A Daddy for Damian by Joe Satoria


He wasn’t being serious.

Was he?

I always remembered my first IT class in high school. Don’t trust people on the internet.

I tried to follow that rule. But when a handsome man matches with you on a dating site, then asks if you’re looking for a job, I couldn’t say no.

Unemployed and with only half of my A-levels completed, I had nothing to lose.

Except my life. But my second IT class taught me: meet strangers in public places.

He gave me his name, but it sounded fake. Kristopher Kraus. Nobody was called that, but I didn’t care. He was hot. Or at least his photos were hot. Intense dark eyes and dark blond hair with a little facial scruff.

And he showed up looking like those photos.

Six-foot tall, a full black suit, white shirt, and a blue tie.

At a centre table in a busy coffee shop, I cradled a cup between both hands. I wore a light blue shirt, a pair of black chinos, and navy-blue boat shoes. Perhaps not interview clothes, but I didn’t even know if this was legitimate.

He moved with a confident swagger, pausing before me at the coffee table. In his hand, I caught the glimpse of a somewhat heavy briefcase.

“You’re young,” he said, an inflection of an accent on his tongue.

I stared at his lips as he spoke. “Yeah. I had my age on my profile.”

He smiled. “I know.” He placed the briefcase on the table. “Let me grab a coffee. Watch this.”

A trace of cologne lingered as he walked off.

I let out the gulp I’d held in to keep my posture straight.

Staring at the briefcase until he came back, I didn’t know what else to do.

He had a to-go cup of coffee. “Did you look at the job description?”

He’d sent me over in bullet points all the things he was looking for. I struggled to recall them. I was trying to process him really being here, in front of me.

“Willing to learn,” he began, holding out a hand and pressing on his fingers. “Can commit to giving me all your time and doesn’t mind visiting sex clubs. Professionally, of course.”

Had I heard correctly? “Sex clubs?”

He nodded. “I’m an investor,” he said. “I’m just looking to invest in someone new.”

“I’ve—I’ve never had a job.”

We made prolonged eye contact. “That’s why I chose you. And you look familiar.”

“Yeah. I get that a lot.”

“So, I’m looking to employ someone to be my assistant. I require little, but I need someone your age, and—” he continued to look me over, his gaze dropping and picking across my body. “You’re a fresh face, that’s what I need most of all.”

I nodded back at him. “Ok, and what do you need me to do?”

“You have a passport?”

“Yeah, but—”

“The job will involve paid travel. I’m German on my father’s side, so I spend a week or weekend there toward the end of each month.”

I’d never been to Germany, but that did also make sense to his accent and the shift in the way he spoke. “Are you—what are you offering me?”

“A job,” he said, taking a sip of coffee. “I want someone new, fresh, young. You, basically. I can offer to pay you weekly.”

“Ok, but—” My heart thumped, drying out my throat. I didn’t know what was happening. This was going to be my first ever job. I wasn’t sure how possible that could be. I didn’t even know what the job was, and still he was talking about it like he was giving me it. “What do I do?”

“My assistant,” he said.

I’d heard that. He’d said that, but I wasn’t sure what being an assistant meant. “Paperwork and stuff? I’m not sure how good I am at Microsoft and stuff.”

He shrugged. “That doesn’t matter. You’ll accompany me to meetings. You’ll take notes.”

I didn’t know how well suited I was. He wanted someone without experience, but I wasn’t sure if I was at the level of unexperienced. I’d never even thought of doing it before. The one thing that sparked me was the pay: five-hundred pounds per week. “How much do I get paid?” I asked, wanting to make sure that was a correct assumption.

“Depends,” he grumbled. He glanced away, looking around the café. I could feel the gaze as it returned to me. “How much money do you need to do this?”

“I’m not sure if—” my brows creased. “Well, I thought you—you said—”

“How much?”

“Five-hundred. A week.”



He extended a hand across the table to me. “Damian Briggs, welcome to the team,” he said with a wide smile. “It’s just the two of us, and my business partner. I’ll get a contract for you. And you can start on Friday. I have an important meeting.”

“But that’s—that’s in two days.”

“Correct,” he chuckled. He fished a hand into his suit pocket. “I’ll need you to collect some clothes before then. You’re—probably the perfect size for them.”


“Well, you can’t wear that.”

I put little thought or effort into what I wore. This could have all been a scam.

“If you don’t want to continue, all you—.”

“Want to continue?”

He nodded once more, his stern single nod and gaze crossed over me. “If you want to quit, I should say. If you want to quit, let me know.”

I looked around the room, following his eyes as they moved, looking at everyone. “Did you invite anyone else?” I asked. There were thousands of people on those dating apps. If he was on there, giving people the same messages, I couldn’t have been his—

“Only you,” he said.

His first.

“Only me?”

He nodded. “Yes. I’m selective.”

