Chapter Thirty-two

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Quentin got to the apartment, only to find it empty. Where the hell was she?

He had several missed calls from her. He didn't answer his phone because of all he had to deal with, between Donavan, his mother, his... well, not his father, but as close as he was going to get one.

Quentin called Billie back, but she was now giving him the same treatment.

"Damn it!"

He had no choice. He'd have to wait for her return. As the hours pressed on, his panic grew. She wasn't coming back. He went to her bedroom for confirmation, but nothing was taken. Confused, he called Billie's father.

The man groggily said hello. It was only then that Quentin noted the time. He knew it was late, but it was now 1 in the morning.

"Mr. Dupree is Billie with you? I have to talk to her."

"Billie no. Why would she be...?"

"She hasn't returned home and I'm worried."

"Did you two have a fight?"

"Not exactly. I left her with my mother because of Donavan."

"Donavan?" All the sleepiness had faded with the harsh way he said Donavan's name.

"Why would you be going after Donavan?"

"To find out what he knew. He's been working with my father behind the scenes to break Billie and me up. I don't know how or when he would have gotten to her but I fear he might have been successful."

"I'll contact Carlos. He usually has the most accurate tabs on her."

"Carlos? Of course! Please let me know what you find out."

"I will."

"Mr. Dupree?"

"Yes?"

"Why did you sell the company when you knew how much it meant to Billie?"

There was silence for a moment or two.

"It's what your father wanted, what he's always wanted. I only hope it brings him some peace. As for Billie, I'm doing this for her. She would make the same mistakes I had. She would make that business her whole life and miss out on living it.

After I lost Gwendolyn, I approached your father. I knew how much he wanted this business and I knew I could easily offload it to him. I should have spent more time with my wife. I should have traveled by her side for more than just business trips. I should have seen the world with her, through her eyes, as everything was more thrilling that way.

Instead, she was left alone most of the time. She had her work and her books and of course Billie but she chose me, Quentin. After her passing, I couldn't help but see all the ways I let her down. I lost all ambition, all love for that place. The real love of my life was gone and there was nothing I can do to change that. I won't let Billie share that same fate. She must choose her own path now and I'm certain whatever she chooses she will be a success."

"I'll check with the doorman, and see if he can tell me anything about Billie's coming and going," Quentin informed him, changing the subject.

"Do you think she somehow learned about the sale?" Quentin could hear the fear in Mr. Dupree's voice.

"I don't know but after tonight I can't afford to take anything for granted," Quentin told him.

"Keep in touch."

"I will. I promise."

Quentin left the apartment and went to find Mitch. "Did Billie leave here?"

Mitch nodded, "A few hours ago. After her ex came to see her."

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