The Last Heir – Alaska Angelini

There was something missing. Desire? Passion? Freedom? There was a need inside me that I couldn’t quite figure out. There had been a hole in my chest now for years, but lately it had turned monstrous. The weight alone kept me in a whirlpool of unstable emotions. Some were good. Most were bad. They owned me. They came with a price, just like my last name. I hated it. I hated this need I couldn’t sate. “Sir. Sir, please.” Tires squealed as I took the curve even faster. The engine revved as the salesman gripped to the door with one hand, holding to his seatbelt with the other. He wasn’t enjoying our test drive, but I was.

Here, in the blur of my surroundings, I was home. Free from the obligations and responsibilities that ruled my life. Free from him. “This is great! Do you think we should push her faster?” “Please, no. Can we go back now?” “Go back? Already? We’ve only gone a few miles.” The fear was evident as he stole a glance towards me. He didn’t want to be here. He didn’t find pleasure in speed like I did. We were two complete opposites, coming from two different worlds. As I took in his worried expression the hole inside widened making me feel like an outsider. I didn’t know who this man was. I didn’t have reason to fear like he did, and I couldn’t stand that I didn’t relate. Did I even know myself? Life. Every day we went through routines. Every moment, our path shifted from one reality to another.

How did we get to this point? One would think the answer to that question was choices. Was the basis of our identity really grounded in the decisions we made? No. From birth, the last thing we had were choices. We didn’t decide our parents, the location, or the economic status we were born into. We lived. Or some of us did, and from there we were given the ability to develop into whom we become. For some, the choice was easy. In grade school, or by parents or loved ones, we were asked: What do you want to be when you grow up? Firefighter. Astronaut. Teacher. Those paths didn’t always work out, but the answers we chose gave us a dream. Through that passion, we ended up planning the way to our future. At least…some of us were that lucky. Others, like me, were never given a choice. If anyone would have asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have never said: puppet heir to a multi-billion-dollar legacy.

But that’s the way life goes. From the moment we arrive in this hellhole, we’ve already got a status. We’re either privileged or not. Good looking or not. We’re born into freedom…or we’re not. Does that mean those situations can’t change? No. Where things go up, they can also go down, and vice-versa. But no matter what we think we know; we can almost always guarantee there’s an option we don’t see coming that fucks us every time. Sometimes, literally, and sometimes, not by choice. Life wasn’t always fair. It wasn’t even just, in some cases. What it was, was full of possibilities—good or bad. Right or wrong. I had learned that the hard way. You see, I may have been the last heir to a legacy, but Fate didn’t take kind to killers.

Not even to those of a hypothetical nature. Especially not to ones who’d known most of their life that their birthright, their ‘good fortune’, would end with them. I had no intention of furthering my ancestral line, but the powers that be had plans of their own. “I think that’ll do. I have plenty of time to test her out. Did you say there were other colors for this model? I’m not much into silver.” The salesman’s relief grew as he smiled. “We do. A few, actually.” “Perfect.” I turned the car around, trying not to let the pestering thoughts ruin my mood. I was fine. I was just working too much. The suffocation would pass. It always did.

Then, things would go back to normal. Normal…and boring. Routine. I was drowning. Despite that I was going back to the dealership, I pushed the car just as fast down the narrow roads. I chose this place for a reason. It was the perfect location outside of the city, away from the masses of people that I couldn’t stand to be close to anymore. By the time I pulled into the parking lot, the salesman’s tie was just about undone. We got out, heading inside where the manager was waiting. “How did she drive?” “Like a dream.” My eyes scanned the showroom, and I couldn’t help but walk over, sliding my hand down the length of the sporty hood. “This one. My last two cars were black. I think I’ll do matte black this time. She’s gorgeous.

” “Excellent choice, Mr. Carmelo. Would you like it delivered, or would you like to drive it home today? My teeth bit into my lower lip. Adrenaline was still pumping through my entire being at the speed my new car could climb. I wanted it. No, I needed it. I had to get back to that place where thoughts didn’t overpower me. Cars were my one love, and this one was going to wipe my past clean. At least for now. “I’ll be taking it now.” I dangled the keys of my current ride, annoyed when my head of security, Gabe, hung up his phone and stood in place. “Of course, Mr. Carmelo. Anything else I can help you with while we’re getting your new car ready?” My hand lowered as three men in suits walked through the door and headed towards me. It’d been a while since I saw them, but there was no mistaking their presence, or why my own security wasn’t obeying.

