Suddenly, Alan said, “Take him with you.”
Cordy did a double take, thinking she had misheard.
She looked up at Alan, and saw a glimmer in his eyes-the glimmer of compromising
with what life brought.
Even if he was already seventy and confined to a wheelchair, he remained healthy
and spirited, just as he was elegant and imposing. She didn’t think that the day would
come when life had him beat, since she was convinced that even if age wore him
down, his spirit would always remain staunch.
“Dicky will live with you from now on,” Alan repeated.
“What about you?’ Cordy did not say no-because she could not.
Moreover, if Alan made that choice, he must have given it due consideration.
“I’ve lived long enough, and it’s time I let go,’ he said somberly. “I once desired and
demanded too much, and my family had flourished as I foresaw it would…but nothing
good came out of years of autocratic leadership. Maybe I was mistaken from the
There was no doubt about it.
For a great man to say something like that, he had well and truly succumbed to fate.
Even as Alan continued, his eyes seemed to well with tears. “I was the one who sent
John’s parents abroad for a business discussion, and they’d neve have died in that
accident if not for me. I was the one who stubbornly denied Jay a relationship with
Zoe, which was why he had that accident. If only I could set aside pride and prejudice
to let Zoe stay with us, Jay would’ve been content with staying in the manor. So much
tragedy could have been avoided.’ i
“Jay’s situation had nothing to do with you…” Cordy tried to assure him.
Alan simply shook his head, claiming responsibility for all sins.
“And now, there’s John. If I didn’t stubbornly force him to marry Jessica Stuart and
supported him instead, he wouldn’t have to resort to such radical efforts to have his
Cordy didn’t know what to say, because Alan was well and truly being crushed under
the pressure of life. He aged decades in a split second.
“I’ll travel abroad and stay with Jay while he’s being treated. That leaves
Nancy and Cora, so I’d be leaving most of Levine Ventures’ affairs in Nancy’s hands.
She might not be able to manage, however, since her focus had never been in
Alan sounded indifferent, as if he suddenly did not care about an enterprise as grand
as Levine Ventures, while appearing more open- minded now. ‘And if Nancy could not
keep things going, I’ll liquidate Levine Ventures. No more fame or glory—we’ll be
mortals once again, and there just might be less tragedy.”
When one lacked ambition, wealth, fame and influence were a lot less important.
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