Trapped by the CEO/C5 Family ties
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Trapped by the CEO/C5 Family ties
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C5 Family ties

Mark shifted to a different floor in the same apartment block after a week and Sydney got a room of her own. She had become very good friends with Mike and Leah. Sometimes the three of them would go down to the local market to shop around. Meet up in Mike's steak house for late-night supper where they got a 50% discount while the steakhouse got rid of its old stock.

Her art school was doing great and Sydney was hoping to get a job as a designer once her course was over. Of all these, her favourite pastimes were to walk around the art galleries, theatres and museums which never ceased to intrigue her.



On a Thursday afternoon, I received a call from Leah.

"Hey! Wanna go clubbing tonight?" She chirped.

"That sounds awesome," I said, closing my laptop.

"Cool, where are you now?" She asked.

"At school, I was just about to leave."

"Come over to Montague theatre, I'll be here for the next few hours then we can leave together."

"Ok, I will be there in a jiffy," I replied.

The bright lights illuminated the set of a lavish living room. An elegant lady was sitting daintily on one of the antique sofas

"Leah you're up next. Get ready!" the director barked.

I watched excitedly as Leah walked on to the stage, dressed in a pinafore and a white apron holding a tray. She set the tray down on a table and said sweetly, "your coffee madam."

The elegantly dressed lady, Marilyn, gave a curt nod and picked up the cup with the pretend coffee. Marilyn daintily touched the empty cup to her lips. Scrunching her face in anger she shrieked and threw the cup down.

"What is this? Do you call this thing coffee? It's cold and muddy. You can never get anything right, can you?"

With these spiteful words, Marilyn swung her palm to aim for Leah's cheek. Leah winced and gave the appropriate expression. Marilyn's palm connected with her left cheeks.

SMACK! the sound resonated in the empty auditorium. I saw a trickle of blood flowing from the corner of Leah's lips. What was supposed to be a fake slap, felt very real?

Leah was holding her cheek, a red ugly handprint marred Leah's pale skin. My blood boiled, that mark would remain on her cheek for the latest two days.

"CUT!" The director yelled. "That was excellent Marilyn, Good work. Everyone take five!"

"Are you alright Leah? Here, let me see that." I said, walking up to Leah.

" I am fine. It's nothing." She choked back a sob.

"I am so sorry. I hope I did not mar that pretty face."

Marilyn said in her annoying sugary voice.

"I was so in the character, I didn't realize that I had hit so hard, I had to look real after all. I was nervous, what if we don't rehearse it right, and mess things up when we go live? "

"Yeah, right but did you have to hit that hard? Your palm has left a mark on her cheek." I said disapprovingly.

"If she can't take a little pain, I guess we can always ask someone else to take her role. Not that it's very difficult playing the suffering maid." Marilyn spoke nonchalantly.

"It's not that bad Sydney. I am alright. Miss Marilyn, please don't speak about it to the director. My friend Sydney is just overreacting." Leah said trying to dispel the situation.

"Overreacting my a..."

Before I could finish my sentence, she gave him a hard stare signalling that the conversation was over.

"So, she is your friend?" Marilyn stared at me coldly.

"Yes, I invited her to watch the rehearsal," Leah explained while I fumed in anger. I wasn't unaware of stage acting. What Marilyn did was extremely unprofessional. Marilyn huffed, threw back her hair, and sauntered off backstage.

"Why did you stop me, Leah ?" I said in frustration.

"Sydney, I know you meant good but I need this part. I need the money for my rent. I can't afford to lose this job." Leah said.

"Ever since I have joined the cast of Wedding blues, Marilyn has left no stone unturned to make my life as miserable as possible. No matter how hard I tried to be nice, I receive insulting and scathing remarks from her. I know she is obnoxious, but I can't do anything about it. I need this job."

"That bitch is just jealous of your natural beauty that's why she is mean to you. Don't take her crap," I said.

Leah smiled.

"You are too kind, Sydney." She replied.

I felt sympathy for her.

"Come on, let's get some dinner and NO arguments. It will be my treat."

