Heart Beat 9!!

What people were ignorant about is what happened before that very day when George Estiamo supposedly ‘died’. George had been suffering from severe depression. He felt terribly guilty that he had a child with another woman and not his wife, Maria. He loved Daniella but felt bad for bringing her up in a lie. Towards the end, he started feeling like Martin should be the one getting all the attention as his true child but that would have been to Maria’s detriment and he really loved his wife. As if all of this was not already enough, he was informed of the possibility of Martin not being his biological son as well. Devastation led to the outburst Daniella got. Here he was in his underground house which only he and Peter knew about, reviewing the events that led up to this.

“Peter I have been deceived all these time”, George confessed in a sober tone after receiving the news of Martin. “Oh c’mon! You are not even certain yet”, Peter said firmly. “I need to disappear from all these. I need air, space, and time. I want to be me again. All this fortune has blinded me”, George said to Peter who was staring him down. Over time he had become so accustomed to Peter that they had become more than just Lawyer and client but friends, best friends. He knew Peter was not on the same page as he was, but he was still going to do what he wanted to do. Peter raised an eyebrow and relaxed in his chair. “What do you suggest we do Mr. Estiamo?” He asked attempting formality. George simply smiled because he knew his idea would creep Peter out but again had he not decided that he would do what he wanted to do. “I plan on disappearing, dying basically”, he said with mischief entwined with every word. Peter was alarmed and wondered why he wanted such a drastic method. Why not a simple long trip? “George is that not a bit too drastic?” He asked visibly worried. George looked at him and said he had made up his mind. He planned to investigate while underground. He knew Peter could not change his mind. He was long overdue for some sort of adventure and he had to get himself together. He went ahead to give Peter the detailed plot. He worried about the grief, but he knew they would be glad when he returned, and he would promise not to stupidly mess with them like this again. But this one time was for him.

It was all planned and manifested on the day of the board meeting. In the eye of the world, Mighty George Estiamo was dead and gone. He smiled at that as he rubbed his hands together. Thanks to Peter, there were chips planted everywhere important. He knew exactly what had been happening in his house and office. He felt the pain in his chest, and he pictured Maria’s face and the pain he was causing her. He would forever make it up to her till he eventually died. By now he knew Daniella was his flesh and blood. He was incredibly glad and relieved that it had been sorted. The day he heard that, he cried. At least his death had accomplished one thing, the true identity of his daughter, Daniella Estiamo, heir to the Estiamo fortune. He was so proud to have been blessed with her. Now the next issue was to determine the paternity of Martin George Jnr. Estiamo. He already knew that the family was becoming closely knit. He feared for Maria if Martin was not really his son. She was already knitting him a sweater. He had to move fast. He already had tabs on Cecilia to monitor her movements in his absence. Peter had given him a download of the board meeting and how Cecilia and Martin had been given new rides. He did not mind at the moment but if the story was true …

For now, the world seemed to have stopped mourning him as newspapers did not carry anything about him anymore. He planned to spend a year dead. He immediately began calculating his next moves and when he had it all figured out, he got out his phone and called Peter.

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All the way in the Saint Morgan mansion, Patrick sat down to read a newspaper while Janet made a fuss of how she should visit Maria. Patrick knew she was simply looking for some sort of gossip and to spy on Michael and Daniella. Apparently, he was so comfortable at the Estiamo’s that he had not paid them a visit since his return. He smiled as he knew what was keeping his son occupied, Daniella. They were alike when it came to taste in women. Patrick loved beautiful, classy women and Janet was the very definition of that. Although, she did not come from an extremely rich family, she carried herself like a queen and now she was the queen of the Saint Morgan palace. He had long stopped reading the newspaper but covered his face with it to prevent her channelling her energy towards him. She was blazing fire while Maria was the calmer fire. The both of them combined have always made a good and bad pair. He and George were always at the receiving end of their mischief. Now he was alone and that made him really sad.

