It feels great to be back. I lean on the car's window as we are driven back and stare out. It has been months since I left. All I wanted to do was disappear, I did.
Nolan is on his phone, the smile on his face is enough to tell whom he is talking to. Kelly is quiet but her glare is enough to communicate her feelings towards me. Disappointment.
I go through the tabloids to check the last place my brother was seen, he was kicked out of school, and he disowned the Cooper name. He lives from motel to motel and worse on the streets. We had a bad fall out, my attempt to mend it, was in vain.
The car stops and I peep outside. It is at the Hilton hotel. It is Nolan's stop.
He leans forward and gives me a peck on my cheek. "I'll see you tomorrow, " He whispers.
I catch Kelly rolling her eyes, she truly dislikes him.
He makes an effort to say goodbye to her, she brushes him off. Her behavior starts to agitate me.
"That was rude," I call her out once we start moving again.
"How could you do this to Quinn?"
Ah! I forgot she was pro- Quinn.
"It is a bit complicated," I say and look outside.
"Uncomplicated it for me and at least for Quinn's sake." She stares intensely at me until I give in.
"I did something terrible before I left."
She moves to where I am.
"You kept saying that before you left, I believe I have given you enough time to make things less complicated."
"I am in trouble." I try to be vague.
"Mmh..." Kelly nods, she is seriously not going to let this go.
"Quinn's father was not the only enemy my father had, he was part of an organization involved in financial crimes. They target starts up in the pretense of angel investors but somehow find loopholes to manipulate their victims to launder money for them. They have invaded my father's company. They control some stake of the company and they want me to continue laundering money for them." I say.
"I am sure Quinn would have helped."
"I can't drag him into this especially when they are blackmailing me with jail and my brother." I exhale before I reveal my secret. "I am the one that killed Andre in self-defense," I confess.
Her jaw drops. "What?" But it softens her features from anger to worry.
"I learned that we were half-siblings. His father is my father too. He tried to kill me, I ended up killing him instead and he set my brother up." Phew! Quite a relief getting that off my chest.
She is mortified. "What are you saying, he is a Cooper too?"
"No, neither am I," I say.
"But the DNA done proved otherwise."
"My father In his will he stated that I should be recognized as his daughter. He wished the public and I should never know he wasn't my biological father."
She shakes her head with confusion. "But it was reported that he was mugged and murdered?"
"The people I am talking about staged it to look like a mug gone wrong," I say.
"Wow! What a mess."
"Does Quinn know?"
"Only the part where Andre is my brother," I say.
"Gosh! It must be hard keeping a secret that you killed your best friend who happened to be your brother regardless of the circumstances."
"I wish I can erase the past decade of my life, but I can't I have to live in the present." I absentmindedly state.
"Is Nolan your present?" She asks.
"You dislike the guy, don't you?" I ask.
"The minute I saw him, I wanted to strangle him. Quinn has begged, stalked me thinking I could lead him to you and after the long wait you show up with another man. That is cruel." She speaks her mind and understands her disappointment.
"It is not what you think. Nolan's father is an oil and energy tycoon. He is here to help me buy out the people threatening me out of my father's company." I say.
"The way he held you makes one think there's more." She counters.
I nod with the agreement, "His father is on a deathbed and he never came out to him. I am just there to pretend to be his girlfriend." I say.
"What about Quinn?" She is quite persistent with him.
I hope he understands.
"I don't know."
"Did you ever love him?"
Silence engulfs us.
"I care for him," I say.
"He loves you very much. You owe him an explanation."
"What happened to my friend, she all grown up now." I try to turn the attention back to her. I am not sure how to face Quinn and if I want at all.
"If you think I have changed, you should see Quinn."
She is obsessed with him.
The car stops outside one of The Cooper Towers. I now own the penthouse in it. The chauffeur opens the door for us.
No sooner do I step out than flashing lights flood my eyes. There are reporters everywhere. They push each other just to have a chance to talk to me. The chauffeur with the help of some security guards makes way for us and we fight to pass through the reporters. Luckily I manage to get inside the tower.
I hate it when that happens. I had forgotten how it felt being a Cooper. It is like signing your privacy away.
"How did they know I would be here?"
"I did." I turn to meet with Andre's mother. She is holding a Louis
My breath gets caught at the back of my throat.
"You are now an heiress. Is that not the best way to welcome a princess to her castle by letting it known by the entire world?" She walks towards me. Her embrace catches me off-guard. Something has changed in her and it gives me goosebumps.
Kelly casts me a surprising look.
"I had to be here for you, you have always been like a daughter to me." She leads me towards the elevator.
I am perplexed how she knew I came back and how she knew I would come here.
Her presence is worrisome and I dread knowing why she is here. I follow her anyway.