Arsenio Torres was angry, he had intended for a productive day but this goal of his got quashed the moment Dae Jung Park met with an accident. He had hoped for a lucrative deal, a very small sum for a very profitable private island. Most people understood such issues, politely rescheduled the meeting but Arsenio wasn’t that man. He played with the paper weight in his hand and blew a breath out of his mouth. He was tempted to throw the rock across his desk and on the wall but refrained from doing so.
A knock on his door brought him back from his frustrating train of thought and he turned to the door. Schooling the features on his face he muttered a faint yet clear ‘come in’. His secretary entered the room, Sawyer, a scrawny man with a pinched face but definitely one of his best finds, an extremely intelligent man with an understated physique and an eagle’s eye.
“I heard about what happened with Mr Park,” Sawyer said. His voice sounded clipped and clear as usual.
“If it weren’t for civic etiquettes I would have made him sign the island to me right on the operation table. It is difficult to be polite. I reckon you must have sent a bouquet of flowers in my name,” Arsenio drawled, now playing with the paper weight.
“I think you must definitely pay him a visit,” Sawyer suggested.
“Is that so?”
“Absolutely Sir, your competitor Mr Roman Black is already using those very civic etiquettes that you loathe to buy the island from Mr Park and if I were to believe the rumour that is floating, Roman is ready to pay thirty per cent more than what you are offering,” Sawyer said.
Arsenio gritted his teeth and nodded, Sawyer closed the door on his way out. Playing with the paper weight Arsenio began humming a tune, the paper weight was an extremely beautiful crustal, pink and rough at the same time, but he didn’t care because in the very next moment he threw the worthless rock at the dark grey wall in front of him. Seething heavily he stared at the wall, not one mark left, not one crack marring the pristine wall, the colour of which closely matched his dark mood.
He picked his coat and walked out of the office.
“Get the car ready, we are paying Dae Jung a visit,”
He strode through the hospital corridors, following a nurse who led him to Dae Jung’s room. The entire car ride was tense; he wouldn’t like it if the island got out of his hands. There was just so much hope lying on this visit, he could already imagine his luxury resorts on the plush tropical island.
He entered the hospital room and saw Dae Jung flipping through a fashion magazine. Arsenio could combust at the sight in front of him, here he was aging with every thought about his precious island but the owner himself looked so calm and composed.
Of course he would be calm and composed; the loser is getting offers from other people now. Arsenio was sure Dae Jung would rub this in his face like butter to the bread. He forced his ugly anger down and kept an impassive face.
“How are you doing Dae Jung?” Arsenio asked.
Dae Jung, the Korean real estate magnet looked up and gave him a nice warm smile but Arsenio could see the malice that hid in his eyes, he wanted more, the idiot wanted more than what was being offered to him.
“Thank you for visiting me Mr Torres, I was not expecting you,” Dae Jung said feigning surprise.
“Well, this is not just business is it? We are friends too Dae Jung and please call me Arsenio,” Arsenio said smoothly. This island better be his, he was not the one to ever offer smiles and polite conversations. But he knew Dae Jung Park was big on these things and so he had to let go of his anger and be a smart politician for once.
“I don’t do friends Mr Torres; in fact I only call my family members by their first names. You see familial bonds are difficult to break, you can enjoy an informal conversation with them,” Dae Jung simpered.
What was that supposed to mean?
“I am sure Dae Jung but do consider me a family after all…”
“I have a condition for Mr Torres, I was hoping of informing you about it the moment you showed an interest for the island. I am sorry but I never got around to mentioning it,” Dae Jung said. Arsenio searched his face and immediately realised this to be a trap, he had intentionally decided to keep this information from him.
“Don’t look at me like that Mr Torres; I am sure you would want to hear this. You see if you agree to this condition you will get the island for free.”
Now he was all the more careful, what did this man have up his sleeve?
“What are you getting at Dae Jung?”
“Well this is an opportunity which will make me call you by your first name,” Dae Jung said.
“I am not here to waste my time Dae Jung, get to the point,” Arsenio snapped. He was in no mood to be a pretentious man now.
“I have a niece Mr Torres, her mother died eight years ago and in her will she left the clause that all of her property, including the island will become her husband’s. The groom was of course to be chosen by her Uncle, which is me.”
Arsenio processed his words. Was he selling off his niece?
“And you are in a hurry to get rid of her, I believe,” Arsenio drawled.
“Of course, I am an old man and I have to decide her future and fast. Her name is Plum; she is a sweet girl, very pliant and innocent. You can marry her and get the island, I am also sure you can very well carry on being with your mistresses; my niece won’t say a word. I can guarantee you that, Mr Torres,” Dae Jung said. Now his ugly motive could be seen clearly on his face. He was getting rid of his niece, dumping the silly girl on Arsenio.
He wanted the disgust to hit him but it didn’t, instead he found himself considering the offer, the offer that if accepted could end up in him getting married. Did he want a wife? He could easily get her an apartment of her own, she could live her life and he his.
Maybe that was what he intended on doing.
“I suggest you make the decision a bit faster Mr Torres, there are other suitable suitors as well,”
“Why are you offering your niece to me?”
“I am might be cruel for getting her married like this but even I know that she is a precious gem, one that I would offer to the one that has the power and the command in the business world. You are a perfect fit but don’t let that get to you. Mr Roman Black is not very far off and he even promised that she would be kept happy,” Dae Jung shrugged.
Arsenio Torres almost snarled but simply nodded.
“I would like to meet her,” he said, “Sawyer will get back to you with all the details.”
All Dae Jung could do was smile and nod.
“Sir what do you think?” Sawyer asked.
“It is a tempting offer, I would like a copy of that will first of all, I want to see all the clauses myself,”
Sawyer simply submitted the file to him; this is why he liked Sawyer, always two steps ahead.
“Sir, if I may suggest, then you should definitely continue with this marriage,”
Arsenio motioned for him to continue.
“I have already read through all the clauses and even had it checked with our lawyer, her property will be in your name as soon as you two get married. However, if you choose to separate then the property will still be yours,” Sawyer said. There was a hungry glint in Sawyer’s eyes matching Arsenio’s very own. It was too tempting a deal to be passed on, Plum Park’s mother was indeed a foolish lady.
“Well, I think I should have a ring for this occasion shouldn’t I?” Arsenio smirked and Sawyer nodded.
An hour later he stared at all the exclusive rings in front of him. If he was getting married then he might as well get a good ring, he was not cheap and was not afraid to splurge. A good ring was the least he could offer after all she was bringing in that property of his that he wanted.
He wondered what she would be like; he hoped she was as pliant as her uncle had described her as. He didn’t want a nag.
He picked a ring, a sapphire on a platinum ring. He frowned and placed it back.
He ran his eyes across all the rings in front of him when one caught his eyes. It was a marquise shaped pink diamond set in a gold ring. The diamond was big and it was beautiful, for some reason he felt that it would suit Plum, based on what Dae Jung had said about her.
“Tell me about this one,” he said to the jeweller.
“Sir this is a 12.03 carat pink diamond, very rare and a very good investment as well. The marquise cut is rare and it is also internally flawless. It is a very good choice sir,” the jeweller explained.
“I will take it,”
Now the only occasion he waited was for him to slip this ring in Plum’s finger.
The jeweller nodded when at the same time Sawyer entered.
“I have arranged the yacht for today’s dinner date, Sir,” Sawyer said.
A smile came on Arsenio’s lips as he found himself looking forward to the date.