My Father's Best Friend(2)

By: Fiona Davenport



Services will be held...

I read the obituary twice more before reclining in my desk chair. My head fell back and I stared at the white ceiling, contemplating my next steps.

It was about fucking time.

I’d been waiting ten years for this, for the moment when the name Bonnie Hart was flagged on my system. Obviously, I didn’t expect her to be the only woman with that name, but this time, things lined up. The ages matched. The picture printed with the obituary resembled the picture Samuel had given me the day he hired me to continue his search for her.

Even the fact that her daughter didn’t share her name fit the circumstances, since it was likely she changed her name before the baby was born. But. . . Delilah. It was Samuel’s mother’s name.

Bonnie had disappeared without a trace, her cold trail leaving me no clues. I’d basically had nothing to go on when I started my search for the love of my best friend’s life. I questioned why she was being buried under her real name for half a second, then decided to forget it and take the win.

Samuel and I had grown close over the years—eventually becoming best friends—and I’d watched his hope die bit by bit until there was nothing left. He became convinced that she hadn’t loved him after all. But, I’d seen the photos of them together, heard the stories he’d shared about her. It sounded to me like Bonnie and Samuel had walked right off the set of a sappy, romantic, chick-flick.

I didn’t think she just simply up and left. Samuel was a hard man to fool. I found it hard to believe he’d been so wrong about the woman who’d stolen his heart. I couldn’t give up completely. Something went wrong, and I was determined to find out what.

In all these years, this was the first time I felt that niggling sensation I get when I’m grasping at just the right straw. I needed to get to New York.

***

I stood back, away from the graveside and shadowed by a crop of trees. Waiting.

Even though I’d never met Bonnie, I knew the girl was her daughter. Her long, silvery-blonde hair was pulled back from her stunning face in a low ponytail that hung down to her waist. She wore a black wrap dress that showed off a pair of gorgeous legs and clung to her curves, causing my eyes to linger on them for far too long. I imagined my hands running over those soft hills and valleys, those legs wrapped around my waist as I drove deep inside her.

Whoa! Shut that shit down right now, Parker.

I shook my head to dispel the daydream. She was barely fucking legal, having only turned eighteen three days before her mother died. Not to mention the mental sucker punch I gave myself for forgetting that she was my best friend’s daughter. For fuck’s sake, I was almost twice her age. Seventeen fucking years older than her, Parker.

Samuel had only just inherited his father’s investment firm when he met Bonnie. After she left, it took him years to realize how badly their security team had dropped the ball on the search for Bonnie. He’d wanted someone to give it another go. A mutual friend steered him in my direction.

It didn’t take long for us to develop a friendship. We had similar backgrounds, both of us trust fund babies who grew up to be irresponsible playboys. I’d gotten myself into all kinds of shit, and I’m positive there were times my parents despaired that I would even reach the age of twenty-one. My juvenile record was quite colorful. From what he told me, his wasn’t far off from mine.

We’d both attended Harvard, though five years apart. His wild reputation practically made him a legend. However, he’d cleaned up his life after meeting Bonnie, going on to graduate and keep his family’s company successful. It took me a little longer to get my college career on track. My parents died my freshman year and I’d gone a little off the rails. Partying, drinking to excess, and never fucking the same woman twice.

Maturity crept in there somewhere though and I managed to graduate, a stipulation for accessing the rest of my inheritance. I took the money and opened Parker Security and Investigations. I left behind most of my vices, but I still never found myself sticking with a woman more than one night.

I hadn’t looked too deeply into the reasons behind my lack of commitment, and it was actually Samuel’s determination to find Bonnie—eight years after losing her—that was my wake up call. Though, the lesson learned could have easily been not to give your heart, I ended up learning something else. I wanted what they’d had, with a different final outcome, of course.

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