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Lucas' violet eyes were focused on Haven Marlowe's brown eyes, the older man's eyes moving from him and glancing around the veranda.
"You've widened your circle of friends, Father. I was told you were laying in death here, awaiting the end. Surprising to say in the least that I've been ill-informed." the man said, his brown eyes meeting Emerson' green, the older man standing up, staring at him.
"You are not welcomed here today, Haven. Why have you ventured into my home?" the man said, Lucas' body moving, the younger man walking past his grandfather, standing in front of him.
Haven smiled at the younger man, their eyes locking on each other again.
"Have you hired a new protector, Father?" the man said, Emerson's green eyes narrowing.
"I need no protection, whether given in love or of youthful courage." the older man said, Haven smiling.
His eyes moved again, staring at Vivian, his lips parting in a wider smile.
"Vivacious? You ventured here again as well? And who is this beside you? Lewd of our forgotten past? I heard you were incapacitated. My, the past comes back twofold." the man said, Lewis staring at him.
"Hello again, forgotten monster. And I am well." Lewis said, Haven lightly laughing, his eyes focusing on Emerson again.
"Quite wonderful, Father. It is like old times. I have walked into the past, visions of once showing youth now given over to mid-life frumpiness." he said, Lewis' eyes darkening.
"My grandfather just stated that you are not welcomed here, Uncle Haven." Lucas said, Haven's eyes focusing on Lucas again.
The man's eyes narrowed a bit, the smile lessening.
"I am not your uncle, youngster. I am not a Belmont and I am glad of that." the man said, Emerson's eyes darkening as well.
"Why are you here, Haven? Our last meeting had a finality to it. I have nothing to say to you." Emerson said, staring at his grandson.
"I came to see if the rumours were true. That a new Belmont heir has walked upon the stage." the man said, staring at Lucas again.
"You mean you came to see if the reports were true. I'm sure Carl informed you of everything." Grayson said, the man staring at the lawyer now standing beside Emerson.
"I don't have any idea what you're talking about, Grayson. Carl Wilson was fired months ago. I am here to see Emerson about the company's dire predicament. He won't listen to the company's shareholders, so I've come as their representative." Haven said, Grayson glaring at him.
"I never said it was Carl Wilson." the lawyer said, Haven's eyes locked with his.
"You're the lead reason the company's been frozen, Haven!" the lawyer said, Emerson's hand going to his friend's shoulder.
"Calmness, my old friend." Emerson said, the man walking towards Haven, stopping beside his grandson, Lucas glancing at him.
"Why have you decided to take my family's company over the abyss, Haven?" the older man said, Haven smiling at him.
"I haven't taken it anywhere except on the path to prosperity, and you know that, sir." Haven said, Emerson staring at him.
"But at what cost, Haven? I always told you that the basis of the company's prosperity was honesty and integrity. Grayson's final reports to me have shown me that the company's lost its direction. I never deceived or manipulated anyone to gain prosperity. A company has to have integrity." Emerson said, Lucas smiling at his grandfather.
Haven's brown eyes were glaring at him.
"You also need power, prestige and tenacity. I have all three and the company's prosperity shows that I'm leading it in the right direction."
Emerson stared at his ward, the two focused on each other.
"You can't fire me, Emerson. I have full chairmanship until after next year. The shareholders wouldn't stand for that and you know it." Haven said, smiling widely, Emerson staring at him.
"No, I can't, Haven. But I can supplant you. As the company's standards state. This is a family establishment, and the director has always been a Belmont."
Haven glared at Emerson, the older man smiling.
"As I am and as my father was before me. The Belmont family holds the largest share of investments, so I have a say in who is at its helm."
The man's brown eyes darkened, staring at Lucas.
"This bastard son of your wayward offspring will never lead Belmont Industries, Emerson." Haven said, Lucas staring at the man with soft surprise, his violet eyes going to his grandfather's green.
Emerson sighed, looking at Lucas, his green eyes then going back to Haven.
"My son will head the board of Belmont Industries, Haven."
Haven laughed, smiling widely.
"Your son's dead, Emerson. You should have declared Tristan dead years ago. He was dead shortly after he left this place. He couldn't have survived."
"You seem deeply sure of that, sir." Lucas said, his eyes meeting Haven's brown.
"Tristan was dying when he left here that last time, young fool. Or didn't your supposed grandfather tell you that?"
Lucas' eyes went to Emerson's green, the older man staring at Haven.
"What does he mean, Grandfather?" Lucas said, Haven smiling widely.
"I take it you haven't learned of the fun that was shown here that day long ago? My, the old codger's keeping secrets." Haven chuckled, Emerson glaring at him.
Haven smiled, staring at Lucas again.
"Your father was poisoned here, youngster. And your giving grandfather here was the one who did it."
