Sian glanced slowly around the lawyer’s office, realizing instantly that everyone else in the room thought her presence was disgusting. She probably would have laughed or at least smiled at the realization, only respect for her dead father kept her face impassive. Her eyes skimmed over the office’s interior with a knowing eye. Any law firm that could afford an office with a wet bar and gold door knobs had to be doing pretty damn well for themselves. The lawyer’s thousand dollar Armani suit merely confirmed the obvious.
Sian glanced impatiently at her watch and almost sighed. Her thorough study of the decadence that surrounded her was starting to wear a little thin and she wished they would just get on with it. “It’s 3 o’clock Mr. McCoy.” Sian interjected lazily, instantly capturing the attention of the lawyer and the three other present. “Can we get this party started already? I’ve got places to be.”
“I’m sorry Miss- Lee, wasn’t it…? But we absolutely cannot precede without the late Mr. Forrester’s son.”
Sian almost choked, it struck her suddenly how ridiculous it was that they were all waiting for Keith’s ‘son’. Didn’t any of them know? She wondered absently. It was obvious they all had no idea who she was and had therefore made a few incorrect assumptions. Truthfully, it was probably her own fault. She could have dressed formally for the scheduled reading of the will but it wouldn’t have been practical. She needed to get to work in an hour and wouldn’t have had the time to change. So she’d dressed for work, in knee length silver snake print boots, a leather mini skirt and matching snake print bustier top. Her long blond hair was crimped and her face caked with make up. They probably all thought she had been Keith’s mistress and this time she did smile at the absurd idea of sweet, loveable Keith having a mistress. The smile quickly faded though as she realized that in a way he had kept a mistress, her mother.
Sian and her mother had lived alone, without an excess of money and yet they had hardly been poor. She’d never asked about her father, her mother’s eyes would fill with tears at the mention of his name so she never pressed the issue. Then, two years ago when Sian had turned 18 her mother had died. Killed instantly in a car crash with a drunk driver. For a while it had seemed as though Sian had died with her. June Lee had been a wonderful woman, sweet and generous to a fault. Her death had struck at Sian’s heart painfully. Then one day a man had knocked on the door of her small suburban bungalow and changed her life forever.
His claim to be her father had not exactly endeared him to Sian. She’d been hurt and angry, too wounded to listen to the man who had treated her mother so badly. Only he hadn’t turned out to be so horrible. Keith Forrester had been a powerful man, a self-made millionaire who owned a rather large publishing empire. His offers to help Sian out financially had all been refused and he’d never pressed the matter. Sian had loved him for that. His gentleness and understanding. He’d respected her wishes not to tell his family about her and continued to see her as often as possible in secret. Even at the end, when he’d grown too sick to leave his home he’d arranged for her to visit him whenever his family was away. She could still picture him so clearly, lying motionless amongst a wall of cushions. She’d read the paper to him and tell him stories about her crazy adventures at work. After hearing one tale of a drunken client making a grab at her only to be violently reprimanded by the bouncers he’d been angry.
“Why do you put up with that Sian?” Keith bellowed. “What if you’d been hurt?”
Sian laughed and moved away from his bed. “It’s a good job Keith.” She assured him with a smile. “My bills won’t pay themselves.”
“Hmph.” He whined unhappily. “And who’ll come read to me if you get kidnapped by a drunken lecher?”
“What about your wife and son?” She pointed our reasonably.
“Livia? That’s unlikely. He looked at Sian and smiled briefly. “I loved your mother so much Sian, I wish-.”
“Oh… dad, please…”
“But can you imagine it? The three of us together, one big happy family?”
Sian blinked at the tears in her eyes and nodded. “It would have been perfect.” She whispered.
“I would have given anything but that god damn Livia…”
Sian squeezed his hand. “Let’s not think about it. You’ll only upset yourself. What about your son? I’m sure he’d look after you.”
“Logan?” An intense look of anger flickered briefly in his eyes and then died. “That’s his picture over there.” He said, nodding his head toward a silver picture frame.
Sian walked slowly over to the bureau and picked it up gently. She couldn’t remember having seen a better looking man. “Are you sure this isn’t just the picture of the model that came with the frame?”
Keith laughed. “Handsome huh?” His expression turned serious though. “Come over here for a second love, I need to talk to you.”
Sian replaced the picture on the bureau and sat gently by her father’s side on the bed.
“Sian, love I have to tell you something. He gripped her hand tightly and she started to feel a bit uneasy.
“What is it- whatever is its you know I’ll be there for you… no matter what.”
“Just like your mother.” Keith stated teary eyes. “Sian- Logan… he… this is very hard for me to say. I’ve never told another living soul but- Logan isn’t my son Sian.”
