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| chapter song: feel the light - j.lo |
| dedication: LeahKeys - for the cute cover xo |


The way I got home last night was still a wild fuzzy journey in my head. I could recall small snippets of it - when Link left me speechless on the road. I remember watching his retreating back, slowly walking away until he merged into the night, become one with the shadows. His last chilling words froze the sweats on my back, and I knew that he meant every word of it.

It took me a while to snap out of the nightmare trance, and I had forced my trembling feet to drag me to my car. Once I was inside, as safe as I could get, I threw my head on the steering wheel and started to breath out heavily. Finding control over myself ended up taking a whole lot longer than I anticipated - and even when I got home, it took me several talking-to-myself moments to reduce the rapid beating of my heart.

I had convinced myself that Link wouldn't do anything illegal thus bring no harm to me.

Not physically no, but mentally I was helpless.

With my sprawled fingers covering my eyes, I groaned when the curtains were suddenly swiped open, the bright sunlight still managing to get through my hand and blinding my eyes.

"You need to get ready Orianna. We have to leave in five hours!"

Annoyingly, I didn't even hear her come in. "Five hours?" I whispered incredulously, wondering how my Mother made five hours sound like we had five minutes left. I slowly wiggled down into my covers, grabbed the front and threw it over my face. It didn't completely subdue the brightness in the room but it was enough to make me fall asleep again.

"Orianna," my Mother snapped just as the covers were pulled down my face once again. I scrunched my eyes up at the perfectly make-up clamped face of my Mother's, her eyes scrutinizing me already early this morning.

"I'm awake." I told her, forcing out the words through gritted teeth, peeking up at her through one opened eye.

She slowly leaned away from my face, her trademark scowl still plastered on. She straightened her robe and my eyes stopped on her hair - it was soaked with a hair mask.

"Mum, you do know that it's dripping all down your side..." I slowly told her, pushing myself up in the bed with my elbows and pointing to the side of her head. My mum just rolled her eyes at me before turning around and sashaying out the room.

My head moved to fall back onto the pillow "ORIANNA!" my Mother's penetrating yell reached my ears within seconds and my head went straight back up.

Goodness gracious.




My Father was the CEO of Shea's Services and his company was celebrating it's twentieth anniversary. To others it was a big deal. To me it was another one of the last fifteen anniversaries I've been to. Same people, same conversations, same predicaments. The repetition was almost a mental torture but I was my Father's only daughter. Happy or not, I always had the responsibility to be here.

"Let's do this," Brandon smiled at me just before he stepped out, the valet already standing outside his door. I plastered my perfectly mastered smile on, watching Brandon walk - who was dressed in a gorgeous grey suit and a dark pink tie. Since he totally forgot about about tonight, he couldn't find a light blue tie to match my dress and thus was wearing a pink one.

He opened the door for me and helped me out carefully. When I was standing right next to him, he lowered his face so he could whisper in my ear. "You look amazing tonight."

I warmed inside and out and smiled up at him secretly. "I got something planned for tonight- after all of this."

Brandon's eyebrows arched up, a mischievous glint appearing in his eyes. "Like what?" he slowly asked but I just replied with pressing a soft kiss near his lips.

He stuck out his arm for me and I carefully linked us together. "Let's do this," I repeated his earlier words.

We walked through the grand entrance together; smiling for the flashing cameras, stopping for them, waving hello to a few people... the whole same routine. The design team really did the Hall a favour, it looked amazing under the massive chandeliers dangling down and there was a bright buzz amongst the people.

"It always looks so good," I commented just as I spotted my Father and Mother to the side. They were speaking to two men who were facing the other way. But my mum spotted me regardless and she motioned for me to come over.

She was dressed in a completely different dress we originally picked out. This dress was a long fishtailed, blood red dress. It had a dark sequinned pattern down the side and she pulled it off beautifully. My Father was dressed in a black suit and a simple red tie that complimented his wife's dress.

"You go to your mum and I'll get us some drinks okay." Brandon said, already moving away. I knew he didn't want to just get us drinks - he didn't want to confront my Mother at all.

"You're worse than a chicken." I said after his back. He carried on walking but I knew he heard me loud and clear.

Right. I took a deep breath and started to make my way over to where my parents stood. I caught a few words just as I approached them from the man standing opposite my Father.

"I mean, now that he's back, Margaret hasn't stopped looking left and right once too many times," he teasingly joked and my Father threw his head back and let out a deep laugh. My Mother just smiled sourly at them before her eyes landed on me.

"Orianna! Come meet your Father's old friend!" There was a strain on the word 'friend' and since I grew up in my parent's world I knew this man was far from a friend. The ends of my mouth curled upwards as I stood next to my mum and turned around to greet both men.

"Hello sir," I smiled at the man standing opposite my father and stuck out my hand. The man, who looked solid in his forty's grabbed my hand and shook it carefully.

"Orianna, you're looking splendid tonight," he commented, a glint appearing in his emerald eyes. I forced a smile and tried to cover up my uneasiness. Slowly, making sure it didn't look too fast, I retrieved my hand from his.

"Thank you sir. You're making everyone run for their money with your outfit today." I said back politely and turned to greet his companion.

Only to freeze on the spot.

My heart started speeding up and the room suddenly felt constricted and inescapable. I could hear every door shut down closely, every window under lock down. Trapped wouldn't be the word for this.

"Oh, have you met my son Lincoln. Lincoln, this is Orianna. Orianna, Lincoln."

Purely for the sake of image, I stuck out my hand and waited for him to take it. Five long deadly seconds, it was, before he slowly lifted his hand and took it mine.

"Nice to meet you," his voice came out slow and calculated. "But I go by Link Dane. Link preferably."


>the ending is planned guys, it's going to be niiice
>also, I said I'm redoing it but guys don't expect a lot of changes, I'm just going back and making sure everything makes sense. Nothing drastic.

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