six : meet the ruler pt. 1
H E R A
♥ ♥ ♥
LOOKING INTO A mirror is like looking into your soul and seeing the worst thing which your heart and mind could ever conjure up. It’s like a witch who is using a cauldron to cast a spell on someone whom she detests with a burning passion.
But the thing about a witch’s cauldron is that what you see has a veil covering it so that you don’t get the full picture.
However, a mirror is an entirely different story.
Everything within its proximity is crystal clear like you’re looking at that object or person with fresh eyes or something for the first time.
A mirror shows all your flaws.
And now, that I’m looking at myself in the mirror, some of those flaws come to the surface. As well as all the evil in my black heart.
And I know that there are a lot of them.
Memories pass through my mind. Each more disturbing than the last and showing all of the most horrible things which I’ve done in my life to get to where I’m at the moment.
Though my career was all my own—but how I got it was . . . was not the best way.
“Come on, Hera!”
My gaze transfers from my face and towards Brooks.
The blonde model stands behind me in sheer white lingerie. The bra hugs her breasts perfectly while the white lace thong sits on her waist with perfection. And then there is her hourglass figure. Brooks’ curves are there but they’re soft—unlike mine which are more profound and easily seeable from a distance.
I’m a very curvy person.
And I’m sitting in front of a mirror with only my black heart pasties on my nipples and a piece of silk on my lower half to hide my centre from Brooks’ views
I send her a small smile and then stand up from the chair and the weight of my breasts affects me a little too much which results in me doing a small little stretch and then looking to the side. More towards a chair and grabbing the silk black robe one its seat.
Placing the robe on my body and then tying the knot in front, I, this time, turn to face Brooks. “What?”
“Where is the hairdresser? Where is Wanda?” Brooks shakes her head, her hands firmly planted on her hips, her hip cocked out to the side. “You said that she’s gonna be here soon and that was over twenty minutes ago.”
“Patience, Brooklyn Whittaker. Patience.” I say, walking back towards the dresser and picking up my phone. I turn it on, hoping at the bottom of my heart that there is some sort of message or phone call or—or something resembling a piece of information as to where in the world could Wanda Gill be.
But my phone came up blank, just displaying the time.
1: 34 pm
Around a few more hours before the party starts at the newest version of Whittaker Industries’ luxurious hotel in Manhattan.
I was not that surprised that the hotel was built in one of the richest places in New York—hell, even though I live in Manhattan, right in front of Central Park. But still, that place is packed; there was no way that they had managed to build a new and improved hotel under the Whittaker Industries’ branch of other five star and above hotels.
But looks like the children with Whittaker blood in them are all the same: they will not take no for an answer. No, instead they will bypass the no and turn it into a yes because their pride won’t take the answer that they are given already.
I turn back to Brooks, my thoughts coming out of my mind and towards the blonde model. “Well . . .” I bite my lower lip, the pink lip now turning into a red colour because of all of my nibbling I do at the moment and from Nadine’s threat—
Stop, Hera! Do not think of that witch and what she has over you.
Nodding at my own brain’s words, I once again turn to face Brooks before my lips turn into a frown. “Don’t look at me like that? I don’t know where Wanda is and if you keep looking at me like that, Brooks,” my hazel-eyed gaze narrows and darkens as well, “I will send Wanda away as soon as she comes through that door. And I won’t give a damn whether you’re going to cry like a little bitch right after.”
Brooks’s eyes darken onto my being too. She then takes a step forward. Brooks doesn’t care that the only thing on her body is lingerie. She doesn’t care that if anyone would walk in, they would see her half-naked.
She might be an heiress and model, but right now, she is a fierce and independent woman.
“Fine,” she manages to say with a tight lip. Brooks then flips the blonde strands—when it falls in front of her face—to her back and walks out of her own room. Dumbass!
With a shake of my head, I follow her out of the room. I can hear bare feet padding on the marble tiled floor and then follow her lead, a grin on my lips when hearing how hard her feet are walking. She’s mad.
Well . . . with the way in which I snapped at her, I wouldn’t have been surprised if she wasn’t mad. That is a ’Brooklyn Leona Whittaker’ move right there.
I walk out of the hallway and towards the formal meeting room. Dark blue couches are on wooden floors while a white coffee table sits between the four of the couches. Two three-seaters and two one seaters facing each other. Then there is a stainless steel kitchen right behind it with four big windows and a double door that leads out to a huge balcony right beside the two rooms.
