When Tobias was alerted of his father’s passing through a mutual friend, he placed a call to his father’s lawyer Stanley Royale. Stanley was actually surprised that Tobias contacted him given that he hadn’t heard or seen him since he left home at twenty-one. Stanley proceeded to give Tobias all the information he needed. Tobias then pushed his father’s burial into Stanley’s lap.
“It would be best if you took care of this matter yourself, after all he is your father.”
“I’m not interested.”
“Whether or not you’re interested-”
Tobias cut in, “Look, I’m all the way in New York City. I can’t be the one to plan my father’s funeral. You’re the closest.”
“What do you intend to do about your father’s businesses? He willed them to you.”
“I never asked for it.”
Stanley clenched his jaws together and pushed on.
“Have you forgotten who your father is? What he built means a lot to Aspen. Natives and transplants alike visit his pastry shops, diners, and lodges faithfully. Do you think you can throw all of that away?”
“I know very well who my father is, I don’t need any reminders. He built an empire, not me. I don’t want anything to do with his legacy.” he ground out.
“No? Shall I have the Pine Ridge demolished?”
Trepidation formed in his gut. Pine Ridge cabin had been the one place that held fond memories for him. That’s where he spent the most time with his mother when his father was away working incessantly. The cabin was surrounded by a wooden fence and it took a riding mower to cut down the grass in the spring and summer seasons. In winter, deer emerged from the shadows of the forest with snow covered antlers rooted high in the bitter air. White snow rabbits hopped out of their holes and bounced across the yard, and owls hooted atop snow covered trees. Pine Ridge looked as if it’d come straight from a post card. It really was a winter wonderland.
“Don’t you dare touch that cabin, understood?”
“I have specific instructions in the event that you decline to take over your father’s responsibilities, all assets including Pine Ridge will be transferred over to Clive Mason.”
“What?!” That bastard Clive had always wanted to get his meaty fingers on his father’s wealth. Tobias couldn’t very well hand over Pine Ridge to that scumbag. He’d ruin the landscape and any good memories Tobias had left of that cabin.
“Have you made your choice?” Stanley smiled, he knew how much that cabin meant to Tobias, and he knew it’d be a cold day in hell before he’d let Clive get his hands on that piece of land.
Tobias let out a frustrated sigh, then left the phone line silent for what felt like eons.
“I’ll come back under one condition.”
“Take care of my father’s funeral and burial.”
“I’ll be there as soon as I can.”
With that he ended the call. Damn his father, he hated when he had him by the balls. He swiveled his chair around staring absently out his fifth story office window. Tobias didn’t much care for his corporate American job and had been looking for any excuse to ditch it. He also didn’t care for office politics and people jockeying for a higher position. People in corporate America were like crabs in a bucket, they were always stepping on one another to secure a grander position. It was sickening really. Tobias never once adhered to the code of backstabbing or trying to con money from customers. That just wasn’t his way of doing things and it worked for him. The only reason he took up sales and marketing was because of the pay. Before he earned his lofty office in New York, he’d worked in construction in Arizona.
Going back to Aspen wasn’t high on his list but for the sake of Pine Ridge, he had no choice. The upside was that he could finally shed the suit and tie image, he was a jeans and t-shirt kind of man. He was sure his crab like co workers would have a gay old time ripping each other to shreds after he vacated his office. Swiveling, he pushed the chair back and stood to his feet groaning. So much for forging a life for himself apart from his father. Aspen, Colorado he thought, here I come.