The Publicist's Plight (Book I in The Harrison Inc. Series)

All Rights Reserved ©

Chapter 46

From what I’m about to say, I hope some of you, at least, can relate to the words that I’m going to express.

Metaphorically speaking, have you ever dug a hole too deep to climb out of? A hole deepened from your own curiosity or ego wielding the shovel? A hole so vast in depth that the only way left to go is down? That is how I feel right now; that is the best explanation for what I feel right now.

I’m not sure whether or not I became this invested due to my curiosity or my ego that claimed it knew how to fix the issue. Maybe it was both. I don’t know, but what I do know for sure is that I have dug a hole too deep to climb out of.

When I first met Sebastian Harrison—the self-proclaimed Playboy and the poster child for debauchery —I could not stand him. And when I say that I could not stand him, I do not confess this truth lightly or to poke fun. Sebastian was arrogant, selfish, immature, and lacked any moral compass. Sebastian took nothing seriously; he had no value for the life he lived yet had enough value in his life for hundreds of people to live comfortable, respectable lives. Sebastian managed to ruin every event, every function, every social gathering I could set up for him and I didn’t know why.

Maybe he finds entertainment in embarrassing himself and those who work for him, I thought. The only logical reasoning behind his inability to behave like a man who is about to become the president of a multi-billion-dollar company, is that he isn’t fit to be a man in the first place.

But to my surprise, I was completely, utterly and blindly wrong.

For the rest of this to make sense, you must completely erase any conceptions you have about Sebastian Harrison. Every single thing that you have read in any magazine—OK! Magazine, People Magazine, Us Weekly, In Touch Weekly, Star, Life & Style—erased. Every single thing you have witnessed on television—TMZ, E! News, Extra, Access Hollywood, The Wendy Show, Dish Nation—gone. And of course, everything you’ve seen online—Perez Hilton, The Hollywood Life, The Hollywood Gossip, Radar, Pop Sugar—as if it never existed.

None of it, and I mean none of it is true. And I made the dire mistake of believing it was.

Sebastian Harrison isn’t arrogant, selfish, immature or immoral. He does not lack seriousness, nor does he lack any value for the fortune in his life. He did not intentionally ruin every event, every function, every social gathering I could set up for him. And he is not incapable of being a man. In fact, he is the complete opposite of all these things—he is modest, selfless, mature and morally correct. He understands when it is time to be serious, and he accounts for the fortunes in his life. In fact, he is one of the few people I know with a bank account with many zeroes, that desires more than money to bring substantial value to their life; he could care less about the money, the cars, or any other material things. What he longs for is worth more than money can buy.

I kept him on the tightest of leashes at every event. He wasn’t allowed to be himself without me chiding him, I under the impression that he was only acting out to spite me rather than be who he truly was; I caged him.

He is more than capable of being a man; he’s the strongest man I know. Before, I thought my father was the strongest man I knew. And he is a strong man regardless, but not the strongest. I have come to a consensus that Sebastian is the strongest man I know; he carries around enough pain for ten people in his own single heart. He hides the sorrow of his childhood and of his present underneath a smile many see to be a smile of maliciousness and mischief, not a smile of pretend and masquerade. He dwells in his hurt like a blistering-cold bath; the water is cold, painful. But it’s too cold to escape; the pain numbs the ability to move, and all one can do is dwell in the ice, the cold, until the eventual familiarity makes it seem like you aren’t slowly dying in the water around you.

Loretta told me a story about Sebastian when he was younger. He was a young man, sixteen, bright and innocent and ready to conquer the world against the hindering clutches of his father and the loveless neglect of his mother. Then everything changed. When he was seventeen, he lost the only source of love, comfort and motivation that was the reason for the confidence in his dream. Then, the physical manifestation of his dream was literally burned along with the remnants of the love he lost. The more I think about it, the more I realize that she was like a mother to him. So when she died, it was as if a child who once held onto the warmth and love of their mother had lost her forever. And the woman Sebastian saw drinking tea with her fellow housewives and signing off his permission slips as his “mother” was just an empty vessel of the mother she would never be to him; that made the loss worse.

Sebastian was violated during his period of mourning and denial. He had mended himself into a crowd that he didn’t belong to. Physically and mentally, he was never the same after the night he described to me—the dusk in the dark room with people he didn’t know well and a specific woman who, against his will and regardless of his opposition, took the only thing left of the person he was to the world: his innocence. And from that day, he was no longer himself. I don’t think “he” was lost forever. I still see parts of him shine through Sebastian’s metaphorical mask, and it’s amazing to see when it happens. But for the most part, Sebastian is a wandering soul who tries anything and everything to fill the void inside of him—the part Garrett, that woman and the boys at that party took from him.

