The Y-files [GL]
Bernadette Lourdes POV
We had been discussing this contract for a couple of hours already, and although the Lyst group's offer seemed very generous, and more than reasonable I could not help but feel something sting. Something was off. She kept beating around the bush when I asked why the Lyst group would be so generous. I was starting to lose my patience...
“Stop beating around the bush, I am not signing anything before you explain to me what your real goals are.”
Mrs. Lyst sighed. “Fine. But promise that what I will say now will stay between these walls. I have the feeling you are a woman of honor so your word will do.”
I gave her my word and what I got to hear was beyond my imagination.
“I want Claire to eventually marry Anna and become the head of the Lyst group. Anna is not strong enough for that, she needs someone by her side who is. And I think Claire could be that person with the proper guidance. Anna made a good choice, I have to give her that. I want Claire ready for the job, and this deal will give me the necessary leeway to prepare her and make her want to take that function.”
I noticed Cath put away her notebook at this point, and joined us at the table. She was playing with some sort of scanning device and checking out an air dispenser. I had almost forgotten she was still in the room. I was beginning to suspect that she was only scatterbrained when it suited her. She had clearly been listening to every word of our conversation, even if she seemed preoccupied.
So Kath was after Claire, and she still had not given up on those marriage plans. Although the promise of being CEO of a multinational group like the Lyst group is a job nobody could ever hope to obtain, I don't think pushing Claire into that role is very fair to her. To my knowledge, Claire wants to be a professional chef.
“Isn't that up to her to decide?” I asked. Showing her that I would not blindly agree to this plan of hers.
“That is what I was saying. I will make them make the right decisions themselves. I think Vital has proven that you achieve nothing by pushing your will onto Anna.”
So she was planning on a game of manipulation. I let out an inner sigh. That woman would always be an overbearing mother, wouldn't she? I felt a little sorry for Anna, and now it seemed Kath would also be an overbearing mother-in-law.
While I was thinking things over, Ms. Odes dropped her air dispenser. The room filled with an intense scent. I was feeling really good and empowered, I felt like I knew what needed to be done. I could see that Cath was looking shy and apologetic for her accident. Ms. Lyst seemed unaffected.
I did not care about Ms. Odes' antics or what she had done to me at this moment. All I could think of was my date with Lisa tomorrow, and that I needed to make a decision that would make Lisa happy.
I did not want to throw Claire to the lions, but she would have to deal with her mother-in-law in some way. Anna Lyst came preinstalled with the Kath Lyst package. The only thing that I could think of was to make sure that I remained in a position to shield Claire from the Lysts' influence. I made some more adjustments to the contract leaving me as the CYA director as a clear bridge giving no executive power over the CYA employees to the Lyst group. That way I would be able to help Claire along the way. I thought Ms. Lyst went along a little too easily with those changes.
Just when I started to get a bit weary Ms. Lyst made a counter move that I did not expect. She asked for a change in the apprenticeship contracts for the FBY members to streamline them better with the needs of the private sector. Since they were investing so much, they should get a say in the curriculum. That way, the students would be better prepared for a career afterward. Their curriculum would be provided by the Lyst group and would be made in function of the student's individual needs. The Lyst group would provide internships and mentorship by field experts. It was clear that she just wanted to steer Claire's career, but by the way it was put in the contract, it was clear that they would have to provide these internships to all apprenticeship contracts. Not that we had any other than Claire at the moment, but that could be changed rather quickly. It was a really generous offer. The school really could use a budget increase like that, and it would be really good for the school's reputation to have a mentorship project with a big international association like the Lyst group. There was no way the school board would forgive me if I refused such a generous offer.
There really was no way I could refuse this, and I saw on Ms. Lysts face that she knew it. I had been checkmated by the power of limitless funding.
That woman had won. I signed the agreement. I did my best Claire, the rest of dealing with your in-laws will be up to you.