Chapter 7 Alone in this cursed world

I never thought that my almost, soon to be 2nd year of being happily married would end in an upsetting chain of events. Charlie and I were on our way to meet with my father at The Ritz Hotel here in London for my simple birthday celebration. Daddy took the afternoon flight and was now staying at The Ritz. As soon as I saw him sitting at the restaurant I felt something heavy and disturbing in the air. I rushed to him and gave him a warm embrace, “Daddy! How are you? I missed you so much!” He settled me down to my chair and said, “There now, is this how a lady should act in public? Hello there Charles! I hope my princess is not giving you a headache.” he chuckled and ushered Charlie to sit. “Nothing like that dad, you know this princess here is not a brat but she gets stubborn when she wants something that badly.” Both men laughed at my expense. All three of us enjoyed our meal and went to daddy’s suite for a night-cap and half past 11 that evening daddy just collapsed and instantly stopped breathing. As Charlie led me out of the emergency room daddy’s secretary asked me to go out to the limousine and discuss some very important matters as the heir. I was doing my best not to take over the empire for some time, and now I learned that my father had suffered from two slight heart attacks and forbid the staff to tell me. I also learned some of the partners wanted to take over the empire that stressed him deeply. Since I was not that interested, he tried to face the problems all by himself. “As your father’s secretary, close friend and lawyer it is my duty to read you his will right this very moment for us to do necessary actions.” As expected the will states that I inherit the empire and run it with my husband’s guidance and Monsieur Duncan, his secretary and lawyer-friend, as my secretary and mentor. He must immediately declare to the board of my status and that I will have the last word on every transaction. “I have asked the hospital’s management to keep this from coming out, it’s going to blow in our faces if the news of your father’s death leaks out before we plan your moves. Your father’s colleagues and board members are like sharks waiting on for its prey.” Charlie soon joined us in the car. “Everything’s arranged now my dearest, I need you to rest now because tomorrow is a big day.” Monsieur Duncan shook Charlie’s hand and thanked him as we dropped Monsieur Duncan off at The Ritz to fix daddy’s things and make the necessary arrangement to the hotel’s management. The next day Charlie and I flew back to France with daddy’s casket. The funeral arrangements where indeed settled and I went straight to daddy’s office and held an emergency meeting with all the board members and business partners of the empire. Wearing my black suit and poker face I faced all of those big men with Charlie on my right and Monsieur Duncan on my left. I thought everything went smoothly but little did i now that a plot to oust me was now in process. I was now on my 2nd month being the president and was very used to handling every thing they threw at me when I received a distressing call from Claudette, I flew to London and met Charlie on my way to the hospital Claudette. Claudette was hysterical when she found out that she lost their baby, on her 2nd trimester of pregnancy, and not even Alec could console her that’s why they sedated. After 4 months Claudette died, she wasn’t able to overcome the post-natal depression, isolated herself and eventually starved herself to death. And as the saying goes, “Death comes in threes” , before that year ended Monsieur Duncan who made my living as the president for the Le Blanc empire as smooth as possible died by receiving a bullet intended for me the night we were suppose to hold the annual board meeting. We were both in the limousine discussing the reports as we drove down to Hotel Martines in Cannes, France. As we stepped out of the car a gunman pointed a Glock 17 at me but before he could pull the trigger Monsieur Duncan pushed me aside the bullet hit him in the chest and instantly killing him . I lost my daddy, my sister and a very trusted friend-mentor all in one year. All that’s left to me is this empire with the big bad wolves, Charlie and Alec, “I don’t think I can handle this anymore. I don’t want to lose them too, Le Blanc is a result of daddy’s hard work, I know I can’t live without Charlie by my side and Alec, my dearest Monsieur Mowatt whom Claudette treasured so much.How I wish I could turn back time.” I sighed and continued with my daily reports.

I received countless death threats but did not bother to be affected I flew back home to London on a daily basis taking only Charlie’s personal jet and driving only the car that Charlie bought me, I have bodyguards in tow, every route that I take is different everyday, and I don’t keep appointments I usually drop in unexpectedly on meetings and gatherings. I always convince myself by saying, “It’s better this way, Valerie”. Château deFerrières and Blue rose garden is also crawling with security, I spent most of my days there doing work if i”m not surprising my CEOs. Charlie was now bound to go on a convention for a week in New York and he ordered that I stay at London but I of course being hard-headed as always stayed at my villa in France and continued on my surprise inspections and visits on all the business establishment under my empire. But a very bad news came knocking at my door, it was 2am I was at my villa when my maidservant woke me up and gave me a message from London. “No, this is happening! Bruce I need to go back to London prepare the car and call the pilot, Charlie is missing, I can’t believe this.” I hastened my steps as I departed the villa, gave short instructions to the château’s butler. “How long has it been missing Bruce?” the car was speeding towards the airport. “It’s been of the radar for about 30 mins Madame, everyone is in high alert, everybody is looking for him and the media is being kept out of this. I also assigned 3 secretaries to keep your reports and Le Blanc’s transactions up to date, I’ll have reports every 30 mins.”  I reached out for Bruce’s hand, “Thank you Bruce, you’ve been such a big help, you won’t leave me now would you. Tell me that Charlie will be found and that he’s alright…” I started sobbing now. I went straight to Notting hill mansion, as expected everyone was busy looking for Charlie, the library was instantly turned into a briefing room for all his security aids, they also set up a communication area, connected to the pentagon and to all airport control towers. The hours passed and still nothing came, not even a brief sign of hope, we were now counting days, then weeks and on the 2nd month I was losing hope. Bruce never left my side and kept the empire in France and in London running smoothly but on the 3rd month I returned to France to face the board once again for a meeting, I asked Bruce to stay behind and keep me posted on any updates and on Charlie’s empire. I guess I really can’t have the best of both worlds.

I was driving to the Le Blanc’s head office while talking to my secretaries on the phone when a black Ford Expedition blocked my way, 4 big guys came directly at me and pulled me out of the car. I guess they put me to sleep because when I came to my senses I was all alone in an empty dark room.

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