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Chapter 7 Cole

“Tristan, we’ve had this conversation before. I’ve had it with your philandering ways. If you want me and your grandfather to take you seriously and pass on our shares to you, you need to prove you’re responsible enough to run a multi-million corporation. You’ll be thirty soon, the time for you to settle down has come. I let you have your fun and sow your wild oats so that you’ll get it out of your system before you settle down.” My father scolds me whilst cutting into his fillet mignon steak. “Hollie comes from a respectable family who has been our dearest friends for generations. She’s a beautiful young lady, and she shares the same passion for architecture as you do. What more could you ask for in a life partner?” He adds, lifting his green eyes to look at me.

I clench and unclench my fist under the table. I feel my annoyance grow more by the minute. “Well, I would like to be attracted to my future wife for starters. I also want to marry someone I love, Dad. I have zero interest in Hollie. She’s not my type, and we have absolutely nothing in common other than our careers. Why would you want me to marry someone I don’t even love?” I ask, and he sets his fork down and wipes his mouth before speaking.

“Son, love doesn’t just happen overnight. You need to work at it, and it grows as you get to know the other person. You loved Sophie and look how that turned out? She left you devastated. You’ve not been the same since she broke your heart.” I feel my insides recoil at the mention of my ex. “I don’t want to see you hurt like that again. Do you think your mother and I were in love when we married? No, we weren’t, but we grew to love each other, and now I couldn’t imagine my life with anyone else.” He explains, looking at my mother, who smiles at him lovingly and takes his hand when he holds it out for her.

“Dad, I’ve known Hollie since we were kids and I don’t see myself loving her…ever,” I tell him earnestly, but he shakes his head and holds his hands up.

“Enough Tristan. I’ve said my piece. If you want our shares, you’ll marry Hollie as planned, and that’s final. The arrangements are in place.” He says and goes back to eating his food. I look over at my mother who shrugs and smiles apologetically at me. This is ridiculous. This marriage fiasco started when Grandpop was diagnosed with motor neuron disease and was given less than a year to live. Guess what his dying wish was? To see his first-born, favourite grandson married before he dies. His shares will not transfer over to me until I am married, and if I don’t, it goes to my idiot cousin Harry who will run the company I have spent years building up into the ground quicker than I can blink. It’s times like these that I wish I had a sibling. My Dad wants to retire early but won’t give me full control of Cult Designs until I’m married.

“Excuse me,” I mutter, dropping my napkin on the table and stand up.

“Honey, you’ve not touched your food.” My mother says, looking up at me. I shake my head and rub the back of my neck tiredly.

“I’m not hungry,” I tell her. “I’m going to take off; I have a ton of work to do for the presentation tomorrow.”

“Hollie and her parents are coming over the day after tomorrow for dinner. I expect you to be here. We’ll discuss the details of your engagement.” My father states as I walk off out of the dining room. I wave them off without so much as a glance and leave the house.

I feel like I’m suffocating. I jump in my Audi R8 and speed out of the gates. They’ve got me corned with this marriage bullshit, and I can’t seem to find a way out of it. I’ve been fighting them for weeks. I don’t want to be stuck marrying a girl I don’t love or even find the least bit interesting. She’s a beautiful girl, yes. She’s smart and accomplished. Any other guy would give their right leg to marry a girl like that, but not me. She’s not for me. If I get forced into marrying her, I know I’ll struggle to stay loyal, and I am not the kind of guy that cheats.

After an hour of driving around mindlessly, I find myself at my best friend Josh’s house. I’m currently sprawled out on his sofa sipping on my fifth bottle of beer staring up at his plain white ceiling.

“How the fuck am I going to get out of this?”

Josh sighs and leans back on the sofa and sips his beer. “Well, you’re not. You’ll have to marry Hollie, my brother. We both know how stubborn your Dad is. He’s not letting this go.”

I close my eyes and nod. Josh was right; my Dad will not let this go. Especially if it means losing the company, he has worked so hard to build to his brother-in-law's son. “Damn it. Please, tell me there’s a better solution, anything but this.” I frown when I feel my phone vibrate in my pocket. I pull it out and see a text from Shayla.

I open the message and read it.

Shayla:

‘I’m going to be late for the meeting tomorrow morning. Some idiot stole all four of the tires off my car.’

I sit up and frown, and despite my bad mood, I laugh. This girl has the worst luck in the world. I type a message back to her.

Me:

‘Ouch. I’m sorry to hear that. I can have someone over within the hour to replace the tires for you.’

I send the text, and a reply comes right away. I open the message.

Shayla:

No. That’s okay. I’ll sort it. I can find somebody to fit new one's tomorrow. Just tell your lawyer I’ll be a little late.’

I smile and shake my head. She’s so stubborn it's infuriating.

Me:

‘I’ll pick you up on my way. We can go to the office together after.”

I set my phone down and look at Josh, who was watching me with a smile on his face. “What?” I ask cagily, sipping my beer.

“Your mood just drastically changed. Who are you texting?” He asks and swipes my phone off the table when it vibrates. “Shayla?” I reach over and try to take my phone, but he moves it out of reach. “Hang on is that the hottie from the club you disappeared with.” I nod and grab my phone from him.

“Yes, that’s her,” I say and read her text. Of course, she’s saying no. I text her back quickly telling her I will pick her up at nine and that I wouldn’t take no for an answer.

“Why are you going to the lawyers with her?” Josh questions raising a curious brow at me. I was too distracted arguing with Shayla over text.

“Uh, to sign some papers for a divorce,” I answer distractedly with a shrug and he kicks my knee. I scowl at him.

“Divorce?” He sits upright and stares at me in bewilderment, and I realize I just let our secret slip out. “When did you fucking marry her to get a divorce?!”

“When we flew to Vegas…” I trail off, and his eyes widen as he waits for me to continue explaining. I sigh, “This is all your fault. You forced me to go out and got me stinking drunk. After we left the club, we kept drinking and ended up on my private jet flying to Vegas to get married.”

“Holy— you got married? Like legally married?” Josh questions getting to his feet, he throws his head back and laughs when I nod.

“Yes, Josh. I’m legally married. And like that was bad enough she shows up at my office as my new executive assistant. My Dad hired her while I was in Paris. What are the fucking odds of that, tell me, please?” Josh covers his mouth with his hand and shakes his head.

“Odds? Bro, this girl is either one psychotic stalker and planned this or fate’s just dropped a motherload of an opportunity in your lap.” I watch Josh as he moves around the room.

“Josh, she didn’t even know who I was. And she tried to quit the moment she saw I was her boss. She’s not a stalker, and she certainly didn’t plan any of this.” I explain, running my fingers through my hair.

“Cole, are you an idiot bro?” I scowl at him hard. “Do you not realize all your prayers have been answered. This whole Hollie debacle is solved.” I lean forward and rest my elbows on my knees and watch him closely.

“How so?”

Comments (12)
goodnovel comment avatar
Carmen Moambing
Yes, your problem is solve, dont divorce shayla for the mean time.
goodnovel comment avatar
Wilson Ihuoma
Yeah you can say that a dozen times ...
goodnovel comment avatar
Julierub Makiling Japson
Your quite stupid cole
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