BOOK ONE • PART ONE
IMPORTANT: Please read part zero (the prologue) first. You may be completely lost if you dive in here without it! 🙂
Author’s Note: Thank you to everyone who has engaged with this story already! Your comments, feedback, favourites and ratings are wonderful and most welcome.
Please enjoy this next part.
All sexual activity is between characters that are 18 or older. This is a work of fiction and any resemblance to real persons, places or events is purely coincidental. The below is not intended to serve as a template for real life sexual encounters or relationships, nor should it be regarded as such. Stay safe, happy and healthy! 🙂
4 • Home
As Natasha reached her flat, she found a parcel laying at her door. Not in the hallway, but on the other side; in the sanctuary of her home. Someone had let themself inside.
She picked up the package, feeling the contents before ripping it open to retrieve a simple cellphone. It was the type with a numeric keyboard and a simple colour screen. One that couldn’t connect to the internet or play you funny videos. It was a phone without a camera and without all the bells-and-whistles that make us so traceable. Yes, that was its purpose… It would help her avoid unwanted attention.
The 20-something nurse didn’t know how or why, but she knew it would be safer. She knew she couldn’t get caught.
Walking to her bedside table, she opened the drawer and placed the phone inside… No, that wasn’t safe enough. Not when the secret was oh-so important. She picked it up again and scanned the room for a better hiding place. Underneath the mattress seemed best.
After all, no one could find out. No one at all.
5 • Mayfair
I watched city streets pass me by as we made our way to one of London’s most prestigious neighbourhoods.
The drive was silent as I was speechless. Even the beast of a bulletproof car didn’t make a sound. All you could hear was the faint rustle of my jacket as my fingers nervously scratched the fabric.
Behind us, a black Range Rover followed at a short distance. There were four men inside who made up the rest of my protection detail. “They’re not usually around,” Alicia explained. “We thought extra help might be needed while things transition.”
“Better safe than sorry,” I smiled weakly. “I’m not really at any kind of risk, am I?”
The bodyguard didn’t respond immediately. I actually heard her swallow. It was like she was gulping down lead. Or fear.
“You’re as safe as can be!” Isabelle, the driver, chimed in with a happy tone. She seemed to be friendlier than the baby-faced woman by her side.
As we arrived at the townhouse, I saw more traces of what a new life might look like. There were two brutish men outside the door and another down the street — my men, my brutes… I knew that I was stepping into a bubble and if all this was real, I’d never be stepping out.
The home itself was remarkable. From the street, it looked like a shoebox — thin and humble. The grandest thing about the facade was the resplendent Victorian architecture. It had the distinct features of an old London mansion, but the interior was odd. Age and antiquity seemed to have been randomly mixed with modern comfort. It was a singular style that almost stood in defiance of fashion and aesthetics.
Maybe that was Elizabeth Wharry in a nutshell? A woman who never married or made many friends. She was known only for her businesses. She didn’t care about style or fame or love… Not that I’d heard of, at least. Though, she seemed to love me; if money were a hug and regret a kiss.
Alicia introduced me to a handful of staff who seemed bitter at my arrival. I could understand why. Their old boss was an icon and I was no substitute. They were women who chose their employer because she was a trailblazer. Now, they were working for a 25-year-old dude with no such credentials.
Leading me up the stairs, Alicia showed me my suite. It had a small sitting room with a desk, attached to the master bedroom and bathroom. “It’s big,” I remarked, not sure what else to say.
“If there’s anything we can do to make you more comfortable–“
“I need to get my things from the hotel,” I interrupted, still a bit dazed.
Alicia offered a consenting nod. “I’ll send Isabelle… Is there anything else I can get you?”
Shaking my head, I let my mind drift as I was left to my own devices.
My first thought was to approach the little desk in the corner of the room. Surely, I wouldn’t be keeping my job at the firm. Still, I felt compelled to sit down and reply to emails or check-up on clients.
Reaching for my wallet, I pulled out a fifty-pound note. Holding it in my hand, I felt the worn textures of the paper before laying it down on the desk. The red note dominated the table; looking eryaman escort much larger than I remember cash being. I did the math… I was now worth about one-billion fifty pound notes. An impossible number: fivefold, ten times.
