Shattered Dreams Episode 27 – 28 By Nissi Adeola

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Shattered Dreams Episode 3

Shattered Dreams Episode 27

Felicia smiled at herself. The single act that Marcel made of rescuing her from the much expected prison had been enough to change her life and reasoning. It had taught her the importance of forgiveness and the progress one could make when one tries to have a light heart.

Felicia’s wealth had risen several notches after her parents died. They left all their wealth in her possession, being the only child and she had never had a reason to search for money again. They had died in a car crash before Michael left her with a burnt face but before then, knowing the wickedness of Michael, she had carefully hidden her inheritance from him. She was happy she did because only heaven knows which mortuary would be hosting her corpse if Michael had glimpsed the wealth she possessed.

Felicia browsed through the net and saw several orphanage homes. She wanted to look for some which had their account number on their sites but thought better of it. Some of those homes did not exist and some fraudsters might have put things on net to dupe people. She decided instead to visit one small orphanage that she had sighted some time ago.

It took Felicia about two hours to drive to the home and also see the people there. She was moved emotionally when she saw the children who did not have parents who would see to their future. After hearing stories of how they often slept on empty bellies, she was glad she visited. One little girl really caught her attention along with her affections and she carried her on her laps as she talked with their matron. She left there some minutes later after donating the sum of two million Naira. She hadn’t been able to contain the emotions that overwhelmed her as the people thanked her profusely. They had gathered the children to appreciate her, even though she had protested heavily.

Felicia felt so special and loved as she entered her car and drove away. She felt as though she had just done something worthwhile with her life after wasting years pursuing Michael’s shadow. She stared at the pack of cigarettes beside her car seat and ignored it. She thought of channeling her life back in the right direction and the thought appealed to her, if for nothing but for that little girl at the orphanage who stuck with her as if she was a perfect role model.

Felicia’s phone rang and she glanced at the phone. It was an unknown Nigerian number and she was about ignoring it when she remembered that she was expecting a very vital call. She grabbed the phone instantly and calmed her raging nerves before saying picking up. “Hello” she said with her sonorous voice.

“Hello Tan, this is Denis” the foreign voice floated back.

Felicia smiled happily, her suspicion had been correct. “Oh Denis, it is nice to hear from you again. I guess you are in Nigeria already” she asked somewhat excitedly.

“Yes, I have been here for some hours now. I have been trying to contact you for a while now, it has been hell. Is Nigeria like this?” he asked, sounding stupefied and disgusted.

“Welcome onboard buddy” she said,  irritated by his words but still playing the nice card.

“Thanks Tan. I am stuck in a hotel now and I have no idea where Michael lives. I got the address of his office online, but have no idea how to get there, I hope it is not so much of an inconvenience if I ask you to help me?” he asked in a pleading tone.

Felicia smiled to herself. “Oh, I am actually very busy at the moment but I would do something. Erm… what if I send my driver over? He would take you straight to Michael’s office; how about that?”

“You would do that? Oh, I would be delighted. It is nice to know that Nigerians are not as bad as they say” he responded.

You have no idea, Felicia thought. She laughed mechanically. “Alright Denis, just give me the hotel details so I can send my driver over”. The call ended some minutes later and Felicia smiled. She turned the steering and parked in order to make all the necessary calls before continuing her journey. It was great that she had thought of something like this before hand. When she had gone to meet Marcel at Tel Communications and had been told of what Michael was up to, she had planned with Marcel to plant hidden cameras in his office. Marcel had argued that it was irrelevant but now, it seemed as though it was the best thing they had done so far. Felicia called one of her company drivers, one she trusted to carry out his duties without fault. She told him in detail to go to Glass Hotel, pick up Denis and take him straight to Tel Communications. “Remember” she said, wrapping up. “My name is not Felicia. If you have to mention any name, my name is Miss Tan”

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Michael entered his office after a very heated meeting at the conference room with the shareholders. Michael considered looking for a way to throw his cousin out of the company. He was beginning to grow wings and Michael did not like that. Some people would wonder why Michael was after Marcel’s shadow but he knew perfectly well. All his life, he had always been conscious of the fact that Marcel would have been the apple of his dad’s eye if he had been around. Michael’s dad, Mr. Coker, had always told the story of how he had immediately named Marcel after his own father. Michael had been the first born, the one most people would refer to as Taiye and Marcel had followed some minutes after. Throughout the lifetime of Michael’s father, he had not stopped searching for his missing son, talking about him endlessly, about how he wished to see the son who was named after his father. Michael’s father had boasted of how he knew that Marcel would be just like his own father; confidently proud, compassionate, calm and collected. Michael had grown to become jealous of his unknown brother, of the love that his dad had for him even without seeing him. When he had discovered Marcel’s whereabouts by sheer luck, Michael had been terribly put off guard when Marcel had turned out to be just the way his dad had predicted. Michael had done everything humanly possible to hide the truth from coming out. When his dad had died, Michael had thought that the struggle was over but he received a shock.

