There were children huddled together, sharing a piece of bread one of the town mothers must have given them. Prostitutes stood on the side of the street, looking at him but apparently there was something in his eyes that made them refrain from asking him if he wanted a go. The wind swept against him as he tightened his coat around him. He followed the path down to where his aunt’s house was. He swallowed harshly as he lifted his hand to knock.
He didn’t want to see either of them again. His aunt with her pestering and his uncle with his judging. He was through with them but he knew that all ties could not be cut if he wanted to seem like a somewhat decent person to those who would oppose his ventures. Since when had he cared about what people thought? He really didn’t. He wanted to get to the point when he was unstoppable and only then would he show people how strong his determination and ambition really were. He got and did what he wanted.
The door opened and his aunt stood before him. She was dressing in her tattered gown obviously not expecting company. Her hair was a slight mess and her eyes were filled with shock.
“Jared!” She exclaimed, throwing her arms open to bring him into an embrace.
Jared stopped her though by holding up his hand. “My dear aunt, I am most glad to see you but please, these are new.” He dusted off the front of his coat and gave her a bit of a smile.
She looked confused for a moment before she looked him over. Immediately her eyes widened. What was it there in them? Was it envy? Delight? Excitement?
“Look at how you’ve changed! Goodness, I never expected this! You’ve been gone such a short while and you come back a gentleman!”
“Clothes don’t make a gentleman…” Jared’s uncle came up from behind his aunt and looked at Jared with contempt in his sagging eyes. He was leaning all his weight on his cane.
“Uncle, how pleased I am to see you.” Jared said with equal contempt towards his uncle.
“I believe the feeling is not mutual.” His uncle turned away and walked into the sitting room leaving Jared and his aunt alone.
“Would you like to come inside? I could put on some tea and you could tell me all about how you’ve gotten so far in such a short time!” She reached her hand out and gently took hold of his shoulder, trying to urge him inside.
He didn’t move though which caused her to drop her hand. “No, I haven’t the time. I have come here to invite you and my uncle to my coming wedding. I am to be married soon and would enjoy your company.” He spoke it so calmly as if it were true when in fact having people from his hated past there was nauseating to even think of.
“Your wedding?! Who is the girl? Oh I must meet her! If only your mother were alive to see this!”
Jared bit the inside of his cheek at the mention of his mother before he brushed it off and continued. He couldn’t be affected, he needed to act normally.
“You will meet her on the day, my dear aunt. Bring my most splendid uncle if you wish. When you are there I will have an offer for you.” He spoke to a smiling woman who had a loss of confusion in her eyes. “Now I must return, there is plenty to do.”
“That was a short visit, after such a long time.” His aunt sadly said, looking down with heavy disappointment.
Jared smiled and lightly tapped a kiss to his aunt’s cheek. “All good things must come to an end.” He swiftly said before walking away from the door.
She called out to him a couple of times before she finally declared her agreement to attend his wedding. Soon enough he reached his carriage again and got inside.
“Home.” He ordered before he rested his head back and slid his eyes shut.
He hadn’t expected everything to feel so heavy on him. The burdens were almost blistering to feel and he ached with what they did to him. Depsite everything that had happened for him, despite the resplendent change of fortune there were things he couldn’t sort out. His inability to sleep and the constant thoughts of disaster and his own downfall was enough to drive him insane. He was afraid this would never change, this would never set him free.
“Here, sir.” His driver said after a remarkably quick amount of time.
The carriage had come to a halt and Jared nearly cursed at the lack of time along he had recently. He just needed one single moment to pull himself together and convince himself to stop being a ridiculous idiot. But of course things never went anyone’s way.
He sighed before he got out and headed into the house. The butler greeted him in a monotonous voice and stepped aside, expected some barked order but when he got none he simply disappeared. Jared looked about himself. He could hear the distant sound of voices and he figured that Lucas and Farrah were still enjoying each other’s company. He smiled to himself, knowing that they were playing into his game, making themselves a pawn that he could so easily use.
He sat himself down on the last step of the sprawling staircase, waving off any of the staff who asked if he needed anything. He sat there for quite sometime, studying the design on the marble floors, looking up at the flickering flames of the chandelier. He refused another thought of how easily something so brilliant could be extinguished. Not everything faded, not everything dared to die.
Finally the voices approached him and sweet goodbyes were made. Past friends reunited, a note of young love being sparked. He could have laugh but simply rose to his feet and met Lucas before he could make it to the door.
“Mr. Leto. I was just on my way back to your office.” He looked nervous, there was a pale blush to his cheeks.
“After such a long time, Lucas?” Jared questioned, his eyes peering down at Lucas.
Lucas sucked in a breath, gripping tightly onto the brim of his hat as he tried to think of what to say. “I lost track of time…I am most sorry.”
Jared smiled and reached out to grip Lucas’ shoulder. “Best not do it again or I shall have to find another employee.”
Lucas looked at him with near panic. “Never again, sir. I promise.”
“Well run along, Lucas. I need you to sort out my paper work on my desk.”
“Yes, of course.” And with that he rushed away, leaving Jared by himself.
Jared looked about his surroundings, the quiet in the house nearly alarming. He shrugged off his coat, handing it to one of the passing maids along with his hat before he went off towards where he figured Farrah would be.
Farrah sat in a white wicker chair, her fan blowing about the loose curls near the side of her face. Jared watched her a moment, wondering what she would have done had he allowed her to leave. She would be successful, taken in by family friends. A smile crept onto the corners of his lips. Yes, but now she would be under his rule and under his authority. She would be his wife and would have to answer to him alone. Jared would be the master of the house and nothing would be done without him.
“Fair Farrah, you look rejuvenized after your little chat with Lucas.” He came around and sat on the chair opposite Farrah’s.
She turned to look at him, both startled and let down by his presence. She didn’t answer, she merely looked away and continued to fan herself.
“What is it? Are these nerves over our impending nuptials? Or have you told the young Lucas something you shouldn’t have?” He looked at her sideways, his eyes trying to see through her.
Farrah still didn’t speak. She just stared ahead of herself and let out a small sigh.
“So, will you be at my side at the opening of my “venture” tomorrow night?”
“I don’t think that would be appropriate.” She finally spoke, and finally looking at him.
“And why is that?
“It just wouldn’t be appropriate.” She stood up, closing her fan and making to walk away.
Jared followed after her, taking her by the arm and making her face him again. “You think you are better than me, don’t you? You with all your riches and your air of regality. Well I think you need to be brought back and put in a very dark place. The kind of place where people like you belong.” He forced his words out, his voice a boil of intimidation.
She was stunned as she looked up at him. There were tears pearling on her lashes as fear danced across her delicate features. She struggled to pull her arm away but he wouldn’t let her go.
“Let me go.” She pleaded.
He just continued to glare down at her, his grip getting harsher. “You will be there tomorrow night, at my side, my fair Farrah. You are to be my wife and you, my darling, better start acting like it.” Finally he let her go, his anger overwhelming as he nearly shouted at her.
She didn’t say anything. She did her best to stifle her tears before she ran off.
Jared looked after her, feeling a sharp contentment flow through him. It was right to bring her back to earth, to show her that in no way was she better than him. With each moment she sunk lower beneath him he rose higher above everyone else. It started in the home first, right?