Everyone stared at Emerson with shock, the older man's eyes lowering at their gaze.
Lucas moved, the young man walking up to Haven, the older man smiling at him.
"My name isn't youngster, sir. My name is Lucas Carver Belmont. My grandfather's heart is filled with love and courage. He would no more kill his own son than I would hurt him."
Emerson stared at Lucas, the young man's eyes filled with calming love.
Haven laughed, smiling at the younger man.
"Perhaps you are a Belmont, for you are a fool like all of them. I take it the old man or old Grayson haven't told you the truth?" he smiled, Lucas staring at him.
"I am no more a fool than you are an honest man." Lucas said, the man's eyes darkening again, his smile softening.
"Careful, boy. You don't know who you're dealing with. I have more power than you can ever imagine. I could crush you." Haven said, his brown eyes moving to Emerson's green again.
"Mirrored words of my own truth, Uncle."
The man stared into Lucas' violet pools again, Lucas showing calmness and determination.
He diverted his eyes, looking towards Vivian.
Vivian's blue eyes were locked on Haven, the man smiling at her.
"I heard you've married, Vivacious. Does your husband know how promiscuous you were back then?" the man smiled, Henderson glaring at him, the man's arm going around is wife.
"No worries, Carver. Been there, done that."
Vivian's eyes darkened, glaring at her former friend.
Lucas' violet pools were staring at him as well.
"Don't change your direction of beguiling deceit, Uncle."
The man's brown eyes met Emerson's, a smile returning to his face.
"You've deceived him as well, Emerson. Kudos on pulling the wool over all their eyes. We need to talk. I want the moratorium lifted."
"Nothing changes, Haven. The investigators continue at their work. The full report comes in the fall."
Haven's eyes changed, as did his face.
"I won't let you destroy what I've created, Emerson." he said, his voice laced with soft anger.
"You didn't create anything, Haven. Emerson's tenacity created the company you now head." Grayson said, Emerson looking at his old friend.
"He created a faltering mess, Grayson. My ingenuity and savvy created the wealth he now possesses. The wealth the shareholders possess as well. And I'm going to lead the revolt against him. I'm advising the shareholders and the Governors of the company to hold a non-partisan vote."
"That can't achieve anything, Haven. The Belmonts hold the upper hand in shares, as you damn well know!" Grayson said, Haven smiling at him.
"True, Grayson. But Emerson's days are waning. And with that end--and with no true heir--the company comes under the board's control."
"My father is alive, Uncle."
Haven stared at Lucas with a surprised look on his face.
"No he isn't, Lucas! And I think you need to realize that you're not his son." Haven said, staring at the younger man.
"You are not Tristan Belmont's son, and I know that's true. For he couldn't have had children. Or didn't your grandfather tell you that as well?"
Everyone looked at Haven and then at Emerson, the older man moving to Lucas' side again.
"Get out of here, Haven. I don't want to see you again."
"Unfortunately you shall, Father. For as you well know I am the chairman of tomorrow's annual ball. And you know all the Governors will be in attendance as well. I'm sure they'd love to hear your side of this fiasco you've created. You've remained silent to all of them. And simmering worry could lead to discourse. You could have a well warranted fight on your hands."
"Are you threatening me, Haven?" Emerson said, the younger man smiling at him.
"I don't need to threaten you, Emerson. I can bide my time. And there's nothing you can do about that. Time will show who leads this company. No young upstart--or wishful thinking or conniving on your part--will make the Belmont name continue."
Haven smiled, staring at Lucas again.
"Talk to your supposed grandfather, Lucas. Ask him who truly is the monster of this house."
"Leave, showing monster." Lewis said, Haven staring at the parson.
"Lewis, you faithful cad. I was informed that you were blind and crippled. You seem surprisingly well now. Such a disappointment. But I see your stupidity is still showing, as is your fear."
"Lucas' giving heart gave me life, Haven. And for that I'll show the monster myself."
Haven's eyes darkened again, staring at the man.
His eyes returned to Lucas' staring violet, and Emerson's staring green beside him.
"The Belmont clan is dying, Lucas. I suggest you leave here and go back to being a Carver. They're moronic and precarious, even somewhat enticing. But they're safe. The Belmont dynasty is too dangerous. It will only end in one way for you, usurper."
Vivian moved out of Henderson's arms, walking up to her former friend.
"Lewis is correct, Haven. I'm beginning to see the showing monster as well."
Haven smiled at her, winking.
"I've shown you everything, old girl. I only wish I'd have shown your sister."
Vivian began to move towards him, Lucas' arm going across her chest, stopping her.
"He's baiting you, Mom. And he's leaving." he said, Haven smiling at him.
