Saudade is what Duncan felt as he stood staring out the window of his manor, looking at his daughter Lily. She was sitting in the courtyard with a cheeky smile on her face. He felt a deep sense of love mixed with longing and regret. How she reminded him of his late wife Laura, her thick blonde tresses, her whimsy and unfortunately her naivety too.
Duncan was aware of Lily’s behavior around Evan, the bodyguard who was now standing in front of her. He recognized the body language and chemistry between them. Of course he didn’t approve, however he was glad Lily was innocent enough to pursue her desires with full trust that everything would work out. She wasn’t tainted with bad experiences like him.
“Mr. Reynolds, Valentino just arrived,” said Charles, Duncan’s associate.
“I’m on my way,” replied Duncan as he turned from the window and made his way to the entrance hall.
If Laura were alive she’d have taught Lily what she needed to know about the birds and the bees. Duncan never dared bring up the topic with her and by now it was probably too late, Lily was already 21, or was it 22? He wasn’t sure. If Laura were alive he wouldn’t even have employed Evan, he wouldn’t have needed to. Laura would have prevented him from getting into trouble and having to do the impending deal with the most notorious man in the state.
Laura was always the level headed one in their relationship, well not always. Duncan wasn’t sure if he and Laura were destined to be together though. Their parents were business partners who wanted to keep the wealth between them. From a young age, Duncan and Laura felt the unspoken pressure of their parents to get together. Then again, with all the family vacations and business functions they attended together, it was bound for their teenage crush to turn into more.
Duncan still wondered if he would have fallen for her if she wasn’t so forthright with her loving behavior. She fell in love with him and he went with the flow. When his parents died, he didn’t think there was another way to go. He married Laura for the convenience and familiarity, only to fall in love with her after their wedding. She was a great wife.
Unfortunately for him, she fell in love with someone else just as easily as she did with him.
His gut still twisted in knots when he remembered his P.I. showing him the images of his wife with another man. When he confronted Laura she confessed. They worked things out and she chose to stay with Duncan. When Lily was born, Duncan’s position in business went higher and life was grand. When he came home late one night to find the nanny sleeping in Lily’s room and his bed empty, he was perplexed.
It was that fatal night that changed everything; Lily was just three years old. Duncan found a note on Laura’s pillow. He remembered so vividly the perfumed smell of the paper. In the note Laura told him that she could no longer deny her feelings for Robert. She tried to make things work and thought having a baby would give her purpose in their marriage but instead she felt trapped and wanted a divorce.
At that moment all Duncan felt was rage. How dare she leave him, how dare she leave her daughter and just the thought of her in Robert’s arms made him furious.
Duncan grabbed his car keys and sped to Roberts’s apartment, he knew he’d find Laura there.
When he approached the building he saw them get into the back of a car and he followed them. He then pursued a high speed chase after them. He wasn’t thinking when he near rammed his car into them. He could see Laura in the backseat with Robert shouting, “STOP!” He could see she was crying.
The look of disgust on Roberts face made him even angrier, he wasn’t the bad one here, Robert was. What gave Robert the audacity to look at him like he was a jerk; he wasn’t the home-wrecker in this scenario.
All Duncan saw was red. However in the chase, it seems the chauffeur didn’t see red, the red light that is. Duncan watched in horror as the car, just a few feet in front of him was smashed by another. The sound of metal scraping metal, the shattering glass flying, the screams of pedestrians, of Laura, will never leave his mind.
It was at Laura’s funeral that Robert came to Duncan and threatened him. “Don’t bother crying for her now, you piece of trash. You were never there for her. She was just a prize, just an object that had to serve you when you saw fit. You’re on my list Reynolds, you’ll wish you never tried to stop us, you’ll wish you gave us your blessing instead.”
Duncan just stood still, not wanting to make a scene. As Robert walked away, Duncan looked up and saw Lily on her grandmother’s lap. His first thought was his daughter’s safety. It was then that he decided to leave his home country. He called his contacts in the U.S. and made arrangements for his migration. Laura’s parents were livid, they wanted guardianship of Lily but he refused. They tried to convince him that he couldn’t take proper care of her, but he was stubborn. Lily was his and he would never give her up. He didn’t even give them his new address. It was a heartless move but it became apparent to him that he never really had a heart to begin with.
Over the years, somewhere between wanting to gain control of his life and wanting the best for Lily, he became consumed with monetary acquisition.
Including the latter, and perhaps due to it, he admittedly made many mistakes while raising Lily. One of those mistakes resulted in him having to hold this meeting with Valentino.
Related: Saudade- Evan & lily
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