• 0 Items - $0.00
    • No products in the cart.

The Tie That Binds

Our marriage was meant to be one of convenience. So when did it all become so…inconvenient?

What was I supposed to do when I found out that my father’s last wish was for me to marry my best friend’s older brother?

I couldn’t say no – if I did, the company my father and I worked so hard to build would fall into the hands of the one person that would burn it all to the ground.

Besides, I couldn’t let my father down. I couldn’t deny him the very last thing he ever asked of me.

Daniel and I were never meant to be so perfect together. We were never meant to fall into bed together, and we were definitely never meant to fall in love. After all – we started our marriage with an end date in sight.

Full length (100k) novel with a HEA. The Tie That Binds made it to Amazon UK and Amazon India’s Free bestseller lists in the first week, under New Adult and Contemporary Romance.

The e-book version of The Tie That Binds is only available on Amazon, so you can’t buy it from me. I’m not allowed to sell it myself, since I have an exclusive contract with Amazon for the e-book version of The Tie That Binds. But as an Amazon Associate, I do earn from qualifying purchases, so buying through the button below is the best way to support me. All of my e-books are in Kindle Unlimited too 🙂

Read the first three chapters of The Tie That Binds

I stare at the priest who morosely preaches about loss, death and heaven. He tells us all how good of a person my father was and that we should rest assured because he’s without a doubt in a better place now. Though I’m certain that it’s true I fail to understand how the priest would know that, considering that my father hasn’t set foot in a church in at least a decade. He was, after all, a devout atheist. My father’s belief in God died the day my mother did.

He would have hated this funeral. It isn’t him at all. Not even remotely. He would’ve wanted a simple ceremony with no more than a handful of people. Instead, I’m standing in a graveyard that’s filled to the brim with people I barely even recognise.

I look around me, my eyes settling on my grandmother. In the days following my father’s sudden passing I’d been so grateful to have her with me. She patted my back and told me not to worry about a thing. And indeed, she’d taken care of everything while I foolishly nodded along to everything she said. I should’ve known better. There’s a reason my father cut her off, after all. A woman who would embezzle from the company my father sacrificed his sweat and tears for isn’t someone I should’ve trusted to honour his final wishes. I regret placing my trust in her. I wish I’d been more on top of things. I told myself that involving her in the funeral would be the right thing to do. That it would give her the closure she’d need to say her farewell to her only son. I was wrong. Based on the amount of politicians and businessmen present it’s obvious that she didn’t even know my father at all, and I’m starting to be grateful for it. 


I blink and look to my right. Dominic, my best friend, has clearly been trying to get my attention for some time. He smiles at me, his eyes as red as mine. Dominic grabs my hand and gently places a rose in it, closing my fingers around the stem.

I look down at it numbly. I know they’re expecting me to drop the rose on top of my father’s casket to signal the start of the burial, but I just can’t make myself do it.

“It’s time, Lyss,” he whispers. Dominic’s mother, Mary, nods at me with tears in her eyes. The only thing getting me through this day is the presence of the Devereaux’s. Without them I’d truly be alone. I guess from today onwards, I really will be.

I stare at the rectangular hole in the ground, my mind blank. I shake my head, panic slowly building in my body. I can’t do this. I can’t say goodbye to the man that has singlehandedly raised me. Who is going to hold my hand when life gets tough and make me the perfect cup of tea when I’m feeling down? My dad will never see me take his position as CEO and he will never walk me down the aisle. I’m not ready to say goodbye. There are too many things we still should’ve experienced together.

A heavy arm is dropped around my shoulder and I look to my left. Daniel. Dominic’s older brother and my father’s co-CEO. If anyone is hurting as much as I am today, it’s him. Daniel tightens his hold on me and gently grabs the hand I’m holding the rose with. He looks at me and I nod. A single heavy tear falls down my cheek as Daniel raises my arm and the rose falls onto my father’s casket. Daniel keeps hold of my hand and clenches it tightly, as though he’s hanging on to me in an attempt to keep it together.

The sound of sobbing fills the graveyard instantly. People I’ve never seen before are holding back sobs and it oddly infuriates me. Where were these people when my father was still alive? When they still had a chance to spend time with him.

