Finale: Heart Beat Part 23!!

George quietly left the room and went to his study. His walk to the study made him realise the reactions of the helps. He had not really noticed them when he carried Maria up. He smiled to himself. He was beginning to feel like a ghost. He got to his study and could definitely feel his wife. Her scent lingered heavily in the room. Robin had informed him that she spent a lot of time in here. He sat down and just bent his head. He did not switch on the light. He just wanted to think. He cast his mind back on how all of these started. Well, he may have found out the paternity of his son but what had he lost in the process? A lot! He had successfully angered his wife and daughter. He had revealed the true story behind Martin and that just hurt him. His absence had opened the Saint Morgans to danger. He might have been able to salvage the situation now but what if Robin had not appeared at the very moment he did and saved him from that attack? What if he had truly died? What would have become of his family in the name of playing an expensive prank? One day, he would eventually die but he hoped that he would not cause this much damage a second time. He thought about Zee and concluded that she really wasn’t a bad girl after all. She was just carrying a lot of anger and Martin managed to break through to her.

After George visited Maria that other night, he visited Martin. Martin got to have his shocked feat in private as well. He smiled as he remembered how emotional his son was. They spent the night just talking and catching up. Martin opened up to George about his paternity and George said he knew. In that very moment, George assured him that he would always be his son. He had full rights to the Estiamo name and nothing would change. If he wanted, Maria and George would formally adopt him and Martin was so happy about that. In the beginning, George wanted to kick both Martin and Cecilia out but now he loved Martin because he knew Maria loved him like hers. He could not even imagine trying to go against Maria one more time. He would be asking for real death and a divorce. He loved Martin because his daughter loved him as hers and honestly because Martin felt like his. They were a family. After having the heartfelt chat, he co-opted Martin into his plans. He needed Martin to find out what Zee knows. So they planned the most sophisticated kidnap ever. They got her to be where they wanted when they wanted and kept her there for a few days in the guise of a vacation. It gave Martin the opportunity to get close to her and pry into her dealings. After some time, Martin knew he could trust her and decided to be honest with her. And truly, she agreed to do the video. She was done with her father’s behaviour. She was prepared to testify against him everywhere and anywhere. The rejection she got from the Saint Morgans struck a nerve considering the fact that she was only doing it for her father. She was done feeling like a pawn and Martin could definitely relate with that. They bonded as half siblings and George hopes they would actually get along forever. Martin lived a very lonely secluded life for a long time, the more sweet people he has around him now, the better.

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Back to reality, how does he solve the current problem? He decided to atone for his sins one day at a time starting with his wife. He was not eager to go to the office. His children had that on lockdown. It felt so good to think of his ‘children’. Then it occurred to him that Daniella could decide to walk away from the company. He began to pray a silent prayer hoping that Daniella would find a place in her heart to forgive him. He ended up sleeping in his study, from thinking to sleeping.

The next morning, Maria got up feeling much better. She looked around her and discovered what room she was in. After the supposed death of her husband, she had stopped sleeping in this room. The room had George’s things, smelt like him and just had him all over. She was not prepared to take out his things ever. So, she moved into a different room and left this one. Somehow she found the strength to smile. Her husband was back. Then it turned into a frown. He should have never left to start with. She got up and walked to the bathroom to freshen up. She couldn’t help it, the smile returned. She had missed the room and everything the room represented. She went ahead to freshen up. She had a few lounge wears in the room so she wore one of them and was about to leave the room when she remembered her daughter. ‘Oh good Lord’, she murmured as she searched for her phone. She found it and dialled Daniella. The phone call woke Daniella up from her sleep. She picked the call and heard her sweet mother say, “Good morning Ella.” Her mother had not called her that in a long time. “Good morning mum. How are you feeling? I am sorry for tiring you out yesterday. I know you hate it when I have an emotional breakdown but I just….” Daniella explained. “I know baby and it is okay. I can totally understand. I just wanted to check on my babies. How are the guys?” Maria asked. At that, Daniella realised that the sitting area was empty. There was absolutely no sign of M square. “Errr I want to believe that they are fine.” Daniella said a bit dazed. “What is wrong Ella?” Maria asked concerned. “It just that I could have sworn that we were here altogether but now, I cannot seem to find them.” Daniella explained. Maria laughed and said, “If I know them well, then I am sure that they are right around the corner. Get some rest baby and you do not have to hurry back home. Just do you okay and remember that mama loves you plenty!” Maria said sweetly. “And I absolutely love mama beyond the moon.” Daniella replied smiling. The call ended and Daniella continued staring around her apartment.

Eventually, she found the strength to get up and look around the house. They were indeed not there. She looked outside her window and saw that her car had been properly parked but the second car was missing. They had truly left her. She started trying to think if she drove them away without realising it. Anyway, she decided it was a good time to freshen up. They had slept without having a bath and brushing their teeth. She felt extremely dirty. She raced to her bathroom and had a deep cleansing shower. She came out feeling like a baby. She threw on some grey sweatpants and a grey free tshirt. She could not be bothered about feeling pretty today. All she wanted was pure cruise. She approached the sitting area and heard voices. She peeped and saw her men. They were back. Clearly, they had gone to Michael’s place to get some clothes. Coincidentally, they were all wearing a shade of grey sweatpants and they had brought breakfast. She was excited. “Where did you both go to?” Daniella asked sulking. They both laughed and Michael replied, “Sounds like sleeping beauty missed us.” “Of course I did! I thought you both had abandoned me.” Daniella said still sulking. “Like that could ever happen.” Martin responded and Daniella started smiling again. “Right! I have the best guys in the world!” Daniella said as she made for the food.

In the Estiamo mansion, Maria came downstairs to an already set dining table and her husband waiting for her. It felt nice to use the words ‘her husband’. His presence still felt very unreal. “Hey Baby G”, George said with a smile. Where was her zeal to remain mad at him? She became overwhelmed with gratitude. He was back! “Hi George! You want to tell me what all of these is about?” She asked looking over the table. “I know I have years of making up to do. I want to make sure every second of the day I am making it up to you starting with breakfast.” George explained nervously. He half expected her to turn around and walk away. Maria said nothing and just walked to her seat at the table – the one to the left of where George will sit. “Well, let the making up begin. I am extremely hungry.” Maria declared. George was so excited. He dashed to Maria and hugged her. “I will never ever hurt you again. I promise!” George said. “I will hold you to your word.” Maria teased. “Now please let us eat.” She instructed and dug into the food.

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Martin eventually returned to his house and left the lovebirds at the other side of town. He had to check up on Zee as well. He was also eager to meet Crystal. Interestingly, in the midst of this mess, he might be the luckiest one. He was gaining siblings and parents from every corner and he loved it. He also was hoping that Michael and Daniella would finally decide on what they were. He regretted ever trying to tank their relationship and maybe if he had behaved himself during their vacation, they would have been defined by now. He would have to apologise for his behaviour one day. But for now, he would give them space to gravitate towards each other.

