Can two walk together except they agree?
The service ran as Adonijah projected, anchored by Adindu. Adonijah kept his eyes on the major players through the course of the proceedings. They were all so lost in the service that none of them noticed when Phoebe slipped into the building during the worship session. She sat with the choir but hid at the back row, remaining there until the choir was called to minister.
Adonijah’s smiled to himself, adjusting his sitting position for the shockwaves that were about to pass over all concerned.
“Today, we have a special minister in the house,” the choirmaster announced as the choristers prepped for their ministration. “I was once privileged to work under her some twenty-something years ago. Anointed woman of God, I tell you. When she came to me a little over a week ago and gave me the good news that she was returning to BCC, I was shook in the spirit.”
The congregation responded in mirth.
“Yes o. Not everyone can do that to me. But this woman did. Seeing her stirred my soul into worship. Just like that!” He snapped his fingers for effect. “Yeah, she does that to you. She is that anointed, and I am blessed to have her here this morning. Blessed to be a partaker of the grace she operates in. So, everybody, join me in welcoming the one and only anointed Prophetic Singer Phoebe Matthews!”
Applause took the air but Adonijah could pick out the thick hush that fell on Papa who was seated beside him as Phoebe emerged from hiding. She came forward under the atmosphere of a cheerful welcome and took the microphone handed to her.
“Somebody give the Lord a hand!” she said into the microphone. In response the congregation applauded again.
“I don’t think there are worshippers in this house this morning!” she exclaimed. “If the Lord has been good to you this past week, if he has saved you from some unnamed illness, if he has clothed you and put a meal on your table, if he has preserved your life while a thousand fell on your side and ten thousand on your right hand, you will not be sitting on your seat, looking at me! You will be on your feet right now, giving him a Holy Ghost shaking, earth-shattering, earsplitting shout of joy!”
And the church went crazy.
Adonijah joined in the frenzy, not to his God but to Phoebe whom he hardly recognized. Her makeup, formfitting white gown, red stilettos and hairstyle repackaged her and restored years of lost youth to her looks. Standing there, she was the Phoebe from Papa’s past. He couldn’t have asked for anything better. When Priscilla told him a long time ago that Phoebe was someone who could be anything she wanted to be at a whim, he hadn’t taken her seriously. Now, he was wondering what this version of Phoebe did with the woman he had spoken to earlier.
He gave Leye a glance and saw him speaking into his wife’s ear, both of them staring at Phoebe.
“Okay, before we tear down the house,” Phoebe went on, calming the excited congregation, “I just want to thank the choirmaster and my sisters and brothers in the choir for letting me do this with them. It is an honor.” She bowed. “But I particularly want to thank our general overseer, our Papa, the one and only professor, our dearest Doctor George Adekunle Omotosho. I want to thank him for being a huge blessing in my life.”
Papa smiled, adding a little nod.
“Yes, I left BCC for a while, but it was only to fulfill a calling elsewhere. Now that I’m done with that, I am back. And back for good.”
Papa’s smile vanished.
“This morning, I want to do a little song called ‘I’m Still Here’. I’m sure you know it. It’s a song that has blessed my heart. Being away from BCC cut me off from the love and protection that I got under the wings of Papa. And to be honest, I suffered a great deal. But because the bible says that when the enemy rises up like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord puts up a standard against him, I was spared. They took me, dug a ground and buried me but they didn’t know I was a seed!”
More cheers from her audience.
“So, this morning you’re going to join me in reminding the devil and all the people that stand in the way of your progress and success… you’re going to tell them that you ain’t going nowhere! You’re still here! We’re still here! Hallelujah!”
The keyboardist struck the opening notes of the song she was about to sing and the choir began. It was a typical African-American church tune in which a soloist led and the choristers responded. But it didn’t take long for the congregation to be caught in the fever. Phoebe was in her place of comfort. She worked her magic into the crowd without effort, leaving them hyped in the spirit. It took Papa to climb the stage before calm was restored in the building. He was there for his prepared sermon but Phoebe’s uninvited, unexpected manifestation had thrown him off. Hence, he chose to end the service abruptly.
“Sister Phoebe has blessed us already, and I think adding anything to her ministration would be overkill. So I’ll call on Pastor Love to close the service with a short prayer session.”
He put the microphone down and returned to his seat as Love took over. Some thirty minutes later, he was having a closed door meeting with Priscilla in his office.
