To Fight Back (gxg)

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Chapter 21

I woke up a few hours later, in the middle of the day. I was taken to an office looking room to discuss some things with a lawyer while Emory waited outside.

He was my father's lawyer, Mr.Davidson. My father was in business, you know, stocks, companies and all that. I think he mostly handled the lawsuits he sometimes got on one of the companies he owned, but from what I've seen, he's a pretty nice guy. Good at this job too.

He sifts through the papers and folders on his desk, pausing to push up his glasses. He opens one, looks through it, pulls out a sheet. With a smile, he finally looks up to me.

"Okay, Blake. We have a bit to cover, but we'll start with the facts," he starts and I nod. "Sometime soon, you'll have to write a statement on your life regarding your parents, their employees, and their treatment of you. Don't leave anyone or anything out, good or bad. Okay?"

"Yeah."

"Good. So, since your parents are under arrest for their treatment of you, they have lost custody of you. You're not a legal adult yet, so for the next two weeks, we'll need to give a registered adult temporary custody. It looks like you have grandparents on your birth mother's side. Would you like to meet them to see if you'd be comfortable under their care?"

Hmm, I didn't know I had any relatives. Dad was an only child and his parents died before I was born. But mom was a sweet lady by what the maids told me. Maybe her parents are the same.

"I think so, yeah," I decide.

"Wonderful. If it works out between all of you, they'll foster you until your birthday. After that, you'll be on your own, technically."

"On my own," I mumble, thinking. I won't have to listen to anyone, I won't be abused, I'll be free to do what I want without worrying what'll happen when I come home.

Wait, where will home be? If mom's parents don't let me stay after I turn 18, let alone now, where will I go? There's no way my job could support a house, food all my other bills. I can't get much more hours because I still have school.

"Yep. On your own. Technically," Mr.Davidson interrupts my mental freak out.

"Wait, technically? What does that mean?" I ask, confused.

He raises an eyebrow at me like I'm stupid, which I don't appreciate. "Well, you're parents were quite wealthy. Their inheritance has to go somewhere, and it can't go to your brother, so once your 18, it's yours."

My eyes widen and I gasp, shocked. "Are you serious? Holy shit, they're loaded. How much even do they have?"

He chuckles. "Yes, I'm quite serious. The inheritance consists of multiple things. The main house and the vacation homes around the world were paid in cash, so they're yours now. Well, they will be. Your father has investments, stocks and such that'll be yours as well. I think those total around 674.2 million. Of course it'd be wise to leave those alone to gain interest and even more money over time.

Hmm, most of his companies will be handed down to the vice presidents, however you'll get a monthly revenue from them, 30,000 for each of the 28 multi-million dollar companies. A few are smaller, local businesses that you would own, the costs taken out of your account. Here's a list of those and their expenses. You could sell them if you wanted to." He slides a paper over to me.

"It seems like he has some private associates he works with that pay him monthly as well. The amounts vary from hundreds of thousands and up. One even pays 920 million a month. A portion of the payments will be put into established businesses they support, but some will also go to you. I think that about covers that."

I'm stunned. While he's telling me all this, I'm so amazed that I barely even react. By this point, I'll probably be a fucking billionaire.

But the strangest thing is the thought that pops into my head of me and Emory living in my house together, a few years older, kids running around, nice maids working for us. I don't hate it though. I kind of enjoy the idea.

The thing that makes me happiest isn't that I'm rich, it's that I'll be able to give my future family the best life possible.

I grin stupidly, high off joy. For once, things are going my way. It feels like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders, the pressure that usually surrounds my mind is gone.

I do feel bad for my dad and stepmom, even Caven, because they have to abandon their lives for jail, but in the end, I know they deserve it. It's not like it's forever, just a few years.

I rest my forehead on the desk, taking a deep breath. I feel the paper he gave me under my head, and I move to get it. I scan over the few names and how much they cost, stopping on the second to last. Oh. My. God. I'm gonna fucking own The Gym.

That's awesome. The very place that started the journey to change my life, I'll own soon. A droplet falls on the paper, and I blink, just now realizing I'm crying.

I laugh at my emotional vulnerability. Even I've changed so much. I used to never show my feelings, let alone cry unless I was alone. But now I feel so much more comfortable with myself that I'm okay with it.

I wipe my eyes, looking back up at Mr.Davidson, who's smiling knowingly at me. "Thank you, Mr.Davidson. I know all you're doing is telling me this, not causing it, but I still appreciate you're work so much," I say.

"You're very welcome, Blake. We're all done here for now, so why don't you get some lunch in the cafeteria and relax. Enjoy you're day off, because you'll have to go back to school tomorrow."

I nod, standing up. "Okay. Bye, Mr.Davidson."

"Bye Blake," he waves before I go out the door.

Emory immediately gets out of the chair she was in, rushing over to hug me and ask me how it went. I say I'll tell her during lunch. I take her hand, leading her to the cafeteria. I feel like I don't ever want to let go.

