By the time Elliot and I were done 'discussing', we'd smashed a dozen plates, used very colourful words to describe each other and scared the shit out of the female staff. The guards remained station where they were. They knew better than to interrupt us.
"You'll never be able to run your empire without my guidance" were his last words as I stormed out of the room. My fingers managed to dial Mikhail as I quaked with rage. I took a deep breath and tried to let go of the anger.
"Boss," Mikhail said, trying to remind me of his presence.
"I want you to call Daria. Where is Aidan?" I asked. Aidan was Mikhail's twin brother. Though they were twins, except for their birthday nothing was common about them. Mikhail was all about strength and might where Aidan was the epitome of wit. Despite being twins they looked different from each other. Inessa would often call them 'Thor and Loki'.
"Aidan is on his way. As for mom she'll be here soon".
Daria walked in, her body trembling as she stood in front of me. Our little display of emotion had terrified her.
"You wanted to see me master?" she asked, her voice quivering as she spoke.
"Yes. I am taking Lizzy with me to our new house and I want you and Inessa to come with us". She looks at me as if I spoke in Greek. After a long pause, she replied.
"How can I leave master Elliot? If he finds about it he would consider it as treachery and demand our heads"
"He won't," I promised. Elliot considered Daria as his sister. The one thing that made him my father was his love for his sisters. After the death of my aunt Juniper, he was protective of the rest of his sisters. He wouldn't harm a hair on their heads.
"Will you think about it?" I asked her, holding her hands in mine.
"I will" she reassured. "What about your mother?" she asked. By the expression on her face, I guessed that she didn't like my response to her question.
"I don't care about her. She can go to hell for all I care"
"She is your mother," she said, trying to convince me.
"A mother who let his son become a monster. A mother who sold her daughter to the devil." I reminded her. "If that's what mothers are like then I don't want one"
She simply nodded and left. We headed to the garden where Lizzy and Inessa were sitting on a bench behind the fountain. They whispered and giggled as we walked towards them.
The garden was embellished with neatly trimmed bushes studded with a variety of flowers. Trees towered around the small patch of heaven, protecting it from the external world. Vines crept on the stone pillars that bore the weight of the patch of roof that secured the pathway towards the fountain, protecting us from the blazing morning heat. The pathway leads to a huge fountain with the.
From the patches of moss on the hard bark of trees to the curlicues of vines, greenery seeped from every part of the garden. Benches were implanted around the fountain at a distance, forming a pentagon. Small streams of water poured out of the outlets in the decorative boulders that sat all around the garden, hiding under the blanket of moss that grew thicker over the years. From the boulders, the water crept through narrow canals that lay deep in the ground, spilling water directly to the roots.
The majestic bronze fountain is composed of the statue of a fairy. Her feathery wings spread as wide as the smile on her face. A thick veil of her bronze hair covered the part of her back that converged with her wings. She wore a gown that hugged her body from the waist up and bloomed around her from the waist down. Her hands were placed delicately around a bowl. It was engraved with and symbols and its edges curved outwards. Water spilt from the bowl, dripping into the basin.
Every time I would ask my parents what the fairy represented, my mother would blush and my father would make up a story about a fairy who saved him in the darkness. An alternate version of the story I heard was that the fairy was created by God himself to protect humanity.
Clouds smeared across the bright blue sky, moving towards the sun, blocking it bit by bit as the sunlight dimmed. The garden looked more like a rainforest in the dull sunlight.
"Lizzy it's time to go" I interrupted their conversation. Her head craned towards me. She stood up and ran her hands along the length of the dress, smoothing the unwanted frills. I put my hand forward. She placed her hand in mine as we proceeded. She waved at Inessa as she pointed her thumb in a thumbs-up.
We walked towards the exit, Mikhail striding behind us as the sounds of our boots and Lizzy's flats collided. A man walked towards us, his three-piece suit ironed to crisp, his hair matted with gel was pushed behind and rings embellished his fingers. His eyes locked on Lizzy as his lips moulded into a smirk.