“Livia, my wife… Maybe I loved her once Sian, a long time ago before I knew what an unfeeling bitch she really was. Who knows? It’s been 40 years since those days. When I married her she was the one with the money, not much but a hell of a lot more than me that’s for sure. We’d signed a pre-nup… her idea of course. She wanted to protect her investment I guess. It seems so ridiculous now though, when you consider what a small amount it was. I soon realized Livia’s true colours but it was too late. The business was just starting out and I needed all the money I could get my hands on. Logan was five at the time and we got into one hell of a fight. That’s when she told me the truth about who the father of her son really was. Some lawyer she’d had an affair with, one of many I believe.”
Sian looked at her father in concern. “Father please.” She interrupted. “You don’t have to tell me this if it’s going to upset you.”
“Sian, I want to tell you- I need to tell you this. Please, will you hear me out?”
Sian nodded, unsure of what else to do.
“Oh, I didn’t believe her at first, but there was proof I couldn’t deny so I had to accept it. From that moment on she ceased to exist for me Sian. We couldn’t divorce, thanks to the pre-nup, I’d lose my money, the company would go bust and hundreds of people would be without a job. Plus- I didn’t want Logan to know. I love that boy far too much to ever hurt him. And then I met your mother. I never knew it was possible to love any woman so much. She made me the happiest man on Earth. I would have married her in an instant but she said she didn’t mind waiting until Logan was a bit older. She was like that your mom, good hearted and generous. I thought we were so happy, until one day I came home and she wasn’t there… My heart broke. I never knew why she left me.”
“She never even mentioned you.” Sian mumbled.
“I understand, I’m sorry my dear-.”
“Oh father, don’t be, I-.”
He held up a hand to stop her mid-sentence. “I have a favour to ask you love.”
“You know that proof I mentioned earlier? That proves Logan isn’t my son?”
“I want you to hold onto it for me.”
Sian stared at him curiously. “But why?”
“Please my dear. You may need it someday and you’re the only one I can trust.”
She didn’t know what to say, she had no idea what her father was talking about. But she loved him and he was dying, so she nodded and kissed him on the cheek.
The sound of a door being slammed shut shook her out of her reverie. Her recognition of Logan was instantaneous and she had to fight the urge to stare, so great was her curiosity. He looked the same as in the picture, tall, dark and handsome.
Another thousand dollar suit, Sian realized and a platinum Rolex. “Finally.” She drawled huskily, glancing impatiently at her watch. It was inevitable, she was going to be late.
At the sound of her voice Logan halted and turned slightly in her direction. The look her gave her bordered on revulsion and Sian almost choked on the hatred that suddenly overwhelmed her. Here was the man who’d had the love of her father for thirty-one years while she’d been fatherless. How dare he look at her as though she were beneath him? He was the one who had no right to be there, she was the one biologically connected to Keith Forrester.
Logan didn’t say anything, just moved to the front of the room and sat next to the woman she assumed was his mother. It was difficult resisting the urge to leap from her chair and choke the life out of Livia Forrester.
“Well, now that we’re all here-.” The lawyer began only to be cut off by Sian.
“Sorry to interrupt but- do you know how long this is going to take? I may have to leave early, so could we just skip to what I get?”
“Er-… uhm, no Miss Lee, I’m afraid that won’t be possible. But I can assure you this won’t take all that long-.”
Sian cut him off again. “Maybe you could just mail it to me later?”
The lawyer looked as though he were in some physical pain. “It can’t be mailed Miss-.”
“Can’t?! Lord, if Keith’s gone and left me that hideous marble elephant in his foyer as some sort of joke because I said I hated it-.”
Four pairs of eyes shot in her direction, obviously shocked by the realization that she’d been in the Forrester mansion.
“You little whore.” Livia hissed. “Why don’t you show some respect and-.”
“Please.” The lawyer interrupted firmly. “I’d like to get down to business now if I may.”
Livia nodded and Sian shrugged. “Be my guest, I was here on time.” She murmured
The lawyer nodded and began talking, Sian promptly stopped listening.
“… to my niece Cherie Forrester, I leave…”
Sian glanced at the pretty dark haired girl as the lawyer droned on. Cute kid, Keith had been fond of her too if she remembered correctly. She looked a lot like Keith, so did the man next to her actually who must have been her father.
“To my brother Kale Forrester…”
Sian sighed impatiently, hoping that her father hadn’t done something foolish and left her an insane amount of money.
“… To my wife, Livia Forrester…”
Sian’s ear’s perked up. She hoped he’d left her a lump of coal and some arsenic cupcakes.
“… as dictated by the pre-nuptial agreement, the lump sum of $50,000 as well as the total, initial investment she contributed to the start of-.”
“What!?” Livia screamed angrily, almost jumping out of her chair. “But that’s- that’s…”
“Not a hell of a lot.” Cherie piped in helpfully.
