Mergers & Acquisitions

Chapter 4


              “Your car is here to pick you up,” Tim said after he peeked outside the door.

They finished the activity an hour ago so she asked her driver to pick her up. Tim walked her to the gate and watched her enter the car.

“You were with a guy inside that house?”

She flinched when she heard the sudden question right after she closed the car door. She looked at the shotgun seat and saw her only cousin glaring at her.

“Hey, Haru. Long time no see,” she greeted him with a smile but Haru’s dim expression didn’t change.

“I demand an answer, young lady.” Haru’s stern voice states that he wouldn’t stop asking until he receives a satisfying answer.

“Yes,” she answered truthfully.

“Have you forgotten who you are, Therese? What if paparazzi saw you and made an issue out of it?”

She bit her lip. She knew that she had been careless this time. It’s normal for Haru to get mad, but it was the first time she was scolded by her cousin.

“What are you even doing, hanging out with a commoner?” Haru’s voice turned soft when he noticed her reaction.

“We were doing a group activity.”

“Stay away from that guy.”

She closed her eyes and sighed. There was no use arguing with Haru. If she made any sign of complaint, her father would know and it would turn into a bigger issue.

                The next day, she woke up with a slight fever so she decided to stay at home instead of attending her classes. Haru cooked for her as an apology for scolding her which she found sweet. She and Haru had been close ever since they were younger since they had no other cousins and they were both an only child.

She looked at her wall clock and sighed when she saw that it was still 10 in the morning. Her time seemed to be longer when she was in their house. She decided to stay in her library to kill time while reading.

“Lady Therese, would you like tea to be delivered in your library while you are reading?” her butler asked.

“Yes, please.” She proceeded to her library and roamed around to choose the books that she would read.

She gracefully skimmed through the shelves and stopped when she saw her Senior high school yearbook. She smiled sadly when she saw the elegant smile on her face in the picture. She always carried a sophisticated image but during those times, her eyes never smiled with her lips. She couldn’t even remember if she had been genuinely happy in those two years.

Celine is truly an angel, she thought. If she hadn’t met Celine in her first year of college, she wonder if she’d experience to smile and laugh without reservation. Celine was the only one who approached her sincerely. The other girls wanted to be associated with her because of her social standing but Celine saw the loneliness she was hiding behind her smile.

“Lady Therese, Miss Celine requests an audience with you. Should I grant her permission to enter your chambers?”

Speaking of the devil.

She laughed at her own thoughts before telling her butler to let her friend in. She grinned when she saw Celine roll her eyes as she walked towards her.

“I could never get used to such formality. You are alone in this mansion but the way they entertain guests is the same as always,” Celine ranted. “Your family gives off a royal family vibes,” she added to tease her.

“What brought you here?” she asked ignoring her friend’s rants.

“I was actually worried that my friend was sick so I thought that I should come and take care of her since she won’t need some medicine.” Celine looked at her from head to toe and crossed her arms. “But she doesn’t look like she’s sick at all.”

She grinned wider. “You’re worried about me?” she said with an amused tone.

“Forget that I said that,” Celine denied as she sat in the study table in the middle of the library.

“I can’t.” She flashed a smirk. “I have a very sharp memory,” she bragged.

“What a narcissist,” Celine said with a smile.

She sat beside Celine and gently laid the books on the table. She picked one and started reading without paying attention to her butler who was pouring tea to her cup.

“Would you like some cake with your tea, my Lady?” asked the butler.

“The chocolate one, please,” she said.

Her butler turned to face Celine, “How about you, Miss Celine?”

“Do you have strawberry shortcake?”

“We’ll serve it to you shortly, please excuse me.”

“I was also born from a rich family but being treated like this in my friend’s home is really uncomfortable. My maids drop the formality when I’m alone in the house so why don’t you ask them to do the same for you?” Celine suggested but she just smiled.

“They won’t. They are only thinking about how to raise their heiress to be as elegant as a queen. I won’t even be surprised if my father would marry me off to a royal family somewhere in the world,” she said lazily.


Edited: 06.01.2021

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