Chapter 657 Hand-Knitted Scarf
The secretaries and assistants were worried that if they slowed down their pace, Toby would turn his attention to them as well. And woe be to them if that were to come to pass! As such, they hurried down the hallway, leaving their fallen colleague to deal with Toby’s wrath.
Presently, the male secretary, Jacob, dared not meet Toby’s gaze. He kept his head down, and he was trembling slightly. It was clear to see that he was intimidated by Toby.
Toby, however, lowered his gaze on the man as he asked placidly, “Did you say that your wife gave you a gift?”
Jacob was a little taken aback by this. He looked up, but instead of answering the question, he asked Toby skeptically, “President Fuller, did you stop me just to ask me that?”
Upon hearing Toby hum in affirmation, Jacob felt as if a weight had been lifted off his chest. All the anxiousness drained out of him, and as he was visibly relaxed, his body stopped trembling as well. Straightening up, he let out a quiet breath of relief and answered calmly, “Yes, President Fuller. My wife has recently picked up knitting and crocheting, and she decided to make me this scarf.”
As he said this, his hand reached for the pink scarf around his neck, and a lovesick grin spread across his face. Then, he eyed Toby earnestly as he asked, “What do you think of it, President Fuller?”
Toby did not reply, but as he stared at the scarf, he thought it looked like a rather jarring shade of pink. This guy’s not actually bragging about this to me, is he? Ha! What makes him think this is bragging material? It’s just a scarf from his lover, and what’s with that ridiculous grin he has on his face? For some reason, he felt challenged, and he was suddenly seized with the confidence that he, too, could get his lover to knit him a scarf.
A little indignant, Toby pursed his lips, and the air around him grew colder as he lied, “It looks decent on you. Now get back to work.”
“Yes, sir,” Jacob replied respectfully with a firm nod, then happily let go of the scarf as he turned to go into the office.
Toby, on the other hand, walked in the opposite direction toward his own office as well. While doing so, he texted Sonia. ‘I think I know what I want.’
Sonia was busy going through paperwork when she heard her phone chime with a new message. She reached for it and glanced at Toby’s text. Raising a brow, she called him instead of replying to him.
At the sight of her incoming call, Toby swiped his screen to put her through, then pressed the phone to his ear.
Sonia’s firm and pleasant voice instantly filled the other line. “You said you know what you want, so come right out with it.”
He pulled out his chair and sat down behind his desk, his thoughts lingering on the scarf around Jacob’s neck and the smug grin on his face. “I want you to knit me a scarf,” Toby said. Once she gives me a hand-knitted scarf, then I can put it on and brag around the office, too.
“Huh?” On the other end of the phone, Sonia was completely stunned when she registered Toby’s answer. A scarf? A scarf hand-knitted by me? She clearly had not expected him to ask for something so specific and odd, to say the least.
She had thought of buying him an accessory piece even if he couldn’t come up with an idea of what he would want for a gift, like a razor or a leather belt or something. Alas, little did she know that what he truly wanted for a birthday present was a scarf.
When he heard no response from her, he immediately grew unsettled. Lowering his gaze slightly, he asked, “You’re not backing out of your offer now, are you?”
She shook her head. “No, of course not. It’s just that, well, I’m curious as to what prompted you to want a scarf and a hand-knitted one from me, no less.”
Frankly speaking, it was rare for most men to want a hand-knitted scarf from their girlfriends as a birthday present. This was especially true for men like Toby, who couldn’t possibly want something as plain and humble as a scarf after the collection of designer goods he had amassed over the years. As such, Sonia had a feeling that there was more to his surprising request than met the eye.
Sure enough, it didn’t take long for Toby to confess a little sheepishly. “Someone was bragging about it to my face.”
“Bragging?” she repeated, tipping her head to the side in confusion.
He hummed in response, then told her about the conversation he had had with Jacob out in the hallway earlier.
Having heard the full story, Sonia was bemused. “How is that considered bragging? He was probably just excited to regale everyone with anecdotes of his love life.”
Toby pressed his lips into a thin line. “Yeah, but seeing as I don’t have a scarf hand-knitted by my girlfriend, that would make me inferior and him the bragger.”
