Brie's Submission (4-6)

By: Red Phoenix

Sir held out his hand and smiled. “It is an honor to meet you, Mrs. Bennett.”

Her mother took his hand and blushed as she shook it. Brie could see it in her mom’s eyes—that glimmer of attraction towards the commanding Dom—but it disappeared as soon as her father entered the picture.

“What is your name, sir?” her father asked, in a voice already laced with judgment.

Despite the uncomfortable moment, Brie burst out in a nervous giggle. Sir…

Her dad glowered at her before addressing Sir again. “Well?”

“My name is Thane Davis, Mr. Bennett.” He held out his hand. “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

Her father looked at Sir’s offered hand with disdain before engaging him. “I am a frank man, Mr. Davis.”

“I find frank talk refreshing,” Sir replied.

“What the hell is a man my age doing with my little girl?”

Sir seemed untroubled and asked, “Wouldn’t it be best to discuss this inside?”

Brie’s mother scanned the neighborhood, as if suddenly afraid the whole world could hear them. She stammered, “Oh! Yes… Come in, come in,” gesturing them into the house frantically.

Sir put his hand on the small of Brie’s back as he guided her forward. It helped to calm her already frayed nerves. This was not starting off well…

They sat down in the front room, the unused room reserved only for company. Brie’s first instinct was to kneel at Sir’s feet, feeling in need of his comfort. Instead, she sat beside him.

Her parents sat opposite them with disparaging looks on their faces.

Sir responded to her dad’s question. “Actually, there is only an eleven-year difference between us, Mr. Bennett.”

“Only?” He turned to Brie. “You never mentioned you were dating an older man, daughter.”

Brie bowed her head in shame, knowing now it had been a mistake. “Dad, I love Thane. I didn’t mention his age because I wanted you and Mom to meet him in person. I was sure once you met him, you would see what an exceptional person he is.”

Her mother frowned again. “We did not send you to California so some ‘producer’ could turn your head with promises of fame.”

Brie shook her head, mortified at her accusation that he was a lecher. “Mom—”

Sir put his hand on Brie’s knee and smiled. “I assure you that my intentions are honorable…and,” he added drolly, “I am no producer.”

“Don’t tell me you want to marry her!” her father retorted.

Brie blushed a deep shade of red. Marriage had never been discussed and it was embarrassing that her father was bringing it up now.

She was grateful when Sir answered him with unrattled calm. “No. However, you should know that I care deeply for your daughter.”

Her dad laughed. “Oh, I can just imagine how deep your feelings are for my little girl.”

Brie squeaked, “Dad! It’s not that way at all! We love each other.”

His smile was patronizing. “Brie, I believe you have fallen in love with this shyster, but I don’t believe for a second your feelings are returned. He wants only one thing from you.”

Brie covered her face with her hands. It was dreadful to have Sir treated with such brazen disrespect by her parents. She wanted to curl up and die.

Sir’s voice remained reasonable. “If it were as you say, would I be here meeting you in person?”

“I think you came hoping to throw the wool over our eyes, but we aren’t twenty-two like Brianna.”

Sir sat farther back on the mauve couch, a subtle show of confidence in an uncomfortable situation. “I’m sure you agree that this visit was necessary. I’m in a serious relationship with your daughter and came to meet you out of respect for your position as Brie’s parents.”

“Is that right?” Brie’s father asked sarcastically. He turned to Brie and demanded, “Have you been over to meet his parents?”

Brie gasped and then looked down, shaking her head. Oh, how she didn’t want to go there—not now!

“My father is dead and my mother left when I was fifteen. We have been estranged ever since.”

Brie’s mother’s expression instantly changed. “Oh…I am so terribly sorry.”

But leave it to her father to go right for the jugular. “How did he die, Mr. Davis?”

Sir did not hesitate. “Suicide.”

His answer had Brie’s mother wringing her hands and saying repeatedly, “I’m so, so sorry…”

However, Brie’s father had the opposite reaction. “That alone makes you unsuitable for our only child. Your father was unstable. I do not want an emotionally weak man to have anything to do with my daughter.”