“You assured me when I called you last week that Phoebe would be handled, Priscilla. What is she doing here?” he asked in an unruffled manner.
“Honestly, Papa, I don’t know. I almost had a heart attack when the choirmaster called her name. I had no idea she was doing this or I would have stopped her.”
“Now, she wants to start fellowshipping here?”
Priscilla slapped the back of her hand against the palm of the other in helplessness.
“Fix this, madam,” he ordered, pointing a finger at her. “I don’t want to see her on these grounds again. Fix it.”
“Yes, sir. I will. I’m so sorry, sir.”
He gestured her out and just as she was leaving, Leye walked in.
“That woman is going to be a problem, dad.” He shut the door. Papa left his seat and opened a mini fridge in the corner to get a bottle of water.
“Did you know about her return?”
“She didn’t come to you…?”
“She did.” Papa shut the fridge and faced his son. “She visited me at home. I can’t give you the details of what we discussed or the circumstances surrounding that visit but what happened today was not in the discussion. She never hinted that she was returning. I’m as knocked over as you are.”
“You have no idea what she wants?”
After having his first sip of the freezing water, Papa shook his head. “No.”
“We have to find out what she wants and fix this mess…”
“Leave it to me.”
“No, dad. Nothing is going to be left to you. You’ve done enough damage to your reputation and the family’s. Just stay away from her. If she shows up here or at the house, ensure that you’re not alone with her.”
“You think I’d end up doing something with her?”
“I don’t know, dad. I just don’t want you near her. Can you do that?”
“Can you start addressing me with a little respect?”
“Can you do that, sir?”
Leye left and Papa took his chair once more. He lost taste for the water he was drinking. Resting his back on his chair, he sat in silence, listening to the normal buzz of activity outside his office. He heard a few knocks on the door but ignored them. Some persons ventured to poke their heads in without invitation but he sent them away, claiming to be under the weather. He lost track of time and when he finally decided to reconnect with the world, he saw that it was almost 3pm and nearly everyone had vacated the premises.
He picked his suit and phone and left the building. His chauffeur was waiting in the car park. Papa sat in the back of his car and gave him directions to his next destination. It wasn’t far from the church. It was a small compound that housed two apartments. Papa walked in through the gate and was almost knocked to the ground by a group of kids playing. Wearing a patient smile, he waited until they had run past him before he aimed for the apartment at the back. A BCC poster on the front door with a winking smiley promising that 2017 was going to be a year of staggering harvest welcomed him.
He rapped on the door twice. Seconds after, Alice was staring at him with a mix of surprise and annoyance on her face.
“Good afternoon, sir.”
The staring continued.
“The sun is hot outside, Alice.”
She opened the door wider and let him into the house. When he entered, she offered him a sofa which was blessed with quite a number of throw pillows of different sizes and colors.
“I just made pineapple juice. You care to have some?”
Alice disappeared into her kitchen and returned shortly with a small fancy jar of pineapple juice in which she had dunked in a stripped straw. Papa smiled at the quaintness of the presentation.
Alice gave no smile or response. She sat on an armless lounger, her long legs sticking out of a pair of ripped jean shorts. She had a yellow t-shirt on that did a bad job of trying to hide her nipples and the size of her breasts. Papa had always suspected she was blessed upstairs but had never known how much until today.
“How are you? You’ve been mad at me for two weeks.”
“With good reason.”
“I saw you leaving the church early.”
“Would you blame me? Your girlfriend almost left me puking on myself.”
“My girlfriend?” Papa had an amused expression. “Is that what you think Phoebe is to me?”
“Well, she once was and now she’s back to take her place.”
“Alice, trust me, I didn’t know she was going to show up today and do all she did.”
“I hear you. The last I saw her she was in your house.”
“You brought her to my house.”
“And I left her there with you…”
“Because you were too angry to let me tell my own side of the story. You had taken all she had said and judged me without giving me a fair hearing.”
“Was anything she said a lie? Weren’t you having an affair with her while you were married?”
“Ehen! So which one is that I judged you? It was all true and I was disgusted, George. You are not the man you claim to be. I was highly disappointed and heartbroken. That was why I left. And then she probably opened her legs for you again and you brought her back to the church.”
Papa quietly sipped his juice, noting the sting in Alice’s voice. It left something good in him. It meant she cared about him, that there was some feeling there.
