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“It’s certainly something to think about,” he finally replied. “But not just yet, Michelle. That’s an even bigger reason to marry someone in the industry. How is a single woman going to sell expensive real estate to wealthy families?”

“The same way single men do?”

“Unfortunately, it’s not the same, Michelle. No matter how much you wish it were.”

I bit my tongue and smiled. It was all I could do at that moment. “As you said, we’ll discuss that after the Russian project. I have a lot on my plate with this company, anyway. I just wanted to lay it out there for you.”

“A husband can bring you to social events where you can meet with prospective buyers,” my father said. “A single woman, at your age, is unfortunately considered to either be physically or mentally deficient.”

“You’ve got to be joking.”

My father nodded and rubbed the non-existent stubble on his neck, “On the contrary, Michelle, I’m very serious. When you attend society events with your husband, people will be more inclined to listen. Without him, they’ll be more interested in what your mouth can do versus what it can say.”

Yup. He actuallywent there.

I’d considered my father antiquated at times, but this was just beyond, even for him. As much as I wanted to scream at him for being a caveman, I knew better. Getting emotional would only confirm he was right.

“With all of the connections that I’ve made in the business industry, simply working as myself for this company, I don’t think that’d be necessary.”

He glared at me, signaling that he was growing tired of my arguing. So I took a deep breath and decided to let it go.

“As long as you do everything by the book with this Russian project,” he said, “then I’ll help you get set up with your own real estate company. We’ll discuss getting you married soon. You have your mother’s independence, that’s for damn sure.”

It was no secret in our family, at least, that he hated her being a bit bullheaded. He said that it hurt his ego by making him appear to be less of a man. I always thought it was a double standard, but held my opinion to myself.

I nodded and left his office without saying anything else, knowing damn well that I would never marry some asshole who was only after money or connections. Try as he might, I was one woman with no intention of ever settling down. My calling in life was to make money and live a life of luxury, not say ‘I do’ to some guy with deep pockets.

My pockets were deep enough.