"A rose for the beautiful woman" he pulled out a rose and held it in front of her. She blushed as she accepted the rose.
"Thank you Aidan" she muttered under her breath but it was audible enough to encourage Aidan. The smirk on his face grew wider.
"Anything for our princess," he said as he brought her hand close to his lips and pressed a kiss on the back of her hand. She blushed harder, her cheeks almost red from smiling so wide. He didn't mean anything serious but I didn't want him around her. Especially when he's trying to flirt with my sister. He was a playboy who went through women like how a picky rich woman goes through the clothes in her walk-in closet.
"We're getting late Aidan. See you later" I said, squeezing Lizzy's hand possessively. She understood what I meant. Her hand snaked around my arm as she waved goodbye to Aidan. Aidan waved back at her and opened her arms wide as Nessa rushed to hug her brother.
"I missed you" she whispered against his chest as he placed his hand behind her head, pressing her face against his hard chest. She placed a peck on his stubble covered cheek.
"I missed you too," he said. We walked past them as the family reunion proceeded. I halted in my steps and turned behind, facing Mikhail.
"The both of you can take the day off. Spend time with your family". Nessa's smile brightened after hearing my words.
"And try not to faint while listening to Nessa. Her speech can lull an insomniac to sleep" I teased. She let out a string of curses as we walked out of the garden.
We first drove to the mall for a little shopping spree. The mall was empty. It usually didn't open until ten a.m but I wanted to make sure of her safety so I arranged an early visit. I could see the shine in her eyes while her gaze remained fixed at the clothes on display but she tried to stay in control. She liked almost every piece of fabric that came in her line of vision. From shoes to heels, dresses to pyjamas everything that she wanted, all she had to do was touch it and it would be hers. She'd suffered way too much and I wanted her to enjoy the rest of her life under my protection.
By the time the clock struck ten, the stores were half empty. We'd bought clothes that would take two waste sites to accommodate. Lizzy wanted a little fashion advice so we called Nessa. Lizzy held each cloth while Nessa would check it behind the screen. I offered to let someone else hold the clothes but she insisted on doing it herself. If Lizzy were to take all these clothes to our new house, I'd have to renovate her room to fit them all.
"Where to next?"I asked.
"The farmers' market," she said. One would want to go to the movies, maybe to a garden but a farmers' market. I was taken aback by her reply.
"Why the farmers' market?" I asked.
"Daria and Inessa always talk about going to the farmers' market to get groceries and ration. I want to see how it looks like" she said.
In sixteen years of her existence, the last time she'd gone out was when she was six years old to attend her biological father's funeral. Shortly after the truth about her parentage was revealed, he 'mysteriously' died.
We drove to the farmers' market. I parked my car a few blocks away because it would occupy the entire lane. We feasted on delicacies as we moved from one stall to the other.
We went back to our car, smoothies and bags of hot dogs and sandwiches occupied our hands. I insisted that we ate in the car but she didn't want to dirty the car. She sat on the trunk of the car and patted on the metal of the vehicle, asking me to sit next to her.
I took the first bite of the sandwich, checking whether it was safe to eat. When I gave her the green signal, she bit into the sandwich. As she ate, the contents of the sandwich kept slipping out between the slices of bread, threatening to spill. Her lips were coated with mayonnaise as she struggled with her sandwich. As she was about to take a bite from her sandwich, its contents slid from between the slices and plopped on her lap.
I dug into the bag in my hand and handed her a paper towel. She scooped the stuffing and wrapped it in the paper towel.
"I need to use the washroom," she said as she tried to wipe the stain off. I got on my feet and wrapped her sandwich and put it bag in the paper bag.
"Let me check if there is a washroom nearby. Stay here until I come back" I said. She nodded her head. I walked out of the alleyway and came across a man. After enquiring with him, I found out that there was a washroom around here.
I walked back to find her gone. I checked in the car, hoping that she was sitting in the car, waiting for me. I peeked through the tinted windows but found nothing. I opened the door but I met the leather seats. The crumpled food bag sloppily sat on Lizzy's seat. I closed the door with a bang. My eyes diverted to the glimmering object that lay on the road. It was Lizzy's earring. She was in trouble.