"You're very intelligent, Lucas. I suggest you use that intelligence to decide where you should be."
The man smiled, looking around at everyone, focusing on Justin and Lance, as well as Josh, all three standing behind Lucas and Emerson.
"You walk in a circle of famed notoriety, Lucas. I'm sure you're making them all happy."
Lucas stared at the man, his face showing calmness, and determination.
"Until tomorrow, everyone. I'm looking forward to meeting all your famous friends. Some of them look beyond delicious."
Haven smiled, the man turning and walking back into the house, Jefferson opening the glass doors for him, leading the man back through the house.
Everyone's eyes focused on Lucas, the young man's arm going around his grandfather.
"I'm sorry, Lucas. I didn't want you to meet him so nonchalantly and sudden, and so early. I was hoping to prepare you for him and for what's going on with my business."
"Come, Grandfather. Let's sit down again." Lucas said, his violet eyes going to his mother's blue.
"He hasn't changed, Lucas. He is still condescending and self atrocious." she said, Lucas nodding.
Lucas' eyes went to Grayson's, the man lowering his eyes.
Lucas guided his grandfather back to his chair, everyone returning to their own, Lewis staring at Lucas as he sat down.
"The man has no decency. He was nearly leering at all of you. And his words were meant to hurt you and Viv, Emerson." the reverend said, Emerson nodding.
"I know, Lewis." Emerson said, his eyes meeting Vivian's, hers lowering.
Lucas looked between the two, the young man feeling Josh's arm going around him, Lucas smiling at him.
Lucas leaned against the railing again, Josh at his side, Justin and Lance sitting down again on the couch in front of them.
Lucas' eyes went to Grayson, the lawyer quietly looking at him again.
"I'm not a business tycoon, Grandfather. I have no ambition for high commerce or corporate domination." Lucas said, his violet pools meeting Emerson's green irises, the older man's eyes lowering.
"You were my ace in the hole, as they say, Lucas. My one hope for an ironclad continuation of the Belmont control of Belmont Industries." the man said, Grayson's eyes meeting Lucas' again.
Lucas smiled at the older man, Grayson's eyes lowering again.
"I am not a corporate executive, Grandfather. And I never will be. There are others who can lead that charge into the next generations of prosperity."
Emerson's eyes met Lucas' again, his grandson smiling at him.
"Father is still out there, Grandfather. And Grayson is a capable steward. The integrity and prosperity will continue." Lucas said, his grandfather staring at him with soft surprise.
"Tristan held to your own ideals, Lucas. He did not take kindly to the corporate world either. The two of us had several heated debates about it. My son never held to the grandeur and richness of wealth. But he was so intelligent, so masterful at seeing the simplicity in any corporate problem. I thought. . .I thought that he would continue in my stead. . .once the time came."
Lucas moved from Josh's arms, Josh quietly watching him kneel in front of his grandfather's chair.
Lucas took his grandfather's hands in his, staring into his green eyes.
"Was my father poisoned, Grandfather?"
Emerson's face changed, his eyes showing deep emotion, the man trembling.
"Yes. . .yes, Lucas. He was poisoned the night before he left here."
Vivian stood up from her seat, Henderson staring up at her, Lewis rising to his feet as well.
"No, Emerson! That's not true!"
Emerson's green eyes moved towards her, Lucas quietly watching the emotion hidden on his face.
"Haven spoke the truth, Vivian. And it was indeed all my fault."
Vivian's eyes widened in surprise, as did everyone surrounding her, Lewis staring at Emerson.
"You. . .you are a monster. A greater monster than I thought." she softly said, her face showing emotion.
Emerson's eyes lowered, Lucas staring at Lewis as the minister was looking at his grandfather.
"You know that's not totally true, Emerson. You had no true involvement in the tragedy. Only in its eventuality."
Emerson's head remained lowered, Vivian's blue eyes meeting Lucas', the young man releasing his grandfather's hands, standing again, walking over to Lewis, his violet pools staring into the minister's blue shining eyes.
"Your soul shows its giving worth, faithful servant. I believe it's time the past walked out of the shadows. You have the light to brighten their corners." he said, Lewis slowly nodding his head.
"Yes, giver of life. Servant of love. It is indeed time all shadows were swept away by the light of truth."
Lucas smiled at the reverend, his eyes turning back to his grandfather.
Lucas walked back to Josh, the man's arms going around him again, Lucas leaning against the railing, everyone staring at Emerson and him.
"One of the monsters has gone. Let's unveil the masks of the hidden others. Monsters and angels."
Emerson's eyes met Lucas', his violet pools radiating calmness.
Vivian's eyes met her nephew's as well, Lucas softly smiling at her.
"Continue your opening truth, good Reverend. We should have no more untimely interruptions." Lucas said, Emerson's eyes going to the parson.
