“I was only doing it to get close to my mom. I’m starting to think what I really wanted was a family, and I thought going into law would give me that.”
A bark of laughter escapes me at her words, but when I look up at her face, I see it. She’s lonely. I can't stop myself from reaching out and cupping her face with my hand, rubbing my thumb across her cheek. She leans into my hand like it’s the most natural thing in the world to do.
“Trust me, Sophie, going into the same field as your family doesn't make you closer to them. I should know.” I’d done the same thing. Where had it gotten me? Four states away from my family and I barely see them, even on holidays. I could go months without talking to them. My mother was always off doing whatever she wanted. She was too busy being selfish and couldn’t be bothered to raise me. I had so many nannies I can’t remember them all, and my father, well, he was me. He lived and breathed his job.
“I don’t want my life to be like hers. I didn't even know her. I know this is terrible to say, but I don’t think I miss her. I long for the idea of what could have been.”
“And I’m telling you, sweet Sophie, that idea you are longing for would’ve just made you into me—a person who tried to be what their parents wanted but ended up like them, not closer to them. In fact I’m probably farther apart.” I drop my hand from her cheek and go back to eating my dinner.
“I’m not going to be like her,” I hear her whisper.
“Your mother wasn't a terrible person, she just wasn't a mother. She didn't get close to people and it's probably why our arrangement worked so well. Everything was about work, nothing more. After I realized there was nothing I could do to make my parents want us to be closer, I got lost in my career. It’s my life now; I just won't make the same mistakes as them by dragging someone else into my life and ignoring them. I don’t want or need that.” Or I thought I didn't. Because since Sophie walked into my life, work doesn’t seem so important. In fact, I haven't worked much at all. It doesn't matter that I’m not with her at all times; she still fills my every thought. She’s like a breath of fresh sweet air.
“It’s not too late for you. You could change too.”
I can’t bring myself to respond. I don’t want to think about it. I’ve spent years building my career, pouring hours of my life into it, but the idea of walking away from it leaves a sweet taste in my mouth. Sophie and I have more in common than I would’ve ever thought. She makes me want things I shouldn't. She makes me see myself opening a small firm on my own, coming home to a wife and children every night. But even if that was what I wanted, Sophie couldn't be that person. She's too young for me, and I couldn't imagine what people would say if I started fucking my stepdaughter. I wouldn't have to quit my job; I would be thrown out on my ass.
We finish the rest of our meal in silence. Afterwards, Sophie pops some popcorn and I go to the media room to set up a movie. I don’t want to give her any ideas. I just want to relax and try to have a normal step-dad/stepdaughter relationship with her. I know she’s lonely, but I can’t give her more than this no matter how much I want to. We could do something innocent like this on a regular basis to spend time together. Maybe fill in a little bit of that loneliness we both have. I pull out a movie from the ’80s I’ve seen a thousand times, and go to sit down. There’s a long couch in front of the screen and a single chair off to the side. I should probably sit in the single chair, but I want to stretch my legs out.
I decide to move the ottoman in front of the couch, and I take a seat off to the side, giving Sophie lots of room. I’ve been looking away from her, and I’ve gotten my cock finally under control, so I should be able to just sit here and watch the movie without any problems.
As she walks in, I look the other way, but I feel her sit a little too close to me.
“Sophie, you need to move down a little.”
“I just thought you might want some popcorn,” she says, and it sounds completely innocent. I would love nothing more than to pull her close, but we need to keep some distance. “Okay,” I say, and then I feel her scoot closer.