â€śI know it was supposed to be your inheritance, but Iâ€™m
afraid itâ€™s gone.â€ť
Ben looked at his fatherâ€™s red-rimmed eyes and pale face,
pity and anger stirred him. Pity because his fatherâ€™s best
ruined him, and anger because that money had been set aside
for him by
his grandfather, and now it was gone. He managed to say in
tone, â€śIs there anything left of the company?â€ť
His father shook his head, his expression desolate.
â€śRight.â€ť Ben nodded and squared his shoulders. â€śI come home
my job gone, my inheritance gone, and my prospects gone.
What do you
suggest I do now?â€ť
A glint appeared in his fatherâ€™s eyes. â€śI think the best
thing to do
would be to start over, donâ€™t you?â€ť
Benâ€™s jaw tightened, but he fought to keep his expression
father had started over more times than they could count.
Ben had the
same determination, drive, and intelligence as his father.
up went down, and vice-versa. He only wished heâ€™d
had more of a warning.
â€śWell, why donâ€™t I ask Arnold Souche for a job?â€ť He meant
it as irony,
but as the words left his mouth, he realized he was on to
His father grinned. â€śHeâ€™ll give you a good one, and you can
footing back in the company. Just one thing. Donâ€™t tell him
â€śWhy not?â€ť Ben asked.
â€śBecause if you tell him youâ€™re my son, heâ€™ll give you a
pity job, and
you donâ€™t want that. Youâ€™re smart, youâ€™re a good worker,
deserve better. Now that Souche has taken over, theyâ€™ll
and theyâ€™ll need a few first-rate directors. Iâ€™ll make sure
the best references possible.â€ť
â€śOur last name is the same, in case youâ€™ve forgotten,â€ť Ben
â€śGet a new one. Whatâ€™s in a name? Use your motherâ€™s maiden
be easy to get the papers. Donâ€™t worry. Itâ€™s just a
setback. Never let
ruin get in the way, my boy. Itâ€™s happened
before, and it will happen again. Just pick up the pieces
on.â€ť The old man got up from behind his desk and gave his
son a watery
The sun was harsh on his face, showing his wrinkles, his
his bloodshot eyes. He must have been awake for days
working to try to
avert the catastrophe. If only heâ€™d asked for help earlier!
clenched his fist. It would have done no good. Arnold
Souche was a
shark. He cruised the waters of international companies
floundering companies that he finished off with a cruel
snap of the
jaws. When heâ€™d offered to help Benâ€™s father get his
company back into
shape, it had seemed a godsend. He and Benâ€™s father had
chums. Theyâ€™d known each other for ages. Benâ€™s father had
everything in Arnoldâ€™s hands, and Arnold had at first
help. Then, with devastating swiftness, heâ€™d sunk the
happened so fast that Benâ€™s father, Oliver, hadnâ€™t had time
to any of
his assets. Everything had vanished.
Ben rubbed his aching forehead. His headache started out as
a burst of
anger, quickly controlled, and then a little voice
donâ€™t you ruin Souche, like he ruined your father?
Ruin Souche Enterprises just as Souche had ruined them.
Yes. He liked
that idea. And what better way than from the inside?