The priest drops a small amount of soil onto the casket and suddenly it just feel so finite. I feel an insane urge to demand that everything stops. To claim that my father cannot be gone. I feel panic creeping its way through my body, starting low in my belly until it constricts my throat. My breath is laboured and I can almost feel the hysteria bubble up in my throat. I remember being devastated and sobbing when my mother passed away, but it was different. When the cancer took her we’d known it was coming. We weren’t any more prepared for the day to come, but it was different nonetheless. This time, my dad is just gone. There were no goodbyes and no long talks at night to make sure we told each other everything we needed to. The heart attack ended his life with no warnings. Part of me can’t even fathom that it’s my father lying in that casket. I haven’t even cried since he died. Not the way I did when my mother took her last breath. I haven’t sobbed like the people around me, the way I did when my mother died. My eyes have filled with tears countless times today but I’ve mostly refused to let them spill. Crying would only make it so much more real. You only mourn those that are truly gone. I wonder how long I’ll be able to hold onto this numbness. How long will I be able to hold the panic at bay?

Dominic’s arm wraps around my waist as he starts to lead me back to the parking lot. I let him drag me along absentmindedly, grateful to move away from my father’s grave. The further we get, the easier it becomes to breathe.

To my surprise, Dominic walks me to his brother’s car instead of his own. I stare at it, my heart clenching together painfully. An Aston Martin Vulcan in matte black. The only reason I know the name of the car is because my dad and Daniel picked it out together. They scrutinised and researched every single detail. At one point they even made a cost benefit analysis for the different customisation options. Why they did that is beyond me since the car set Daniel back millions. I didn’t think a couple grand extra would’ve mattered but according to my dad and Daniel it did. The two of them shared a bond I’ve always been jealous of. At times I was certain Daniel was the child my dad wished he had instead of me.

Dominic and Daniel’s father died a few years after my mother did and ever since my dad has embraced the two of them as his own. Daniel more so than Dominic. I guess he thought that Dominic at least had me, while Daniel had no one. I don’t think there’s been more than a handful of days in the last couple of years that my dad and Daniel didn’t see each other. My dad personally trained Daniel until he was ready to take on his father’s vacant seat as his co-CEO. They worked together every day, but outside of work they were more like father and son. I always aspired to have a similar relationship with my dad, but it’s too late for that now.

“Will you take her?” Dominic asks. Daniel hesitates, and truthfully, I don’t want Dominic to leave me right now. I need him with me, now more than ever. I stare at him pleadingly but his eyes are on his girlfriend, Lucy. She’s standing next to his mum with a sweet smile on her face.

I can’t help but feel a bit bitter and hurt about it. I feel foolish for expecting him to stand by me today. Things between us haven’t been what they used to be. Not since my drunken confession a few months ago. Dominic has slowly but surely been distancing himself from me, and I only have myself to blame.

“Pathetic,” Daniel murmurs as we watch Dominic rush towards Lucy. He didn’t even wait for Daniel to agree to drive me home. Nor did he ask me if I’d be okay.

“Must be some magic pussy for him to abandon his best friend on a day like this.”

A tiny smile pulls the edges of my lips up and Daniel grins as he opens his car door for me. I feel relieved to see him smiling at me. Though he hasn’t shed a tear in my presence, his red-rimmed eyes and the bags underneath them tell me that this has been just as hard on him as it has been on me. I’ve never seen Daniel cry or be overly emotional at all. The most emotion he ever shows is his perpetual boredom. His stoic expression has gotten him into trouble more than once. I even vaguely recall one of his ex-girlfriends breaking up with him over it.

“When are we going to discuss everything?” I ask softly, my voice barely above a whisper. Daniel’s hands tighten on his steering wheel. He doesn’t have to ask me what I’m talking about. As my father’s sole heir I’ll be inheriting his 26% shareholding in DM consultancy, the parent company that stands at the top of our conglomerate empire. The Devereaux’s own 25% between themselves while the rest of the shares are distributed amongst other family members and early investors. So long as the Devereaux and Moriani families stay united, we’ll remain in absolute control. 

However, with my dad being gone so suddenly the company is in turmoil. The share price has already plummeted in the few days since his death. On top of that, Vincent, the company lawyer, told us that my dad’s will is very unconventional and that we need to see him as soon as possible lest the company be in peril. He refused to discuss the details over the phone. To make things worse the press has been writing scathing articles about the future of the company now that its visionary is gone. Many have expressed doubts about Daniel’s ability to run the company without my father, adding to the emotional turmoil he’s already feeling.

Truthfully, I fear not only for my own empty and bleak future, but that of the company too. I have full faith in Daniel but I’m not sure how long it’ll take him to become comfortable in his new role. I know better than anyone just how much he relied on my father.

