Read episode 6 here: http://bit.ly/allureserial
It would’ve been easy—so easy—to believe that the strain on his face was due to a man who was losing both his wife and his daughter.
Just a few months ago, that would’ve been my automatic assumption.
But Antonia held all the power in the family.
By the time Stephen married her, the Davis line had been financially crippled. On the verge of losing all standing. He came from a long line of financial irresponsibility.
Antonia’s side, the Kastellanos, were rich the world over.
So rich that the Greek financial crisis hadn’t even caused a chink in their networth.
As such, and as was the standard back in the days, Antonia’s parents would’ve made sure there was an iron-clad prenup in place to protect their daughter’s wealth.
She could’ve taken everything from Stephen. Including SD Interiors, the company. The SD might’ve been his initials, but there was no way she didn’t have some legal standing.
Best case scenario, she swept it out from under his feet in the divorce.
Worst case? She obliterated it entirely.
A possible issue for my company, and others, due to the ongoing projects and contracts between us, but it was barely a blip.
I just couldn’t bring myself to care as much as I should’ve.
“I’m sorry that you’re losing them both at the same time,” I said, choosing my words carefully. “You told me that you cut Demitra off—”
His chin jutted stubbornly. “She chose that option when she refused to tell me which boy she’s become involved with. She preferred to strike off on her own then simply be honest about it. And whoever he is, he clearly has no respect for her. I walked in and found her with a disgusting bite mark on her neck. Who does that?”
Jaw twitching, I fought to control my sudden desire to confess, take responsibility, and tell him exactly what I thought of his treatment of her. “Stephen, I’m not a father, but it is the twenty-first century. Most girls Demitra’s age are doing worse and, since they’re legal, their parents can’t stop it.” Translation: he needed to get the fuck out of his legal-aged daughter’s business and remember that he was her father, not her owner.
“If she’s grown enough to make such choices, then she’s grown enough to take responsibility for all consequences. Including her life.”
I stared at the screen, at the man on the video, wondering just who I was looking at. Was he the same person I’d always known? How come I never noticed what an asshole he could be?
Perhaps because he was like my father, and I was like his son.
Whereas Demi was female.
Which brought me to my next point.
I bit back the urge to tell him the same opinion could be leveled at him—if he wanted to cheat on his wife, he could be man enough to face the consequences of that—and struggled to calm my tone. “You almost raised me after my father died, and I’ve done much worse in my life.”
Stephen tsked impatiently and wove my comment away. “It’s different for us men, and you know it.”