Sian smirked, proud of her father.
“Don’t you dare look so smug you little bitch!” Livia hissed angrily. Sian blinked in surprise, realizing the woman was addressing her. “Don’t think I don’t know who you are you-.”
“Mother, please.” Logan interrupted, clamping his hand around her arm. “Calm down.”
“I’ll contest this you pea brained-.”
“Mrs. Forrester, please. You’re free of course to do as you please but I can assure you you’d simply be wasting your time and money.” He said wearily.
“Sit down mother.” Logan commanded calmly. “We can discuss this later- when we’re alone.” He added pointedly.
“Yes Auntie, you’re embarrassing yourself.” Cherie pointed out with a slight smile. The look Livia shot her was venomous.
The old lawyer sighed and looked down at his papers before starting to read aloud again. “… and finally, to my beloved Sian Charity Lee-.”
Livia hissed angrily in protested before being shushed again by Logan.
“… and to Logan Stanford Forrester, I leave jointly, in its entirety the ownership of Forrester Publications-.”
Suddenly all Hell broke loose. Sian couldn’t make out a single word being said amongst the screaming and the shouting. She was too busy blinking in stunned surprise. She did notice however that an enraged Livia had jumped out of her chair and was now shouting furiously at the lawyer. Even Keith’s brother Kale, who had so far remained silent was now shouting angrily as well. No wonder her father had been content not to supply her with any financial help. He’d had this whole scene planned out from the beginning.
Sian started to laugh softly, either that or give into the tears that had been threatening for the past hour. “Well, look- that’s great.” She said, still laughing. “But I gotta go, my lawyers will get in touch with you Mr. McCoy… bye bye everyone.” She waved cheerily at them and disappeared beyond the tall oak doors.
“Everyone sit down!” Sian could hear Mr. McCoy shouting at the angry group from where she stood in the hallway.
“My son has worked long and hard to make that company a success! There’s no way he’s going to sit idly by and let some cheap little tart-.”
“Mrs. Forrester…” McCoy began with a sigh, obviously used to the woman’s antics. “Miss Lee has every right to whatever your husband has outlined to her in his will. You’re obviously harbouring under some misconceptions- Miss Lee is Mr. Forrrester’s daughter and therefore has the right to-.”
Sian closed her eyes unhappily, the truth was about to come out. She listened intently as the family exclaimed in dismay.
“I don’t care who she’s claiming to be!” Livia snapped angrily. “That’s no reason for Keith to have treated me and my son so shabbily-.”
“I hate to agree with my aunt Mr. McCoy but the will does seem a bit…”
“I didn’t draw up this will Miss Forrester, but your uncle has left instructions that Miss Lee is in possession of some vital documents that will clear up several matters in regards to the will’s fairness. Whether or not she decides to make those available to me is her choice. Of course I’m going to contact her and-.”
Sian moved quickly away from the door and headed to a rather large solarium that she’d spotted on her way inside. She pushed the doors open and smiled as warm sunlight shone brightly on her through the glass walls. She leaned forward against the transparent wall closest to her and looked down. The view from 50 stories high was amazing. She sighed and pulled her cell phone out of her purse.
“Hello, ‘The Wolf’n Dove’ how may I help you?” A husky voiced answered after two rings.
“Yup. Sian? What’s up?”
“Well… can you do me a favour hun? This whole will things is taking longer than I thought and-.”
“Say no more! You want me to cover for you, right? No prob love, I could use the overtime.”
The sound of the door opening behind her penetrated Sian’s consciousness but she didn’t let it distract her.
“You’re a darling! I really do love you and I swear I’ll make it up to you big time.” Sian assured her, turning around to see her ‘brother’ now standing beside her.”
“No worries love, but you are coming in right?”
“Yeah- see you in about… two hours, OK?”
“Rightie, see ya then.”
“Bye.” Sian turned around and smiled at her ‘brother’. Time to make him suffer a little.
“We need to talk.” He began slowly.
Sian smiled again, her oh-so seductive smile that she used on the customers when she wanted to ensure she got a big tip. “Talk?” She breathed huskily. “I can think of a few other things I’d rather do.” He looked far too calm she though viciously. She wanted him miserable and confused, wanted him to be as unhappy as she’d been.
“I don’t know what lies you told my father-.”
“Lies?” Sian murmured silkily, her fingers reaching out to rest against the inside of his wrist. How she hated him, she wanted nothing less than his complete destruction, for him to feel as isolated and betrayed as she had. The way he looked at her, so calm and in control filled her with unspeakable rage, fuelling her hatred. “I don’t need to tell lies to get what I want.” She assured him, moving her face closer to his, until she could see the tiny flecks of gray in his eyes and marveled at their strange emptiness. It wasn’t going to be easy to get through to him she realized.