Something which I have noticed about Brooks is that wherever she lives, it has some character. Or in other words, it’s older than all of the other buildings which rise from the ground of NYC like trees.
And her apartment isn’t any different.
While mine is more of a modern one: white walls, pale wooden floors and with two bedrooms which were first, a plain white and then crafted by me to turn into something more bigger than it was before.
Brooklyn’s apartment is more of the buildings which were built around the early 1950s. And it still has the same steel stairs which go up to the floor right outside, beside her flowers and plants which she loves to do.
Now, I turn my attention from the family room and towards the front door—where one Brooklyn Whittaker stands, in a floral robe now on her body while her feet are tapping on the marble. I was surprised that I couldn’t hear it since it was so loud.
“What is this?” I question, starting to make my way over towards Brooks and then standing right behind her. I could feel her baby hairs standing up tall and rigid. She knows what I’m doing.
“Are you waiting for Wanda?”
“Yes!” She snaps, not even looking at me. “Since it seems like you don’t care for me and my family.”
Snorting at the words, I try my best to hide the laugh which wants to escape. “I have never met your family. Is that what you want me to say?”
Finally, the woman cracks and whips around. The blonde curls on her head fly in the air for just a moment before falling right back down. Her green orbs are wide with shock and other emotions which I can’t really name.
“Well—But—I—” the words died right on her tongue before she sealed her lips tightly, her eyes narrowing while an annoyed sound escapes from her lips. The feet tapping stopped a few seconds back and now, she’s just standing there.
Mad at me.
Just the way that I like it.
“Whatever!” she finally concluded and then turned right back to the door.
I chuckled at her act. The way in which she is acting like a little child who got their doll taken from them because it did something bad.
Upon hearing my chuckle, a growl escapes from her lips and I burst. The laugh which was building in my mouth exploded and I almost fell over if it hadn’t been for the wall near me that held onto my body as support
I know that she was going to be mad at me but that was a wave of anger which I was willing to accept.
I needed this freedom, this laughter, this sliver of a moment of happiness before my whole world comes crashing down at my feet.
I need this.
Even if it lasts only for the night and I turn back to a pumpkin at the stroke of midnight
Then I saw the anger which was in Brooks. She turns from her place and stalks her way towards me, vengeance written in her eyes and the way that she walks with her back straight, her hips swaying left to right, her shoulders before her arms so that her chest is exposed to the natural light, her foot stepping right in front of the other like she is on the catwalk right now and a swarm of cameras are taking photos of her for the front cover of Vogue.
“What’s so funny, Hera Langford?” Brooks questions when she stands right in front of me. The woman standing in front of me is just a bit taller than me; she stares me down. “Is it because I was speechless?”
“That is one of the reasons,” I respond back once my laughing has stopped enough to bring those words out clearly. “More of the bigger ones in my opinion.”
She opens her word and I know that the worst of the worst words are going to come out of her mouth.
But something stopped her.
Or more like a doorbell ringing stopped her.
Brooklyn snaps her mouth shut, shoots me a glare and then makes her way over to the door. She then takes a deep breath in, making sure that she won’t shout at Wanda—because who else could it have been other than Wanda Gill. After taking a breath, Brooks opens the door with a big smile on her face.
At least. I think that she has a smile because otherwise, Wanda would have run from the hills in response.
“So sorry that I’m late!” Wanda exclaims, an excitement in her voice and she then takes a step inside of the apartment. “There was a whole lot of traffic that I had while catching a cab from Queens and all the way here.”
Wanda is Indian. North Indian to be more specific and you could see from her naturally tanned skin and the dark, ebony hair which rests in a braid behind her back and by how long the plait is, then it must be a long and thick chunk of hair.
Wanda walks in with a cart right behind her. Full of hair curlers, straighteners, expensive makeup, facials and all other things which a beautician would have. I don’t know what a beautician does but what I do know is that they have magic in their hands since they make anyone who they work on to look like a literal immortal being.
“That’s fine, Wanda.” I send the woman a small smile and she sends me one right back. “Just come on in and forget about Brooklyn. She’s kinda in a shitty mood at the moment.” Sending the blonde woman a smirk, I turn and walk towards the sitting area.
I hear a chuckle coming from Wanda before I take a seat on the dark blue fabric and then bring a leg onto the other, showcasing the tan legs of mine.
Wanda drags the cart towards me. “So . . . tell me?” She questions, lifting one of her thick eyebrows while a bit of her Punjabi ancestry comes through her voice. “What do we want to do? Facial? Face mask? Waxing? Eyebrows? Details, Hera Langford?”
