This Time, I Will Get My Divorce, Mr Chapter 296
Asher was caught between a rock and a hard place; if he were to walk out on Paradigm Co., he would immediately be replaced and with Toby blacklisting him in the industry, he wouldn’t be able to join any other enterprise. He would have nowhere to turn to and his whole career would be done for.
More to the point, he never intended to leave in the first place.
At this moment, Toby kept his eyes on Sonia as he asked, “So, what do you think?”
As much as she disliked the idea of keeping Asher around, she was more apprehensive toward the idea of having Toby’s people working in the company. With that in mind, she nodded and answered flippantly, “Well, President Dafoe did say that he was only joking, so I’ll take his word for it and brush this incident off.”
“Alright, then.” Toby was slightly dejected by this and pressed his lips into a grim line.
He had hoped that she would agree to his suggestion and allow Asher as well as his subordinates to leave Paradigm Co. That way, he could send his team over as promised and use that as an excuse to see her as often as he would like.
Meanwhile, Asher let out a huge sigh of relief after hearing what she had said. Thank heavens she has the good sense to say all the right things; otherwise, I’d be doomed!
Sonia eyed him impassively. “Are you still planning to oppose my decision to delist, President Dafoe?”
He snapped out of his thoughts. He didn’t want to concede, but when his gaze flickered over to Toby, he swallowed his retort and was immediately agreeable. “Of course not, Sonia. You can do whatever you want.”
“In that case, I’m going to put the word out. Now, is there anything else you’d like to discuss, President Dafoe?” She had as good as told him to get out of her office.
The corners of Asher’s lips twitched slightly. “Not at all. Carry on with your work, Sonia. I shan’t bother you anymore and take my leave now.”
The moment he spun around, the smile on his face was replaced by a menacing grimace.
He had walked into her office with the thought that he could wheedle Sonia into giving up her share of authority by threatening to leave the company if she didn’t.
What he hadn’t expected was for Toby to put his foot in and ruin his plans. As things were, Toby would rise to Sonia’s defense for as long as their collaboration was an ongoing concern. It will only make it harder for me to deal with that wench, Asher thought, gritting his teeth. I have to find a way to ruin their collaboration!
After Asher left in defeat, peace and serenity returned to the office once more. Sonia tucked her hair behind her ear as she thanked Toby for speaking up for her.
Toby gave her a bemused look. “You’ve already thanked me half a dozen times today.”
She took her seat and said, “I know, but it’s only polite for me to do so.”
In truth, she was sure that she could have handled Asher on her own even if he hadn’t interfered. Prior to this, she had already made up her mind to go head-to-head with Asher, should he oppose the delisting. If he threatened to leave the company, well, she would not stop him at all.
The worst that could happen was that she would have to downsize Paradigm Co. and turn it into a small or medium enterprise. As long as the company remained, there was still a chance that it could flourish and eventually regain its former glory as a conglomerate.
Toby rounded her desk and took the seat across from her. “You don’t actually have to thank me out of courtesy. I know things have been tense between you and Asher; you could have taken the chance to throw him out of Paradigm Co. if you wanted to.”
Sonia’s gaze darkened. “I know that, but I didn’t think there was a need for such desperate measures.”
“Is that what you truly think? Or, do you just hate the idea of having my people under your nose?” He stared at her intently as he asked.
She opened her mouth as though she wanted to say something, but ultimately did not and turned her head away in defense instead.
Upon seeing this, Toby knew instantly that he had been right. She didn’t want his people under her nose and although he grew frustrated at this, he merely sighed and allowed the matter to slide.
At this point, Sonia picked up the phone on her desk and called Daphne’s line. “Get all the documents ready for the delisting and send them over to the government department in charge.”
“I thought President Dafoe was against the delisting, though,” Daphne pointed out.
Sonia massaged her temple in exhaustion. “He changed his mind.”
Sonia nodded. “Really!”
Daphne broke into a wide grin at the turn of events. “That’s wonderful. I’ll start to prepare the documents immediately.”
“Alright.” With a final hum of agreement, Sonia put the receiver down and ended the call.
Toby, on the other hand, took his phone out as he said mildly, “I’ll call up the government department and have them process the application for delisting as soon as your secretary arrives.”
Sonia managed a small smile; she was a little surprised by how much help he had given today. “Fine.”