“Admit that there’s been a misunderstanding and this farce doesn’t have to go any further.”
“What’s in it for me babe?” She asked quietly, her warm soft breath tickling his skin.
“I just want the truth Sian, name your price.”
“The truth?” She whispered softly. He watched transfixed as something- almost like pain flickered briefly in her eyes. “Shall I tell you who I really am?” She asked curiously, her eyes suddenly going very wide. She moved herself closer to him then, so that their lips were millimeters apart.
Her tongue darted forward suddenly, the tip of it trailing sensuously across Logan’s inflexible mouth. He moved his lips then, whether in shock or to speak she didn’t know. All she knew was that she stopped playing at his wrist and locked their fingers together. Her lips were pressed suddenly against his, clinging and nibbling gently so that she was surrounded by the minty, cool taste of him. If he tasted clean and fresh then she tasted light and sweet, a heady mixture of raspberry lip balm and vanilla ice cream. It was the last thing he’d expected her to do and he could feel himself becoming lost in the sensations she aroused.
Sian pulled back suddenly, smiling slightly in triumph. “The truth is Logan, I really am Keith Forrester’s daughter.”
She watched as he turned deathly white, it looked as though he was going to be sick so great was his obvious revulsion. She laughed in his face before moving slowly out of the warm, sunlit room. She’d only just begun to make him suffer.
# # # # #
“So- how did that whole will thing go?”
Sian looked at her friend and rolled her eyes. “Kiki- would you go home? I told you I’m fine.”
“No way, you need me.” Kiki assured her dramatically, leaning against he bar as Sian picked up her drinks. “So stop trying to change the subject. How did it go?”
“Fine…” Sian replied absently, smiling slightly as Kiki trailed after her towards the table.
They both beamed hugely at the four rather large bikers who’d ordered the round of beers. Kiki began pulling the mugs off the tray, still undeterred.
“So, what did you get?”
Sian shrugged. “Nothing really. You know how it is…”
Kiki looked disappointed. “Yeah I guess so- whoa!” She exclaimed suddenly, her glance riveted to something by the door.
“What…?” Sian turned her head around to see what had Kiki so captivated and frowned. No wonder she sounded so surprised, it wasn’t everyday a man looking like a Calvin Klein model walked into their bar. Damn that new brother of hers.
“Have you ever seen a finer specimen of manhood in here?” Kiki was frankly staring. “Maybe he’s lost.”
Sian looked away quickly. “I wish he’d get lost.” She mumbled unhappily.
“Can I help you?” Kiki asked suddenly, flagging the handsome stranger down with a smile. Sian’s eyes narrowed, she didn’t want her friend anywhere near her jackass of a step-brother.
“Kiki, don’t tell me you’ve never met my brother?” Sian asked in mock disbelief. “Kiki, this is Logan.”
“Your bother?” Kiki raised an incredulous eyebrow. She obviously didn’t believe her for a second, she’d known Sian her whole life, she didn’t have any brothers. “Nice to meet you. Tell me, have you been lost at sea?” She asked dryly.
“Kiki, I think Bruce is waving at you.” Sian interrupted quickly.
Kiki glanced back at their manager and frowned. “Actually Sian I’m pretty sure he’s trying to get your attention-.”
“Oh just go!” Sian snapped impatiently.
Kiki smiled, unoffended. “Sure. I can see you want to talk to your ‘brother’ alone.”
“Nice meeting you.” Logan said absently as Kiki walked away.
“Can I get you a table?” Sian asked politely, once Kiki was out of earshot.
“No.” He refused flatly.
“Well, bye bye then.” She said with a smile, turning away from him.
Logan reached out and grabbed her arm as she moved away, pulling her back towards him.
“I’d let go if I were you.” She said with a silky smile. “Security doesn’t take too kindly to drunks manhandling the waitresses.”
“I want to talk to you.”
“Then get a table.” She snapped. “I can’t stand around talking to you. So order something or get out.”
“When do you get off?”
“I’ll wait at the bar then.”
Sian shrugged. “Suit yourself.” He turned and she watched him go with a smile. He looked so ridiculous in his expensive suit and tie, surrounded by leather clad bikers. The smile faded soon though as she watched Kiki rush to his side.
“Sian!” One of her regulars bellowed loudly. “Get your ass over here!”
She laughed, having no choice but to dismiss the rather unfortunate arrival of her ‘brother’ from her mind and get back to work.
“Sian doesn’t have a brother.” Kiki assured Logan, minutes later as she pushed a beer in his direction.
He smiled back and the overall effect was devastating. “And you know her so well?” He asked curiously.
“We went to high school together.”
He laughed. “I’m sure the two of you raised some hell.”
Kiki giggled and nodded. “We were always in trouble.”