The Call of a Lifetime (18+)

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The Offer


The day started happy, exciting. I was on top of the world, floating in space and bouncing on clouds since meeting dad.

Then, as always, things took an ugly turn. The dark ominous matters crawled from their hiding, turning the sky dark and pouring hailstorm of trouble over me. I resigning from my job. If that was not enough, to top it all up, I kissed Xavier.

Adopted shmodopted, my ass.

My compass for men was broken. I was either having phone sex with an engaged man or kissing one related.

My focus on life was already detracked. It was high time I got my bearing in order than go down a road which could only gift me with struggles and pain. Heartbreak and a trip down the liquor lane.


"Dad." I dashed, trotting off the last of the stairs like someone set me on fire. Dad and his guests eyed me with surprise. Maybe because Charles Oswald didn't yet make the world know, he had a daughter.

I broke my run a few feet away from him. "Charles." I called out, waving my hand and pulling him towards the sparsely populated area. I could read him, his eyes. He was churning his expressions to stay clear, calm but called my his name, he was disheartened.

"Sorry for calling you by your name." I surrendered my hand ups. It was uncalled to take it away after what seemed to be the best gift for him.

"It's okay.. whatever is fine by you." Dad was letting me have my time and space to process the behemoth information that fell upon me.

"I need to leave.. I have work tomorrow." I said, trying my best to lie and keep things normal after behaving abnormally, kissing a stranger turned relative.

That's when dad held my elbow, walking us into a secluded room. The empty room was dim lit but I could make out, it was someone's study.

Lowering himself, he whispered. "Weren't you fired my child?"

Oh shoot. My vision roamed the dim place, scanning the desk as I tried concocting a newer story. "Ohh yes. And I need to have a head start on a new job which, cross fingers will be not an 'assistant' role."

Dad was amused. He wiped his face, sliding his kerchief in his pocket before rotating his head. His state at me was intense. Skin deep, I could feel its warmth. Unblinking, dad continued his attack without words.

"What is it?" I wiped my face diligently, smacking the sides of my lips. "Is there something on my face?"

He chuckled, inhaling a long drawn breath. "I was looking at you because even after you know who you are, you are still worried about a job."

My brows bridged. "What do you mean?"

Holding onto my shoulder, he rattled it up. His gaze softened and the rattling did nothing more than sway me back and forth but to him, it made him chuckle.

"You are the heiress to this entire estate and business. You think you will have to job hunt again?"

Although a brief meeting, in this span I felt a true connection between us. In this small time frame, I completely forgot of being raised by just my mother. In this small fraction of time, dad completed his journey of being a father, travelling back in time and replenishing all those silhouettes of his, where I missed him.

"Dad, let me have this. I want to be independent and make it on my own." With pleading eyes, I battered my eyelids. If it worked on mom, it was bound to work on him too.

"Just like your mother," he whispered. His sigh with tightly shutting his eyes, tugged my heart strings. Dad didn't want me to work anywhere, hunt for jobs and beg of resumes to consider me for jobs. But he let go.

He was letting me be me. Which, was the biggest gift he could bestow.

When he lifted his right hand, swirling it in the air as a gesture of letting me have my way, I wanted to tell him it wasn't the end.

"If you think this is the last you see of me, then you have another think coming.. I am very clingy dad.." I hoped he'd understand, it's wasn't just a saying. I really meant it.

"And I want no less child. I want to have my daughter back. Completely. " Intonating his last word, he replied to my content.

"You have me. I just need time and I don't want to take over such a huge empire without experience first."

"You can always learn on the job.." he cajoled, scratching the back of his neck and watching me with his hooded lashes.

I would work for him one day. But not today. Not so soon.

"Dad..Didn't grandpa make you work as a financier before letting you take over?"

He gently lowers his head into his palm before raising it up and meeting my gaze. "You are a good lawyer too."

Boastfully, I croaked, brimming with pride. "I would take that as a compliment."

For what seemed like an eternity, dad held me in his embrace and I clung onto him, drawing his warmth and driving into the pool of fatherly affection and care. I could feel the vast difference between his hold and my mothers'. My mom's embrace was all about love and affection. Dad's was a blanket of protection, something which I craved for a long time while fighting and surviving in this world, alone.