Daniella was staring at herself in the mirror. After finding out initially that she was not an Estiamo she had doubted her looks very much. Now she ran hands over her face and appreciated the looks. She had dropped her novel to go change into something comfortable for the movie. As she went through her wardrobe, she giggled at the thought of being Mrs. Dickinson. She picked a pair of jeans and a customised polo top. Michael had got it for her, and it had ‘Empress’ imprinted on it. She cherished it but rarely wore it for obvious reasons. Today would be a good day for it. She changed into her clothes. She gave her hair a good brush and let it pour over her shoulders. She decided to look for more things he had got for her. She found a collection of simple but classy rings. She was obsessed with rings, and he knew this. Looking at everything he got her, all he ever wanted was for her to exude simplicity, be herself. She noticed a jacket she had not worn in a while and moved over to inspect it. Within its pockets she found an envelope. She got it out, opened it and found a story. Tears poured down. It was not just any story, but one she had started writing with her father on one of their special evenings. She never remembered or continued it after that day. Now she regretted it badly. She dropped the jacket, held the papers to her chest as she walked to her bedside drawer. She placed the envelope with her other stories. Emotionally she was not prepared to read the story, so she was not going to try to. Half an hour passed and all she did was stare. This was hard, and this moving on fast was harder. She said a little prayer and got up. She cleaned her face. She repeated her mantra over and over again, “it is okay. It is all okay. He is in a better place.”

As she descended the stairs, she spotted the men talking to mum. Maria noticed her daughter and whispered to Michael, “she is not okay”. Michael glanced up and concluded that as well. He moved quickly in order to receive her at the end of the stairs. She stood before Michael attempting a fake smile. He simply pulled her into a hug and whispered, “I am here for you”. She closed her eyes at that and just enjoyed the hug. Martin feeling a little jealous coughed and caught their attention. Daniella opened her eyes and smiled, breaking away from Michael and hugged Martin too saying, “my silly little brother”. After that she walked to her mum and hugged her tight. She pecked her and smiled at her looking into her eyes. Over the years, they had developed a connection and could speak through their eyes. She was trying to tell her mother that she was fine. Maria smiled and nodded while holding on to Daniella’s hand. Eventually, Daniella turned around, “I thought we all wanted to watch a movie?” She asked and Michael responded, “we are ready when you are”. He was just noticing the shirt and rings and smiled warmly. Daniella announced she was ready for the movie. Deep down she felt they were not mourning dad well enough but then what else could they do. They had cried and were still crying. It had been a hell of a week for her and a hell of two weeks for the rest. They all still dressed in black, which was not going to stop soon. They moved to the sitting area to all cuddled up and watched a movie. Daniella avoided mentioning what she had found and found a way to mingle with them. They had popcorn and hot dogs made for the movie night at home. They eventually picked some random movie. Maria sat on her seat close to the window watching them while Daniella sat in between her men. She needed no bodyguards as she was appropriately armed between them. Slowly the evening went by. Dad would not want them wallowing away, right?

to be continued …

Heart Beat Part 8!!

When they got home, Daniella had slept off which was very unusual. Michael simply carried her out of the car and stormed into the house. He responded to greetings while headed for the stairs where he met Maria. Maria felt sorry for her poor baby. She could make out the tears in her eyes and knew she had been at her father’s graveside. She simply pecked her daughter’s forehead and cleared the way for Michael but followed him to Daniella’s room. He carefully dropped her on the bed, making sure she was comfortable, and all Maria did was watch. He removed her heels and went ahead to gently peel off her jacket from her body without her waking up. He checked the air conditioners to see that they were on and covered her. He made to the door when he realised Maria was there. She simply smiled and led the way out. When they were out, Michael gently closed the door. She looked at him and said, “Michael, thank you very much. What would we do without you?” Brushing it aside he said, “It is nothing ma’am. I know if it were the other way round, she would be there 24/7 for me”. That was true and Maria knew it. She had been in the study before they returned and decided she should sleep too. She instructed Michael to rest which as well he obeyed without complaining. He went to his room and after taking off the unnecessary items, got into his bed. It was late afternoon, but no one cared. They slept the rest of the day till around 9 pm when the three of them met for dinner.  Daniella felt a lot better and even tried teasing Michael which he reciprocated without mercy and Maria enjoyed the chit-chat.