I send a grin to her back before clicking my tongue on the side of my mouth. “I don’t know about Brooks and what she wants but I want a facial. Maybe a gold mask? Do you have a gold mask?”
“Do you see what I dragged up ten flights of stairs?” She points towards the cart that she is brought with her. “I have everything which I need in this bag.”
“That’s great! Let’s get started.”
I stand up from my spot, the sun shining from the huge windows right beside me, towards the left of me and then walk towards one of the hallways out. “Just down the hall, third door on your right is the health room. You can set up there.”
“Alright.” Grabbing onto the handle of the cart, the wheels start rolling on the wood and then she’s gone from my view. “Give me fifteen minutes to set up and then you guys can start coming through.”
Looking once more. I then turn towards the kitchen when I can hear something from that certain part of the apartment. And when I see one Brooklyn Whittaker making herself a cup of coffee in the kitchen, I know one thing and one thing alone: that she’s pissed.
“Oh, come on, Brooks,” I shrug off my words then make my way over towards the model. When I reach the island in the middle, I lean my front against it while placing my chin on my open palms in front of me. “Are you mad at me?”
Brooklyn makes no move at my words.
She’s acting . . .
But I’m the better actress here.
I watch as she then places the cup of black coffee on the island and then walks towards the stainless steel fridge, opens it and then pulls out a bottle of milk and creamer. Brooks closes the door to the fridge with one hit of her bare feet and then makes her way back to the island where she opens both of the bottles and then pours them into her drink.
Black mixes with white to form a brown colour which represents coffee.
Then she grabs onto the mug with both hands, brings it to her lips where she goes forward to take a sip of the coffee. Brooks glances my way, a dark blonde eyebrow raised before questioning, “What?”
“Nothing. Why do you always think that I have some sort of hidden agenda when I look at you like this?”
“Because, Hera Langford,” she places her mug down and then looks at me with more than needed seriousness in those green eyes of hers. “I know you and I know that every action which you take has a reason behind it.”
I frown. “Like?”
“Like,” she starts off, “when back in my room, how you stood up from the dressing table when I called your name and you stood up, made your way to the chair to pick up a black robe so that your skin is not on display. You might be an actress but you are very self-conscious of your body, that’s for sure.”
I narrow my eyes at her. “You have no sort of proof on that theory of your’s?”
Brooks picks up her cup, raises an eyebrow and then takes another sip of her precious coffee. “I have all the proof that I need,” she places the cup back down on the island again and then looks at me. “It’s standing right in front of me at this very moment.”
Scoffing at her words and then folding my arms over my breasts, causing them to be bigger than they usually are, I start talking, “Well . . . you can say all you want but I’m not self-conscious about my body. Quite the opposite truly.”
“Keep telling yourself that,” Brooks says with a warm smile on her face, staring at me. But then she looks behind me when someone starts coming towards us.
Wanda makes herself known by her feet slapping against the pale floors and then her voice coming out with just a hint of Punjabi in it, “I’m ready. Who’s coming in first?”
Brooks drops her coffee on the table and then passes by me, giving me a wink and then going down the hallway to the health centre. Then she’s gone.
I then look at Wanda. The woman is shaking her head from side to side before saying in a soft voice, “First in, first serve, Hera. You just have to wait your turn . . . and if I know, Brooklyn, she’s going to be taking a long time.” She locks her dark brown orbs with mine, tilts her lips into a grin. “My advice? Keep yourself entertained for an hour, maybe even two.’
Sneering at the way that Brooks just went through, I grit out between my clenched teeth, “Like I don’t know her at all, Wanda. I know exactly that this is payback for everything which I’ve done to her. Right before you came, of course.”
Wanda shakes her head again. “I don’t even want to ask and know,” the Punjabi woman looks down the hall and then back to me, “I would love to say more but I know that if I don’t get there . . . she’ll take longer than usual to finish with everything.”
“Yeah, yeah. Get going won’t you?”
Before she leaves, Wanda brings me into a fierce hug, kisses my cheek and then goes in the direction which Brooks went just a few minutes before.
With a sigh, I turn back into my spot on the island. I stare at one thing before walking around the table—right where the blonde model was standing and then pick up her coffee cup.
And then take a sip of the drink while looking down the empty hallway.
Not bad, Brooklyn Whittaker. Not bad at all.
♥ ♥ ♥
IT’S BEEN THREE hours. Three hours since Brooklyn had entered the health room with Wanda and I’ve just been sitting on the couch in the sitting room, watching some good ol’ Netflix.
