Nineteen

New York City

The Plaza Hotel

"Papa! What on earth are you planning to do? These are dangerous times." 

"It's just a small fiesta, mijo."

"Fiesta? Que, papa?!

"Tómalo con calma, Hector. This is just a simple gathering."

Like he was instructed, Hector heaved deep breaths to suppress the growing anxiety inside. This is dangerous for their family. A lot of clans are trying their best to put them down and he doesn't want to be on the spot. Another frustated sigh escaped Hector's mouth as he watch his father organize everything.

"I beg for you to reconsider, Papa!" He attempted.

Don Alexander Drax stopped his tracks and faced his son. He completely understood the genuine concern of Hector but his son clearly did not get what this is all about. Hector instantly went quiet the moment he saw the blaring gaze of his father.

"This is not just some mere celebracion, tonto! This is the way of the ruling class of the society to remind todo el mundo that they are still the ruling class. Don't be a estupido, mijo." Alexander reprimanded his only son.

"Però-----"

Hector swallowed his own words when Don Alexander raised his right forefinger. A warning. Another complain and he will receive the wrath of the oldest and one of the originals of the Drax bloodline. One does not simply go against Alexander, and Hector knew that so well.

Avoiding further misunderstanding with his father, he left the event area. From what he had gathered, only important personnel were invited to tomorrow's event. Important personnel of the 7 clans controlled by their family. 7 clans that slowly drifting away from their grasp. Tomorrow will be a reminder to everyone that the Drax family will be holding everything tighter.

***

Storm is swarming outside. Blowing everything out of proportions. An old mansion stood proudly, once again never allowing itself to submit to the harsh environment it sometimes encounter. A woman in her late forties approached a certain room in an urgent manner. She is the epitome of the upperclass woman, covered in jewelry and all the extravagance her family can afford.

The housemaid quickly curtsy when she took a glimpse of the mistress on the reflection of the cabinet's glass doors she is currently wiping clean. The mistress instantly gave her a judging look. Why would a housemaid be summoned in this unlikely hour.

"Master Vincent wanted his cabinet sparkling, ma'am. As he instructed." The maid defended herself before the mistress could utter some unsettling shade.

"Tea, Patricia." Mistress Thalia Alderige ordered ignoring the defensive tone of her maid.

"Yes, ma'am."

As if on cue, Vincent went out from his bedroom to look for his personal maid but found her frowning mother standing behind his victorian couch. He rolled his eyes secretly and took a seat which gain another glare from his mother. With all authority and poised Thalia sat in front of her son.

"Oh, please, Mama. I just came back here. I saw a handful of dust everywhere that's why I called Patricia." Vincent explained even though no inquiry was raised by his mother.

"I really do hope it's the cleaning she's only required to do so." Thalia countered with full of contempt.

A scowl on Vincent's face immediately formed as he processed what his mother meant. He leaned back and sighed loudly which again awarded him with another unimpressed look.

"What brought you here, mom?" He surrendered.

"It came to my attention that you are associating yourself with Mercedes' daughter. Again. Is it true?" Thalia asked firmly.

Vincent avoided his mother's gaze. They are one of the founders of the clan in which Catherine's family belongs. After his grandfather died his mother decided to severe ties with the clan. The Hiatus Clan was founded few centuries ago, and only two years ago, no Clemonte or Clement bloodline ascended as part of the long time clan.

"Vincent, I forbid it." She said firmly.

"We're friends, mom. She helped me escaped my death back in Brazil. She has my back for as long as I can remember and you cannot forbid me. I'm very sorry."

"Until she name her price for what you owe her, I don't want to hear any connections with that family. Am I understood, Vincent?" She ordered.

"I beg to disagree, Mama. Our friendship is not an indication of my connection to the clan. Don't worry. She's like a sister to----"

"You don't understand what's at stake! I tried everything in my power to stay away from that God forsaken family. Now, you're ruining everything." Thalia outbursted in such emotions but managed to maintain her poised.

"Maybe we are meant to join them afterall." Vincent deadpanned.

He instantly regretted his remarks as he watched his mother raised her famous eyebrow that taunted every house staff inside this very mansion. The straigtened back that determined her position in this house. Her eyes that completely haunts you to your sleep that resembles his late grandfather's, and the way she looked at him like he was at the tip of her nose making every human being receiving that look feel inferior in every aspect.

"This conversation is over and there's no further to discuss. I'm warning you, Vincent. No one will like it if I take matters in my own hands. The president knows that very well." Then she left with the same manner as she arrived, all the glory and elegance.

