Her father gave her a kiss on the cheek as he headed out of the room, murmuring something about good to see you sweet pea be nice to your mother before he disappeared again. This was normal. Cass kissed the air as he was already retreating before sauntering over to the couch and reclining comfortably against it.
Her mother, also Cassandra (just as every eldest girl in the family had been for at least the last five generations) didn’t look up from where she was working at the desk.
“Hello mother,” Cass finally said, her tone easy and relaxed.
Her mother still didn’t look up.
“Cass dear we’re cutting you off.”
Silence. And then a slow, low, careful, “What.”
The older woman finally looked up then. For Cass it was like looking into a time machine, projecting herself 30 years into the future. The elder Cassandra was still a beautiful woman by any standard. Proud, well maintained (even if Cass did think she was showing her kilometers), her auburn hair streaked with white that made her look distinguished rather than tired.
“You heard me. We’re cutting you off. You were told that would be the case. You are thirty, my dear,” her mother said, looking down her nose as if that very number were a dirty word.
Cass sat up straighter, opening her mouth and then closing it with a snap when her mother looked back down at her papers.
“You have made no effort to learn the business from your father, or get married and continue the family- and that business with the social climber barely qualifies as effort Cass dear.”
Cass’s hands balled into fists. There was little emotion that the redhead showed that was not contrived, meant for an audience and a specific goal in mind, but this anger was genuine.
“That was not-”
“I was given the same choice and I made mine,” her mother interrupted, looking up with a certain glint in her eyes. “I married your father and gave your grandmother both someone to take over the business that I had no interest in and a couple of grandchildren. I dare say she likes your father better than you, so regardless of if it was the right choice or not, it’s done.”
“She likes Anastasia,” Cass said, her tone waspish.
“Yes well, everyone but you likes Ana.” Dismissive, it was difficult to argue with. “She is inoffensive and unthreatening. Something you could learn from. However we aren’t here to talk about your sister. I am here to offer you a deal.”
While the elder Cassandra had not gone into the family business, she had been raised in the cutthroat world of Coruscant society. She knew just which buttons to push and how to elicit a real emotional response from her eldest daughter.
It helped, of course, that she knew exactly what Cass was, because she was the same.
“I am freezing your trust until you accomplish one of two things,” she said, pulling up the screen to hover over the desk. She impinted her thumb at the bottom- though it was backward to the younger’s view, it was clear that it was files from their bank and Cass had never known her mother to bluff in situations like this.
“First, you can get married and pregnant. I wish you joy of it. Second, you can take over the family business-”
“Wait,” her mother put one finger up in the air. “You have spent the last ten years blowing your father off every time he has attempted to integrate you. You have been too busy shopping, flirting or whatever else it is you do with your time, I haven’t the foggiest because it is deeply uninteresting to me. So while I am certain your father would be willing to train you still, that is not the offer that is on the table. For all I know, you aren’t good for anything but being a Paige brood mare, and I refuse to have you waste your father’s time as you have wasted your own, no. The second choice on the table for you is that you go and buy out some company- I don’t care what kind, fashion, mining, telecommunications, whoring, just something. Nothing intergalactic, I don’t trust you with that kind of money. Buy it, and run it.”
Cass sniffed, flipping her hair in a show of ‘oh is that all’ but inside she was seething.
“Buy it, run it and turn a profit. I don’t care how long it takes you to do so. A year. Five. I am betting on never, personally, but then, I win whether you succeed or fail so it hardly matters.”
She looked up at her daughter, eyes flat and deadly.
“If you can’t, the option of marriage is still available to you. But I will choose. That is your gamble if you take the second option. The cards are on the table Cassandra. Your sister Natalya has been actually spending time with your father, learning the business. So there is no risk to the family. But if you want the family money?”
She dismissed the screen and her eldest daughter in the same flick of her finger.
“You will be useful to the family.”
Edited by Cassandra Paige, 15 January 2018 - 08:04 PM.