Chapter: 02

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RYLAN

"I want this report completed by the end of the day." I slammed the poor excuse of a report on the desk and glared at the man who kept standing there like a stupid. It has been only a week since he had joined and my patience was running thin.
    
"Do you understand?" He flinched at my hard tone.
    
"Yes, Mr. Parker." Just then the door to my cabin opened and my Dad walked in followed by our lawyer. If I were to go by my Dad's expression, it was something concerning. I shifted my gaze back to my personal assistant still standing in front of me.
    
"Leave!" He quickly grabbed hold of the file and scurried out of the cabin.
    
"Dad?" Both him and Mr. Davis took the seats opposite me.
    
"Rylan, Mr. Davis is here to show you your grandfather's will." It wasn't something I was expecting. Granddad passed away about a month ago and his will hadn't been brought up since. I leaned back in my seat and loosened the tie around my neck.
    
"I am busy right now, Dad. Can't it wait?" He sighed before glancing at Mr. Davis who had quite a serious expression.
    
"I am afraid, not." My right eye twitched as I mentally clawed at all the possible conditions the will might put forth. I nodded and looked at Mr. Davis to proceed.
    
"Mr. Parker, your grandfather had mentioned in his will that you get to inherit Parker Realty provided you settle down." He stopped for a quick second to judge my reaction before continuing. "You are required to get married."
    
I stared back unblinking at the expectant faces of the two men seated in front of me. "I am not in the mood for some jokes right now!"
    
I looked between both of them who maintained their serious stances. Granddad would often advise me on how I should settle down, start a family and to think that he put this condition in his will wasn't too absurd but my mind was in denial.
    
It was Dad who exhaled.
    
"He isn't joking. Your Grandfather wrote in his will that he wishes to see you settle down with a decent girl of your choice and provide a family to Ava." Clearly, I still hadn't grasped the seriousness of the situation considering I wasn't feeling the helplessness that I should drown in at this revelation.
    
I was still searching for words when Mr. Davis spoke further. "If not fulfilled, after your father, it goes to the Anderson's." My head shot up in a microsecond almost giving me a snapped neck. 
    
"Anderson's? Our rival?" Our lawyer warily nodded before I slammed a fist on the table, making him flinch in his place. I was out of my seat and walking towards the window, absolutely clueless as to who in their right mind would do that.
    
"Was he in need of some kind of medical help and we had overlooked it?" I asked.
    
"Rylan!" Dad sounded offended.
    
"That would explain this will because this is clearly the most ridiculous fucking thing I have ever heard in my life." While Dad looked exhausted, Davis looked scared. Scared of whom? Me? The only scary thing there was that will.
    
"Grandad actually wrote this?" Was I hoping that I would be offered a totally different answer, something like they had planned some April Fool's prank though it was mid September? Probably.
    
"He did." Mr. Davis awkwardly shifted in his seat and the urge to toss him out of the cabin was too strong.
    
"I don't get it, Dad. Why do I have to marry? Ava has a family. She has me, she has you and Stacey. This is her family." I reasoned but the shake of his head told me that he was anything but convinced.
    
"The little girl needs a mother in her life." I shut my eyes for a brief second in annoyance. This single statement had always felt like a blow to all the efforts I had put in for Ava over the years.
    
"She doesn't! I am the only parent she needs in her life." Even as I said it my confidence faltered a bit. I had gone out of the way to be the best parent to Ava yet a weak voice lingered in the back of my mind which claimed otherwise.
    
Dad slightly tilted his head to the side while staring straight at me. "You know it yourself." He sounded confident like he had heard my earlier thoughts.
    
"I am serious, Son. I know how much you have tried to always be there for Ava but like every other child, she needs a mother. That's a void in her life. I can see it, most probably your Grandfather did too."
    
I pressed my fingers against my forehead and leaned back in my seat. Even if Dad was right, I wasn't prepared for a wife. I hadn't given relationships and dating a single thought after her. And here we were talking marriage. "I need time to think about it."
    
When I raised my head they still were sitting in front of me with grim expressions like there was something else I was yet to learn about. The thought alone was dreadful.
    
Mr. Davis drummed his fingers on the desk before letting it out. "You have one year before you settle down." I could feel an approaching headache and undoubtedly it was going to stay for a while now.
     "There's a deadline." My voice came out icy. Dad hesitantly nodded and I honestly wanted to bang my head against the wall but settled for a humorless chuckle. I was anything but amused.
    
"And what else? Does he need me to impregnate my wife with a dozen kids? Would he like that?" One might consider it aggressive sarcasm but honestly, I was skeptical. At this point I wasn't putting anything past him to put it in his will.
    
"No such thing mentioned." Mr. Davis shrinked a little under my glare while Dad cast a worried glance at me, probably thinking that I was losing it. Well I wasn't too far from it either.
    
"I'll leave you to it."  Both of them were on their feet and in the next moment out of my cabin, leaving me in turmoil.

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