I don’t know how Gloria died. I don’t know what any of Sebastian’s art pieces looked like before they were burned. I don’t know where his former best friends, Sonya and Andre are today, and I don’t know the name of the woman who sexually assaulted him. But I’m going to find out. Why? Because I feel that Sebastian has been looking for relief in all of the wrong places all of these years. However, if he starts finding happiness in all of the right places, he won’t have to cope anymore, but rather find a sense of closure for that chapter in his life. Now, I just need to figure out what “right” places to begin.

And I have a good feeling that this journal will help me.

**

“This just came in for you, Leslie.”

I’m on the second page of Sebastian’s journal. Even at the beginning of this “diary” I’m engrossed as if it’s the middle of an epic. On page 2, it’s Sebastian’s 17th birthday, and his parents just gave him a new car as a present—a flashy, expensive car that no teenager should be driving. Yet Teenage-Sebastian isn’t pleased, because he asked for new paint brushes and gesso for canvas priming as a birthday gift.

Darcy enters my office rolling something in behind her. I look up from the pages and see her bringing in my suitcase.

“Darcy,” I ask, confused. “Why do you have my suitcase?”

She sets it by the couch, and looks at me as if I’m crazy. “Someone dropped it off for you. A woman named Ingrid Jefferson? Apparently you left it with her on accident.”

I close the journal and come back to my reality. If Ingrid wouldn’t have dropped it off, I wouldn’t have remembered about my suitcase until later on today. Upon storming out of the break room at her firm, I must have forgotten to take my luggage with me.

I rub the disorientation away from my eyes. “Right, right. I’m sorry. It’s just been a very long day.”

“It’s okay.”

“Did Ingrid leave yet?”

Darcy nods. “Yes, she left about five minutes ago.”

“Oh. Okay.” I don’t know what else to say. Ingrid was nice enough to return my suitcase, which actually says a lot more about the person she is. But did she come by with the intention to speak more? And is there a chance she knew that Sebastian was here too before she came by?

“You look tired,” Darcy then tells me.

I manage a laugh. “I am tired. So much has happened these past two days and I just—I just…my brain is scrambled everywhere.”

Oddly, thinking of the word “scrambled” makes my stomach growl loudly. I groan while Darcy chuckles.

“I’ll go get you some lunch,” she offers, her blue eyes bright with generosity. “The usual?”

“Yes, the usual.” I answer, the ‘usual’ being a turkey sandwich from the downstairs cafeteria.

She pivots in her modest heels to leave, but before she does, I stop her.

“Oh, and Darcy. I need another favor.”

“Anything,” she says, smiling.

“I…I need you to book a flight for me. The earliest flight you can find to Memphis.”

Her face softens a bit, like she’s sad at my words. “Oh. You’re going back?”

“I have much unfinished business to attend to. I should be just another week or two, then I’ll be coming back officially. Has Mr. Reynolds been giving you a hard time?”

I can tell that I’ve been rubbing off on her, because the minute that retched name exits my mouth, she rolls her eyes and wears a disgusted look.

“He’s been complaining about you to me over the phone,” she explains. “He goes on and on about how leaving your duty as Garrett’s publicist for a vacation in the south is ‘neglectful.’”

“I swear; he’s destined to see me fail.”

We both laugh at the truth before Darcy opens the door.

“I’ll be back, Leslie.”

I nod her off, and when the door closes, I walk back to the couch in order to resume reading the journal. But the word ‘neglectful’ still lingers in my mind.

I haven’t answered Lucas or Sarah’s calls all day.

Instead of continuing my reading, I reach for my phone and dial Sarah’s number. She picks up after the first ring.

“So now you decide to return my calls?” she answers. “Where are you?”

“I’m at my office,” I say. “I’m sorry. Something came up and—”

“Look, I just wanna know: does it have something to do with the tango you and Sebastian had last night? Because I feel I’m partly responsible for you dipping out since I ruined the moment.”

Remembering Sarah walk in on us makes me feel a bit embarrassed. But in truth, I would do it all over again just to dance with him one more time; there’s a sense of security and warmth when Sebastian holds you tightly in his arms like that.

“Hello-ooooo?”

