Breaking Love Page 64

“Young lady, I have more experience in my pinky finger than you two have together. I know what it takes to win, and since he’s my son, I’m doing everything I can to teach him.”

“Dash doesn’t want to win. He wants to lead. If you continue to cut him down, you might one day wake up and find your company completely liquidated and with one less son.”

“My son would never do something so ludicrous.”

“That goes to show you how you don’t know your son much at all. I can guarantee he would.”

“Dasher! Do you let all of the employees behave this way? I should suspect as much. I knew better than to hand this company over to a child. A man—a winner would never let some little lower class tart act amuck on his behalf.”

I was ready to cut him down when Dash shot to his feet. He guided me into his vacated seat and pressed his hand on my shoulder as a warning to stay. He then straightened his suit jacket before stepping around the desk. He took a confrontational stance in front of his father. From his profile, I could see his jaw clench and unclench and I could tell he was holding back.

I never wanted it to go this far, but I couldn’t say that I was sorry for confronting him. I couldn’t bear to listen to him destroy Dash any longer. Because just as Dash claimed he knew me, I knew him, and I knew that behind the nonchalance and smart comments, Dash was hurting for his father’s approval. It was something he may never win even though he’d more than earned it.

“I’m only going to explain this once so I implore you to listen. She’s not just an employee. She’s damn well not a low-class tart. She’s my friend and she would have been my wife by now if I hadn’t fucked it up, but she may still be my wife in the near future and the mother of my children so show her some respect.”

I was completely floored. My jaw nearly touched the floor. Wife? Children? Had he gone completely insane?

“Show her respect? What about the way she just spoke to me? I am your father! I demand it!”

“She earned it.”

“What do you mean she will be your wife? You’re marrying Rosalyn. Someone of your social and financial stature.”

“I’m not marrying Rosalyn.”

“What are you going on about? You’re engaged. I saw to it myself.”

“Then perhaps you should marry her.”

“You are not calling off this engagement, Dasher.”

“I already have. I broke it off at dinner last night and then I went home to my woman. The spoiled brat who deserves my ring on her finger.”

Dash broke it off last night?

“I would have heard about this.”

“I paid Rosalyn to keep her mouth shut until I was ready to tell. She’s probably in Paris or shopping in Louis Vuitton by now.”

“This is unacceptable.” His father shook his head. “You are proving to be a disappointment.”

“So are you, Dad.”

“Don’t get too comfortable with this new arrangement. I’m going to salvage your fuck-up with the Cordells. You will not be marrying this girl.” He pointed his finger at me and sneered.

“The only thing I won’t be doing is living under your shadow any longer. If you wish for me to run this company, I will, but I’ll do it my way.”

His father stormed out but not before sending me a threatening look. I waggled my fingers and released a snort.

“Well, that was fun,” I said when the door slammed behind him. I tried to walk away, but Dash caught me around the waist and hauled my back up against his chest.

“What the fuck was that, Angel?” He rubbed his nose in the crook of my neck.

“I’m not sure what you mean?”

“Why did you stick up for me?”

“Someone had to do it. You were just sitting there and letting him say what he wanted.”

“He’s my father.”

“Yet you found it necessary to send him packing when he insulted me.”

“I said I would protect you.”

His vow brought me back to reality with full force. Esmerelda was a threat to us all and she terrified me. It wasn’t just because she could kill me, but because she could also harm everyone I loved as she had proven.

I managed to pull away from him and put some space between us. I fully expected him to force me into his arms again and secretly wished for it, but he simply blew out air and sat in his seat.

“I’m fucking trying, Willow.”

Willow. Not Angel.

“I know you are,” I whispered back. I couldn’t look him in the eye. I wasn’t prepared for his fist to slam down on the desk with force. The boom of his fist pounding the wood nearly made me jump out of my skin.

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