It was a long day at the office and finally his employees were out for a celebratory lunch, which allowed Kael to relax in the only way he knew how.
"...which would make a wonderful investment." The computer screen spoke, which held the faces of four others.
"Of course only if I get 33%." The other older man expressed while Kael took his time reading the documents in hand.
"What do you think Mr. Argentum? This investment could help in the long run." The youngest of the five questioned, desperately needing legal advice.
"I recommend a prenup." Kael said not looking up from the papers in his hands. The young man, Peter, rolled his eyes at the answer as his other associates chuckled.
"Not my marriage, the investment." Kael smirked, throwing down the papers in the process.
"You're only doing it because of your fiancée, I agree with Mrs. Blake $50,000 only and I disagree with Mr. Armijo 33% is a little high for such amateurs. This business is going to crash and burn so I preferably recommend to not invest at all, but it is your money so if you must." Kael expressed. He smirked at the Mr. Armijo's awed look before bidding his good-byes and calling it a day. He was just about to look over his newest case, until he heard a soft knock against the door.
The mahogany door opened to reveal one of his old cases standing at the doorway. Minako Aino, the blonde temptress of Aino Family. Not as much of a party girl anymore according to his mother, but still a flirt. It wasn't that he was on bad terms with the girl, but seeing her again in all her mini skirt glory stirred feelings he suppressed in favor for Swedish bank accounts. He shook his head, ignoring the warmth he felt when she flashed that uncertain smile. She still smiled a great deal just like before.
"Miss Aino, please come in."
"I was looking for Rei, we were planning on lunch but I couldn't find anyone. Only you." Mina explained. She stopped on her heels before stalking back to the doorway, "Have you thought about name plates? It'll make my life easier."
"There's power in a name." He replied.
Mina nodded, puzzled. "Right. So why not shout it to the world?"
Kael's lips turned upward, but went back to his neutral expression ignoring her question, "We had a long night last night finalizing our case. After we won the case just a few hours ago, I gave them an extended lunch period for their hard work."
Mina rolled her eyes and plopped on the chair across from him. "I skipped breakfast and now lunch because of her. The least she could have done was call or something. She calls me flakey." She began to move her fingers across the screen at cheetah like speed, before abruptly stopping."Wait, why aren't you with your team?"
"I prefer my alone time, that is my celebration."
"Why not party?"
"I thought you were finished with that stage in your life." Kael quipped as Mina scoffed.
"I grew up. That doesn't mean I don't know how to have a good time." Mina paused, "Wait, how did you know?"
"My mother is society's top elitist."
Mina pursed her lips, "How pompous of a title."
"She never liked you." Kael pointed out as Mina unexpectedly rolled her eyes. What happened to rainbows and sunshine?
"I don't like her and her elitist society." Mina retorted, crossing her arms and legs while leaning back against the chair.
"You're born into that society." Kael pointed out.
Mina laughed, "If you remember correctly, I did just about everything to get myself out. If not for my family name, I would have been exiled a long time ago."
"Because everyone is terrified of your grandfather."
"I still don't understand that. My grandad wouldn't hurt a fly." Mina said.
Kael stared her down, "Your grandfather is a part of the biggest smuggling rings in Asia. He's one of the heads."
"That's never been proven." Mina retorted, "And even if the police find anything, I believe he's smart enough to plan a scapegoat."
"That's just speculation. You can't use that in court. There's no evidence." Mina replied. The two remained silent in a midst of a staring contest. Kael broke first.
"How about I treat you to lunch? The others won't be back until 3 at least."
Mina grinned triumphantly, "Because of my skills of persuasion?"
Kael rolled his eyes, "You wouldn't last a minute in court. I did however enjoy your insight and opinions."
"No one's ever said that." Mina replied meekly. What happened to the defensive girl about your family?
Kael's head turned slightly, "What have they not said?"
"I'm not smart. Just the ditzy blonde in her sequined number."
"You're smart in your own way. That's not a bad thing. Sequins just makes people pay attention." Kael replied. Mina said nothing, but gave him one of her genuine smiles. It wasn't her 1000 watt one she usually had on. This one was smaller, but beat the other one when it came to warmth.
Ami started her day like any other. Get some sort of semblance of sleep no matter how little, shower because who knows how long one stays at the hospital, and eat a bagel. She was early as usual, but so was he. Greg shot out of one of the chairs in the lobby when he noticed her enter the hospital. She mentally cursed never realizing how much of an effect having Zane and Bertie around her kept Greg away.
"Ami." He called out, stopping her from leaving with a grasp on her arm.
Ami turned to face him, pulling her arm away making sure her expression remained blank, "What do you want Dr. Ferraroni?"
He winced at the formality, "Ami, don't be like this."
Ami sighed, "We are nothing more than colleagues."
