Chapter twenty seven
“Mr.King why did you decide to launch Kings Motors here in Sydney. Do you think the citizens of Australia will be receptive to your company when the market here is already blooming with companies both local and international set up years even before Kings Motors?” Asked the sharply dressed man in the front.
It was already an hour and I was dying to get out from the press conference which was held at my hotel The Elite. But questions after questions are directed at me from everywhere and I have no choice but to sit through it. Hopefully, this will be the last one because I was running late.
Letting the question sink in I shifted my gaze to the man and I began,”Kings Enterprise is always about expanding and growing. And we have already launched Kings Motors in over twenty countries across Europe and Asia, so it is only natural that I branch out here. Australia has always been a lucrative market and like in all the countries, I am confident Kings Motors will be a success.”
I paused letting my words linger on and continued,” Kings Motors is not foreign to the people out here, we had orders being delivered out here over the years from our main headquarter in Texas. Now we are just making the transaction easier for our customers by launching a branch out here. And I have no doubt we will be able to compete and be on par if not out beat the other already existing like you mentioned blooming companies.”
The man nodded with satisfaction by my answer.
Just when I thought it was over then a lady from the far back raises her hand.
Damn it I groaned in my head.
She stood up and shouted out her question,” Sir are you single?”
Janis my executive PA, who was seated to my right quickly answered,” No personal questions please.” She sternly pointed out.
“It’s okay Janis.” I muttered softly and faced towards the female journalist who was still standing,” I don’t know how my relationship status is going to help me sell vehicles out here but.” There was laughter amongst the crowd, including her. As the laughter died down, I continued focusing my attention on her and stated with conviction,” No I am not single.”
No sooner I said that there were murmurs everywhere obviously growing curious as to who I was dating. My personal life always the highlight of their interest.
Before anyone could raise questions, Janis quickly spoke,” I think that will be all for today. Mr. King has an appointment scheduled and he is already running late. Thank you all for coming, there is refreshment set up at the dining area please feel free to partake in that.”
Thanking the Journalist I walked out of the conference room followed by Janis.
“Thank you. I thought it would never end,” Giving a relieved smile at Janis and got inside the elevator to get to my suite.
“You are welcome. The jet is already fueled and ready to take off anytime you wish to move out. And I have bought the things you wanted me to get, wrapped and delivered to your suite.” Janis briefing me as she steps into the elevator with me.
“Thank you, Janis. Is Sebastian still here at the hotel?” I glance at my wristwatch it was 10:00 Am.
“No, he already left for the office ten minutes before the press conference started.” Replied Janis.
Nodding I stepped out from the elevator and walked towards my suite,” Fine I’ll make a quick stop at the office and leave for the airport.”
After everything was packed and ready we droved towards the office.
“Dominic your mother called me this morning. She was furious complaining you were unreachable. I think you should call her back now.” Suggested Janis.
Nodding I fished my phone out of my blazer pocket and dialed my mother’s number, she picked up after four rings and before I could even open my mouth to greet her. I was greeted by her sharp tone,” Dominic Duncan King.”
I winced at her use of my full name. This shows she is angry and I prise my self to face her wrath.
“Did you just remembered that you have a mother? I have been trying to reach you since yesterday. I can’t believe you would not call me back.” Her tone accusatory.
“I apologize, mother, I was busy with the opening of Kings Motors.” I calmly replied.
“I don’t think you were so busy as to not spare even a five minute for your mother. There is simply no excuse.” She reprimanded and I just kept quiet letting her rant because she was right. Also, she wouldn’t hear anything of what I had to say until she was satisfied letting me know her displeasure and the reason she called.
As expected she continued not waiting for my reply,“Anyway, I hope everything went well with the launch and when are you returning back to the States?”
“It went well mother, but I am leaving everything under Sebastian’s care because I had to leave for Ohio in an hour. An urgent work came up.” I conveniently omitted the part where I was to meet Arabella. Until she says she is ready to meet my parents I feel it is better I don’t mention her to my mother. Knowing my mother she would insist on meeting her and I don’t want to force Arabella into doing anything she is not comfortable with.
“I see. But son this is not the reason why I called you yesterday.” She paused.
Her sharp tone still intact,” I happened to read about you in the papers a few days back and mind you it was not about Kings Enterprise. Is she someone you are planning on introducing your father and I or she is just another one of your casual conquest.” She deadpanned with no filtration.
I winced at her last choice of words. Fucking shit!! That article has landed me in unnecessary trouble.
Maybe I should teach that publishing house what they should report and what not to.
