Business & Pleasure Tia Siren ~ Page 2

"Well, spit it out, Marks," I said. "What is it""

"It would really help me out if you would consider it," he said.

"Alex, in all the years I"ve known you, you"ve never pussyfooted around anything. I value your friendship greatly, not just your businesslike demeanor and knowledge. I"d do just about anything for you. You know this. What the fuck is it, man""

"Crissy"s home from college," he said.

"Well, I bet that"s fun for your new wife," I said, grinning.

"She"s raising hell, Grant. I mean some serious hell. And it"s pissing Mel off. And me off."

"I"m pretty sure Mel"s still going through puberty, so anything"s likely to piss her off," I said.

"Not funny."

"That"s what you get for marrying someone who"s a few years older than your daughter. Crissy"s, what, twenty-three now""

"Twenty-two," he said.

"And Mel""

I stuck my hands in my pockets and waited for Alex to respond. I loved fucking with him about his new wife. She was the stereotypical exotic beauty: tall, thin features, long-ass legs, dark hair, and dark, brooding eyes to match. Even if she was simply staring off into space, it looked as if she was trying to figure out the source of the universe itself.

"Twenty-six," Alex said, murmuring.

"That never gets old," I said, chuckling. "What is it you need""

"Crissy"s a smart girl," he said. "She really is, but she"s just driving us all insane. Having her around the house is too much for both of us. She needs something to occupy her time that falls in line with her degree."

"She went to Dartmouth College, right"" I asked. "What"s her degree in""

"Business," Alex said.

"Takes after her father, I see."

"Honestly, I had no idea until about halfway through her college career," Alex said. "When she did come home, the only shit she talked about was parties, booze, and boys."

"Sounds like a wild child, but then again, she"s always been that way," I said, shrugging.

"She"s got no desire to get a decent job, no desire to move out, no desire to start any life of her own. She just sits around the house pestering Mel and me and raising the type of hell she usually does."

"I"m not going to lie," I said. "It"s easy to make Mel angry. I"d do it for fun if I could, too. What is it you"re asking, Alex""

"I was wondering if you had an internship here she could fill."

The request stunned me for a second. He wanted me to take on his hellion daughter as an intern" We were a natural gas company. Enough hot air spewed from between that young girl"s lips to blow up half of Louisiana"s oil rigs.

"It would get her out of the house," Alex said. "It would get her some experience in the field she got her degree in, and it would fucking give Mel and me some time to breathe."

"And fuck, I presume," I said.

"Grant."

"Hey, you"re the one who"s asking," I said.

"I can tell you"re less than thrilled," he said.

"You"re asking me to take on a person even you describe as a wild child. Yes, I"m a bit hesitant to do it."

"Just entertain the idea for a second, all right"" Alex asked. "Look at these executives that just poured out of this room. You"ve taken a misfit bunch of idiots and whipped them into prime slabs of beef for the business world. The ideas they threw out there are really good, and it"s because of your tutelage."

"You don"t have to stroke my dick on this one, Alex," I said, grinning.

"No, I"m just being serious. Even I can admit when you do something I can"t, and I never would"ve been able to pull that kind of shit off with them. If there"s anyone who can whip Crissy into shape, it"s you. Honestly" I don"t care what the fucking internship is as long as she"s got her hands in something here instead of something at my house."

"You do realize you"re talking about your own daughter, right"" I asked.

"Look, all I"m saying is that Crissy needs a bit of guidance."

"Guidance her own father can"t give her"" I asked.

"Look, Grant, things were tough. When Abby died""

Alex panned his gaze out the window, and the moment his eyes began to glisten, I knew I"d take on the internship. I knew shit was hard when his wife died. It was one of the things that had strengthened our friendship. I understood his pain over losing his wife. I"d lost mine a little over a decade ago, and I"d had no passion to create any sort of substantial relationship with anyone since then, much less with a woman. But I had created one with Alex.

Then I watched him bounce from woman to woman before marrying a pretty young idiot only a few years older than his damn daughter.

"I know," I said. "Alex, believe me. I get it. If there"s anyone in this fucking company who gets it, it"s me. But you gotta understand. I mean, I"m no father, but""

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