Later that night, the three of them sat in the sitting area downstairs. While Daniella and Michael each read a novel, Maria knitted. She was knitting sweaters in everyone’s favourite colour. She opted to knit a black one for Martin. It was kind of a motherly welcome gift. She suddenly remembered the trip she had talked about. “Daniella, I was thinking you need a trip. You know away from all that has happened. I see how weak you are. I understand but we have to move on from this. Sadly, we have a lot of people to be strong for even though we bear the loss. We need to get ourselves back. I know you are not even ready to move on, but we need to sweetheart. I spoke to Michael earlier on about it and he is willing to go along”, she said giving her motherly smile. Daniella looked up from her novel. She had channelled all her energy into the novel to help her block out her pain, so it took her a bit of time to reboot. The statement had got Michael’s attention too as he was now looking at Daniella. Having finally assimilated what was said she replied, “Mum you know best but give me a week more before you put anything down”, she said looking at her mum. Maria could not help but be a bit curious about what she wanted to do over the week and same thing went through Michael’s mind. “Darling what for?” she asked looking intensely at her daughter. “Oh, nothing serious. I just want to make sure Martin knows what is up before I leave”, she answered sincerely. Maria could understand that. She was not going to ask her to leave next week, she was just curious. She was tired now and dropped her knitting. She got up, hugged, and kissed them both goodnight. However, before leaving she asked them to decide where they would like to go. Immediately she left, they went back to their individual novels.

Around 1 am, Daniella closed her novel. Michael was still engrossed in his massive novel and did not feel Daniella’s eyes on him. She was studying him closely. At about 1:30 am, her evaluation came to an end and she got up. She sat on the arm of his chair which definitely got his attention. She looked at him and asked, “why did you not tell me about my father’s death at first?” He closed his novel and dropped it on the stool. He turned and recognised the pain that was always in her eyes these days. “When I saw you, I realised you knew nothing, and I did not want to ruin your peaceful moment. Sincerely, I did not even know if I was in the right place to tell you”, he replied holding her hands. “I concluded you must have had a reason. I just wanted to confirm what it was”, she stated with a forced smile. “So where are we going?” she asked in relation to the impending trip. She did not even think she was in the mood for one, but she would do it to please her mother. “I thought we could just go back to our exposed hide out and be normal”, he replied. “We can go back to being Mr. & Mrs. Dickinson”, she said causing them to laugh.

Daniella drifted off a bit with thoughts linked to her dad. “Where has Empress drifted to this time?” He asked. Empress was a name he used to call her when they were in secondary school. He had had a lot of respect for her and how she portrayed herself. It had nothing to do with the Estiamo name. She was what she was, an Empress. She smiled at him and said, “I was lost thinking about dad. I missed his burial and would never see him again”. Michael simply allowed her into his arms and rocked her back and forth. Her loss was his as well. After some time, she felt better and broke free from him. “If you continue treating me like this, I will return to being a baby”, she teased. He laughed and said, “it would be good to see you as a baby again”. She eventually got up, picked up their novels and returned it to the shelf. She was not going to allow him to take a novel to his room as she was convinced, he would not rest till he saw the last page. For this huge book, it was a long way off. Whatever attracted him to extremely big books baffled her. She went back to him and said, “race me up the stairs”. At first he just stared at her, then he laughed and resorted to smiling mischievously. She folded her hands waiting for him to get up. He got up and mockingly stretched his body. Then they got ready and raced up the stairs laughing.

Maria heard them and simply smiled in the study. They did not know she had withdrawn there. At the top of the stairs, Michael teased Daniella about being a thug and trying to turn him into one. She simply called his bluff. She hugged him and pecked him goodnight. They retired to their individual rooms in a good mood. Daniella slept without dreaming of the fight with her dad.

