Chapter 8 ~ The Secret Is Out
The club was going off, sweaty bodies grinding up on each other, girls had their makeup on point, which let’s face it, will be sliding off their faces soon. The men who weren’t dancing were definitely looking for a body to warm their bed tonight and I, I had my stupid eyes on the stairs to the VIP section where I knew she would be.
“You called this night; the least you could do is pretend to enjoy yourself.” Blade yelled over the pumping music.
“I am,” I lied.
“You’re watching those stairs like they are a car accident.”
“Shut up, go and shake your ass and wrangle us up some women.”
“Ah, there he is, the man from the start of the night, so nice to see him again.”
What a dick, why was I friends with him again? Oh, that’s right, because he was like me… before her. Thirty minutes had passed and Blade finally comes back with some ladies, we shook their hands and offered them a drink, but for the life of me, I couldn’t pay them a lick of attention. The pretty auburn haired woman with brown eyes comes over a sits down next to me.
“Dj, wasn’t it?” I just nodded, “why are you looking so glum?”
“Just enjoying my night.”
She scoffed, “who is she?”
“What the… why do you presume that just because I’m not hitting on you, there’s a woman?” Yes, my slash at her was gruff but now I was irritated.
“Please, as if I haven’t seen that look before.” She arched her thickly pencilled brow at me.
“Can’t a bloke just chill out with his mates?”
She shrugged, “sure, but his mates all have their tongues down my friends throats and the only one not to notice, was you.”
I moved my head, shit; she was right, fuck that was fast. “Your friends don’t mess around.”
“They were on the hunt for a good dicking.”
“And you? How come you’re here talking to me?”
She held up her left hand and wiggled her fingers; the sparkly diamond on her ring finger caught the light. Engaged, right. “Thought you’d be safe bet to not hit on me.”
“Your man know you’re out with such loose friends?” I took a swig from my bottle as she laughed.
“Of course, he’s out with his friends, who are just as randy may I add.”
“Well, that’s nice, congrats on your engagement.”
“Thanks, so you going to tell me who she is?”
“Why would I do that?”
“Because you look like you need someone to talk too.” She folded her arms across the table, leaning in, expecting me to open up.
I breathed out dejectedly; maybe talking wasn’t such a bad idea? “She’s unobtainable and here tonight.”
“Unobtainable?” The auburn woman asked.
“Married.” She pursed her lips and nodded.
“But you’re in love with her.”
“I care for her.”
“Does she feel the same?”
“Maybe, I guess, I don’t know.” I ran my fingers through my hair, tousling it.
“Is she happy?”
“I don’t know.” Hmm, that was actually an interesting question. I knew she loved him, I knew she was not leaving him but was she happy?
“Well, it sucks to be in your situation but if she’s a decent woman, then the only way you will have her heart is if you offer her something he can’t and usually, that’s happiness. Women need to feel loved, wanted, desired as if they are the only thing on your mind every minute of the day. They also need happiness like air, if you can provide her that, then she will be yours.” I now take a good look at this strange woman next to me, mulling over her advice. Could I give that all to Quinn?
No longer in the mood to party and deciding the best thing to do is to go home, I excused myself, pretending I needed to go to the toilet and slipped out through the doors. I walked to the front of the casino and pulled out my phone, tapping it against my hand, the words hung in my head… I can be selfish, egotistical, narcissistic at times, knowing that is my personality traits, could I actually be selfless enough to bask in someone else’s happiness? To provide a stable home, love, support and happiness for her and everything she desired in life?
“Dante?” A shiver ran through me the moment I heard her melodic tone. She ordered her bulky henchmen away and their eyes narrowed in on me as if they knew. “What are you doing here?”
“Picking up, what are you doing here?” God, I’m such a dick, guess I was still pissed about being dismissed earlier. I saw her face wash with defeat and the eyes that haunt my soul drooped to the ground.
“Oh, well enjoy that.” She replied with a slight curl in disgust, on her top lip before turning and striding toward a limo that was waiting.
“Quinn,” I called out, “wait.” She stopped but didn’t turn around, “I wasn’t picking up, I don’t know why I said that.”
She turned her head to the side, “it’s really none of my business Dante.”
Out of nowhere, camera’s started flashing in her face and reporters were yelling.
…Mrs Xeal, why such secrecy around the sale of your husband’s company?...
…Rumours state he’s been seeing another woman, is that true?...
…Will Tri-Star be sold for the billions it’s actually worth?...
…Are you and Tritium Xeal facing divorce?…
…Mrs Xeal, is it true your husband is dying?...
