Chapter 10 (Part 2)

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Mr Dominic Maracheli paced the room wearing out the beige carpet that covered the entirety of the room, muffling the sound of the very steps that he took as he pondered hard, chewing harder on a new piece of news that he had just received. He was worried and as much as he tried to deny it or behave otherwise, he worried for her even though he had promised his mother that he would no longer interfere. It was no easy feat. To lay back, to do nothing as his only child run free and unprotected in a world that was full of predators and worse still with that man still hot on her heels. No, he had promised his mother that he would not interfere but that did not mean that he would not take the necessary measures to make sure that his daughter was safe. The bodyguards would assure that. Even from a safe distance the would make sure that his only heir continued to remain safe and sound. Even as he thought so, his new wife Alice walked in. She must have known what he was thinking of for she came over and hugged him from behind effectively cutting off his movements if not his ruminations.

"You are doing it again." she told him.

"What?" his voice came out as harsh but he knew that it did not bother her. For some reason she loved him even though he was not as good to her as he had been with Katrina's mother. However, that was not to be wondered at. He was no longer young or carefree and the burden of the many responsibilities that weighted on him saw that he never smiled and if he did it was always rare and very short lived if not strategic.

"You know what I mean. You are over thinking it. Now I don't want to tell you how to treat your own daughter for you have your mother for that... but this can't be healthy." she said as she released him to walk round and face him.

"I didn't know you had a degree in medicine." she gave him a look and he sighed as he moved back to the edge of the bed and sat down. "Look, I am sorry Alice. This is..." he paused as he racked his brain for the perfect word to describe his emotions.

"Difficult? Out of your control? Control... That's it! But you have to know that she is no longer a child. Your intentions are pure but some matters were never meant to be controlled. Whom we love, whom we marry. Such decisions affect us for life and they can either make us or destroy us."

"How can you say that when you saw what he did to her?"

"Sure, but whether she leaves him or not, that's her decision to make. You can only empower her, support her and pray that she makes the right one. But treating her like a child? That will make you lose her to the very forces that you are fighting against. "

" So, you expect me to just sit down and do nothing. He hurt my daughter Alice. Broke her!"

" Nah... "his wife shook her head. "Katrina is much stronger than you think and it would take more than a broken man to destroy her. Speaking of which, can you blame him for how he treated her? I have never said this before but, how could you Dominic? You forced the man to marry her. For once, just once did you even think to put yourself in the man's shoes?"

"Not you too Alice." the man groaned in his hands. "his family assured me that all was okay..."

Alice scoffed.

"Sure, but I know you know how that sounds even to your own ears. Either that or you don't want to admit it. You were wrong and the price to pay was your daughter's happiness." Alice was being ruthless with the truth but maybe Dominic needed to hear that. The rift that had formed between him and his daughter was a product of his own foolishness, his greed and lack of foresight in dealing with a family whose interest was only set in making powerful connections. That was why they had not stopped him when he started searching. After all, a connection to Veterum through one of its high generals was more beneficial than an alliance with just a meagre business man big time as he was. All he had was his money and his business empire, but the General, he would open the very doors to Veterum and its high Society and they all knew very well how beneficial that was.

"They stabbed me in the back. At least the boy was honest enough to refuse from the start. And now that he is back, I do not know what to think or imagine. On one end, I am angry that he left my daughter to chase after that other woman and now that she is untouchable he comes crawling back to..."

"Maybe...but I do not think that it was for her that he came back. You are a father Dominic... Think about it."

"Sure sure but he abandoned the other one before. Who's to say that he won't do it again?"

"We are just human. We can only hope. Now stop worrying and be patient hard as it may seem the best thing to do now is give them space." the man sighed.

"I hope you are right Alice. I will sympathies this once but do not expect me to treat him like all is okay."

She smiled.

"Of course, we are all wary but somehow we trust that this time things will turn out to be okay. If not Katrina sake, then for the baby. We all know how important that is, right?

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