Later that morning, they all gathered at the dining room for breakfast with a surprise visitor, Martin Estiamo. He had requested that his presence not be announced. They were glad to see him. He gave Maria a hug and she kissed his forehead. He hugged Daniella and pecked her cheeks. Finally, he shook Michael’s hand. They settled down and began to chit-chat while Maria watched them with content. She noticed they avoided everything George related and tried to talk about normal things. They spoke about business and made feasible plans on how to carry Martin along. He also realised that Michael had a place at the company and did not mind. They finished breakfast and the table was cleared but they still continued talking. They decided to watch a movie since they were all together. Daniella only wanted this because her mood was dulling out again. She missed her father too much. She wondered how Martin was holding up. How her mother was still laughing and smiling. She knew it was hard on all of them, but they were trying to fast-track the recovery process. They did not want to dwell on it. Even though it was just the second week, they were determined to get back to life.

While that went on, Maria made a mental note to find more novels and albums known to just her and her husband. She got up without the trio noticing. She silently walked to her window and gazed down at the garden letting their voices fill her mind. She really wished George were there, but he was resting in peace now. Taking a deep breath, she drifted off reliving the trip she had had before the sad news hit her. Daniella suddenly turned to where her mum should be but was not any longer. “Where did mum go?” She asked making the others aware of Maria’s absence. Daniella got up and went into the sitting area where she found mum looking out the window at garden, lost. She walked up to her mother and held her. Maria immediately recognised her daughter’s hands and rubbed them. The men had followed Daniella. They found them together and did not bother mother and daughter. They were doing fine, and Daniella did not want the mood to go foul, at least not now. “Mum would you like to continue knitting or what would you like?” Daniella asked her mum. Maria was lost in thoughts and remembered how George used to love to take her out for drives and walks. Well, that was before they got engrossed in the Estiamo family trend. She realised that she missed their simple life.

Drifting back, she remembered what she was knitting for Martin and turned spontaneously determined to brighten her mood for her kids. Everyone was happy her mood was better. She left them and went to where she kept her knitting items last night and picked Martin’s uncompleted sweater. She went back to them and showed Martin. “This is what I have been knitting for you as a motherly gesture. I hope you would like it when I am done.”, she said smiling at him. He felt moved. His mother had never done anything special as such talk of knitting. He felt loved. He smiled at her and gave her a big hug and said, “thank you”. “Oh, it is nothing. Follow me and tell me what design you would want”, she said intending for them to go to the other sitting area and he followed her. She was beginning to acknowledge her lost husband in Martin. It might get weird if she got attached to him but what the heck? He was family. Daniella and Michael were simply witnessing the event. As if drown out of a trance, they turn to each other and smiled. They went about their business looking for what to watch. After that they settled down and continued reading their novels while everything in the Estiamo palace went on normally.

to be continued …

Heart Beat Part 7!!

As their cars passed on the road, people could not help but admire them. In the car, Daniella finally dug out her phone and saw Michael’s message amongst others. She was grateful that one of them had remembered their obligation. “Sweet Michael”, she murmured wishing he were there so she could hug him. She drifted away imagining how cool it would be when Michael is made the official head of his company. So many forms of imaginations popped up and she was so carried away that she did not realise when they reached the hotel or when her door was opened. What brought her back to earth was two hands stretched towards her. She realised one belonged to Michael and the other to Martin. She smiled and took both hands and was pulled out of the car. She giggled when she found her stamina and the men smiled at her. She then entwined her hands with that of Michael and Martin as they entered into the hotel. As usual, Michael and Daniella were teasing each other and managed to drag Martin into the teasing game. They were too busy chit-chatting that they did not notice the bows they received but walked on till they got to the hotel’s restaurant and made for the table booked by Michael.

