five : welcome to bainbridge hall
H E R A
♥ ♥ ♥
CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM has always been my favourite flavour of ice cream. That has been something which I have been able to know for the past for years after I discovered this amazing shop in the Upper East Side of New York. Right across Central Park.
My eyes glance outside to the park and could see families coming in and out, couples going for a midday stroll and children laughing aloud and giggling.
But I’m not happy.
Tomorrow is the day of the Whittaker family event and my insides start to churn. I don’t have that much time. Tomorrow is also the day that Nadine-fucking-Nix will release the things that she has on me and then send it to the press so that my career can end and hers will flourish like a rose in winter.
So I thought that it was best to have a girls’ day out. That apartment of mine was conjusting me; not letting me think and overloading everything on me at once.
I don’t want it to think.
I don’t want to think of the party (which I do not want to go to) or about the fact that my whole life is hanging on by a thread by a woman. A madwoman
I just want to forget about the problems that I’m dealing with. Just for a moment.
And a girls’ day out seemed like the best answer that I can get.
Facing back to the table, I take another spoon of the chocolate sundae and push the cold substance into my mouth.
“You need to eat slower, Hera.”
With my cheeks puffed out from the chocolate goodness, I look into those lime green eyes to see amusement in them. Brooks smiles and takes a bite from her mocha ice cream too. She allows the desert to melt in her mouth and then points a spoon at me.
“You’re going to get a tummy ache and I’m not going to take you to the party then.”
I almost ate the whole ice cream right then and there if I didn’t feel excited about the party.
Over the course of the few days and with Brooks’ words about how amazing it’ll be, I’ve actually become . . . rather excited for the big day. I know, shocker. But I have this feeling that something is going to happen at the party, Something good for me.
And that means a lot to me since there has been a lot of shit happening to me for the past week or so. Too many things have happened and with this feeling of excitement, I would’ve made a bad decision if I had rejected the Whittaker Family’s offer to come.
After the shopping trip that we took a few days ago, both of us are all set.
We have the dresses, the necklaces, the shoes, the earnings and many more things to wear.
More importantly for Brooks since she gets to wear a tiara.
A freaking tiara with diamonds and pink jewels with a gold base like fucking royalty.
Well, she is kinda royalty.
The Whittaker family is descended from England and came to America in the eighteenth century. At least that is what Brooklyn told me. She’s also told me that their family is related to one of the dukes from England during that time and that when the duke passed away, the dukedom fell to the Whittaker family and they took over the dukedom ever since.
They still have a cousin there who looks after the land and property which they own there that is under their titles.
So if you think about it, the Whittaker family is technically considered royalty through England and the UK.
“Don’t worry, Brooks,” I say, placing the spoon down and looking in the blonde’s direction. “I would never miss the day that I see you wear a fucking crown.” A smirk comes onto my face when I see Brooks narrow her eyes onto me.
She huffs out a breath before looking out the window. “You’re looking at the kids,” she points out and I look at the kids too. They’re laughing and giggling and that makes a sad smile come onto my face.
Her question brings me back to her to see a concentrated smile on her face. I bite my lower lip. How do I answer this question?
I shrug my shoulders. “I was bored. And the kids looked like they were having fun and they—they’re . . . my only source of entertainment at this moment.”
She narrows those lime green eyes and they darken at my words. “Your only entertainment?” Brooks gestures to herself. “Then what am I here for?”
“As my support company,” I bring the spoon to my lips and take another bite of the chocolate ice cream and then swallow. “But besides that, Brooks, tell me more about the party that’s happening tomorrow? Where? Who? Why? You know,” I shrug my shoulders, “just the basics of what’s gonna happen tonight.”
I only said that for one reason and one reason alone: I need to distract her from my thoughts. More importantly, of what’s consuming them.
She is the only thing in my mind and it is freaking me out that I need to leave. Leave my friends. Leave the luxury. Leave Manhattan. Leave New York. Leave my acting career. Leave my dream. Leave everything which I have been working for the past five years. Leave everything which I have known for the past five years just so that I can return back to my old life.