“Prophetic singer my ass!” she went on as she packed her hair in a chignon. “I’m sure she sang all sorts in your bed that night.”
Papa chuckled silently.
“You’re laughing? It’s funny to you? Do you realize who you are, sir? Do you know the number of people who look up to you and how you affect their lives? I don’t think you do, because if you did, you won’t be doing what you’re doing with that woman.”
“Alice, calm down.”
Papa put his juice on the center table and leaned forward. “Will you let me talk now and stop painting terrible images in your head about me?”
“I’m not painting…”
“Alice Monoyo, allow me speak.”
Papa then recounted his own version of his affair with Phoebe. He also confessed his other sins to Alice, cleaning out his entire closet. His lurid tales left her in tears.
“But all that’s gone now, Alice. I’m no longer that man. I’m sincerely changed and there’s no day that I don’t regret my past. Phoebe’s reappearance is my sins catching up with me. The time has come for me to pay for everything I’ve done. And let me be honest here, I’m scared. I don’t know what storm Phoebe will cause; I don’t know how far she’ll go. But none of that bothers me as much as losing you, Alice. What I feel for you is beyond my control, and I think you’re my first real love.”
“Or just the one you’re trying to use to cancel out your wickedness to the other women you neglected.”
“Maybe, but it doesn’t mean that what I feel for you is less. I love you, Alice. It’s crazy to feel this at my age.” He laughed to himself. “But I do. It’s a feeling that gives you wings.”
“No, Redbull gives you wings,” Alice sniffled with a smile as she wiped a tear from her eyes. He laughed once more.
“It’s hard to be angry with you, George.” She pouted.
“But you’ve been angry for two weeks, refusing to pick my calls or reply my messages.”
“Because all I have to do is listen to you talk or see you dressed all dapper and I fall. You have to confess that not all you’ve just said here was out of love. You employed some psychology as well.”
Papa picked his juice jar. “Maybe a little. You can’t blame a man for trying. But the truth is I never really loved my wife. I was infatuated by her beauty and refinement. Plus, there was this mad rush for her and I needed to beat the other guys to it. It wasn’t until after a couple of years before I realized I felt nothing for her. And as time went on, even after her death, it was hard for me to fall in love with anyone else… Until you came and made it so easy for me that I had to deny my feelings a lot of times just to be sure.”
“Keep washing me.”
He called her over. When she went to him, he returned the jar to the table. She sat and covered her chest with a throw pillow.
“So, I have something for you in my house, waiting right inside my bedroom.”
She slanted a brow.
“It’s not what you think it is.”
“What do you think I think it is, old man?”
“Stop being a naughty girl, Alice.” He pinched her nose. She took his hand and held it in hers.
“So do you want to follow me home to find out what this thing is?”
“As long as it doesn’t hurt.”
“Go and change. I’ll be waiting in the car.”
“Or you can just drive home and I’ll meet you there in a bit.”
He left the house as she disappeared into her room. When he entered his car, he gave instructions to his chauffeur to take him home. As the luxurious vehicle trundled down the street in smugness, Papa typed out a message to his three daughters in a Whatsapp group called Papa’s Angels, named so by Ayo.
-I’m proposing to Alice, girls. I’m finally doing it. Wish me luck
He put his phone beside him and stared outside. His world was about to crumble, but he was a man in love who believed that somewhere there was a landing of feathers waiting for him when he would eventually hit the ground.
She left him on his knee longer than he had expected. Her brows were drawn together in a frown as she gawked at the impressive diamond ring he had thrust before her. He didn’t know what to make of her expression. This wasn’t the reaction he was expecting.
“I think I’ve been on this knee for approximately four minutes. All I need is a yes or no answer to ‘will you be my fiancée?’ ”
“It’s not so easy, George. I want to say yes.”
“Then say yes.”
“I can’t. There are so many things flying in my head right now.” She began to amble about. “If I take that ring and wear it, people will begin to talk and say all sorts of things about us. They might even conclude that we’ve been fornicating.”
“What?” Papa laughed.
“And let’s not forget Phoebe. She reappeared in your life and I’m guessing it’s not to ask about how you’ve been faring. She probably wants you back. And then she comes to hear that we’re engaged. What do you think she’ll do? She’ll lose it and expose your past. And how about Leye? He never wanted me in your life from day one. How do you think he’ll take the news?
“I’m not done, George, Please don’t interrupt me.”