Before they got to their table, there were stopped by a very beautiful petite woman named Janet. Not just any Janet but this was Janet Saint Morgan, mother of Michael Saint Morgan, wife to Patrick Saint Morgan and closest friend to Maria Estiamo, who was standing beside Janet. Apparently, Maria had changed her destination to meet with Janet which was an amazing coincidence. The mothers exchanged hugs and kisses with the gang leaving Janet confused as to who the new member was. She was used to seeing Daniella and Michael gallivant a lot but never with a third party. She whispered to Maria, “is that her boyfriend?” Maria immediately started laughing and Daniella got the gist. She realised that her mum had not discussed the matter of Martin with Janet and decided to fill her in. she was not going to hide her brother away. “Ma’am” drawing Janet’s attention she continued. “This is my long-hidden brother, Martin George Estiamo jnr.”, she completed pointing to Martin. Janet being a very dramatic person already had her hand over her mouth and that caused Maria to laugh. “Son?” Janet asked in shock. “Yes yes Janet. A son, the son of my late husband. Your shocked face is quite funny”, Maria responded earning her one of Janet’s straight faces. “Alright I will fill you in on everything but for now, let’s leave the gang to eat”, Maria said. The mothers said goodbye to them, and Maria dragged Janet away. If she had been left, she would have stared Martin down searching for some sort of resemblance. She knew Janet would be sceptical about this and that is why she had not mentioned it yet. There was nothing she could do anyway. George was dead. Everything had to be accepted the way it was at least till something else came up.

After lunch, the gang debated on what to do next. Daniella wanted to pay her father a visit and let him know he had been wrong. She hoped she would not bump into another child. She knew that sounded silly, but anything was possible. She informed the guys of her intention and they offered to go with her. Before her father’s death, she had always hated the thoughts of burials and cemeteries and never wanted to attend any. However, it hurt that she had not been present for her father’s burial and at least pay him the last respect. Why did mum not find her earlier? She felt like hitting her head against something but did not. While she battled those thoughts, Martin was enjoying his newly found company of friends. He was already beginning to really like his sister and thought Michael to be a really nice person. From what he could observe, Michael had been her everything for a very long time and that was sweet. She had a friend, even if just one, it was better than none which he had. He imagined them getting married and concluded that was not a bad idea. Then he wondered what would happen to the company when she got married. He sincerely hoped that it would all go well. He admitted to himself that Daniella seemed to be a competent woman and dad must have been really proud. He smiled at the thought of having an elder sister. ‘Dear Lord help me out’, he silently prayed with mischief.

Michael all the way in the third car did not know what to think exactly. For as long as he could remember, he had been the only man, except from her father, in Daniella’s life but now she had a brother. He could not help but feel a little jealous or maybe it was a lot of jealousy lurking around. If she found out she would literally flog him, but he could not help himself. He buried his head in his hands as if that would help him, but it did not. He would have to get used to it. Now he was anxiously looking forward to that trip Maria had proposed and was hoping Daniella would not drag Martin into it. It was becoming clear to Michael that he actually liked her more than the sibling relationship they had had going on, but he was a gentleman and was never going to rush it. He was not ready to ruin what they had anyway. With everyone carrying their own cross, the cars made their way to their destination.

The cars stopped in front of the cemetery and the three figures highlighted. They began to walk towards George’s graveside. When they got there, Daniella stepped forward, signalling the guys she wanted to be alone with her father and the men left her. She was lucky that something was always on her mind if not she would never stop crying. Without any effort, the tears found their way down and Michael saw that causing his heart to wince in pain. He wanted to console her, but he made no move. Daniella looked over the grave and shook her head. “Dad I really thought this was a joke. I thought they would tell me, this had been planned but you are really down there”, she stated sorrowfully. “There is something else you should know; I am your daughter. Your blood runs through my veins. I am a full-fledged Estiamo, and I hope you can hear me”, she said forcing a smile. “Truthfully, dad, I wish you were alive so I can throw a tantrum of how you hurt me, and have you trap me in a hug like you always did when we fought”, she said this slowly dropping to her knees and Martin rushed to her side. Michael felt useless and it annoyed him. He had never seen her so devastated, so he had no stored antics. Daniella looked at Martin with sorrowful teary eyes. “Martin, tell dad to get up and hug us”, she said feeling very silly, but she wanted to be hugged so badly by her father, yes he was her father. Martin offered her a hug which she accepted. He was not dad but was her brother and she could live with this. She finally got the strength to get up with Martin and he walked her to Michael where she switched to Michael’s hands. Michael gauging that she was really shaky, picked her up without asking and she did not protest. Martin smiled and concluded these two are very much meant for each other and he found that to be cool. When he got her to her car, he delivered her to the back seat where she unceremoniously laid down. After making sure she was comfortable, he shut the door. Behind him was Martin watching with keen interest. “Martin, I think your sister is really drained. I suggest we head home.” Michael stated politely and Martin was evidently worried about Daniella. He had never been really close to dad and he was barely available, but she had had him all her life. Martin found no fault in that and opted to go to his house. The drivers received instructions about their destinations, and they moved again. Martin’s car diverted after some time while the two went straight to the Estiamo’s mansion.

to be continued…

Heart Beat Part 6!!