The life that I’ve been trying to forget my whole life. Burying the memory from my mind so that I can never remember again.
But looks like that I have too.
I have got no plan, no course of action for this incident and the only thing which I have is to follow Nadine’s plan.
That’s how I know that after saying goodbye to everyone at Whittaker Family’s event tonight—because I know that everyone is going to be there. Colin, Simon, Brooklyn’s boyfriend and all the other friends who I have made over the years.
I know that they’re all going to be there and that is the perfect place to say goodbye to them.
And then I’m gonna leave. Leave New York and everything which I have just gotten used to over the years.
My hazel gaze instantly goes towards Brooks who looks angry at me. She looks over towards me, eyes narrowed while pouting her spoon at me once again.“I have been trying to talk to you for the past five minutes and you have just been staring out the window—where there’s nothing even there. The kids who were running around are even gone now.”
I frown, look out the window to see that the other side of the streets are empty. The only thing I could is normal people walking across the streets. Most likely to go to lunch after a busy day at the office.
Now that reminds me.
“Let’s go.” Standing up from the chair, I grab the paper bowl which housed my ice cream and trash it. Then I face Brooks. “You said that you wanted to show me something . . . So show me it.”
At my words, a squeal escapes from Brooks’ mouth and she, too, stands up from her seat. Brooks ice cream was still a quarter left but in her excitement, she just forgets about it and throws it away. After the act, she makes her way to me and hooks her arms around my own.
Then the two of us walk out of the ice cream shop.
“Come. I have so much to show you.”
♥ ♥ ♥
“WHAT ARE WE doing here, Brooks.”
Brooks turns around to face me after taking the first step forward on the gravel-covered ground.
“Welcome, Hera Langford, to Bainbridge Hall.”
I look around the hall here, in the outskirts of New York City. When we left the ice cream shop, we hopped into the Mercedes from the Whittaker Family and the car took us on the outskirts of New York City, near Long Island. More near Great Neck.
That place is beautiful. I had noticed that all of the houses, the mansions and the place had its own sort of beauty.
And Bainbridge Hall is no different.
The hall has the architectural style of a house from the 1800s. A sort of a Georgian Colonial style. It is two-story and made of a strong wood which I could not determine what type because it was painted an ivory white. Now there are a numerous amount of windows scattered around the front of the hall which are panelled and the frames are an ebony black so that there is a contrast between the two colours. To get to the door of the hall are five steps and with four massive pillars coming out from the platform connecting with the roof which hangs just from the building. There are a massive amount of shrubs which line the area around the building and I can see gardeners around, taking care of the plants so that they’re in pristine condition for whoever comes here. My eyes glance to the roof which has a few chimneys sprouting from the roof as trees do on the ground.
Turning my body, I look behind me, turn around fully to take a few steps on the gravel to come face to face with the small fountain in the middle of the driveway.
I then face Brooks who has a huge smile on this face,
“This is what you wanted to show me.” Raising eyebrows, I take a once look over at the place. Towards the green shrubs and the pristine walls which coat the building. “You wanted to show me a hall in Great Neck.”
“No,” Brooks shakes her head, that smile spreading more and there is a sparkle in those lime green eyes. “I’m here to show you Bainbridge Hall.”
“And? What’s so special about this place.”
I can see that Brooklyn wants to tell me. She wants to tell me the thing that she’s been keeping on her chest for the past week. And then her mouth opening and closing like a fish out of water. Finally, she shuts it, shakes her head and then turns to walk into Bainbridge Hall.
Giving a glare to her back, I tighten my hold on my shoulder bag and follow her into the house. The door of the hall is black and is the same solid black colour which decorates the frames of the windows.
Now when I take my first step inside, the interior of the hall was even more stunning than the outside.
