Prodigal Son

Prodigal Son by Danielle Steel Read Free Book Online

Book: Prodigal Son by Danielle Steel Read Free Book Online
Authors: Danielle Steel
and couldn’t wait to go back to New York—unlike Alana, who was thriving in her old familiar world, and loved being her father’s daughter in it.
    They were both quiet when they drove home that night. Her father’s driver had driven them to the party, and when they got out at the guest house, Peter told her he was leaving for New York in a few days. Alana nodded and said nothing. It felt like there was nothing left to say. He had lost.
    They spent the next few days avoiding each other. He didn’t want to bring things to a head, or come to any more painful conclusions than they already had. He waited until the boys got back from Bear Valley, told them he was leaving, and promised to come back as soon as he could.
    Peter and Alana shared breakfast the morning he left. She was going to a luncheon that day, given by a Hollywood celebrity, and a party that night, to celebrate the premiere of a film. Nothing in her life had changed. She was still the spoiled little girl she had always been, and he had kept her that way all the years of their marriage. He could see that now. And everything in his world had changed since October. He felt as though he were totally alone. All sense of partnership seemed to have vanished between them. She was thoroughly enjoying her new life and he was mourning their old one.
    She kissed him goodbye as though he would be back that afternoon, and when he went to kiss the boys goodbye, he saw her watching him from the doorway, as though he were someone she had never seen before. He turned to look at her, and their eyes met. There was no hiding from it anymore. They had become strangers overnight. She closed the door on their existence in New York and seemed to bemoving on without him. And just as she had said two months before, she had abandoned ship. Alana was off and running. And there was no place in her world for him, unless he played by her father’s rules.
    Peter sat in silence as her father’s driver took him to the airport in Gary’s Rolls. The ride was smooth and the car perfect in every way, but Peter had never felt as uncomfortable in his life.
    His cell phone rang as he was boarding the plane. It was Ryan, not Alana. She hadn’t called.
    “See you soon, Dad. Fly safe.”
    “I will, son. I’ll call you from New York.”
    “I love you, Dad.”
    “I love you too, Ry,” Peter said softly with a lump in his throat. Peter didn’t say it, but they both knew that everything had changed, and it would never be the same again.

Chapter 3
    When Peter returned to New York, he had the feeling that the entire city, and everyone he knew, had sunk into depression. Restaurants were deserted, stores were empty. People who still had jobs were terrified of losing them. No one felt secure, people were worried about the safety of their money in banks, and those with funds were hastening to buy T-bills with whatever cash they had on hand. And small banks continued to close all over the nation. A country that had symbolized success and security was no longer one they could count on. The whole financial community was upside down.
    And yet another shocker had occurred while Peter was in California. A man named Bernard Madoff was arrested for investor fraud, in the largest crime of its kind committed in history. He was accused of cheating 4,800 clients out of $64.8 billion. He had wiped out entire communities of investors, destroyed savings and retirement funds and entire fortunes. The homes of his investors were being put on the market as a result, and his trusting investors around the world had been decimated.
    It was a time like no other Peter could remember in his twenty-oneyears in the business. And his own situation was no better than that of Madoff’s unwitting victims. Peter was desperate to sell their city apartment, and the house in Southampton. They needed the money, although Alana’s father was providing generously for her and the boys. But Peter wanted to resume taking care of his family

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