written by Flutter
Richard Constantine was a man of wealth, accomplishment and prestige. He was also lonely.
He was also dying.
He’d promised Delores so many years ago that he would stay out of the picture, let Fred raise Malorie as his daughter. Stay back, stay away, stay alone. With cancer riddling his lungs like black bullets in a blue sky, he lay thinking about life.
About his daughter.
A rattling cough ripped through him as he dreamed of Delores, with her beautiful honey hair and her lush hips. He was just dreaming about running his hands up her shirt when he coughed himself awake. He closed his eyes again, letting the coughing rock his body, but letting his mind take him back to falling asleep with his head resting on Delores’ breast. He wondered if Malorie looked like her, or if she’d gotten his wavy brown hair, or his dark, chocolate eyes. He wondered if she was healthy. If she was happy.
He wondered too, if Delores had ever thought about him. If she’d remembered the sand grit of the beach between them when they had made love. If she thought about how much easier her life would have been if she had let him love her. That one question had tainted every success he’d ever had. That and that he hadn’t exactly kept his promise to Delores. He hadn’t exactly stayed out of the picture.
He met a young man, the son of his executive assistant. Oh how he hated not being able to use the word secretary. This young man cooked for him on days that his chef was out. He was capable, creative and good looking. He wanted to go to culinary school. Richard, through his resources, found that Malorie had just been admitted into a culinary program in her home state.
He brought the young man into his office, turning his head when the coughing railed him. He told the young man he would send him to culinary school, as a gift for his mother’s years of exemplary service. He would pay for an apartment, he would pay for a car, his tuition, his books. He only needed to study. Oh, and one more thing…
“What one thing?” asked the young man, his eyebrow raising.
“Watch after my daughter.” Richard had answered, simply.
Richard explained the story, pausing to cough and to breathe with a heavy rasp. He watched the eyes of the young man sitting before him, and smiled that they held so much compassion. This was a good kid. He could help this kid out, and serve his own purpose, too.
The wheels were set in motion, as the young man agreed to the terms. Richard placed his checkbook on the desk and wrote out a check for a large sum of money. Enough for all of the things he’d promised the kid in front of him. Richard smiled and signed the check. Made payable to Evan Randall.