Chapter 4 (Part 2)

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"We need a plan..." the Old woman told Katrina as she took the seat that always stood behind Dominic's desk. He would have a fit if he knew it, if he saw her lounging contentedly on it, but right now that was the least of her concerns. Katrina's happiness and the fruitation of her plans were of atmost importance and then, everything else came third.

"We need to start with a venue and once that is figured out we can build or renovate." Katrina nodded as she took down notes on a green covered note pad. Brightly colored three dimensional butterflies decorated its upper transparent surface and that, together with the brightly colored pen, pink with white feathers at the end brought colour to an otherwise bland but warm room.

"I was thinking Crayon, and if we are successful, we can move it online, to the capital and even to Veterum,"she said as the picture on a certain magazine cover came to mind.

" Why not do both? It won't cost you will it?"

" It may." Katrina said to the old woman." There is the cost of running a website and I have to think about the delivery of the goods and the safety of the goods in transit among other factors."

The old lady smiled. "I am glad you have thought this through. It makes coming up with the proposal an easier thing to do and if your father continues to 'play hard to get' " she put quotation marks on the words. " I may even chose to invest in you..."

"But grandma you never..."

"I know! I know!" the old lady laughed at Katrina's mortified expression. "For you I can make an exemptions."

"But papa..." the girl tried again, obviously concerned that the decision her grandmother was willing to make would not auger well with her father.

"I'll handle him. Now, the suppliers, we need to make a list and you need to make an inventory of things you want to sell. I need you to do research and to find out the market prices, the wholesale prices and come up with a reasonable price list depending on the clients that you want to target." All these Katrina scribbled down furiously. "Then when you are through with that, we can look around for a space to set up, again depending on the clients that you are targeting and when that is done, we can compile all that into a proposal that is worthy of your father's eyes."

How about the website?" won't that bring extra costs that will have to be factored in the proposal? Originally I thought I could use the profits to do that."

" Sure, but I need you to be able to project how this business will cover its own cost and bring in profits if its going to do anything impress your father. I need you to look at marketing strategies too, different ways to reach your clientele and to hook them in such a way that they keep buying your products and even that is not enough. We need them speaking about you, referring you to their friends, and need I remind you, for this to work, you need to have something that the rest of your competition does not have. Your father's name can only take you so far and in as much as it might be a plus, it might also be your down fall if you do not plan well enough."

"Yes gradma."Katrina said as she took in all that her Nana had to say, knowing fully well that she carried generations and generation of knowledge passed down from one business magnate to another. She was right as always and Katrina needed to impress her father. Even though her grandmother was offering to invest in her, the man's approval was also important. Pleasing him, convincing him was one step forward to actualising her dreams and if she could do it, if she could convince him that she was capable, then she had faith that she could do the same with her other future investors and corporate clients who needed more convincing to bring their business to her.

"I was thinking..." Katrina started as she tapped her pen on the desk, staring down thoughtfully. "How about I design a new line of baby products, it will give me an opportunity to show case the new as well as the existing ones hence creating the variation that we need."

"That's good. That's why you will need to work on that research. At the same time I know that it is a lot to handle especially in your condition," the old woman's gaze dropped to her stomach. "So, you may need help and hence your first member of staff."

"No way!" Katrina responded excitedly.

"Oh, you will pay me back," the old began to say but was soon disrupted by a solid knock on the door. "What?" she snapped back, irritated at the disruption coming in at such a crucial point in their two person meeting.

A trembling maid opened the study door and her gazed out into the room beyond.

"There's a certain gentleman at the gate. A mister Thorpe, I believe they called him and the guards want to know if he is allowed inside."

"What does the butler say?"

"He is quite unwell ma'am."

"And the housekeeper?"

"At the market ma'am."

"How convinient." the older woman said with a look of displeasure showing on her face.

"What are Mr. Maracheli's directives on the matter. Doesn't the security personnel know this?"

"They do. The admittance of any Thorpe into thid household is dependent on yours and Miss Katrina's directive on the matter and hence, they cannot act until otherwise told by you."

"Katrina..." the older Mrs Maracheli's turned to look at Katrina who had now turned as white as a sheet. "Katrina! You need to pull yourself together." she said shaking her granddaughter out of her fear induced trance.

"You're right." she whispered back as she pulled herself out from her self inflicted living nightmare. "Let him in. I need to be able to finally tell him what I think of him."

#

As the gates moved back Ryan was able to see into the Maracheli's Crayon residence, one thought struck in his mind. He had made it. Tree after tree rolled by, long cedar branches shading his vehicle from the mid morning heat. With every distance that he drove, he aprehension grew much wilder.

Ryan was afraid.

He was afraid of the man that would meet there. The man who had shackled his own daughter forcefully to him, who now commanded an army of bodyguards and was known all over Ueteribus for his ruthlessness. For this, Ryan had every reason to fear, but cowardice was a path he had sworn never to walk on again. It had let him down, made him lose the things that mattered in his lofe, the things that his journey to Veterum had only just revealed to him. Even more, he had faced the formidable Phaedra of Veterum and lived and ruthless or not, he knew without a doubt that only death would keep him from this child. t
This child that was yet to be born. A child that knew no hate not that the other one did, but through his actions he had lost all rights to be called his father now. But this one, it would bare his name and he would make sure of it and not unless Katrina had looked elsewhere, not even the threat of a divorce could keep him from claiming a title that was rightfully his.

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