Numb Like Her

Chapter 16

Across the city, in a room of china, champagne glasses and clean linens, maids roamed about the Rockefeller mansion, cleaning and listening to the heated words coming from the other side of the study doors.

"It must stop, Garrison," Mrs. Rockefeller spat, rubbing her left temple. "Do you even understand what you are doing to this family? To me?"

Garrison lounged in the leather chair behind his father's desk, staring at the high vaulted ceiling.

"You are shaming us with these...street women."

"Mother," Garrison said smoothly as he stood and moved to one of the towering windows to look down at the well-tailored gardens. "It's just a bit of sport. It's not even for me; my friends are much more insistent than I am. You know how young men are-"

"Oh, stop it," Mrs. Rockefeller closed her eyes. She wished his father was hear. But, like always, he was off in some other city, leaving their wild willful son in her hands while he smoked expensive cigars with railroad and lumber tycoons. And each day her headaches grew incessantly more painful.

Garrison looked at his mother, her dark silk robe tied tightly around her, her short caramel curls framing her thin pale face.

He thought for a moment, thinking. Then his eyes glinting wickedly...

"Alright, mother," he said as he went to her side, gripping her gently by the arms. His depthless hazel eyes looked down at her, pitying her. "I'll agree to do what you've wanted me to do for the past five months."

She raised her thin eyebrows.

"I'll marry William Pulitzer's niece."

Mrs. Rockefeller smacked his hands away even though she was secretly pleased.

"I want you to stop being a fool, Garrison. You are going to ruin this family. And that girl you brought to your father's party last night. I thought the Russian was bad enough-"

"Alright, mother," Garrison gritted. "I'll call on Elizabeth tomorrow. And after the wedding, the Rockefeller's will say what's news. Think about it: we'll rule the entire city and what it thinks."

Mrs. Rockefeller regarded her son for a moment, touching his soft caramel hair. "You're ruthless, Garrison. Just like your father."

"Just the way you raised me, mother," Garrison smirked. "Goodnight, mother."

Garrison kissed his mother's pale cheek and strolled carelessly from the room. Mrs. Rockefeller breathed a sigh of relief. The Rockefellers and the was a good match. And it would make headlines.

She left the room, calling after the head maid to call the florist.

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