Chapter: 11

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RYLAN

"Tell me, does Rylan treat you right?" Grams seriously asked her like Elena was dating a depraved or morally questionable man and not her grandson.
    
Elena forced a smile on her face. "He does. He is a gentleman." Grams nodded to herself in approval before I saw her eyes shining with excitement.
    
"So, how did you two meet? I asked Rylan but his vague answers didn't do it for me. I want the whole thing. Besides, he said that I would like it a lot better from you." She rambled and I saw the slightest trace of nervousness flickering in Elena's eyes. Something told me the reason wasn't Grams but Dad. His silent watchful presence could be a bit unnerving.
    
"I used to work at a diner where Ava used to visit with Stacey. Rylan had come along one day and that's how we met." Well, this part was technically true.
    
"I don't believe it was love at first sight and all. This guy here doesn't have a single romantic bone in his body." Grams spoke with disapproval in her voice as if I had wasted all these years not looking for love in every cafe and every corner of bookstores.

It was a relief that Dad had decided to keep the details of grandfather's will from her. She wouldn't have liked it very much. She was always the one for finding love while Grandad just wanted me to settle down with a wife.
    
"On the contrary, I would say he is very romantic." Elena spoke with renewed enthusiasm. "I had initially turned him down but he didn't give up. From sending flowers to taking me out on dates, he did everything in his power to convince me otherwise." I caught the meaning behind her words. She was fabricating lies around the truths.
    
"So you mean he was hell bent on courting you?" Elena responded to Grams' question with a shy smile to sell the story but there's this one little thing. It didn't sound like me. Buying flowers, planning dates, I didn't do all this shit.
    
"That's not what I had expected but seeing you I must admit that you are worth the chase." Elena had successfully convinced Grams that I had 'chased' her till she agreed to give me a chance.
    
"Thank you."
    
"And what was the proposal like?" There was this child-like excitement in her eyes.
    
"Oh, it was beautiful. He had taken me on a long drive. We were strolling down the beach and at sunset he went on his knees to propose. It was the most romantic thing someone had ever done for me!"

She beamed before looking down at the ring settled on her finger. "He didn't get me a ring until later. He wanted me to choose it myself."  There are rare times when you are too stunned or stupified to talk, it could be me at this exact moment. She was romanticizing me and to what extent!
    
Dad raised a questioning brow at me that said 'I don't believe it." Trust me, Dad. I don't either!
    
"It's beautiful!" Grams gushed, ensuring that she had totally bought the story.
    
Dad cut in after being silent for a long time. "You two are engaged and you haven't moved in with Rylan yet. Any particular reasons, Elena?" Elena was startled by this sudden question being thrown her way. She didn't see it coming.
    
"Her father's health hasn't been the best and she wanted to stay with her Dad and take care of him." I delivered.
    
"I hope he gets better!" Grams told her.
    
"He's better now." Elena stood up and made her way towards me. "And that's why we have decided that I will move in this weekend." She intertwined her hand with mine and smiled up at me. A single strand of hair fell on her face. My hand involuntarily came up and pushed it aside.
    
"I never thought I would see a day when Rylan would move on and love someone again." Grams gently squeezed her hand and sighed. "I am so happy he found you!"
    
Elena's eyebrows gently furrowed at that but she was quick in composing herself. "I am lucky that he did!" As my fiance she was supposed to know all about my past except… I wasn't ready to disclose it.

“I think we should talk the rest over lunch." Grams suggested.
    
Dad stood up and offered. "Elena and you go on. We will be right behind you." I pressed my lips in a thin line, wanting this day to be over already. Elena glanced at me, alarmed. I discreetly nodded telling her not to worry.
    
"Elena seems like a lovely girl." Dad said once they were both out of vision.
    
"She is." I met his eyes, keeping my posture relaxed. Defense is the last thing he needed to observe in my stance.
    
"Now why would she join Parker Realty?"
    
I shrugged with as much nonchalance I could gather. "People switch companies, don't they?"
    
"And you admit to all those romantic gestures Elena mentioned, getting flowers and all that?" With his hands thrust in his pockets, he took another step in my direction.
    
"See here's what I don't get." I said letting out a disbelieving chuckle. "You wanted me to find a wife, I found someone I'm willing to marry. How is that a problem now?"
    
To anyone it would seem like Dad didn't hear me. He replied with a cold. "What exactly are you holding over her?" We had been doing this throughout our conversation, answering questions with one of our own. I decided to offer a proper answer this time.
    
"Nothing. I'm holding nothing over her." I separated every word, loud and clear for him.
    
Blackmail isn't something I resort to unless necessary. Manipulation? Yes. In fact I would say manipulation is the most powerful tool to get one to their goals. But not blackmail.
    
Not that it's beneath me. I just happen to like working my way with words a lot better. I watch the struggle of the person sitting in front of me, enjoy every second of the uncertainty in their eyes till I witness the exact moment when they reach the breaking point. It fills every part of me with immense satisfaction to see them cross the line to this side, an odd sense of achievement.
    
Dad sighed before placing a hand on my shoulder. "Well, whatever it's you're doing, be very careful, son! One wrong step and the media will drag you down."
    
His warning made it pretty clear that he didn't buy any part of Elena's heart touching love story. Honestly, I wasn't fully expecting him to. Dad wasn't just a very successful businessman for nothing. 
    
"Don't worry, Dad."

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