Font Size:  

“Are you seriously going to let this guy talk to your daughter like that, Daddy?!” My father shrugged, then smiled back at Michael.

“You know how guys talk,” he said. “Don’t be so uptight, Michelle. You’re getting everything you’ve ever wanted.”

“The sooner you sign, sweetheart, the sooner you can get to work on all of the girl stuff that guys don’t give a shit about,” Michael said. “You know, like planning the actual wedding. Although I do like the idea of an out of town wedding. Maybe at one of those castles.”

“They have a few old castle-like homes in the Hamptons,” my father said. “I’m sure we could work something out. Plus, that would look great for the company. I could get a lot of celebrities to attend the wedding, too. Affinity Finance is already a top company, but you two getting married--at a castle in the Hamptons--well, that’s gonna be like American royalty.”

“That’d be great. I mean, Michelle can decide on everything else, but that’ll look great on my social media.”

“I like how you think,” my father said. “Everyone’s involved in social media now, and a castle wedding is sure to bring in new clients!”

I put a hand over my stomach while my pen hovered over the signature box. Even if all of this worked out in the end, and I was able to run an amazing real estate company, would it all be worth it?

Just then, the doors swung open, and I felt the pen yanked out of my hand. I looked up and into the eyes of Nico. His soft, curly hair framed his face, and he was smiling directly into my eyes. Tears formed in mine as I stood up and kissed him, running my hand through that gorgeous hair.

“Nico! Oh, my God! What are you doing here? I’m so sorry that I didn’t tell you when I left Russia! I never thought I’d see you again!” After I kissed him on the lips, I looked up and saw Hugo.

He came running over to me, picked me up as I wrapped my legs around his waist, and pulled me in for a deep, passionate kiss. His hands wandered all over my body as we made out, pulling away every few seconds to say how much we loved each other. When he put me down, Nico got behind me and wrapped his arms around my waist. Once again, I was sandwiched between my two favorite men in the world.

“What the fuck are you guys doing here,” my father screamed. “I made it very clear that she was done with you two. Done! Do you hear me? Now look, I’ve known your father for a very long time, and I’d hate to see you boys get in trouble, but I can end your careers with one phone call. Understand me? I’m a very powerful man, and Erect-it Corporation wants to do business with Affinity Finance, right?”

Hugo pulled away from me, then leaned across the table and got into my father’s face.

“Just who the fuck do you think you’re talking to, buddy? First of all, you haven’t spoken to our father in years.” My father closed his mouth and shrugged, admitting that it was true. He hadn’t spoken with Alexander Stepanov in quite a long time. “Second of all, perhaps you’ve forgotten about our family’s side businesses.” Hugo held up his left hand, which had a gold ring and the symbol of the Stepanov mafia family: a large ’S’ with two knives going through the middle.

“Look, I’m a very powerful man. I know plenty of New York City cops who would love to get their hands on you boys, especially since there’s been a string of robberies that are supposedly connected to your family.” Nico burst out laughing, then stepped out from behind me.

“Are you out of your fucking mind? What on earth would the Stepanov mafia want with some New Yorkers? Do you know how much money we have, Chase? The only reason you’re still in business is because Michelle knows how to get shit done, as opposed to this loser.” He pointed to Michael, who had been sitting in his seat the whole time with his mouth wide open.

“Chase, you didn’t say that your daughter had two boyfriends.”

“She doesn’t,” my father yelled. “Look, you guys have a minute to leave before I call the cops.”

“And say what,” Hugo asked, “that you’re about to marry your daughter off as a business deal? Trust me. American cops know better than to fuck with the Russian mafia. Besides, Michelle doesn’t have to marry this douchebag anymore.”

“What do you mean, Hugo?” I stepped forward, curious as to what he was talking about. He handed me a large envelope, and I quickly opened it up.

“It’s the deed to three different companies,” Nico said. “This should help get your business up and running, that way you don’t need your father’s money or to have to marry this piece of shit loser.”

Michael stood up from his seat. “If I may take a minute to defend myself, boys, I’m not a loser. I’ll have you know that I graduated at the top of my class from Harvard Business School. You guys might be rich, but it’s probably illegal money, whereas all of mine is legal. So trust me. Michelle is better off marrying me than going with you two and ending up in prison.”

“I think Michelle will be the deciding factor on that,” Hugo said and then looked at me.

“Oh my God,” I said. “I was just about to sign my life away. I don’t even know what to say, guys.” I wrapped my arms around Nico, and he held me so tightly that I never wanted to let go.

“We love you,” Nico said.

“More than you know,” Hugo followed that up with.

“I love you guys, too!”

“So, you’ll be with us instead of this clown?” I pulled away from Nico, looked Hugo in the eyes, and smiled.

“Of course, but I just have to do something.” I turned around, grabbed the contract, and ripped it up right in front of my father and Michael’s faces. “Guess what, assholes? All sales are done. You won’t be getting your way today!”

Michael put his finger up to speak, but Hugo reached over and pushed it down.

“I think it’s time that you and Daddy left.” Both Michael and my father stormed out of the conference room, and I smiled from ear to ear as Nico and Hugo embraced me. I had never felt so invigorated.

They say that happy endings only exist in fairy tales, but that wasn’t the case for me.