Is it necessary?
As Miss Grace stood in front of her daughter’s room door, she raised her knuckles to knock, but then hesitated before grabbing the doorknob, and pushing the door open. Quietly, she stepped into the bedroom to see Peach in bed, sleeping soundly, hugging a pillow. A smile graced her lips, and she stared tenderly at her daughter, and after a moment of that, she was about to leave when a file on Peach’s desk got her attention. A feeling of hesitation filled her as she approached the desk, and as her hand hovered over the folder, she took a deep breath.
Finally, Miss Grace pushed aside her fear of invading Peace’s privacy, picked up the file, opened it, and read the contents.
Her heart skipped a beat when she got done, and she hastily rushed over to her daughter’s bedside and tapped her gently on the back. “Peach, wake up.” Miss Grace’s voice echoed in Peach’s ears softly Her eyes blinked open slowly as she looked at her mother standing above her, watching her with a concerned look in her eyes. The morning light was glowing through her window as she gently wiped the sleep out of her eyes and yawned, sitting up. “What is this?” Miss Grace asked in a soft tone as she sat by her daughter on the bed, locking eyes with her. “You told me that you needed sleep last night and asked me not-”
“Mama, I said nothing last night because I wasn’t in the right state of mind, and I didn’t want to be a weeping mess while explaining things to you.” Peach interrupted, a tired look on her face as she laid back against the pillow, running a weary hand over her face.
“Is this really your grandfather’s will?” Miss Grace asked, her tone laced with concern.
“That’s what Madam Jewel said… and it is the reason she wanted me to attend the ceremony. Apparently, she stated Grandfather wanted me married before claiming my hesitancy, which is one of his companies. I’m not sure which one it will be.”
“Why would Father make such a demanding and direct request of you…”
“I know right, mama? That doesn’t sound like Grandfather. He treated me with so much love and respect, but most of all trust… I just can’t wrap my head around the thought that this is what he wants…”
A brief silent moment of understanding lingered between the two before Miss Grace spoke up, breaking the heavy silence that had settled between them. “I understand how this must feel to you.” She said gently, “But it’s really your grandfather’s signature on these papers…”
“I know, mama. Trust me, I know.” Peach muttered under her breath and closed her eyes, taking a deep breath.
There was a long pause as Miss Grace studied her daughter’s face and then asked, “What are your plans?”
The door to Elijah’s room suddenly burst open and James matched inside. As the oldest of the four, Matt, Ryan, and Rookie, convinced him that it would be best if he was the one who questioned their boss.
A soft yawn left Elijah’s lips, and then he threw his butler a hard stare, looking irritated as he asked in a husky voice, “What do you want?”
A look of nervousness spread across James’ face, and then he dropped his gaze, mumbling,” What are your plans?” “Plans for what?” Elijah asked impatiently, folding his arms over his chest. Shifting his feet awkwardly, James eyed his boss for a moment and then answered quietly,” How could you propose to Peach?!” Elijah’s glare intensified as his nostrils flared, and then he leaned back against the wall and crossed his arms, raising an eyebrow in a challenge at James and asked, “Do I not have the right to?”
“Well… you already know what these people think of you just for marrying Melina Hayes… How they treat you like an idler and harshly! And how they don’t understand what kind of person you are, or that you deserve better than this kind of life, Elijah!” James replied, his expression full of anger and bitterness. “You can’t-” Pausing, James took a breath and shook his head lightly, seeing the stubbornness in Elijah’s eyes.
Taking another deep breath, he continued, his voice filled with frustration and anger, “You can’t marry Peach… It will only make these people angrier, and they will treat you even worse and disrespect you even more than before. They will only try to hurt her. You know how those people are and how they’re always trying to break someone apart because they’re too prideful to admit defeat.”
“I know that, James,” Elijah replied, his expression turning serious once more.