“Not today,” Daniel says, sounding exhausted. “Today is for mourning and honouring the man we all loved. To say our goodbyes and make peace with a devastating loss. The company isn’t going anywhere.”

I nod. I’m grateful Daniel hasn’t set the meeting with Vincent for today. I have no idea how I’m going to deal with that when it comes. I’m sure my father has some sort of unpleasant surprise for me and I’m not ready to face my own inadequacy yet. DM Consultancy was my father’s first love and more often than not I wondered if he loved it more than he loved me. 

“We’re here,” Daniel says, sighing as he parks the car in my driveway. Neither one of us moves. Instead we just sit there in silence as we stare at the countless cars lines up in front of my house. 

“Are you ready?” he asks.

I shake my head. “No,” I answer, my voice breaking. I clear my throat and look out the window.

“But let’s do this anyway.”

All conversation stops when Daniel and I enter my house. I’m not surprised to find my grandmother in the middle of all of it. She seems to bask in the attention she’s getting when she should be mourning.

Everyone looks at me with eyes filled with pity. I’ve been pretending to be deaf to the rumours but I’m well aware of what everyone has been saying and what they’re truly worried about. Most people here are investors or stakeholders of some sort. They aren’t here to offer me their condolences or to pay their respects to my father. They’re here because it’s a rare chance to speak to Daniel in person. They’re here to find out what the company’s future holds.

I recognise many of the people in the living room but I don’t actually know many of them. It makes me feel like a stranger in my own house. The last thing I want to do right now is entertain people my father didn’t even like. The whole concept is weird to me. Why would you hold a literal pity party at someone’s house after a funeral? My father would’ve hated this and he would’ve hated my grandmother for allowing these vultures easy access to Daniel.

My grandmother walks up to me and grabs my arm with more force than necessary. I wince and try to pull away, but she won’t let me.

“Dear, where did you go after the funeral? You just disappeared. There are so many people we must greet. We mustn’t let your father’s hard work go to waste. It’s up to us to reassure everyone that everything is fine. We must maintain the connections your father established. I saw that the Mayor is here. He brought his son and he mentioned that you’re acquainted. We best go say hello.”

I’m overcome with disgust. The last thing I want to do is socialise but it seems to be all that’s on her mind. She seems positively giddy at the prospect of conversing with the Mayor and it sickens me. I regret inviting her to the funeral at all. 

I gently pull my arm out of her clutches, at a total loss for words. Before I can manage to come up with an appropriate response, Daniel intervenes.

“Thank you kindly for the help you have provided in the days leading up to the funeral, Mrs. Moriani. Though you haven’t been in touch with Alyssa since she was a toddler she has really appreciated your presence here in the past week. Please do have a seat and help yourself to the refreshments we have provided. As always the catering is provided by Deluga Catering so I’m certain you’ll enjoy it. I wouldn’t want anyone to think we don’t treat our guests well, so please do help yourself.”

Daniel’s voice is loud and as always, when Daniel speaks, people pay attention. Those who’d been falling over themselves to gain her favour hear the warning loud and clear. My grandmother isn’t associated with DM Consultancy and she and I aren’t close.

Daniel takes my hand and leads me away before she can retort. The whispers around us increase as we make our way through the room, making me feel even more uncomfortable. Daniel leads me to the kitchen where Dominic is already waiting with a cup of tea in his hands. Making me a cup of tea was what my dad always did when I was sad or upset and he didn’t know how to fix it. Just the thought that I’ll never have another cup of tea made by him breaks my heart.

Dominic hands me my favourite mug. It’s the one that says Boss Lady on it, and my heart breaks a little more. My dad gave it to me for my 22nd birthday a few weeks ago, telling me that he was going to step up my training so I’d be ready to take over his role within a few years. He had so much faith in me and now he won’t ever see me accomplish the goals we set together.

My eyes fill with tears and Dominic opens his arms. I walk into his embrace and hug him tightly, only barely keeping my tears in. A stab of pain twists my heart at the knowledge that I won’t ever see my father at the office again. I won’t be able to drop by the office he shared with Daniel for a quick cup of tea and a chat. I can’t ask for his advice anymore when I don’t know how to handle a situation.

Dominic puts his index finger underneath my chin and gently lifts my face up to meet his. “Hey, I’m here. I promise I’m not going anywhere. We’ll get through this together. I promise you won’t be alone,” he whispers.

