Treat Me Just Like That [Part II]

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Chapter 15 Who Is It

The next day, Caroline went home for lunch. She opened the excessively large double doors and went inside the luxurious home. She closed the door and went to the living room. She smiled and walked closer to Persephone. Caroline greeted her with a hug and asked, “have you been waiting long?” Elizabeth responded, “no, she just arrived.” Elizabeth greeted Caroline, then said, “I will tell Mr. Sawyer to set the table outside. Please tell your brother to meet us there, Caroline. He’s out by the pool.”

Gathered by the pool, Mark and Taekyung were talking with Charles when Chocolate passed by them. “Cute dog,” Charles commented. “His name is Chocolate,” Mark said, “Caroline named him.” Charles crouched down to pet the brown Labrador Retriever. He stood up when he saw something swimming in the pool. “Why is there a giant rat swimming in your pool?”

Mark and Taekyung instantly looked towards the pool, where they saw the ferret swimming in the water. “It’s not a rat. It’s a ferret. Caroline’s ferret,” Taekyung spoke. “Her name is Brownie. Caroline named her.”

“Brownie?” Mark nodded. Charles asked while chuckling, “was Caroline hungry when she named the dog and rat?” Mark laughed then he commented, “Caroline is terrible with names.” Charles agreed, “she is. Do you remember how she named her black horse Whitey?” Caroline, who was listening in their conversation cleared her throat as she walked closer to them. Mark lowered his head and walked away to grab the ferret from the water.

They all stood there watching Mark trying to get the ferret out of the water. “Why was the black horse named Whitey?” Taekyung directed the question at Charles, but Caroline responded without meeting his gaze, “because the white Lipizzaner’s name was Blackie.”

“Why did you name the horses that?” Still, without meeting his gaze, Caroline responded, “the perplexed look on people’s faces when they found out the name of the beautiful Friesian always made me smile.” Charles pointed out, “and that is saying a lot. That faint smile you see on her face right now, was rare when she was younger. Though she used to suppress her emotions when she was younger, she still had her ridiculous sense of humor.”

Caroline turned to glare at the man next to her. “What brings you here, Chuck?”

“I arrived yesterday. Since you said you were living here, I decided to pay you a little visit. I do have to say, I’ve missed you, Mark and, Elizabeth.” Caroline smiled, then she turned to look at Mark, who had successfully taken the ferret out of the water. Caroline called the ferret’s caretaker, who was nearby. Mark, drenched in water handed the ferret to the caretaker. “Please, give her a bath immediately,” Caroline commanded. “Yes, Ms. King.”

Caroline was about to walk away when the caretaker stopped her. “Ms. King.” Caroline turned around and stepped closer to him. “The water has a low level of chlorine, but it may be harmful to the ferret.”

“I am aware. That is why I instructed you to give her a bath immediately and to take care of her.” The man nodded his head and left that same instant. Caroline walked closer to Charles and Taekyung.

“Are you always like that to your employees? The man was so scared he didn’t even look at you in the eyes,” Charles commented. Caroline chuckled. “Where’s Mark?” She asked. “He went inside to take a shower.”

Afterward, they went to gather out on the terrace. Elizabeth was already seated at the end of the table, waiting for Mark and Persephone to end her phone call. After Persephone walked out on the terrace, she saw the man sitting next to Caroline and said, “excuse me, that is my seat.” The man turned his hand and Persephone exclaimed, “You!”

“You?” Caroline looked at them both and asked, “you two know each other?” Persephone responded, “he is the man I told you about. When I went to the mall, there was this crazy man fighting with me for a dress.”

“A dress? Chuck, is there anything you’d like to confess?” To continue teasing him, Elizabeth commented, “please tell me it wasn’t peach-colored. I don’t think that color suits you, dear.” Charles glared at the two women making fun of him, then he looked back at Persephone. “You’re in her seat,” Caroline said. Charles looked back at her and gave her a ‘who is she?’ look. “Chuck, this is Persephone, my best friend. Persephone, this is Chuck, my cousin.”

Charles stood up and extended out his hand. “Nice to meet you.” Persephone shook his hand and said, “wish I could say the same.” Persephone took a sit on the chair next to Persephone and Charles made his way to the other side of the table. He took a seat next to Taekyung. Right at that moment, Mark walked out to the terrace and took a sit.

After having lunch, Mark left to go to the university and Taekyung left to his company. Caroline and Persephone sat on the couch out on the outdoor lounge. Caroline looked at the rose gold watch with encrusted crystals on her wrist and said, “we need to go back to work. I will drop you off.” They stood up from the couch and went inside the mansion.

Elizabeth and Charles sat next to each other in the living room. “Where are you staying right now, Charles?”

“In a hotel,” he responded. “I want you to know that anytime you come here to visit, you can always come here and stay with us.”

“Thank you, Elizabeth. I will keep that in mind.”

Right at that moment, Caroline and Persephone walked inside the living room. They grabbed their designer handbags, which they had left resting on the couch, and said their goodbyes. “I want you two here before dinner time,” Elizabeth spoke. “Okay,” Persephone responded as they walked to the door.

“How long have those two been friends?” Charles asked. “For a very long time. I am still surprised you never met Persephone.”