Barrister Fred, who had been his dad’s longstanding and most trusted lawyer had read the voluminous will. Michael had discovered shockingly that even in death, his dad still wanted his lost son to be found. He had willed a large sum of money to the lawyer, requesting him to keep on searching for his son. It had been stated in the will that in case the missing son – Marcel – was not found or was deceased, all his properties should be given to Michael. But if Marcel was found, all the assets should be shared equally between the two sons. Michael was given the privilege of running his father’s companies while the search for Marcel was on. Michael had been awed by the ridiculous will and vowed to do everything possible to prevent the appearance of his twin. He had made Barrister Fred his best friend, always going to him to know what he was planning to do. He pretended to feel anxiety at meeting his twin in order to get information from the barrister. When the barrister had said that he would start an international search, Michael had been nervous. The barrister worked really hard and when he got a hint that Marcel could be in Germany, he had decided to have someone search the place.

Michael had immediately done the needful. He needed to get Marcel out of Germany before he was discovered by the lawyer. By Michael’s evaluation, it had worked perfectly. The lawyer was still in the dark and Michael hoped that he would be able to put Marcel behind bars so that even when the lawyer finds Marcel, he won’t be able to share his inheritance with him since he would be locked up. And when he eventually gets out, Michael would think of something else then.

Michael sat behind his desk and his secretary hurriedly brought his steaming cup of coffee. The staff had been on their toes ever since he arrived. They were looking at him strangely, wondering what was wrong with him. Michael had noticed that Marcel hadn’t been able to do what he had been doing, which was to oppress the staff and make them frightened. He wondered why the staff never got the logic that it must have been a different person. Michael would not imagine himself treating his staff better than he was doing now because as far as he was concerned, they were his servants and they ought to worship the ground he walks on. Marcel is just too weak, he thought. Michael wondered if Marcel’s case had been charged to court. He decided to go to the police station to make sure that was done as fast as possible.

His intercom rang and he let it ring as he sipped his coffee. After some seconds, he picked up without saying a word. His secretary’s voice floated through. “Sir, a man is here to see you, he said his name is Denis, but he does not have an appointment”

Michael’s eyes snapped. “Denis? What does he look like?” he asked, feeling anxious.

“He is a foreigner sir” she said without heat. They received foreigners everyday at Tel Communications.

“Let him in now” he ordered, standing up.

“But sir” she said anxiously. “More than six people are here waiting to see you”

Michael hissed. “If you utter another foolish statement, you are fired” he roared.

The office door was opened some seconds later and he stared in disbelief at his boyfriend. “Denis?” he asked, stupefied. “What the hell are you doing here?”

He rushed to hug Michael. “I am here for you. I missed you terribly and could not spend one more day without you, so I booked the next flight to Nigeria. Are you not happy?”

Michael scratched his head. He would not say that he was exactly unhappy because there was a silent delight he felt when he saw Denis walk in. Gay guys were not rampant on the streets in Nigeria and after spending more than a year with Denis, having sex every time they saw each other, it had been hard being back in Nigeria. Looking at it in another light, it was terribly risky having Denis here.

When Denis did not get a response, he frowned, looking betrayed. “Did you not miss me?” he asked.

Michael exhaled. “Of course I did, it is just that it is risky for gay people in Nigeria” he said.

Denis smiled, walking up to him with a smile. He placed his hand on his chest, rubbing slowly. “Then we would just be careful”

Michael could not resist. It had been days without sex and it was already getting on his nerves. He locked his office door and started unbuttoning his shirt. “Well then, we would be careful”

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Patricia squeezed her father’s hand one last time before she reluctantly left the room. It had been exceedingly painful for her. Seeing her dad like that, going through so much pain had been too much. Her mum was even more or less the sick person because she seemed to even be suffering much more than her dad was. Patricia felt the sudden wetness of her cheeks and quickly wiped it off. She shouldn’t be crying now, she had to be strong for her dad, for her mum, for her sister who knew nothing; she had to be strong for everyone. She had been totally downcast when she had suggested heart transplant to Mr Richard and he had told her of the numerous efforts they had been making to get a donor. It seemed as though all hope was lost.