“S-sorry, sorry.”

Sarah scoffs; I can practically imagine the annoyance on her face. “So was that the reason?”

“No, I didn’t leave because of that.” I tell her. I’m not lying, but at the same time I’m not telling the truth completely, either.

“Then why did you leave like that?”

To tell Sarah the reason, the full reason, as to why I left wouldn’t be fair to Sebastian and wouldn’t be fair to her. She doesn’t deserve to be pulled into this; if Garrett finds out what she knows, she’ll be a pawn like Ingrid.

Or like me.

“My mother had gotten sick,” I lie. I’m going to hell for that one. “I didn’t want to tell you because I didn’t want my personal grievances getting in the way of our work.”

The line is silent. I hear her whistle lowly.

“Wow. I’m sorry to hear that, Leslie. Is she okay?”

“Yes, she’s fine now. My sister is with her and she has a whole bunch of family that’s with her until she fully recovers.”

“Well I feel like a total bitch now.”

“Why is that?”

“Because at breakfast this morning I told him that…I…n-never mind. I think it’s best if we just put this mess behind us?”

I wish I could. “Yes, I agree.”

“Good. Did Sebastian come by and talk to you?”

My heart beat accelerates. “Talk to me about what?”

“About…just…things.”

She knows something I don’t. “No, he didn’t. Why?”

“It’s nothing, it doesn’t matter,” the line is quiet again. “Are you heading back to the manor soon?”

“Yes, actually. My assistant is booking the soonest flight out to Memphis.”

“Well why don’t you just fly with Lucas and I?”

“Sebastian isn’t flying with you?” I ask.

“No. He’s coming out tomorrow morning.”

“Oh, okay.” I bite my lip apprehensively. “Do you know where he is?”

“He’s on his way to his house,” Sarah says. “He just texted me a few minutes ago telling me about how he needs some time to think and so on.”

“Oh, alright.” I should be worried, and I am, but I want to give him some space. It’s my fault for not walking after him after he left my office, but I was so stunned from what he told me that I could only sit and stare at the wall for ten minutes.

“So is that a yes?”

“Yes, I’ll fly with you guys. I’ll tell my assistant to cancel my flight.”

“Cool. We’ll be at Harrison Inc. in about twenty minutes.”

“OK. See you then.”

I hang up first. I’m a liar, in truth. I told Sarah nothing of what happened and told her exactly what didn’t happen. Would she freak out if I mentioned Ingrid? Does she even know about Ingrid and Sebastian’s drama?

Does she know anything at all?

I walk over to the couch and put Sebastian’s journal in a safe space, deep in the clothing inside of my suitcase. Five minutes later, Darcy comes in with my lunch, and I eat it in record time, savoring the crisp tomatoes and the warm bread. Darcy tries to hide her astonishment.

When I tell her to cancel my flight, she looks relieved for a moment until I explain that I’m taking a private jet with someone else.

“Oh.” Her voice is dispirited. “Well that sounds nice.”

I reply in agreement before sipping my drink. For a moment, she looks hesitant—like she wants to tell me something. But when her words don’t come to her benefit, she shakes the attempt away and walks out of my office, claiming that she is going to talk to Ava about something.

The door closes softly behind her.


Fiona’s Manor, Tennessee

Monday, 10:32AM.

The birds outside of my window wake me up from a dreamless slumber, and I am welcomed to a pair of youthful eyes staring curiously back at me.

At first, I’m stunned; maybe I actually am dreaming, or disoriented from the long previous days I’ve endured; we did get back to the manor at about midnight, and I barely remember dozing off. But when I completely wake up, I realize that there is an actual child staring at me.

“Hi,” she says when my eyes fully open. There’s barely a foot of space between us.

“Um…hello,” I reply unsurely. Her eyes, green, narrow from the smile that is now on her face. Her blonde hair glistens in the light that comes through my window.

“I’m Rachael,” she then says. Her eyes then face the ceiling; she’s thinking hard about something. “Rachael M-Marie Vaun.”

I sit up from the bed and stare at this girl, and she looks back at me. After a minute of silence, she giggles.

I might as well be polite.

“I’m Leslie. Leslie King.”

Rachael giggles. “Are you a King?”

“N-no. I’m of Scottish descent, and ‘King’ is a Scottish surname.”

She didn’t understand a word I just said. “Okay!”

Another minute of staring.

“Rachael. Wh-where did you come from?”

“My mommy’s tummy—”

“No, no. I mean…why are you here? Where are your parents?”