Michael and Daniella decided to go for a walk for the first time in a week. Michael was tired of Daniella just holing up in her apartment and refusing to step out. She had even refused to go to work. He on the other hand has been shuffling from the office to their end. All of these had to end today and this young woman had to come out of this shell before it goes beyond redemption. They ended up walking towards the park Michael had found Daniella the last time they were on this end of things. They sat on the swing and just let themselves enjoy the fresh air and serenity of the area. “What did you want to tell me when we were on vacation?” Daniella asked out of the blues. “Oh wow! I was definitely not expecting that question.” Michael replied nervously. “I have just been curious and seeing that I have been a jobless bee, I have been thinking about it a lot.” Daniella said fiddling with her fingers. She really hoped that what he had wanted to say was something about them because with everything that has happened, she could not be too sure. “Okay. I guess here it is. I like you Daniella. Actually, scrap that, I absolutely love you. At first, it felt like everyone else but us saw it. But then I started seeing it and I felt guilty. More like I felt scared. We have been friends all our lives and I did not want to ruin that. But again, who is the best person to spend the rest of your life with other than your best friend? I can be me with you. I do not have to be a perfect Saint Morgan. I just have to show up and be Michael and that has always been okay with you. Every time you cry, I break within and when you smile, I bloom within. I want to wake up every day to that smile. I just want to do life with you like we always have.” Michael said and paused to look at Daniella. She was smiling and tearing up at the same time. “You know what? Here it is.” Michael said as he dropped to his knees and brought out a ring case from his pocket. “I have been carrying this ring in my pocket for a while now wondering when I would actually muster the courage to ask you. Daniella Estiamo, would you be my heart beat forever? If you ever stop beating, then I am done for.” Michael said with the cutest smile ever. Daniella looked at him smiling and now the tears were pouring down. “Yes, I will be your heart beat and you will be mine.” She said laughing. At that Michael slipped the ring on her finger. It was the most beautiful ring ever. The stone was carved as a heart and the stone was red, Daniella’s favourite colour. It was all beautiful. Michael got up and picked Daniella into a wonderful hug. They were both so excited.

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It had been over a week since George’s return and he decided to plan a family fun day. His daughter had still not returned home and Maria had prevented him from chasing her. If he cannot go to her, he has to bring her to him. So, he planned the family fun day and reached out to Michael to get her there. Maria was glowing. He could not remember his wife ever looking this radiant. Maybe he should consider disappearing and appearing again. Something told him to kick off the devil from his shoulders and he smiled at his wife.

First, Patrick and Janet arrived. It was always so good to have them around. Then Martin arrived with Zee and Crystal. For people that never liked the Williams, they were extremely pleased to have Zee and Crystal join them today. A car pulled over and George prayed hard that his daughter had actually obliged his invitation. He was right. Michael and Daniella stepped out of the car and walked towards the family. Maria and Janet looked at themselves with absolute joy and made for Daniella. Oh they could spot a rock from a distance. Before Daniella could greet anyone, they demanded where the ring was from. Daniella simply blushed and said, “My heart beat finally popped the question” looking at Michael who could not contain his joy as well. The mothers screamed in excitement and buried both of them in hugs. It was finally happening. The most anticipated wedding of the century. “Maria, we have a wedding to plan.” Janet announced joyfully. They all got together and just enjoyed the day. After a while, Maria disappeared for a little while. No one seemed to notice but George.

She appeared later with an additional guest. “Martin my boy, before you say anything, I want you to listen to me. You have every right to be upset. You have every right to turn around right now but I want you to really look at her and tell me she has not been a good mother to you. Tell me that she has not loved you in her way. Tell me that she has not been there for you. Tell me that you do not love her. Tell me that you really want her out of your life. She has been your mother your whole life and not once did she treat you like you weren’t her son or you were a tool. I am certain that she did not even know what Philip’s grand plan was. She just wanted the best for you in her twisted little way. Martin can you please find a place in your heart to forgive Cecilia for my sake?” Maria pleaded. In-between crying, Cecilia said, “It is ironic that it is the woman that I hated for no reason that has been there for me in the last few days. I want to take the opportunity to publicly apologise to you Maria. You indeed have a heart of gold and I am sorry for every harsh word I threw at you. I was stupid. To Daniella, I am sorry that I saw you as a threat to my son when you were only offering him what he had craved his whole life, a present family. I am also sorry for how I treated you and Michael when you came to mine in search of your brother.  George, I am sorry for deceiving you and becoming a weapon that could be used against you. You were good to me and I did not even deserve any of it. Most importantly, Martin, I am sorry for being so selfish and greedy. I am sorry that I inadvertently opened you up to a lot of hurt. I was never going to tell you that I was not your biological mother because even in my sleep, I am convinced that I gave birth to you. With every time I held you, I fell more in love with you. I am sorry that I was not the best mum and I was reckless and I can understand if you truly never want to see me again. I just want you to know that I am truly sorry.” She concluded, turned around and began to walk away.

“Mum”, Martin called out. Cecilia could not believe her ears and she froze in the spot and just cried some more. Martin walked up to her and said, “I forgive you and I will always love you for indeed you have been the best mother to me in your own way.” And he held her as she cried till she was a bit calmer. “I am so sorry Martin.” Cecilia murmured. “I know mum. I can clearly see it.” He teased. “I really love you.” Cecilia replied. “I really love you too.” Martin said smiling down at his mother.

Maria was so full of joy at the sight. She walked towards George, pulled him up and pushed him towards Daniella. “Your turn.” She said. George stood in front of his daughter perplexed and playing with his hands. “Elle baby, there is a lot I want to say but words fail me. I thank God everyday for the gift of you as my daughter. I would not have it any other way. I am sorry for my outburst that day. I am sorry for faking my death. I am sorry for putting you through hell. But I am hella proud of the woman I see standing right in front of me. You handled everything with impeccable grace. No one could do it like Elle. I am so sorry that I put my baby through all these. Please forgive me if you can.” George concluded looking nervously at his daughter. “You looked at me and told me that I was not your daughter.” Daniella said with tears trickling down her cheeks. “I am so sorry Elle.” George replied. “I stood in front of a mirror and questioned my very existence. I did not know what I was anymore. Then you die on me and I had to bear all of that guilt. Why? What did I ever do to deserve all of that?” Daniella asked. “The truth is the reason I did all of these does not make any sense anymore. I was depressed when I said what I said to you and I am incredibly sorry that I did that to you. I will spend the rest of my life making up for it I promise.” George offered. “We have uncompleted stories to complete.” Daniella said. “What better time to finish them than now?” George replied. “I have always been a daddy’s girl. I never want to feel like I do not belong there anymore.” Daniella said. “I will never make the mistake of doing that to you again.” George confirmed. “I am still CEO.” Daniella teased. “You can have and be everything. All I want is for you to forgive me and be my girl.” George replied with a smile. Daniella sniffed and said, “I forgive you dad.” “Thank you so much Elle.” George said and hugged his daughter. Everyone was so happy.

Finally, there was unity. Maria murmured a prayer of thanks. Coincidentally, Janet did the exact same thing. It is safe to say that family fun day was a success and the leading families were stronger than ever before with a grand wedding to plan.

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“I wonder what we shall name this new heart beat of ours.” Daniella asked with a broad smile. “I wonder why you have to wonder. She shall be called ‘Bella E. Saint Morgan’.” Michael declared.

A big thank you to everyone that has shown consistent support throughout this story. It has been beautiful. I appreciate everyone that has reached out to me with comments. I am glad you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Thank you so much. Till the next story. We what? We meuvee!!

Ebubechukwu Natalia Ajufo

Heart Beat Part 22!!

“Who asked that?” Philip asked recognising the voice. Maria immediately moved to hold her daughter and realised that Martin was already doing the same thing. This was going to be the day of the undoing. “I said who asked that question?” Philip repeated agitated. His mind must be playing tricks on him. Nobody seemed to be too worried. Was he the only one that heard the voice or were they acting out a show here today? Daniella was a bit puzzled as well. The voice sure sounded like a familiar voice. She felt very uneasy about whatever was transpiring here right now. Just then, George made it through the crowd followed by Robin and his other bodyguards. Philip was astounded. Daniella’s mouth dropped open and remained open till her mother closed it. Michael’s eyes widened in shock. Janet shot her eyes right up at her smiling husband. Cecilia screamed! The reporters scampered in fear. Were they seeing a ghost? It was safe to say that this was the biggest surprise of the century. “Philip, do not look so shocked. It is me in flesh and blood.” George said with a wide grin. “You are dead! I made sure of it!” Philip replied in shock. “You care to explain what you mean by you made sure of it?” George asked tilting his head. “I mean, it was everywhere. I even attended your funeral.” Philip replied. “I cannot believe that I am conversing with a ghost.” Philip said trying to convince himself that he was seeing things. George simply laughed, walked forward and tapped him with his newspaper. “I would say it is time you wake up from your slumber.” George teased and took a seat in front. Philip’s whole body froze. George was actually somehow really alive and his brain was trying hard to understand it. “Thank you gathering me an audience.” George said winking at Martin. “I have a very interesting show for you all. So, please take your seats.” George said looking at the reporters. Everyone started seating down. They were all like robots as they were in complete shock and some people doubted their sanity. Only Maria, Martin, Patrick, Peter and Robin seemed fine, why won’t they be?

