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Old January 14th, 2006, 08:13 AM  
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Join Date: January 3, 2006

Episode 2

Rose Harris stood elegantly on the impressive central staircase in the grand entrance hall of Harris manner. Her white silk dress fell gently of her figure outlining every curve perfectly. Rose gently sipped a glass of fresh orange juice cupped in her right hand. Her father Harold Harris was having his annual monthly dinner party. Although only eleven guests had been invited the hall in which she now stood, was still decorated and lit perfectly, the subtle shafts of light capturing excellently the pure sliver candle sticks placed at regular intervals. Kiki Myers, a senior partner and her dads firm glided toward her red velvet dress fanning out behind her. “Darling you look gorgeous” gushed Kiki fakery. “And so do you’” Rose lied; it was no secret that Rose Harris and Kiki Myers were arch enemies, Rose disliked Kiki and Kiki despised her. Kiki was the chief manager at QH enterprise she had mostly single-handed control across all main divisions, while Harold only kept extremely lose control on major contracts only. Kiki had lost her youth and her looks to this company and when the old bastard finally died she wasn’t going to let some stuck up brat, come between her and owner ship of QH enterprises. Rose similarly felt Kiki had manipulated her father into handing over his duties as owner. Currently Harold had not revealed his will and the future owner ship of the company remained a mystery, until it was revealed Kiki and Rose kept an icy yet civil relationship.
“Dinner will be served in 10 minutes” bellowed Harold cheerfully from the centre of the hall, his rosily red cheeks stretched into a wide smile. “Well I am sure we will speak again later” Kiki said coolly before turning on her heel and walking confidently over to the dining hall. As Rose smoothly moved across the cold marble floor, she noticed her brother ash quietly slipping in to the entrance hall, a bony women clinging firmly to his wrist. The women eyes briefly met with hers, the sharp precise eyes bore deep in to hers. Thomas the Harris servant neatly handed out tall glass of glistening champagne. She noticed absently that Thomas assistant miles, was not present.
The starter was a dull bowl of mud colours soap that Jackie ate with some reserve. Ash sat next to her sipping gently at his soup, while in polite conversation with the man next to him. Jackie eyes scanned the table slowly taking in her high class surroundings. Her eyes lingered for a moment on a young woman stilling at the far end of the table, her sleek blonde hair neatly lowered on to her shoulder, the air of wealth lay firmly upon her. A single red hair fell delicately across her vision, gently placing it back in to place, Jackie noticed the blonde woman slide her a cold glance. “Ash” Jackie whispered her head titled towards his. “Yes” inquired jack putting down his wine glass. “The blonde woman over there” Jackie continued gesturing causally in the woman’s direction “who is she?” “My sister, Rose” Ash replied, returning to his wine.
Harold slowly rose from his seat, his massive frame struggling to rise from his padded chair at the end of the table. “Ladies and gentleman” Harold began with a broad smile “I have brought you here tonight to announce my will”. At this point Jackie notices the atmosphere in the room change, the pleasantly relaxing air of contentment, replaced by the harrowing air of greed and corruption.
Kiki Myers stared at Harold, her knuckles turning white and she clutched the wine class in her hand. Sweat ran slowly down her face, her beautifully applied make-up running silently down her face. The atmosphere dropped another ten degrees as Harold drew, painfully slowly, from a cabinet in far end of the room a single grey folder. Jackie slid a sliver cigar case out from her breast pocket, flicking it open with a single wrist movement, offering one to ash who refused, before lighting the cigar placed between her blood red lips.
Inhaling deeply, Jackie eyes focused sharply on the single white sheet of paper, Harold was extracting out of the folder now placed in his right hand.
A small smile flickered on Jackie’s face, as Harold drew breath to speak.
Thomas stood at his position to the right-hand side of his master. His mouth dry and his eyes slightly watering, he gazed out at the group of calculating business men with an increasingly sinking feeling.
“The last will and testament of Harold Quentin Harris” began Harold a note of fear detected deep within his voice. “My company QH enterprises will be liquidated”. At this point a sharp piecing sound echoed around the deadly silent hall as Kiki Myers crushed the wine glass in her left hand, shards of which flew viciously to either side of her. While the rest of the assorted assembly stared icily towards Harold, an atmosphere of hate and disgust lingering in the air. “The profits of which” Harold continued a badly hidden shake in his voice. “Will be shared between my children Ash Harris and Rose Harris, my close friend Miss Kiki Myers and my chosen charity Guiding Light” he concluded roughly.
The rest of the evening proceeded dismally with Harold constantly receiving a mix of heated glances and razor sharp comments. Eventually the pressure appeared to have finally got to Harold, is normally cheerful face deflated to a dull sullen copy of itself. He heaved is tired body from the chair, supporting himself with his left arm, he leaned on the vanished table. “I hope you will enjoy the rest of evening” he said avoiding even the briefest of eye contact “but I must retire”. His friends and family gazed back at him stonily there eyes piercing though him like red-hot pokers. “Make sure no one disturbs me” he whispered to Thomas urgently.
Harold closed the door of his study firmly behind him, opening a small mahogany box next to the door; he quickly slipped a small sliver key from the box in to the lock, turning it tightly. A reassuring “click” reached his ears with calming effect. Stumbling over to his desk, he collapsed on his dark leather chair with solid thud. His hands shook slightly as he reached carefully into the inside pocket of his jacket. Small beads of sweat descended down his face, cooling his burning skin. Reaching the desired object he gently tugged it out of the pocket. Placing the deadly revolver on the aged desk top, Harold was pleased he didn’t have to use it, at least not yet.
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