Under His Control

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chapter eight

Sunday, March 14th

Liam Harrington

10:28 p.m.

*DING*DONG*DING*DONG*

“Would this old bastard open the door.” I muttered to myself, as I adjusted my Givenchy duffle bag on my shoulder.

“YOU’RE TRESPASSING ON PRIVATE PROPERTY!” My father yelled, as he approached the door.

“Open the door you old bastard!” I huffed, as I heard the plethora of locks come undone on the door.

“What are you doing here so late, I nearly got my shot gun.” I rolled my eyes, walking inside to warm my body from the cold Washington night air. “I thought you were in New York until morning.”

“I finished my work early, so I flew back.”

“And you came here?”

“Is that a problem father.”

“No, no, no. I just usually have to threaten you to come here, I’m a bit surprised you came here willingly.” My dad began looking on the side of me, before patting my coat. “Is this one of those hidden camera pranks?” I rolled my eyes.

“You need stop scrolling on YouTube.” He chuckled, adjusting his robe on his body, as he let out a tired yawn.

“Does Katie know you’re back?”

“No, I’m surprising her at work tomorrow afternoon. I have a few errands to run in the morning.” My dad smiled, placing a pat on my shoulder.

“You know I could cry, she’s turned you into such a romantic.”

“Piss off.” My father rolled his eyes, grabbing his spare pair of glasses, from the table resting against the wall.

“Would you like some tea, it’ll be some while before I go back to bed, unless you’re tired, of course. Jet lag is quite the bitch.” I knew I would have to bring up Luke’s video eventually, there was no use in prolonging it. I wasn’t tired, so this was the perfect opportunity to rip this band-aid off.

“Yes, I’ll join you in the kitchen, we need to talk.”

“About?” I walked past my father, walking towards the bedroom I stayed in while I was here.

“Patience is a virtue Father.”

“My ass!” I shook my head, dropping the duffle bag on the ground, once I was inside the room. I toed my Louis Vuitton sneakers off, resting them against the wall, shrugging my coat off of my body, placing it on the hook behind the door. My father kept it hotter than hell throughout the house, so I took my shirt off to avoid dying of heatstroke on my short visit here.

I could hear the kettle squealing from down the hall as I exited the room, and walked towards the kitchen. I sat at the counter, adjusting myself on the twirling bar stools.

“A penny for your thoughts son.” My father turned around, as he placed the tea bags in the pale gray mugs, pouring the hot water inside.

“Shatara showed up at my gallery.” My father’s eyes widened as he took a sip of the hot beverage.

“What was she doing there? She and her father agreed not to contact us again, or we would press charges. You pressed charges right?”

“I wouldn’t given her the time of day, but she had a video of Luke.” My father sat the mug onto the quartz counter top, removing his glasses from his eyes, folding them strategically, before placing them next to the steaming mug. “He had a schizophrenic episode. He assaulted a woman, and according to the devil’s bride, you paid her hush money, if she signed an NDA.” My father was quiet, as I waited for a response. How could he keep something like this from us.

“I was protecting him.”

“Dad! He could have killed her!”

“She knew he was sick! And she agreed to play into his sickness, by provoking him. It was a game they played all the time, and that time he snapped. All she wanted was money, I wasn’t going to let her exploit your brother, so I gave her what she wanted!”

“He should’ve been here dad.”

“Liam, you don’t think I tried! All of you were dealing with your mother’s death in different ways. It’s like the three of you were teenagers lashing out, and being reckless because you were hurting, and I couldn’t do anything to fix it!” My father kept his composure as he took a deep breath. “That was the only time I gave into demands to protect your brother. He promised me he would get clean and go to rehab, and I held him to that.” My father wasn’t a man to complain or ask for much at all, and hearing this just made me feel uneasy. I lost one parent, and I was punishing the other because of my own guilt. It was my job to look after my siblings, it was my job to be strong for my family, but instead I was a fucking coward who thought drinking, drowing myself in work, and sex would take the pain away. My siblings and I have put my father through hell, and he took it every single damn time.

“Shatara gave her word to delete all copies of the video.” My father chuckled.

“You trust the words of that crook?”

“Not at all, but if she wants to spend the rest of her life without Jimmy Choos and spa days, she’ll keep her mouth shut.” My father hummed in agreement, as he sipped his tea. We sat in silence, unsure where to go from here. “I’m sorry.” My father glanced up at me, over the rim of his mug.

“Why are you apologizing?” I sighed, swirling the amber colored liquid around.

“You deserved to grieve the love of your life, but instead you had to clean up our messes.” My father smiled.

“That’s what parents do son, they protect you until their dying breaths.”

...........

Monday, March 15th

2:13 p.m.

Pulling into my designated parking post I searched for Katherine's truck that was missing from the exective lot. Assuming she was still out for lunch, I openend the door of my Range Rover, I exited my car, walking into the direction of the front entrance. Swiping my I.D. to enter the builing, I walked towards Sue's desk, where her fill-in Eileen was typing away on the computer.