"As you so wish, Lucas. We should start where we had left off. The day of revelation when all of us came here to Kurucu's Haven during our summer vacation."
"The same time of year as we now find ourselves in." Lucas said, Lewis nodding in agreement.
Everyone quieted down, all eyes drawn to the minister, his jovial presence filling the center of the veranda.
Twenty-Two Years Earlier
Vivian collapsed into the chair beside Savannah, her sister smiling at her.
"You haven't stopped dancing, Viv. The boys are following you around like love-struck puppies."
Vivian smiled, looking around the large ballroom.
A large group of people were on the dance floor and at the surrounding tables.
Crystal chandeliers hung from the high ceiling, the room bathed in bright light, Vivian smiling at her sister.
"Dad certainly knows how to throw a party." Savannah said, Vivian smiling at her sister.
"That he does. And that's because Mom's beauty is showing in all of it. The two were beyond happy all week." Vivian smiled, Savannah nodding her head with another smile.
The two watched their parents in the center of the ballroom, the two dancing with smiling faces and animated happiness.
"And where is the love of your heart, our dear brother Tristan?" she smiled, Savannah smiling back.
"He and Haven are out and about somewhere. Tristan said he had to talk to Haven about something about twenty minutes ago."
"Yes, I was talking with Haven when Tristan interrupted us. They should have returned by now. I hope everything's alright?" Vivian said, her blue eyes searching the large hall.
She smiled, seeing Lewis and Jacques walking towards them.
"Word to the wise, Frenchie is a fantastic dancer. I've danced several times with him this evening. He's been searching for you." Vivian smiled, Savannah smiling again.
"And Lewd is dead weight. His feet are like rocks. My toes ache."
Vivian laughed, Savannah joining her.
The two men smiled at their friends, as they stopped in front of them.
"Two smiling, laughing angels. We've found the treasure, Lewd." Jacques smiled, the two women smiling at both young men.
"I haven't danced since early evening with you, Savannah. Your beau has been keeping you to himself. And now he's left his flower in this sparkling sunshine. I need to feel your warming smile, mon ami." Jacques said, smiling at his friend, extending his hand to her.
"Lead on, Frenchie. I want to trip the lights fantastic!" she smiled, rising from her seat, Vivian smiling at both of them as Lewis sat down beside her.
The two walked to the dance floor, Vivian smiling at Lewis.
"Frenchie is a bona fide charmer, Vivacious. But Beauty's heart is Tricky's own." she said, Lewis smiling at her.
"Yes, the two are locked in life, love and happiness. We all see that." the young man said, Vivian smiling at him.
"And what of yourself, Vivacious?" Lewis said, Vivian smiling at him, soft blush showing on her cheeks, the man's smile widening.
"I'm waiting for you to brush aside the notion of your devotion,
Lewis laughed, Vivian joining him, the two dear friends showing their love.
"My heart is given to his love, Vivian. We talked all that through. I have his faith and I have your friendship."
Vivian smiled, kissing the young man's cheek, Lewis smiling back.
"God gains a servant, I still have a friend."
Lewis nodded, his arm going around her.
Vivian felt her dear friend's giving love, she knowing that the two would now never be more than good friends.
Her eyes looked into his blue, the man smiling at her with giving friendship, his eyes showing their concern also.
"You need to go on with your life, Vivacious. No matter the path already walked, the future I'm sure holds happiness for you."
Vivian lowered her eyes, Lewis kissing her cheek with tenderness.
"Your father needs to know, Vivian. If only to confront him. The blame for that hurt doesn't lay at your feet. He gave liberty where it wasn't welcomed. You were deceived."
Vivian's eyes searched the ballroom, her blue pools finding her father, Emerson dancing with her mother, the two still in the center of the dancing couples, Savannah and Jacques dancing beside them.
Vivian's eyes moved, seeing Tristan and Haven walking through the ballroom's main doorway, the two heading in different directions, both looking tense and serious, Tristan walking towards his wife and Jacques, Haven heading towards the bar on the left side of the room.
Tristan met his wife, his face changing before she saw him, its handsome beauty flooding with a wide smile, Savannah smiling at him.
"Has my neglect cooled your heart, my love? Or is this Frenchman trying to steal you away?"
Jacques laughed, Tristan smiling at his college friend.
"Her heart sheds too much warmth for my icy intrigue. She's smitten with another. Lucky you." Jacque smiled, Tristan smiling at his girlfriend.
"May I cut in?"
Jacques nodded with a smile, Savannah walking into Tristan's arms, the man holding her close, the two beginning to dance.
Jacques smiled, the young man walking off the dance floor in search of another partner.
"Excuse me, Lewis. I have to talk to someone." Vivian said, the young woman beginning to rise.
