CHAPTER 1 (part 2)

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"Please...think about it. The company will do her some good."

"Mother, i will not have my daughter traipsing around town looking like one of those good for nothing nobodies!"

"Dominic!" The old lady scolded. "Those are respectable people you are talking about. And Mrs Beufont is their chaperone, she mentors their entire group."

The man, Dominic, wore a dark suit and sat behind a great oak desk. His once dark hair,now with a few streaks of grey, lay flat on his head not a strand out of place. His brow farrowed as he scowled training a set of green eyes on the old lady before him.

"Mrs Beufont, Katrina's instructor?"

"Exactly." The old lady replied pushing one of the heavy oak chairs aside to rest her weight in it.
" She used to be a music teacher you know, now she has her own groups of mentees and a bible study class that she teaches at the old church."
"I'll think about it" The man dismissed the old lady turning his attention fully to the computer screen before him.

"Dominic--" she tried again.

"Mother, i said i'll think about it. Right now i am busy, i have a buisness to run."
The man snapped and the old lady glared at her son. He had cut her short and not once had he looked from his computer.
He looked a lot like his father. Dark hair, a strong jaw, and the trademark Maracheli attitude.
"I guess then you are not interested in talking about the Thorpes?"
That caught his attention. She had succeeded in baiting him yet again.
"What about them?"he growled
"Katrina is in pain."
"Is she sick?"
He queried, a worried look flashing across his eyes.

"No dummy! Emotional pain." The old lady gritted.

"Oh, i know." He gave her one last look and turned back to his work."That is why i am pushing for a divorce."
His mother eyed him warily her fingers tracing the farrows of the rose curvings in the arm chair before she blurted out.

"Katrina is expectant!"

Dominic's fingers stopped typing abruptly hanging lightly on the keys as his eyes still remained trained on the screen in front of him.
A pregnant silence enveloped the room neither saying a word until his mother decided to break the silence.
"Dominic--"
"How?"
He snapped cutting a short once again.

"Really? Do you want me to get into the intricacies of how that happens?"
"Mother!" He growled.
"Don't you growl at me! And if you want to know how that happened go ask your daughter." She hissed her temper finally exploding.

He pushed his seat back and stood up.Running a hand through his glossy hair and started pacing the room.

"Stop that. It's irritating."
"What?"
"Pacing." His mother replied.
He paused infront of the glass balcony doors and peered out.
"I am trying to think."
"How is that working out for you?"
He smiled despite himself.
"Who said parenting a toddler was the hardest thing?"

The old lady looked from her son to his desk where work files lay  open in front of the computer.
Behind the desk was a roof high oak shelf filled with books and more files.
The were other two armchairs apart from then one she was occupying, one behind the desk and the other next to her.
The polished bamboo floors shone below her feet and extended out to a sheltered balcony outside glass doors.
On the doors light white curtains hang billowing in the mountain breeze and allowing the afternoon sun to stream in. The light reflected on the crystal chandelier that hang from the high ceiling and on the polished brick surface of the fireplace accentuating the maroon walls behind it.

"Dominic, what are you going to do now?" She asked him.
"What can i do? Force the man to be accountable? I'm not sure if that is even an option."
"He is still in Veterum?"
"As far as i know, yes.I don't know what he hopes to achieve but that lady is already married and to their Phaedra of all people!"
His mother pushed back on her seat and stood up to join her son overlooking the grounds below.
"Son, our mistake was to force these two together, Katrina may have been smitten by the man but we both know that these things do not work that way."
"But they had assured me that he was willing and i only wanted to make my daughter happy."
"Willing is not the same as love,"
"I know mum,i guess i thought he would grow to love her."
"No my son, you thought that you could not stand to disappoint your daughter. But she has to learn that in life you can't get everything you want!"
"Fine!so what do i do now?"
"Just let her be, offer her as much support as you can but for once let her be the one to make her own choices."

He frowned.

"So you just want me to seat around and do nothing."

The old lady smiled.

"Yes, for a change and lift that ban you have placed over her. You can't isolate her forever."

His face farrowed even more as his frown deepened.

"So you want me to let her speak to the Thorpes?"

His mother's smile widened.
"Yes, and allow her to join Mrs Beufont's mentees group. Being around her own agemates will do her good."

He squinted his eyes at the old lady considering her now chipper mood then turned to stride back to his desk.
"Fine, even though i do not understand why you were the one to tell me this. Does Alice know?"
"No, we kept it a secret. That way you wouldn't antagonise your wife."
He pulled in his seat and sat down a small smile beginning to tag at the corners of his lips.

"Your idea or hers?"
"By her, i assume you mean Katrina. Yes, it was her idea. She is smarter than you give her credit for."
"I know she is smart. Just not experienced." He countered.
"And is she supposed to get that experience holed up in here?"
He grinned.
"Okay, mother you fo what you want to do just let me be. I have work to do."

The old lady hobbled up to the door and paused to grin back to her son. She saw him smile sensing her eyes on him.
" See you at dinner, and don't fail this time."
With that she closed the door behind and walked away to find Katrina.

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