“Aimon.” I paused at the greeting. “Parker.” One of my eyebrows rose to my grandfather’s main man. He was a doctor and former special forces. He didn’t take any shit, which told me his reasons for being here weren’t good. He never left my grandfather’s side. Not unless he had to. “Which one are you here for?” I crossed my arms over my chest, forcing a half-ass grin as my head gestured to the two-seater sports car behind me. “Nice. Very, very nice. I’m afraid you’re going to have to put it on hold. Master Carmelo is requesting your presence.” “He can wait. I’ve been busting my ass for him for almost two months straight.

I deserve a weekend to myself.” “I wasn’t asking if you wanted to go. You’re going.” “Is that right?” At his silence my teeth ground. “Gabe, come get my keys and take my car home. I’ll drive the new one to see my grandfather.” “No.” Parker’s hand came up, swiping the fob from my grip to put it in his suit’s pocket. “You won’t be needing a new car. I’ll have the old one returned to the penthouse’s garage.” His hand wrapped around my bicep causing me to immediately jerk back, but I didn’t disarm his grip. It was like a vice. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?” “Don’t make a scene, Aimon. If you’ll follow us, we can do this in a civilized manner.” “It’s Master Aimon to you.

And I said let go.” Harder, I pulled away. The three dark-suited guards stepped in closer, crowding me in. They were as familiar to me as my own, but my guy did nothing to protect me. Gabe stood in the showroom of cars like a statue. No one helped. Their surprise was as great as my own. “I said I was fucking going. Did you not hear—Get your fucking hands of me.” The painful grip had my eyes narrowing and my temper soaring through the roof. I only had one rule to those who knew me: no touching. They knew better, yet they weren’t holding back which told me I’d finally pushed my grandfather further than he was willing to allow. Even though I’d grown up in his home, we’d never been close. Especially since my parents’ death. I’d barely been a teen then, but he didn’t care.

He groomed me, molded me to be unbreakable and hateful like him, and for a long time I allowed it. “I’m trying to be nice here, Parker, but I’m about to knock your ass out. I’m not telling you again. I can walk by myself.” The pressure eased, but it didn’t disappear as the men backed off at his order. “Then get going, and don’t you dare stop. Carmelo Enterprises is no longer in your control. You have been stripped of all rights associated with the Carmelo name. Including any rights to yourself. Now, walk.” Chapter 1 Fay My dad once told me the secret to happiness was realizing everything you needed, you already had. I never understood what he meant by that. There were plenty of things I needed that were clearly missing from my life. For example, I needed a job. I needed a place to live.

Right this very moment I could have been happier if I had caffeine, tissues, and a rewind button. But I had none of those things, and the last thing I was was happy. Lights blurred in a mass of color against the dark sky, and unfamiliar voices faded in and out. I kept going over the last week as if it had been some outlandish nightmare. It was just days ago my mom was making muffins as my dad sat at the table with his laptop. The aroma was still heavy in my memory, but I wasn’t comforted by the phantom smell. Not after the last few hours. I felt broken. “Perfect timing, Fayette. Come, take a seat.” But I hadn’t wanted to. With my parents having me at such a late age, they continually doted over everything I did. They always had since birth. And with two dozen blueberry muffins already in the basket on the counter, and another in the oven, I knew why I’d been called over. It was because of him.

And me. I wasn’t ready to face my pain or embarrassment as a fiancé. As an employee, a friend, a daughter…I wasn’t ready for this. “Fay, come sit by me. I’m not mad at you.” Still, I hadn’t been able to move towards my father. I was embarrassed. Defeated. This wasn’t how I was raised. We’d grown up middle-class at best, and although my parents did everything they could to provide along the way, my dad didn’t help but remind me every chance he got about the importance of money. It was the epitome of responsibility. Whether it was yours or someone else’s, if you didn’t have a handle on finances, empires crumbled. You could crumble. I used to think he was being dramatic…until I saw it for myself. “I know what this is.

Dad…don’t.” “We need to talk, Fayette. I think it’s time. There’s something you need to know. Come sit. This won’t take long. If I contact Thomas—” “The banker?” “He’s not the actual banker, but—” “No way. Remember what happened when you convinced me to let you help with my school loans? Absolutely not.” “Did you not go to the best university?” “Who pushed for that? Dad, you begged me after I told you it didn’t matter.” “But it did matter, Fay. Did you not graduate at the top of your class? Did you not travel the world before you decided to leave the firm and go independent? You had it all. The loans were worth it. Besides, this isn’t school, this is your life. Andrew took everything from you. He cleared out your bank account and almost got you arrested.