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 …

Heart Beat Part 5!!

While she slept, the argument between herself and her dad kept replaying itself and after what seemed to be the hundredth time, she saw her father sitting in her office, telling her, “you have made me proud”. She woke up and could not connect the bits of the dream. Unable to sleep again at about 4 am, she decided to read a novel. She got up and went through her collection of novels secretly stashed underneath her bed. She finally found a novel titled ‘The Princess’ by Lori Wick. She remembered she had attempted to read it once but had not finished it. A business deal which needed her attention came up. She was grateful to have found it now. She hated starting a book and never finishing it. The book was based on a God enhanced arranged marriage. Daniella was desperate to see what happened next but a part of her knew they would fall in love.

The meeting was for 9 am . At around 7, Daniella abandoned the book she had been partially reading while thinking for the last three hours. She got ready at her pace. After a bath and properly moisturising her body, she headed to her wardrobe. She had no interest in being glamorous, especially not in her present state of mind. She breathed out and selected a black skirt suit which she matched with a white shirt. The skirt stopped an inch above her knee and the jacket hugged her body with royal grace. On a normal day, Daniella Estiamo was known for beautiful hats, especially to the office but they were going to be shocked today. She took a dark hair bond and packed her hair in a loose ponytail. She looked at the mirror and was pleased. She went to her shoes compartment and found a pair of simple black heels. This was what she needed to complete her look.

At 8:20 am, she stepped out of her room leaving the maids stunned at her appearance. This morning she did not race down the stairs, instead she graced every stair, a step at a time like the flawless princess she was. At the bottom of the stairs she finally looked up and met the eyes of Michael and her mother. Her mother was dressed in a black gown accompanied with a black jacket and black heels. Michael was very much the male version of Daniella as he was dressed in a black suit and white shirt as well, accompanied with nice shoes. His hair was properly brushed and he was looking really nice as he always did. They greeted each other with hugs and soft kisses on the cheeks. No one said anything about the hat-less look Daniella pulled but headed outside the mansion. At the entrance, their three cars were parked, waiting for them. Michael and Daniella, though in separate cars always checked the time. They seemed to be coordinated in the same way. Sometimes, they did not notice. They were very time conscious and could not stand being late.

At 8:45 am, they arrived at the company. Daniella and Michael had a habit of bowing to whoever opened the door and everyone was used to the duos’ gestures. They entered the building receiving endless greetings which they spontaneously answered. They decided on their way to stop by Daniella’s office first. Of course she would have to move offices but for now it was still hers. They went there with Daniella in front, closely followed by her mum and Michael. Everyone could not ignore the hat-less look. This was the first time they were seeing her after the argument and her father’s death. They were glad she still looked beautiful. She noticed all the stares and tried to replicate her million dollar smile. In her office, they quickly made coffee. Everything was done in silence and quickly. Except from Maria, everyone was dying to know the reason for the meeting. Daniella had been stealing glances at Maria and Michael had noticed. Maria wore a blank look, not giving anything away and it was inwardly driving Daniella insane. Michael knew if there was something Daniella hated, it was definitely suspense. He began to wonder if she had managed to get any sleep due to anxiety. After making coffee, they left for the board room