"I saw his face, Viv. Lest to let sleeping tigers lie, for the moment." the man said, Vivian's blue eyes meeting his blue.
"It's not to him I'm going, Lewis. I have to do as you say. I think it should start with Tristan and Savannah."
Lewis stood up, standing at her side.
"I love both of them, and I love you, Vivian. I'm here in any way you need. Or they need."
Vivian smiled, pulling the young man into her arms.
"You are my rock, Lewd. Rocks and all."
Lewis smiled, not quite sure what she meant by that.
She smiled, releasing him, the young woman walking towards her sister.
Vivian's tearful blue eyes looked upwards, staring into two wide confused, anger-filled eyes.
She felt her sister's arms around her, Savannah holding her sister close, the two sitting on a couch in the library, the same couch where they'd taken their photograph earlier that week.
"I'll kill him!" Tristan said, the young man standing in front of his stepsisters, Savannah staring up at her man.
"Calm down, Trist. That's not going to solve anything at the moment." Lewis said, the young man sitting in a wing chair beside the fireplace, on Tristan's left side, the young man's eyes going to his young friend.
"You knew of this, Lewd? And you didn't tell me?" Tristan said, with rising anger, the young man rising from his chair, going to his friend's side, the two staring at each other.
"Vivian told me in confidence a few weeks ago. It was I who guided her to this moment of truth. She couldn't hold onto this pain forever, Tricky."
Tristan's eyes moved back to his stepsister, Vivian's eyes lowering.
"I'm sorry, Tristan. I'm sorry, Savannah. I just couldn't face your eyes, those looks I now see from both of you." she said, Savannah pulling her sister a little closer.
"My eyes show love, Vivian. The love I've always had for you. You in no way were to blame for any of this." she said, Lewis nodding his head in agreement.
"No she isn't. The blame for this lays at the cad's feet. We have to face him, Tristan. We have to bring the blighter to justice!" Lewis said, Vivian's eyes meeting his.
"No, please! I. . .I can't face him with this. Not in front of you!" she said, Savannah looking at Tristan.
"Find Mom and Dad, Lewd. Bring them here, please." Savannah said, looking at her friend.
Lewis nodded, looking at Tristan, the young man nodding his head as well.
Lewis moved silently out of the room, closing the door behind him.
Tristan walked up to the fireplace, his hand going to the buffalo head on the right side, his eyes staring down into the fire, Savannah and Vivian watching him.
"I'm sorry, Vivian. I'm sorry that you had to endure that pain, that treachery. I will make this right if it's the last thing I do. For you and for my love. And for my family. I. . .I didn't know!" he said, his voice filled with emotion.
Vivian rose from her seat, Savannah following her, the young woman walking up to her stepbrother, her hand going to his shoulder, the young man turning, staring into her blue eyes.
She saw the tears showing in his green pools, the young woman pulling him into her arms, Tristan's arms gently going around her, Savannah tearfully staring at both of them.
"I didn't truly know, Vivian. I suspected, as did Father. I just couldn't believe it!" Tristan said, his eyes staring into his Savannah's violet pools.
"He. . .he fooled all of us, Trist. Me most of all." Vivian said, releasing her brother.
"We love you, Vivian. Regardless of what he's done and what's been hurtfully done to you. We will. . .we will love both of you."
The young woman teared up, her sister's arm going around her again.
The door of the library opened again, Emerson and Francesca walking into the room, Lewis and Jacques following them, the Frenchman closing the door behind them.
"What is it, son? Your young friend said that you needed to see us immediately." Emerson said, staring at his son, then at his two stepdaughters, Francesca walking past him, heading for her daughters, the woman having seen the looks on both their faces.
"What's wrong, Vivian? You looked very emotional." Francesca said, her arm joining Savannah's around the young woman.
Vivian's eyes met Lewis', her young friend smiling at her.
"God loves you, my friend. Open your heart to your family, their love is unconditional." he said, Vivian's eyes meeting her mother's violet, then her father's green.
"I'm sorry, Father. . .and Mother. . .I have sinned."
Haven Marlow moaned, the young man feeling the edge close, his voice filling the quietness of the upstairs bathroom.
He gasped, feeling the edge breaking.
"Oh fuck! Here it comes, slut!" he shrieked, the young man in front of him pushing back into him.
"Oh yeah, Haven! Fill me up with your seed. Drown me again!" he said, Haven releasing his orgasm with a rush, the young man sinking deep into the younger man's center, his shaft buried to its end.
The young bartender moaned, his own orgasm hitting the floor below the sink, his naked body against it, his eyes staring into the mirror in front of them, seeing Haven's mouth attached to his neck, the young man knowing he'd have a serious hickey there tomorrow.