"But for now," I broke contact but the warmth and the protection lingered over. "Let me sort things for myself dad."

He nodded, kissing my forehead.

"Xavier." His voice bellowed through the room and seeped into the halls. I stumbled a step back, hearing it. My heart raced up, thinking about the blunder I committed. Xavier walked in with an air about himself. My eyes betrayed me to match his who stood adjacent to me.

"Will you please drive Arin home?" Dad pointed at me. "I would have but I need to get on a business call."

"At this hour in the night you have to work?" Somehow I found my voice to ask him, ignoring and blocking Xavier's presence.

"We all have to work at all time, Arin." Xavier called my name softly, tilting his head to look at my steering gaze. This was awkward. Infact, it was more than awkward and it was just the begining of my new life.

Like a trailer voice, my mind spoke. Welcome to the new world Arin. Congrats on kissing your relative.

Fighting back the manly voice my brain conjured up to mock me, I defended. "Well I can Uber."

"Ohh come on." The man mocked me, fluttering his lips and leaning near dad to scan me completely while I cowered under his gaze. "The heiress of Oswald won't be Ubering anymore.. Right Uncle!"

I finally muster the courage to turn to him. "Then perhaps a driver can drive me home. I don't want to be more of a burden."

"Uncle, it'd be my pleasure to escort Arin home."

The chivalry was a garb he wore, like enacting a scene from Pride and Prejudice. While he was playing the role of a perfect 17th century man, humble and kind, I wanted to portray mine by kicking him in the nuts, you know the 21st century girl.

"But I don't-"

Dad doesn't let me finish my sentence, interjecting. His hand held down my protests. "It's sorted then. Xavier will take you home."

Dad hugs me again, whispering he'd call me up tomorrow and providing standing instructions to text him once I reach home, even though it's Xavier who was driving me home.

I love the concern he has for me. It spread into my skin and slid into my bones. Affection was a medicine one could take anytime as after mother's death, I craved for it, only to have found it in abundance now.

In the garage, we walked in parallel to an array of cars, lined one after the other. They were vintage. Not that I knew, but it looked like ones which always made the front of those magazines I saw laying decorated on Roger's table.

"This looks amazing." I had my mouth ajar, yet again.

"Uncle likes sports cars which he lets me use." Xavier walked towards one such. "Don't tell me you like sports cars too?"

Crossing my hands over my chest, I answered. "No.. No. I have no clue about them. The only thing I know about sports cars is that they need to have really good horsepower engine.."

Xavier grinned, walking us towards a beautiful black Aston Martin. His chivalrous display continued when he opened the door for me. He walked to the other side, buckling his seatbelt.

"You make everything interesting. Even for me." Xavier husky voice hit my senses.

"Sorry what?" I sound like a kid, unable to decipher his word play. He smiled instead of replying.

I plopped my head outside like a dog, watching the place cruise by. My hair fluttered in the wind and in a long time, I wasn't worried for the tangled mess it would be. I didn't worry for people watching me act deranged. This moment in time was freeing me. The drive, the soft classical music inside the car, emanating from the stereos behind me was diluting my protective walls. I was shedding off my exoskeleton to come into my true form.

Once we reach near the apartment, Xavier shut the engines and unbuckled his seatbelt.

"You don't have to come in." I blurt before he could open the driver's door. He know well, I was employing all means to avoid him.

"I have instructions to take you in and ensure you have safely arrived."

"Well, I have." I pointed to the apartment under which we stood. Passersby look at the magnificent car parked in front of a old dilapidated apartment, eying me with suspicion.

If only I could explain, it wasn't mine.

"You don't-"

Before I could even finish, Xavier has left his seat and opened my side of the door.

Words of gratitude rolled off my tongue before I would hold them back. After all, I was trying hard to avoid him, not entertain.

We walk back in complete silence. I think, both of us at some level did realized our mistake.

But I was wrong to assume that.

Once we stood in front of my door, Xavier turned me, holding my elbow and nudged me against the wall. He moved closer to my body, closest to my face. Lips barely inches apart, he closed his eyes like he was drinking my sight. His cold breath hit my skin, goosebumps trailed over, firing up each nerve in my body.

"You know I don't regret kissing you." He whispered, running the back of his knuckles over the side of my face. I was somehow fighting hard to not lean into it.