Mike suddenly arrived on the scene, I had forgotten that he was also part of the same production. I wondered where he was all this while?

"What happened?"

"Nothing, Marilyn was being a bitch as usual," Leah replied.

He hugged her and said, "I am sorry you had to face this," he said softly.

"Awww, my sentimental brother, I am fine. Now come on let's leave, Sydney would be spending her money." Leah grinned.



I reached the hospital in no time. My long time friend Dr Matt Morrow was the in house cardiac specialist.

"How is he, Matt ?"

"He would pull through. I gotta warn you though, he won't last very long maybe a year or two. Just keep him relaxed and happy, " Matt warned me.

"What about the surgery ?" I asked.

"He is ninety, Aiden. He is too frail for surgery," he looked at me empathetically.

"Can I see him ?" My heart was hammering with the fear of the unknown.

"Sure, come on, follow me. He woke up a while back and the first thing he did was to ask for you."

Matt led me to the exclusive private area of the hospital, hidden away from prying media and paparazzi. The two burly bodyguards stationed near the door greeted me.

"Good evening Mr Reiner."

"Thanks for your help," I thanked his bodyguards. When grandfather got a stroke, he was on a morning walk with his bodyguards. It was due to their quick response, that my grandfather was still breathing. I shuddered to think of the possibility has he been all by himself.

"No problem sir, that is our duty," replied one of the bodyguards.

As I entered the room, the scent of Amorem Rose, assaulted my sense. She was already here.

Fiona my stepmother and William, whom she affectionately referred to as Will were already sitting in the plush chaise in the private room. I ignored them like I always did and proceeded towards the bed. Grandpa looked frail with several tubes poking in and out of his nostrils and arms. I reached out and lightly squeezed his hand. Grandpa opened his brilliant blue eyes.

"My boy. You are here," he croaked.

"Shh... don't talk. You need to rest. Close your eyes and go back to sleep, I am here," I said reassuring him.

He gave me a feeble smile and closed his eyes. Soon I could feel his chest rise and fall in a peaceful slumber. I slowly eased my hand off his grip and turned towards my stepmother and Will. I gestured at them to step outside.

"What are you two doing here?" That was my first question as soon as we stepped out.

"What do you mean what are we doing here? Will is also his legitimate grandson. In case you are forgetting, I am still his daughter-in-law and that makes you my stepson legally, whether you like it or not!" Fiona answered haughtily.

She hadn't changed much, her expensive designer dress, and artfully done makeup didn't change the fact that she was a selfish evil witch! She had been beautiful in her days, that's what my father thought when he fell for her charms.

I heard a snap and turned towards Will, he was trying to light a cigarette. The bodyguard immediately stepped up to him and pulled the cigarette off his mouth. "I am afraid you cannot smoke here, Mr William."

The bodyguards were specifically hired for this purpose, to protect my grandpa from them. Will looked up at the imposing bodyguard, muttered 'fuck' under his breath and slumped down on the sofa. I turned my attention back to Fiona.

"Let me guess. You assumed that the old man would hit the bucket for good, this time, and arrived here sniffing around for his will ?"

It was more of a statement rather than a question.

"My my my, aren't you so full of yourself! Who has been taking care of him while you were romping around in Europe all those years? Me!" She snorted.

"This is what I get for sacrificing my youth on this ungrateful family, no one respects me," she dabbed the corner of her eyes with her lacy handkerchief.

I looked at her with disgust.

"You would get your respect if you try not to screw the gardener, the chauffeur or the cook right under my grandpa's nose."

I gave one look at Will, who looked stoned like always.

"Include, sobering up that good for nothing son of yours as well."

"Aiden......" She started to say.

"Get out! I don't want to see you anywhere around grandpa." I said firmly.

"Very well," Fiona said stiffly.


When Aiden lost his temper, everyone cowered. Fiona saw the unmistakable, flames of anger in his eyes and decided to retreat.

She tried not to be intimidated by his hard stare but failed miserably. She turned and dragging her son along with her.

Libre Baskerville
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