Fitz’s confusion was etched all over his face as he gazed at his mother.
“Test?” he repeated uncertainly, “Mom, what do you mean?”
Deana’s expression was grave as she responded, “Milos’s visit today has a singular purpose, Fitz. He’s here to ask you a question, and your response will determine if you’re ready to put an end to this journey of yours.”
Fitz furrowed his brow in confusion, “What exactly is Mr. Wade planning to test me for? Is it a test of my sincerity?”
Deana nodded gravely, “In a way, yes. Milos’s behavior and demeanor remind me a lot of his father, Bruce. Though I don’t know Milos well, I knew Bruce intimately. Mozart was a unique leader in that he didn’t prioritize a person’s background when employing them. Rather, he placed utmost importance on their character.”
Deana paused for a moment before continuing, her voice tinged with somberness. “In Bruce’s eyes, a person’s power and influence don’t matter if their conduct is subpar. Mozart wouldn’t associate himself with individuals like that, let alone consider them for a career opportunity…”
“Sadly, many people today don’t share this view. They have malicious intentions and are only interested in using and discarding others to extract their ability and value. These bosses prioritize a person’s ability over their character, but such individuals can often be a double-edged sword…”
“Even if they can deliver short-term results, two people with bad intentions and a ‘winner takes all’ mentality can never create a situation that’s mutually beneficial. In the long run, such a situation is bound to do more harm than good. This is precisely why Bruce prioritized a person’s character over their ability when hiring. Passing the character test was the first prerequisite.”
Deana leaned forward, her expression serious, “Milos must have had his reasons for allowing Kairi to put your father under house arrest, Fitz. But if Zayne can figure out what those reasons are and meet Milos’s test standards, he’ll be granted his freedom. You can take my word for it – just wait and see. After the wedding on the 8th, Zayne will be a free man once again.”
Fitz’s surprise was evident as he exclaimed, “Mom, are you saying that Mr. Wade wants to use me?”
Deana shook her head, her gaze intense, “Perhaps he doesn’t want to use you, Fitz. It could be your sister he’s interested in.”
Zara nodded in agreement, “And once your brother returns from his pilgrimage, he can resume working at Banks Group!”
“Exactly,” Deana replied with a sigh, “Milos tested your brother, most likely because of you, Zara. His thought process is very similar to his father’s, he’s extremely cautious.”
Fitz fell silent for a moment, his mind racing.
Suddenly, he spoke up, “Mom, I think I understand what Mr. Wade wants from me. Mozart wants me to be grounded and help Zara shoulder her responsibilities, but only if he feels that I’ve undergone a fundamental change in my behavior. Mozart won’t let me meddle in the Banks family’s affairs otherwise.”
Deana nodded gravely, “Yes, that’s exactly it. So you mustn’t have any other ideas, Fitz. If you let him down once again, he might never give you another chance.”
Fitz’s words poured forth without hesitation, his tone firm and unwavering, “Mom, you don’t have to worry. I’m not the same person who was desperate to inherit the Banks family legacy. This pilgrimage has taught me that in life, we must never disappoint ourselves or our loved ones…”
“If Zara needs me in the future, I’ll be there for her with all my heart. But if she doesn’t, I won’t fight for a share of the family assets. Even if I have only the money in my own account, it’s enough for me to live a worry-free life.”
Deana breathed a sigh of relief upon hearing her son’s heartfelt words.
Turning to Zara, she spoke, “As the head of the Banks family, Zara, it’s up to you to decide whether to allow your brother to return to the Banks Group, even if Milos approves it. You can make this decision independently, and Mom won’t interfere. However, I do have one request for you.”
Zara’s impatience was palpable as she urged her mother on. “Mom, just tell me already!”
Deana’s expression was serious as she spoke, “It’s common practice for family businesses to promote their own members to key positions. But you must be fair and impartial, Zara. Treat Fitz like any other employee. If he’s qualified, promote him. If not, demote him. Don’t let him coast along in a position he can’t handle. That’ll make him look incompetent.”
Zara nodded solemnly, “Mom, don’t worry. I’ll make a note of that.”