"I heard you wanted to see me."
Tobias father say's as he walks into his office, taking his seat opposite his waiting son.
"You know why I am here father, let's not pretend as if you don't know."
Aside from the last time he was in this office with Alexia and his mother, Tobi cannot remember the last time he's had to sit down, face to face with his father like this, for talks.
They were never close, even before his abduction, Tobi and his father weren't close. As a child, he looked up to his father quite a lot and always wanted to be like the man.
However, the more he grew, the harder it became to accept who his father really is and how the man views things. Mr Coleman is one of those fathers that believes a male child should be strong and show no form of weakness. So when young Tobi would whine about wanting to spend more time with his father, he got scolded in return.
Slowly, the little boy pulled away from his father and admiration he had for the man. When he escaped his abductors and his family found him, one would have thought the father would change.
Perhaps treat Tobias with less ferocity but the man didn't let up, called Tobias weak for not handling his trauma like a man and slowly the young boy drifted away from his father, avoided him and all cost and he did nothing to his interest.
"Then you should know you can't change my mind and this meeting is pointless."
"Alexia doesn't deserve the way you are treating her, she is not a gold digger, that lady has been through enough in my hands and she deserves some peace. Stop this insanity."
Tobias almost snapped at the man, and his father looks away from the file in his hands as he shuts it.
"You want to raise your voice at me and talk about insanity? To whose insanity is all this happening? I am cleaning up the mess you've created because of your madness and you think I am the one insane here, I do not care if she is not a gold digger. I never called her one directly, I am only doing what I have to, in order to protect this family's reputation, one which you throw in the mud all the time. Do you know what happens if the media gets a whiff of this? My position as the mayor and reputation as a businessman, your mother's career as a law? The son of the Coleman's raped and impregnated a student after months of abuse? If for one moment you think she would even be safe when it blows up, then I wonder how your brain works."
Tobias knows his father has always cared about his reputation and face in public and many times he has witnessed the man go to extreme lengths just to keep that image of a decent man.
The media and the people praise him as a wonderful mayor, the best they've had in years, but none of them know the things he has done in the dark to keep that image or the person he is when no one is looking.
"You can protect your reputation without trying to force marriage down our throats. Alexia is not ready for that, neither am I. I am insane, I know that and I would take responsibilities for things I have done, please stay out of this. I have never had to beg you for anything, father, but I am this time."
Tobias knows he is stooping so low, this is something he would not do on any day. Beg his father for something no matter what it is, but for Alexia, he will shed his pride and feed the man's ego.
"The one's you did in the past in the name of PTSD. How many did you take responsibility for? A real man doesn't plead for things he wants done, he takes action. Hiding under the pretense of mental health is how you get to display your weakness all the time and this is the last straw. She either signs that contract or I do things the traditional way, and as for taking responsibilities, encourage her to sign it and plan on when to move to your new home together. Get out of my office."
Hearing the words coming out of his father, did nothing but raise his anger, Tobias was livid. He had thought of taking things easy with his father for the sake of Alexia was better, but the man was using it to exploit his mental issues.
Tobias hate he's always harboured for his father, springs up and he bangs his fist on the table in anger.
"I really thought for once you would have the decency of a human in you and we could have a normal conversation as father and son, but each time you've never failed to disappoint me and show me how incapable you are of the being a father. You call me weak every chance and you think that would make me strong? I have no desire to marry Alexia, and if I have to show my weakness for you to see that, I would. Since talking to you meekly doesn't work, this is it. I have two offers for you, I take the position you've always wanted me to take and you delete yourself from anything that concerns Alexia and I. Second option, you proceed with this madness and I'll make everything easier for us all. Tell the media what I did, and I am sure a few of them would be glad to know who you really are and the things you've done."
Tobias's father hadn't expected his son to say half the things he said, or even offer a deal on the situation at hand.
"You are mad."
Mr Coleman says and Tobias offered him a smile.
"We already established that fact. You choose, you have more to lose than I do. The government either sends me to jail or a mental facility. Alexia would be free of me and have a peaceful life with our child, meet a decent man, fall in love and marry who she chooses. I'll miss her yes, but good riddance, because she deserves better than all this."
Tobias meant everything he just said if that was what it would take to get Alexia's peace and freedom from him and his family. He will spend whatever year he has left of his life in a mental facility as long as Alexia gets to experience a life more beautiful than what he can ever offer her.
"You think I would fall for your pretending to want the position? I have tried to get you to succumb for years and you refused. Suddenly you want the position? Didn't you say you hate what I do and the organization?"
Mr Coleman says, folding his arms over his chest as he leaned into his chair.
The sound of his voice ringing stops Tobias from completing his sentence as he fished out the device from his pocket to check the caller ID.
Tobias' gruff voice resounds through the speaker, as he answers the call, seeing the caller ID to be Bel's. A sigh of relief sounds from the other end of the phone before Bel spoke.
[Hello Tobias, this is Bel, where are you?]
Bel asks, her voice barely above a whisper, and Tobias couldn't help but wonder if Alexia was okay, because Bel sounded worried.
[In my father’s office, is everything alright? is Alexia okay?]
Tobias asks, his voice setting in worry.
[Physically she is okay, but emotionally she isn’t. Alexia needs you right now, she is about to sign this contract your mom brought and I think you are the only that can change her mind, so please come to her now.]
Bel informs as shuffling noise filled the background and Tobias cast a glance at his father, because no one said anything about his mom going their apartment to harass Alexia into signing the contract.
[I’m on my way.]
Tobias responds, hanging up the phone, and he turns to his father with bitterness in his face.
“This conversation is not over. Think over what I said, father, because that is the best you can get from me.”
"What has come over you? You would agree to something you so despise just for that nobody?"
Tobias halts his movement at his father's words and turns to the man.
"Perhaps because I have that one thing you lack, father. What it actually takes to be a man."
With that, Tobias exits his father's office, and he rushed out of the building, praying Bel can keep Alexia occupied before he gets home and she doesn't sign the contract.
Because he knows, that trapping Alexia in a loveless marriage is the last thing the female needs, with everything that has happened, he doesn't want to take away any choice from her again.
Welcome back everyone, before we proceed further. I want to let everyone know this book will get updated one chapter weekly for the time being.
Alexia and Tobias story continues.