Her phone rang and she noticed that it was her sister. She hadn’t called her sister ever since she heard about her dad’s sickness because she did not want to lie to Tina. It was unfair that she was in the dark but it was for her own good, Pat thought.

She cleared her throat and picked up. “Hey Tina”

“Sis P” Tina said fondly. “You have forgotten your only sister” she said jovially.

Pat laughed softly. “Is it possible to forget your naughty self?”

Tina laughed. “I have missed you very much. I have not seen you since you returned from Canada, when would you visit me in school?”

“Soon. I have been tied down with work lately” that much was true, Pat thought.

“You work too much sis, you need a man to shake work out of your system” Tina said and Pat did not even know whether to laugh or cry. Tina would not be this relaxed if she had an idea what was going on. “Hey sis, I have been calling dad’s number but it hasn’t been going through. Is something wrong with his line?”

Pat’s heart beat faster as her brain started rolling. “Erm… I don’t know. It is probably the network”

“Really? I have tried repeatedly but it is not going through”

Pat tried another tactic. “Why do you want to trouble him this time, do you need cash?”

Tina laughed. “There is nothing wrong with wanting to hear my dad’s voice sis, I have more than enough money”

Pat swallowed. “Ok, I would tell him to call you”

Pat hung up some minutes later and felt the irresistible urge to cry her eyes out. Someone cleared his throat and she spun around only to come face to face with Marcel. “Marc” she gasped out.

He frowned. “Have you been crying?”

She laughed nervously. “Of course not, something entered my eyes some minutes back and I had trouble removing it” she lied.

He obviously was not foolish enough to believe the fabrication but he did not comment on it because he knew she did not like others seeing her weaknesses.
 
“What are you doing here?” she asked.

“I came to take you out for lunch” he said

She raised her brow. “Shouldn’t that be for Alexa?” she asked.

He smiled, grabbed her hand and started propelling them towards the exit. “You are my friend Pat, almost the closest I have now. My two male friends are on business trips, so you are stuck with me” he flashed his playboy kind of smile and Pat almost melted.

Marcel took Pat out for lunch, never for once making her remember her current predicament. He told her stories of his years in Germany, selecting the funny events in order to make her laugh. Pat almost did not remember the fears of losing her dad as she laughed at Marcel’s jokes. She never imagined that he could be this lively, jovial and fun to be with; anyone who saw them would think they were a couple. The thought almost made Pat’s heart come to a standstill. She was here having fun with the man she was in love with. It would not be a bad thing if they could be together but what she was doing would definitely hurt her more because Marcel definitely loved Alexa, her cousin, and Alexa definitely felt the same way even if they both were not admitting it yet.

As Marcel drove her back to the hospital, she was very quiet and Marcel thought he had done something wrong. He asked severally if she was OK but she smiled every time, saying that she was fine. He was happy that he had been able to take her mind off her problems and had been able to glimpse that part of her that was carefree and open. When they got back to Best Results, she smiled at Marcel. “I am really grateful for what you did today, it got my mind off my problems” she said.

He smiled back. “It is the least I could do; I just want to see you happy”

Pat nodded. “Could you please do me a favour?” she asked and he became attentive. He felt a slight tremor when he watched her struggle with herself. “Please don’t do this again” she said.

He frowned. “Do what? I don’t understand”

“Don’t take me out for lunch or make me feel happy. It is not right and I don’t want the wrong ideas to be passed” Pat did not believe she was saying this.

Marcel froze slightly as he watched Pat. Wrong ideas! Was he misinterpreting her meaning or what? “I don’t get it. What is not right? Do you think Alexa would think we are together or what?”

Pat swallowed. “Not really.” She said then paused but he waited patiently. “I just don’t want anyone to get hurt” she finally said. Marcel was silent, looking at her with his unreadable but breathtaking eyes. The car suddenly seemed too small and he seemed too close, drawing out all the breath in Pat’s lungs. Pat blinked hurriedly and quickly grabbed her purse. “I should go now” she said and without waiting for a response, jumped out and closed the door. She did not look back even though she wanted to. She needed to put some distance between them, if not, she would be terribly hurt and there would be nothing she would be able to do about it. Not that she wasn’t hurting already. If this is what it means to be in love, Pat thought it would be best if she had nothing to do with that emotion.