I stare into his grey eyes, willing myself to believe him. I’ve felt alone ever since he started dating Lucy. No one has ever been able to get between us and both of us have had to end relationships because our partners couldn’t accept our friendship. But Lucy is different. She’s been vocal about her dislike of me and Dominic has been giving in to her nonetheless. He’s been distancing himself from me lately. I can’t even remember the last time he and I were alone. Lucy and he are a package deal now. If I want to see him, I’ll have to see her too. I can’t even blame Lucy for her distrust of me or Dominic for giving into her. Just as Lucy suspects, I do have feelings for Dominic. I’d never act on them or jeopardise his relationship though. I wish he could see that. 

Lucy walks up to us with outstretched arms and tears streaming down her face. 

“Alyssa, there you are! I’m so so sorry for your loss. What can Nic and I do for you? Please, let me know how we can help,” she says, her voice loud and shrill. I cringe a little and step away from Dominic. I’ve tried my best to like Lucy but I just can’t get myself to. I fail to understand what Dominic sees in her. She’s loud while he’s quiet and adorably silly while he is intelligent beyond compare. They just don’t suit each other. Lucy is exactly the type of person neither of us has ever liked.

“Do you know more about the will yet?” she all but shouts, her face crunched up in what I assume is worry. My eyes automatically find Dominic’s. I can’t believe he told her that. When I told him what Vincent said to us I told him it was confidential. Her shouting what she did could easily cause more unrest amongst our biggest shareholders, many of whom are present today.

Some of the women in the kitchen pause and tune into our conversation. I sigh uneasily, surprised at her lack of sensitivity.. and, well, her common sense. Sometimes I wonder if my dad was right about her when he called her a dimwit.

Daniel glares at Lucy and puts his hand on my shoulder, reassuring me wordlessly. He exchanges a look with Dominic that tells him just what he thinks of Lucy’s behaviour and Daniel lowers his eyes in shame. 

Lucy trembles and starts crying as she throws herself into Dominic’s arms. I’m not even sure whether she’s crying because of the funeral or because Daniel just glared at her. Somehow Dominic ends up consoling her instead of the other way around. Dominic lost a father figure today yet he’s wiping away her tears instead of shedding his own.

I take a step back and look at the two of them together. I could never compare to Lucy with her supermodel figure and her long blonde hair. In comparison I look like an Oompa Loompa, with my overly full unfashionable curves and my petite stature. It’s no wonder Nic never fell for me the way I fell for him.

He pats Lucy’s back as she cries on his shoulder but his attention doesn’t seem to be on her. He’s looking at me, his eyes filled with worry and sorrow.

I turn away and glance at the window to find Daniel leaning against the kitchen counter. He’s looking at me with a pained expression and I can’t help but wonder whether he knows how I feel about his little brother. Whether he understands how much it hurts to need Dominic so badly yet having to watch him hold someone else instead.

Daniel holds his hand out and I bridge the few steps that separate us. He takes my mug from my hands and wraps his arm around my shoulder, offering me a little bit of consolation. He stares at Lucy and Dominic disapprovingly as he takes a sip of my tea. Daniel usually mostly ignores me, but I’m happy he’s showing me some solidarity today.

“I don’t think we should wait till tomorrow,” I say softly. Daniel looks at me with a knowing look in his eyes. I don’t need to explain what I’m talking about. He knows. Thanks to the rumours Lucy has just helped spread we’ll need to take action as soon as possible. The uncertainty we currently face might be harmful. He knows just as well as I do that my dad always had something up his sleeve. It’ll be the same now. We’ll both rest easier if we know what it is, especially if it pertains the company.

Daniel nods. “I’ll call Vincent.”

Another two hours of fake tears and gossipy whispering pass at an excruciatingly slow pace. When the last guests leave only Daniel, Vincent, my grandmother and I remain. I asked Dominic to stay and be there with me when the will is read but he told me he needed to drive Lucy home. I didn’t have the energy to beg for a little bit of consideration. He’s made it quite clear where I stand in his life now. I can’t keep clinging to him the way I have been. The small amount of pride I still have won’t let me.

Daniel leads us to my father’s home office as though it’s his own, navigating my house with ease. It should be weird that he’s been in there more often than I have, even though I live here, but it’s not. It’s just what Daniel and my dad were like.

He walks to the little bar in my dad’s office and pours us both a shot of whiskey. He hands me the glass and we both empty them in one go. My throat burns as the liquor goes down and my discomfort must have been obvious because Daniel chuckles. It’s the first time I’ve heard him laugh in weeks.