“This is the first time I’ve seen her with Caroline. I didn’t know Caroline had any friends who are female. Or any friends at all. Since she has a rather difficult personality, I am surprised to know she was able to make three friends.”

“You are too cruel, Charles. The only friend I know Caroline had was Sebastian and that is because they have been friends for almost their entire lives. And well, I just met Taekyung.”

“Yes, well, Persephone and Caroline have been friends for a very long time. Right now, she is staying here with us.” Charles instantly looked at Elizabeth. There was a hint of interest in his eyes. “She is?” Elizabeth nodded.

Charles thought for a while and then said, “since you have offered that I stay here and I don’t know how long I will be staying here in Miami, can I stay here for a bit?” Elizabeth paused for a second then agreed. “Sure. I will have the butler prepare your room.” Charles smiled. “Thank you, Elizabeth.”

Today, Caroline got off work early. She wanted to be home before the twins to greet them. When she arrived at the mansion, it was too late. The twins had already arrived. She opened the door and found the children standing in the foyer since they had just arrived. “Mommy!” Mia jumped with excitement when she saw her mother.

Charles, who was going down the spiral staircase looked down at the foyer as soon as he heard the toddler shout. “Mommy?” He wondered. When he looked down at the floor below, he found Caroline hugging the toddlers. She placed a kiss on their foreheads and smiled.

“How are you, my little angels?” Charles was dumbfounded. “You have kids?” He asked as he went down the stairs as swiftly as possible. Caroline looked up at him and watched him approach her. He crouched down and looked at the twins.

“Mommy, who is this?” Caroline looked at Ian then at Mia. She looked at Charles who was still in shock. “Mia, Ian, this is your uncle Charles.” Mia looked at Charles and said, “hello, uncle Charles. Nice to meet you.” He patted the girl’s head with a smile on his face. “Nice to meet you, Mia.” He turned to look at the shy Ian and said, “it is nice to meet you, as well, Ian.”

“Uncle Charles, are you also mommy’s friend?” Charles shook his head. “I am Caroline’s cousin, but I care a lot about Caroline. She is like a sister to me.” Caroline looked at Charles and uttered, “aww... that is the cutest thing you have ever said, Chuck. If only you were always like that.”

Charles gave her a quick glare before looking back at the toddler. He looked at Ian and extended out his hand. “What about you, little man?” He picked Ian up, and then Mia. He started walking away with both children as Caroline walked behind them. “Wait, Chuck. Where are you going? Give me back my children.”

“Why?”

“Because they are my children and I came home early just to be with them, not for you to take them from me.”

“I am not taking them from you, I am borrowing them.” They walked to the living room where Charles sat both children on the couch. He sat in the middle of them and asked, “how old are you?” Mia showed the number with her fingers. “Three,” she responded.

“Where is your daddy?” Mia and Ian looked at each other. Then, a loud shout came from the entrance of the living room. “Charles!” Caroline angrily looked at Charles and walked closer to him. “Louisa! Come here!” The nanny swiftly entered the living room. “Yes, Ms. King?”

“Take the twins to the playroom, please.” Louisa walked closer to the kids and extended out her hands. She grabbed their hands and led them to their playroom. “Was I not supposed to-.”

“No, you weren’t.”

“Why? Who is their father?” She quickly responded, “it doesn’t matter. He is dead to me.” Charles stood up from the couch. “What? Why? Who is it?”

“You don’t need to know that.” Caroline turned around and walked away, leaving Charles alone in the living room with the lingering question. “Who is it?”

When Caroline entered the playroom, she stepped inside and found the twins playing with the nanny. Caroline looked at the twins, who were still wearing their uniforms. She walked closer to them and extended out her hand. “Let’s go get changed,” she said. The children grabbed her hand and stood up from the floor. Louisa also stood up and started walking behind them.

As they made their way to the twins’ bedroom on the second floor, Caroline received a phone call. “Louisa, could you take them upstairs?”

“Yes, Ms. King.” Louisa grabbed the twins’ hands and went up the stairs, leaving Caroline in the living room with the ringing phone in her hand. She opened the front door and walked out of the mansion as she picked up the call from the private number. “Hello, who is this?”

“Who do you think it is?” Caroline looked out the distance, watching the car approaching her. “Liam, how did you get my number?” Caroline asked. “I have my ways.” Caroline continued looking at the luxurious car as she said, “I have nothing to say to you. I am blocking your number.” Before Liam could say anything, Caroline hung up the call. She blocked Liam’s number without hesitation.

In the CEO office of the Sabbatini Group, Liam called Caroline’s phone number again and again. He placed his phone down on the table and called Marcus inside his office through the landline. Marcus knocked on the door and walked inside. “Yes, boss?”

“Get me a new phone with a new number.” Confused by Liam’s request, Marcus nodded in agreement. “Anything else?”

“No,” Liam coldly responded, as usual. Marcus bowed his head and left his office.

Back at the mansion, Caroline did not lose eye contact with the SUV that had just parked in front of her. A woman got off the driver’s seat and opened the back door of the matte black Mercedes-Benz G-Class. She helped the toddler off the SUV, and they walked hand in hand towards Caroline.

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