"I'm sorry! How many times do I have to tell you that?" Greg pleaded, but it had no effect on Ami.
"I know you are. I have forgiven you too. That doesn't mean I want a relationship with you anymore. You broke my trust then turned me into a cause. I'm not going to forget that." Ami explained, "It was a year ago. Now your behavior is just pathetic."
Greg ran a hand through his hair, sighing in defeat. "You're right. I wasn't a phenomenal boyfriend, but you can't put all of the blame on me."
Ami's eyes hardened again, "I wasn't the one that cheated."
"You were never there. Ever since he came into the picture you placed me on a backburner!" Greg exclaimed, causing eyes to turn to their direction and conversations to cease.
Ami took a page out of Rei's book, cold indifference. "He? You'll have to be a bit more specific. I have many male friends and colleagues."
Ami gave a deadpanned expression, "It's always about Zane."
"You were always with him. You were always partners. You had study groups together. You volunteered together. You went with him to America for crying out loud! Where did I fit in your life?" Greg asked.
Ami crossed her arms with a look of disbelief. "Zane and I sat next to each other in class because we had assigned seats as the top two of the school. You were always welcome to study groups, but you turned it down because of your envy. You didn't want to go volunteer at the fish village, but Zane did. As for America, that was a field trip organized by the head of program that you had to sign up for to go, but you didn't. I allowed you to be a part of my life, but you were so clouded with jealousy you didn't bother to. Zane Aragon happens to be one of my best friends and I have never crossed that line with him so don't you dare make such outrageous accusations."
All these years, that's all she wanted to say to him. She remembered to dejected feeling when he turned her down so coldly whenever she came to him with a smile and a flyer. The apologetic glances that were shot down during class time when she was partners with someone else other than him. 3 and a half years was a long time to put up with someone with an inferiority complex like Greg.
Ami and Greg turned around when a single clap echoed the lobby only to see Ami's best friend at the entrance. Zane smirked victoriously as he watched Ami tear down her ex.
"You heard her." Zane stated. He slowly approached the pair, standing beside Ami. "Don't come near her again unless it's work."
"Ami..." Greg tried as Zane stepped in between the pair.
"Leave my best friend alone." Zane replied coldly then smirked, "I never liked using my family's name, but I'll pull every string I have and get you kicked out of the program."
Greg turned back to Ami who returned his pleading stare with a cold glare of her own. Greg nodded before heading towards the elevator.
"You didn't have to threaten him like that." Ami chided, her glare becoming a small smile.
Zane shrugged, "I used a typical threat any one of my friends have made constantly in the past. Well, Kael once threatened death and maiming and I don't even have the power for that."
Ami giggled, "Thanks."
Zane returned his smile, "What are best friends for."
Serena waited near the bus stop, across the exclusive private school. Damn Darien and standards. After weeks of arguing, Darien had encouraged Rini to take the exam in any school she desired, so of course she chose Snowacre Academy, the epitome of pretentious. They really were a pair of divorcees. Serena blamed Darien's stalking and her grandmother for guilting her into bringing her siblings to live with her in Elysian when she had more of an income. Still her supposed ex-husband paid for everything. Her blossoming feelings for Mr. Shields had faded the more she saw him. Just like an ex-husband.
She watched as the masses of students in uniforms with their chosen decorative accessories make their way to their sports cars and limos. Who takes a limo to school? Serena looked down at her watch, it was 15 minutes after the bell had rung and only a handful of the students had left school grounds, that was when noticed a girl with pink headband giggle while talking to one of her many male classmates. Diana stood next to pink headband girl with a practiced twirl of her hair. She finally noticed her sister who was trying to be polite. It reminded her of Mina in high school. Her blonde counterpart played men like harps while she encouraged such behavior.
"Rini!" Serena called out, making all the students turn at the high pitch sound to see a petite woman at the edge of the stairs. Rini pretended to play the part of angsty teenager with a glare in her direction, but Serena could see the look of relief in them as she stomped down the stairs.
"Thank the heavens you're on time. Neron Cerezo was trying to ask me to the spring formal." Rini groaned when they got on the bus.
Serena laughed, "He looked pretty cute."
Rini rolled her eyes, "He dated Mariko Palla until he cheated on her with Slutty Lia."
"Cere's twin sister. Identical in every way except the whore part." Rini sighed, "Where are the gentlemen from the 1800s?"
"You mean where women had no rights?"
"That's not what I'm talking about." Rini groaned, leaning against her chair, "I just want a guy to respect me in the way Darien respects you."
Serena scoffed, "Yesterday he called me baboon brain. Some respect."
"That's not what I meant. I mean he asks for your opinions and he honors them." Rini explained then shot up, "I know not in that way. I know you don't like him and vice versa, but he treats you well."
"It's sad how I've never been married, but I've already have an ex husband." Serena pondered, "Is this about Helios?"