-----

After we ate and I recounted everything Mr.Davidson told me to Emory, excluding the detail about The Gym, because I wanted to surprise her, all three of us were taking a cab to my grandparents house.

Me and Emory were sitting in the back, her head on my shoulder while I play with her hand on my lap, the other holding onto my arm.

I thought about how she teared up and exclaimed how happy she was for me when I told her about the situation. We hugged, and through my tears I shared how relieved I was, and that I was looking forward to spoil her as often as I could. She laughed and said that wasn't necessary. She wanted me to use the inheritance for my benefit, because I deserved it, and to not worry about anyone else.

It almost surprised me when I came to the conclusion that making her happy and showing her how special she is meant more to me than throwing cash around for my own selfishness.

I glance over at the girl I've come to care so much about in these past few weeks, not even caring her weight was pressing against my sore body.

I'm glad she agreed to come along with me to this meeting. My lawyer called my mom's mom to fill her in about what happened with me, and to ask if we could come over to see if fostering would be a possible option. She sounded excited on the phone, through her voice was pretty watery, like she was crying.

I just hope all goes well. But no matter what, I have Emory with me, which makes it hard to get anxious about what could go wrong.

I close my eyes, leaning my head over hers, lacing our fingers together.

After a while, the car pulls onto a bumpy gravel driveway, and I look up, admiring the long, twisting road framed with willow trees and a huge field of neatly cut grass on either side. We travel down it for about half a mile, before reaching a quaint little farmhouse.

It's two stories, made of brick painted a pale yellow, crisp white shutters around the windows. A full width white porch, complete with a balcony on the second level, a lively and colorful garden around it.

We park in front of the house, getting out and walking up the steps to the front door.

Mr.Davidson knocks on the navy blue door, while I stand behind him, holding tightly onto Emory's hand. She gives it a squeeze of reassurance, whispering, "You'll be okay."

I smile a bit, more at ease. Someone pulls the door open, and I turn my attention to them. An old woman about my size appears, shaking his hand as they exchange greetings.

She's small, but not frail, a few wrinkles lining her rather pretty face. She has me and my mother's naturally dark brown hair, though it's mixed with grey throughout. She also has my mom's kind brown eyes. I'm slightly taken aback by how much he resembles those photos of my mom I used to look at so often.

Her gazes moves back to me, and her smile broadens even more. "Blake!" she gasps. I hold up my hand for her to shake, but she takes it in both of hers. "Oh my God, you're so beautiful! You have your mom's nose and lips, oh, you're just amazing. I can't even explain how ecstatic I am to meet you, my granddaughter. Ahh, my daughter's child. So wonderful."

I laugh nervously at her behaviour, but it makes me smile seeing how she seems to care upon just meeting. "It's a pleasure to meet you as well, Miss Gardia."

Gardia is my mother's maiden name. Beatrice May Gardia.

"Oh no need to be so formal, call me Amy. Or Grandma, of course," she offers.

"Okay... Grandma," I say, a little hesitant.

"Wonderful, dear. Now, would you all like to come in? I have yet to be introduced to this little beauty beside you, and your Pap is in the kitchen."

I blush when she refers to Emory, nodding. "Right, yes."

She leads us to the surprisingly modern and light kitchen, where a man is sitting at the table, a newspaper in his hands.

"Gene, honey, our guests are here," Amy announces.

He looks up, and the first thing I notice are his grey eyes, just like mine. So that's where I get it from. My father has blue eyes, like his parents, so I always wondered why I have grey.

His salt and pepper hair is short and slicked back. He doesn't look that old, just like Grandma. They only appear in their fifties.

He wears a gentle smile, and I can tell he's a kind person just by his face.

We shake hands. "Pardon my rudeness. I didn't know it was you at the door. I'm Gene, but you can call me Pap. Amy has been talking nonstop about you all day. I have to say, she's gotten me pretty excited to meet you, Blake. I'm glad you could make it." His voice is gravelly and wise, a country accent dusting his words, countering Amy's light and joyful one.

"Likewise. Although I can't say I've heard too much about you. I didn't know I had you guys until today," I say.

He sighs, "Tis a shame, too. You're father never did want you knowing us. Feared you might wanna leave 'em for us. But at least you got us now. We have all the time in the world to catch up."

All of a sudden, I feel the tension in me subside, and I relax, smiling happily.

I notice both Gene and Amy raising a brow beside me. "Oh! Right, eh, sorry. Grandma, Pap, this is Emory, my g- uh, my friend."

I had to catch myself from saying girlfriend, reminding me that we haven't labeled anything yet. But something about calling her just a friend didn't set well with me. I know I wanted to take it slow, but the more time that passes, the more it unnerved me that I couldn't refer to her as mine. We'll have to discuss that later, for now I have bigger fish to fry.