I look towards my right—where a bowl of hot, buttery popcorn sits in a glass bowl. I shove my hand into the bowl before bringing it to my mouth and dumping in the warm popcorn.
Then I swallow.
Before my eyes go back towards the hallway, waiting. Waiting for Wanda Gill to come out that door and tell me that it’s my turn to come in. That I can have my hair and face done before the time of Whittaker Industries’ event.
But when I see nothing except the light from the sky coming through the large windows and the balcony outside, and nothing which looks like an actual human, I know that Wanda is still in there, taking care of Brooklyn Whittaker.
Frowning, I turn back to the flat screen tv which is playing reruns of Friends and settle back into the couch. I just make the choice to continue to eat the popcorn.
My hand would go into the bowl by my side, then stuff a handful of popcorn into my mouth. Then after I would look at the hallway, then at the clock (which always showed that a few seconds had passed) and then look at the tv.
That cycle would repeat constantly and there was no way of stopping it.
The only way that it did stop was when I ran out of popcorn and only ten minutes had passed. I sneer, baring my teeth and knowing that Brooklyn is only doing this for one reason and one reason alone.
And when is she never mad at you.
I shake my head and then stand up from the couch, the same black silk robe is still on my body and reaching my mid-thigh. Even while I stand up from the couch, bowl in hand and make my way over to the kitchen.
For more popcorn of course.
I started looking through the cabinets of Brooklyn’s kitchen for more kernels because that bowl that I made was the last of the corn that I found in one of the drawers.
And since we have a bucket load of sleepovers here as well as my apartment, I know that she has some corn around here somewhere.
I just need to find it.
Looking through cabinets, storage and the pantry and finding nothing after five minutes makes a pout to come onto my face. I stand on my tip toes, opening one of the many cabinets and a sigh and sneer come out of my mouth when I could see nothing but expensive wine glasses.
I shut the door with anger and the wine glasses bang against each other and I wince, waiting for the glasses to fall and crash in the small space. But when I hear a few more clinks and no sound of something cutting through the air, I open my previously closed eyes to see them still intact. Thank God!
“You’re going to break my wine glasses, Hera. And they cost an arm and a leg to buy.”
I don’t turn from my spot. I know exactly who it is and I know that she does not deserve any of my attention after taking so long with Wanda.
Instead, I just keep looking through the many cabinets in the blonde’s kitchen.
“Okay, don’t talk to me,” she shrugs her shoulders—or at least that’s what I think she did—and then the sound of feet falling behind me. “That just tells me that I can send Wanda home. You look perfect in my opinion.”
Those final words make me close another cabinet rather harshly and whip around to come in contact with the lime green orbs, amusement dancing in them and a ghost of a grin on her lips.
I narrow my eyes. “Don’t you dare?”
“And,” she leans her front against the island, “what happens if I do dare.”
“I don’t know? Do something and you might find out.”
And with those as my parting words, I stop my search for the kernels and pass Brooklyn, towards the health centre without even giving her a final look.
I knew that she was ready for the event. She had her hair in tight curls around her head, the same jewellery from the store in her ears, resting on her chest and sitting nicely on her wrist. Then there is a whole other story about her dress which I can’t tell anything about since I just saw the barbie pink sweetheart neckline and just a glimpse of the trail.
I didn’t have time for that. I just knew that I had to get away from there or otherwise, I knew that I would have done something I’ll regret.
Maybe. I don’t know yet.
I take one foot in front of the other, down the hallway and then just a couple of steps later, I stop in front of the door which leads into the health centre. It’s kind of cool that this apartment has a health centre.
But hey, I’m not a builder.
I’m an actress. And that’s something which I’m good at.
The wooden door stares right back at me and I know right then and there that I’m at the health centre and that Wanda Gill is on the other side, ready for me to do what she does best: make people look pretty.
There is a reason why she’s on the speedial of the rich and expensive people of New York.
Sighing, I open the door to see the soft golden glow given by the lamps placed around the room and the two beds sitting in the rather large space. There is a spa in one corner; a mud pool in the other and in the centre is the place where Wanda stands, right beside the melting wax on a table.
“Well, she sure took her damn time. Didn’t she?” Wanda says, her hand holding onto a wooden spoon and she mixes the now melted wax together before bringing it out of the heater, into the air and then back into the melter.
“Of course,” I chuckle, tightening the belt of silk around my waist and close the door without even looking at it. Then, I walk over to Wanda—who gestures for me to lie down on the bed.