“What the hell are you doing?” Philip asked finally gathering the courage to use words. “I would suggest you seat for this.” George responded with a smile. The projector came on and a video started playing. It was titled confessions and people were trying to make meaning of it. The whole time Daniella stared at her father in absolute shock. The man was alive! Just then, the video showed the hoodlums that Philip had hired to take out George and the Doctor. They narrated how they were hired and the instructions they were given and how they were caught in the act. The reporters were beginning to come alive. They were recording and making notes of what was transpiring. After that, Peter came on and narrated how Philip had blackmailed him into trying to take away the Estiamo group from Daniella. For the first time since George appeared, Daniella shifted her gaze from her father to Peter. Her eyes were boring a hole in him. It was the audacity for her. “This is such a lie! What type of rubbish is this? I will sue you for a whole lot of things.” Philip was throwing a tantrum when the next voice came up. “My father does not care about me. Actually, that sounds selfish. He does not care about anybody. We are all pawns. The only reason he wants me to marry Michael is so that he can snatch the Saint Morgan wealth. For years, I know he has had something with that Cecilia Estiamo woman and if she thinks he cares about her, then she is mistaken. She is a pawn to snatch the Estiamo wealth as well. For Philip Williams, everyone is a tool!” Zee snapped. “That cannot, I repeat that cannot be my daughter!” Philip yelled at George. “Don’t yell. That is not very gentlemanly.” George retorted. “I am going to kill you!” Philip replied. “And there it is. The real you.” George teased. “You think this is funny?” Philip asked with a crooked smile. “I know it is funny.” George replied with humour in his eyes. At that, the police appeared to whisk Philip away. “This must be a joke! I am not a criminal!” Philip said. He could not believe his eyes. “Save your energy for when we get to the police station.” A Police Officer replied.

The recording that Martin heard about Philip and Cecilia talking began to play. The truth was being revealed. Martin was not an Estiamo. Daniella looked at Martin with her hand over her mouth. Michael put a hand on his shoulder. A new level of anger was beginning to well within Daniella. Philip simply bent his head and thought, ‘this stupid woman had to get caught.’ “Philip Williams, you may be my biological sperm donor, but you will never be my father!” Martin snapped. “Well, that is quite rich because I am the only biological parent you have alive. I only needed you for one thing and clearly you do not aspire for greater power. So, I agree I can never be your father! In fact, I disown you and Zee. You both are cowards!” Philip snapped. “I guess it flows from the top” Martin replied sarcastically. Philip wanted to make for him but the police officers stopped him and began to lead him away. At the entrance of the hall, he saw Zee standing there. “I ought to be sad and say that I would miss you, but what is there to miss in an empty shell?” Zee asked with a raised brow. “You will regret this!” Philip retorted. “The only thing I regret is being quiet all these years while you blatantly disrespected my mother. Well, now she is free and you will get everything you deserve and yes, we disown you right back!” Zee replied and walked out on Philip. ‘Good riddance’, she muttered.

As the commotion subsided, Martin looked at his mother, “What did he mean by the only biological parent alive?” He asked. “Martin, I can explain.” Cecilia replied with tears trickling down her face. “Explain? So, there is an extra explanation for all of this?” Martin said not being able to believe his ears. Daniella stood beside her brother holding his hand. She could understand what he must be feeling at the moment. “He had you with another woman. He could not be with a woman that George had ‘used’. My job was to mother you and I absolutely love you Martin.” She said taking a few steps towards him. “Don’t you dare!” Martin snapped. “I am done with you and every lie you have ever told me! I have a new family and I will take them the way they are. Do not call me your son. I am not your son. I am not a Williams. I am an Estiamo and I will remain that till I die. Lastly, I am not a pawn!” He said and walked away holding onto Daniella. She was his source of strength at the moment. Cecilia fell to the floor and just wailed. Maria could not help but feel a little bad for her. She may not have given birth to Martin but she loved him in her own way, probably twisted but she had done a good job bringing up the fine young man. She deserved that credit.

“Well, I will suggest that you save your energy. Crying won’t help you at the moment. I want back the keys to my house. I want the cars back. I am blocking your cards and the monthly payments you get from my estate. I will leave you with the few businesses you own. You at least applied some mental capacity to have them running. Eventually, they will come back to me. Philip cannot be investigated without you being dragged down with him. So, enjoy your numbered free days.” George threw at Cecilia who was still wailing. Now the wailing intensified because she was about to end up back in the streets. George made for Maria but she simply shook her head and walked away. If he never cheated, all of these would not have happened? ‘Who did he think he was dishing out punishment like that?’ Maria thought as she fumed out of the hall. George understood that she was pissed and if she was ever going to come around, he would have to give her space. So, he turned around and met with the Saint Morgans. Janet was still so shocked and she ran behind her husband as George approached. Both men laughed and she finally came around to hug him. “It is really you George!” She exclaimed. “I guess it truly is.” George replied with a smile.

Michael had gone out to be with Martin and Daniella. The three of them sat in silence. So many things were racing through their minds. Suddenly Daniella stood up and asked, “which one of you has a pick axe?” Both men looked at themselves and repeated, “pick axe?” “Yes, now is someone going to give it to me or not?” Daniella asked staring them down. “Okay, I think I know where we can get one from.” Martin replied and Michael hit him. “Why are you encouraging her?” “Aren’t you at least curious about what she needs it for?” Martin replied. Michael already had an idea of what she was up to. “If you both are done, let us go and get it.” Daniella said heading for the car. Martin followed closely but Michael refused to follow and they left him behind. Michael sat there and tried to process his thoughts. If he knew Daniella, then he was correct about what she was about to do. He got up after spending about 15 minutes in the same spot and went back into the hall. “Where is Mama Maria?” He asked his parents and George. “She left a few minutes ago. What is wrong?” George asked concerned. “It is Daniella. I think she is about to have an emotional breakdown and it won’t be pretty.” Michael informed them. “Where is she?” George asked. “Out with Martin to get a pick axe.” Michael replied. “Pick axe?” George asked. “When I said it won’t be pretty, I was not exaggerating. Please let us go.” Michael said hurrying them along. They got into the same car and Michael stepped on it.

They got to the graveyard and there were two familiar cars there. They raced through to where should be George’s grave and there Daniella was. She took off her expensive mustard coloured blazer and threw it to the floor. Martin carefully picked it up. She rolled up her white crisp shirt. “I see I have an audience.” She said acknowledging her mother’s as well as George’s and the Saint Morgan’s presence. “For the last 3 months, I have mourned the man supposedly buried here and today he turns up alive. So, I am a little curious as to what he buried here.” Daniella explained as she picked the axe and dealt the grave a heavy blow. She hit it again and started crying heavily. With every hit, a new wave of emotion washed over her. Memories overwhelmed her. Every visit, every tear, every regret, every fear, every time her mother looked pale, the struggles, and yet he was alive. The brother she has, they tried to take him from her and now he has to go through the biological, non-biological rubbish. Who cares about that?!  No one went near her for some time. She had to vent. She has needed to vent for the last 3 months. It has been too much for her anyway. By the tenth hit, Michael could not bear it anymore. She paused for a few seconds and just let herself cry. At this point, Michael went for her and just enveloped her in a hug. Maria was so heartbroken seeing her child in this state. George went towards his daughter and tried to hug her. “Don’t you dare!” Daniella snapped and broke free from Michael’s hug. She snatched her blazer and car keys from Martin and ran off. Michael and Martin ran after her but she beat them to car and she zoomed off. The guys got into Maria’s car and instructed the driver to follow Daniella. Michael threw the car keys on the last car and that is what the parents got into. Maria kept massaging her temple. She was having a terrible migraine. She just wanted to hold her child and rest. “Maria, I am truly sorry.” George said solemnly. “I just hope you truly found what you were looking for.” Maria responded and looked away.