“My mommy’s outside talking to Auntie Fiona.”

Auntie Fiona…her mommy…

Either I’m actually, positively dreaming, or this girl is Fiona’s niece. Which would be probable—her pink cashmere cardigan and intricately stitched white summer dress are a dead giveaway. But if she’s Fiona’s niece, then that means—

“Rachael! Your mama was looking everywhere for you!”

Loretta is in the room, panting, and giving Rachael a scolding look.

“Sorry,” Rachael says, even though she doesn’t mean it.

Loretta takes Rachael’s small hand from where she stands and guides her out of the room.

“Bye, Leslie!” Rachael yells, but with her lisp, it sounds more like ’Leth-lie.”

What the hell just happened?

I quickly get up and get dressed, hurrying up considering the door is partially opened. By the time I’m finished, Loretta knocks softly.

“Come in,” I call out, and she enters the room with an apologetic smile.

“I’m assuming no one told you,” she says.

I nod, laughing awkwardly, “Yes, I didn’t get the memo.”

“Fiona’s family is visiting from New York. They’re staying here for a week or so.”

Great.

“A week?”

“Yup. Right now it’s only Rachael and her mama, but the rest of Fiona’s brothers and sisters and her mama should be arriving later on today.”

“Well that sounds…nice.”

A smile creeps on her lips. “About a dozen kids under the age of eleven don’t sound too nice to me.”

We laugh, and when I open my mouth to say something, I hear the sound of William and Patrick downstairs.

My smile is immediately gone.

“Is something wrong?” Loretta asks.

The minute their voices enter my head, it’s almost as if I’m reliving Sebastian’s past myself. I remember every detail of his story, and my heart aches again.

“Um, Loretta—”

“Loretta! Come here please!” Fiona yells.

Her smile dissipates a bit, too. “Coming, Ms. Fiona!” she yells back.

Loretta turns to leave, and I feel as if I’m missing my opportunity. Who knows the next time I’ll be able to speak to her in private like this?

So I grab her arm, catching her by surprise, and tell her:

“Sebastian told me everything yesterday. I know about Gloria, I know about the paintings, I know about what happened to him at that party when he was 17. I understand that he isn’t the man I thought he was now. I know about everything Garrett did, and I have a feeling you aren’t the only one who is afraid of his wrath; Sebastian’s old publicist, Ingrid, is being blackmailed by him, too—”

Loretta shuts the door behind her and stares at me as she leans against it.

“Sebastian told you?”

I nod.

“When?”

“Yesterday afternoon in my office.”

Loretta is speechless.

“I figured that you could help.”

“Help?” she repeats, confused. “How?”

“He never told me how Gloria died, and I don’t know where is friends are today. But I have a strong feeling that you know—”

“No, no, no!” she whispers sharply. “I’m not gettin’ involved in this. I made that mistake once, and I’m not making that mistake again.”

“Sebastian needs closure, Loretta, and if we could give that to him then maybe it could help with the pain he’s going through.”

“Leslie—”

“He is suffering, Loretta!” I bark at her. I’ve never been this aggressive towards her. “When’s the last time you’ve seen him like I’ve seen him?!”

“I’ve seen his suffering a long time ago, Leslie, and I do not want to see it again! I don’t want to get involved again. I suggest you follow my lead.”

“Why would I do that?”

Her eyes are serious yet frightened. “You don’t understand how deep this all goes. Garrett wants this buried for a reason, and you digging things up is going to get people in trouble. You think you know the man Garrett is but you really don’t. I’ve seen things that I intend not to see again.”

“So you aren’t going to help me?” I ask her, disappointed. “Even though you know exactly what happened and you know everything Sebastian has gone through, you aren’t going to help me? Help him?”

Loretta is guilty, but she won’t verbally confess to it.

“I thought you cared about him. He didn’t deserve anything that happened to him!”

“I do care about him!” she retorts. “But I can’t tell you more than you know. I’ve already told you things that I wasn’t supposed to. Now, I can’t control what you do from now on, but don’t get me tangled up in it. I’m sorry.”

And just like that, she leaves my room without another word. I’m dumbfounded and baffled. I thought upon telling Loretta what I knew, she would be willing to help me ease the hurt that Sebastian’s going through. But this obviously goes deeper than I know; than I want to know. And the fact that I’m so close to giving Sebastian the closure he needs yet so far from finding someone who can point me in the right direction frustrates me. He deserves to be happy, but no one is willing to give that to him.