I rubbed my face with my palm heaving a deep sigh. I am contemplating whether I should tell her about Arabella.
“I take your silence as a no then.” She gave me her usual disappointed tone. The tone which always makes me feel guilty, even Sebastian was not immune from that tone. That was the reason why we always end up being grounded during our adolescence days, Sebastian always ends up confessing to our crimes.
“Mother it is not what you think. I am serious about her, her name is Arabella and we have just started dating.” I confessed. No point in hiding.
“Son that is the most exciting news I have heard in a long time. Should we expect you guys to drop by our place soon?” Her tone full of excitement. My mother can be this headstrong strict woman in one moment and childlike the next.
I smiled relaxing now that she seems to be in her happy mood,” Soon mother. I will inform you and father when I bring her.” I carefully stitched my words. Only when Arabella is ready then will I take this step.
“Of course Son. Your father and I will be leaving for Dublin this coming Friday. So I expect you for dinner on Thursday, you can bring Arabella if you want to. But no pressure take your time.” She assured.
“I will mother. Mother, I have to go now, I need to make a quick stop at the office before I go to the airport. I’ll see you on Thursday. Say hi to father.” I raced through my words as I stepped out of the car.
“Sure son. Take care and have a safe flight. Do give my love to Sebastian. Bye.” She said.
“I will mother. Bye.” I replied and hung up the call.
Once I got inside the building of the office. I went straight to my office room where Sebastian was waiting for me.
We discussed on the last minor details which needed to be taken care of since I had already furnished all the major details yesterday. After I was done briefing him, I left for the airport with Arthur, leaving Janis behind with Sebastian to assist him.
After traveling for hours feeling heavily jet-lagged I finally reached Canton, Ohio late in the evening and to add to my fatigue the hotel that Janis booked for me which was supposed to be the best in the area was really not my cup of tea. But I sucked in and settled down anyway.
I didn’t care where I slept as long as I see her.
I left the hotel for her place feeling excited and nervous at the same time. Excited to meet her, but extremely nervous to meet her Grandfather.
And I was right to feel nervous because I was greeted by a hostile over-protective Grandfather.
As the hand of the clock ticked by above the fireplace of the living room, I grew more and more nervous. The emerald green eyes that stared back at me matches that of a hawk possessively guarding its nest.
“So you are the one that has been sending my Granddaughter the flowers for this past two days.” He stated. His face devoid of any emotion, the only movement from him was his hand running on his white Galway beard as he sat opposite me.
“Yes, Sir.” I agreed. I have never been this nervous in a long time. It was like I was the defendant and he the jury determining whether I was worthy to be in his Granddaughter’s life.
“Bold I might say to declare your presence in my Granddaughter’s life to me that way.” He looked at me with a somber expression and continued speaking,“Listen, Son. Let me just get straight to the point. I don’t like beating around the bush.” He paused letting his words to linger on.
Nodding my head,” Go ahead, Sir.” I prised myself to hear whatever he had to say to me. And when he is done talking I will try my best to put all my intentions towards Arabella on the table. And hopefully, when I am done he will stop looking at me like I was the villain.
“What are your intentions towards my Granddaughter. Are your intentions honorable or you are here to mess around with her. Tell me truthfully, I can tell when people lie like the back of my hands. And mind you I hate liars.” His tone lethal and challenging.
“With all due respect, Sir, I assure you, my intentions towards Arabella is nothing but honorable. I’m in love with her and I want to build my future with her. I respect her and will always treat her with respect, kindness, and love.” I assured him holding his hard gaze unflinching to show him I mean business and I was here to stay in her life.
The air around us became thick and heavy as he sat there digesting the words I fed him. The silence was deafening.
Suddenly he did the most unexpected thing, he gave me a good bashful smile getting up from his seat and walked towards me. I stood up abruptly very confused at his changed demure.
He pulled me into a half hug patting my back and released me,” Thank you for your honesty, Son. I am sorry if I appeared rude, but I can’t let you slide by without the proper interrogation now could I.” He cocked his left brow and let out a rich laugh.
I returned his smile but tried not to appear too at home,” I understand, Sir. It is only natural for you to be wary of the man who is dating your Granddaughter.”
Within a second returned his hard gaze,” But I won’t be this smiley and welcoming if you ever hurt her.” He warned.
“Honestly, Sir, as an imperfect human being, I might unintentionally hurt her. But I assure you I would never hurt her intentionally. I will always cherish her.” I assured him. Hoping he would not misunderstand the words I spoke just now. I don’t want to be the cliche type and tell him I would never hurt her when it is not guaranteed. I want to be as honest as I can to him, I feel he deserves nothing but the truth from me.