Daniella drove straight to her own apartment, the one she was in when her father supposedly died. She just wanted to be by herself. She did not want to see her father. She did not know whether to be happy that he is alive or upset that he hurt her so deeply. She wanted fresh air. She got to her house and just parked haphazardly in front and made to go in. Just as she put the keys in, Michael and Martin pulled up behind her. She did not say a word. She simply opened the door and they followed her in. She threw her blazer on the seat and removed her shoes. How she had successfully run in heels became a mystery to her at the moment. She untucked her shirt and just sat on the floor. Words were still far from her. It felt like a déjà vu. When her and her father had that fight and she came here, it felt like life had left her. Now she was back here months later and life again seemed to have left her. So she sat and just stared with her knee supporting her elbow and her palm supporting her chin. Michael took off his blazer and shoes as well and sat right beside her on the floor without touching her. Martin did the same thing. They just sat there in silence. After some time, Martin surprisingly started shedding tears. He was giving himself permission to fall apart. He had tried to be strong from the beginning of all of these and now, he was giving himself permission to be tired and weak. Daniella rested her head on him and said, “Let it out baby. Let it all out.” At the same time, she intertwined her fingers with Michael’s. In that moment, she realised that life had not left her after all. Her men had brought it with them. She was not alone. She had them. She was not feeling overwhelmed alone. They were there right with her, guarding her. The last time she was here, she did not think she had anything to be grateful for. But now, just being with M square, she knew she had a lot to be thankful for and just maybe she could forgive her dad as well. They stayed there till the three of them eventually slept off in weird positions.

When Maria noticed the direction in which the cars were headed, she told George, “Please take me home.” “But Daniella needs us.” George replied. “Trust me, she has all that she needs at the moment and they are going to her safe place. I need to lay down right now.” Maria said calmly. It was evident that she was weak. Too much activity had gone on today and she needed the rest. George obediently turned the car around and made for the Estiamo mansion. When they arrived, he got down and carried his wife. He then asked Robin to send the Saint Morgans safely home. George carried his wife to what used to be their bed room and laid her on the bed. He removed her shoes and jacket, tucked her in and watched her fall asleep peacefully. He had missed this. He had missed home.

Heart Beat Part 21!!

After dinner with the Saint Morgans, Daniella really wanted to pay Martin a visit and check up on him. Michael offered to take her there disregarding the fact that she had her car and driver waiting for her. She had no choice but to accept his offer and he drove her all the way to Martin’s house. On getting to Martin’s house, there was nobody in. The gate itself was locked. It was strange for everybody to be out at the same time – both Martin and the helps. It was not adding up so they decided to pay Cecilia a visit and see if he had decided to move back in with his mother. They both live with their parents anyway and maybe Martin got tired of the independence.

On getting to Cecilia’s house, they received the coldest welcome right from the gate. It was as if she had given everyone a picture of them and warned them not to be polite to them. But they could not be bothered about that at the moment. All they wanted to do was ensure Martin’s safety. Daniella was looking through the cars and Martin’s wasn’t here. Well, it could be at the Mechanic’s so that was not a problem. They were directed to where Cecilia was seated. “Hello Aunty Cecilia”, they both chorused upon seeing her. “Hi.” She responded coldly. “How may I help you both? I am quite busy.” She said although she looked rather bored with nothing to do at the moment. “Errm Aunty C, we are here because of Martin. He has not been at the office for the past two days and we thought he was with you.” Daniella explained. Cecilia looked up at them and said, “why would he be with me? He has a house and has clearly picked you lot over me.” “It is not like that Aunt. Martin loves you and nobody could ever take your place in his life. We have already been to his house and his gate was locked. He did not tell me he was travelling. I am just a bit worried about him.” Daniella responded obviously worried. “Why don’t you go and ask your good for nothing mother where my son is?” Cecilia replied with every word laced with bitterness. “I will not have you speak about my mother like that!” Daniella snapped. “Or else what would happen? You would ask me out? News flash! This is my house today meaning I can do and act anyhow I want.” Cecilia stated feeling proud of herself. “I find it funny that rather than be worried about your son’s whereabouts, you have it out for my mother. Well news flash for you right back, I can take everything back from you. The house, the cars, the glitz and the relevance. In a snap of my finger, you could be back to irrelevance. So, I suggest you think twice about speaking about my mother ever again.” Daniella stated clearly and left with Michael right behind her.

It was at that moment that it dawned on her what Daniella had just told her. ‘Martin is missing!’ She wanted to shout but could not find the voice to. How could her son be missing and she had absolutely no clue where he could be. He had not been to the office, he was not at home, he was not with her, he was not with them, then where in the world was he? At that she picked up her phone and tried repeatedly to call him but to no avail. Then she dialled another number. “Philip, our son is missing!” Cecilia squeaked over the phone. “Not you too! I had to deal with Crystal telling me that our daughter is missing this morning. Can you not add to it?” Philip said obviously unbothered. “Are you kidding me? I said our son is missing and you are speaking a language that I do not understand. I have no business with Crystal. All I know is that no one knows where Martin is. He has not been at the office. He is not picking calls. He is not at his house. He is not with me. Most importantly, he is not with them. First, Peter disappeared. Now I can’t find my son. Philip please do something. Something is definitely not right here.” Cecilia pleaded. “Okay, fine. I will look into his whereabouts. But I am sure that he is just out having some fun with his friends.” Philip replied. “I am going to hope that you are right. Just find our son.” Cecilia concluded and ended the call. She sank into her chair and just stared blankly. How was this her life right now? How had she come this far? She had been so consumed by all the wrong things and now someone had taken her son from right under her nose. She was so sure that it was Maria – that vile jealous woman. The irony.

On the other end, Philip was beginning to get a wake up call. First, Peter was missing. Then, this morning, Zee is missing and now Martin is missing. It is not a coincidence. Somebody is coming for him. Whoever it is was taking out all his relevant pieces on the chessboard. He was practically exposed now with no plan b. With Peter and Martin gone, he had no access to the Estiamo wealth. With Zee out of the picture, he had no access to the Saint Morgan wealth. His head started hurting from the picture he was painting. He could not lose something he had been planning for years. He called for his right hand man and said, “Look into the sudden disappearance of my daughter, Zee and Martin Estiamo.”

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“Mum, mum!” Daniella yelled as she got home. “Mum!” “Yes sweetheart!” Maria called from the top of the stairs. “What has got you so worked up love?” Maria asked as she descended the stairs. “Mum, have you spoken to Martin recently?” Daniella asked panicking. “The last time I spoke to him was 2 nights ago when he called to make sure that I was fine. I have not spoken to him since then. What’s wrong?” Maria asked beginning to sense a need to worry. “Ah mummy Martin is missing! He has not been at the office for 2 days. His house is locked! He is not with his mum. Michael and I have tried to call him repeatedly and it is not going. Mummy, where is our Martin?” Daniella asked distressed. Michael came from behind and just held her. Maria was in shock for a few minutes. Then she reached for phone and dialled Martin’s number. It rang out and no one picked it. She did it a few more times and nothing. What was happening? Without saying a word, she turned around and went up the stairs.

