Chapter 896 – Connor’s Terms
That was not important, however. What was important was when Connor brought Toby’s mother up, Sonia could see that the love in his eyes was genuine. So he still loves her? But so what? He cheated on her even though he said he loves her. She’s gone now. Pretending like she’s your greatest love means nothing. The only one who thinks it means something is you. People like me and everyone else think you’re as disgusting as a piece of rat p**p in the bathroom’s corner.
She was starting to get lost in her thoughts, but Connor started talking. He spun his thumb ring and gave Sonia an apologetic smile. “Sorry. I’m at that age now. I love to reminisce. You guys must think I’m a drag.”
Sonia forced a smile. “Not at all, Mr. Salzburg, but it is time we talk business.” In other words, she was telling him to cut the c**p and stop talking about his past. She had no interest in it, and she was disgusted by it.
Connor got what she said, of course. His smile did not waver, though it had become mirthless. He extended his hand to Xander, and Xander whipped out an arm-length walking cane from nowhere. He handed it to Connor with two hands. Connor took it and tapped it on the ground, putting both his hands on the top of the walking cane, which was adorned with a dragon’s head.
Now that he had his walking cane, Sonia could feel the air change. He was finally looking like the head of a family, and there was an air of a leader about him. He was no longer a simple scholar. So this is what he looks like when he negotiates, Sonia thought. She pursed her lips and got on guard.
Connor was starting to take his real form, and she knew he was getting serious. I can’t let my guard down, or he’d be dominating the talks. She was no match for Connor. He was about twenty years older than she was, and he had led his family for more than a decade. The man was a sly old fox, while she was just a newbie. One false move could cost her dearly.
At the same time, she was looking forward to this encounter. She could learn from it and grow. Chances like this did not come by every day. She breathed deeply to calm herself down. Don’t panic. It’d be bad if he sees an opening. She clenched her fists and lowered her eyes. She tried to stay as calm as she could. I can’t let him know that I’m nervous.
Connor was oblivious to her thoughts. He was still holding his walking cane and looking as calm as ever, though he was slightly surprised inside. He was surprised that Sonia could stay so calm even under pressure. He assumed his usual stance earlier in an attempt to scare her so he could have the upper hand in the negotiations. Much to his surprise, this tactic failed where it should have succeeded.
Even if she was feigning it, meeting his gaze calmly was already impressive enough. She was praiseworthy, at least among the younger generation. A pity she’s on Toby’s side. He squinted for a moment and resumed his gentle smile. “I know what happened between you and my foolish daughter, Miss Reed. She’s the one at fault here, and I apologize for her behavior.”
Sonia’s eyes glinted. “You’re more reasonable than your daughter is, Mr. Salzburg. At least you know right from wrong. I can’t say the same for your daughter.” A smirk curled her lips, and she pointed at her head. “Maybe there’s something wrong with her. She needs to look at things from more perspectives. Your daughter thinks she can do no wrong. If anything goes wrong, she’s always quick to point fingers. She never stops to think if she’s at fault. I can’t believe that a reasonable man like you is her father.”
She did not care if Connor was pretending to apologize. The fact that he acknowledged Anya’s faults made him heaps better than Anya. Even if he was saying that to save Anya, at least it made Sonia feel better.
I can’t believe you’re her father? Connor looked down and tightened his grip on his everwalking cane. “You’re right, Miss Reed. This is my fault. She has been separated from me since she was an infant. Her environment changed her a lot, and it’s all on me. I’ll try to change her ways if I can. Will you give me a chance to do that?” He looked at her, his gaze turning sharper.
Sonia pretended that she had no idea about what he was talking about. She smiled. “I’m glad to hear that, Mr. Salzburg. She’s your daughter, and it’s your job to educate her. You certainly don’t need an outsider like me to give you any chance to do that.” She noticed that Connor was starting to look angry, and mockery glinted in her eyes for a moment. She continued, “Don’t worry. You’ll get your chance to educate her once she has done her time.”
He wanted her to let Anya go, but she would not do that. Sonia feigned ignorance and drove him up the wall. It was one way to get back at him for betraying Toby’s mother. She might have lost some respect for the woman now, but she was still a woman, and Sonia had to protect women wherever she could. She had to get some justice for the women who were hurt by men. Connor’s face fell right after she finished talking, and Sonia would be lying if she said she was not nervous. For the most part, however, she felt delighted. She had managed to anger Connor.
Connor gripped his walking cane so tightly, he almost crushed it. The warmth in his eyes was gone and replaced by cold venom. “Are you sure you don’t know what I’m talking about, Miss Reed?”
Oh, he’s not beating about the bush anymore. He’s cutting straight to the chase. She took a deep breath and smiled. “What do you mean, Mr. Salzburg? Am I missing something?” She kept playing dumb. As long as she kept this up, he could never say she was lying.
She still won’t let up? Connor did not expose her, but he laughed mirthlessly, and his smile dripped with venom. “Fine, if you don’t get it, then I’ll make it clear. Can you let my daughter go for my sake? Of course, I’ll pay for all the damages she did. You can have whatever you want as well, Miss Reed. I’ll do whatever I can to get it for you. What do you think, Miss Reed?”
He gazed at Sonia, and Sonia flicked her hair back. “I can have whatever I want? Really?”
“Of course.” Connor nodded, looking absolutely arrogant. There was scorn and disdain in his eyes, as if Sonia was nothing but a mere beggar.