The meeting disembarked leaving the Estiamos and Michael. Daniella walked over to Martin who was apparently still agitated beside his mother. Cecilia had reasoned it would be best if he were accepted by Maria and Daniella and was glad to see her walking towards them. Daniella gave a slight bow to Cecilia and turned to Martin. “Dear Brother, do you care for a truce?” She asked with an outstretched hand. Martin looked at her suspecting that she would get back at him for his attitude the first time they met, took the hand saying, “Truce sis”. To his amazement Daniella hugged him and said, “It is nice to know I have a brother. Do feel free to move into the mansion if you wish”. He could not reply as he was still shocked at the hug and proposal. Michael held Maria who was nodding with joy to what Daniella was doing. She would have been sad if Daniella had rejected him, even though he had been really naughty. Michael was simply proud of her kind step towards her half-brother. Martin finally decided to think about it since he had been given a house of his own. Daniella understood that perfectly. She bowed to Cecilia again who insisted on hugging her and she did not refuse. She immediately went to hug her mother and they left with Michael. Martin and his mum followed.
Daniella aware of their company, decided to go towards George’s office which was now hers technically. When they got there, she pulled away from the side hug she and her mum had going on since they left the board room and moved to Martin. Gesturing to the office, she said “this is dad’s office. Would you like to go in?” She asked Martin calmly and he accepted. The rest refused to join not wanting to ruin the sibling moment. Michael then took the women to Daniella’s office. While the women found a common ground, Michael made calls checking on his company. He was supposed to be on leave, so he was not crazy about going home. He had fought long and hard to finally get this leave. There was no way he was going to rush home. In addition, Maria had asked him to spend a week with them and afterwards she was organising a little trip for them. He called his bank to find out if they had paid the orphanage in the name of Mr. & Mrs. Dickinson. He hated giving instructions and they be disobeyed. It could get him really angry and cause him to show his Saint Morgan side which he also hated. He was glad to hear all had been done as he instructed. He immediately texted Daniella to update her about the payment knowing she would see it sometime in the evening. He found a way to busy himself. He remembered how Martin had rolled the word ‘biological’ at the graveside and how Daniella had turned out to be biological as well. The irony of this life he concluded and smiled.
In George’s office, Daniella and Martin went over everything from his shelves to even the carpet. Daniella told him some of the stories she had heard in the office, about all her tutoring and all their fights. Despite the love between her and her dad, they fought a lot. Daniella probably now realised where the diverted funds had partially gone to. He was raising a hidden child somewhere else. Now she wished she had not been hard on him, but he taught her the principle of accountability. She always fought for what was best for the company. In all sincerity, George was extravagant in many ways. He would buy things he did not need, book overly expensive hotels for holidays, spoil her with made for one jewelries and clothes. It was cute and sweet but sometimes too much as well. Despite their money, Maria and Daniella have always appreciated simplicity and still do. Yet, Daniella wondered who would spoil her with expensive gifts now and smiled.
She looked at Martin who was now caressing a picture of father and daughter. It was sad that they did not have a complete family picture to cherish together. He was evidently sad, and his mood seemed to die with every second. She could not bear it anymore and decided to walk to him. He was sitting on father’s table. She touched him and he looked up at her. “Martin what is the problem?” She asked with a kind voice. “It is just that you had a lot of time with dad, a lot of memories and so many stories to tell. I never spent so much time with dad. I always had to count days which led into months before he would pay a visit”, he confessed to her. She realised George had been busy raising her but had not had enough time for Martin. Wait! What if there were more children somewhere? If it were confirmed that she was not biological, she would have felt a lot of guilt put upon her. She promised herself to take care and be there for Martin. She erased the thought of teaching him a lesson. Well, you never know what he may do next. She had always yearned for a sibling and now she had one, half or full did not matter. She hugged him while he sat resting on her.
Coincidentally he had always wanted a sibling as well. Someone to keep him company when dad was away, and mum was too busy to pay attention to him. Cecilia was always busy with one thing or the other. Often times, neglecting him during the week and making up for it during the weekend. At least he was grateful he saw a flicker of a parent every day. But now he had lost dad but gained a sibling. He smiled in her arms. He felt his defences melt and God did his sister smell expensive or what? She eventually let him go and smiled down at him. She decided to let him know the office was now hers and see his response. “Very soon I will need to move into this office. Do you mind? And you can have my former office”, she said looking at his face. “Oh well! That is not a big deal, but I seriously hope you would be merciful with the job you decide to give me”, he said wearing a puppy dog look and Daniella could not help but laugh. “That look does not work on me. Ask Michael, he would tell you”, she informed him still laughing hard. He shrugged and said, “Oh well! I heard elder sisters are never nice”. She looked at him and hit his back with no effort. “Now where did you get that garbage from?” She asked with a raised eyebrow. “From places and you just displayed it”, he said faking a hurt look and again Daniella bust into many rounds of laughter. “Hmm dear brother, having you around will help me laugh a lot more than I already do but I can tolerate it. You should be aware that Estiamos are meant to be coordinated”, she said in mere mockery, but his look seemed to dull again. “No one taught me what Estiamos are supposed to do and what they are not supposed to do”, he explained. “C’mon you lived the life dear. You think it is that simple. I wish I had been left to be normal without being told how to walk or how to eat”, she said teasing him. “Do not worry. You already have the ego of a male Estiamo. You will learn every other thing with time”, she said patting his back.
She began to head towards the door. ”Daniella, I am sorry about my attitude at the graveside. It was just me being extra silly”, he apologised. “I was going to get back at you for that, but I forgive you. Now smile and let us go find the rest”, She said nicely, and he made to join her. They left the office together, arms linked and moving towards her office. When they got to the door she said, “this is going to be your office soon and I hope you like it”. He looked at her and said, “If you rocked the office, then I will definitely like it”. They both laughed which might have informed those on the inside of their arrival. They entered the room and chorused, “hello everyone”. The mums were busy talking but Michael had slept off in Daniella’s chair and the greeting brought him back. Daniella walked to him and smiled at him. “Sleeping handsome sorry for waking you up”, she teased, and Michael smiled at her and looked at Martin. Cecilia was pleased to see the Estiamo children were getting along so was Maria. Michael whispered an offering to take her out to lunch, but Daniella modified the request as she announced, “How about we get our mothers home? Michael has offered to take me out to lunch and I am dragging my brother along”. Everyone smiled and consented. Michael had no choice but to agree as well and he pinched Daniella’s back. Despite the slight pain, she maintained a smile, leaving everyone ignorant of the pinch and the slight pain. They all left the office together with Daniella and Martin in front followed by the mothers and Michael. Before they left, Daniella had called down, requesting cars be made available.
At the entrance of the company, five cars were parked. The mothers got into their respective cars and were sent to their respective houses. Martin had been immediately assigned a car with an Estiamo number plate. While they were at the meeting, a car with the Saint Morgan number plate had been delivered. Michael’s dad had ordered it and Michael had not had enough strength to argue with him. He is not going to work but he could keep up the image for his father’s sake. The three got into their respective cars. Leading the convoy was Michael’s car then Daniella and finally Martin. They were headed to one of Michael’s family’s hotels for lunch and whatever else comes with the afternoon.
to be continued …