I was surfing the internet in my room when I heard a knock on the door, then I glanced at the digital desk clock on my desk. It was already eight thirty. I was expecting that it was Casey. I opened the door and found her grinning at me, carrying a tray of potato chips, French fries and two bottles of orange juice.
“May I come in?”
“Sure. Come in!”
“Whoa, you really have the nicest room!” She gasped in amazement. She put the tray on the bedside table. “Maybe I should move in.”
No. No. Don’t move in. Honestly, I preferred being alone, “Are you serious?”
“Of course not, I’m just kidding. Mine is warm and cozy, though yours is bigger.” Casey said in approval than she sat in front of my computer. She stared on a screen. “I see that Brandon provided everything for you.”
I sighed in relief, then I sat on the edge of my bed. “Okay, so tell me why you want to speak with me?”
She swiveled the chair around and then she rocked herself forward. She picked one piece of potato chips. "Do you want some?”
“Thank you.” I slid my hand into the chip bag then I picked one.
She ate another chip. “Relax. I want us to get along first. I want to properly introduce ourselves. Is that fine with you?”
I nodded then grinned. "Okay. I think you already know much about me, so I’ll skip with mine. Tell me more about you?”
She nodded. “Hmm... Okay, first of all, I’m adopted.”
Whoa, what an introduction! I blinked twice.
“I know that it wasn’t something to brag about,” she continued then she ate another piece of potato chip, “Mom always wanted to have a daughter after she gave birth with Cassius but she cannot bear a child anymore since her womb grew weak. She almost died when she gave birth to him. The Katrakis adopted me when I was three, I think.”
“And in what age did you learn that you’re adopted?”
“My whole life, you won’t believe me if Ollie and I don’t get along very well when we’re kids. He’s kinda hard headed when he was young.”
“Really? Oliver was like that?”
“Yeah, Cassius, on the other hand, was very thoughtful.”
I still found his brother thoughtful though. “Well, I actually have twelve adopted siblings.”
“Really?” She grinned. “Your parents must be a good citizen in your town!”
“Yes, they are.” I chuckled as I remember how Mom and Dad adopted my siblings from the eldest to youngest. They simply brought joy to the family. “Maybe that’s why you’re not blonde?” I mumbled.
“Oh, you noticed?” She touched her braided hair. “I always wanted to dye my hair blonde, but it would be fake, no?”
I bit my lip. I wanted to know more about Brandon. “So… Are you close to Brandon?”
“Hmm... I guessed so. He visited us often with his sister Elga when they were in grade school. Elga used to ask me to comb her hair and I play with her.”
“You said you know a lot of things that your brothers don’t. What exactly are those things?”
“Hmm, the story began with the families. Brandon’s father was a poor man but he’s always ambitious. Aunt Grethe was the wealthy one since she’s was born from the Katrakis family. My grandfather opposed their relationship so she ran away with Brandon’s father at a very young age and lived a poor life with him. Hmm… Then she gave birth to three children. When grandpa found out about his grandchildren, he was suddenly changed. He was actually willing to give them their rights to have the Katrakis inheritance. Aunt Grethe was his favorite.
Despite being poor, Brandon was always the smart one. He and Cassius became best friends since they’re at the same age. But Brandon was always the favored one because he’s always one step over Cassius. People think Brandon is smarter than my brother and Cassius knows this so he was a little jealous of him in the past. He always wanted what Brandon had, even girls. But it is true that Cassius became a doctor because of Brandon. He was devastated by what happened to his best friend so he wanted to help him. They were good friends, Alayna.”
“At least he tried saving Brandon’s life.” I nodded. Cassius was sympathetic after all. “Hmm, I don’t want to ask this but it keeps bothering me…”
“Do you know who murdered his family?”
She smirked, but there was a pinch of disgust in her eyes, “The suspects are inside the Katrakis circle. The Katrakis family is a vast clan. When they found out that Brandon is about to get his inheritance, they didn’t want him to get a single cent from my grandfather, just like how they didn’t want me to have any since I’m adopted. Brandon’s mother was the prodigal daughter so they think that she didn’t deserve to receive anything at all. My father says otherwise; he was always protective over Aunt Grethe. So when he couldn’t protect her when she died, his world torn into million pieces. So he promised to help Brandon, which is also why I am here and my brothers.”
I swallowed hard. Things were getting clearer to me now. “I now understand why he can’t say a thing. They literally killed Brandon inside and outside. His own family betrayed him, and his father left him.” Poor Brandon, my poor, poor man. I suddenly wanted to wrap my arms around him and tell him that we were still here for him and we would never leave his side. I still couldn’t believe there were people who could actually kill a family member.
“How about this thing with Annette? Do you know anything about her?” I queried. “It was the reason why he hired me. I know where to find her,” she was looking at me with a deep frown.
She exhaled heavily, “Annette is his father’s mistress. I don’t completely know what’s the deal with her, but she’s the reason why Brandon’s father left. I’m suspecting that she is a part of Brandon’s misery.”
My eyes grew wide in surprise "What? That lady?” I yelled. Damn it, I didn’t know. She seemed to be a good person when I met her. “If I just knew that she was an evil person, I wouldn’t have admired her. I even looked up to her. She was my role model as a chef. I was so clueless.”
“Annette is also an Katrakis, Alayna. She’s his mother’s cousin,”
“What the hell!” I screamed. “Oh God, Brandon, how did you live with all of this?” I began to cry, “They killed them, Casey. Why would they do that to him? It just so unfair.”
“Yes, it was. I told you because there’s no one I could talk to about it. It was just too hard to know everything. Brandon didn’t know that Annette is an Katrakis.”
“Wait,” I paused, “you said something earlier.” I frowned hard, then I looked up at her. “You said they were three? His mother gave birth to three children? Who’s the other one?”
“I think I told you so much enough for this day.”