Belina emerged suddenly and stood before her. She had seen the conflict of emotions as she alighted from Marcel’s car, she did not know what was going on but she had a preety good idea of what it might be.

“Mummy B” Pat said hastily, clearing her throat.

“Walk with me Pat” Belina ordered and Patricia instantly fell in step with her. After they had walked a certain distance in silence, Belina slowed her steps and finally stopped. Pat looked somewhat unsettled, she was anxious already. “Pat, I am sure you trust me very much”

“Of course mum” she said.

Belina nodded with a smile. “You are not just Pat’s daughter, you are like my own daughter too. Tell me; is there something I should know?” Pat looked confused. “Don’t play that trick with me, I saw you coming out of Marcel’s car and with the way your face looked, I am sure it has nothing to do with any research you are working on. Do you have feelings for him?”

Pat swallowed. “If you are worried about Alexa, I am not in any shady relationship with Marcel” she said.

Belina smiled. ” I am not worried about Alexa. Pat, when would you get it into your head that people worry about you? Your mum is worried about your closure to love but with what I just saw, I think otherwise” she breathed and moved close other Goddaughter. “Tell me” she said. “I keep secrets. Are you in love with Marcel?”

Pat blinked severally and turned away from Belina. “I am not ready for this mummy B, I have dad to worry about now. Whatever I feel is irrelevant, besides, the feeling is mutual. He loves Alexa and I am sure she loves him too. They are perfect for each other.” She breathed. “I need to be with mum now” she turned with her head bent. “Please excuse me Mummy B”

Belina nodded and Pat left. She had confirmed her suspicions but even at that Belina was confused.

EPISODE 28
 
Marcel still could not piece together what he would do about Patricia’s request. Wouldn’t it be so easy? Leave her with her pain, just offering one or two words of sympathy without going overboard, trying to wipe out the feeling of hurt she was feeling but trying so hard to hide? It should not be too hard if he did not feel this incredible desire to keep her away from harm. Marcel had arrived at the conclusion that he was definitely in love with Alexa and not Pat. He hadn’t even thought he might be in love with Pat; his feelings for Alexa were quite clear. He truly and really loved Alexander Branson with every fiber of his being but Pat…
 
Marcel rubbed his hand over his face. What had he done to make Pat make that silly request. Even the thought that she might have talked without really meaning what she said did not pacify him. He knew for a fact that women always meant whatever they said most of the time. he couldn’t leave her now, Marcel knew. He had the irresistible urge to make sure she was alright and not hurting. He had never wanted to protect anyone this much, except Alexa. For a long time in Marcel’s life, he had wished for a family, someone to call his own, not by chance but by blood. He wished he had a sister whom he could protect from all the odds of life even if his life depended on it. Marcel had thought that he craving for a family would be satisfied immediately Michael appeared but no; instead, Marcel had won for himself a very formidable enemy. What he had done to make Michael so defensive, Marcel had no idea but he hated it badly. Pat on the other hand, made him feel as though he actually had a sister. He wanted to protect her, wipe out the slightest hint of pain and fill her with joy. Marcel wondered when he had started to feel this way, it was probably even the instant she had sailed into his office, staring him down without flinching. Marcel smiled to himself. Anytime he switched on that domineering part of himself, he was assured of victory but he couldn’t have been more wrong. She matched him stare for stare and Marcel had been amazed, if not floored. She had gone beyond that to worry about his safety countless number of times, saving his ass from trouble time and again. Marcel had never fallen facedown into a trap but Michael was a genius. He had seen Marcel’s yearn for a family as his weakness and had exploited perfectly.
 
With what Marcel vowed solemnly to disregard Pat’s request. He would do all he could to make sure she felt as little pain as possible. The door bell chimed and Marc frowned, not expecting a visitor. Being at home wasn’t one of Marcel’s hobbies but what could he do? He had left Tel Communications and the only thing he was doing was to keep contacting his company in Germany, ensuring that they were moving on fine. He reached the door without even thinking about unbuttoned shirt. Immediately he opened the door, his breath all but vanished. “Alexa” he breathed.
 