"Amazing as always, Haven! You feel so wonderful buried in me. Your dick seems to keep getting bigger and bigger!" the young man smiled, Haven raising his head, the bartender staring at him from behind him.
"And your ass is as insatiable as it was that first time ten years ago."
The young man smiled, Haven moving back, his deflating hardness slipping out of the younger man.
"I was a virgin, Haven. A twelve-year-old slave to your teenage libido. I have you to thank for my insatiable ass, you made it that way."
Haven nodded his head, grabbing a towel off the rack, cleaning his center off with it, the younger man turning around and smiling at him.
Haven's brown eyes scanned his smooth muscular body, the man smiling wider.
"You've toned up, Shilo."
"Well, the gym does wonders. Thanks for the free membership as well." the young man smiled, grabbing Haven's shirt and pants off the floor, handing them to Haven.
"I take care of those that take care of me."
The young man smiled as Haven put on his shirt, pulling up his pants over his toned legs.
"I love taking care of you, Haven. It's been almost a year. We were regular buds. What happened?" the young man said, Haven smiling at him.
"The corporate monster holds my thoughts, Shilo. But I've never forgotten you."
The young man beamed, smiling widely.
"I took this bartender job tonight just in the hopes that I could
see you again. Looks like it worked out for both of us?"
"Yes, indeed it did. I was able to release some tension, and you've gained my favor again."
Shilo smiled, picking up his own clothes, throwing them on the closed toilet lid, winking at Haven.
"Mind if I take a quick shower? I know you have to get back to your guests. But I should clean up. Don't want the guests smelling your sex on me." Shilo smiled, Haven finishing dressing.
"Sure, but make it quick. And slip back downstairs unnoticed. I want this just between you and me."
Shilo smiled, his fingers going behind him, sinking into his moist ass, the young man pulling it up to his lips, licking the moisture off them.
"Yeah, just like old times."
"And those times will return. I have some need for you."
"Anytime, Haven. You know where I live. After all, you own the place."
Haven nodded, the young man quietly opening the bathroom door,
peering around the hallway, quietly walking out of the room.
Shilo smiled, the young man feeling the heated wetness still within him.
"Yeah, just like old times. And I'm going to be on easy street."
He smiled, climbing into the shower stall to the left of the sink, closing the door behind him.
He hit the water taps, then the shower knob, warm water flowing over his young, muscled, smooth body.
He began to hum Happy Days Are Here Again, as he washed his body, soaping it all up.
He smiled, the young man hearing a noise behind him, knowing it was the shower door opening.
"I knew you'd be back. I'm game for more. . ." he said turning around, his eyes widening, horror crossing his face but for only a moment.
The teeth sinking into his throat cut off all chance of a scream of fear.
Under a waterfall of cleaning wetness a young man disappeared from life.
Haven smiled, walking into the ballroom, his brown eyes meeting two blue pools staring at him, the young man sighing.
"What do you want, Grayson?" he said, the lawyer walking up to him, the two standing alone by the doorway.
"Where were you, Haven? Your father's been looking for you."
"I was having fun, Grayson. You remember what that is? Or is your life totally devoted to worshipping my father?"
The lawyer's blue pools darkened, Haven smiling at him.
"Does he fuck you deep, Gray? Are you my Daddy's bitch?"
"Your crassness doesn't cover up your evilness, Haven." the man said, refusing to show the younger man any emotion.
"I remember a time when you loved my crassness, Graysie. Just like you loved my ass." the young man smiled, Grayson's blue eyes scanning around him.
"No worries, Graysie. Your secrets are safe with me for the moment. I wonder how Daddy would feel if he knew his old friend was his son's other Daddy?" the young man laughed, Grayson pushing him through the doorway, the two going out into the hallway.
"I'm not threatened by your threats, Haven. For I have something on my side. The truth." Grayson said, Haven smiling at him.
"Do you really think Father will listen to the truth after I sugar coat it all? You'd be lucky if you're alive after." Haven said, his brown eyes widening with smugness.
Grayson stared at the younger man, feeling his contempt and loathing smugness.
"Let's find out then, Haven. But tonight I think you have other concerns to worry about."
Haven stared at the lawyer, Grayson's muscular form standing erect.
"Emerson sought me out a few minutes ago. I'm on a mission. And that mission is to walk you to him. He's waiting in the library for you."
The young man stared at the older man, a vision of determined, middle-aged handsomeness staring back at him.
"Ever the righteous, pompous darling, Gray."
"I'm taking you there, Haven. So let's do it with some degree
The young man sighed, staring at his father's oldest friend.
"Certainly, Gray. I have something to discuss with my father as well. I think it's going to make him very happy. The continuation of the family line may well be within his grasp. More or less." Haven smiled, the man showing his smugness again.
