Read Sugar Daddy Online

Authors: Nicole Andrews Moore

Tags: #Romance, #Contemporary, #Fiction

Sugar Daddy

Sugar Daddy
By Nicole Andrews Moore
Copyright 2013 by Nicole Andrews Moore
Chapter One

“What are you going to do?” Her friend asked her sympathetically one winter afternoon from the comfort of the secondhand recently acquired sofa.

She shrugged and did what she normally did, masked the pain with humor. “Maybe I’ll search for a sugar daddy. Lord knows there are enough rich lonely men in this town.” Her mouth curved to form a dull smile that didn’t quite reach her eyes.

Amy fell into their usual rhythm. “Not a bad idea,” she remarked. “But where ever do you expect to find this prince charming?” She leaned her head back, her face taking on a pensive look.

“Well,” Hannah said, her eyes beginning to twinkle as she curled her legs under her in the threadbare Queen Anne chair, “I thought I might advertise for him.” She giggled then, a sound that shaved ten years off her age.

Staring at her a moment, Amy finally broke the silence by saying, “You seem to have given this some thought.”

She nodded. “Actually, I have had plenty of time for thinking as of late. So, give me your honest opinion of this.” She reached for the one subject spiral notebook that she was rarely without and flipped toward the back. She placed a flattened palm against her chest and cleared her throat for effect. “DWF, mother of two seeks well to do M, race unimportant, for live-in relationship due to sudden turn of finances (dead beat ex) and underemployment. Skills include entertaining, cooking, cleaning, witty intellectual conversations, and other desirable qualities.” With her reading completed, she turned to Amy for a reaction.

Her friend studied her for a moment and tried to hide her shock. Up until that moment, she had truly believed they were speaking in jest. “Well, Hannah, honey…” Her mouth gaped open as she tried to formulate the words she needed to express her sentiments. “It was…thorough?”

“And honest,” Hannah said nodding proudly.

“You know,” she said slowly, “there is such a thing as being too honest.”

Hannah studied what she had written with a furrowed brow, the pencil eraser tapping against her small full lips. Amy continued. “And I noticed that you didn’t mention age, weight, or measurements.”

“It shouldn’t matter,” she said quietly. “I want people who don’t care about that.”

“You do realize that your body is one of your greatest assets, right?” Amy urged, studying the woman who had been her best friend since grade school. She shook her head. Hannah Matthews always underestimated herself. “I mean the rack alone…” She stretched out her open palms before her and gestured. “Come on.”

“Too big,” she said sadly. “Brett always said that more than a handful was a waste.”

“Brett is a moron. And isn’t he dating some surgically enhanced stripper now?” She glared defiantly. “And what about that tiny waist?” She could see Hannah opening her mouth to dispute yet another aspect of her figure. She threw up her hands, a combination of surrender and dismay. “Fine. Just trust me when I say someone will more than appreciate what you have to offer.”

“Yes, but let’s not forget my baggage.” She glanced out the window to watch her kids frolic in the meager two inches of snow that arrived over night and effectively shut down the entire city of
Charlotte.

“Any man would be lucky to raise your kids and have the privilege to love and be loved by you.” She sighed when she saw that Hannah had tuned out and was walking to the patio to call the kids inside.

Moments later peeking around the corner from the kitchen, Hannah glanced at Amy. “Want hot chocolate?”

“Is it from the Cocoa-latte machine?” She asked eagerly, rising up off the couch, grateful that she had the thought to purchase this gift for her friend after Brett left.

“Isn’t it always?” Hannah smiled as Amy followed her into the kitchen and took a seat at the card table covered with a simple red-checkered vinyl tablecloth. She explored the cabinets as the kids stripped down in the utility room, searching for something to accompany the cocoa. Within minutes, she had arranged some frosted graham crackers on a plate and offered Amy the opportunity to lick the spatula she had used to spread the fudge frosting.

Amy knew that as long as the kids were present, she couldn’t further broach the subject that whirled through her mind. But once the twins left the table, Hannah was fair game. And less than twenty minutes later, after the kids had effectively emptied the plate of their allotted snack and slurped the last drop of cocoa from their mugs, they hastily exited the room. Amy arched an eyebrow at her friend as the kids rushed to the bedroom to pull out a board game.

“What?” Hannah asked with exasperation. “I know you’ve been aching to say something. Just spit it out!”

Amy deliberately folded her hands, enjoying making her friend squirm a few moments longer. “So,” she said allowing a dramatic pause. “How are you going to go about screening these men?”

She shrugged. “I haven’t entirely thought this through.” She leaned as far back as she dared on her folding chair and swirled her drink to prevent the chocolate from settling. “I mean, first you are assuming that anyone would answer.” She took a few sips. “What’s to say anyone will?” Hannah gazed at Amy seriously. “And then, what kind of man would answer an ad like that?” She shivered, suddenly wondering if she could go through with her crazy idea after all.

 

At
eleven o’clock the next day, Gavin Meyers stared at his wife across the mediation table. Maybe
glared
would be more accurate. “Let me get this straight,” he began in a low threatening voice. “You cheat on me with my own sister, I catch you in the act, and you expect alimony?”

