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I find an empty spot for the antique she brought and make a note to dispose it as soon as she leaves. It could be a bomb; I neither trust her nor her intentions for being here. The entire world may see her as a bimbo head trophy wife, I know she is not all that, she is a cunning she devil.

She runs her fingers over a counter, it is spotless. I still don’t know why she is here and my patience is growing thin. I don’t know if she found out I shot Andre and she is here to revenge.

“I am sorry, I couldn’t be with you as you mourned.” I say.

“I understand; it must have been hard on you. You two were inseparable even if I tried.” She says and sits. “How have you been?” she changes the topic.

“I am fine now.” I carry on her charade.

Kelly offers to get each one of a refreshment. I just want to sleep that is if my conscious will allow me.

“I just wanted to welcome you back and invite you for lunch when free you can bring Quinn. that boy doesn’t know how to let go. He harassed me with your where about, now he can apologize for his behavior.” She attempts to smile which is a forced one. I just can’t shake the feeling; she has something up her sleeves.

“I will make time.”

“That is great I know now you have a lot of work keeping your father’s works running but do.” She changes her tone when she says ‘your father’. She leans forward to whisper to me, “Before I forget, don’t bring that girl…Kelly with you. I don’t trust her.”

“I will remember that.”

Kelly walks in, she has changed her attire into pj’s with two drinks.

Andre’s mother immediately stands up, “thanks for the drinks but I must leave you to rest.”

Kelly pretends to be disappointed by her short visit.

“I spit on her drink,” Kelly says once she is gone. “what did she want anyway.”

“Probably nothing good. There is more than what meets the eye and I believe her vendetta towards me is not just that her husband fathered me, there is more.” I say thinking back to that night Andre died. The people who moved and cleaned my apartment. It had more to do with my father’s businesses than being the illegitimate child. He intended to kill me, have Catherine take up my identity, take over the business and later have her transfer it to him. That was the plan all through. Was his mother the instigator? Is she among the people that want to take everything from us?

“You should be cautious around her.” Kelly warns.

“She should be cautious around me.” I mean every word.

Sleep elude me through the night. I try to seduce it and think of every boring thing to ever exit. It plays hard to get and rejects all my advances. Instead my head thinks of Quinn. How will I face him? He has so much expectations of me that I can’t meet them in the present. Time for me I like vapor in the wind. I can’t catch it.

Instead I indulge myself in heavy work out. Something I have adopted as ways to deal with my thoughts. I stop when my phone rings. It is Nolan, he is an early riser. He tells me is on my way and wanted to check if I needed some caffeine in my system.

I intend to find Oliver today even though he asked me to stay away. I have for a long time.

By the time Nolan gets here, I am already dressed and ready to leave. He has hired a sports car for the time he is in the country, enough time to convince his father that all those rumors about him being gay are untrue and he can invest with me and also Nolan isn’t disinherited.

Of course, the media is at our neck as we drive away. What I feared is here, I am sure by now Quinn has already heard about the speculations about the new man in my life. Trolls have made fun of the situations, mocked him and assumed the reason I came back with Nolan is because he is wealthier. Well, that isn’t further from the truth.

The private investor that I hired before coming back told me, where I can find Oliver. He is at some motel which most of its occupants are either prostitutes or criminals dealing with drugs. It isn’t hard to find it.

It is an old structure, the outside is littered with beer can and spirit bottles. As we walk along the balcony we jump from used condoms. The place is pathetic, I don’t know ho manages it, or it just a deserted structure the homeless live in.

“I can make it your worth, sugar.” A woman with brown teen and with only a lingerie blocks our way. She starts to caress Nolan’s beardless chin.

He scoffs, “I don’t swing that way.” He says.

“I can swing whatever way you wish.” She says.

I take out my phone and search through my pictures, “Do you know this boy?” I ask.

“Nothing is free, princess.” She says.

I rummage through my purse and find some notes, “That’s more like it.” She says when I hand her the wand of cash.

“I like your jacket,” she touches it.

I stare at her and realize she will not help us, I take off my louis Viton jacket and give it to her.

“he is in room 3b. he never comes out.”

With that we head towards it. It was my responsibility to take care of him, I failed. The feeling sucks.

I knock severally and pray he is in there and will answer. The door is swings open and I can’t hold my tears to the boy in front of me. He is taken by surprise when I hug him. He immediately pushes me away. The Oliver I remember is a shadow of the ghost before me. His health has detoriatred making him look a decade older, his cheeks bones are now pronounced, his eyes have sunk back into their sockets. He looks fragile like he can fall anytime.

“stay away from me means that?” he speaks.

“have you eaten?” I ask.

“leave!” he barks and sees Nolan. “I guess you are her new victim. She uses people, they are just a means to her end.” He tells him.

“I like to be used.” Nolan says.

“please come home with me.” I beg.

“this is my prison and home. Let me serve the justice you robbed me. I killed a man.” He says.

“Andre was just setting you up.”

“I am the one that set that garage on fire, it killed my boss. Someone’s father.”

He was arrested for two counts; one was the set up by Andre. He wasn’t aware the job Andre had got him involved drug trafficking and the second was the time he set fire to the garage he worked in to hide the fact he was stealing money to fund his girlfriend, Nimo, lifestyle. I bought the judges and he was never prosecuted. He despises me for that and never telling him that Nimo was cheating on him. The last time we spoke ugly words were casually thrown around driving the rift deep.

“you never knew he was in there.”

“unlike you I don’t operate on the grey areas I own my mistakes no matter how ugly it is.”

“you are overacting. It wasn’t your fault.” I say.

That angers him more. Oliver has always been intense with maters about life and he cares too much about people to hurt them. Woe unto you if you do. He is unforgiving.

“I will say this to you again. I never wanted to be part of that world, I helped where I could but somehow you drag me down with you. I wanted a life where I earned everything, like my scholarship which I lost because of you. Yes, I can still go to any school I desire as Cooper but it is the principle that matters, something you can’t relate with because in your colored life, it is the end what matters not the means.”

’I did everything for you.”

“No, you did it for yourself. You do everything based on how you feel, have some sense of responsibility and do the right thing regardless of how you feel.”

I know it pain and hopelessness that is talking either way those words sting and hurt like a bitch. I feel like running away until I can only remember the Oliver who saw me as a hero not this angry one.

“you should leave.” He calmly says. It is scary.

I turn and leave. Nolan is left behind I don’t know what he is saying. I don’t care.

The next chapter Quinn and Cara meet face to face.

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