More curious. How had he selected me? Based on my images alone.

Kristopher placed a business card on the table. “The address for the clothes. My number. I will be in contact with you about the meeting on Friday. Get these clothes tomorrow and make sure they fit.”

“It’s ok if they don’t,” I burst out, “my mum has a sewing machine.”

A look of shock crossed his face. “No. The team there. They will do it. Please. These clothes are expensive. Don’t ruin them.”

I wondered if they’d look as expensive as the suits he wore. I thought I could smell the expense of the fabric in the room. “Got it. But so I’m clear. I’m just taking notes?”

“For the time being,” he said. “Like I said, if it all gets too much for you. You can quit.” He stood, pulling his briefcase from the table and grabbing his coffee. “And ask them for a cologne, something nice, something that compliments you.”

I looked back at the business card on the table. “Ok.”

“Look forward to seeing you on Friday, Damian.”

He left me feel weak in the stomach.

It happened so quick.

I potentially had more questions. Like, what was he doing? What were the sex clubs? What was his job? And why was I being told I needed to wear a suit?

The only thing I didn’t want to question was the money. That was a lot to get paid.

I took a short walk through the city to visit my twin brother at work. In the cat café, Pink Paws, Cosimo stood beside his boyfriend at the counter at the back of the café.

“How was your interview?” he asked, rushing toward me. “I thought you were gonna text.”

I didn’t know how to formulate my thoughts. There was a lot I didn’t know about it, and now I was going to undergo Cosimo’s investigation.

“Hey,” Grant greeted me from behind the counter.

They’d been officially boyfriends, or dating, for a couple of weeks now. I was jealous. My brother and I both came out to each other at the same time. I could never have predicted it. And then we came out to our parents together too. The only thing we weren’t doing together was getting boyfriends. He was happily smitten, and I was still trying to find a date who was interested in getting to know me before taking me to bed.

Sitting at a table on the upper floor. I felt like I’d been on a rollercoaster.

“So,” Cosimo said, tapping his knuckles on the table. “Good? Bad?”

“Good,” I said. “I didn’t know what to expect. And I still don’t know. He offered me the job. I think he’s rich.”

“Good pay then?”

“Five-hundred a week. And all he said was, take notes.”

Cosimo gasped, stretching back in the chair. I fished the card from my pocket. Pressing it across the table at him.

“I was thinking, if I didn’t get the job, I could just come work here. You said that club is good in that room.” I nodded to the black door with PRIVATE written on it.

Cosimo looked at me, then to the card. “Grant would probably hire you, but there’s so many people working here now, with Alexi’s friend. He started three weeks ago. So, everyone’s hours have been changed.”

“It’s fine, it was just a thought.”

Flicking the card over, Cosimo had a curious look in his eye. It was like he knew something. And I didn’t like that. Had I missed something on the card when he gave me it?

“The name is familiar,” he mumbled. “Wait. One second.” He left with the card in hand.

It was the middle of September. My plan to enrol back at college and finish my A-levels was a dud, and without that, I couldn’t go to university. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I didn’t know what that looked like for me. It was possible I’d land on my feet, eventually, but I could never decide, especially when that decision would impact the rest of my life.

I felt a little lost. I’d lived with my twin at home for my entire life, and slowly, but surely, he was leaving. He didn’t stay at home as often anymore. I wasn’t going to mention anything. I didn’t want it to sound like I was whinging about him not being around. And as kids, we were attached at the hip, like every other twin we came across. They were inseparable. And suddenly, we were separated.

Not to mention, Cosimo shaved his head last month. I was sure he’d done that, so we’d look different, although he said it was because he didn’t want to look gay. That was before we both came out, and now he was mad at himself for having shaved it off.

I thought that was funny. Our parents were ok with it. Our mother maybe was a little pissed off because that meant we wouldn’t be giving her any grandchild as fast as she’d want them.

Cosimo was back moments later, his boyfriend, Grant, standing by his side.

“What?” I asked.

“How well do you know this person?” Grant asked me, slipping into the chair opposite. “I’m not trying to say this to be mean, but I’m not sure if you should take this job.”

“Well, I am.” And mostly just because of the pay, but also, he promised me I’d get to go abroad. It had been years since I’d been abroad.

“No, Damian, listen,” Cosimo said. “I remember this guy. He was a little strange.”

Grant nodded. “He was going to invest in the club.” He gestured with a head nod to the backroom. “And apparently, he has a history of investing in small businesses, and then just taking over them.”

“Probably how he makes his money,” I grumbled, having an answer to one question, the question about how he was so rich. “I’m going to take the job.”

Grant didn’t look pleased with that, but it wasn’t his place to look pleased. Cosimo shared the same expression, glancing at Grant to see.

“What is the job?” Grant asked.

Ok. So, I didn’t have the answer to that.

How bad could it be?