His Instant Heir(9)

By: Katherine Garbera


“Thank you. Do you think we could get a temp in here to serve as my assistant?”

“Why?”

“Ally, I’m thinking of transferring you to finance. You have the skills to be in accounts receivable and that way you won’t be attached to me,” Cari said.

She wasn’t sure how much any of the staff knew of the bad blood between her family and Dec’s, but she didn’t want to take any chances of Ally being a casualty of that old feud.

“That’s not necessary.”

“Being part of this office might be a liability,” she warned.

“Like you said, if I do my job I’m fine. Besides, I’m not abandoning you,” Ally said with a smile.

“Thanks. In that case, Dec and I will be sharing you as an assistant. Think of it as a dual-reporting relationship.”

“Okay,” Ally said.

As her assistant left, Cari leaned back in her chair and swiveled around to face the plate-glass windows that overlooked the Pacific Ocean. She took a deep breath, warned herself that if she didn’t get her head together Dec was going to walk all over her. And she couldn’t let that happen.

Her door opened loudly and she pivoted around to see Jessi standing there. She had thick black hair that she wore shoulder length with a thick fringe of bangs on her forehead. For shock value, she had a deep purple streak on the left side. On anyone else it might have looked frivolous but on Jessi it just added to her commanding presence.

“So, how’s it look?” she asked, putting a Starbucks cup down in front of Cari before dropping down into one of her Louis XIV wing chairs. She wore a pair of skinny black trousers with a rhinestone top and an Armani tuxedo jacket. Cari loved her sister’s bold style.

“Thanks for the skinny latte,” she said, taking a sip.

“Figured you’d need it this morning, and with my cute little nephew you don’t exactly have time to get one for yourself. So what’d he say?”

She didn’t need to ask who she meant. She sighed. “Dec’s here for blood. He pretty much said he’s cutting the dead weight and going to find out where we are profitable.”

Jessi propped one booted foot on her knee and leaned back, taking a sip of her own drink, which Cari knew was a mocha. Her sister was a rabid chocoholic. “Figured as much. Can you influence him at all? What do you think is the best approach?”

“Um…” That was a loaded question. Now that Dec was here and his family had the upper hand in business, Cari realized her sisters would be at a disadvantage once DJ’s parentage became public knowledge.

“What? Did he threaten you?” Jessi said, jumping to her feet. “I’ve dealt with the Montrose clan before.”

“You have?”

“Unfortunately. Allan McKinney was the best man at John and Patti McCoy’s wedding.”

Cari remembered Jessi being the maid of honor at her best friend Patti’s wedding two years ago in Las Vegas. She recalled hearing nothing about Allan, however. “I didn’t realize that,” she said.

“Well, since we’re feuding with his family I didn’t think I should talk about it. Besides Allan was a total jerk douche about a few things. I can see why there is bad blood between our families. Anyway, I spent the longest weekend of my life in Vegas thanks to him. If I need to go in there—”

“No. You don’t need to do anything for me, Jess. Dec was fine,” she said. Then she realized she needed to start laying the groundwork for Dec to be introduced as DJ’s father. “In fact, we’re having dinner tonight.”

“You are? He must be nothing like Allan, who is an annoying jerk.”

Cari laughed, and for the first time this morning she felt maybe it wasn’t the end of the world. No matter what happened at Infinity Games, they’d be okay. They might be a bit worse for the wear, but her sisters and she would be fine.





Three


Dec rubbed the back of his neck as Ally escorted the lead programmer from the IOS team out of the conference room. He needed a long, stiff drink and an evening where he didn’t have to think about staff reductions. It was clear to him that part of the problem with Infinity Games was the fact that Cari allowed her staff too much leeway. But that was neither here nor there. It was almost six and as he had a date for the first time in almost six months, he was leaving.

“Good evening, Mr. Montrose,” the security guard said as he exited the elevator. The lobby of Infinity Games spoke of heritage. On the wall in large print was a list of accolades the company had garnered since its inception in the early ’70s. Dec skimmed over the first one, which listed both Gregory Chandler and Thomas Montrose’s names. The next accolade was a partnership with the Japanese video-game giants Mishukoshi, after which Thomas’s name disappeared. And so began the family feud.

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