Under His Control

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chapter five

Manhattan, New York

5:11 p.m.

Liam Harrington

“Terrance has just finished the sweep of the gallery with the security team of the night.” Why hasn’t she answered me back yet? My tie laid undone on either side of my chest, as I stared at all the unread messages I’ve sent Katherine. I know my schedule today wasn’t that busy, because I made sure all the intricately involved work was finish yesterday, so what the hell was she up to? “Liam, are you even listening to me?” Hilary, picked up the end of her gown strutting over to me, placing her hands on her hips as she eyed me down in annoyance. “I’m going to take that thing away from. This is a huge night, you don’t need any distractions.” I rolled my eyes, tossing my phone onto the chest in front of me, bringing my hands to tie my tie into place.

“You don’t think I know that.” I huffed, pulling the knot of tie tightly in place, before turning to Hilary. “Lets make this the first and only time, I have to remind you to mind your own damn business this weekend.” Hilary, scuffed crossing her arms over her chest, pushing her fake breast up further in her halter top gown.

“Don’t flatter yourself, I couldn’t care less what you and your future mistake are up too.”

“Hilary, I swear to-”

Incoming call from: Wife

Looking down to my phone buzzing around on the chest, I picked up the blinking screen to answer the call.

“Go to car, I’ll be down in five.”

“Five minutes Liam.” I waved Hilary off, pressing the green button to accept the call, bringing my phone up to my ear.

-Why haven’t you been answering your phone?

-S-Sorry, I dropped it early, it just came on, is everything okay?

-Everything is fine baby, I was just checking in.

Something was off with her.

-Is everything okay?

Silence was on Katherine’s end, as I slipped my arms into my white suit jacket, balancing my phone on my neck and shoulder blade.

-Y-yeah, yeah, I’m just a bit tired, I didn’t sleep much last night with Cove’s fever still bothering her.

-Is she alright? Why didn’t you call me?

-She’s fine now, she’s with your dad making him play Just Dance.

Her newest victim. As much as I wanted to stay on the phone and just listen to Katherine’s soothingly, sweet, melodic voice, I needed to be on my way to Imperial now.

-I need to head to my exhibition now, I love you.

-I-I love you too, good luck not that you need it.

I smirked, ending the call before, slipping my phone into the pocket of my slacks. Adjusting my Patek Philippe on my wrist, I walked out of the hotel room, following Hugo and Terrance to limousine parked outside. Paparazzi were snapping pictures of me, yelling out their usual bullshit to get a quick paycheck, as I got into the limousine, driving off to my gallery.

“I heard Marcus Hewitt, is going to be making an appearance tonight.” Hilary looked over to me with a pleased smile on her lips. “That’s good press.”

“Its only good press if he’s impressed.” I huffed, pouring a quick glass on Don Julio into the glass resting next to the cooler. Marcus Hewitt is one of the most famous artist alive, and it was my mother’s goal, while she was alive to get him to visit one of her galleries, which made this more important to me. My mother always told me to never compare my work to any other artist. In her words, you can paint the same portrait, but they can’t copy your technique, and that has stuck with me throughout these years. I wouldn’t admit it, but I have been trying to get Marcus Hewitt to show up to Imperial for the past nine years, he isn’t a man who’s easily impressed.

Knocking back the remainder of my drink, when I felt my phone vibrating in the pocket of my pants. Fishing the annoying, glowing rectangle out of my pants, I unlocked my phone to reply to my father’s message.

From: BIG Harrington

-Crawford wants to hold a board meeting two weeks from today, when he returns from his vacation. Do you know what that’s about?

Why the hell is he calling for a board meeting?

-No, I would assume it’s not important if he’s waiting two weeks to meet.

BIG Harrington is typing

From: BIG Harrington

-I guess you’re right ;)

I rolled my eyes, placing my phone back into my pocket, taking a deep breath. Aaron Crawford, is an old money hungry, bastard who has been trying for years to get enough votes to boot by father from the board. I’ve had him followed since his last attempt, hoping to catch some dirt on the slimy crook to get rid of him for good. He was one of three board members who voted against me replacing my father, after he decided to step down. Though my father is the rightful owner and CEO of Harrington Enterprises, he needed investors when he first started out to build the company up to where it is now. There was no way in hell I was letting Aaron Crawford, Roy Stephens, or Donovan Montgomery, ruin all the blood, sweat and tears my father has put into HE.

“Liam?”

“What is it Hilary.”

“Well, first you need to pep up, secondly take this so our guest don’t smell liquor on you.” I turned to her, grabbing the Icebreakers from the palm of her hands. “There are three reporters from the New York Times coming, I would advise not talking about your engagement.” Johan pulled in front of Imperial, where reporters were waiting to grab my picture, and ask questions.

“Thank you, for your unneeded commentary.”

“Sir.” Johan opened the door, allowing me step outside the limousine. I buttoned the front of my suit, placing my hands in my pockets as the flashing cameras caused me to squint.

“Liam Harrington, are the rumors true are you engaged!”