Jeez, how could anyone not fall in love with her? She was beauty personified from her sparkling hair to the sole of her equally sparkling slippers. He had noticed the cloth immediately the door was opened. This was the same gown she had worn when she came to him some months back, offering her body to him. His breath caught at the remembrance. That day, two things had happened: he had loved her and hated her. Thinking of the way she had shakily asked him to make love to her, Marcel had wondered what devil had possessed him to take advantage of such innocence, but he couldn’t deny her. That was a temptation that he was sure could belly even the devil himself. Watching her strip before him had been the last straw but the moment he had broken her maidenhead, horror had filled him. He couldn’t begin to stomach the fact that he had slept with her under pretense, taking the woman that originally belonged to his brother, but to think that he had taken her virginity and innocence in the process was downright horrifying. He had taken his anger at himself out on her, treating her worse than he had earlier.
 
Marcel did not know how long he stood at the doorway, ravishing her with his eyes but when his eyes left her body to return back to her eyes, he was a bit pacified that he hadn’t been the only one going down memory lane.
 
Alexander felt hot lead running through her veins and she had to try hard not to whimper at his feet. Marcel definitely knew the enormous power he had over women and he was weaving it without mercy. Her mouth felt like crackers as she stared at his exposed chest. Every muscle protested with every move he made. He was built like a powerful brick wall and Alexa knew all too well how they felt beneath her palm. That one night had been enough to burn the feel of him into her memory. Even though the night had been a total mistake and a disaster, Alexa chose to cherish those minutes when Marc had treated her like a queen, when she had felt the very height of pleasure. What happened afterwards was nothing to write home about, especially when Marcel had discovered that she had no experience at all, through the very obvious stains on the bedspread. Shame had washed over her, and then she had thought she was with Michael but now, she was glad she wasn’t. she could not begin to stomach the idea that she had lost her innocence to someone as evil as Michael.
 
“Marc” she finally breathed. Marcel noticed in horror that they had at the entrance for what seemed like eternity. She brushed past him into the house and he perceived the fragrance of his perfume. His blood ran hotter and he took him time to steady himself before turning to follow her into the sitting room. When she was safely seated on the couch, he noticed the tension radiating in her pores. She looked terribly uptight. He stood behind her and placed his hands on her shoulders gently. She tensed, jerking slightly. He did not remove his hands; instead, he began a steady massage until she started relaxing. They hadn’t exchanged words but it seemed as though they spoke without actually speaking.
 
“Your uncle’s health is taking its toll on you” he said softly.
 
She sighed softly and he wished he could capture that sigh. His fingers continued their ministration and a soft moan escaped her mouth. This was getting dangerous, he thought as his blood ran as hot as a volcanic eruption. “These past few days have been…” she murmured breathlessly. “Terrifying” she finished. “Pat has withdrawn completely”
 
Marcel’s hands stilled and then continued. It had been two days since Pat requested that he stopped trying to lighten her burden, why hadn’t he gone to her again. She must be terribly lonely and frightened even if she pretended not to be. Alexa sighed again in delight as his fingers worked tension out of her. Her head relaxed against the backrest of the couch, turning her face up. Marcel’s fingers stilled and her closed eyes opened. He swore under his breath as his resolve vanished. He bent and covered her mouth with his. All his organs were on high alert as he crushed her mouth. He was staggered when he realized that she was just as he remembered, her hot yielding mouth felt exactly the way they had that night. He deepened the kiss and her fingers went to his neck and hair. His hands went to her hair, remembering the texture perfectly. “Oh sweetheart” he breathed and deepened the kiss. Belina’s words came flooding Alexa’s brain and she stiffened. Marcel felt it instantly and he drew back despite the furious protests of his body. “Sweetheart, you are quite safe with me”
 
Alexa swallowed. “But why?”
 
Marc frowned. “Why what?”
 
“Why did you kiss me like that? Like you… like I… I mean,” she swallowed. “You don’t have feelings for me right?”
 
