Trained(The Monroe Trilogy Book 2)

By: Cynthia Dane

Would cut into your lifestyle, I’m sure. Damon and his father did not share predilections. “I do not fall in love lightly, Father. I’m not even saying that I’m about to ask Alice to marry me.” The thought may have entered his head once or twice, though. “I would like to at least cordially introduce her to you.”

Damon could not read his father’s expression. That’s never a good sign. “I know she’s very pretty. That I cannot deny. You have good taste when it comes to the physical.” Russell stood. “Yet like you claim to not fall in love easily, I do not give out my advice on such matters as easily either. Quite frankly, this Ms. Culver isn’t good enough for you, Damon. Perhaps if we did not claim the status that we do. As it is, we need your future wife to be a woman of upstanding character and breeding. We know nothing about this young woman.”

“I can assure you that she has upstanding character.” Well, she hadn’t tried to steal from him yet. She was already ahead of fifty percent of the women Damon dated.

“Does she have excellent breeding?”

“Unfortunately for you, I believe she’s of simple English and Irish peasant stock.”

“Then she isn’t good enough for you.” Russell sighed. “I don’t say this to upset you. I say this because I am your father and I have to watch out for your future. One day when you are a father, you will understand.”

Would he, now? Damon was never sure about that. It’s hard enough to imagine myself as a father, let alone what kind of father I would be. “What are you going to do to replace her? I fully expect a lineup of beautiful, well-bred women waiting for me when I get back from Chicago.”

“You jest, but if that’s what you want, I can employ the matchmaker they use in Europe to find you more suitable matches. It’s true. You are now at an age where we must start considering your marriage status. I won’t live forever. Would be nice to see some grandchildren before I pass on from this world.”

Damon pretended to inspect the luggage Mr. Clayborn packed on his boss’s behalf. “I don’t think a matchmaker would be necessary.” Bad enough his father was always inviting over other fathers to meet Damon… fathers with daughters. Well-bred daughters. Because nothing turned Damon on more than having women forced upon him.

Hilarious enough, that really didn’t turn him on. He preferred to find women on his own. Like Alice. He had only been looking for her because he heard a new hostess was at his club. After that? Everything had been organic. The pursuit. The seduction. The never-ending thoughts as he tried to get back to his life after their first encounter. Alice had come so willingly, too. Sure, lots of women did, but with the fervor and the lust for experimentation that she had? Didn’t happen often.

There was still so much to expose her to. At first, Damon was content with having a new plaything that reminded him of that beautiful woman he had been imagining for the past ten years. Then she told him that she was a virgin when they first met.

Hadn’t the fortune teller said something about that?

“Let the girl go, Damon,” his father said. “It’ll be easier for the both of you if you do it now. She doesn’t get her hopes up, and you don’t…”

Neither of them would say “get your heart broken.” The idea was silly. My father was far from heartbroken when he divorced my mother. Contrary to what the papers said, it had nothing to do with her beating him.

“I’ll think about it,” Damon said. He stepped away from the luggage and checked his phone. No messages from Alice, but there were about five from Ms. Sarah Clayborn. “In the meantime, how about you let me be the adult we both know I can be?” Damon was ready to show himself out of his own chambers. “Your objection, however, has been noted.”

Russell said nothing. Not that Damon cared. He was an adult, wasn’t he? Of course he was. So was Alice. Together they were quite the pair of adults.

Damon pulled out the black box he had kept in his jacket pocket as soon as he was away from his father. The man would have feared it was a diamond ring. Not quite. More like his new pair of diamond cufflinks.

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