“Good afternoon Liam, I thought you weren’t coming back until tomorrow.” Eileen smiled at me, as she adjusted her glasses on her face.

“I just came by to pick up some work.” Eileen nodded, giving me this weird smile, that showcased her dentures. “I’ll be going then.”

“Yes, yes, of course.” Setting a reminder to throw her a retirement party. Pushing the elevator button, I waited patiently for it to come to ascend me to the ninth floor.

“I didn’t know he was coming back today.”

“He looks so good.” I turned to my right to see two women staring at me from the corners of their eyes. Ignoring them, I stepped into the elevator, pressing the button for the ninth floor. My back rested against the gold railing, as I watched the buttons light up all the way to nine.

“AH!” I stepped out of the elevator, slightly flinching as Veronica screamed at me.

“What the hell is wrong with you?” Her green eyes widened, as she stared at me, extending her hand to pinch her forearm. “Let me reiterate my question. What the hell are you doing?”

“A-Aren’t you supposed to be on a plane right now.”

“I don’t think that’s any of your business Ms. Johnston.”

“Please, you’re fucking my best friend we’re past formalities.” I sighed, clearing my throat making sure no one was walking by.

“Veronica, your mouth close it, now.”

“Rawr, I like the way you say my name.”

“Okay, I’m going to my office.”

“No, wait!” Veronica stumbled in front of me blocking my path.

“What is it?” I huffed.

“U-Um, I have something to show you.”

“Veronica-”

“Mr. Harrington, I didn’t know you were coming back today.” Veronica and I turned around simultaneously, as Desiree began walking towards us.

“This bitch.” I heard Veronica mutter, before Desiree stood in front of us. “We’re in the middle of something Deloris, could you go, I’m sure you have work to do.” I cleared my throat to prevent myself from laughing, at Veronica’s purposeful name fumble.

“I’ve finished my work Ms. Johnston, not that, that is any of your concern. But I’m sure you have work to do, since you’re on this floor more than the one you’re getting paid to reside over.” Veronica let out a chuckle, moving her curled hair to rest on her back, turning to face me.

“Get your intern.” I sighed, not sure how or why I got caught up in this cat fight. And if Veronica’s here, where the hell is Katherine?

“Did you need something Ms. Bilkova, if not I will send you work to do, lollygagging around the office isn’t something I’m pleased with.” Desiree turned to face Veronica, raising her eyebrow, before facing me with a small smirk on her face.

“No, sir, I just wanted to give you and Katherine my congratulations, I had no idea she was pregnant, she looks great.” The moment the word pregnant fell from her lips, I felt the grip on my briefcase tighten. What the hell is she talking about?

“I’m sorry, what did you just say?”

“Oh.” Desiree had a slightly embarrassed look on her face, while Veronica was seething next to me. “You didn’t know, she has been bragging around the office that she is having your baby.”

“That’s enough you evil bitch!” She knows? “You are not going to sit here and lie on Katherine’s behalf!” I turned to Veronica, trying to piece together what the hell was going on.

“Excuse me, Ms. Johnston?”

“You heard me, Ms. Dress Too Short.” Desiree scuffed, crossing her arms over her chest.

“Don’t take it out on me because your best friend is corporate climbing liar.”

“That’s it!-”

“Enough!” I was pissed, beyond pissed, I’m fucking furious right now. “Ms. Bilkova, your office find it.”

“Mr. Harrington-”

“Now.” Desiree took a deep breath before smiling at me. “Of course, sir, welcome back.” Desiree pushed past Veronica’s shoulder as she walked down the hall to her office, leaving the two of us alone.

“Liam-”

“I’m giving you one chance, Veronica, and if you value your fucking job you’re going to tell me the truth. Is Katherine pregnant?” She pursued her bottom lip, avoiding eye contact with me. “Answer the damn question!”

“Yes! Okay. She’s pregnant.” My eyes widened, as it finally processed in my head. The baggy clothes, not wanting me in the room while she was changing, those weird fucking meals she was having, and not wanting to have sex, was because of this. She’s fucking pregnant, and she’s been hiding it from me for God knows how long.

“How long have you known?”

“I am not going to rat out my best friend! And everything that little homewrecker just said is completely false.”

“That’s not what I fucking asked you. How long have you known!” Veronica huffed, running her fingers through her long blonde hair.

“I was with her when she took test, and it came back positive.”

“And when was this?”

“January, when you came back from vacation with your family.” Two fucking months, she’s lied to my face.

“Excuse me.” I spat bitterly, pressing the button to the elevator.

“Liam, please, don’t be upset with her, she was going to tell you!”

“This is between me and Katherine.” I stepped into the elevator, roughly shoving the button to the ground floor. Once, the door was shut, I pulled my phone from my pocket, pressing the numeric buttons to my password to unlock the screen. On my way to my car, I pulled up Katherine’s contact to check her location. I refuse to believe that the woman I love has being lying to to me.

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