The Billionaire's Ex Girlfriend (2015)

Chapter Nine

 

Troy felt like crap. The Palace was saved, the fireworks had gone off without a hitch, and Elliot Higgins and Carl Fletcher were going to jail. It was the perfect ending to a perfect day. And yet…

Troy saw a shadow move just as someone came to stand next to him. It was his father. The two men stood at Troy’s balcony. After the firework show, the party downstairs had started up again. It was past midnight and still going on. Troy’s parents had been too tired to drive back to their home, so they were crashing at his resort. Eliza was no doubt asleep.

Francis turned towards Troy. “What’s going on in that head of yours?”

Troy laughed to himself, but there was no humor in it. Not really. “I guess I’m just tired.”

“I keep telling you to slow down-”

Troy’s hands shot up. “Not now, dad.”

“Troy, listen to me.”

Troy turned his head and looked at his old man. He didn’t say anything. He knew that if he let Francis have his say, then the conversation would end quicker. So, he shut his mouth.

Francis heaved a sigh. “The day I filed for bankruptcy… I thought it was the end of the world.”

Troy remembered that day. He’d been about to graduate high school. He was going to college to start new life just when it seemed like his old one was crumbling. His parents were broke. The stock market had crashed. Every dollar her father had invested was gone. His mother had never held a job, so they had nothing to fall back on. His parents had lost everything. They’d been forced to lean on friends while they figured out their finances. They’d done that for years.

If Troy hadn’t had a full ride scholarship at the time, he probably wouldn’t have been able to go to college, but seeing his parents in a state of helplessness had broken his heart. After that moment, he’d become determined to never let that happen again. Troy had become rich. He’d paid back all of his parent’s loans, got them a bigger, better house, and even managed to give money back to every friend they’d ever asked a dime for. His parents would never have to depend on anyone else for as long as he lived. 

Francis’ words broke into Troy’s thoughts. “But, with all of that. If I hadn’t had your mother, I would have been lost.”

Troy straightened then. “But you couldn’t provide for her. Did that bother you?”

Francis didn’t blink an eye. “Of course, it bothered me. I’d been the provider for our family for so long. It hurt that I had to ask anyone for anything. But your mother was there for me, Troy. Eliza’s love got me through the toughest time of my life. Troy, you can have all the money in the world, but if you don’t have love, you have nothing.”

Troy thought on his father’s words for a moment. He turned back towards the rail. Faint drifts of the music’s below reached his ear. The people were having a good time because of him. He’d done it. Normally once Troy had succeeded at something, there was a feeling of utopia. Whether he was closing a deal or won a bid on new project, there was always joy that came with it. The feeling was so good; he could almost reach out and touch it.  

But that feeling what’s there at the moment and he knew why. 

“You and Serena seemed pretty close the other day,” Francis began. 

Troy never thought he’d have this conversation with his father. It seemed strange. Serena was, well, used to be his friend. “We were,” was all Troy said. His father had shared a little bit more about his emotions. No reason why Troy couldn’t share a little of his. 

“Do you love her?”

Troy ran his fingers through his hair. “Maybe. Yes. I don’t know.”

“Don’t be stupid, Troy.”

Francis’ anger caught Troy off guard. He didn’t allow Troy to butt in before he continued. “I don’t know what you did to make the girl go away the first time, but if you lose her again, you’re going to regret it. You want to make more money? You want to take on the world? You’re going to need an ally. You’re going to need someone that still loves you enough to put up with your crap. Serena saved your ass today and if you let her, she’ll continue to save your ass.  A good woman does.” When he was done, Francis just stared at Troy.

Troy stared back.  

There was silence. 

Francis crossed his arms. “Well, what are you waiting for? Do I have to hold your hand through it or what?”

Troy smiled then. He shook his head. He gave his father one more look before heading out of the door.