She got to her room and fell on her knees. Everything was beginning to be too much for her. “Dear God, what have I done to deserve this? After George died, I was so upset at you. I thought how could you let this happen?  How could you let such horror befall me? And when he came back, I was upset that You would even let him execute such a silly plan. I was upset that You let him hurt me like that. But God, now it is my son and I cannot bear it anymore. I cannot bear to lose a child in any shape or form. Lord, I am begging you. Please show us where Martin is. I know I have a lot to do in terms of redeeming our relationship. I know I have a lot of healing to do in You. But God You know that You and I have an agreement, I will not lose my children. Please come through for me Lord.” Suddenly, George flashed in her mind. Could George have something to do with Martin suddenly missing? Is it because he is not his biological son? She got up and called Robin to come to her immediately.

There was a knock on her door followed by Robin’s entrance. Robin had been avoiding Maria ever since she found out about George. He knew she would be pissed and pissed at him particularly for not telling her when he found out. The truth is he is also still shocked but relieved. “I know you and George have been playing around. I am going to ask you a simple question, is Martin safe?” Maria asked looking intently at Robin. George had not exactly told Maria everything. He did not know what to say and what not to say. “Robin! I am asking you a simple question. George cannot continue to put us through hell! Are we pawns to him? For the last time, is Martin safe?” Maria snapped. “Yes, he is ma”, Robin said with his head bent. “That would have to do I guess and do not worry, I won’t tell anyone.” Maria replied. “Thank you ma”, Robin replied and left. Maria looked up and said, “thank you Lord!” She might not know exactly where he is but if Robin says he is safe, then he is. She went downstairs and cuddled with her shaken daughter reassuring her that Martin is fine and they would find him.

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Philip’s people came up with nothing. No one seemed to find any leads. Zee and Martin were truly missing. Philip could not believe it. He was sceptical about getting the police involved because he was scared of what they would find in the course of this investigation. His offences might just be uncovered and he could not have that. So, he asked his people to keep digging and kept reassuring Cecilia and Crystal independently that their children would be fine. On the Estiamo end, Maria convinced them that she had Robin digging into the issue. If Robin and his guys found Daniella, they would find Martin soon. Everybody seemed to have forgotten about Peter for the time being.

On the fifth day of Martin’s absence, the Estiamo house bell went off. Daniella grudgingly got up from where she had been curled up in the sitting area to get the door before any of the helps got to it. The last two days had been torture for her. First, she lost her dad. Then, Peter came for her company and disappeared. Now her younger brother had disappeared as well. Yesterday, Cecilia had come by the house to throw her usual tantrum but there was nobody to respond. Maria carried on as if no one was speaking and Daniella was too drained to think of intervening. When she was done accusing them of taking out her son to retain their wealth, she left the way she came. Michael had been very present as well – popping in here and there to check up on them. Daniella had basically been working from home since she realised Martin was missing. A part of her was scared of stepping out before she would be next. She did not like whatever was happening. She finally got the door and lo and behold, Martin stood before her glowing. It was the fact that he was glowing for her. She just stood there frozen. Martin was fine! Martin was here! Then she closed her eyes and shook her head to make sure she was not seeing Michael as Martin. She opened her eyes and Martin was still there. “Are you going to hug me or not?” Martin teased. “Oh Martin!” She said as she flew to hug him. He smelt good. This young man was definitely not kidnapped. She broke away from the hug and really looked at him. He was fine –  no bruises or marks. “Where have you been?” Daniella demanded. Now she was getting angry. Everybody has been worried and this young man looked like he had been cruising. “There is a lot I have to tell you but right now, I am exhausted. Can I come in?” Martin asked with a smile. “Of course!” Daniella said sharply. “Mum! Mum! Martin is here!” She yelled as they went back into the house. Maria heard that and came dashing out of the kitchen. “Oh my child!” Maria said as he ran towards her. She hugged him and was grateful that he was indeed fine. “What have you been eating? In fact follow me! I was trying to make something to force feed your sister but you look like you need the force feeding more.” Maria concluded and headed for the kitchen. They both obediently followed her. She got them to eat at the Kitchen table and she was just so happy to have Martin back and Daniella relieved.

“Have you called your mother?” Maria asked Martin remembering how distressed Cecilia was. “Why should I?” He replied nonchalantly. Daniella looked up at him and wanted to smack him. “Do you know how worried your mother has been?” Daniella retorted. “I am the least of her worries. She has a lot more coming for her than she realises.” Martin stated matter-of-factly. “What does that mean Martin?” Maria snapped. “Mama…” Martin started. “Do not mama me. Once you are done with this meal, you will pick your phone and call your mother. I do not care if you guys fought or not. I am a mother and I understand everything she felt in the last couple of days. I do not want to hear anything you have to say until you have called her and have had a polite conversation. Is that understood?” Maria instructed. “Yes ma’am!” Martin replied. “Better!” Maria concluded as she got up to sort out other things. But she kept pondering on what Martin said. What could he mean by that? What did he know? Has he been investigating his mother? What had George been doing with him for the last five days? She was still angry with George. She was not in the mood to call him and ask questions. She also knew that there was a limit to what she could get out of Robin at this point. His loyalty has always been to George more than it has been to her. Was that really true? Well, he would not tell her what she wants so she is permitted to think whatever she wants. True to his word, after eating, Martin called his mother and tried his best to have a polite conversation. She was so overwhelmed. She actually started crying over the phone. In that moment, he felt bad for her but he knew more was coming and she better be ready to reap everything she had sown. It is about to get very interesting around here and he needs to set things in motion.

While Martin was talking to his mother, Daniella took the opportunity to call Michael and inform him of Martin’s safety. He was incredibly relieved as well. He had feared what would happen to Daniella if they could not find Martin soon. She was just beginning to find herself after losing her father and her brother disappears. He had been living in fear for the last couple of days but he could finally breathe freely. His girl was good. Did she know that she was now his girl? He would have to make certain of that.

As she was done with call, Martin snuck up behind her. “It does not look like you missed me much”, he said attempting to sulk. She turned around smiling and looked at him. “I cannot believe that you are truly here. I have been so scared of the worst happening and here you are glowing.” Daniella said honestly. “I am so sorry for scaring you and I promise that all of these will make sense to you in the next couple of days. We will take it a day at a time and I need you to trust me. Can you do that?” Martin asked smiling down at her. “Of course I can”, she replied and he hugged her. Maria stood at the corner with tears in her eyes. Isn’t God so wonderful? And she quietly walked away. Her children were fine. She had to go and continue her conversation with God and thank Him so much more.

“I heard about the merger. Shouldn’t you have announced yet?” Martin inquired as they started walking to another part of the house. “Oh you know I should have been worried about that rather than a missing brother.” She replied sarcastically and rolling her eyes. Martin laughed and said, “Once again I am extremely sorry for disappearing. Can we schedule it for Monday? We will rest over the weekend and go back to grinding on Monday.” Martin replied. “I guess Monday works. I will call and have my P.A. work it out.” Daniella said. “You do not have to do a thing, I got this!” Martin replied. Daniella turned around and raised her brow while examining him. “You suddenly know how to handle a press conference?” She inquired. “I was thinking that I would learn on the job if you let me.” Martin responded smiling. Daniella narrowed her eyes at him and said, “Fine! Knock yourself out. I am going to freshen up. I will see you in a bit.” Indeed Martin got to work immediately she left and started making all the necessary calls as he had been instructed to do.

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Monday came and it was Merger Signing/Press Conference Day. Daniella was dressed in a dark mustard coloured trouser suit set. It sat on her magnificently. Her jewellery was simple but pure gold. She had on gold earrings, a gold wristwatch and a gold bracelet. Her heels were gold stiletto heels and she wore her hair down letting it bounce with every step she took. It is safe to say that she dressed to kill. It was also the first time in the last three months that she was wearing a colour other than black. She was not done mourning her dad but she just felt motivated to wear a different colour. It goes without saying that Michael matched the energy. He wore a dark blue suit piece with a silk dark mustard pocket square. Of course he had checked in with ‘his girl’ about what she was going to wear. This was a defining moment. In fact it was quite symbolic for him. Today, their companies were merging but they would be ‘merging’ soon enough if he played his cards well. Oh he was so giddy.

