Going Home (Going Home#1)

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Cyril: Real Enemy

“So, Verona?” Zoe flops down on the bed and twirls her shoulder-length hair around her finger, a habit Adam hates to no end.
“Yes, her. I bet she is hiding a lot. Dawson never shut up about anything, and I know that he trusts his girls a lot.” I throw Verona’s profile folders towards Adam, who is biting on his nails.
“She’s been with him for one year?”

“Ayup!”

“What about her family? This profile says she has a brother. If she doesn’t go home and all, then we need to talk with her brother.”

“I can do that.” Zoe sits up.

“No way! I will do it!” Adam says assiduously and throws the profile at her.

“Why not? I can be much better than you.” Zoe grumbles.

“How so?”

“Because I’m a girl? Look, Adam, you can’t tie me down if I’m a part of this.”

“She’s right, Adam. She has us to look after her, so relax.” I assure him and look over at the bedroom door.

“She’s in the kitchen, if you are wondering” Zoe tries to hide her smile.

“Knock it out, Zoe!” I shake my head.

It’s been three days since I brought Jade to Zoe’s place, and every time I visit, she hides away.
I think she is scared of me, but Zoe believes otherwise after hearing about the letter reading and crying. I was embarrassed later for crying in front of her, but Zoe thinks it’s the perfect reaction to what I’ve felt about Jia for years.
Letting someone go is not easy. I still think about her and still, read her letter every morning to remind myself of what I have to do. I’m not after Dawson for Jia anymore, but my mother and I’m even more resolved to bring him down.

We change the meeting places every now and then just in case I’m being watched. Adam thinks we need a place for he’s going to invite Lawyer Christopher Chadwick. If Dawson keeps a watch on me, he’ll have me dead next morning, and I’m the only one who can work as the inside man given my last meeting with Dawson.

“I brought the tea.” I look up from Verona’s profile at Jade, who is nervously shifting in the door. It’s the first time I’ve properly seen her in three days.

“Thanks, love. You can join us.” Zoe pats on the bed beside her.
“I... uh,” She stammers again, trying to avoid looking in my direction.

“Its ok, Jade, really. Don’t feel embarrassed or anything. I’m glad that you were there that night. I would have been more embarrassed had I cried in front of these two.” I point my chin towards Adam and Zoe. Both of them smirk at me and invite Jade in.

“Amery?” Jade asks quizzically as she looks over at the profile on the table in front of me.

“Yeah. You know the name?” Adam asks.

“Can I see it?” She points towards it, so I hand it over.

“Adam, do you think Chris Chadwick will even meet us?” I ask Adam, who is engrossed in his thoughts.

“Yep! Dawson’s name, and he was ready to meet. When I mentioned you, he agreed to help us secretly. Though we have to be careful. Just in case, Dawson decides to get you followed, or he might be keeping an eye on Chadwick?”

“I know Eric Amery. Not that I met him, but Adria mentioned him coming to stay in the town.” Jade puts back the profile at the table as we gape at her.

“What?” She looks from one face to another.

“What is he doing there?” Zoe asks.

“I don’t know. Adria met him first, and she hadn’t asked him. All she knew about him was that he went to stay at his grandmother’s place, the mayor of our town.”

“Means the guy is well out of reach?” I rub my eyes.

“Not really. If you want to talk to him, I can call my dad, and he will get Adria for me.” Jade suggests, but I feel my heart contract. Talking to Jia after so long? No, I won’t do it. Jia probably knew that Jade will want to keep in contact and her staying with us means that I will be able to contact her. If anything, Jia wasn’t stupid. She must have known when she sent Jade to me.

Zoe looks at me, and I nod, “Do that. Ask Adria whatever you can about this guy. Talking with him is our priority.”

Jade nods and gets up to leave, “Drink the tea before it gets colder.”

As soon as she leaves the room, Zoe takes a long breath. “What is happening around us anyway? We decide to dig into Verona’s life, and it turns out her brother is involved with Jia.”

For some reason, I don’t like the word ‘involve’,

“We don’t know anything yet and don’t assume anything. Adam, talk to Christopher Chadwick, and I will go visit Verona or Kayley to see if I can find out more, and Zoe, can you please get us a place where we can meet without being afraid of being followed?”
She nods quietly, her eyes trained on me. I think she’s trying to read what I’m exactly up to, which I don’t know either.

♡♡

I sit down on the free table in the further corner of the club, where I can see everything around me. I’d asked Verona over with a drink, and I pull out a cigarette as I wait for her.
It’s the weekend, and the club is pretty much crowded, mostly with people in their twenties and thirties. Verona will only be able to talk to me when the crowd thins around the bar.
I look up as Kayley comes to sit in front of me.
“Again waiting for Verona, I see?” She suggests and pulls out the clip holding her white-blond hair back. The next moment, her hair falls around her small delicate face like a waterfall. She notices me watching her and winks. I roll my eyes. She’s beautiful, I’d give her that, but there’s no way I’m interested in her.

“Yeah, I wanted to talk to her.”

“Is everything OK, boss?” She has taken to calling me boss now that the rumor is out that Dawson might be handing over the business to me.

“Don’t call me that. If anything, I hate being called that.”

She smiles once more and opens up her small purse, and pulls out a bright red lipstick. Tonight she is wearing a bright red strapless dress, so she obviously has the matching makeup on.

I look around and try to ignore some glare here and there. Ever since the news about me being the possible heir has spread, Dawson’s dealers aren’t happy. I notice Verona make her way towards us in her short silver dress and matching silver heels with her dark brown hair tied back into a long tight ponytail.

Kayley notices Verona in her small pocket mirror and gets up to leave.

“Cyril, stay away from this girl. She’s not what she appears to be.” She winks and leaves before Verona reaches my table and sits down.

“What the hell did Kayley want?”

“Nothing. The usual flirting.” I say casually and pick up my regular drink.

“You were checking her out, though.” Verona accuses, and I look at her with my eyebrow raised inquisitively.

“Don’t worry I’m not Dawson.”

“That’s what I’m worried about. This club, this business, needs a more strong and capable person than you, Cyril. All you’ve done in your years here is manage the bar and mix the drinks.”

“I don’t know what you are getting at Verona. With you and others, I think I’ll be able to manage this place.”

She shakes her head and puts down her glass, “You honestly want to run this place? Last I knew, you were plotting against Dawson.”

“It was before he showed his desire to hand over the business to me. I just want my mother back, and if I agree to inherit this place in exchange for my mother, I think he’ll take the deal. He seemed pretty desperate.”

Verona smiles, and I keep looking at her. She definitely knows more than she’s letting on.

“You don’t know, Dawson. A week ago, he said he desires to hand over the business to me, and tomorrow, he might hand it over to someone else.”

“Is this what you are after? Is it possible that you want it?” I say carefully to see her reaction. As expected, she bangs her glass on the tables, which shatters into pieces, but neither of us moves or takes eyes off each other.

“You have no idea, Cyril. Not a bit of what’s happening around you. All of this is bigger than you think. Always have been.”
“Is that a threat?” I try to keep my voice strong. Honestly, what is she so hyped about?

“I don’t care. However, you take my words but stay away from this business.”

“Or what?” I challenge her, and she smiles darkly, “Adria dies!”

At that moment, I feel everything around me fade away at that single name, and I feel scared down to my bones.

“I suggest nicely, stay away from everything I do. Don’t get involved anymore.”

♡♡
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