"Last time I checked you couldn't sire an heir in a bartender's ass."
The young man's face changed into a soft look of surprise, his face returning to its smugness.
"Touché, Gray. I see your watchful eyes are all-seeing. You must have all the passages under surveillance."
"No, I just know who to watch. It's called keeping your enemies close."
Haven moved forward, their faces only inches from each other.
"Someday those enemies will dine on your stupidity, Grayson."
"And everyone has a day of reckoning, Haven."
The young man smiled, nodding his head.
"Lead on, my father's friend. Let's go have some fun."
Emerson stood in front of the fireplace, his hand on the buffalo head, his eyes staring up at the portrait of three souls above the fireplace.
"I could use you here tonight, old friend. Your courage was always greater than my own." he softly said, the three men behind him staring quietly at him, their eyes drawn to the portrait.
"What can we do, Father?" Tristan said, his father's eyes turning, staring at his son.
"We can face him with the truth, Tristan. We can't let him continue on the path he's chosen." Emerson said, his green eyes meeting Lewis' blue.
"You are a stalwart friend of my son's, good sir. I accept your courageous stand in regard to my daughter. Thank you for drawing the truth from her. We shall make the man face his justice."
Lewis nodded, his blue eyes showing a soft courage, albeit an even softer nervousness behind that.
Jacques standing beside him showed a more telling nervousness.
"He won't take kind to this challenge, monsieur. I haven't known him as long as Tristan, but I have seen the young man's callousness." the Frenchman said, staring at Emerson, his eyes glancing at his friend Tristan.
"He will face all five of us, Monsieur Chambron." Emerson said, the man nodding at him.
The women were gone from the library, Francesca having taken her daughter to her room for rest, Savannah guiding her out of the library.
A knock came to the door, Lewis looking at Emerson.
The door opened, Haven walking into the room, Grayson holding the door open, allowing the young man to walk past him.
"Hello, Father. And gathered acquaintances. The ballroom is missing all of your smiling faces." Haven smiled, Tristan moving forward, Emerson's arm going to his son's shoulder, the young man stopping, his eyes showing a brooding anger.
"What's wrong with you, brother? You look under distress." the young man said, Tristan staring at him.
"Under distress?! I'm seething with anger, Haven!" the man said, his adoptive brother smiling at him.
"What's happened, Tricky? Has Beauty finally smartened up and seen your shortcomings?" He smiled, Emerson forcefully holding his son back.
"No, Haven. Their love is forever theirs." Emerson said, staring at the young man.
"Too bad. Beauty could do so much better." Haven said, smugly smiling at his brother.
"Enough of your enticing words, Haven. You're here for only one reason." Emerson said, the young man looking at his father.
"And what reason is that, Father?"
Emerson walked up to his adoptive son, the young man staring at him.
"Vivian told us the truth, Haven. As she told Lewis several weeks ago."
The young man stared at his father, his eyes glancing at Lewis.
"Our sister is a gossip, brother. And in her own way a delight. As I've experienced." Haven said, smiling at Tristan.
"You hurt her, you bastard! Our sweet innocent Vivian!" Tristan said, anger now showing openly on his face, Grayson's eyes widening with surprise, Haven staring around at everyone.
Tristan moved again, Jacques and Lewis moving, both grabbing onto Tristan, holding the young man back.
"I didn't hurt her, Tristan. I just seasoned her a bit. She was indeed delightful. And she's better off now." the young man said, Emerson staring at him with shock.
"You hurt my daughter, Haven. You defiled her innocence and you deceived her. You plied her with liquor then defiled her! You are a monster!" Emerson said, the young man staring into his father's anger-filled face, emotion showing easily on its handsome brow.
"I fucked her, Father. And she loved it."
Tristan broke free of the hold on him, the man meeting his brother head on, his fist connecting with the young man's jaw, Haven knocked backwards, Grayson stopping him from falling on his ass.
"Get your hands off me, Grayson!" Haven said, the lawyer releasing him, everyone staring at the young man, Lewis and Jacques pulling Tristan back again, the young man fighting their hold, Emerson moving between his two sons.
"Don't ever touch me again, Tristan! Or I'll kill you!" Haven said, Emerson staring at him.
"You are not my son, monster! You are an abomination on existence."
The young man smiled, rubbing his jaw.
"I'm myself, Father. The me I've always been. The me I've always wanted to be. Your pompous holiness and heritage won't stop me from my destiny." the young man said, staring at his brother.
"She loved it, Tristan. I'm sure Savannah is just as good."
Tristan moved again, Grayson moving, the man helping the other two hold him back.
Emerson's green eyes met Haven's brown.
"I disown you, Haven. I want you gone from my house tonight."