"You should." I manage to speak, with him being at such close proximity.

"I don't because I did nothing wrong. I like you from the moment you spoke. I don't have any problem kissing a woman whom I like."

"Well I don't like you."

Pfft. Lie. I did too. But I wouldn't admit to it. After all, I was trying to stay out of trouble, not on or under it.

Xavier seems to have caught up too. "Liar." He aired his words, brushing a stand of hair which irritated my face.

There is no more space between our lips. Barely, they touch each other. I was leaning in, ready to be taken over with the sparks running wild over my skin. Somewhere the last of my resistance strings held on.

"I am not lying," came out as a whisper.

"Kiss me." He moves his body too close to mine. I resist any temptation raising inside of me.

"No," could barely make out of my mouth before Xavier bunched my hair in his fist. I lean in for another kiss, transporting me back to the state of trance, I resisted for so long.

I know I needed to have better control but damn it, it was hard. It was swimming upstream, diving into a frozen lake and holding onto one's breath even when it hurt. Resisting Xavier was all those things combined.

Thankfully, the ringing in my coat pocket pulls me back to reality. I push him off slowly.

"I.. attend.. call." Although I couldn't make a proper sentence, Xavier understood what I meant and kissed my knuckles before descending down the stairs.

Before loosing sight, he turned back and winked at me with a devilish grin decorated on his face.

I picked up the call, closing my eyes to the experience. It pulled the ground beneath me. The forbidden temptation of a man.

"Hello." I let it out softly without even noticing the caller. I push the door open and hear a deep breath before the words emerged.

"Come back."

I recognized that voice and my body stood in attention as I glanced all over the place for my other phone. Once I traced my night calling phone on the table, I knew it's Roger whom I'd be talking to. Not Master.

"What do you mean?"

A droopy voice aired its words. "I shouldn't have let you go. I realize my mistake."

"But you did. And you were ready to fire me if I didn't make it to work today." I countered. He took a deep breath while I waited for him to speak further. He didn't. "Well then it was nice talking to you Roger."

"Wait.." another long deep breath aired through the speaker like he was practicing some kind of yoga.

"Go on.".

"I shouldn't have let you go and I shouldn't have been so harsh on you.."

I loved the way he is wavering his apology. "And what else?"

"Ohh.. I admit my mistake." he continued.

"Aaanddd..." He didn't pick up on it so I had to make it clearer. "What does one say when they realize their mistake?"

"Come back please."

"Nooo.. another word.. an apology"

"Fine..I am sorry. Please come back.."

Tsst. "I am sorry Arin, I was harsh on you. Please please with cherry on top, come back. I am lost without you.. Say it.." I was biting into my lower lips and holding onto my mouth, hearing his stumble around for words.

"What." another deep breath was released.

I chuckled. "Say all this, if you want me to come back.."

"You think I will say this?"

"Fine. Hope everything works out with Georgia and Dalia.."

"Fine.. fine.." be was by now, practically blowing air into the speaker. At this rate he'd use up the oxygen in the room all for himself. "I am sorry Arin, I was harsh on you. Please please with cherry on top, come back. I am lost without you.."

"And I would give you a raise"

"No! That's ransom.." he fought back

"If you are kidnapped, yes. But this is negotiations."

"God, why do you have to be a lawyer?" Roger's soft growly voice answered. My eyes widened upon realization of his knowledge. I never thought he'd even remember my name, no less what degree I held. "Fine.. 5% increment"



"Rogerrr.." I elongated his name just to make him realize, who had the upper hand.

"Fine.. I will see you tomorrow."



After what seems like a really long apology, I convinced Arin to come back. She was right about one thing. I was lost without her. She was a good assistant.

Knowing Arin would come to work tomorrow and I would be able to get an upper hand on Brandon's lawsuit, I fell back on the chair, leaning back and dialing the call center operator.

"Calling for her. Babydoll.." I instructed.

"She isn't working today." The voice answers.

Why? I wasn't able to speak to her yesterday and it continued today too. Suddenly, I felt lost. Rudderless. One woman and her talk and I seemed to loose all my footholding.

Ending the call, I dialled the one person, who'd always been my last resort.

"Yes Roger." The man answered the call, elated at my call.

"I need a new draft prepared first thing tomorrow. I want to buy out a call-center."



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