I’m angry beyond words. Angry at Garrett, angry at Loretta, and angry at everyone else who believes that Sebastian doesn’t deserve happiness. That his mental state doesn’t matter, or that his sorrows should be locked away instead of confronted head on.

So if no one is willing to help me, I’ll do it myself.


I walk down the staircase with my laptop and purse in my possession. I don’t want coffee this morning. I just want to get to the library and get to work; work on planning more appearances for Sebastian, and getting to work on finding out exactly what happened; filling in the pieces that Sebastian couldn’t.

William, Elizabeth, Patrick and Fiona are in the living room of the guest house. A woman whom I assume to be Rachael’s mother holds Rachael in her arms while laughing at something William said. Loretta is making coffee for everyone. When she looks at me, I immediately look the other way.

“Leslie!” Fiona says with a wide smile when she sees me. “I hope you don’t mind us in here, but I wanted to show my sister-in-law around the acreage.”

Fiona’s sister-in-law is young; she looks to be about a few years younger than I—tall, blonde, and gorgeous. The only difference between Rachael and her mother is the eyes; her mother’s eyes are blue, while hers are green.

I wonder how old the father, Fiona’s brother, is.

“No, I don’t mind at all,” I reply with a strained smile. Rachael’s mother walks over to me and shakes my hand.

“Margot,” she says to me, her grin almost blinding me. “But you can call me Marge.”

I smile. “Leslie. Nice to meet you.”

“Leslie!” Rachael yells happily and begins touching my cheeks with her small, clammy hands. Margot pulls her away and chides her Rachael being so invasive.

“Claude is on his way, right?” William asks Marge.

“Yeah, I think so. Why?”

“I’m just looking forward to seeing my cousin who is older than his mom.”

“I’m his step-mom,” Marge growls at William while him and Patrick laugh. “And we’ve been over this millions of times, a-rod.”

“Hey!” William yells with raised eyebrows. “Not in front of the child.”

Marge rolls her eyes and walks towards the door. “Hey, Fiona, is it okay if I take Rachael to see the horses?”

“Sure.”

Marge smiles before locking eyes with Rachael, “Do you want to go see the horsies?”

“Yay!” Rachael shouts out the door. “Horsies, horsies, horsies!”

The screen door shuts behind them. I see Elizabeth pucker her lips at Marge and Rachael’s distancing figures.

“So cute,” she says, rubbing her pregnant belly.

Loretta drops off the coffee on the table on a tray with cream and sugar. All four of them take the cups from the tray.

“So Leslie,” Patrick says from the couch. He doesn’t even look back at me. “When is your boyfriend supposed to be landing?”

“I-I’m sorry?”

“Stop, Patrick,” Elizabeth says, trying to hide her laughter. I only realize they’re talking about Sebastian after all three of them start laughing. Fiona just sips her coffee silently.

“I don’t even remember the last time I’ve seen that kid,” William says.

Elizabeth glares at him, “That ‘kid’ is your little brother.”

Patrick shakes his head. “Nope. I firmly believe that he can’t be related to us.”

“How so?” William asks.

“Because. Just look at all of us, and then look at him.”

My hands clamp tighter around my laptop. I want to say something, but my growing anger is hindering any words from coming out of my mouth. I look over to Loretta, and all she does is hang her head down.

“At least he has the Harrison-Vaun good looks,” William adds with a cocky wink to finish.

Patrick gives William an eye roll, “Please. That’s the only thing going for him.”

Don’t do it, Leslie. Just leave.

“Remember that maid he was really close to when we were younger?” Elizabeth asks.

“Yeah,” William nods. “Wasn’t her name, like, Gina? Jennifer? I don’t know.”

“Remember when she quit? He cried for weeks,” Patrick laughs.

They all start cackling. I look over at Loretta again, only this time there’s anger in the way she’s holding herself when they talk about Gloria. It clicks in my mind that Garrett must have told them that she quit rather than passed away.

“You can’t blame him though; I mean he was really close to her.”

William glares at Elizabeth. “Liz. She was a maid. And all she did was quit, but he acted like it was the end of the world.”

Loretta is furious.

“That was his friend.”

“His only friend, Elizabeth.”

Patrick nods. “Yup. He was a weird child. Always in his room.”

“He was bullied,” Elizabeth says in his defense. “Of course he didn’t have any friends.”

