Mr. Pendlebury’s Dinner Invitation

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Laird was on his way to Martina’s place when his father called him. “Hello, Dad.”

“Hello, Laird. How are you?”

“Other than being busy with work and wedding plans, I’m fine, thanks. How about you?”

“I’m doing well, thanks. I’m calling to invite you and your fiancée to have dinner with your sister, Antonia and me.”

“When did you have in mind?”

“Are you available this Saturday?”

“Yes.”

“Great. Then, it’s this Saturday at eight.”

“Martina and I will be there.”

“We look forward to seeing you and meeting her.”

“She’s looking forward to meeting you too.”

“Good. We’ll see you on Saturday.”

“Yes, Dad. We’ll see you then.”

“I’m sorry I can’t chat but I have to finish working on the first draft of my book.”

“It’s all right, Dad. I’m on my way to see Martina.”

“Well, have a good evening.”

“Thanks, you too.”

“Oh, by the way, Laird, we’re going to have your favorite for dessert.”

Acorn pie?”

“Yes.”

“I’m looking forward to that.”

Mr. Pendlebury chuckled. “I knew you’d be pleased. Goodnight, Son.”

“Goodnight, Dad.” He ended the call. Acorn pie. The last time he had that was on the day he graduated from Oxford and that was a long time ago. He was looking forward to having a large slice.

“My father invited us to have dinner with him on Saturday,” he told Martina an hour later while they were relaxing in the living-room after having dinner.

“Oh. I’m looking forward to meeting him.”

“He’s looking forward to meeting you too.”

“What about Antonia?”

“What about her?”

“Is she going to be joining us for dinner?”

“Yes.”

“I don’t suppose she’s looking forward to meeting me.”

“It hardly matters to me whether she is or not.”

“Laird, it must have been a shock for her to learn about our engagement.”

“It was a shock for my father too.”

“For her it was a painful shock.”

“She’ll get over it.”

“I doubt it. She hasn’t gotten over you.”

“She will have to.”

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“It isn’t as simple as that, Laird. Suppose you had decided to end our relationship after seeing me with Steven that day at the restaurant bar, would it have been easy for you to get over me?”

“No. It would have taken a lifetime to get over you and even then, it wouldn’t have been a long enough time.”

“Then, imagine that it might the same thing for Antonia. I know that if I were in her shoes, I would never get over you.”

“What do you want me to do?”

“Just be civil to her. Even if you can’t forgive her for what she has done, be civil to her.”

“All right. I’ll be civil to her for your sake.”

“The last thing you want is for your father to become suspicious if he senses any animosity between you.”

“You’re right.”

“Aren’t I always?” she asked, teasingly.

“Right now, you look absolutely ravishing,” he said.

She rose to her feet. “Let’s go to my room so you can ravish me.”

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