"Then you are no different from them. All these denials, your mask is slipping, Mama." Vincent commented making his mother halt and glance at him.

He did not receive a response in any kind but he knew he was able to hit some sensitive nerves. Thalia left the room unfazed. She did what she thought was good for her family. It was maybe selfish but it was the only thing she knew was right.

***

"Breaking News! The first lady's convoy was hailed by gunshots near east avenue, New York. Fortunately, no one was harmed in the secret service team and the first lady was traveling in bulletproof car. The president was furious about this animosity towards his family and promised the capture of those masks assailants."

"Señor, Hector. Your father asked for tu presencia." A maid spoke behind him.

"On what matters?" He asked.

"I don't know, señor." The maid then bowed and left his chamber.

He quickly went to his father's quarter. Guarded with two elites member of their clan securing him inside. The two gentlemen curtsy when he arrived and opened the door without any questions. Alexander was already anticipating him behind the door, holding a glass of expensive wine on his right hand. 

"We need the Alderige on our side, Hector. They have the control over the government." Alexander stated.

"I thought we're handling it? What's senator Rivas doing? He has strict instructions. I completely forgot that he stopped updating us for a couple of weeks now." Hector responded in confusion.

"He was removed by the president to the Brazil mission after he was accused of pedophilia. Thalia has been one step ahead of us. Puta madre!"

"What are we going to do now? Without the Alderige, our control to the clan is limited." 

"Her son needs to join us one way or another. We need to control la presedenti or we will go down given the current situation we have. A lot of our underground businesses have been tracked down by the government."

"Why don't we pay the president a visit? Knock some sense on him. We can offer far way more than the Alderige. Our connections are far way wider than them. We control most of the country." Hector countered, a bit enraged by this insubordination.

Alexander put his wineglass on the table and watched his naive son. He may have trained Hector but he is not yet ready. Facing far more vicious enemy such as Thalia needs to have a well organized master plan.

"You really have no idea who are we dealing with, mijo. The Alderige family is not our concern here but they can be a threat si no podemos controlarlos."

"Then who are we going to terminate, Papa?"

"The Clement, Thalia Celestine Clement." Alexander stated with full of conviction.

"I still don't get it why she pose such a threat." 

"She is the descendant of the pure bloodline that forged this clan. She has a strong foundation. Nuestra familia were just mere caretakers of the throne. We don't have a stronghold. We were lucky she gave up her claim when her father died. But if all else fail, they will side with her. So you see, that order to eliminate Vincent was not just to cease the succession of Samira but to secure ours."

Hector was taken aback by the reality presented to him. Reality that will dissolve all his arrogant standing in the underground world. All the power tripping with the other clans. He will lose it all once the real descendants arise.

Before Hector could utter a reply, the huge wooden door blasted opened spitting a very pale looking man. He deliberately fixed himself the moment he realized who were the people he disrespectfully interrupted. After an exaggerated bow, he handed the subpoena to Alexander.

"What is it?" Hector curiously asked.

"It's a subpoena, señor."

"Que?! To whom?" Hector exclaimed. Alexander is still reading the entire document.

"To the Morningstar Corporation, señor."

Hector immediately went quiet as he absorb the information. His father's secretary retreated to a safe distance from the two notorious high ranks of the clan. Alexander furiously smashed the papers to the center table.

"Mierda!" Alexander muttered in controlled temper.

"What is it, papa?"

"The Department of Audit has summoned the morningstar corporation for tax evation. We are required to present evidences of our tax payments for the last five years. Hijo de puta!"

"Tax evasion? How on earth is that possible? This is unbelievable! I've been handling that for years and we never failed to pay that piece of shit." Hector responded, full of rage.

Alexander faced his secretary and ordered to call their legal council. He also strictly instructed not to tell any soul regarding this matter. If this issue explodes, their entire reputation will be put to the test. 

But Don Alexander Drax was not aware that their failure was already fed to the wolves. They were sinking and the only thing they currently know is that they have a hole in their ship.

***

"Breaking News! The Department of Audit has filed Tax Evasion charges to the multimillion company, Morningstar Corporation. It was in this afternoon that the secretary of audit has took hold of the tax records of the company. It revealed that Morningstar Corporation has been lying about their net worths for the last five years. The company has yet to give any statements regarding the charges and has strongly denied these allegations. A lot of questions started to rise if the annual ball of the Drax familia will persist given the issue at hand."

The man in the oval office slowly put down the phone. His master has started pulling the leash reminding him why he was put in the office. A power so overwhelming to have yet he has no control over.

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