The hall’s floor is a white and black checkered floor pattern which spreads throughout the main foyer and leads towards the back of the hall where I can see a sort of formal sitting room. The same pillars which are at the front hold up the second floor inside and divide the two places.
Taking one glance to the second floor, I follow Brooks’ lead when she takes me into the formal sitting area that I saw on my way inside.
“This place is fucking incredible,” I confess, aweness filling my voice. My words came in a whisper when I pulled up to the sitting room and saw the most regal couches that I have ever seen in my entire life. Everything in Bainbridge Hall is old. Maybe as old as the Hall is. It’s got to be over two hundred years old from the mouldings scattered along with the ceiling of the sitting room.
My brown hair flares around my face when I come in contact with Brooklyn’s green orbs which fill with pride. “I know.” She then walks around the area in her signature Louboutins and makes clicks against the marble floors. “This hall has been in my family for over three generations.”
“Three?” I chuckle. “I thought it would have been longer.”
“It could have,” Brooks takes a seat on one of the cream coloured couches. She places her Prada bag to the side and then starts to take off the boots of her feet. She takes the boots off with the gracefulness of a dove taking flight and the calmness of a pink flamingo. Once the shoes are of her feet, the blonde model brings her feet up to the couch and sits down.
I follow her movements. Taking off the diamond-studded sandals of my feet and bringing my legs up to the couch. “So?” I question, eyebrows raised. “Why did you bring us to Great Neck and to here? Bainbridge Hall?”
Once upon a time, I remember the first time that I met Brooks. She was someone who could lift up the sun on a stormy day and someone who could bring joy to anyone who is around her.
She might be good at making people smile but she is a horrible person when it comes to keeping secrets.
Remembering this one time when she was supposed to keep my twenty-third birthday party a secret and then managed to spoil it on our day out to the harbour. Turns out that Brooks, Simon—her boyfriend—and Colin planned a day out for me at a summer house in Los Angeles. She asked to borrow the Whittaker family jet and they gave it to her with a smile on her face.
But in the end, she spilled the secret five minutes within my company.
Talk about a person who can’t keep their mouth shut.
“I have this feeling that you might tell me, Brooks? And I think that it might happen sooner rather than later,” I question, my eyebrows wiggling while a smirk comes onto my face. I wait for her to answer my question.
I know you, Brooklyn Whittaker
She narrows her eyes, her cheeks turning red from anger and a red blush coming onto her ever pale neck. Brooklyn wraps her arms around her golden blazer. The red dress on her body highlights her model body and she leans her back against the couch. Then the lime green eyes start to assess me as a person
This is all a show.
I know this more than I know myself.
Just as soon as her orbs meet my hazel green eyes, the angry looks drop and a squeal escapes from her lips. Those previous dark green eyes now brighten as she takes a look around Bainbridge Hall.
“You know how it’s my birthday soon . . . right?”
I nod my head.
“Well, let’s just say that my father gave me this as my present for when I turn twenty-three.” After she finishes, she giggles and takes a twirl of her dress when she stands up.
Now for me, I’m speechless. Her parents gave her a fucking hall as a birthday present? The best thing that my parents gave me was a flying toy helicopter which broke as soon as it took flight.
Or maybe it’s because my brother flew it straight into a tree and then placed it back in the box and then sealed it up so that it looks brand new.
My eyebrows scrunch and then followed by my nose. “Really?”
Her answer was a quick nod of her head.
I take a look around the hall—well, more of what I have already seen. And that so happens to be the front of the Georgian Colonial Hall, the entrance, the foyer and the formal sitting room that we’re in at the moment. “This is wow . . . Just—Just wow.”
“But I haven’t even shown you the best part.”
I frown. “There’s a best part?”
“Of course there is!” Brooks gets up from her spot and makes her way over towards me. She places a hand out and with a sigh, I take it. Brooks then drags me to the side of the formal sitting room and opens a door.
To the backyard, I think?
