Alexander stood from his chair and moved to her side. With arms crossed, he leaned forward and stated firmly, “Just because Fredric is a male does not mean he is ready to lead this family ... or any family. He is ill-tempered and thinks only of himself. He does not have the skills to manage anything or anyone. Fredric is more experienced in taverns and brothels than he will ever be with other responsibilities.
“I have grave doubts about him. No son of mine would behave this way.” And then he added, “Fredric does not look like me nor act like me. Perhaps he is not my son.”
Fear flowed through Astrid’s body.
Turning from her, Alexander added, “I will speak to Commander Ramos of the Count’s guard and request that he begin Fredric’s military training. If he does not make a man out of him, no one can. Do not speak of Fredric working with me again. Now, this conversation is over!”
“It is far from over!” Flashing Alexander a hate-filled look, Astrid tossed her head back, and shoved him out of the way as she fled the room.
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