Rini sighed, "Maybe. I should be over him, I was ten." She turned to her sister with a serious look, "What do you see with me?"
Serena grimaced, "Are you sure you want me to tell you? What happened to no meddling?"
Rini shrugged, "Just tell me so I can get over it and maybe move on."
"Ok." Serena agreed, "I first saw yellow."
"Crush. Go on."
So she did. Serena went on to list and describe every color she had seen between Rini and Helios ever since she was 10 and he was 12. When the bus pulled up around the block near their home, they were the only ones left on the bus. Serena had a penchant for the middle of nowhere. Serena bought a small once abandoned house on the outskirts of Elysian, closer to the suburbs. Only this time she had neighbors like the old widow forever mourning and the young man exiled from his family with his ten dogs. Once Serena bought the property, she painted the outside the most obnoxious of pinks.
The sisters got off the bus in melancholy. Rini remained quiet, only mentioning that Sammy wasn't home yet because of his newest girlfriend. Serena nodded, but left her sister alone. Rini showed flashes of the gift, but not as powerful as Serena who could see it or Sammy who could feel it. Serena watched her youngest sibling slowly climb up the stairs as if she had a Boulder on her back. And she had no idea how to advise her sister. Serena had flings with no attachment except semi care while her hormones raged, but never a relationship. She hadn't been in relationship since she entered high school. Her last one occurred at the age of 13 with the captain of the soccer team and even that only last the last quarter of school.
"You weren't at court today." Serena greeted grinning when she heard the scoff on the other end.
"Ex-honey what do you want?" Darien drawled. He too found their antics as divorcees surprising at first then amusing.
"You've had crushes right?" Serena asked, "You've gotten over them too."
"Yes?" Darien replied, but Serena ignored his hesitation.
"Rini wants to get over her five year old one."
"Oh, Helios." Darien exclaimed, "Why are you asking me? You've gotten over crushes."
"My crushes are the average only lasting 6 months to a year." Serena pointed out, "Don't roll your eyes at me."
A few seconds too long had gone by. "I'm through the phone." Darien stated.
"We've been co-parenting for five years. I know you." Serena retorted, "Look just what do I say to her?"
Darien snickered, "The great cupid extraordinaire is asking a mere mortal for help?"
"Shut up and tell me how I can fix this!" Serena exclaimed.
Darien laughed in response, "Ok, Ok calm down."
"Don't tell me to calm down!"
"Do you want my help or not?" Darien listened to her begrudging reply of agreement before he proceeded, "You can't do anything."
"What kind of shit advice is that?"
"Really good shit advice. Look, we all get over our crushes in different ways. You can't force a person to get over them and you can't force yourself either. One day, it'll happen. Until then you have to wait it out." Darien explained.
Serena sighed, "How did you get over your crushes?"
"I don't know. One day I wake up and those tingly feelings aren't there anymore or they aren't as strong anymore." Darien replied, "Quid quo pro."
"Quid quo pro?"
"Yep." Darien popped the 'p' sound, "How did you get over them?"
Serena shrugged, "I force myself into their life and get to know them. Once we're friends, my crush is gone."
"Rini's not going to do that. She'll think she's a bother." Darien pointed out.
"Well she's not going to just wake up and get over it either."
"Oh satan, how I love teenagers." Darien muttered sarcastically.
"Satan?" Serena questioned stifling a laugh.
"Yes. Oh god is overused so I'm trying out satan. Doesn't flow on my tongue." Darien made a clicky sound with his mouth, "Doesn't feel right. I'll try Zeus next time."
"How about Thor?" Serena teased.
"Uh uh. This isn't a Marvel franchise, it's real life." Darien replied with a serious tone before chuckling, "We have no idea what we're doing."
"Rini's not our daughter. She's just young enough for us to act like she is."
"My daughter, I like the sound of it." Darien said, "Though the ex-wife may have to change."
"In an alternate universe we got married then you cheated and I got all of your inheritance." Serena explained.
Darien laughed, "Who did I cheat on you with?"
"Jerry, your side bitch."
Darien grimaced, "I'm more of a Kael guy myself. He's richer than Jerry and will give me a weekly allowance so I'll leave him alone with his illegal activity."
"You're an idiot." Serena laughed, then became quiet, "Thanks again."
"No problem. What's Rini up to now?" Darien asked.
Serena plopped on the couch, "Pretending to do homework so I'll leave her alone."
"I'll talk to her tomorrow. I'll pick her up from school."
Serena sighed, "Good night."
Darien smiled, "You too."
Darien looked down at his phone. He sighed, he'll wake up tomorrow and feel nothing. He had been repeating this and still nothing. Tomorrow, he'll feel nothing. He looked down at the vanilla folder in his hands with an evil smirk that matched Lucifer. Sure they had become tentative friends, but that didn't mean he was going to give up on such an opportunity.