Romance Fiction posted November 6, 2022

This work has reached the exceptional level
Tony's world changes

The Office, Part 7

by Shirley McLain

Tony picked up the other piece of paper lying on his desk. His hands still shook, but not as badly. He began reading, and the more he read, the more his eyes grew wide. “How can this be true? I mean, I know how it happened, but how did you get my DNA tested?”

Angel laughed as she sat straighter in her chair. “You do remember Tony? We spent a lot of time together at my apartment. I can’t even begin to count the mornings you left for work from there. You used a comb out of the top drawer on the vanity. I never touched that drawer until six months ago. Imagine my surprise when I began to clean the drawer out to discover that comb was full of your hair. I’m surprised you're not bald by now; as much hair as you lost.”

“OK, no more games. What is going on? You waited three years to tell me of a son I should have known about from the beginning. Things don’t add up.”

The smile disappeared from Angel’s face as she looked at Tony. “I didn’t want to come here after three years. I never intended to tell you about our son, but now I have no choice. I thought if I appeared as I used to in your eyes, this would be easier. It’s not easy, at all. I am dying, Tony. I have end-stage pancreatic cancer. The doctors told me last week I have at the most two months.”

“Come on, lady, don’t give me a line of crap. You look too healthy to be dying of cancer. How much money do you want?”

“I don’t want anything, but you to be there for our son. I have hired a nanny to come in and stay with him, because I don’t have the stamina to take care of a three-year-old. I want you to start spending time with him, so he gets to know you and will be comfortable when the time comes to go with you. I also want you to fix his birth certificate, so it shows you are his father. I know this is overwhelming for you to have all this dumped on you. I just couldn’t put it off any longer.”

“If this is true, how can you look so healthy? The couple of people I have known with this type of cancer were yellow and emaciated looking. You look like you did three years ago.”

“I have lost close to 60 pounds. I’m not jaundiced because of where the cancer started. That will change soon. Tony, will you take care of our son?”

Tony stared at his desk for what seemed like forever to Angel. He looked up and looked into her eyes. “I swear to you that I will take care of him and love him to the best of my ability. I am sorry, Angel, I can’t take your pain away. I’ll take care of you and Adam.

I need a couple of days to explain everything to dad. I'd like you, Adam, and the nanny to move to the estate. That way, we can both have access to Adam, and he can become accustomed to his home. Will you agree to that? I think it’s the best answer for both of us. I will make some arrangements for a full-time nurse for you. You will have all the privacy you want with your own suite of rooms. Don’t worry about anything. Pack a few clothes for you, and Adam. I will arrange for packers and movers to come in and get everything moved.”

Angel didn’t remark immediately. She didn’t want to be a burden to anyone, but she knew the time was fast approaching, and she would need the help. “Yes, I'll move to the estate.”

Tony stood, walked around his desk, and stood beside Angel. He reached down and took her hands in his. “I'll get things started today. As I said, don’t worry about any details besides your and Adam’s clothes. Do you still live in the same place you did?"

“Yes, the apartment on Lexington. I’m so glad I didn’t buy it. I came close a couple of years ago. That’s just one less complication to deal with. Now I have to go and let you get on with your day. I’m sorry I am causing you so many problems.”

Shaking his head, Tony couldn’t believe this was the same woman who came into his office. “I understand. You have a lot to work through right now, and I will help you as much as possible. Do you want to leave through the side door or go back through the office?”

Taking her hands from Tony, Angel stood. “I will go out the same way I came in. I owe your secretary an apology for my behavior.”

It crossed Tony’s mind to tell Angel about Amanda, but he decided this was not the right time to tell Angel that Amanda would be Adam’s stepmother if he got what he wanted.

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