Brie could not remain quiet any longer, horrified by her father’s callous response. “Dad! Thane’s father was a famous violinist who suffered a tragic death. What a terrible thing to say.”

Her mother gasped. “Not Alonzo Davis, the musician who killed himself after—?”

Sir interrupted, his voice devoid of emotion. “Yes, Alonzo was my father.”

For once, Brie’s dad remained silent. It seemed her mother couldn’t stand the suffocating hush, so she popped out of her seat. “Let me get us some tea. Everyone likes tea, right?” She disappeared into the kitchen before anyone could answer.

It broke Brie’s heart that Sir had wanted to meet her parents, but all they had done was put him down from the moment they’d opened the door. “Should we go, Thane?” she asked, feeling desperate to run.

“No,” he replied, squeezing her knee reassuringly.

The room stayed uncomfortably silent until her mother returned with the iced tea. She poured everyone a glass and sat down, asking in an overly pleasant tone, “So, how did you two meet?”

Sir was kind enough to humor her. “I met Brie at the tobacco shop where she worked.”

Her father instantly picked up on that. “Worked?” He looked at Brie with concern. “Don’t you work there anymore?”

“No, Dad. Yesterday was my last day. Thane wants me working on the documentary I mentioned. The one the well-known producer has shown interest in.”

Her mom piped up, “Oh, you mean the documentary about your girlfriends learning the ropes in Hollywood?”

Brie struggled not to snicker. Learning the ropes…

Sir stated proudly, “Your daughter has real talent as a filmmaker. I asked her to quit so that she can devote her time solely to the project.”

Brie’s father’s eyes narrowed. “What? Are you supporting my daughter now? Paying her rent?”

“We’re living together,” Brie corrected.

“Are you, now?” her father said, looking straight at Sir.

“We are in a committed relationship,” Sir replied smoothly.

“What kind of child have I raised?” her mother lamented. “You barely know this man and you’re already living with him?”

Sir’s reply was quick and to the point. “What kind of daughter have you raised? You have raised an intelligent, talented woman, one who is respected and cherished by those who know her. Simply put, you have raised a beautiful person, both inside and out.”

Brie blushed under the unreserved praise of her Master.

Her parents were left speechless. Finally, her father cleared his throat. “Yes, we agree that Brie is an exceptional woman, but she is still young. I don’t like the idea of her being fettered in a relationship.”

Brie wanted to giggle. Fettered… Her father’s choice of words was perfect.

“I will say it again. I care deeply for your daughter.”

“I don’t trust you,” her father shot back. “After what happened between your parents, I don’t see how you could be anything but a philanderer or an utter control freak. Either way, neither is healthy for my daughter.”

Sir didn’t seem intimidated in the least. “Although I do admit to a need for a certain level of control, I too want what’s best for Brie. If it turns out I am not what she needs, I’ll willingly step aside.”

Brie’s father made a grunting sound as he sat back in his chair, digesting Sir’s words.

Her mother pleaded with her, “Brie, honey, why the rush? I don’t understand how you can go from just meeting each other to living together. Give it time; give yourself a little space before you commit yourself to something like that.”

Her dad looked at Sir suspiciously. “Why did you really come today, Mr. Davis?”

“I plan to take your daughter out of the country. We are headed to Russia and I felt it was important for all of us to meet.”

“What?!” Her dad turned to her mother, a look of sheer disgust on his face. He turned back to Sir. “Just because your father was rich and famous does not give you the right to do whatever you want or…” he looked directly at Brie, “take whatever you want.”

Brie couldn’t stay quiet any longer. “Dad, this isn’t a case of me asking your permission to go to Russia. We came today so you could meet the man I love. That’s it. I don’t need your permission for anything. I’m twenty-two, remember?”

He stood up, fuming. “Do you know how stupid that sounds? Twenty-two. You’re still just a kid!”