Every important person was present – Maria, Patrick, Janet, Directors, Robin, Cecilia with Martin standing very close to his sister as if he was her body guard. Both Daniella and Michael took their seats at the public signing table and made to sign their copies of the contracts. Just then, Philip walked in with his entourage. “I find this very funny!” He said without any trace of humour on his face. “Patrick, is this how you pay me back for trying to save your dying company? Do they all know? The amount of debt you are in!” Philip said attempting to mock Patrick. The reporters were in shock. No one ever knew that the SMG was in debt and everyone had their recording devices on with some double checking that theirs was working. This was not the type of scoop to miss. “Go ahead and answer me Patrick! Something got your tongue?” Philip asked with a raised brow. “I follow up my graciousness by allowing your lousy son marry my daughter. Instead, you both kidnap my daughter! Patrick where is my daughter?” Philip snapped. “I believe she would be wherever you kept her. I have no business with your daughter. If anything, my son was the one doing your daughter a favour by marrying her.” Patrick replied proudly. “What did you just say?” Philip asked clearly upset by his response. “Exactly what you heard!” Patrick replied tilting his head. Philip burst out laughing. “I see that you have grown some backbone. Anyway, I am here to say that this merger cannot happen because I have an existing contract with SMG and it overrides this silly escape attempt.” Philip said arrogantly. “I do not recall signing an agreement with you.” Patrick replied. “Oh really? Peter could you show him this agreement?” Philip said with a smile. Peter appeared from somewhere behind and everyone was shocked. When did he come back? Who found him? Was he ever missing? These were some of the questions on people’s minds. Peter proceeded to show Patrick the supposed contract. The paper inside the black file read, ‘I got you! – George’ and Patrick smiled broadly. “So you see, this merger cannot happen sweetheart”, Philip said looking pointedly at Daniella. He could not deny the fact that she was indeed beautiful. His cunning stare was beginning to linger a bit too long and Maria wanted to throw her shoe at him to destroy his useless eyes, but she refused to choose violence on a day like this.

“Are you sure about that Philip Williams?” said a strange voice from somewhere in the building.

… to be continued

Heart Beat Part 20!!

Daniella sat in the comfort of her office as her mother and Robin presented the proposal of merging with SMG. She could see that it was a well thought out move but she did not understand why. Why should we want to merge with SMG? Both companies were thriving well. When they needed manpower, she understood why they would merge. But right now, she did not seem to understand it. They had purposely omitted the debt that SMG was in. They did not want her to worry. They were trying hard to make her look at the merger as a good thing but her instinct knew there was more to it. In addition, she would have to work with Michael and she did not want that for herself right now. It was better if they maintained their distance. He needs to focus Zee and she needs to focus on her company. Having them constantly bumping into each other was neither beneficial nor smart.

At that, Daniella’s P.A. announced the arrival of Michael Saint Morgan. ‘Speak of the devil’, Daniella murmured inaudibly. “I guess my work here is done. I will leave you and Michael to work out the details.” Maria said as she got up from her seat, and maybe they could work out the other problem. Michael walked into the office and greeted Maria with a hug. “My dear son, you look burnt out. Do you guys know how to rest at all?” Maria asked really worried about how drained Michael was looking. “I am positive that I am about to rest more starting from today.” Michael responded with a smile. “You better!” Maria chided as she finally left the office. Obviously, Robin left with her and it was down to Daniella and Michael.

Daniella did not feel the need to play nice. This was a business meeting and it would remain so. “Hello Daniella”, Michael said calmly. “Hi Michael. Please take a seat. Your shadow is not with you today?” She asked sarcastically. “As you can see, she is not.” Michael responded as he took a seat. “So, I was instructed to come and talk to you about the merger.” Michael informed. He had been eager to come and see her but now that he saw her and her demeanour, he was pissed again. He may not have to marry Zee but whatever he had for Daniella was done at this point. He would concentrate solely on business. They seemed to be good at that and nothing more. “Yes, the merger. Is it just me or do you feel like that there is something more to it? I mean a merger is beautiful. They were times I have wished that our offices were just right beside each other but I just feel like there is more to this merger.” Daniella said actually thinking of it. “They did not tell you?” Michael inquired. “Tell me what?” Daniella retorted. “So, you really do not know why this merger is happening?” Michael asked again. “No, I honestly do not. Apart from it apparently being one of my father’s wishes before he died, I do not know why our companies are merging.” Daniella explained. “Well, that is just classic. Do you know why I intended to marry Zee?” Michael asked. “Intended?” Daniella asked hung on that word. “Yes, Daniella ‘intended’. It was because The Williams ran my company into a debt and I could only salvage the company by marrying Zee. I have been overworked thinking of a way out but Philip really tanked SMG and I do not know how none of us saw it coming. Today, my dad came to me telling me that we had secured a merger with the Estiamo Group and it was the most relieving news I have had in a while but I guess that does not work for the Princess. I will get back to thinking of a way out!” Michael snapped, got up from his seat and walked towards the door. “Michael!” Daniella called and he stopped in his tracks. Daniella got up from her seat, removed her heels and walked to Michael. Then she hugged him and just held him. “I am sorry. I am sorry you have had to deal with all of these alone. I am sorry that I was not there for you. I am sorry that it sounded like I did not want the merger. I am sorry that I did not know. I am sorry that I possibly drove you off the cliff just now. I am sorry.” Daniella uttered sadly. She really felt guilty. She has been mourning and Michael had been there every step of the way and when he had crisis, all she did was compound it. She released him from the hug, walked to her table and signed off on the merger. “Here. It is done. The Groups would be merged and we will get through whatever the Williams have up their sleeves.” Daniella said placating. Michael simply looked at her intensely. After what seemed like forever, he walked up to her and hugged her. Today was the first time that Daniella had voluntary hugged him first. He could not get over it. His heart was beating a bit too fast and he just wanted to continue hugging her for a while and that is exactly what he did.

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Maria’s drive home was riddled with flashbacks.

“You cannot be George. I have started seeing things!” Maria squeaked at the sight of George. “Baby G”, George said sweetly. “Do not call me that. Only my husband calls me that and I do not know what you are.” Maria retorted backing away from the being in her front. There was nowhere to run. What had she got herself into? Why is she seeing things? She closed her eyes and shook her head as if she was trying to get rid of a terrible thought. She opened her eyes and George was still standing in front her. Her heart started racing. She was convinced that she was about to have a heart attack but no, she had a daughter to remain strong for. “Who are you? What do you want? Who let you into my house?” Maria asked in-between her palpitations. “Maria, I need you to calm down and listen to me.” George urged. Maria laughed. “Listen to you?” Maria snapped. She was looking him dead in the eye now. She picked something up from her table and flung it at him. It hit his shoulder and he winced in pain. “Ah! George! Ah!” She yelled with her hands on her head. “What is this? Are we acting a movie in this life? George, I buried you! I held your cold body and you did not wake up despite me begging you to. Three months later you appear to me in my room.” Maria said. She was shaken and was crying. “I can explain but first I need your help.” George pleaded. “No o you are bad all by yourself o! You killed yourself and rose yourself up. Mini Jesus is that you? George please leave my room. In fact, leave my house!” Maria instructed. “Wait Maria, this is something that affects your children, Daniella and Michael.” George explained. Maria paused and asked, “my Michael and Daniella?” “Yes, please listen to me and afterwards, if you want, I will leave you alone.” George said contritely. Maria wiped her tears and sat down at the edge of the bed trying hard to calm herself down. She was certain that her blood pressure was skyrocketing. When she was eventually calm, George proceeded to give her a breakdown of everything that had happened and was happening. He threw in an apology in-between every few sentences and each time it irritated her. All she cared about were the children. George can go back to his underground house and stay there. After he was done, Maria agreed to play along and lastly she said, “if you know what is good for you, make sure Daniella does not see you till everything settles.”

