When Hanna learned of this, they were even more confused as to how the two of them could be connected.

"Maybe they'd met before?"

Natalia suggested,

"But when was it, exactly? If they had, it should have been reported to the media by now, because Alicia hasn't had a break from them since she joined the family business."

Hanna reflected on their five years of working with Alicia and how much she has been pressured and stressed out by the media asking questions or invading her privacy without regard for the possibility of provoking a reaction from her.

"Maybe it was before that, before the whole business thing"

Before continuing, Natalia said,

"Does she ever tell you about her past or how she used to live?"

In response, Hanna shook their head.

"She doesn't really talk about it, she just talks about how she misses living back then because they didn't give a fuck about her back then, the media, no pressure, no cameras, that sort of thing, but not people she interacted with, no"

Hanna said making Natalia realize how difficult it must be for Alicia to go through such a drastic change, and it made her disgusted by how the media works and how many lives they've ruined just to make money.

"Wow, that's a really harsh world to live in; they don't give a fuck about you your whole life, and then all of a sudden they're attached to you like a parasite for the rest of your life. "

Natalia said, which Hanna then replied with,

"It's probably safe to stop digging from here; Alicia would probably prefer to keep that part of her life to herself, but I'll still give her the sculpture's information; I think she'll appreciate it."

Hanna said something, and Natalia nodded as she moved closer to her partner, putting her hand around their shoulder and resting her head on the other, comforting them, thinking about how good it must feel for Hanna to be able to help her friend, even if it was just a bit.

-

Wednesday, 10:12 AM

As an employee attempted to make a presentation to her to offer a proposal, Alicia was trying not to zone out. Her one hand tapped the ballpen against the table, while her other held her head and rested her elbow on the table. While intensely staring at the presenter and the presentation back to back, the poor person becoming intimidated by her.

"That is all, Miss Alicia"

As they finished their presentation, the presenter bowed, a nervous expression on their face as they looked down at the floor, not wanting to have to look at Alicia's intimidating gaze again. Alicia sighed and smiled at the presenter as she placed her hands on top of each other at her table.

"Mrs. Victoriano, thank you for that lovely presentation; you may now depart."

Alicia said, bowing slightly at the person, and the presenter returned the bow and looked at Hanna, who was standing next to Alicia, holding a clip holder on top of a folder in one hand and a ball pen in the other, taking notes about the presentation, knowing that Alicia had trouble focusing earlier.

Hanna nodded at the presenter, signaling that it's okay for them to leave now; the presenter smiled briefly before exiting the room, leaving only Alicia and Hanna in the room. Alicia rested her head on top of her hands, sighing deeply once more.

"Well, that's the sixth presentation of the day, and we're only halfway through."

Alicia said this as she shifted to her side and flipped through the pages of all the documents on her table, imagining how much work and concentration she would need to complete them all. She then returned to her previous position and closed her eyes.

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