Your boss is going under because he neglected to take the necessary steps to protect himself in the first place. You refuse to come home. I have no idea where you’re even staying. Let us help. The loans worked out fine last time. We paid them of . Besides, you won’t have—” “Won’t have, what? Such a high interest rate this time? Won’t be paying for almost as many years as I went to school? I’m not taking any chances. I had to hear about it constantly before. I’m fine, Dad. I’m twenty-six. I’ve been taking care of myself for a while. I’ll find a new job. Someone will give me a chance now that Andrew is in jail and paying for his crimes.” “Fay—” “No. I don’t want your help.

I did this. Let me clean up my own mess for once.” “What do you mean, you did this?” My head lowered through the shame. “What Andrew did was my fault. I should have paid more attention. I…shouldn’t have trusted him. Mr. Weller was more than my boss; he was a friend. I promised I’d take him to the next level. I should have made sure his business was protected against something like this.” “That was not part of your job, Fay.” “No, but I should have inquired about it. Keith was just starting up. He kept asking me all these questions. I should have made sure he had all his bases covered.

I mean, theft? I never thought in my wildest dreams—” My sob had my hand shooting to my mouth. I never cried in front of my parents. If I was anything it was prideful. Sometimes too much. “You don’t have to worry about anything anymore. Let me make a call. It’s time, Fay.” “Absolutely not. You never trust my decisions. You never give me a chance. All you do is dictate my life. I said I got this. Trust me, and just leave it alone. Please. I’m begging you.

” His features twisted with concern, and I’d never wanted to cry so hard. Until now… Scenes replayed, mixing with my last memory of my parents. I’d been at their house the following day when knocking sounded at the door. I’d only just arrived by cab because like everything else in my life at the moment, my car decided not to start. I was running exceptionally late which was okay since they’d called to let me know they were making a trip to the grocery store. I figured they had stopped for something else on the way home being as they had left a few hours before. “Hello, can I help you?” “Ma’am, my name is Of icer Harris, and this is Of icer Wilcox. Are your parents George and Marilyn Brexton?” “They…are. What’s the matter? Are they okay?” “We’re sorry to inform you, but there’s been an accident.” Accident. It was one word, but it sparked a million fears. “Ms. Brexton.” My eyes left the skyscrapers in the far distance, settling on the large, bald man in the dark suit. He was the only one who’d rode in the back of the limo with me, and to this point, he hadn’t said a word.

Not even when I asked him where we were going. “Yes?” My eyes narrowed, hesitant at the tissue he handed over. It was only then that I felt the tears rolling down my cheeks. Dammit. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t function. The last few days were a mass of merging moments. My father’s funeral. The packing. The lawyers. What was I doing again? Where the hell was I going? I didn’t want to be here, but the three men who’d collected me from my parent’s house didn’t give me a choice. Maybe I should have been afraid. Perhaps if I could think straight, I would have put up a bigger fight or questioned them more, but I felt just as dead as my father. And didn’t they say this was about him? That it was important? “Please, what’s all this about? I don’t know anyone who’d have a limo, and I don’t think my father would have either.” “George was a great man.

” I stopped blowing my nose, blinking through what I thought I heard. “You knew my dad?” “I did. For a very long time now. He was a dear friend.” More tears. Was I nodding? Sobbing? God, I was. I was falling apart even more by the second. “He was s-so great. He was kind. He would have taken care of e-everybody if he could.” “Yes. He would have.” “I’m sorry.” I put my hand out. “I don’t think I got your name.

” “Thomas.” My lips parted, only to close. “Thomas, from the bank?” For seconds he didn’t speak. “Your dad loved you very much. I want you to know that. No matter what, don’t forget how much he cared. Sometimes, things happen that we can’t control. I don’t think any of us expected this. Especially him.” Unease left me shifting in my seat. For the first time in days, my heart stopped aching. The fear that clutched it was raw. Real. It had me forcing myself to swallow through the panic that was closing my throat. “You’ll have to excuse me.

I…am having trouble making sense of things. I haven’t really slept much. Will you please tell me what’s going on?” “I’m sorry, it’s not my place.” “Your place? Can you tell me who’s place it is?” The divider lowered, drawing our attention to the front of the limo. “Three minutes.” Thomas nodded, turning back to me. “His intentions were good. The deal was not. You’ve been through a lot this last week. I’m sorry for that.”


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Updated: 10 June 2021 — 18:19

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