“Have you ever considered the age difference? You’re sixty-seven and I’m thirty-four. You are thirty-three years older than me. Thirty-three. This means that when I hit my fifties, you’ll be in your eighties. Nothing like both of us ageing together. You’ll die one day and I’ll become a widow. I don’t want to be a widow. I don’t want you to die.”
“Me too, I don’t want to die.”
“And there’s the issue of sex.”
“What?” He tried not to laugh, this time, seeing that she was serious. “How am I sure you can still have an…erection?”
He gave up his one-knee pose and rose up. “I’ll just sit here and wait for you to be done.”
She stopped pacing as he sat on his bed. “Can you still have an erection without the help of Viagra?”
“I need to know. I don’t want to be pushed into a situation that I’ll need a surrogate dick in the future.”
Papa fell back on his bed in humor.
“It’s not funny, George. You need to answer that.”
“Will my word alone suffice?”
She went quiet.
“We’re not going to have a ‘show not tell’ situation here, Alice, because of what might happen…”
“No, I’m asking for that. God no. I’m just… I need to be sure.”
“Alice, I’m all man.” He sprang up. “My health is in good shape. I started taking care of myself in my thirties when my father died suddenly in his prime. Since then, I’ve been on a mostly vegetarian diet. I exercise well, I have a straight posture, I take care of myself obsessively. You know this. You have nothing to be scared of. I may not be able to run a marathon with you every day but trust me when I say that you will have no need for a surrogate penis. And I think if we have a good head start now, we’ll be able to make up for time lost.”
“George…” She made a pout.
“That’s if you say yes.”
Their eyes fell on the ring at the same time. He saw her soften.
“You promise not to cheat on me?”
“And you’ll be a good father to our kids?”
“I’m at my retirement age. It’s the best time to be a parent.”
“And you’ll never stop loving me?”
“I couldn’t, even if I tried.”
She sat facing him and held out her left hand. “Yes, I’ll be your wife.”
He took her hand and slipped the ring on her fourth finger.
“Kiss me, George.”
He went for her lips but didn’t taste them without teasing her with his breath first. It was she who dove in hungrily, pushing herself into him as their lips did a harmonious waltz in their mouths. It was a kiss laden with emotion and passion, more intense than the other they had had. It awoke dormant desires in Alice, and she would have acted on them had Papa not pulled away and taken her hands off his chest.
She covered her face. “Oh God. What got into me?”
“Can I take permission to show you proof of my masculinity?”
“How?” she frowned.
“Permission first. No lines will be crossed.”
He took her left hand again and placed on his crotch. He felt a sharp shudder from her but she didn’t withdraw from him.
“Impressive.” She pulled away. “I’ll need a spiritual cleanse after this,” she said, standing up. “But hopefully not for long. How quickly do you want to get married?”
“Ah! Alice!” Papa roared in laughter. “It’s only touch you touched it o!”
“Dirty old man,” she teased, hitting him with a pillow. “But seriously, I think we should get married soon.”
“You’re apprehensive of Phoebe?”
“Afraid of whom? Please! It’s just that you’re not like every other man in the church. You’re Papa, and the moment you announce that you’re engaged, everyone will be all up in your business. In my business too. So I don’t think we should come out as a couple until we’re ready to walk down the aisle. Let’s pull a ‘Leye’ on everyone. I’m thinking we should start making plans.”
He smiled in understanding. Her second reason was not her main reason. She was simply scared of losing him. She wanted to mark and secure her territory. He knew how badly she desired to bear his name. He knew of her dreams to become someone influential. And he didn’t care, as long as he had her in his life to make up for his years of thoughtless living.
“Go ahead and tell your family about me, Alice. I do hope your dad will not object because of the age difference.”
“My dad is married to ten wives, and would have gone for the eleventh had my elder brothers not stopped him. His last two wives are younger than me, so no, he won’t object to me getting married to you. All he wants is for his daughters to have rich husbands, so we’re taken off his care. Not like he ever catered to our needs in the first place.”
“Well, you’re covered in that area, sweetie. I’ll make you so wealthy you’ll come to believe that money actually grows on trees.”
“You enjoy sweet-talking, don’t you?”
“It makes you happy.”
She moved towards him and put her arms around him, kissing his head as he kissed her tummy.
“I should go, George, before things happen in this room.”
He stood up and they were hardly a half-inch away from each other. “Don’t be afraid of Phoebe. She’ll be history soon.”