Shit, this was the reason why she had those wanker guards follow her, now she’d sent them away. The paparazzi surrounded her like vultures as she tried to keep her face hidden and push them away from her. I slipped through the wankers and grasped a tight grip around her forearm, she tried to pull away not realising it was me.
She suddenly looked up when she couldn’t shake me off, her face riddled with panic and those eyes I loved, glossed over. Instant relief swept over her when she realised who it was, I tucked her under my right arm and my left created a barrier. Parting the flood of bright lights and yelling vultures, I pulled open the door and helped her in before climbing in after her.
She was on her phone immediately, “Bryce, they were here, it’s only a matter of time before my face shows up on the net… thank you, I know that… no, he’s knocked out for the night… just get Geary on to it… no, now.” I sat there silently assessing her, who was Geary and why is it important to keep her off the net?
She shoved her phone back into her clutch roughly, her forehead was creased and her breathing erratic. “What was that?”
“Thank you Dante, where would you like to be dropped off?” She turned to look at me; it was only now I saw a tear roll down her cheek.
“What was that?” I repeated.
“Vermin, they are all vermin. My husband is the most elusive billionaire in the world but we like to remain private, they want a story and so far we have not provided one, well, until now. I should never have sent Bricker and Harry away. This was my mistake; unfortunately your face would have been snapped too, so now they will try to tie you to me.”
“Are you okay?”
“I’m sorry Dante, Geary should be able to fix this, he’s a world class hacker, as soon as those images hit the web, he should be able to bury them.”
The driver’s partition rolled down, “Mrs Xeal, the radio reports say there’s a horde of reporters out the front of your house, what would you like to do?”
“Shit,” She snapped her head in my direction, “has your father shown the documents to anyone? I have not received any confidentiality agreements? Did you hear that reporter, someone knows, someone’s leaked the information.”
“As far as I know, the contracts are with the lawyers and the rest is in our safe.”
“Dante, I need to know your father or Pierre hasn’t shown the paperwork to anyone? Can you call him?”
“He’ll be in bed right now, but… yo driver, take 43 towards the ocean, I’ll direct you from there.”
“Yes, sir.” The driver replied.
“What are you doing?”
“The safe is at dad’s house, not the company, were going there.”
“You just said he’ll be in bed.”
“Yep!” was my only reply.
After punching in the security gate code, I banged loudly on mum and dad’s door.
“What a lovely home,” Quinn commented. I turned around to see her focus on the house and lawns, for someone that was so panicked a little while ago she sure gets distracted easily.
“We didn’t come here to look at the damn house Quinn,” I reprimanded, then chuckled.
She climbed the porch steps to join me, “sorry, Jesus, I was only saying.”
I banged again, “do you want to see this paperwork or not?” finally the lights flicked on.
“Yes, I do.” She gave me a look of a naughty teenager; it was so cute, I groaned loudly as the door swung open.
“Dante?” mum questioned with bright red rosy cheeks.
I walked straight past her, “sorry mum, need the safe.”
“Jesus fuck, is that Dante? You better have a good excuse, I was fucking ya mum…” He cut his words off immediately as his eyes fell on Quinn.
“Hey,” she waved timidly before her eyes hit the toes of her shoes.
“Ah… Mrs Xeal, what can we do for you?” I was already in dad’s office; I could hear Quinn explaining the story and our reason for being here. Punching in the code and opening the safe, I extracted the vanilla folders and handed them to dad, without the offer contracts they were really quite light.
He flipped them open and to dad’s horror, the paperwork containing Tritium’s condition was missing from one. “Fuck.” Dad growled.
“Who read these folders?” Quinn’s face was full of panic again.
“Me and Pierre.” Dad knew I had seen them.
“Do you swear no one else?”
“Dante,” she looked at me and realised I knew.
“I read it and handed it back to dad.” She grit her teeth, clearly furious but not realising she had already said something in the limo on our ride over.
“Anyone else?” she bit.
“No, no one. Even Pierre read it at the table and handed it over to be kept in the safe.”
“Okay so… who had access to the folders before they were put in the safe?”
“Hilda, Blade, the lawyers that were in my office and Amber and Arabella.”
“Okay, Arabella, were you with Amber the entire time?”
Mum’s eyes went wide, “yes, we sat on the sofa as Pierre and Logan read them.”
Quinn bit the side of her lip, “okay, so that leaves, Hilda and Blade and the Lawyers…”
Quinn pulled out her phone and dialled a number, “Brickers, get Harry and come immediately, I’m sending you the address now.”
“What are you planning?” I enquired standing directly in front of her.
“Well, we can’t ask them directly, but we can set them up.”
*** Who do you think is the mole?***