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When His Eyes Opened

Chapter 11

Chapter 11 Elliot reached his arm out through the car window. Clipped between his slender fingers was a pack of tissue. Avery was stunned. She was about to decline but ended up uncharacteristically accepting it. “Thanks.” The warmth of his palm still lingered on the tissues. Elliot quickly averted his gaze from her face and rolled up the window as the car sped off. It was ten in the morning at Tate Industries, and all of its employees were working away at their respective stations. It had been a month since the company had paid wages. However, Tate Industries was an old player in the industry. Even if all kinds of negative news were circulating on the internet, its employees refused to give up until the very last moment. If she had not known about the company’s many debts, Avery could not imagine that the calm atmosphere in front of her was an illusion. She entered the meeting room with the company’s vice president, Shaun Locklyn. The lawyer went straight to the point when he saw Avery and said, “I'm very sorry for your loss, Miss Tate. Your father entrusted me to announce his will, which I will do now.” Avery nodded lightly. The lawyer opened up a file and said firmly, “Your father had six pieces of real estate which are respectively located in... Here is the file. Please go through it.” Avery took the document and examined it thoroughly. “Your father also had three parking lots,” said the lawyer as he passed another document to her, “as well as eight shop lots, and twelve vehicles.” Avery knew nothing about the family's fortune. First of all, she had no interest in it. Second of all, her father had never explained it to her. Now that the lawyer was describing her father’s fortune to her, she could not help but feel a sense of unease. She had no idea that her father was this wealthy. Since he had all these fixed assets, why did he not sell them and use the money to treat his illness? “Apart from the aforementioned assets, there is also the company in which we are sitting right now,” said the lawyer. Then, after a brief pause, he added, “Your father planned to leave the company to you, but the company is currently operating at a loss.” Avery glanced at the lawyer and said, “By how much?" Shaun adjusted his glasses and chimed in, “The current deficit is a hundred and twenty-five million. If you take over your father’s company, you would also inherit his debt. You may have to sell off all of the properties and cars that were mentioned just now in order to make up for the loss.” Avery was stunned A hundred and twenty-five million! Even if she sold off all of her father's assets, it still would not cover a hundred and twenty-five million! “You can choose not to accept this, Avery. That way, your father’s debt would not fall on you,” Shaun said with a sullen expression. “However, I hope you will seriously consider this. This company is your father’s life's work. Do you really have the heart to watch it shut down?” “What about Wanda and Cassandra?" Avery asked after taking a deep breath. “Don't even mention your stepmother! It's partly her fault that the company is in dire straits. She arranged for her brother to join our finance department a few years ago. He embezzled a lot of money from the company through the years. We don't even know where he’s run off to now,” sighed Shaun. Avery placed her hands on her forehead, and her voice trembled as she said, don’t want to see my father’s company fall either, but where am I supposed to find all of that money—' “Borrow it!” said Shaun. “We've reached the end of our new product research and development. If we manage to get a loan, once we launch the new product, we'll be able to alleviate our financial troubles quite a bit.” “Who would we ask for a loan from? Who would be able to give me that much?” Avery said as she raised her eyes in disbelief. “The banks,” Shaun replied. “If the banks won’t give it to you, we can find another investor. We have to try. If we manage, then great. If we don’t, then you can give up. What do you think?’ At the president's office on the top floor of Sterling Group, the sun was shining through the spotless floor-to-ceiling windows. With his back facing the sun, Elliot's chiseled features looked extraordinary. He was holding a document that his assistant, Chad Rayner, brought to him. “Mr. Foster, Tate industries are currently facing a debt of a hundred and twenty- five million dollars. Jack Tate's wife and youngest daughter took an early flight out of the country this morning. It doesn't look like they will be returning before the company’s troubles are settled. I think Miss Tate will most likely give up on Tate Industries. A hundred and twenty-five million is an impossible amount for her,” Chad explained. Elliot had asked him for information on Tate Industries, so he figured that his boss was interested in the matter. “Let's make a bet, Chad!" Sterling Group's chief financial officer, Ben Schaffer, was stirring his cup of coffee as his eyes narrowed like a sly fox. ‘I bet Avery Tate will come to Elliot to ask for a loan. She's in a favorable position to enjoy certain benefits. If she asks Elliot for the money, I'm guessing he'll at least lend some of it to her.” Chad shook his head and said, “I doubt she has the guts to do that.” Ben took a sip of coffee and chuckled, “You didn't see her last night. She smashed a bottle of wine from 1947 in front of our faces and went up against Chelsea. She might look gentle, but she’s even more feisty than Chelsea.” ‘Alright, then. I'll make a bet with you!” Chad responded “What should we bet on?” ‘If I lose, I'll buy you coffee for a month. If you lose, you have to buy coffee for everyone in the president's department for a month. How's that?” “Okay.” That afternoon, Avery called up every major bank. Things were not as simple as Shaun made it sound She called eight banks, two of which the company still owed money to. Of course, the other two banks did not dare give her a loan either. “Avery, here's a detailed introduction to our new product. It’s a very promising product. I'll think of a way to set up a meeting with the managers of the other two banks. Go and put on something nice, then have a proper meeting with them,” said Shaun as he handed Avery a thick file. “Why do I need to dress up? Can't I just go like this?” Avery asked. “You don't have makeup on, so you don’t look your best. It can come across as disrespectful in the business world,” Shaun replied. “Let me take a look at the product profile first,” Avery said “Alright. I'll contact the bank managers. I'll let you know once I set it up,” said Shaun. Chad received some information at six in the evening. “It looks like we both lost the best, Mr. Schaffer,” Chad said. “Surprisingly, Avery Tate didn't give up on Tate Industries. Also, she’s meeting the managers of River City Bank and Silver Linings Bank for dinner tonight.” Ben was disappointed. “Those two old geezers are infamous for being promiscuous! She's walking right into a lion’s den! I suppose she doesn't know of society's dangers since she hasn't graduated college yet. I can’t figure out why she wouldn't just go to Elliot? He's her husband even if only in name. Does she think he's less than those two old sleazebags?" Chad snuck a glance at Elliot's face. It was eerily dark. At the end of the day, Avery was still Elliot's wife in name. If she went to meet those two old men that night, it would be a blow to Elliot's pride. Chad felt suffocated at the thought of his boss being played for a fool. With Elliot's temper, if Avery really cheated on him, she would meet an ugly end. “Should I give Miss Tate a call, Mr. Foster?" Chad said after thinking for a moment. Elliot clenched his fists so tightly that his knuckles turned white “Don't contact her!" he snapped in a hoarse voice. He wanted to see if Avery would really act so recklessly behind his back Ben coughed lightly, then said, “Do you want to have a drink with us? My treat!” Elliot's expression turned malicious. He shut his laptop, then rolled away in his wheelchair. His bodyguard followed closely behind and escorted him out.