Once again, she shook her head rigorously. She still wasn’t sure that this was the land of the living. George did her dirty like this to find out something that she could have found out without breaking a sweat. It really could not be true. She did not want to be alone at the moment so she decided to go and see Janet.

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“I thought I was having a bad day but you look beat up. What is wrong Janet?” Maria asked worried about how downcast her friend was looking. “Maria, have you ever felt like an incompetent wife and mother?” Janet asked honestly looking at her friend. “Are we ever confident that we are absolutely competent? I thought we agreed to always do our best and leave the rest to God? We have been there for our husbands through thick and thin. Why would you be questioning yourself now?” Maria placated. “M my husband is in debt and I did not know. Like my husband has been dealing with a lot and all I did was rant. Even my son knew. My son was ready to make a sacrifice for his father and I did not even know.” Janet uttered with tears running down her cheeks. “I think you are being a bit hard on yourself. You cannot know everything. He clearly did not want you to know J.” Maria said comforting her friend. “But you always know when George is going through things. I always aspired to be as perceptive as you are.” Janet stated. “Do you think I am always 100% right? George was severely depressed before he died and I had no clue. I was busy travelling that period and fulfilling Mrs Estiamo duties. I was thinking of hosting them to a meal and I did not know my home would not be waiting for me. Husband dead and child was missing when I returned.” Maria said tearing up, but she was crying for a different reason. She had gone through a lot in the last three months. The pain, the emptiness, all the negativity and the silly man did not even die. “I guess you are right. You must have been broken and probably still hurting. I am sorry about everything you have had to go through Maria.” Janet offered wiping Maria’s tears. Maria smiled. “You are one of my truest friends. Now stop being sad and go and be the rock you need to be for your husband. You did not know before but now you do. So what are you waiting for?” Maria asked with a raised brow. “I was embarrassed but you are right. I am going to my husband right away. Stay here and eat as much as you want. It is on the house love.” Janet said, getting up, hugging her friend and dashing out of the restaurant. All Maria did was laugh until she remembered George.

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All the way in the Williams Mansion was a troubled Crystal, Zee’s mother and Philip’s wife. “Why are you so stressed?” Philip asked irritated by his wife. “This is funny to you right? Your daughter has not been home in two days and it is okay to you.” Crystal retorted. “Do you realise that she is an adult? She can be at her friend’s or something.” Philip replied unbothered. “Really? I have called everybody and nobody has seen her Philip.” Crystal snapped. “Woman watch your tone with me.” Philip replied his wife while staring her down. “Gone are the days when I was afraid of you Philip. Those days are sooooo gone. As of today, my daughter is missing and I want her found. Since you have decided not to remove your hand from other people’s cookie jars, at least guarantee the safety of your daughter. Rubbish!” Crystal said and walked out on Philip. He was amazed at her audacity. Crystal had never spoken to him like that. He would need to teach her a lesson but for now, he is occupied with finding Peter. Where in the world was Peter and why has nobody trying to find him? If he got involved in locating Peter, it would be suspicious. He did not want the unnecessary attention. He had worked so hard to get to this point where he can reign supreme. George and Patrick would be nothing compared to him. He would be the richest, most influential and potentially, the next President of the country if he played his cards right. But for now, he really needs Peter to give Martin control over the Estiamo wealth for him.

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Daniella decided to have dinner with the Saint Morgans as it did not look like Michael wanted to let her go ever. He was holding her hands and honestly, if felt good. She was not over that peck he gave Zee in her presence. How dare he? She won’t bring it up today because he needs to chill and if being around him gave him energy, then she will stay around him as long as she can. Then it occurred to her that she had not seen Martin in two days. They had not even bumped into each other at the office. Was he even present at the office? She had been so holed up in her work that it had skipped her mind to check up on her brother. Knowing Martin, he was probably low key sulking somewhere. She made a mental note to check up on him on her way home. Janet came bursting into the house to meet Patrick, Michael and Daniella discussing. Daniella immediately got up to greet and hug her. “Hello Daniella love.” Janet said joyfully. She was definitely extra joyful because she had caught a glimpse of her and Michael holding hands. After greeting Daniella, Janet hugged her son, and then she flung into her husband’s arms and hugged him tightly. Michael and Daniella simply smiled at her show of affection. On the other hand, Patrick was surprised because she had been giving him the semi-silent treatment. Janet looked at her husband and said, “I love you!” Daniella and Michael chorused “awwwn!”

…to be continued

Heart Beat Part 19!!

Oh yes George! As it turns out, P’s guys did not kill him. Robin found George just in time before the kill order could be executed. Robin and his team caught and dealt with the assassins. He then got the foreman of the assassin team to make a call to P informing him of George’s death. This was to enable them be a step ahead of him. Consequently, they knew that he was after the doctor. So, Robin had the doctor taken off the scene and protected somewhere. Robin got back to the Estiamo mansion just in time to find out about Peter’s plan. When he said he was taking care it, he really was taking care of things gradually.

“Why are you so surprised Peter?” George asked with a raised brow. “George, I can explain!” Peter said raising his hands up as if pleading for mercy. “That is definitely not the answer to the question I asked.” George stated plainly. He walked to a seat and sat down. “But since you are eager to explain, humour me.” George said sarcastically. “George, you have to believe me. I never meant to betray you. I never meant to hurt you. Remember, I told you that you should not go ahead with this plan of yours. I knew things would get messy.” Peter started. “I hate to be rude but get to the relevant part of your explanatory speech.” George said cutting Peter short. “Okay. So, after you supposedly died, Philip approached me. Apparently, he had done some digging and he knew that we pulled a stunt and he was happy about it. He wanted to use it to his advantage and I had to help him.” Peter started explaining. “Had to or chose to help him Peter?” George snapped. “You do not understand. Earlier on in my career, I did a few shady things. I thought I had successfully buried them but Philip found them and he was blackmailing me with them. They are things that I am not proud about. I cannot let them get revealed. I would lose everything that I have worked for. I thought we had settled the score with him getting me to introduce Cecilia to you.” Peter revealed. “He did what now?” George asked. “Yes George. He asked me to introduce Cecilia to you. I did not know what his plans were then. In my head, I thought you would never fall for her but you did and…” Peter explained. “And you did not stop me! You watched me almost destroy my family and you did absolutely nothing! You were supposed to be my eyes and ears but instead you were orchestrating a coup against me. How dare you Peter?” George said angrily standing up from his seat. “George, I swear it to you, I am absolutely sorry. I was just trying to protect my family.” Peter sincerely apologised. “At the expense of mine?” George asked with distaste clearly written over his face. “Let me tell you what else you could have done Peter. You could have told me. You could have told me that the one man I detest was after me. You could have told me that he sent Cecilia to me. You could have told me that he had something over you. You could have told my wife, Maria the truth! Instead, you thought it wise to play by Philip’s rules and attempt to take everything I laboured for. Did you or Philip help me build an empire? What gives you both the impetus to plan to snatch it from my daughter?” George said throwing a cup at Peter. It missed his head by half an inch. “George, you have to believe me. I never wanted to hurt you. I just wanted to play along and see what he wants and then fix it.” Peter offered sadly. “Isn’t it obvious what he wants? He wants to reap where he did not sow.” George said calmly. “I could not do anything against him George. He has Patrick tied as well. He destroyed one of Patrick’s biggest deals and ran him into a lot of debt. He is willing to cover the debt if Michael marries Zee.” Peter revealed. Now George was incredibly pissed. Philip was coming after everybody he cared about. Maybe it was time to take a page from Philip’s manual. At that George left Peter in the dark room without responding to his last revelation.