He rose from his seat and walked out to the balcony to make the call, only to return a few minutes later with a sullen look on his face.
At the sight of this, she felt her skin prickle with a bad premonition. “What is it? Did the department say no?”
“No, nothing like that.” He kept his phone away and explained, “It’s just that there is a whole crowd of reporters waiting by the company’s entrance. I’d say there are about forty or fifty of them.”
Toby had only brought with him a mid-sized team of bodyguards and while the dozen of them were all tough and capable in their own right, they couldn’t possibly hold back a crowd of reporters. As such, before he returned to the office, he rang the security company and had them dispatch another two mid-sized teams to the scene, but they wouldn’t arrive until at least ten minutes later.
Upon hearing that the reporters were here, Sonia felt the beginnings of a migraine. “I bet this has something to do with Tina’s livestream. When she uploaded the post on social media earlier, about twenty or thirty reporters alongside crazed netizens showed up to demand statements and comments from me. I had Daphne call the police to bring those netizens away, but the reporters have the freedom of press, so we couldn’t do anything about them.”
As long as the press was not gathered in a strictly off-limits area, the police could not exercise jurisdiction against them, which was a sore point for many.
Toby lifted his chin and muttered thoughtfully, “That explains it.”
Tom had told him earlier that there were a couple of netizens who brought wreaths and razor blades for Sonia as some passive-aggressive form of threat. However, when Toby had arrived, he didn’t see those netizens at all. As it turned out, the police had taken them away.
“What do you mean?” Sonia asked, clueless as to what Toby was referring to.
He flashed her a smile and dismissed, “Nothing.”
She shrugged and did not press him any further, seeing that he had no intention of telling her anyway.
Tina’s livestream had ended a while ago and the whole internet was raving about it more than they did the last one, which had died down at some point. Now, the buzz around Sonia easily surpassed those of controversial celebrities.
Some fans of those celebrities even made it a point to thank Sonia in the comments section of her social media platform, claiming that her evil deeds had made their idols’ crimes pale by comparison. That being said, most of the comments on her page were brutal and vicious.
She knew that Tina had only pulled such a dirty trick to destroy her and have her burned at the stake. She thinks she can pin all these accusations on me because I don’t have the means or evidence to clear my name, but whether she’ll get away with it depends on Tim and his willingness to come up with an explanation.
As she snapped out of her thoughts, Sonia glanced at the time displayed on her computer screen and saw that it was nearly 12:30PM.
Tim wouldn’t come out in broad daylight to clarify things or confess his role in all this. She would have to wait until night time before she could even see a glimmer of hope.
Suddenly, the piercing sound of her ringtone pulled her out of her reverie. She glanced down at the phone screen and a shadow passed over her face.
Toby noticed this and narrowed his eyes as he asked, “Who is it?”
“An officer from the police station,” Sonia answered, pursing her lips. “I’m afraid one of Tina’s fans really lodged a police report like he said he would.”
As she said that, she swiped her phone screen to answer the call. The person on the other line greeted her almost indifferently, “Good day, Miss Reed. This is the Seafield Police Station. We’ve received a complaint from someone on the Internet claiming that you have aided and abetted in the assault against another person. We need you to come to the station right now to assist us in the investigation.”
With the phone still pressed to her ear, Sonia gave Toby a look that said, See, I told you so. Then, as she focused on the officer on the phone, her face was impassive while she answered curtly, “I see. I’ll be there shortly.”
She hung up the call and rose from her seat.
Toby stood up as well. “Are you going to the police station?”
Sonia picked up her purse and pulled the strap over her shoulder. “Yes, to help with the investigation. I suppose it’s a good thing; my name can be cleared when they find that I had nothing to do with any of this.”
As he smoothened his sleeves, Toby offered, “I’ll go with you.”
She wanted to say no, but when she saw the stubborn look in his eyes, she had a feeling that he would tag along anyway. She heaved a sigh of resignation and made her way to the door. “As you wish.”
A small smirk played on his lips when he heard this and he fell in step next to her.
The security teams that Toby had requested earlier were already in the elevator when he and Sonia entered. When the elevator came to a stop, he instructed the bodyguards to head out to the parking lot and hold the bustling crowd of reporters back.
It was only when the captain of the security teams assured the coast was clear that Sonia and Toby exited the elevator, but as soon as they were out, they were spotted by the reporters, who were currently being held back by the bodyguards.