Journal 2: A Problem Called Charlotte Samuels

199K 7K 968

Date: The Night Before The Day Of The Dreaded First Meeting

I wish Jake were here. 

He's better with the ladies. With the smooth-talking anyway. He could probably convince this Charlotte to run away with him instead in ten minutes tops.

I can probably wing it myself but the truth was, I'm just not that interested to go through the trouble of flattering a girl out of her panties. 

If she wants me, I don't expect her to make me go chasing around or pay my ticket to her bed with poems and sonnets. I have too many more important things that require that kind of energy and concentration. And I'm not the poem and sonnet type of guy either. 

I don't understand, need, or crave romance. 

It's a useless distraction.

I preferred the straightforward, mutually-beneficial kinds of arrangements. 

And that's the great thing about Simone. 

She knows exactly what I need and what she wants in return. It also helps that running her company is just as important to her. That means I don't have to worry about her complaining I wasn't spending enough time with her, or that I'm hopelessly distracted about work while she's prancing around in a new pair of shoes and demanding my opinion about them. 

Simone's exactly what I need in my life—pleasant to look at, satisfying in bed, and isn't a full-time job. 

I haven't told her about Dad's ridiculous proposal. I will once I've met the girl and gotten all of this over with. 

I'm sure she and I will have a laugh about this.

I read through the report my head of security, Ron Filbert, compiled about Charlotte Samuels. 

I resisted but I felt a pang of sympathy reading her file.

Nineteen. Too young. Check.

Mother walked out on her when she was a young girl. Check.

Dead, drunkard, wastrel of a father. Check.

Some kind of working-student scholarship at Worthington Prep. Good grades but no college scholarship. Must be smart enough but not that smart if she didn't apply for college scholarships. Anyway, poor kid in rich school. Check.

A short stint at pastry school in Paris that abruptly ended with above-mentioned father's death. Check.

Waitressing jobs at Marlow's, the old diner that money-makers and players like my Dad patronized in their days and the young wannabes go to despite the extremely greasy menu. Good tips, I heard. Check.

A financial disaster after all the settlements and arrangements she struck with the bank that now put her in a lot of debt. Check. 

She was in the perfect position to take my money and get out of my life. 

I felt a burst of anger at that realization.

She almost seemed too perfect to take my money.

According to the report, she and my Dad were bosom buddies at Marlow's. 

Did she think that she could seduce my father into marrying her?

Dad might be a bit of a scandalous old man sometimes but he's forever faithful to Evelyn's memory.

And maybe the clever Miss Charlotte Samuels knew that. Which is why she's on to me next.

Damn her!

Filbert attached a few photos. 

Unkempt blond hair in a ponytail under a baseball cap, a hoodie, jeans and sneakers. 

I can tell she's not monstrous but nothing that stood out either. 

Given that these are surveillance photos of her walking to work, they're not going to be great in showing her off, but while I had no plans of entertaining my father's ideas, I was curious about the kind of girl he would choose for me.

Based on the report, the picture, I couldn't figure out why Dad would do something like this, but Martin Maxfield isn't exactly known to be predictable.

I'm meeting Charlotte Samuels at Marlow's tomorrow. 

Meeting might be a mild term. I was planning on cornering her. 

Nothing like a quick, sudden attack out of nowhere. 

Gives your prey no time or chance to recover or reconsider.

Nothing personal to her but I wasn't Brandon Maxfield for nothing.

I won't just stand around and watch my future hang carelessly on the balance at the fingertips of some teenage gold-digger.

- B

Brandon's Notebook (A TMMM Bonus Material)Read this story for FREE!