I roll my eyes at him and walk towards the plush sofa in the corner. I plop down unceremoniously and wait for Daniel to sit down next to me.

“Alright. Let’s get this over with,” Vincent says, sounding tired. I know this isn’t easy for him. My dad has always been a close friend of his. Dad was one of Vincent’s very first clients before he made him our legal council. Vincent runs a hand over his face and then inhales deeply before speaking.

“Mr. Moriani is leaving the cottage in France to his mother. Everything else goes to his only daughter, Alyssa Moriani.”

He clutches the will in his hands, indicating that things aren’t as simple as that. He’s about to elaborate when my grandmother jumps up, her eyes flashing with anger.

“That can’t be all he left me. That little cottage? What about money? Who is going to pay me my monthly stipend? I assume he expects Alyssa to be responsible for that now?”

My heart sinks with disappointment. I’d been trying to convince myself that she was here to mourn her son and to be with me. I’d been hoping I was wrong about her even though every little sign told me she was just after my father’s connections and money. She disgusts me. I’m trembling with anger and can’t wait for her to leave. She should count herself lucky my dad left her anything at all.

Vincent stares at the will for a few seconds before responding. “The only thing he left you is the cottage. There is no request for Alyssa to pay for your maintenance.”

She looks at me with a calculative look in her eyes and I can pretty much guess what’s on her mind. She’ll try to milk me for all I’ve got. I’ll be lucky if she returns to France at all.

She smiles to herself and nods. “Very well,” she murmurs. She glances at me one more time and then walks out of the room, slamming the door behind her. She’s undoubtedly already hatching some sort of plan.

Vincent sighs and shoots me a wary look. I tense, bracing myself for the worst. “There’s a clause in the will, Alyssa. It’s about your father’s shares in the company.” Vincent speaks softly, carefully, and it only worries me even more. I freeze, mentally preparing myself for whatever bad news he’s about to spring on me.

“The clause states that your shares are to be given to your grandmother unless you marry the man of your father’s choosing within a month from now.”

Daniel inhales sharply and closes his eyes in resignation. He leans forward and holds his head in his hands. This news is just as bad for him as it is for me, worse perhaps. If she gets her hands on those shares she’ll run my father’s company to the ground. Everything Daniel and my dad have worked for will be for nothing.

I shake my head. “That can’t be,” I whisper. “I’m only twenty-two. I just graduated from university. I can’t get married. My dad always discouraged getting married too young. There’s no way he’d ask it of me now. No way he’d put his company on the line to make it happen.”

I stare at Vincent, half expecting him to smile and tell me that this is his weak attempt at a joke, but I’ve never seen him look so grim before. He hesitates and looks at Daniel before continuing.

“Your father’s wish is for you to marry Daniel. There isn’t anyone he trusts more with his company and his daughter.”

I sit there in shocked silence and slowly turn to Daniel. He looks distraught and furious but he doesn’t look surprised.

“Did you know about this?” I ask, my voice dangerously soft.

He shakes his head. “Lately your father had been making some strange remarks. He kept pushing me to take you out for dinner and continuously insinuated that he thought we’d make a good couple. I never expected this though.”

“I can’t believe this,” I murmur. “You’re ten years older than me. And he knows. He knows I—“

He knows how I feel about Dominic so how could he ever expect me to marry his older brother? How could he do this to me?

I start pacing the room, a million thoughts running through my mind. I feel the rage course through me and embrace it. I latch onto it and let it drive away the pain I’m feeling.

“Show me that,” I bite out, ripping my father’s will out of Vincent’s hands. He looks at me apologetically even though it isn’t his fault, and I instantly feel bad about snapping at him. I pause as I read through the will, my heart sinking. Daniel reads through it over my shoulder and curses. The will clearly states that my father’s last wish is for me to marry Daniel and to continue my training to take over my dad’s role as CEO as soon as the board and Daniel deem me ready.

I want to be angry at my dad. I want to shout at him and ask him whether he’s lost his mind. I want to ask him what day and age he thinks we’re living in and why he doesn’t trust me enough. Why he feels the need to entrust me to Daniel, rather than trusting I can stand on my own two feet. But I can’t ask him any of those questions, because he’s gone. I’ll never get the answers I’m seeking.

Daniel runs a hand through his hair and closes his eyes. “What was that old man thinking,” he whispers to himself. He walks back to my father’s bar and pours himself a tall drink and empties his glass in one go. He turns and leans back against the drinks cabinet, his eyes on me. He looks at me with a pained expression as his eyes trail down my body slowly before he looks away. He clenches his teeth and inhales deeply.