She sighed and rubbed her temple with mock exasperation. “Okay, fine, he was bragging to your face. So because your subordinate has something that you don’t, and he was showing it off in front of you, you decided that you would like to have a scarf to balance out the resentment you feel, is that it?”
Toby lifted his chin petulantly. “I’m the boss. How am I going to face my subordinates if I don’t even have a love life as enriching as theirs? I need everyone to know that I have what they have, if not more. So, circling back to the topic, will you please knit me a scarf, Sonia?”
With one hand pressed against her forehead like she was dealing with the onset of a migraine, she countered, “Of course I will, and I’m quite adept at knitting, too. But are you sure it’s what you want? You have to know that the scarf isn’t worth anything on the market.”
“No,” he argued with a firm shake of his head. “Any scarf knitted by you is priceless to me.”
Her expression softened as she let out a small laugh. “In that case, it will be my honor to make you that scarf. What color would you like?”
Upon hearing her agreement to make him a scarf, Toby felt a rush of satisfaction course through him, and for a minute, he was on cloud nine. The fingers that twirled his pen quickened in light of his elation as he said, “I’m fine with any color. You decide.”
“Then black it is,” Sonia said with a decisive air after a moment of thought. “Black looks good on you.”
“Hmm.” He nodded, the smile on his face never once fading.
The rest of their conversation surrounded Sonia’s ideas on the knitting pattern and the length, width, and thickness of the scarf. It was only after the details had been settled that they each hung up the phone.
When the call ended, Toby set his phone down on his desk and leaned back into his seat, the atmosphere around him growing warm and easy.
At that moment, Tom walked in with a stack of files in hand. Upon seeing Toby’s insouciant stance, he adjusted his glasses and pointed out, “You look happy, President Fuller. Did something good happen?”
“Sonia’s going to knit me a scarf,” Toby answered as he glanced at Tom, and while he sounded blase, he was undeniably gloating.
Tom felt the corner of his lips twitch. He had the sudden urge to slap himself for being so nosy, and now Toby was rubbing his blooming relationship in his face. You asked for it, Tom chastised himself grimly.
As much as he wanted to wipe that smug grin off Toby’s face, Tom maintained a courteous smile and feigned surprise as he said, “Oh, really? How wonderful! Congratulations, President Fuller.”
Clearly enjoying this, Toby lifted his chin by just a fraction more as he drawled, “Oh, it’s nothing. It’s just a scarf.”
A bitter chuckle threatened to escape Tom. Oh, just a scarf, you said? If you’re going to pretend to care so little about this, then why don’t you take back your d**n bragging? Tom pursed his lips, then coughed as if to mask his own disgruntlement. He didn’t want to continue on this topic with the obviously enamored Toby anymore, for it was getting more disheartening.
Changing the subject, Tom said, “Well, anyway, President Fuller, the departments have sent these over to be executed by you. I’ll just leave them here.” He pointed at Toby’s desk, waiting for approval.
Toby nodded. “Go on, then.”
“Alright.” Tom put the documents down, then stepped back before saying, “If there isn’t anything else you need my help with, I shall take my leave, President Fuller.” He was worried that if he didn’t leave the office now, he would only be in danger of hearing more of Toby and Sonia’s lovey-dovey tidbits.
“Wait,” Toby called out, stopping Tom in his tracks.
Tom winced, but he quickly recomposed himself and put on his standard salaryman smile. “Yes, President Fuller, is there anything I can help you with?”
Toby straightened up in his seat, suddenly serious. “Ask those men who have been dispatched to track down Declan to call off the search. There’s no longer the need for that.”
“Call off the search?” When Tom heard this, his face lit up with astonishment. “But why?”
“Sonia told me a few days ago that Carl has tortured Declan so badly that he no longer seemed human, and Carl doesn’t plan on stopping just yet. I’m afraid Declan will die sooner than we think if this goes on,” Toby answered gravely.
It was on the night before last, when Toby and Sonia returned to Bayside Residence after their movie date that she told him about Carl’s email.
If she hadn’t told him then, he would never have known that Carl had already taken care of Declan.
While Toby was a little unhappy that Carl beat him to torturing Declan, he had to admit that he agreed with Carl’s method of revenge. After all, Declan had nearly killed Sonia when he pushed her off the cliff, and he deserved the cruel punishment. If Toby were in Carl’s shoes, he didn’t think he would go easy on Declan, either.