At 9 am prompt, they entered the board room.  They entered as usual with Daniella in front. Everyone could not help but notice the hat-less look. Some felt bad for the fact that the beauty queen was not a biological Estiamo. They all greeted each other and everyone took a seat. Without any objection, Daniella occupied her father’s chair. While everyone settled down, Maria started clearing her throat. She got up and looking at everyone, she began “I know everyone is dying to know what this meeting is about. Well in time you will all know. Can anyone tell me who these people are?” she asked gesturing to Martin and his mother, Cecilia. Daniella moved in her chair and supported her face with the palm of her hand which rested on the arm of the chair. Something told her this would be an interesting meeting for them. He had probably come to claim some right. After the board members consulted with each other, they chorused, “No”. Maria smiled and continued, “This is Martin George Estiamo and his mother, Cecilia,” she concluded by pointing to his mother. The both of them bowed to the board who were terribly shocked. “Now I know everyone is thinking he is the biological child of my husband considering the revelation you heard before his death, but that notion stands to be corrected,” Maria said with a firm voice. No doubt, everyone’s eyes were fixated on her, then she smiled and seemed to be drifting away and continued. “After marrying George we had an accident shortly into the marriage. We managed to keep the publicity low but as a result of that terrible accident, George was reportedly unable to get any woman pregnant,” she stopped and bent her head, and everyone sympathised. Daniella had never heard this and was greatly surprised while Michael was emotionless.

“Years past and people began to think I was the one with the problem including his family and I never bothered to deny it. When George could not bear the insults I got anymore, he proposed that we have an artificial insemination with a random man’s sperm. He would take the child as his and it would be our little secret. I refused to do it, but he kept pleading. Eventually, I agreed and went to see a doctor,” she paused to make sure everyone was listening then continued. “After the doctor ran all the necessary tests and a couple of weeks into the process, he told me that an artificial insemination was no longer possible. I began to wonder if I had a problem as well. Then he told me I was pregnant,” she said smiling so did the board members except Martin and his mum. “To shorten the story Daniella is the biological child of George. The problem is that George concluded I had carried out the artificial insemination and did not want to hear a word about the visit to the doctor. All he cared about was the fact that he would have a child,” she confessed smiling. “Daniella, I apologize for what your father said. He never knew and I never imagined that he would confront you like that but in his final days he was really depressed. Something he refused to share weighed him down,” she said with a sad face then looked at Martin. “Few years after Daniella’s birth, Martin was born by Cecilia. George felt guilty and happy at the same time. He couldn’t look me in the face and tell what he had done but I found out eventually. I was mad at him but I was also happy that he felt accomplished with the fact that he got a woman pregnant. Till his death, he was unaware that I knew of Martin’s existence. I hold nothing against Cecilia for bearing a child for my husband,” Maria said smiling at Cecilia which made her uncomfortable. She had wanted her son to dominate and now that was impossible. Yet, the poor woman was saying she had nothing against her. Such a good heart and Cecilia knew she had her own secrets but for her son she will never spill. At least he had a name and Maria and Daniella did not strike Cecilia as a terrible family but will her ambitious son accept them? She asked herself. “Before we get carried away, there is a part of the will that has not been read and I would like Peter to read it to us,” Maria said as she took her seat leaving Peter to take the floor.

Daniella and Micheal exchanged glances wondering what had been omitted. All Maria did was smile as Peter began reading, “This is the Will of Late George Estiamo …” Apparently, George had left some money for Cecilia as well as Martin with a house of his own. He could work at the company subject to Daniella’s approval of his employment and job allocation. Daniella loved and adored her father some more for the power he had given her. It was evident that Martin did not like this and his ego seemed to be missing but his mother was pleased. Micheal was happy for Daniella. At least, she now knew that the man she called father was her true father. That chapter was closed. Such an interesting story he thought. He tossed the idea of writing a novel on the Estiamo family round his head smiling to himself. Maria got up obviously to round the meeting up. “I hope this meeting has been an interesting one?” She asked with a smudged mischievous look. “I will like to plead with everyone to support Daniella as she takes over the running of the company and everyone welcomes Martin as an Estiamo. He would eventually work side by side with his sister,” Maria kindly requested. Everyone knew she was a woman of integrity and had a good soul. Daniella knew sooner or later she would have to accept Martin as her brother but she had to teach him a little lesson about that silly ego he has.

to be continued…