“Okay then… But boss, you came here to build a business of empire-”
“And also take down one,”
A look of confusion soon found its way onto James’ face as he looked at Elijah’s serious expression, and then he whispered, “Can you do it at least in order… Build an empire, and then take one down afterward.”
“I can’t. These two plans work hand in hand.” Elijah simply responded, his expression remaining calm. James paused, thinking for a second before nodding his head slowly in agreement and saying, “Yeah… Maybe… But marrying Peach… Is that… necessary?” After a short silence passed between them, James finally gathered himself together, cleared his throat, and added, “It will just put in you the spotlight for hate, ill-treatment, harassment, bullying…” “Yeah, I know. Marrying her brings my enemies to my doorstep, right in my face, and at my
reach… That’s an advantage, not a drawback. The best way to get rid of the enemy, James, is to eliminate the threat at the source…” Elijah trailed off, his dark eyes staring intensely at his butler. Second-guessing his words, James raised an eyebrow and then sighed before mumbling, “I’m not going to change your mind, am I?”
“No,” Elijah uttered casually. “So let’s let this be.” Taking his gaze off his butler, he reached for his phone on the nightstand and searched for Bryan’s Check number, dialing it a moment later. “Good morning, Elijah.” Bryan’s voice sounded through the speaker. “Morning… Can we meet somewhere private to discuss business matters?” Elijah asked smoothly. The line went silent for several seconds before Bryan spoke again. “Of course… What time would be preferable to your taste?”
A smirk appeared on Elijah’s face at Bryan’s words, and then let out, “I know you are a busy man. Call me when you are off work.” “I will send my driver to pick you up then… I have a private beach house on the east side of town… Will that be to your convenience for the meeting?” Bryan offered, and Elijah let out a small chuckle. “Yes. That will be perfect.” He replied with a slight smile. A call suddenly interfered with his connection with Bryan, but he immediately canceled Jerome’s call and then said to Check, “I got to go.”
“Alright… See you then.” Bryan’s voice echoed into his ear before he ended the call. Afterward, he clicked on Jerome’s missed call and then dialed him up, and it didn’t take more than one ring for him to answer, “Good morning, boss.” “What’s up, J?” Elijah asked casually, leaning back on the headboard.
A deep sigh was heard from the other end of the line before Jerome finally said, “Boss, what were you up to last night…?” “What happened?” Elijah asked, his voice bore no emotion as his brows furrowed. “There are words among us thugs, that you pissed off Iris Fangio last night, and her father is requesting for your body to be laying in a hospital bed. How did you offend such a family?”
“Josh Hayes’ wife… you don’t know her?”
“Aaah, she’s a Hayes.” Squeezing the bridge of his nose, Elijah breathed heavily for a second as he stared blankly at the ceiling, sinking into his thoughts. Suddenly, his room door pushed open, and Matt rushed into the room, a scowl on his face as he let out, “Boss, you need to come to the lobby now!” Immediately, a look of worry crossed James’ face as he stared at Matt and then at Elijah when
he said, “J, let me call you back”
“What is it now?” Elijah quickly asked after ending the call with Jerome and then he sat forward in the bed, his brows furrowing with concern at his man’s expression. “The motel has a guest,” Matt uttered, not losing the annoyed tone in his voice.
Elijah’s eyes widened slightly and then he stood up from the bed, putting his phone back in his pocket, and said, “Who is it?” “Michael Whitlock!” Matt coldly uttered, his face completely darkening with anger.
Immediately, Elijah walked over to his closet, opened the doors, pulled out a black t-shirt, and wore it, rage never leaving his eyes as he did.
Confused by the sudden shift in the atmosphere, James darted his gaze back and forth, hesitating, but he couldn’t suppress the curiosity that was stirring within him.
“Boss? Who is Michael Whitlock?” James finally let out his thoughts into words.
“A bastard that wants to interfere with Peach’s life and my plans!” Elijah spat angrily, slamming the closet shut. 1