“Is it true Marcus Hewitt is attending tonight, to buy your most famous piece!”

“Are you selling your companies to work full time in Seattle!”

“Liam over here!”

Security cleared a path for Hilary and I to walk inside my gallery. People were already inside sipping champagne, browsing the statues, paintings and sculptures, while the servers carried around horderves, and the live band played classical music upstairs.

“I’m going to check the guest list for tonight.”

“Okay.” I nodded at Hilary, as Hugo walked with her through the crowd. “Who’s guarding the safe tonight.” I turned to Terrance, wanting to know the 411 for tonight.

“Bruce assigned an armed special team.”

“Great, I’m heading upstairs.”

“Yes, sir.” Walking up the curved staircase to floor of my paintings, I found a short man dressed in dark trench coat staring at La Magnifique Chute de la Grace (The Magnificent Fall from Grace), the crown jewel of my gallery. Walking over to the man, I stood beside him, admiring my most famous piece. I was known for using nontraditional color pallets in all my paintings, especially in this one. The dark muted colors painted the heavens, and the fallen angel while, pastels and vivid colors colored the storm and God’s wrath. It took nine months to paint this.

“The pictures online don’t do this justice, I must say.” We faced each other at the same time, as Marcus Hewitt himself smiled at me, extending his hand. “It’s nice to finally meet you Lionardo.” I grasp his hand, giving him a firm handshake, trying to remain calm in the presence of my mother, and I’s idol.

“The pleasure is all mine Mr. Hewitt, thank you for coming tonight.”

“Please, call me Marcus.” I nodded, as he turned back to the painting. “I must say, I wasn’t a fan of your reverse color technique, I found it quite messy and amateur like.” I lightly laughed, finding amusement in the statement I got for the first fifteen years of my career. “But, you have turned me into a believer.”

“Well, that pleases me Marcus.”

“I want to buy it.”

“Champagne, Mr. Harrington?” I turned to Margot, grabbing two champagne glasses from her tray.

“Thank you, Margot.”

“Of course, sir.” Margot tended to the other guest on the floor, as I turned to Marcus handing him a glass. This painting meant a lot to me, I wasn’t going to sell it to just anyone.

“I’m flattered Marcus, but this isn’t for sale-”

“Is 200 million satisfactory.” I nearly choked on the champagne, travelling down my throat at his offer. “Of course, I’m willing to negotiate.”

“Well, that is a generous offer.”

“I’ll throw in an extra 75 million if that will convince you.” Sold.

“Alright.” I shook Marcus’s hand, sealing our deal. “I’ll have my assistant write up the transaction.”

“Wonderful, I’ll find you later to discuss you coming to Rome be a guest feature in my exhibition.”

“Of course, I look forward to our chat.” Marcus squeezed my shoulder, before heading into the sculpture hall. I hope I did you proud mom.

“Liam!” I turned around to find Hilary running up the stairs, with Hugo trying to catch up with her. A few of the lingering guest were staring at us as Hilary and Hugo approached me.

“Have you lost your damn mind, we have guest!” I whispered harshly at her, as my eyes briefly flashed to the guest.

“Oh, I do apologize your highness.” Hilary rolled her eyes, shoving the iPad in my hand showing me the guest list. “But we have a problem.” Her long acrylic nailed, pointed at a name that made my blood boil.

“How the hell did this happen!” I was trying my best to keep my voice down, but I was beyond pissed.

“Terrance, is keeping her at the entrance.”

“Lets go.” I shoved the iPad back in Hilary’s arm. “Marcus Hewitt is buying La Magnifique Chute de la Grace, take him to my office, and don’t let him leave until I take care of this.”

“Okay.” Hugo led me down the steps casually, being cautious not to draw any attention to our true intentions.

“Make sure no reporters are around, the last thing I need is this story turning into something it’s not.”

“Yes, sir.” I walked over to Terrance who kept his poker face until we were out of sight of the gallery guest.

“Where is she.”

“Back hallway, sir.” The sooner I dealt with this, the sooner she would be out of my life, for good this time. I pushed the door open, looking at her drinking champagne with an amused smirk on her face.

“Well here’s the man of the hour.” Grabbing her by her forearm, I pulled her to my chest trying my best to control the anger that seeing this woman made me feel. “Yum, you know I like it rough.”

“I am five seconds away from putting your ass in jail where the fuck you belong, what the hell are you doing here Shatara?”

“Aw, you didn’t miss me Lio.” I pushed her away from me, knowing this vile human would try anything with me.

“Don’t, do not fucking test me!” Shatara scuffed, knocking back the rest of her champagne. “I let you off easy, but so help me God do not, take my kindess as remorse for you.”

“I come baring peace, Liam.” She walked over to me with a triumphiant smirk on her face.” I heard you’re newly engaged. I would love to meet the lucky lady since, you’ve been going through an awful lot of trouble to keep her hidden.” I clenched my fist, as her hands rubbed down the sleeves of my suit jacket. “And to wish her good luck, being engaged to you isn’t exactly easy. I would know wouldn’t I.”

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