There was one man in Europe richer than me — a handful around the world. I hadn’t just become wealthy; I became ultra-wealthy. Hyper-rich.
I was so caught up in my thoughts, I didn’t realise I’d dropped something when I reached for my wallet. It was Sian Thomas’s pen, which was left behind after our strange not-quite-threesome. I placed it next to the money and the two objects complemented each other’s absurdity. Both were charged with sexual energy — primal and desirable.
Doing a full turn, I tried to drink in as much of the room as possible. It was a wasteland, expensive and soulless. I was hunting for something to reach out to. I was searching for meaning and context: something that could ground me in the unreal moment.
On the way up and in the room itself, I noticed white air-conditioners that stuck out like sore thumbs. Rare if not unheard of in London. Clearly, Wharry did things her own way…
The only personal item left by the woman who once wanted to be my mother was a poorly framed photograph. It was a shell of a ship being constructed, which, I assumed, was her yacht.
A voice interrupted my contemplations. It was older, but not in a way that reflected maturity. Instead, it seemed jaded. Yes, a voice that had been through a long life without much sense of joy. “Can I get you anything, sir?”
I turned to find the housekeeper standing in the door. “Oh… Misses Le Roux was just here, so I’m well looked after. Thank you.”
“It’s Miss Le Roux. She’s not married.”
“Uhm, okay…” I stammered, feeling more like an intruder with every moment that passed. “Is this a picture of Miss Wharry’s boat?”
“Ship,” the housekeeper corrected, though I doubt she was a sailor. Perhaps a pirate in another life… She did have the look of a killer in her eyes and I could imagine her with a black beard and a parrot.
“You know, I can’t even swim,” I explained, trying to make a friend. “I don’t know why, really. There were plenty of opportunities to learn but it always passed me by. When I reached an age where people assumed I could–“
“So, you’ll be selling Miss Wharry’s most prized possession?” my visitor interrupted.
“The ship? No, sorry, I was just telling a silly story. I assure you, there are no plans to change anything, sell anything, or buy anything. I’m still in shock to be honest.”
The housekeeper seemed to shift her weight forward but she didn’t actually advance into the room. She was swaying; testing and taunting like a cobra about to strike. I’d seen executives move like that in boardrooms when they want to dominate a space. “Will you be sleeping in this room?” she asked.
“Is this not the master bedroom?”
“No, it’s the mistress’s bedroom. There are no masters in this house,” the housekeeper declared proudly.
I could tell the hostility wasn’t about me being a man. No, I recognised this person’s attitude and it reminded me of the way some of my old teachers looked at me.
The other students didn’t care for the fact that I was ‘poor’ and they were rich. Some of the staff detested it though. The same way this woman detested working for someone she considered to be beneath her. At school, I’d managed to win the favour of some of those people, so I tried my best to do the same again.
“You know, I don’t know much about Miss Wharry — about your former employer — and I’d like to learn more,” I explained. “Maybe you can tell me a little about her?”
The housekeeper could hardly stop herself from sneering. Her training and experience helped her keep the pretence of politeness (barely). She told me she had duties to attend to and backed out of the room. With that, she left me alone as I tried to settle into the strange new world.
• • •
My first call wasn’t to my mother, even though I had oh-so-many questions, nor did I phone my cousin who was now the closest person I knew in the cold capital city. Once the centre of an empire, soon to be the middlepoint of mine.
I was certain who I wanted to speak to first and I dialled Elle, knowing she was the ‘mature’ one between my sisters. The phone was answered immediately and Tecla announced she was also there as they put me on speaker. Then, before I could get a word out, Elle boiled with anger. “Is it true you slept with Natasha?!” she demanded to know.
“What the fuck, Olly? You fucked our cousin? Tecla may think it’s cute, but I am disappointed in you. No, wait, I’m more disappointed in her… Yes, the fucking bitch must’ve been all over you!”
“Elle!” I scolded, “You shouldn’t talk that way about anyone, let alone your family.”
There was a pronounced silence before Tecla interrupted. “Hey, Olly, our sister is a little shocked. Of course, eryaman escort bayan we both wish you the best–“
Elle huffed, “The best is back home and not with that slut. Harpy. Whore.”
“Elle!” I reprimanded and a silence followed. Again, the rebellious and rambunctious Tecla was the uncharacteristic voice of moderation. She asked me why I had called and I began explaining the absolute weirdness of my day.
