CHAPTER 2 | the favour

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A/N.  Thank you all for your support.  I was a little astounded at how many of you checked out the first chapter.  It was very unexpected.

In this chapter we learn a little more about Sydney.

Take care and don't forget to vote and comment :)

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Sleep had eluded Sydney. Despite her best efforts, her mind had remained alert and chaotic. She had tossed and turned all night, her thoughts festering on the conversation she had overheard the previous evening.

Regretting her agreement to spend the night at Ivy and Victor's penthouse apartment, she propelled herself out of bed and opened the richly appointed curtains. The morning had dawned. A clear blue sky promised another beautiful day. Outside, she could see early morning joggers as they ran laps around Central Park. The lush foliage of the greenbelt was resplendent and vibrant as it showed off its flora in full bloom.

Despite the stunning vista, Sydney was unable to shake her overwrought state of mind. Her sleep had been broken by an accusing and haughty set of steel grey eyes. The one question that had been playing on her mind – how had he recognised her?

She hadn't been Victoria Hutton in the better part of a decade. Victoria Hutton, born into old money on her mother's side, and new money on her father's, was ancient history. The life she knew was forever gone.

She was now Sydney Regas. A change in name and hair colour was all that it took to hide in plain sight.

Truth be told, it hadn't been difficult. Unlike Sydney's older brother, she had rebelled against her parent's constant need to be in the social spotlight. From an early age, she had refused to attend any of the myriads of functions their extravagant lifestyle demanded. The only public photos of her had been when the press had turned up outside her college dorm, demanding to know where her father was. Even then, it had taken the media a while to realise the Hutton's had a second child.

Sydney closed her eyes. The pain, even after all this time was still raw.

Four billion dollars. That was the amount her father deemed was the price at which he would abandon his family, and throw them to the wolves.

David Hutton had chosen to flee the country before he could be arrested for fraud after it was discovered over four billion dollars of investors' money had been lost in fake trades and investments. Many of his investors were forced into bankruptcy, some committing suicide under the strain of the loss.

Penelope Hutton her mother, ever the entitled and temperamental prima donna, and oblivious to her husband's shortcoming, proclaimed his innocence. She chose instead to ignore the overwhelming proof of his guilt.

In her usual flighty and reckless manner, Penelope had taken herself off to a high-priced spa to escape the relentless media circus that was after blood. After being asked to leave, once it was discovered the government had frozen her husband's bank accounts, and she no longer had a line of credit, she returned to New York. To her very vocal and public horror, Penelope had been barred from returning to her prestigious Upper East Side rooftop penthouse. This also had been seized by the IRS.

Ivy, being the executor of the Weymouth family trust, offered her sister use of the family estate in New Hampshire. It was not in use, and would provide Penelope sanctuary from the press, which was more than willing to follow the downfall of a wealthy family.

Despite her sudden decrease in financial security and having to live off the money from the allowance from her trust fund, she continued to spend as if she had access to unlimited wealth.

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