“Dada, marriage with Simmons's the worst of the worst ideas.” I rub my temple. “Why did you promise Andrew something like this without asking me first?”

A few seconds ago, dada informed me about the deal that he made with Andrew Simmons yesterday, this piece of crap information throws me out of the window. Now, I think I need to visit Mia twice a week, this is more disturbing than Olivia’s betrayal.

“Inessa Simmons is an extraordinary woman. We need someone like her in our family, especially in your life.” Dada sits on the couch.

“She is a child, not a woman.” I lean on the couch, I close my eyes with a tight squeeze.

I met her a couple of times before, everyone in our circle knows her, polite, well-mannered, warm heart, kind nature is the keyword for her. Most of the women in our circle are jealous of her beauty, the power that her family holds, the perfect life that she leads.

I heard all the bitching Olivia and her friends did whenever little Miss, Simmon came to any of the parties with her father and his wife. She always smiles at whomever she interacts with. Unlike any other woman at those charity parties, she cares from the heart, she cares about everything. There is a rumor she is working with a non-organization to help underprivileged children that makes her different from the rest of the society. There are many women taking part in this kind of thing for events to show off, spending money to stay in the news, but Inessa cares, that’s why she is helping those children to have a better life along with her college degree.

 The friendship between her and the younger son of Richard Hall, Levi Hall, is also well-known, many times I saw them laughing, dancing at parties.

For women, she is entertainment as they don’t feel confident with themselves around her, I saw how they all changed in her presence. All the upper-class, super confident, badass women become a cat whenever they see her. For men she is enigmatic.

Her honey-ash blonde waist-length long hair, high cheekbone, pale complexion, big round emerald eyes, innocent expression with her conservative fashion sense makes her stand out in the crowd all the time. No matter where she goes, in her full-coverage clothes she is written to steal the show from the women and the senses of the men.

I heard stories of how she avoids men as they fire pits that will burn her alive. A lot of my friends tried to make their way to little Inessa’s private area, sadly, she killed all of them with her kind smile and sweet talk.

She is the most dangerous woman in this world, a woman with a smile and kindness is the death of every man.

“She will be twenty next Monday. We will have an engagement party the very same day.” I think everyone is right about dada's mental health, he is losing his mind without any doubt.

“You are taking her to the gala night that our company is hosting tomorrow night. It will be your guy's first official date night before the marriage.” He takes a sip of his brandy. “Within a month you two will be a man and woman.”

“Dada, she is thirteen years younger than me.” I clutch my teeth.

“That’s not a big deal.”

“It is,” I scream as I lose my control, which I don’t have much anyway. "I am not fucking a child, dada.”

“She is an adult, that’s all that matters.”

Marriage is not what I want. I don’t categorize myself as a husband material, spending life with one human being seems a hard task to accomplish for me. Surely, I wanted to marry Olivia, but I questioned myself on whether that was a good idea or not.

Sometimes I think I will be a cheater in any relationship, just like my mother. I have her portion of her on my system, some of her quality for sure passed on to me, and I am afraid disloyalty to my partner is the one.

I was with Olivia for five years. We met through mutual friends, we hit it off instantly. In all these years, I never cheated on her or did anything to disrespect her. To be honest, I cared for her, everything about her was my concern, I liked her with my heart, hanging out with her was the highlight of my day, I loved her at some point too, I think that’s why marrying her came across my head that time.

But after knowing what she did, it felt like a knife was constantly stabbing my bloody heart again and again. It’s better that she is not in this world anymore. If the car accident didn’t take her life, I would have done the honor by strangling her to death.

I come home without saying a word to dada. I should protest, but dada will not listen to me. If he wants a marriage between McCoy and Simmons, then that is happening at any cost. I can go against his word, do something stupid, that’s an easy job. However, that means breaking his trust. My mother did enough damage to that.

In the morning, dada texts me Inessa’s number with a message “see you two tonight,” it’s like you are a teenager and your father is keeping his eyes on you, so you don’t mess up.

I groan in frustration, this is the worst of all.

My assistant Linda comes to the room with some files in her arms for me to review.

“Find out everything about Inessa Simmons." I'll take the files from her. “I want every single detail about her life. I want to know all by tomorrow morning.”

She gives me a sharp nod as she makes her exit.

I close my eyes for a second to take a nap, last night was a disaster. After hearing my death news, sleep didn’t come to me, soon the peace is going to leave me. I am sure I need to book more sessions with Mia now.

“She is an open book. What do you want to know about Inessa Simmons?" Robbie, my best friend, who also happens to be my cousin, comes to my room.

“Dada wants me to marry her.”

“Whoa, Chicago’s sweetheart Inessa Simmons and cold bastard Brian McCoy are tying the knot.” He laughs. “This is the front-page headline.”

I roll my eyes at him, he doesn’t even finch, on the contrary, he sticks out his tongue to tease me. I don’t know why I expect maturity from this man's child when I am well aware that he is five years old from the brain.

Robbie is dada’s little sister, Rose’s only child. Unlike my scandal-filled family, he has a happy family that we McCoy dreamed to have.

Rose took care of all of us after my mother’s death, she juggled between her house and ours, she is a mother figure that my siblings needed, especially Lyra and Owen, they were too young to understand the whole situation. Lyra was three while Owen was six at the time our mother died.

Robbie’s father, Josh Brown, is another father figure for me. At that time when dada shut himself from the world to celebrate his heartbreak, I was struggling to take control of this company, Josh happily stepped into my mentor's shoe and helped me. He stayed with me all night in my office room when I prepared my first presentation, sat in the meeting with the board of directors right beside me.

Robbie’s good nature is something that he inherited from his lovely parents, the way he looks at messes, whether personal or private messes, is quite admiring. If I need any kind of advice, Robbie is the train I need to get on, his fun sense of humor makes everything easy, growing up in such a loving household definitely leaves a positive effect on his life.

When I call Inessa during my lunch break, she picks up the call on the second ring.


The soft, sweet, melodic voice comes to my ear, this is the first time I am talking to her despite knowing her from the minute she is born.

“Hi, I am Brian.”

“Oh, hi.” She whispers.

Is it disappointment? She doesn’t sound cheerful at all, the way she smiles and talks to everyone at the parties is way more enthusiastic than this murmur.

“I want to invite you to a gala night.” I rub my temple. “Our company is hosting a gala night, I would love to have your company.”

Silence, no sound, not even her breathing, for a second I thought I am talking to a ghost, I check my phone to make sure I am talking to her.

“Okay.” She whispers again, this time her voice is lower than before.

“Why are you whispering?” I am too curious to know.

“My brother is sleeping, he will wake up if there is any sound.”

Her half-brother, she means. Her father has the record of having the most wives in Chicago. I think he is aiming for the Guinness world record to have most wives or have most divorces. Either way, he can win the race without any hassle.

“Is there any theme for the party?” She asks.


“What’s your favorite color?”

I frown at this but don’t show that in my voice.


“Okay. See you tonight.”

“I will pick you up at 7.”

Again, the silence, this silence feels creepy at this point, why does she need to go radio silence in the middle of the conversation?

This woman can hide well in the coward, or should I say try to blend in with the crowd. However, I think no matter how hard she tries, she will get caught, she is bound to, her radiant beauty is too hard to miss.




The line goes dead, this time she really put off the call, thank god, this has to be the first time when I feel this kind of self-conscious talking to a woman. I am too good with the female gender with my smooth talk and easy flirting, high-level confidence that I process is just the bonus of my charm, but this woman is something else.

I need to watch myself around her from now on, otherwise, I will lose something valuable to her.

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