra from the discarded pile of clothes on the floor, I pull on the white piece of clothing along with the matching underwear.
The mattress shifts making me turn around to face a sleepy Ryle. His arm comes around my bare waist and pulls me back to bed.
“Hey,” his eyes remain closed as he speaks in a groggy voice. “Where are you going so early in the morning?”
“Work.” I smile when he puckers his lips into a small pout.
“Ah, my love rival—your work,” he chuckles.
“Mhmm.” I kiss him on his nose before doing the same to his lips and get up again. “I gotta go now or I’ll be late.”
“You do know that you’re the owner, right? You can go in whenever you want.”
That makes me let out a light chuckle and he finally squints his eyes open, letting me glimpse at the eyes I fell in love with years ago—brown eyes so dark, they almost look black.
“Come here,” he motions for me to come forward and I do just as he grabs the back of my head and presses his lips to mine.
My eyes close on their own, relishing the feel of his mouth against mine. When his tongue swipes on my bottom lip, I moan against him as I feel his hands slipping inside my panties to gently rub my clit.
Without a word, he slips one finger inside me and starts out with a slow rhythm, increasing his pace by the second. Suddenly, I find myself on my back as he flips us and hovers over me with his mouth still sucking on my lip.
“I want you right now,” he groans against my skin before pulling my underwear down and sliding inside me in one swift thrust making me moan his name. "Sometimes, I can't believe you're all mine."
My heels click on the tiled floor as I make my way to my office, nodding my head to people greeting me as they pass by. Once I reach the frosted Plexiglas door with my name engraved on it, I swing it open only to find someone sitting on my chair.
Upon my arrival, the chair swings around revealing the face of my father.
“Dad? I wasn’t expecting you here,” I tilt my head, studying the smiling man in front of me. I return with a smile of my own as I close the door behind me and move closer to give him a hug.
He stands up to return the gesture. “I was just around the corner and decided to drop by.”
“Really?” I lean against my table. “So, this has nothing to do with pressuring me to find a groom?”
“Can’t this old man visit his daughter without any motives?”
I give him a look. ”This old man can’t. Besides, you’re the one who always taught me there’s always something more.”
He lets out a hearty laugh. “Ah, you’ve grown up well. And,” he puts his hands up in a surrender motion, “you got me. I am here to ask you about how it’s going.”
“I’m working on it.”
Dad purses his lips but doesn’t say anything.
“What is it, Dad?”
“I know I promised I wouldn’t interfere but...”
“But you can’t help yourself and now you’re going to ask me to consider someone you found?”
“Absolutely not!” I raise my brows in question and he gives in. “Yes, I was going to do exactly that. I left his details in the file with the big red tick mark.”
A smile breaks out on my face despite that and I shake my head.
“How do you always do that?”
“Do what? Know everything?”
“Yes. Precisely that.”
I shrug. “I just do.”
“You know, your mother was the same. She knew me more than I ever knew myself.” His eyes soften at the mention of my mother.
I watch as his face crumple for his late wife, his dark brows creasing unintentionally and his sea colored orbs dull by the second—the same eyes I inherited from him seems to hold so much sadness.
“You’re not that hard to read, Dad.” I give him a smile hoping to comfort him but I know nothing can heal the pain of losing the love of his life.
Which is exactly why I can never let him know that truth.
“Dad?” He snaps out of his daze and focuses on me. “I know you won’t stop with the suitor stuff so just leave his details with me and I promise to look it over. But like I said before, the choice will be mine. Alright?”
“Of course. You’re the one who will have to spend your life with this person.”
I nod along, not wanting to tell him that I have already found the one. The problem is Dad will never agree to my relationship with Ryle considering he does not live up to his expectations—both in terms of wealth and reputation.
Although Ryle owns three Michelin star restaurants, it’s not enough to merge Maxwell Corp. with. As far as fame is concerned, Ryle couldn’t fall far enough from my father’s sky-high expectations.
Convincing Dad would be a challenge but I’m aware of his love for me. With the right approach, it should work.
Another problem is...I’m not looking forward to married life. Being in a serious relationship is fine. Maybe even a live-in would be agreeable but marriage is just not on my to-do list now.
If only the men in my life can get that through their heads.
“Dad, what if I don’t want to get married right now?”
He gives me an incredulous look. “Nonsense! It’s a tradition of our family that has been passed on for years."
"Tradition is just peer pressure from dead people."
He offers me an amused stare. "Well, I did it. Although I must say, your mother asked for a premarital courtship before we agreed on marriage.”
I raise my eyebrows. “Really?”
“Yeah. I was skeptical at first, I mean who wouldn’t want to merge with the Maxwells? That’s absurd!”
“Maybe she was thinking more about the kind of man you are than how much wealth you have.”
“She was.” He speaks softly as a small smile takes over his face.
I let out a sigh. “Alright, I got your point. I’ll look through the suitors.”
His broad grin implies the triumph he’s feeling making me question if he was simply manipulating me. My father is, after all, great at getting what he wants—that’s how he was such an amazing businessman.
Too bad, I’m better.
Besides, the company is mine now. It has been mine from the moment he handed it over to me four years ago.
“Okay then, I’ll get out of your hair now. Visit your old man sometimes, will you?”
“I will, Dad.”
I embrace him in a hug before he leaves. Sighing, I plop down on my chair, rubbing my temple to get rid of the growing headache caused by the number of files now sitting on my desk.
Work files are not as much a pain in the ass as these files filled with bio-data of possible suitors are. Reluctantly, I pick the first one from the pile. After all, I do have a promise to keep and I’m not one to break my promise.
Let’s see what we have.
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