“Oh, come on. It wasn’t that bad. He was always crying and whining and isolated from everyone like a freak, so of course he would be picked on. The only thing that’s changed now is that he has girls he can sleep with and money to blow. Other than that, he’s practically useless.”

“He just needs a hobby to get in to, Will. What does he like to do?” Elizabeth asks.

“Cocaine, Heroin, LSD, Speed, Ecstasy, Molly, Marijuana. Maybe Meth but he’s probably too smart for that,” answers Patrick calmly.

Fiona is silent, as if they aren’t speaking about her youngest child this way.

“C’mon, Patrick.” Elizabeth raises an eyebrow. “That’s not fair.”

“It is fair. He’s given all of these opportunities and he just wastes them with no probable cause. Am I supposed to feel sorry for him because he’s a drug addict?”

Patrick sets his coffee cup down and crosses his arms over his chest like he’s waiting for an answer.

“Exactly,” he continues. “No matter what he does, he’s always just going to dwell in the ruins of his washed out, trashed, pathetic life—”

“Stop! Stop, just stop it!”

Patrick is shocked, staring at me with big eyes and an open mouth.

“Excuse me?” he annunciates slowly at me.

“I said…stop.” I annunciate even slower, and then the whole room is dead silent. William, Elizabeth and Patrick have these blank, confused expressions on their faces as if they didn’t say any of the shit they just said about Sebastian.

But I don’t care. I’m so mad, I refuse to refrain.

“Do you even hear yourselves?” I rhetorically question. “Do you hear the words leaving your mouths? This is your little brother you’re talking about, I mean Christ! How dare you!? You all sit around and just-just pick and dissect him claiming that he’s the problem. Well he’s not the problem. You’re the problem. All of you! Every single one of you!”

They’re all looking at me as if I have lost my mind. But Fiona doesn’t have the same expression that they do, but more of an expression of surprise that someone decided to stick up for Sebastian.

“You construct this idea of someone based off of mere hearsay! And not just some ordinary person but your own brother—your own flesh and blood! I expect this behavior from some dull-minded member of the American populace who smashes their face into a tabloid every morning but you’re his goddamn family! You can’t even be there for him after everything that he’s been through? All of the pain, and the suffering and the neglect and abuse that he went through with you all around, and you can’t be there for him!?”

“W-wait…neglect? Abuse?” William asks with a gentle, anxious voice. “What are you talking about?”

I scoff at his attempt to play the victim. “You know exactly what I’m talking about.”

But the thing is—they don’t. They stare at me waiting for me to tell them; to tell them what happened between their family. Them not knowing about Gloria’s death is one thing, but the burning of the paintings? The ‘party’? The drug abuse in its early stages?

Not to mention the mental breakdown Sebastian had with me—something that no one knows of.

Suddenly, the anger is lifted away from me, and all I feel is pity and embarrassment—not for me, but for them. All of these years they lived off of this conception of Sebastian, believing the lies spoon-fed to them by their father about what happened, and it has all come down to this moment.

They don’t know anything.

“Y-you…you really don’t know?”

“Know what?” Elizabeth asks impatiently, but to her misfortune, I’m rendered too speechless to even say anything. I look at Fiona, but the look in her eyes says something else. Her face is pale and absent of life. She stares at the coffee table with a traumatizing glare.

I realize then that she knew, too. And the horrifying this is that she didn’t do anything about it.

I turn to Fiona, “So you knew? And you didn’t do anything? You didn’t help him?”

She can’t look at me directly in the eye anymore, but she looks out of the window in shame. It’s almost as if she ages dramatically in front of me from the burden and guilt surfacing this very moment.

Now Sebastian’s brothers sense that there’s a secret; they know that they were wrong, but they don’t know about what.

“Mom, what is she talking about?” William asks Fiona. She doesn’t respond. “Mom!

“Mom, listen to us,” Elizabeth tries in a softer tone. Fiona finally turns to look at me; I can’t look at her the same.

“He was a child,” I remind at her out of anger; confusion; sadness. “He was your child. You were supposed to protect him.”

There’s a stunned silence plaguing the room. I know I’m the reason that the cat’s out of the bag, and I don’t care, to be quite honest.

I start out of the guest house with my things. Before I leave, I turn back around and look at Loretta, who is holding her head down in shame, just like Fiona. Because in truth, her and Fiona are very much alike—they knew what happened, but they were too scared to do anything about it. So in reality, I can imagine the guilt Loretta feels at the moment.

She could have been the reason none of this happened.

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.