I follow her rules and lie down, the softness of the mattress supporting my weight. A breath of content escapes from my lips. “Can you remind me what you want again, Hera? I kinda was distracted with your friend out there and all her demands.”
“Well . . .” I start off, biting my lower lip while glaring at the door. “I wanted a lot of stuff but seeing as we only have a short amount of time until the event, I’ll just like a waxing—”
“Brazilian?” Wanda questions, her head tilting just the slightest so that she looks at me.
“What else? But not just that. Underarms, legs and maybe my chest area. A facial too. One which takes less time but more effective. Nails, makeup and . . . and think that’s it.’” I finish off my words.
Wanda nods her head before coming up to me. “Since we don’t have enough time, shall I suggest that we get started right away. The sooner, the better, right?”
“You’re speaking my language, Wanda.”
♥ ♥ ♥
THE DRESS THAT I bought was a . . . beautiful choice when I could feel the material of the blueness start bunching up by my waist and stretching over the expanse of my hips and thighs.
But that is the reason why when you buy a dress, you try not to sit down so that you don’t rip the fabric.
“How much longer until we get to the hotel, Brooks,” I question the woman sitting right in front of me. I see Brooks’ hands go over the barbie pink fabric of the mermaid tail before giving me a view of her lime green eyes.
She leans back, looking at me while she lifts one leg to place over the other. “Five minutes. Maybe even ten? Not quite sure since when you look out the window, you can see traffic.”
The street was busy, packed to its fullest that it can be. The faint sound of cars honking, people shouting and the sound of tires running on asphalt could be heard around us but this limo is soundproof so it’s not that loud
I turn in my seat and then scoot across the seat so that I can get a better view of the outside and the same thing that Brooks said is in front of me.
The main road of New York is filled and if there were a few more cars, I know that it would be more overpacked than it already is. Cars would be everywhere and then there was no way to get anywhere in this city.
“This is why I don’t drive here. In the city,” I mutter under my breath, looking outside and hoping that there are some changes made.
But alas, everything is still the same as before.
I sigh, turn to face Brooklyn who is busy on her phone, the blue light reflecting off her and on her face in the short supply of light in the space.
“Got a message from someone? Maybe Simon?” I question her, my hands running down the fabric of my dress once again.
“No,” she shakes her head and then places the phone in the gold Prada clutch beside her. She shuts it tightly and then gives me her full attention. “Message from Phillip, saying that we should go around the building, towards the back where a private entrance would be there. And, also, that he’ll be late for the party. To his own event.”
Brooks scoffs. “What a shocker, Hera.”
“Yeah . . . ,” I start off by saying. “What a shocker . . . Reason being is that I have never met him before.”
The bachelor of New York City and the richest man in the city. Heir to Whittaker Industries where he has been the CEO for the past decade or so. Maybe even less than that. Or more. Honestly, I don’t know him that well other than that he rules the city and is running his father’s company. Phillip has also been known to be very . . . ummm, secretive and closed off. Cold person towards his employees and the people around him; never have I heard him be nice to anyone or anything. He might be nice towards his family and friends but other than that, I don’t expect him to be a ray of sunshine like his sister.
I also know that he has been seen many times on the front page of famous magazines of sexist man alive and business issues. GQ, Time, People, Vogue and many more but I can’t think of more at the moment.
All I know is that he’s rich. And famous. And I might as well circle back to he’s rich.
Just like his sister.
“What was his excuse for being late?” I question, my nose scrunching at the thought. Brooks looks at me before blinking her eyes.
“Honestly, he just said that he’s stuck in the office . . . But I feel like he’s lying,” she says after a while of not talking. Brooks looks out the window and then towards me. “He’s a control freak; always making sure that things go the way that he wants and no other way. He’s been like that for a long time and I can certainly say that he is not late. Something else must have come up which is delaying him, something which he doesn’t want to tell me.”
Weird, I think. I might know nothing about the man but what I do know is that he tells Brooks anything and everything which happens in his life. Whether it’s big or small, she knows.
Or at least, that’s what she tells me.
I shrug my shoulders at her. “He might just be late in the office. Nothing big about that.” I turn to face the windows to see that we have moved quite a bit since the last time that I looked out the window.
This is just one of many to get to the hotel building.
“Maybe, Hera, maybe.”
Then she goes back to her phone. Her hands move a bit across the screen, tap on a few apps before she starts typing away at something. This lasts a few seconds before she drops the phone back to where she found it and then looks at me.