Grandma went right in for a hug, which Emory giggled at, but returned. "It's so nice to meet you, darling. I'm excited to get to know the girl my granddaughter has fallen for," she chimes.

My eyes widen and blush furiously. "Wha- that's not... She's not... Grandma," I stammer.

Grandma laughs at my reaction, waving her hand dismissively. "Oh, no need to get embarrassed, sweetie. I support it one hundred percent. Especially since she's just so cute."

I smile awkwardly, still mildly flustered. "I know she is. But how did you know we were...?" I trail off, knowing she got the gist.

"I mean it's obvious. You blush when I mention her, you almost said she was your girlfriend, you're holding hands. Plus, y'all just seem to have a real special connection," she explains.

Emory smiles at me. "I guess we are pretty obvious. Do you want me to tone it down in company?" She whispers.

I shake my head, "no, not at all. The opposite, really," I assure her, wrapping my arm around her shoulder.

She tilts her head, "Hmm?"

I look away, "Ahh, nothing. We'll talk about it later."

To my relief, Pap offers us to sit down so we can go over our purpose for coming here.

We take seats at the round table, and I scoot mine closer to Emory's so I don't have to remove my arm.

Mr.Davidson jumps right in to the business talk. "So, when we spoke on the phone, I informed you of the situation Blake is currently in. Her parents are in custody, and she needs guardians until her birthday in half a month. You guys are her only living relatives, so we came to you before searching into fosters which aren't the best option."

Grandma listens, nodding her head, while Pap stares at me inquisitively. "Beg my pardon if it's a sensitive topic, but I couldn't help to notice the bruises and little bandage on your face. I'm assuming it was your father who did that?" He asks tentatively.

I have a slight black eye, and my nose was bruised, with a thin bandage on the bridge. Of course I have a plethora of others all over my body, but those are the only visible ones. It was only a matter of time before it was commented on, or they found out why my parents were arrested.

I nod solemnly. "Yes, sir. It's part of the reason I'm in this mess. My parents and brother abused me for years, and only recently was light shed on it to the police. But please, if you could refrain from bringing it up, I'd wish to keep it in the past from now on."

"Of course. I didn't know, I'm sorry," he says, guilty.

I smile, "Its alright. No harm done."

Mr.Davidson clears his throat, continuing. "Yes, so this is why we arranged this meeting. Our main concern was to ask if it were possible for you to consider agreeing to be Blake's temporary guardian."

Grandma grins brightly, taking her husband's hand. "Before you came, Gene and I conversed, and we decided it would be and honor to have Blake with us."

I gasp, "Really? I won't be intruding or anything, will I?" I ask skeptically.

"Of course not, dear. We were always let down by the fact we never got to interact with you when you were younger. After all, you're our only grandchild, we love you. It's amazing to have a chance to make up for lost time," she says warmly.

I feel myself tear up. She loves me. Someone she just met, the daughter of a man who her and her husband despise. A tainted girl with a rough history whom they know next to nothing about. It makes me hopeful for what life could be like, if there are people who can open their hearts so easily.

I stand up, moving to hug her tightly, tears that seem to be constant lately falling down my cheeks. "Thank you, you don't have any clue how much this means to me."

She pays my back gently, "Oh, I think I do, love. But you're very welcome."

I hug Pap and thank him as well, taking my seat again and drying my eyes.

We stay for a little longer, agreeing that after school tomorrow we'll gather some things from my house and bring it here so I'm comfortable during the next few weeks. They'll come down to the station, do a background check, sign a couple things, and then I'll be theirs.

We bid our goodbyes, stopped by my house to grab a gym bag with a change of clothes and toiletries for a shower, me and Emory taking my Jeep back to the station so I can spend my final night there.

I had my shower, feeling refreshed and happy that I got to use my vanilla soap once again, and I laid down with Emory, since she refused to let me spend the night alone.

I got that feeling in my stomach, the one you get when everything around you seems to change and suddenly you're thrust into a whole new life without preparation of any sort to help you get through the momumentous battles you need to face in order to get through safe to the other side.

Well, maybe you don't know what I'm talking about, but that's how I interpret the feeling.

But when I turned to a peacefully sleeping Emory and wrapped my arms around her, burying my face in her neck and closing my eyes, I felt that feeling slowly begin to fade away the longer I stayed that way and drifted into sleep.

I guess I lied, saying that I had no help. I had Emory, and she's more than enough to get me through. And, now I was getting my grandparents as well, and I'm sure they'll lend me all of their support. I'm not alone for once and I'm grateful for that fact.

-----

Authors Note: Ahh~, the end is so close, can you feel the excitement? No? Oh well, because I'm happy. We only have one chapter + the epilogue left. This is my first complete book I've ever written, and it's truly been an amazing experience. I thank all of my readers for liking, commenting, and reviewing. It brings me such joy and I hope you continue doing it, and that you like the story as much as I like writing it.

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