If she were going to sit on the seat, she wouldn't have left it on the seat and guessing from the way it lay, she must have thrown it. Maybe she had seen trouble approaching a d decided to get in the car. Or she wanted to get in the car but the predator pulled her back. I had to get to her.
I called in for backup as I went looking for her. My heart raced faster and faster, thinking of all the worst possibilities that could have happened. Half an hour went by and no sign of Lizzy.
The first time I wanted to take care of my sister and I fucked up bad. What kind of brother am I? The one can't even take care of his sister. I thought to myself. This was no time for self-pity.
You'll never be able to run your empire without my guidance. My father's words reverberated in my head. Was he right? Am I not capable enough to handle an empire? It had been three hours since I brought my sister with me and I had lost her already. If I can't take care of my sister, how will I be able to run an empire?.
I snapped out of my thought when my phone vibrated in my rear pocket. I pulled the phone and answered it without checking the caller name.
"Boss we found her" Marcus' voice rang through the phone. I sighed in relief as I heard his words. The man who brought me bad news today morning turned out to be my messiah.
"Where is she? Is she fine?" I asked him.
"She's fine. I'll send you the address" he said and the line went cold. A few seconds later I heard a ping. The address flashed on my screen.
I set my GPS to the address as the engine revved to life and drove as fast as I could. I reached a small café. I barged in through the doors, half expecting to meet an inconsolable Lizzy but she sat at a table, her hands gripped on a black coffee mug as she sipped in the brown contents, occasionally smiling as the woman sitting next to her spoke to her.
"Lizzy!" I exclaimed. Her gaze fixed at me. She placed the coffee mug on the table, slid out of her chair and plunged at me. I enveloped her in a bear hug, refusing to let her go.
"I.. Can't. Breathe" she managed to speak. I finally let her go as she took a long breath.
"Is this your brother?" the woman next to her asked. She turned towards me, her face finally visible.
She wore a full sleeve black t-shirt and a black denim dungaree. A yellow apron was loosely tied around her waist. Her hair peeked out of her braid and bruised fingerprints imprinted on her wrist as if someone squeezes them tightly. Her right cheek was smeared with flour and her lips were coated with a dull pink shade.
"Yes, I said. Her smile faded.
"You are such an irresponsible brother. How could you leave your sister alone in a deserted street like that? Anything could have happened to her. Imagine what could have happened to her if I didn't show up at the right time!" she ranted. I looked at Lizzy as rage took over. If anything happened to her I swear I will kill that motherfucker who hurt her.
"Lizzy, what happened?" I asked her, ignoring the woman. She looked down at her feet, panic took over her as she quivered in my arms. Every second that she remained quiet, I grew more anxious. Ms Geek-with-a-horrible-fashion-sense spoke from behind.
"I found her in a deserted alleyway being mauled by an asshole".
Her words were enough to make me tear someone apart. The very image of someone trying to touch my sister caused my adrenalin to spike. I could hear my heart erratically throb in my chest as my ears filled with the gushing sound of blood. It felt like everything else was gone and the only thing that remained was this immense rage.
I looked back at Lizzy. A drop of tear strode down her cheek and I lost it.
"Is she telling the truth?" I asked her one last time. The woman kept talking about why she would lie but I didn't bother listening to her. I waited for Lizzy's reply. She nodded in agreement. It was a small nod but it was enough.
I pulled out my wallet and grabbed a few bills. A familiar name flashed at me as I searched for her name.
"Giselle, thank you for your services. It's time for us to leave." I handed her the money but she refused.
"I did it out of humanity, not out of greed. By giving me the money you're insulting me" she spoke.
"Then so be it" I snapped, tossing the notes on the table. I didn't want to be indebted to her. The last thing I wanted was a measly woman to brag about how she saved Lucifer Wellington's sister. We left the café as I half-dragged Lizzy out of there.
I was going to get that motherfucker. He was going to pay for what he did to my sister.....