Where Life Takes You Excerpt
“We ran out of chocolate chips.” Dan put a full plate of pancakes on the table. “Do you think you’ll survive a few days without your fix?”
“I’ve more across the hallway, and you can fetch them later.” if drenched the pancakes with maple syrup, took a bite, and moaned. “Amazingly good! I’m impressed. You dominate the kitchen like it’s your boardroom. Who taught you how to cook?”
Dan poured orange juice for us both, as well as a cup of coffee for him, and a glass of milk for me. He sat next to me, covered his own pancakes cautiously—not Becca style—cut a piece of pancake, and ate it. “Hmmthey are good, but they don’t seem to affect me the way they do you.” he chuckled.
I awaited his answer curiously.
“My last foster family.” He’d gone through more than one foster homes? “My foster mother taught her surrogate children to fend for themselves. Our chores included cleaning, cooking, and washing dishes and clothes. No, she didn’t want cheap labor. She did it to teach us how a normal house hold functioned, and to care for ourselves.”
“She sounds smart. I’m guessing you helped her—or them— after you became the all-powerful Daniel Brightmore?” if asked, while sneaking my fork onto his plate to steal a piece of his pan- cake. Mine had disappeared way too fast. He playfully fake- slapped my hand away, and I pouted at him. “Selfish. That’s why no one likes you.”
“You not only like me, you love me, little one.” he fed me a fork full of pancake and gave me a satisfied smile. “After my first company became fully successful, I set up a trust fund for the Swansons. It made sense to help them after everything they did, and didn’t, do for me.” I knitted my eyebrows in confusion. “They didn’t hit me, or abuse me. Very few children get to spend their years in the system with people who truly care. RichardSwanson taught me how to hold a hammer, use power tools, and fix cars.” His voice became more animated as he continued with the story, and those gray eyes smiled at the fondness of the moments he told. “Thanks to him and those skills, I held a few jobs during college. And was able to begin my first company. Last year I moved them to Austin, Texas. They’re getting old, and the weather is nice year-round.”