Anyone else would have been cowering, but not India. They had met at Yale where after growing up in an affluent home in a wealthy country club community and years of private schools, he found her bohemian ways enthralling. As he graduated with his MBA, the final step to complete his grooming to take over the family business, he began to imagine his life with the cookie cutter, pearl wearing, demure, socialite stay-at-home wife who would then transition rather easily into stay-at-home soccer mom, and a knot had formed in his gut. He had wanted something different, wanted to stand out from the crowd. He had wanted a wife who would keep their relationship spicy, liven up his life.

Technically, he got what he wanted. India was not an easy conquest. She didn’t want to be married, not just to him, but also to anyone. She didn’t want to be tied down. She did, in fact, try to run away the night before the wedding to join an artists’ commune in New Mexico. At the time it had seemed fortunate that the buses had stopped running in Hartford for the night and her father intercepted her. He shook his head at the memory. Maybe it would have been better to suffer that humiliation than the one he currently endured.

His little sister, Elizabeth, whom everyone had called Bitty since birth, had always been the black sheep of the family. Now, however, she had transitioned into full-blown outcast. She had done the unthinkable. Her first faux pas was participating in the act that resulted in the breakup of her brother’s marriage, but… and this part was even more unforgivable as the word was whispered only behind closed doors and after glancing conspicuously around to see who might be eavesdropping… she was a lesbian.
A lesbian!

No, it wasn’t losing India that had Gavin so outraged. It was losing half of his possessions, half of his wealth, and all of his pride. “Well?” He asked, demanding an answer to his question.

“This isn’t about money,” she said quietly, her enormous blue eyes completely devoid of all emotion. “It’s about what’s fair.”

He felt the heat rise in his face and he worked to control the rage building within him. “Fair? Please. Honestly, India. The more you speak, the more I know it’s about the money.” He stared at her for a moment. “So, what? You want to be able to fund your own little starving artists’ colony? You want to be able to sculpt for sheer pleasure and never worry about a job again? Is that it? You were unfaithful, you broke our vows, I kicked you and my scheming little sister out, and now you think you deserve money?” He looked as though if he could reach across the table, throttle her and somehow get away with it despite a room full of witnesses, he would do it.

After taking a few deep breaths to manage his anger, he looked around the conference table. His lawyer, Ms. Pendergast, was sitting to his right, urging him to calm down by means of a severe look. He had hired a woman to make him appear more sympathetic. Better than how he currently felt…pathetic and completely emasculated. Shrugging he said, “I believe we are at an impasse. I refuse to give in to the incredibly high demands this woman is making of me. I refuse to accept that she can have an affair that ends our marriage and expect me to give her money. We both graduated from Yale. Let her get a job for a change.” He saw India redden and look away. “I realize that is a foreign concept to you, my dear, but I insist. I told you to take your car, your possessions. I even offered you our cottage on the Outer Banks. All of this I am willing to give you, but you want more? And not just more, but you want $20,000 a month until you remarry?” He expelled a humorless laugh.

“I know how you feel about marriage. And I know that gay marriage is not permitted in this state. Take my offer and run, because I refuse to fund the rest of your life.” He stood and shook hands with everyone present, save his wife. To her he simply offered a suggestion. “Think about it.”

And having said everything he wanted, he strode from the room and hit the button for the elevator that would drop him to the ground floor of center city. He walked up Tryon until he reached Rock Bottom. The restaurant seemed rather appropriate for his situation. Certainly Gavin had hit rock bottom by now, although for the past few months he had felt his life sinking lower and lower. While reaching for the door he realized he hardly ever ate there anymore, but it had been one of his favorite places to catch a lunch with his friends when they came home on college breaks. And even more importantly, in the four years he and India had been married, he had never taken her there. He hadn’t even finished his appetizer before his phone vibrated. It was his lawyer. A court date had been set. His fate was now in the hands of a judge.

 

Hannah glanced at the clock. It was already
eleven thirty. Brett was closing in on two hours late. This week she had smartened up. Instead of getting the girls ready bright and early, luring them away from their Saturday morning cartoons to prepare for their father’s arrival that would inevitably never come, she had decided to behave as though it were some wonderful surprise if their father actually showed up this week. Ever since he had been making time with…Desire? No, that was her stage name. Well, anyway, he had some difficulty remembering to come get them, or maybe it was the getting away from the stripper he had difficulty with.

No doubt he had gone to the club she performed at after his last table had left the night before and ended up taking Krystal home. (Ah ha! That was her name.) And then he probably had wild and crazy sex until five in the morning. Oh well. She had some pretty amazing sex this morning herself. She smirked. Thank god he left her the massaging hand held showerhead.

She still struggled with that. How does someone cheat, leave behind a wife and kids, take everything and then refuse to help out financially? Six months ago…had it really only been six months? He had sent her to visit her family over Labor Day weekend. She should have suspected something. In the past they had always gone to the beach for the holiday. He said he would be working and she might as well have fun. So, she did, or she attempted to, rather. Every time she tried to call and speak to him, the voicemail picked up. Something in her began to question whether everything was all right, and so she left a day early to drive back.

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