Read Chapter One of Dad’s Best Friend… – Ali Parker

Read Chapter One of Dad’s Best Friend…

Chapter One


I sat at my desk with the warm sun coming through the window to my left. I felt a bit like a flower, leaning toward the sun and soaking in the warmth. Some days, I liked to actually go up on the roof of our building in downtown Manhattan to work. I loved the sun. Unfortunately, it wasn’t all that easy to see the screen of my laptop in the glaring sun. But damn, it sure did feel good. 

Some days, I wondered if I made the right career choice. When I was younger, I always imagined I would have a blue-collar job, working with my hands outside day after day. It didn’t take me long, probably my teen years, to figure out I wanted to make a lot of money. And I had an affinity for math and numbers. It pretty much set the stage for my future. 

Going to college had not been my plan but I got a scholarship, and I figured I may as well make the best of it. Now, I was working at the marketing firm I helped start. I had a cushy life, and I loved my job. Except when it was nice outside. The early spring and summer months were difficult for me. I wanted to be outside. I wanted to take my boat out or play baseball like I used to before I had to be a grownup. 

I tore my eyes away from the bank of windows in my large, executive office and focused on work. I couldn’t get outside to play if I didn’t get my work done. It was very much like being a child except I was the adult telling myself I had to stay in. I sifted through spreadsheets and financial statements. My job as the accountant was to make sure the company’s financial records were accurate and up to date. My friends and co-owners counted on me to make sure the money flowed freely into their accounts. 

We were all pretty damn rich already but adding a few more million to our nest eggs wasn’t a bad thing. I was thirty-three and could retire tomorrow, spend like a mad man and still not run out of money. Some days, like today when it was gorgeous outside, I wondered why I didn’t do just that. 

Then I remembered—I would be bored out of my skull. “Focus, Max.”

I took my work seriously. Too seriously according to my twin brother and my other partners. But one of us had to be responsible and buttoned-up. The money didn’t manage itself. They all enjoyed some pretty loosey-goosey lifestyles. I was the guy that served as the voice of reason and ensured deadlines were met. I made sure everything was in order. I went over the numbers and noticed some discrepancies that needed to be addressed. I made a note to follow up with the relevant departments and colleagues to get the information I needed to correct the errors.

I knew people found my job mundane, but I found it challenging and fulfilling. It was my responsibility to make sure the company was financially stable and that all financial decisions were made with accuracy and precision. Without accountants like me, businesses would be lost and unable to operate effectively.

“Hey, nerd, let’s go,” Jaxson, AKA Jax, said from the doorway of my office. 

“I’m working,” I said. “Something you might want to try.”

“Let’s go,” he said again. “Its five. I’m done. Be done. I want a drink.”

“It doesn’t work like that,” I said. “I’ve got another thirty minutes or so before I’m done.”

“You’re the boss, just be done.”

I looked at my little brother and considered throwing something at him. “Jax, that’s not how it works,” I said slowly. “If you want to drive around in your sporty little Ferrari, I have to make sure all the accounts are neat and tidy.”

He rolled his hazel eyes that were identical to mine. Hell, everything was identical to mine right down to the same damn cowlick on the back of our heads. His brown hair was a little longer than mine with a style that made him look very Hollywood. My hair was short, tidy and I was never not clean shaven. Jax seemed to have a real problem with razors. Being an identical twin had its perks and its drawbacks. 

“Let’s go,” he said again, as if the third time would do the charm. 

“Jax, I’m working,” I said. 

He walked to the wall and stood next to the outlet with my power strip plugged in. “Don’t do it,” I warned. 

“Better save what you have.” He grinned. 

“Jax, I will kick your ass,” I warned. 

“One, twooooo—”

“Jax, you little fucker, don’t you dare!”

I hit save a literal second before he pulled the plug. I turned in my chair, my hands folded and resting on my flat stomach, and stared at him. “You’re a child.”

“I told you I was ready to go.” He shrugged. 

I was only technically older than him by eight minutes, but some days it felt like thirty years. He was never going to grow up. Moments like these, I wanted to tell Mom.

“You don’t need me to go to the bar with you,” I snapped. “Go! If you want to go, go!”

“You’re uptight,” he said. “You need a drink more than I do.”

“I need to work,” I sighed. 

“Hey, are you guys ready?” Sebastian asked. 

“I’m working,” I said. 

His eyes went to the cord still in Jax’s hand. “Yeah, I see that. We said we were going at five. It’s five. I only have a couple hours before I have to get home.”

“Do either of you have any idea what I do?” I asked with a sigh. 

“We do and we don’t care,” Jax said. “Let’s go.”

There was no getting out of it. “You guys are fucking children. No work ethic. Don’t bitch at me when the profit and loss is all fucked up at the end of the month.”

“Hey, did you see who the Yankees just traded?” Jax asked Sebastian. 

My complaints and threats were ignored. I got to my feet, pushing my chair back hard enough to hit the shelves behind me. They didn’t notice. I adjusted my tie and grabbed my jacket. “I’m ready,” I muttered. 