“I texted Daddy where he and Mum are at. Just seeing if they are there or not yet . . . ” Then a light comes from the phone and she picks it up, reads over text before continuing with her words, “Looks like he’s there.”
“Ain’t that great? One more Whittaker to meet tonight,” I mutter under my breath and luckily enough, Brooklyn did not hear my words.
I know that she would have been pissed to hear those.
I have never met Brooks’ family in the many years that I have known her. It’s not my business to come between her and her family and I never needed to ask.
She never asked me about my past; I didn’t ask about her family.
Sure there have been a few questions here and there (not that many) but some of them I could answer. Some I couldn’t. And when I said ‘no’ to her words, she understood and never asked again. This is what I like about our friendship: Brooklyn knows my limits and she never pushes them.
And I know her limits and I never push her’s.
These are just a few things which I love about our friendship.
Then there is silence around the two of us and the driver in the front—but he doesn’t count as a person in this place since he is divided from the two of us by an opening covered by a small black screen.
But the silence around is a comfortable one and something which can cause me to think. Think about all that’s happening around me. And I didn’t want that. I don’t want that at all.
So I made a decision to scoot over towards the end of the limo and just stare out the windows once again. I see the cars passing by much quicker than before, no sounds of shouting coming from the streets except the sight chatter coming from the people walking on the footpaths and the slight honks of horns.
I just kept staring, focusing on the things around me instead of what’s going on inside.
Time passes by until we make a few turns on the road and make it to the back entrance—which just so happens to be an alleyway.
I should be scared—no, we should be scared but when I take my gaze off the window and towards Brooks, she looks like this is just another day in our lives. She looks just like me. We both have been through this multiple times: taking back exits and shortcuts so that we can escape the paps and the press.
But we only ever do this unless we have been told to do it and have no need to make an appearance through the front.
The car around us has slowed down to a crawl so that it’s walking at a normal pace of a human going on a stroll across town.
“Looks like we’re here,” Brooks acknowledges, a smile on her face while looking out the window.
I look out too, seeing the alleyway in new eyes. It wasn’t dirty; it was as clean as it can be—much cleaner than the other alleyways in NYC. It was modern, showing that the hotel which was recently built was a modern one, showcasing the power and the wealth and the money which was used to build the place.
The car stops.
We wait, knowing that someone is going to come from the outside to open the door for us and then chaperone to the door where there’ll be someone waiting there for us and then we’ll head through the back entrance, towards the people who were invited to the opening party of Whittaker Industries.
A few seconds after the car stops, the door opens to display Mal, the driver who has a bright smile on his face. “Miss. Whittaker, Miss. Langford,” he starts off and then brings a hand out. “I’m here to drop you at the door.”
With a smile on her face, Brooks takes the hand and then walks out of the limo with grace. Once she is out, Mal then turns to me and brings his hand out and I take it too.
The hand felt warm in mine while he pulled me out of the limo. It took me a while to get my balance but when I did, only then did Mal let go of my hand and let me stand on my own.
“Miss. Whittaker, I’m now supposed to escort you—”
“It’s fine, Mal,” Brooks stops his words, waving her hand around the air and then continues, “we are more than capable of walking in the direction of the backdoor.”
Mal’s eyes widen. “But, Miss! I am supposed to—”
Brooks stops his words this time with the narrowing of her green orbs, the slight movement of her hips and then does he understand how serious she is. “Did you not hear what I said, Mal? So let me repeat it to you then,” she takes her hands off her hips and directs them between the two of us. “We are more than capable of walking less than five feet to get to where we need to be. We do not have the need to have an escort in this short distance.”
Mal’s mouth slants to the side just the slightest. “Well . . . if you’re sure . . .”
“Ohhhh, we are more than sure,” Brooks speaks out loud, her voice having a strength to it which tells Mal that what she says is final.
More of the Whittaker pride coming to show.
Mal nods his head slowly and then quickly bows his head to us. “Miss. Langford . . . Miss. Whittaker, I’ll be here to pick you up after the party has ended, at the front.”
Brooks’ face nods and then Mal turns around, heading back to the limo and towards the direction of the driver’s door. He hops in, a moment of silence before the engine turns on and he reverses from the alleyway and onto the road. The next second, he’s gone.
I turn my gaze from the limo and towards Brooks when she calls my name. “Hera?”
“Hmm,” I nod my head, acknowledging her words.
“Let’s head inside, yeah?”
Not replying to her words, I just take a few steps towards the back of the alleyway to see the only source of light in the dark space coming from the open door. The same which goes for the outside shows that the inside is modern too, the white walls being the only thing which I can see right now.
