"Now bring it up!" Jared ordered, gesturing his hands to the workers to lift the new sign up.
The sign creaked up before they set it in its place. Nightingale, the sign read. Jared smiled again. He didn't care how foolish he looked, he was far too proud to care about anything right now.
"Good! Good!" He appraised before leaving his place and entering the rooms that had once been the cafe'.
There were workers everywhere, clearing things out and setting up the new furniture and tables. He checked in on everything, finding satisfaction over it all. He went into the back, heading towards the room that he had been brought into his first day here. He chuckled lightly to himself, remembering the punch he had suffered at the hands of that intimidating man. He touched the area that had only now finally healed. He closed the room and sat at the new desk he had set in the room. His new office. His hand brushed over the surface and touched the arms of his chair. All so elegant and spoke so loudly with wealth.
The door pushed open startling Jared causing him to rise from his chair. It was Farrah. Her face carried the perfect look of anger, her eyes ablaze as they glared across at him.
"Darling, I'm so glad to see you." He said sweetly before he went around the desk, past her, and closed the door. With her in this state they needed privacy. "What are you doing here?" He asked in a low voice.
"How could you do this? How?" She demanded, wiping at the tears that were sliding down her cheeks with the handkerchief in her hand.
"Do what? What is it now?" He dropped himself back down onto his chair, locking his hands behind his head.
"Tear down my father's cafe' in favor of this horrible venture!"
Jared smiled and sat forward, looking up at her from beneath his dark lashes. "You look quite beautiful when you're angry. Must I really wait until the wedding night to share your bed?" His grin was wicked as he managed to mention the one thing that would no doubt tear her apart. Their impending wedding, it was looming closer. They couldn't continue living under the same roof without a wedding happening.
She looked about ready to scream, her eyes wide with disbelief. "What more are you going to do to me? What more do you want?! You've destroyed everything!" She shouted, throwing her arms down to her sides. Was she almost ready to drop her guard and simply admit defeat?
Jared rose to his feet, clasping his hands behind his back and stood in front of her. "Keep your voice down, you'll include everyone else in on your little explosion."
She turned her face away from him, her fingers near white as they clenched tightly to the handkerchief that was almost soaked through with her tears.
"Your father is dead, my lady. And you had best stop blaming me for it. He pulled the trigger, he gave the word, it was his own doing. He wanted to prove his righteousness. Apparently he wanted to show me that he had an angel ready to save him from dashing his foot against a stone. But wherever that angel was he didn't care too much if he pulled the trigger." He spoke in a low and drawn out voice to the side of her face. Her bottom lip quivered, her eyes misted over. She was a weeping mess. "It was not my fault and all this is now rightfully mine. Deal with it, my lady, please. This is all getting much too tiresome."
Once he finished speaking he moved away and back to his desk. Ignoring her from then on, sifting through papers that had been placed on his desk. Deeds, bills, everything that proved his words that he had just spoken to her.
Just as Farrah made ready to leave there was a knock at the door. Her eyes shot to him before she turned herself towards the corner not wishing whoever it was to see the state she was in. Even she had to keep up with the charade.
"Come in." He called out, keeping his eye on Farrah where she stood. He didn't need a scene, not on this day of all days.
The door opened and a young man entered. He had brown curls that touched the back of his neck, his whiskers seemed to have only just grown out, his lips were thin and a pale pink. He was dressed in perfectly tailored clothes, his boots leather and shiny. He was holding a stack of papers with accomplishment in his eyes.
"Mr. Leto, sir...the contracts.."
"Give them here." He made a small gesture to him causing him to bring them to the desk.
"Thank you Lucas, you may leave. Now remember come to me if something happens out there. I know those kinds of men."
Lucas smiled and so did Jared.
"Lucas?" Farrah turned around, cleared up from her crying spell. Her brows were furrowed with confusion and her face bore the marks of surprise. "Lucas Hill?"
Lucas turned to look at her and immediately a smile widened on his young and handsome face. "Miss Farrah!" He exclaimed, almost ready to rush towards her with an embrace but stopping himself just as quickly. He stayed where he was and took her hand gently when she offered it.
"How long has it been?"
"7 years. I cannot believe it. When I moved away I thought to never see you again! You or your father." He noticed how Farrah glanced down and how it affected her when he spoke of her father. "I am sorry Farrah, I have heard. I did not mean-"
"It is quite alright. What brings you here?" She was learning how to recover quickly.
"Lucas is my new secretary." Jared finally spoke up after watching the heart warming reunion in front of him.
"It's true. I just finished my schooling and working at the newest business venture in the city, it should look nice down the road. Especially if it's a success."
"If? Why Lucas, my boy, why would you say if?"
Lucas laughed a little, nervously it seemed. "When it's a success."
Farrah glanced between the two men as she tried to understand the relationship between the two. She stiffened when Jared went to stand beside her.
"I was just about to introduce you both but it seems as if someone 7 years ago already had the honor. But I will present you to Miss Farrah, as my fiance', my bride to be." Jared smiled down warmly at Farrah as if they shared all the affection in the world.
"This is true? Well of course it is, I've heard around the city of this. Congratulations, to you both." Something about the way he spoke about it made Jared laugh inside. They had obviously shared something in the past.
"Lucas, surely you wouldn't want to work here, would you?" Farrah tried to sound as reasonable as she could. But could it be reasonable to send someone away from her own husband's new business?
"Why wouldn't I? Mr. Leto has offered me the most spectacular opportunity and he really is such a fine man. It's an honor." Lucas beamed across at Jared, obviously taking to him instantly.
"You see, darling, it's an honor." Jared send down at Farrah with increased pride. "Farrah doesn't think youth should work, I think. She's always visiting the poor children and giving them things they haven't worked for."
"But I am not a youth." Lucas defended. Who was he trying to prove that to? Farrah or Jared?
"Of course you are not but it seems Farrah here might need convincing of that." He heard her suck in a gasp at his words. He wanted to let out a laugh. "We're working men and appreciate the things our own sweat gets us, is that not right?"
"Of course it is." Lucas replied with a nod.
"Now, my fair Farrah, you look pale again. You need your rest. Lucas, would you mind escorting her home? As a working man I'm ashamed to say that I get distracted with my work too often."
"Oh but what about my own work?"
"Nonsense. This is work. You do as I bid. Now go on you two. Catch up." Jared said with a smile at them both. He looked down at Farrah and took hold of her gloved hands. They were shaking in his. "I'll see you later, my darling." He lowered his head and touched his lips to the lace of her gloves before he let her go.
She watched him with shock afterwards. Was she repulsed or surprised?
"Now go on before I change my mind." Jared ushered them out and closed the door after them.
He sat down on his chair and rested back, looking up at the ceiling. The same ceiling he had looked up at after he had fallen off the chair when he had gotten punched. He drew in a breath and tried not to think too much on the past. He hadn't lived before these moments. What was he doing? Why did he constantly bring it all back up over and over again? He was only alive now.
But how could he convince himself of that when he had an entire past that was whispering to him everyday. A past that tugged at his soul, dying for his attention. For what?
He took up his hat and slipped on his coat and decided it was time to visit his aunt and uncle. Although the thought made him cringe he wanted to go. He wasn't quite sure why but something told him it ought to be done. He had to sweep up and tidy the ashes of the bridges he had nearly burnt completely.