“Fair enough. Now, why don’t we sit outside on the porch, it will be nice to enjoy the evening breeze. Would you like a beer?” He offered.
“Sure thank you.” I smiled and walked towards the porch holding the gift bag as he went to fetch the beer for us.
Once taking a seat on one of the cane chairs on the front porch. I breathed a sigh of relieve. It was like as if I have just lifted the heaviest weight off my shoulder.
“Here,” He offered me the pine as he took the chair opposite me.
“Thank you,” I said and took a large gulp of the beer.
As I began to feel relaxed I suddenly realized I haven’t given the gift I got for him. With all the intense interrogations I didn’t get the chance.
Handing the gift bag towards him,“Sir, I got something for you. I hope you will accept it.”
Waving his hand casually,” Call me Adam. I think we are past the formalities now. And you didn’t need to trouble yourself with buying gifts for me, Son.” He said smiling.
“It was no trouble at all. I heard from Arabella that you like playing chess so I got one for you.” I simply put it as if I didn’t put Janis through hell to get the chess set that was not too over the top but speaks of top quality and luxury none the least. I am happy with her pick, she got the perfect set made of the luxury wood Ebony.
“Why thank you so much. That is very thoughtful of you.” He said as he unwrapped the Chess set.
Sighing another breath of relieve I took a sip of the beer, wondering why Arabella was taking so long to come.
I hope that Guy was not flirting with her. I would beat the life out of him if he tries anything with her.
“What say we settle for a game while we wait for Ell.” Adam offered taking a sip of the beer.
“Sure I would love to.” Saying that I pulled my chair closer to the center table. I got the black pieces and he made the first move with the white.
Twenty minutes down the game. We were interrupted by the parking of a car in the driveway of the house.
“That’s Ell I think.” Said Adam and we both stood up.
I saw a guy climbing out of a silver sports utility truck and walked towards the front passenger door to open it. The moment the car door opened I saw her climbing down from the truck, smile spread across her face.
That heart flattering smile of hers.
But her smile was directed at him and I could feel my possessive jealousy soring up in high voltage.
A boy may be roughly the age of five or six climbs down from the backseat of the car. I saw Arabella holding the little boy’s hand and that guy holding the other. They looked like a proper domesticated picture perfect family from where I was standing.
Fucking shit!!! I exploded in my head.
“Damn it!” I cursed under my breath.
“Settle down Son. It’s healthy to have some competitions sometimes.” chuckled Adam standing beside me on the left as he patted on my shoulder. Seething with mad jealousy I forgot of his presence.
Embarrassed I chuckled looking down thrusting my hands into my pants pockets.
The boy was hopping and chattering away as Arabella gave him her whole attention. So she hasn’t still noticed my presence as they came closer to the porch. But that guy saw us and he gave me a curious look. And I gave him a stoic look.
“Hey Ell. You have a visitor.” Shouted Adam.
This made her shift her attention towards us. Her eyes widen in surprise and I found myself smiling at her as she grinned at me.
“Dominic.” She called my name and walked towards me with the others.
“Surprise,” I said and gave her a playful smirk enjoying her shocked expression.
But what she did got me totally off guard. She launched herself at me and gave me a tight hug. I hugged her back, wanting so badly to kiss her.
The clearing of the throat by Adam broke our hug. I saw her blush deeply, I think both of us were surprised by her display of affection.
I didn’t mind it at all, in fact, I crave for it. I welcome it.
“Sorry.” She muttered softly tugging her hair behind her ears. A habit of hers I noticed when she was nervous.
Facing towards the others she introduced us,” Dominic meet my friend Nathan and his son Steve.”
I smiled and shook the hand of the little boy,” Hello Steve. It’s nice to meet you.”
“Nice to meet you too, Sir.” He smiled shaking my hand. Except for his dark hair and grey eyes, his features were exactly like his father.
Releasing my hand from Steve’s I turned my attention to the guy who appears to be a little shorter to me by an inch or more. Better I voiced out in my head as I enjoyed towering over him and shook his hand. I intentionally squeezed his hand tightly which made him grimace a bit but it quickly disappeared as he chuckled shaking my hand,“Pleasure to meet you, Dominic.” He grinned.
“Pleasure is all mine Nathan.” My tone flat. I was not returning his grin.
“Why don’t we all settle down and catch up eh! Looks like there is a storm brewing in the sky.” Adam declared pertaining to look up at the sky, but I knew he was not talking about the weather.
It’s going to be a long and difficult hour I thought.