Brooks and I make our way towards that very door to see a very bulky man standing there, a pair of shades (I don’t know why when it’s almost night time here in New York) and an earpiece.
The male sees us coming and I could see his eyes hardening but that stops when he spots the blonde model right beside me. “Lady Whittaker, we have been waiting for you for a while now.” his head bows the slightest while I glare at the small crown on Brooks’ head.
The crown was breathtaking. It’s a gold frame, small and light and thin. White diamonds and pink diamonds dot along with the good frame and the jewels sparkle in the limited light, casting shadows over the walls and into my own fucking eyes.
This is so unfair.
Brooks smiles towards the man. “You don’t have to use my title. My name is perfectly fine.”
“Of course, Lady Whittaker.”
Brooks sighs at his response.
But then she grins before making her way past the security person. I make my way past him and am very happy that he doesn’t stop me. He just gives me a gruff sound and then the door closes behind us.
I start moving forward, Brooks just a step ahead of me since I have a smart idea that she knows where she’s going. After all, this is her family’s hotel.
However, I’ll let her lead. Just this once.
Instead, I look around the hallway that we’re travelling in. It’s quite modern from the white walls, the marble floors and the wideness of the hall. The both of us plus another person could travel in a tight line and no one would be without any space to walk freely.
My hazel gaze looks around, my mouth pursued while my hold tightens of the Alexander McQueen silver sparkle clutch bag in my hand. Everything which I need is in the purse and I can’t lose it.
The fabric of the navy dress around my body flows with grace and posture while I walk. I walk with courage, with pride, with strength in every step that I take.
This is just the way that I’m made, the way that I was bred.
More like the way you made yourself.
I ignored that thought and instead plaster a smile on my face when I could see the door to the lobby come closer and closer to us with each step.
The sounds of conversations, glasses moving against each other and footsteps sounding across the area in front of us indicates that the lobby is packed with people.
“Now, when we get there, we need to first meet Daddy and then we can walk around, talk to people and make new friends.” Brooks starts off, turning to face me with a move of her face in my direction, smiling and then facing the front.
“Got it,” I start off, “then I can go to the bar.”
She nods. “Then you can go to the bar.”
We take a few more steps forward and then stop—when Brooks stops and I bang right against her back. “Fuck!” I curse out before pulling back from the figure. I narrow my eyes on her back to see that she has stopped but then sharply, she turns right.
Into a door which I just noticed.
“This must be the powder room, right?” I walked into the room and I was right. The powder room stands up straight with its colours of black and gold. The sink is a black obsidian stone while the tap is most likely a metal that was spray-painted a gold colour. There was an expensive mirror with a frame around it in the colour of gold and it looked old with the black shadows around the gold frame.
Then there was a toilet in white and a glass door to divide the sink and the toilet into two different rooms—which I find a good idea in my view. The walls of the room are black paint with lamps in the wall which illuminates the room with its golden light.
I open my purse, take out the bright red lipstick and stand in front of one of the two mirrors. I then turn my head slightly to see Brooks applying some highlighter on her cheeks.
I turn back to the mirror and start applying the lipstick on my lips, making sure that it looks perfect. But then also looking at myself in a bigger picture.
The blue dress is like a breath of fresh air with it being so light. The blue layers are one of the things which I love about the dress and then also how it kind of hides the curves that I already have with the many layers stitched together.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the curves that I was given but one of the bad things about the curves is that it’s a constant reminder to me that the male species and some of the female species will look at me, stare at me and look at something which they want.
Which they need.
And I might be an A-list actress; someone who is familiar with being the centre of attention on the screen and off-screen but sometimes, I hate that whenever people watch my films, some of them look at my breasts, my hips, my thighs, my long legs and the centre of my womanhood.
At the place which shows all of my womanly features.
I turn my attention off my dress and then towards the jewellery on my neck.
That day of the shopping spree, we chose the jewellery, the shoes and the purse which is perfect for the dress.
For the purse, we—Brooklyn and I—chose an Alexander McQueen sparkly silver clutch.
For the shoes, we chose the same sparkly material of the clutch but seven-inch heels. Louboutin heels to be more specific.
For the jewellery, we chose a necklace and a pair of silver earrings. We went simple; a plain silver necklace with a waterfall tail that stops just below the deep v-neck of the dress. The earnings were the same designs except more longer than the necklace itself. It almost touched the skin of my neck at the end.