“Keep him in there till I decide what to do next. Then I think it is time we dig into Philip Williams and keep an eye on Zee’s movements. He has played enough with my family and it is time to repay the favour.” George instructed Robin. Robin left to get busy. George took a seat and rubbed his forehead. All of these were too much for any person. All he could think of was his poor wife who had no idea who was after their family. She was definitely right to be worried about Peter who clearly has misplaced loyalties. Then he remembered Patrick. He could not imagine what he must be going through and he would never tell Janet. Having to force Michael to marry Zee must be tearing him apart. Philip is really just a demon. Does it pain him so much that George has blatantly refused to associate with him? It is mandatory to be friends just because they are rich? They were not of the same kind. George does not mess with other people’s families. He had to stop all these rubbish. He concluded that it was time to let Patrick in on what was really going on. Philip would never cover that debt. He will buy out Patrick and make his life miserable. Rather than have that happen, the Estiamo and Saint Morgan Groups would merge. After all, they built the companies together and whenever they had needed extra manpower, they had temporary mergers. They will be fine and still be richer than Philip will ever be in his miserable life time.

Patrick was in his study thinking about how everything was playing out. At times like this, he really missed George. He always teased George about being his brain. George could think and act effectively under pressure. He could smell a rat before it even appeared. If he were here, he would have known that the deal would go sour before Philip even tanked it. If he were here, he would not be asking Michael to marry Zee because George would have come up with an intelligent plan. He never liked Philip. Patrick was beating himself up for not listening to George every time he warned him about dinning with the devil, Philip. Suddenly, his phone rang and brought him back from his thoughts. “Hello, who is this?” Patrick asked calmly. “Patrick, do not shout. It is me.” George said at the other end of the phone. Patrick jumped off his chair. He could not believe his ears. He looked at the phone to see the number again. It was not George’s usual number but the voice, it was definitely George. “I do not know who you are but I do not enjoy pranks.” Patrick snapped. George laughed and said, “this must really be freaking you out. It is really me George. I know that I owe you an explanation and I will provide it.” “You have to be joking. George? As in the George Estiamo?” Patrick asked  terrified. “How many other Georges do you know?” George asked clearly enjoying messing with his friend. “Okay, I have had enough of whatever this is. Never call this number again.” Patrick snapped. “Patrick Saint Morgan, it is truly me George. I will send Robin to you tomorrow with an idea. Listen to him carefully. Philip is planning to destroy both our families and we cannot have that happen. Robin will fill you in on everything. I am sorry for freaking you out.” George said contritely. “It is really you my brother.” Patrick said finally believing his eyes. “It is me brother.” George replied firmly. “You cannot say anything to anyone, not even Janet and do not pressure Michael into marrying Zee anymore.” George added. “You have my word.” Patrick said. He was so happy to know that his friend was alive. Was he not just wishing that George was here? And it came true. He felt so much relief. He remembered Michael and rushed off to release him from his bondage.

Patrick found Michael sitting at the dining table alone with his head bowed. In the recent days, he had been looking rather battered. Patrick was so happy to give him some relieving news. “Hey Michael, I have thought about it and I have concluded that I do not want you marrying Zee. You do not look happy about the decision.” Patrick said cheerfully. Michael simply looked up at his father and shook his head. “Marrying Zee is the least of my worries and trust me, it has no impact on how I feel.” Michael said standing up and leaving. He was just tired about everything. Contrary to his father’s thought, Michael had found out about their debt. That is what he had gone snooping around for when Daniella swung by the other time. He had been spending hours at the office to try and find a loophole. He had not found one and it was draining him. It was also beginning to make sense to him why his father wanted him to marry Zee. The SMG was sinking and this marriage might be able to save it. If that is the case, he was fine with it. “Michael, did you not hear me? I do not want that for you anymore.” Patrick called out. Michael turned back and really looked at his dad. “I know dad. I know about the debt. Just let me bear some of your burden for a change.” Michael said and walked away faster this time. Janet was by the corner and heard what Michael said. She turned around and went straight for her room. She had been giving her husband such a hard time without knowing what he was going through. Michael was prepared to throw himself under a bus to save his father’s company and all she had done was rant. She felt horrible and couldn’t face her husband. Patrick on the other hand was surprised that Michael knew and was willing to follow through with the marriage plan. He actually felt touched by the act of his son but it was no longer necessary. They will be just fine without such sacrifice. Michael has a life to live and it should not be in a sad union to Zee. Patrick decided to leave for now and wait for George’s plan.

The next morning, Robin was at the SMG mansion and met with Patrick. He called George and they discussed a possible merger and how they could still retain the personalities of their companies. Patrick could not believe that George was willing to bear the debt he had amassed. What George was suggesting would mean that the Estiamo Group would take a large hit as well. He was picking friendship over his company right now. He was also so confident that they would recoup the money is no time. Patrick started silently blessing the day he met George. Honestly, without George, there would be no SMG. George made him and that was the truth. He could not wait to let Michael about this. So immediately he was done with Robin, he headed straight to the office.

As he was approaching Michael’s office, he started hearing a voice and Michael’s P.A’s face paled at the sight of Patrick. What in the world was going on in that office? “Michael, I am talking to you! Will you dignify me with a response?” Zee yelled at Michael who clearly could not be bothered. “Do you know the one skill I have learnt since we got engaged?” Michael asked getting up to fetch a file from his shelf. “What is it?” Zee inquired. “The ability to work effectively with noise.” Michael absentmindedly informed her. “You have got to be kidding me. I am trying to have a conversation with you and you call this noise!” Zee snapped. “I think you lost the idea of having a conversation the moment you started shouting. I simply stop listening. Now young lady, I suggest you calm down and articulate what the problem is. Otherwise, you can see yourself out of my office and stay out henceforth.” Michael stated. “Wow! I get sent out from my fiancé’s office but that good for nothing Daniella ….” Zee retorted. “Say that rubbish one more time and you will see a side of me you will regret!” Michael warned. Now he was pissed. She had no right to speak about Daniella like that. Zee scoffed. “My family is doing yours a favour with me marrying you. So Michael, when I say jump, you say how high respectfully.” She said disrespectfully. Michael simply laughed and said, “Use the door Zee. And while we are at dragging our families, your father might be doing my dad a favour with the company, but he is doing you a favour by getting me to marry you. No sane man would take the nonsense you serve and that’s that.” She was pained.  Patrick simply smiled outside. His son would always have the final say. At that Patrick went into the office and said, “As a matter of fact Zee, do me a favour and tell your father that the deal is off. You can both carry take your nasty attitudes somewhere else.” Now Zee felt a sting of shame. Being dragged by father and son was not pleasant. She quietly picked up her bag and walked out. Michael’s P.A stuck her tongue out at her. She had had enough of Zee. If toxic was a person, it would be Zee. Since Zee walked into this company, her boss has not known peace and now it was finally over.

Michael was pleased that his father gave Zee a piece of her medicine but he was worried about him tanking the deal. He had found a way to deal with Zee’s excesses. He just did not care. As long as she was not talking about Daniella, she could yelp away. SMG needed this money. “Dad”, Michael started. “I know I know. But we really do not need them. In fact, I am here to tell you that you have a meeting with Daniella to discuss an important issue.” Patrick said cheerfully. “Dad”, Michael started again. “Don’t dad me. Get your things and head over to hers immediately.” Patrick instructed and turned around to leave. He was pleased with himself. He would let Michael find out the surprise as Daniella was probably finding it out right about now. They could also use the opportunity to mend their relationship. Michael immediately got his things and headed to the Estiamo Group.

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The night before, someone snuck into the Estiamo mansion and went straight for Maria’s room. At the sight of him, Maria went completely cold. Her eyes could not believe it. She was convinced that she was dreaming. “George!” She yelled.

…to be continued