But when the both of us got out there, I just noticed that this is more beautiful than a backyard. This is more. More beautiful than anything which I’ve ever seen before.
“Yup, your right,” I whisper and take a step out of the hall and onto the pale gravel which lines the stone porch right outside. “This might just be the best part of all Bainbridge Hall. And also another thing, I’ll be spending more time here than the penthouse in Manhattan. Now that’s a fact that I’ll surely be able to abide.”
The back of Bainbridge hall is what you’ll see if you go to the nearest botanical gardens. Lush flowers of roses and lilies and hyacinths scatter each part of the garden. Fountains come up from the ground with crisp water flowing from them while a gravel pathway leads down to the small patch of grass which is then covered by a stone wall and then giving a beautiful view of the ocean and then the nearest bridge. To get to the small patch of grass, there are multiple walkways to get there which are covered by rose plants and different sorts of bushes.
My eyes then look across to see the same woodwork done here from the front and the same evergreen shrubs surrounding the building.
This place is wonderful. Absolutely wonderful.
“Now you see why I wanted to bring you here,” Brooks speaks out loud, a slight squeak in her voice when she leans her back against the door which we just exited.
“Now that you mentioned it . . .” I trail off, coming up to her. I lean my back against the wood and then look around the brilliant backyard. “Why did you bring me here?”
Brooks bites her lower lip, a finger starting to twirl around a strand of blonde hair while her feet move back and forth on the gravel. I was surprised that she is not screaming in pain from the movement which she is creating but then I think that she is a model and has walked millions of times on a runaway.
Which I then think about the fact that Brooklyn Whittaker was then raised in riches and decorum; made to be treated like royalty upon everyone around her and her family.
She should not be used to walking on rough textures.
And you should be?
I shake my head and then turn back to Brooks who is giving me an odd look. Her eyes dart left and right to me and then towards the gardeners who are walking around me.
“Nothing,” the blonde says. A sparkle comes into her eyes when she looks around the place. “The reason why I brought you here is because for my twenty-third birthday, I was thinking of throwing the party here instead of the manor.” She shrugs her shoulders and then continues, “This’ll just make things easier for me and our family for us. And plus, this will just make it so that everyone gets here on time since it’s just thirty minutes from the city anywhere.”
I nod my head at her words. “Here?” I take a look around the place, take a few steps forward on the gravel and once I reach the stone wall, lean my front against it so that I can see more of what this garden has to offer me. “That works.”
I said those words with the least amount of enthusiasm as I could because my gaze and attention was on the rest of the backyard.
There are layers of the garden. Four to be exact and one just drops down after the other to create a beautiful effect and then end at the patch of green grass. And then there is the twenty feet pool just on the third floor of the background.
Rich people and their rich things.
You have an ocean right in front of you—and I won’t be surprised if there is a way to get to the beach just below us—and then a pool which has fresh water in it and will most likely be heated as well.
“Come.” She calls out from behind me. “I’ll show you the rest of the garden. I can see that you’re eager for a tour.”
Nodding my head at her words, I was just about to agree to her words when a woman came running around the corner, a worried look on her face.
“Miss. Whittaker!” she cries out, stopping right in front of the two of us. “There is trouble happening in the kitchen and we need your help with the problem.” The woman looks worried, anxious and nervous all at once and her answer is in the blonde, green-eyed model next to me.
Now Brooks’ eyes crease together and a frown comes onto her nude coloured lips. She looks towards me, a sorry look on her face and when I send her a small smile which urges her to go, she turns back to the maid.
“Lead the way.”
A smile breaks out of the maid’s face and she starts walking back to where she came from and Brooks follows right after her.
Now here leaves me.
I keep my eye on Brooks and the maid. Even while they walk away from me and even when they turn the corner to get right back to the front of Bainbridge Hall. I sigh, face the wall, then lean against it once again. The slight texture of the stone digging into the smoothness of my silk-covered skin. But I don’t care about a little pain. The beauty which is bestowed upon me at the moment will more likely cover the pain in me.