Everything on the skin on my body screamed luxury and wealth to me and the people around me.
“Ready to go?” a voice sounds from beside me and I turn to see Brooks placing back the highlighter in her purse and I do the same.
The both of us exit the room and head towards the short distance to the door and then we enter the lobby of the hotel.
The people in the hotel were less than before. Much less because we could see people start to file into the ballroom of the hotel, the main event place for the night.
Brooks faces me. “We’ll wait for everyone to leave and then we’ll go in.”
I nod my head at her words. “Yeah . . . I thought that was already expected without you even saying it.” I hear a hmph come from her lips and a grin come onto my own.
Two minutes later and there are less than ten people in the lobby and then I and Brooks make our way towards the space.
It was a long way—seeing that this place packed a lot of people in here and it being the main place to enter when you book a room in the hotel.
It is expensive.
Just like everything else which the Whittaker Family own in their lives.
It has the same gold colour through here but instead of it being black, it was white. The two colours interacted with each other in harmony and it was a sight to behold. Then there was the large ceiling which is around fifty feet with more than one crystal chandelier dangling from the top. Then across from the main entrance of the hotel are the five elevators which led up with a set of double doors that must lead to the stairs of the large building.
That was all I could see before I was entering the ballroom.
Unlike the lobby, the ballroom was much larger, enough that there was a few feet gap between each individual. The same colour scheme in the lobby is here and I could hear a string quartet playing a ballet in the distance while tables line around the sides of the room with an open circle of space in the middle for dancing,
And people were already dancing to the music.
People were chatting, laughing and having the time of their lives at the opening of the hotel.
And I hope that I, too, have some fun.
“Come!” Brooks exclaims beside me. “Let’s say hi to my parents and then we can go.”
I nod my head at her words before she grabs my clutch free hand and starts dragging me through the crowd. We pass a lot of people, people talking with others, people dancing and people having fun.
We passed by rich people who glared at us when we accidentally bumped into them but we just pushed it off and kept on moving.
That was until we reached a litter farther and deeper into the room and saw an older looking couple surrounded by a bunch of people. The male’s arm wrapped around the woman’s waist while the woman rests her head against his chest. She started laughing at something when someone said something and I could hear the deep chuckle coming from the male carrying her support.
“Hey, Daddy!” Brooks shouts, letting go of my hand while looking towards the male and it catches his attention.
The male lets go of his wife, excusing himself and a smile comes onto her lips before she nods her head. Then he makes her way over to us.
“Hello, pumpkin. How are you doing?” The male—who is now known as the blonde’s father speaks quickly and then pulls her into a hug.
Brooks snuggles into his chest while sighing, “I’m fine. Just a little tired from the drive here.”
“That was expected, Brooks.” Her dad started off, “I heard that it was super chaotic. That’s why I told Phillip to text you to take the back entrance of the hotel.”
She nods her head in his chest and pulls away. “I got the text from Phillip . . . But speaking of Phillip, where is he?” she questions.
Brooks’ dad shrugs his shoulders. “He said that he’s busy. He has no reason to explain that much more to me than that.” He then looks around the place and then looks towards me. He frowns for a bit but then smiles, pulling out a hand so that I can shake his hand.
“Hello. I’m Brooklyn’s dad, Elias Whittaker.”
“It’s lovely to meet you, Sir.” I shake his hand and a chuckle comes from his lips.
“There is no need for that, Hera—” I was about to question him on how he knows my name when he shakes his head, that smile still on his face making his face glow. “I know a lot of things, Hera, and one of those things are names. I’m pretty good at names.”
I grin at him. I already like this man. A lot.
“Well . . . now that you too are acquainted, I’m going to go and look for Simon,” Brooks says, her orbs going from me to her dad. “Cool? Cool.”
And then she’s gone.
I watch as she disappears from my view before facing the male that I just met. “So tell me, Sir, who is your favourite child. Brooklyn Whittaker, the model who defied the rules or Phillip Whittaker, the man who rules over the Whittaker Empire.”
He frowns for a bit. “Not surprised that she told you about that.”
“She tells me everything, Elias. Everything.” I say, a confidence coming into my voice before folding my arms over my chest.
He chuckled again, his eyes crinkling from the small grin on his face. “I think that you and I are going to click quite fast.”
I grin at his words.
“I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.”
♥ ♥ ♥
since it’s my sweet sixteen, i thought that it was a great idea to release a chapter in favour of my turning sixteen.
sixteen! what a big accomplishment.
thoughts of the chappie in the comments and of what you liked!