Marcel stared at her and would have laughed if the situation hadn’t been a serious one. “I don’t?” he asked vaguely, standing. “Jeez, you have been under my skin for God knows how long. I can’t look at you without wanting to kiss you till your lips were branded with my name; my fingers itch to mark my possession of your body for the whole world to see”
 
Alexa gasped slightly at the plain revelation. He went to her then and pulled her to her feet and into his arms. He put his nose in her hair and breathed deeply. “But I don’t think you want this honey” he kissed her forehead. “I hurt you so deeply sweetheart; you were in a relationship with Michael not me”
 
She withdrew to look him in the eye. “We were both subjects of his deception” she murmured. “While you were acting as Michael, I fell in love with you, not the name”
 
Marc stilled. He stared at her for a long time, stoned and she stood on tip toes, planting a firm kiss on his mouth. He seized her instantly, taking control and kissing her until they both came up breathless. The happiness bubbling inside him could not be compared to anything he had ever felt. They laughed, kissed, laughed again. “I love you Alexander”
 
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Felicia was finally going to see Michael – the real Michael – her blood boiled in anticipation of  the meeting. She approached Michael’s secretary and informed her that she had to see Michael as a matter of urgency. “I am sorry ma’am, but he specifically asked not to be disturbed”
 
Felicia fixed the girl with a stern glare. “If you are scared of being fired, then get ready because I am sure he would fire you if you don’t let me in. if you are nice enough, then you might even get the good luck of working Zedpro Limited” the name of the company in question rang a bell in the girl’s ears and she shifted nervously. Felicia pitied her, she knew just how difficult it must be, working for the devil himself.
 
“I would just call ma’am” she said.
 
“Just tell him that Felicia Adams is here” she murmured with a smile.
 
The speed with which Felicia was sent to Michael’s office was staggering. She breathed at the door, telling herself to remain calm and somewhat indifferent, just as Pat had instructed. Felicia never thought she would take orders from someone else but she found herself respecting the woman. she did not have to open the door, the door opened and, standing before her, flesh and blood, was Michael – her husband, or ex. It took almost a minute of staring to make her get her wits back. Her anger had frozen and boiled to a dangerous level within the space of seconds. She concentrated on taking in descent breaths without giving in to the urge to strangle the man before her. Michael had paled and she thought he might be sick. Too early for that, she thought.
 
“We meet again husband” she said steadily with a devilish smile crossing her face. “Do we proceed to the confines of your office or would you rather we wash our dirty linens in public?” she asked with a raised brow.
 
He instantly got the message and opened the door wider for her. She swept into the same office she had entered when she visited Marcel, only it was different now. A different person was in this office, choking out any feeling of warmth. Immediately the door clicked shot, she heard the roar before it even started. “How did you get yourself out of jail?”
 
She turned and smiled. “You see Michael; it is funny how a small gesture of kindness can thwart evil. When Marcel had got me released, he hadn’t known the world of good he was doing himself”
 
“Marcel had released you?” he roared. “That weakling”
 
She smiled and then laughed heartily. “no one is as weak as a walking corpse Michael, which is what you are. It is not yet time to get hypertensive Marcel, I advice you sit down” she said.
 
“And who do you think you are to give me orders?” he asked.
 
“It is an advice you swine,” she said as anger sipped in. she breathed and sat gingerly on one seat. She waited until Michael had obliged then she aimed without wasting time. “Marcel saved me, and now he is one of my own. You are taking a swing at one of my own and I want you to dissuade for your own good”
 
Michael snorted. “So Marcel wants to use you as a tool to get himself out of the much expected jail term?” he laughed. “Tell him he failed. What can you do?”
 
Felicia smiled. “You don’t know me Mike” she said, calling his short itinerary. “You turned me into a deadly serpent, the acid did that effectively. Now, the Felicia sitting before you is a viper. I guess you knew that, that is why you went through the trouble to be rid of me” she laughed softly. “You would secure Marcel’s release or pay for it dearly”
 
He snorted disgustingly. “What can you do?” he asked again.
 
She extracted an envelope and passed it to Michael. He pulled out the content in fear and his panicked immediately he stared at a picture. The pictures nearly slipped from his grasp and he clutched tightly, staring at himself, naked with Denis. Several unimaginable sights lay on other pictures and he roared. “What is this?”
 
“It is good that I inform you that I have the whole erm… performance recorded and taped. You have been warned.” She stood up. “Good day Michael” she floated out, leaving Michael shaken terribly.
 
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Pat left her mum to sleep, contented at last that her mother was having a little sleep. She picked her phone. It was the guy she had asked to trail Michael. Immediately he had threatened her family, she had decided to get someone on his tail in case he tried anything funny.
 
She picked up. “Hello J” she said but immediately blanched when the guy’s words floated to her. “What?”
 