The girls didn’t say much, which helped. Any questions they could’ve asked would be as much of a mystery to me as anyone else. Since arriving at the townhouse, I hadn’t learnt much more about my fate. What I did realise was the presence of a sudden loneliness. I was solitary, even as guards and staff surrounded me. That’s why I wanted my sisters to join me in my bubble, as soon as possible.
“Of course we’ll come to London,” Elle assured with so much love in her voice. “I’ll book the flight, but they might be too expensive since it’s short notice.”
I shook my head. “No. I’ll make sure you get tickets. First class.”
“Oeh! Could we get a jet?” Tecla boomed.
Elle cut in, “Ugh, don’t abuse Olly’s generosity!”
“I’m just kidding!”
The girls descended into a twin-tiff on the other end of the line as I imagined all the things I could spoil them with.
Of course, if Tecla wanted a jet, I would buy her a jet… I would buy her the clothes she always wanted but could never afford. I’d get us a big house, or two, or three. Then, I would buy the girls the best education possible, at the top universities in the world. I’d make sure they could pursue any dream they can imagine.
Of course, I didn’t know anything about how to spend or keep the money I now had. The more I thought about it, the more complicated it all became. Still, I knew I’d figure out a way to make it work, even if only for my sisters and no one else.
As we ended our call, I considered making one to my mother. For now, the twins swore to keep my fortune a secret; giving me much needed time. Maybe I could write a script? Some kind of plan to bring up all the things I needed to know from my parent.
Were you ever going to tell me?
Did you talk to Liz Wharry after the adoption failed?
Do you regret it not working out? Do you regret having had to raise me?
I had no problem with her keeping the attempted adoption secret. Something that never happened doesn’t need to be remembered or retold. In all honesty, I’d rather not have spent a second thinking about the possibility. Thinking that I might have lived another life if things had been slightly different. The potential of a reality where I didn’t have Tecla, Elle, Tash or even my mom was unbearable.
Yet, I couldn’t escape thoughts of what might have been. After all, Liz Wharry paid for my education while leaving my sisters to fend for themselves. They lived a hard life while I was in England or Switzerland, enjoying my ‘scholarships’. I wondered if my life had been such a lie that even my grand job was the work of an unseen and powerful force. My achievements reduced to strange luck.
Winning the lottery without buying a ticket… I wouldn’t recommend it. There was place in my life, in that moment, for a true friend and companion.
If I had any doubts the night before, I now knew I needed my cousin in every way imaginable. Natasha didn’t answer my first call, or my second. At the third, she realised it must’ve been urgent and I told her I’d be sending a car to her flat.
“Sending a car?” she quizzed.
“Yes. It’ll either be a woman named Isabelle or someone else.”
Navigating downstairs, I sought Alicia to arrange Tash’s ride. I found her in a small office on the ground floor after asking directions from one of the domestic staff. As I entered, she jumped to her feet. “Sir?”
“Sit, sit… No need to stand to attention,” I smiled, but Alicia didn’t reciprocate. “I wanted to ask if Isabelle could go fetch my cousin and bring her here?”
“Of course, sir.”
“I know you’re not really a personal assistant, and I’m sorry I’ve been coming to you with–“
“I’m here for anything you need, sir. If there’s a task I can’t carry out I can always direct it to the right member of staff.”
I held my hands together in mock prayer as a show of gratitude. “Thanks. While we’re at it, could you arrange for my sisters to come to London? I don’t know how it works, exactly… Not booking flights, obviously, but with me being who I am now… Or, who I’m going to be. I guess you’ve done this sort of thing before? My mother might join them, but I have to check first.”
Alicia gave me a thumbs up and the look on her face told me she had something to add. I waited as she gathered her thoughts. “It’s not… Well… I would never interfere in your personal life, sir.”
“Last night, we were keeping an eye on you. At the moment, no one knows about your inheritance, but the press will eventually take an interest…”
My escort eryaman skin went pale as I realised what Alicia was trying to say. I could spell it out in my own words, “I walked into a hotel room. I was with two women and one of them was my cousin… Fuck.”
“If you can talk to your cousin, I can deal with the architect,” Alicia offered. “There are incentives that keep people quiet about these sorts of things.”
