Exclusive Excerpt from Rules to Break
by Susan Hawke
I got back right as my purchases were being delivered by the personal shopping service. I gratefully gave the driver a fat tip after he carried everything inside for me. After I waved him away, I closed the door and got to work.
I’d just finished fluffing the final pillow when I heard the door open. I turned and held my arms out wide. “Ta-da! What do you think? Does it look better in here, or what?”
Daddy Bryan closed the door with his foot and dropped his keys on the table by the door. His jaw worked from side to side as he looked around the room with a stunned expression. He took a few steps, then paused to look some more. He held up a finger as if to tell me to wait, then disappeared down the hallway to inspect the rest of his house. I waited patiently until he came back into the room. He paused and scrubbed both hands over his face before taking a deep breath and finally speaking.
“Preston, I think you may have misinterpreted my instructions today. When I asked you to spiffy up the place, I was referring to running the vacuum and doing a little dusting. Not redecorating my house. Jesus, how much money did you spend? Wait, don’t answer that. I don’t need to know because obviously it’s all going back.”
I lifted my chin and squared my shoulders, prepared to do battle if need be. “Sorry, but that’s a big no can do, Daddy. I’m proud to tell you that not only did I get everything I purchased for your house on clearance, I was also able to use my professional discount. As for vacuuming and dusting, you didn’t specify, so I was free to determine for myself what you’d meant. Obviously, you wouldn’t want me to waste my valuable skills on menial tasks, or so I assumed.”
Daddy Bryan quirked a brow, the left side of his mouth curving up as if he were fighting the urge to grin. “Professional discount and valuable skills, huh? And this from a guy who doesn’t work? Forgive me if I’m confused.”
I waved a hand as if it were no big deal, because it really wasn’t. “Daddy, just because I’m not currently working doesn’t mean I don’t have qualifications. I will have you know that I graduated in the top of my class at the Rhode Island School of Design. I haven’t used my BFA degree, but it’s there if I want to. There just hasn’t been much point when I don’t really need to work. I guess I’m still finding myself, but Victor assures me that I’ll get there someday. I only graduated a year and a half ago. But I am a member of more than one designers organization and I do get trade discounts because of them.”