“I hope so.”
He stroked her chin and left a soft kiss on her mouth. They headed downstairs together.
Waiting for Papa in the living room was Love. When he took a peep in and saw her, he made a frown. He didn’t recall inviting her over, but he reminded himself that she was family and could drop in anytime she wanted.
“Good evening, mommy,” Alice greeted when Love walked over to them. Papa picked out the coldness in Alice’s voice. But Love responded with a warm smile.
“Hi Alice. And please, always call me Love.”
Her eyes fell on the diamond ring and then she looked up with a smile she passed from Alice to Papa.
“Should I say congratulations are in order?”
Papa gazed at Alice who gave him permission to speak.
“Yes.” He put his arm around her waist and took her eyes with adoration. “I just proposed to this charming duchess. And she said yes.”
“Aww,” Love smiled, “congratulations.”
“Thank you,” Alice responded. “But I’m not going to be wearing this until we officially announce it.”
“This means you have to keep it from your husband,” Papa added. “I don’t need his drama right now.”
“If you’ll excuse me for a bit, I’ll walk this beautiful lady to her car.”
“Make yourself comfortable.”
When they left the house, Love entered the kitchen and uncorked a bottle of wine she found on the table. Papa was yet to let her into his heart but she didn’t care. She wasn’t going anywhere, and it was either he fell for her or got used to her imposing presence in his life. As she helped herself to a glass of wine, she thought about his engagement to Alice and found, to her surprise, that she was genuinely happy for the old man. She still didn’t know much about Alice but she didn’t plan on making an enemy out of her, even though she didn’t see them becoming cozy soon.
Papa entered the kitchen. He eyed Love and his uncorked bottle of wine.
“That is vintage, Loveth.”
“Oh?” She stared at the glass in her hand. “I’m sorry, I didn’t…”
“Pour me a glass.”
She picked the bottle, tipped its neck over a spare wine glass and half-filled it with sparkling red wine. When she passed it to him, he said, “Your daddy issues leave you clinging to me so much, Loveth. You find it hard to stay away. Do you want to talk about your childhood?”
She gave him a bemused look. “No.”
He hopped on the table. “Tell me about your father.”
“What’s there to say that you don’t already know? He was a notorious occultist in Yenogoa, responsible for the deaths of many, and he was also known to be one of the patrons of a certain cult that had branches in universities all over the south-south. He had two sons and one daughter. One son is dead, shot in the head by some guy from a rival cult on his birthday in front of his family. The other son is a lunatic, probably possessed by a legion of demons.
“I didn’t really have a childhood. Daddy was always running from something or someone. He had taken my brothers and I to Abeokuta to stay with his girlfriend and he said we’d be safe there but we hardly were. We’d still run from one place to another but we’d return to Abeokuta after a while. I got tired of running and one night when he came to drag me out of bed, I told him I was done, that if they wanted to kill me, I was ready to die. My brother was already dead then, so life meant little to me. That night, daddy looked at me and said, ‘you’re now a man’.”
“A man? What does that mean?”
“God knows. But he began hating me from that moment.”
“Just like that?”
“Possibly because I also told him that I was going to give God a try and that the life we were living was meaningless. That was the year I completed my secondary school. It was also the year I met Leye. I was surprised that we were neighbors and I never noticed him. He introduced me to God and invited me to church, although he said he was giving religion a break then. Leye changed my life.”
“But you married the gay Akonte.”
Love gave Papa a look of surprise. “You knew?”
“His father almost committed suicide when he caught him pants down with a boy in their garage.”
Love gulped down her wine in a go. Papa topped it.
“He called me and a couple of other pastors and asked for our help. We had a deliverance session with the boy.” Papa rolled his eyes. “We then had him sent to a Christian university for a short course after his secondary school. It was just for six months. He returned and was seemingly changed and his father let him study medicine. He dated girls but none of the relationships lasted. You were the only one he took seriously.”
“We had been friends for a long time, and after my first marriage went south, he was there for me. When he proposed, I felt it was the right thing.”
“Well, that’s all in the past. But his death, though. Gas explosion…”
Love stared away.
“Forgive me. I’m sorry for your loss.”
“It’s fine. As you said, all in the past.”
“So, to what do I owe this visit?”
Love cleared her throat. “Papa, I’m here to talk about Phoebe.”