“The architect? I didn’t know she was an architect…”
Alicia radiated a cool confidence that told me she had matters in hand. I don’t know why I trusted her. Maybe it’s because she looked at me with a cool familiarity I couldn’t quite place. It was like she knew me well, or at least people like me. If I knew her past, I might have stumbled on some similarities between us. Yes,
I trusted her to handle ‘the architect’, for better or for worse.
6 • Secret Ways
A polite knock on the door preceded Alicia. “Miss Natasha Orwell is downstairs, sir.”
I took a deep breath and peeked at my reflection in a nearby mirror. My hair was a mess of dark curls and my stubble was rough to the touch. For the first time ever, I cared about looking good in front of Tash.
At least my jacket was nice and my shirt neat, albeit that both were on the cheaper side. Brushing some hair back, I straightened my shirt and asked Alicia to show my cousin to the suite. “I wouldn’t recommend that, sir,” she answered.
It took a while to clique, but I soon realised where my protector’s reticence came from. “Yes, we shouldn’t meet in a bedroom. That could look strange, right?”
Alicia agreed and took a step towards a section of wood-panelled wall. She pulled on some hidden switch, making the panel swing open like a door. This led to a panic room which had a second secret door that led to what I suppose rich people called a drawing room. To me, it looked like a thoroughly impractical office where one could take meetings but not do much else.
“I’ll bring her up, sir,” Alicia said. “If you’d like, you can privately use the bedroom through here. We swept the house for bugs in the morning and I’ll keep the staff away.”
I felt my cheeks go red as the baby-faced brunette nonchalantly hinted at sex between me and my cousin.
“Thanks, Alicia,” was all I could say (and I meant it).
After a few minutes waiting, the sound of a single set of soft-soled shoes approached the room. Subtle yet fast, intrigued and curious. They moved briskly towards possible answers even though I could hardly be the source of any.
Closing the door behind her, my cousin beamed with startled excitement. She was fresh from work in her blue nurse’s uniform — a look I’d never seen her don, and one that made me smile. She was a nurturer. The outfit underscored her big heart and boundless enthusiasm for people. It was yet another thing about her to fall in love with, and I fell hard. Harder and harder every minute since we let our inhibitions drop the night before.
“What’s going on? Why are we here?” Tash asked.
“Long story short: I’m the son Liz Wharry never had.”
Natasha started laughing. “Huh? You mean–“
“My dad used to work for her, and you know that my mother got pregnant far too young, without a job or an education. Apparently, Wharry heard about it and wanted to adopt me. I don’t know why it never happened, but she felt guilty about getting cold feet.”
“How guilty?” my cousin asked, her eyes bulging as she realised where I was going with this. The exhilaration in her pupils was almost frantic and I wondered if she might faint of surprise.
I was about to blow Tash’s mind, and that definitely made me feel good. “Let’s just say, Wharry felt guilty enough that she left me all her money… Worth nothing if I don’t have you though.”
My cousin blushed. Without any of that morning’s doubts, we were soon in each other’s arms. All the worries of the world faded and a kiss followed without an ounce of passion held back. Chaos came to order and the feeling of our lips pressed together provided bliss and escape.
Slowly, Natasha’s hesitation built as she remembered I was her cousin. She didn’t push me away, but she did distance herself — lowering her eyes — not wanting to look at me. In the silence, I tried to explain my new fortune. At this, my cousin showed signs of interest and amazement. Yet, she had something even more serious on her mind.
“Elle phoned. I can’t believe you told them about us… Then again, I guess you tell them everything.”
My shoulders dropped as I tried to explain, “Tecla caught us out. I would never have gone to them without asking you first.”
This explanation seemed good enough, for now, and Natasha took a seat in the sitting area. The cheeky spark in my cousin seemed to have been extinguished. Things had changed between us; I could feel it in my bones which caused a heaviness that fatigued me.
“I know your sisters will always be the biggest part of your life. You’ll always put them first,” my cousin asserted. “I guess it’s not them knowing that bugs me — it’s that I’m getting between you and them. Elle was so angry…”
“She’s not angry,” I tried to explain. “I’ve been the only reliable ‘adult’ in my sisters’ lives, since the day they were born. This is going to sound fucked up, but–“