I’m suddenly overcome with an intense sense of rejection. It’s clear the mere idea of being with me disturbs him and whether I like it or not, I’m instantly reminded of Dominic. Does he feel the same way when he looks at me? What will he say when he finds out about the will? I wish he’d been here with me. He would’ve known what to say and do.

“We can’t lose those shares. If they fall into her hands the company will never recover. It’ll never be the same again.”

I stare at my feet, knowing that he’s right. How could my father do this to me? To us. Did he have no faith in me at all? Did he do this because he didn’t trust me with his company? How could he possibly have trusted my grandmother more than me?

“He always wanted you as his son. I guess he’s getting his wish granted in death,” I say bitterly. I feel hurt and part of me blames Daniel for what’s happening. He glances at me and starts pacing like I had just been. 

“We can do a paper marriage, Alyssa. We can both keep our lives. Nothing needs to change. You won’t have anything to worry about. We’ll have an iron-clad prenup so you’ll be protected. Whatever you own, you’ll keep, including your shares. I won’t take advantage of you in any way. We’ll divorce in a year and you’ll have your estate and anything you might have earned during our marriage.”

Daniel sounds unwilling and detached, as though he’s discussing a minor business deal that’s a waste of his time. His attitude annoys me even further.

Vincent clears his throat and looks at us with a cautious expression. “There’s more,” he says. I look at him, wariness clouding my vision. Of course there’s more. This is my father we’re talking about, after all. If he wants us together he won’t make it easy for us to escape his wishes. When my father wants something to happen, he’ll get it done.

“The two of you will have to live together and stay married until Alyssa either becomes CEO or turns twenty-five. If you two separate or divorce before then the shares are still to be given away. We could potentially contest the will, but I’ll honestly tell you now that I won’t be the one to take that case on. I won’t disrespect your father’s last wishes like that.”

I always thought my father loved his company more than he loved me and this just seems to prove it. What was he after when he wrote his will? He raised me to be independent yet his last wish is for me to get married to a man I didn’t even choose. A thousand questions flash through my mind, each making me feel worse than the last.

Daniel and I both sit in my dad’s office for what feels like hours. Neither one of us knows what to say or what to do. I hadn’t even noticed Vincent leaving.

“I can’t believe he’d do this to us,” I whisper for the third time. Daniel runs a hand through his hair. I look up and stare at him for a couple of seconds. He looks so tired and sad. 

“I know you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place, Alyssa. You either marry me and lose a part of your personal life and a chance to make that unrequited love of yours work. Or you lose the company that’s rightfully yours. It’s a tough situation but it’s no walk in the park for me either. The last thing I need is to be saddled with a teenybopper for the next few years. However, I will marry you if you’re willing. Even if it’s just to honour your father’s last wish. He’s never asked anything of me before today and I won’t let him down now that he finally has.”

I cross my arms and glare at him. “Teenybopper, really? Okay, boomer. Don’t forget that you’re getting something out of this too. If you don’t marry me the company is doomed and so is most of your fortune.”

I ignore what he said about pursuing my unrequited love. I didn’t know that he knew about that. If he knows, who else does? I thought I kept it hidden really well. Have I been making a fool of myself unknowingly the entire time?

Daniel looks at me with an amused expression. “Yes. I won’t deny that there are benefits to this for me too. The last thing I want is to lose the absolute control your father and I had over the company. We had a vision that I intend to realise, but I can’t do it without major interference. And yes, if your grandmother were to interfere with the way the company is run the share price would be likely to drop, which would indeed affect me financially.”

My dad always told me how important it is to him that I never sell his shares so why is he now choosing to give them away to the one person he ruthlessly cut out of our lives? Did he regret cutting her off in the end? 

Daniel and I are at an impasse and neither one of us seems to know how to move forward.

“I guess we’ll have to get married,” I murmur. Daniel looks away and nods. He stares out the window and sighs, a wistful expression on his face.

“I guess there’s only one thing left to do.” 

He walks to me and drops down on one knee in front of me. I’m so startled that I freeze in disbelief. He grabs my hand and looks into my eyes with an intensity I’ve never seen before. 

“Alyssa Moriani, will you do me the honour of becoming my wife?” he asks, his voice soft but clear.

I inhale deeply and nod, praying to god that I’m doing the right thing.