Haven smiled, the young man moving, walking over to the small bar that stood on the left side of Emerson's desk.
He picked up a bottle of brandy, opening its stopper, pouring it into a glass on the bar's surface.
"I don't think so, Father. I think I'm right where I want to
Emerson stared at the young man, Haven's eyes moving from his father's green, their brown irises rising to the painting hanging over the fireplace.
"I know your secret, Father. I've been to the room."
Emerson stared at his son, the older man moving forward, walking up to Haven, the young man staring at him.
"You don't know everything, Haven." Emerson said, Haven smiling at him.
"I know enough, Father. For I'm perhaps the greater Haven of Kurucu's need."
Emerson's eyes widened a bit, the young man staring around at everyone.
"I've sensed the power here, Father. And I've tapped into its greatness. I think I'll show you the true greatness of it. And the real power I possess."
The young man moved in a flash, rushing past Emerson, the older man knocked backwards, the younger man lunging at his brother, Tristan caught off guard, Haven's fist hitting him squarely in the face.
The two fell to the floor, Haven on top of his brother, Tristan fighting to free himself from the younger man's powerful grasp.
"Touch me again and I'll kill you!" Haven screamed, Lewis and Jacques leaping on the young man, pulling him off Tristan.
The two older men pulled the young man off his brother, Tristan rising to his feet, staring at his brother.
"You are no longer my brother, Haven! You are a man possessed by evil! I know not you." Tristan said, the young man smiling again.
"Oh, you'll know me. Of that I guarantee you all." the man said, brushing off the two holding him.
"I'm leaving in the morning, Father. But I'm leaving with more power than you'll ever comprehend. But first I'll even the playing field."
"You're leaving now, Haven." Grayson said, Emerson looking at his friend.
"I don't think so, Graysie. It would look very suspicious if I was thrown out of here, here in the center of our father's annual achievement. Just think of the reporters downstairs in the ballroom. The great Emerson Belmont throwing his son out of his own house." the young man smiled, Emerson nodding.
"For my family's sake--and not for my image--you'll leave in the morning, Haven. And I shall not look upon you again. Get out of here!" he said, Haven smiling.
"We'll meet again, Father. Kurucu doesn't take no for an answer. The power is all-giving."
Emerson stared at his son, a soft look of confusion showing on his older face.
Haven smiled around at everyone, his brown eyes meeting Grayson's blue.
"I told you that the continuation of the family line lays at my feet." he smiled, the young man walking across the room, stopping at the door, his eyes meeting Tristan's anger-filled pools.
"And you my brother, will be the first in my sights when we meet again."
The young man walked out of the library, slamming the door behind him.
Everyone's eyes were now on Lewis, the minister's blue pools meeting Lucas' violet irises.
"A night of confrontation and truth, Lewis." the young man said, the minister nodding, his eyes moving from Lucas' pools, their blueness meeting Vivian's blue, the woman lowering her eyes, Lucas looking at his aunt and adoptive mother.
He walked across the veranda, sitting down beside her, his hand going in hers.
She raised her head, staring into his violet pools.
"You were abused and violated, Mom. By a monster hiding behind youthful bravado. But a deeper secret perhaps lays behind those eyes of smugness. And perhaps a greater mystery bears fruit."
Vivian's eyes pooled up with tears, Lucas leaning forward, kissing his mother's cheek.
"I love you, Mom. Dad and Trish love you as well. A mother's love is immeasurable against the past. It's the present and the love that conquers all."
Vivian nodded, staring at the young man staring at her.
"I. . .I wasn't strong enough, Lucas. I didn't have my sister's courage."
"You had her love, and you had my grandfather's and grandmother's." Lucas said, his violet eyes meeting Emerson's green.
Lucas' eyes moved to another set of blue, the young man rising from his seat, walking over to another couch, going to his knees.
He stared into two blue pools, seeing a confusion showing there.
"Lucas. . .is it. . .it can't be. . .!" she softly said, Lucas staring at her with love.
"This in no way changes who you are, my sister of love." Lucas said, Trish staring at her brother.
Vivian's blue eyes met Trish's, the young woman staring at her mother, her father's eyes lowering beside her.
"He's my father, isn't he?"
Vivian stared at her daughter.
"Yes, Patricia. Haven Marlowe is your father."
End of Chapter 70
Happy New Year!
The sneak is back!
Did that surprise y'all?
Haven is Trish's father, not Henderson.
It appears the man violated young Vivian, her family going against the young man.
The young man seems to be a hidden monster.
What happened after that, that night,
that caused the rift between Vivian and Emerson?
What happened to her mother and Emerson's second wife, Francesca?
A night of horror perhaps in need of answers.
Only one knows what happened.
I have to decide what it was.
Read on, more to come.