But being alone—for me that is—causes my brain to churn, to think, to feel. To showcase everything that is going on in my life at the moment.
And not even a pretty view will stop me.
A pang of guilt, of sadness, of desperation, comes and settles in my chest when I think about everything which I have to leave all because of one person, one person who blames me for her shitty launch of her career.
When it’s not even my fault.
I sigh and then start to walk towards the small stairs which lead down to another path. Each step which I take leads me into something new, something uncharted by me and something which is extraordinary.
White roses blossom in hundreds on the bushes beside me so that there is some shelter from the sun. Which is weird because today is cloudy—like any other day in this city.
After a few steps, I come upon a pale stone bench and then take a seat on the cold texture. I take a deep breath in and then out, my eyes are closed while I just focus on my other scenes: hearing, touch, smell but probably not taste at the moment.
I can hear a few birds chirping the distance while a bee buzzes in a few of the flowers near me. The strong floral smell of roses which overpower the smell of the hyacinths and the other flowers around me. The strength of the stone bench underneath me pressing against me and supporting me with its own weight.
I feel peace.
But peace for me doesn’t last long when a ringtone comes out of nowhere and breaks the silence.
I jolt, my eyes opening wide with panic while the sound of my heartbeat is blaring through my body and the noise of blood pumping in my ears makes shock flood through my body.
My eyes narrow from their wide-eyed stance when I can feel the vibration of my phone in my pocket
With a growl exiting from my lips, I pull it out—only to see an unknown number pop up.
Who could this motherfucker be?
But my question gets answered when a familiar voice comes through.
“Your time is almost up, Hera Langford.”
“Is that so, Nadine?”
A chuckle was heard from the evil bitch on the other side before followed by, “Of course. You have until the end of tomorrow night to pack your bags and leave New York.”
“Who says that I’m going to follow your words?” I lean forward in my seat, playing with a flower which just so happened to pop out of the bush. I play with the velvet of the petals until facing forward. “I could just stay here and see if you have anything on you. Who says that you even have any dirt on me?”
“Ohhh . . .” she stops, then cackles like a wicked witch. “You want proof? Then you should have asked for it.”
I frown at her words. What is she going to do now? But then I hear a ding come from my phone and then pull it away from my ear to see that I got a picture sent from the unknown number.
Clicking on the photo, I could feel the blood drain from my face and my skin turns white at the face that was staring right back at me. The dried brown strand of her on her head, the hazel eyes that are dead and—and . . . lifeless.
How could she have gotten that photo from?
I could hear the faint murmur from the speaker and then bring it to my ears to hear her words.
“—I can see that you’re speechless and that just . . . just delights me to the fullest that I can be at the moment. But now that you have your proof, I think that you know my words.” A pause. “You leave the city and then this will disappear and I’ll happily give you all of the evidence that I have on you . . . and your family.”
“I’m warning you—” I start off, voice hard and display the anger that I’m feeling at the moment but then get cut off by the bitch,
“No, I’m warning you. This is just the beginning and if you don’t listen to me, I’ll tell the press of what you were. Of what you are.”
Then the line went silent.
I was a volcano which is just waiting for its moment to explode so that I rain hellfire on this world and the next. I could be the devil and will burn Nadine alive while her family watches, while the people who love her watches.
I want blood.
No, I need blood.
And her’s will do just fine.
I look up from my gaze at the blank screen and towards the fountain just a few feet away from me. Everything was so much and so little at the same time. I clutch the phone in my hand, hearing the sound of the screen breaking and the metal bending.
Then I throw the phone at the fountain and watch it break apart into a hundred different pieces
Just like I’ll break Nadine Nix apart.
Bone by fucking bone.
♥ ♥ ♥
that was a super late update but it is here, that’s all that matters
sooo . . . any thoughts of what nadine has over hera
i would love to hear what you think?
next update might be a lot slower than this.
sry about that!