Papa sipped his wine. “And what about her?”
“Papa, I know about everything. I know about your history with her.”
“Of course, Omoleye told you.”
“But she’s not the only reason why I’m here.” Love leaned back on the counter behind her. “I have reason to believe that she’s not acting alone. Everything that happened in church today was coordinated by a mastermind.”
“A mastermind. Hmmm… And who is this person?”
Love unlocked her phone and showed him pictures Najib had taken of Adonijah and Phoebe over the course of two weeks. Papa snorted.
“This means nothing. They’ve known each other for years.”
“Loveth, if you are suggesting that my friend, and a pastor whom I trust with my own life is running things behind me to bring me down, why don’t you just say it?”
“Papa, I strongly feel Adonijah is not a friend and he’s also not to be trusted.”
“My dear, the last time you were here, I recall I gave you two assignments. Do you remember what we discussed?”
“Yes, sir. One, you wanted me to convince Leye to accept the office of the general overseer. Two, you wanted me to get pregnant.”
“Have you done any?”
“I am not in a hurry, sir.”
“I’m slowly getting to that place of annoyance, young lady. Did I not tell you not to meddle with affairs that do not concern you?”
“You did, sir. But…” Love pried out a folded piece of paper from her jean pocket and spread it out before Papa.
“I don’t have my glasses,” he stated.
“This is a log of all the times transfers were made to Adonijah’s account from Priscilla Momoh after she made withdrawals of the same amount from any of the church’s four bank accounts. This arrangement began after your first hospitalization. And the type of money we’re talking about here is not chicken change.”
Papa took the paper and held it up to the light, squinting.
“My investigations also left me having doubts about how all the offerings and tithes and donations are handled. I suspect that not everything gets sent to the bank. Meanwhile, I have names of five account officers in all four banks that are quite chummy with Priscilla.”
“Of course, they are all chummy with her.”
“Chummy, as in three out of the five visit her home regularly.”
“She is the treasurer. She handles all our accounts, Loveth. I can understand you not liking Adonijah but Priscilla? That sweet lady? And seriously, what’s this about? Who gave you the right to investigate anyone in BCC?”
“Papa, don’t get all worked…”
“Did Omoleye put you to this?”
“He is aware that we’re having this conversation right now.”
“I’m not surprised.”
“Papa, we don’t have any ulterior motive…”
“Except that he wants you to be in charge of affairs in the church. And I’m sure you’re crazy about the idea too.”
“It’s for everyone’s good. Right now, we have too many leaders running rogue activities and there’s little order.”
Papa dropped down from the table and faced her. “Things were running smoothly before you came. And they will continue to do so because you will take your nose out of my business and mind your marriage and your husband. Are you pregnant yet?”
“Go home and do the needful. Stop trying to play church politics or you’ll get burned.”
“Phoebe is not here to play, sir. With the stunt she pulled in church today, she seems ready for trouble. And Adonijah will be the one who would gain when the Omotosho family name is rubbished.”
“You’re out of your mind.”
“In order of hierarchy, who takes over from you? Jeremiah? Adonijah? Who? Is there already a set down constitution or does everyone at Bethany Christian Center operate under the Holy Spirit?”
“Now, you’re out of line, Loveth. It’s time to leave.”
Loveth held his eyes for a short time. “You’re my father-in-law and I respect you. Even more than I respect my father. You are a man who has done amazing, remarkable things, despite your flaws. Where you have walked, many men can only dream of going. But please, Papa, do not let the ambition of one greedy man destroy all that God has used you to build.”
“The only person with an ambition here is you.”
“I admit it. I admit that I so badly want to run the affairs of BCC. And that’s because I have grand dreams for the ministry and for this family. But you won’t let me flourish. You won’t even let me pitch my ideas to you.”
“It’s nothing personal, darling. I don’t need new ideas. The church is doing well.”
“The church can do better, Papa. Please, let me–”
“Go home, Loveth. Seriously, you are one stubborn woman, and creepy too. I can see why your father had issues with you.”
Love pulled back. He saw that his words had stung her. But it didn’t stop her from having the last drop of wine in her glass.
“Have a lovely evening, Papa. I sent my proposal to your email alongside other documents that prove all my claims are not unfounded.”
She lifted her phone off the table and left the house via the backdoor. Papa refilled his glass, picked the paper she had given him and announced to his housekeeper who had just walked in that he was retiring for the evening.