Eden Grant, 25

Phillip Grants Daughter

I walk into the study quickly and sit down in the chair that I've sat in for every family meeting since I was a kid.

Daddy has been quiet recently, and I know good and well, when Phillip Grant is silent, then the world itself is in danger. Temperamental would be an understatement when describing my father. If he's calling a meeting, then he either knows something, or he is trying to get ahead of the latest scandal to befall our family.

There is no way he knows your plan, Eden.

"Knock, knock!"

I turn my head to the left and see my mother walk into the room. "Funny, I thought I smelled cheap perfume and desperation walk into the house. Tell me, mom, how many guards did you have to bribe to get into the manor this time?"

"Is that any way to speak to your beloved mother?" Mom says, scrunching up her plastic face. Her blonde hair is tucked into an elegant bun, and a giant black and white hat sits on top of her head. The tight black and white dress that is way too revealing for a woman her age is holding onto the last semblance of a curve it can find on her body as she saunters over to a chair and sits.

"Funny, is beloved the word we use to describe mothers who abandon us at twelve to run off with her twenty-something-year-old boyfriend? I know I am not the most up to date on today's lingo, but something just seems off about that,"

"Anger causes wrinkles, Eden," Mom says, pulling a small mirror out of her handbag and inspecting her make up. "Besides, your father asked me to be here today. I'm assuming something is going on with the games. I'm assuming this is a PR stunt,"

I roll my eyes and lean back onto the chair resisting the urge to let out a cackle. "No one would call you if they needed positive press, Annalise. Now that we've ruled out what it's not, maybe we should just wait for Daddy to get in here."

"Be nice, Eden," Seth says as he walks into the room. My brother and I have, by far, never been close. In fact, I hate him. He's one of those people that have sadistic and twisted minds, but instead of being scared of him, people praise him for it and slap a seven-figure salary to his name to torture teenagers in a blood game.

However, that is the family business, so I can't fault him for wanting to be apart of it. It is, however, why the companies business motto is "Built on Blood." I'm sure my great grandfather thought he was funny with that motto.

"Damn, it's like dad's trying to play a game! How many psychopaths can he fit in one room! I guess when he decides to finally get here, it'll be three. He needs to get here quick because I have a business meeting over drinks in about an hour and I'm not missing it-"

"That won't be needed, Eden," says Daddy as he walks into the room. He is neither entirely handsome or large, but you don't have to be when you have money. Dad is one of the most influential people in the Capitol, and he walks around as such daily. Without their
Head Gamemaker, the games fall apart.

Without the man, the that pays the Head Gamemaker?

Well, that would be a disaster.

The truth is, the games are ruled not by the president. Sure, she's strong, scary as hell, powerful, but what the hell is she going to do if the businesses that support her lifestyle just drop off? Sure we know who's in charge, but is the head really in charge if the body doesn't do what it's asking? Alanna Bechtold might be president, but she knows to keep us happy.

Because we keep her in power.

"This will be very brief, but I have to admit I'm not happy," Daddy growls as he walks over to his office chair and sits down behind his desk. "I'll be frank, I know one of you hacked my office last night and changed the game plans for the arena this year before I was able to approve it."

"Why would I jeopardize my income?" Mom asks dramatically. She's been inspecting her face for the entire time the other two men have been in the room.

"Yeah, that's not clicking with me, dad," says Seth straightening up in the chair he's in. His strong jaw is clenched as dad's talking. If I didn't already know who did it, I'd be concerned it was him just based on how he's responding right now. No poker face that one. It's why he was never in the business aspect of the games and only creation.

"Well, one of you did it. Whoever did it had to know where the security cameras are. None of them were tripped off. They also knew my network login-"

"Let me just go ahead and stop you right there, Daddy," I say, standing up. "You see for a while now, I've been schmoozing and kissing the ring, but now it's finally my turn to stand on my own two feet. My business meeting isn't about my fashion company, it's about Grant Enterprises, and it's with your board where they'll be naming me active CEO due to your little blunder with the arena."

"I can just tell them the truth that you're the one who did it-"

"With what proof, Daddy?" I say innocently. "You have no footage, you used your network key, and oh, that means you have no proof."

I walk to the study door as the family looks at me in shock. "Eden, why are you doing this?" Daddy asks with hurt ringing in his voice.

"This little exercise of family betrayal can be categorized in one word, Daddy," I say, letting the tension linger in the room. "Payback."

Hey guys, it's nice to see you guys again. I hope you've been well.

So I finished my first year of teaching, and with COVID, I don't have anywhere else to be. I've been writing original content and completed a full novel that I'm proud of. Still, my writing has become hard again, and I thought coming back to where I learned how to write would be useful in helping it come naturally yet.

And it did, this was super fun to write.

As for Who Are You in the Dark, a few of you know, but Jenna and I suffered a personal tragedy in March, and then on top of COVID and my first-year teacher stuff, it's just been overwhelming.

I'm better for the most part, and I have all the time in the world now that school is out, and I just wanted to come and try to write an SYOT again. I wanted a fresh start, so I hope you won't hold it against me.

The form is on my profile.

I hope to hear from you soon,