They were still talking baseball as we walked through the quiet office. Everyone had gone home for the day. We stepped into the elevator and headed down to the lobby. Unlike our quiet office, the lobby was a hive of activity. The professionals that worked in the building were buzzing around, talking with another and grabbing another dose of coffee before they left. As the three of us strolled through the lobby toward the doors, people looked. They always did. 

Jax and I were both six four. Sebastian wasn’t a shrinking violet either. We carried ourselves like we owned the joint. It was something we had learned to do when we first started our company. We presented ourselves as powerful people because it sold us. It made us look confident and capable. We had to sell ourselves to our clients in order to get them to trust us with their money. It worked. We used it. 

We made our way to the bar we always went to after work. The unspoken rule was no shop talk. We spent anywhere from eight to twelve hours a day working. We didn’t want to burn ourselves out. We slid into the same booth we always sat at. The waitress knew us well. 

“The usual?” she asked. 

“Please.” I nodded. 

Jax already pulled at his tie and undid the top couple of buttons of his shirt. Sebastian had stripped out of his jacket and rolled up his sleeves. Not me. I wanted to make sure I represented our company as best as I could. 

“How’s Melody?” Jax asked Sebastian. 

He immediately smiled. “Gorgeous,” he replied. 

“You had to ask him,” I muttered. “Now, we’re going to hear this asshole talk about how lucky he is and his woman is amazing and on and on. It’s a reminder he’s happy and we’re not.”

“You guys really should think about getting one,” he said with a goofy grin. 

We talked a little baseball as we drank and ate the usual appetizers of caviar and homemade chips, fried pickles, and shrimp. I reached for another one of the pickles when my phone vibrated on the table. I flipped it over to see who was calling. 

“Oh, I need to take this,” I said. “I’ll be back in a minute.” I answered my phone as I walked out of the bar. “Hey, Coach.”

“Max, I hope I didn’t catch you at a bad time.”

“Nope, just sitting down with Jax for a drink,” I said. “What’s going on?”

“Well, I hate to do this, but I had a favor to ask of you,” he said. “If you can’t do it, I understand.”

“What is it?” I asked. I would do just about anything for my old college baseball coach. He was more than a coach. He was a friend, mentor and father figure. I owed him a lot.

“My daughter—I don’t know if you remember her. She would have been about nine or ten when you were on the team, but anyway, she just graduated college,” he said proudly. 

“Congratulations,” I said. 

I didn’t really remember his daughter. Vaguely but I was young back then. In my early twenties and there were only two things I was thinking about—women and baseball. 

“Thank you,” he said. “She’s my pride and joy and I’m very proud of her. She actually got a degree in accounting.”

I laughed. “Good for her.”

“I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind letting her shadow you this summer,” he said. “I know it’s a lot to ask. You don’t have to pay her. I just want her to be able to say she worked with Maxwell Holloway. It will look good on her resume, and hopefully, she’ll land a good job at a great firm after a couple of months of learning from the second-best accountant I know.”

“Second best?” I asked. 

“Judy’s the best.” He laughed. 

“Send her to the office,” I said. “I would be happy to show her the ropes. Anything you need, Coach. I’ve got you.”

“I really appreciate it,” he said. “Truly, this means a lot to me. I know Judy will be a good worker for you. Don’t baby her. She needs to learn as much as she can. I know you’re the best one to show her good work ethic and everything she needs to know before she goes off to work in one of those big firms.”

“I’ll do my best to prepare her for a successful career,” I said. 

“Thank you,” he said again. “I’ll have her reach out.”

I ended the call and headed back inside. A fresh drink was waiting for me. 

“What was that about?” Jax asked. 

“Coach.” I smiled. “He wants me to mentor his daughter. She’s going to come in and act as an intern. He thinks I’m the best accountant in the world.”

Jax groaned. “I’m sure that’s exactly what he said.”

“I’m going to show her the ropes,” I said excitedly. “I am the best damn accountant he knows. I’m going to show her—”

Jax and Sebastian tossed napkins at me. “Stop,” Jax said. “No work. You can brag all day tomorrow. Not right now.”

“It’s Coach,” I insisted. “That’s not work talk.”

“You were about to go off on one of your nerd tangents.” Jax scoffed. “Oh, numbers are so sexy,” he said in falsetto. 

“Fuck you,” I growled. “You’re an idiot.”

“But a handsome idiot.” He grinned. 

I rolled my eyes. “We’re identical twins, dumbass, that’s not exactly an insult.”

“But we both know I’m the better-looking one,” he said with a laugh. 

I shook my head. “I don’t think there’s any way we came out of the same womb. I must have gotten all the brains.”

“You wish.” He scoffed. “And I got all the beauty.”

I gave him a dry look. “Again, identical twins.”

“Not really,” he said. “Sebastian can tell us apart.”

Sebastian held up a hand. “Do not drag me into this. I’m Switzerland.”

  • Rochelle says:

    Seems to be a quick read to take on vacation or to read around the pool.

  • melinda Higginbotham says:

    make this available in paperback PLEASE

  • Janice says:

    Good to this point.

  • Marilyn says:

    Sounds exciting

  • Anna says:


  • Sue Mull says:

    Ok!! I’m in!!

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