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Michael raced, putting the car on top speed. He was ending all these. Marcel had haunted him enough and it was high time he did the needful. The gun he had just purchased bounced in his pocket. He was tired of having Marcel in the face of everything in his life. He might go to jail, but he would make sure that Marcel did not live to see his downfall. Did Felicia honestly think she had summed him up? That a cheap blackmail would have him hiding behind his tail? He laughed as he turned the wheel. It was already very dark and he liked it. Liked the fear it would create. He got to Marcel’s house and parked. Getting into the compound was easy. He only had to tell the gateman that he was visiting his brother; it was not his fault that they were so identical. Michael was about to knock but decided to try the door. Surprisingly, the door gave way. He entered with a smile.
 
Michael stared at the sitting room in disgust, seeing Marcel everywhere. Everything seemed to possess his thumbprint and it annoyed him to death. The door at the entrance opened and he turned. He saw his carbon copy standing at the door saw his sudden surprise and watched as the surprise vanished as he stood like an immovable mountain at the entrance. He moved slightly away from the door but did not enter. “I guess you finally decided to pay me a visit” Marcel said.
 
Michael looked at him with contempt then laughed. “Visit?” He laughed louder. “It is more like a farewell” he ground out. His bitter words floated through but he could have been talking to a deaf mute because Marc did not say a word, neither did his expression change in the least. After a long stretch of silence, Marcel opened his mouth.

“Well then, I guess it would be great if you tell me why you are after my shadow”

Michael scowled then smiled, one of those calculated smiles aimed at frightening the other party. “Your shadow? Your shadow was not around when I started the chase. You had been in my dreams even before I glimpsed your existence” he breathed. “All my life, I had to live with the constant reminder of the fact that dad preferred you to me” he laughed as he saw a flicker of emotion on Marcel’s face. “The old conceited man, always ringing his desperation to find his missing son, the one he had named after his father”. Marc almost gasped. “That is right, you bear the name of our grandfather.” He rasped out bitterly.

“I see no reason why I should be despised for that. I definitely did not choose to make you-”

“Shut up” Michael roared. “You swine, of course you did. When I could not get the man’s love, I settled for his wealth but the man won’t even let me have that” he hissed. “I discovered your whereabouts and hid it from him but the man was one strong headed swine” Marcel concentrated on remaining calm even as his temper rose several degrees. “Do you know the pathetic part?” Michael asked, looking slightly demented as he gestured wildly. “The man died and split his will between us” he roared. Marcel could not believe his ears. All of these had been because of properties? Even without Michael continuing, Marcel almost knew where he was headed.

Michael’s hand stole into his pocket and Marcel became still as stone as he stared at the flashing pistol. Michael rubbed his left hand on the gun and spoke on. “My first thought was to finish you instantly but I couldn’t” he said and laughed. “You looked so much like me, I thought shooting you would be equivalent to shooting myself, so I waited. When the stupid lawyer decided to search for you in Germany…”

“You deceived me out of there” Marc completed, feeling bitterness creep into his mouth even as he was super aware of the gun.

“Good boy.” He admitted. “But I would have to do what I couldn’t. You are my nightmare, always in my shadow” his face turned terribly furious and animated and Marcel felt his blood turn to ice. “I might crumble but I won’t give you the satisfaction of seeing my fall” he said fiercely. The gun was firmly aimed at Marcel.

“Michael, stop this, you are being stupid. I have no intention of sharing your inheritance” Marc stated, seeing that Michael would really pull the trigger.

“You lying snake, of course you would. At least you know it is partially yours”

“I am serious”

“Shut your mouth. My mind is made up, I have had enough of you”

“Marc” she heard a familiar voice shout. Christ no! He blanched. What was Pat doing here. He was about to yell for her to leave when she jumped in through the door. His head jerked to Michael and he saw the evil smile on his face. With the gun still aimed at him, Michael pulled the trigger. Everything happened all of a sudden – the ringing sound of the gun echoed, mixed with the shrill sound of Pat’s scream. Marcel found himself being shoved aside and then, the earth stood still.

Marcel grew as pale as sheet as Patricia’s body jerked. “No” he rasped out. The bullet had hit Pat squarely in the chest. “No” he ground out. “Pat” he screamed, scarcely remembering his own voice as he wrapped his arms around Pat’s falling body. “Pat, no… please talk to me” he begged, his eyes watering as blood spread across her chest. “Pat… Please…”

She smiled faintly as her eyes closed. “I… love…… you” she breathed.

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Oh no! This is not happening!

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Nooooooooooo…!