(Monday 20th, April)
Brooke stared up at the tall building before her. She was once again back at LFG. She sighed. She'd seen the inside of this building more in the past few days then all the other times she used to visit Loveland. Brooke adjusted her messenger bag and headed inside. She nodded at the receptionist before boarding the elevator and pressing the floor number the investment meeting was happening on. She was not looking forward to it. Brooke had been lectured on politics by her older sister and her mother before; after all, she was a Rosette, kind of came with the name. And those lectures had bored the crap out of her so she didn't think finance would be any more interesting.
The elevator reached the designated floor and Brooke got off, nodding to anybody she passed. Most didn't nod back. She quickly located the room and found Mr Heralds was already there, file open and talking to the bolding man Brooke had met last week. His name escaped her. Brooke knocked on the glass door, and Mr Heralds turned. He smiled and gestured she entered before going back to talking to the man. Brooke entered the room and took the seat next to Mr Heralds, who wrapped up his conversation before turning to her. "You look thrilled to be here."
Brooke groaned. "It's your fault." He said, and Brooke scoffed.
"I had somewhere to be. Besides, the only people I read for are children." She said, and Mr Heralds smiled.
"Still, the man is a potential investor. You couldn't have made an exception?" He asked, and Brooke smiled at her boss.
"If Victor decides not to invest because I wouldn't read to him, then he is a child." She said, and Mr Heralds raised his eyebrow.
"It's Victor now, huh?" He asked, and Brooke rolled her eyes, flushing slightly. Of course! She couldn't call him an arrogant capitalist tyrant out loud. At least, not somewhere he could potentially hear it. Mr Heralds laughed at her reaction and Brooke sighed, putting her hand on her cheek. She wanted the meeting to hurry up and start. Luckily, she didn't have to wait long. Victo showed up, that ever-present frown on his lips hard, and everyone in the room immediately stiffened. He made eye contact with Brooke, and she could have sworn she saw smugness in his eyes. But it was got in a flash, and he was making his way to the front of the room.
As Brooke had assumed, the meeting was incredibly dull. Everyone spoke in a professional tone and were all serious, never cracking a smile. Even Mr Heralds was serious as he presented his proposal. It put Brooke on edge, and she began to play with the silver charm bracelet around her wrist, which contained four charms; a book, a stethoscope, a police badge and an ice-skating boot. Mr Heralds soon sat down, and the discussion turned to something else. Brooke wasn't sure what, she'd stopped paying attention ages ago. Eventually, though, Victor requested a break and Brooke let out a sigh of relief, which got her a few stares but she ignored them.
She stood up and stretched, feeling that satisfying pop in her back. She lowered her arms and shook herself out before making her way over to the giant window that was considered a wall and looking out of it. She could see the side of Loveland it faced clearly and basket in the sunlight that poured in through the glass panes. She hadn't got the chance to enjoy the morning sun, having overslept and needing to rush to LFG. Her phone suddenly vibrated in her pocket, breaking the moment and Brooke took it out of her pocket. She'd gotten a text from Nyla.
Come to the hospital. Now! - N
Brooke frowned. Nyla only ever ordered Brooke to the hospital if she was due for a check-up, which she wasn't, or if someone she cared about had hurt themselves.
Who is it this time? - B
Tessa. She has been reckless again - N
Brooke sighed. Figured. She locked her phone and turned around, ignoring Victor's gaze, which was locked onto her. She wandered over to Mr Heralds. "I've got to go to the hospital." She said, and her boss frowned.
"Because Tessa is a reckless idiot." She said, and Mr Heralds smirked.
"And I wonder where she gets that from?" Brooke flushed slightly but didn't correct the man. "Well, don't let me keep you from her. Go scold the woman." Brooke smiled and made to leave the room when Mr Heralds spoke again. "Wait!" Brooke turned.
"The date for the 'Most Influential Authors of the Year' awards has been set. It's a few months away." Brooke groaned. She'd forgotten about those rewards, although, she forgot about every award she's ever received. Brooke didn't care for them. She put on a fake smile and turned to her boss.
"Did I forget to tell you I'm not going?" She said, and Mr Heralds smiled at her, though it was filled with annoyance.
"Did I forgot to tell you it's compulsory and you have to go?" He said, and Brooke groaned again.
"But I don't want too!" She whined, and Mr Heralds sighed.
"Why not?! This is an amazing honour to have been nominated for and won! You should be over the moon." Brooke frowned. She didn't care for any of the awards she'd received. She wrote because it brought her joy, and she published her work because she needed some form of income. The fact that people really seemed to like her work was also a bonus. But the awards? She didn't want them or need them. But her dislike of award ceremonies wasn't the real reason she didn't want to go.
"You know why." She said, lowering her tone, so only Mr Heralds heard. Guilt flashed in her bosses' eyes, and he sighed, this time in defeat.
"Yeah." He said, and Brooke offered the man a small smile. She liked the whole scenario even less than him. A look of realisation passed through her bosses' eyes which soon turned a mischievous glint. It made Brooke nervous. "There will be cake." He said, smirking at her. Brooke stiffened then inwardly cursed.
"That's not fair." She said, lowering her head. She could practically hear Mr Hearlads smile. "What kind of cake?" She asked, flushing slightly and her boss laughed, knowing he already had her.
"Guess you'll have to go to find out." He said, sounding smug and Brooke sighed. Damn it. Mr Heralds knew she had a weakness for cake. She just couldn't resist the fluffy, sweet treat, regardless of favour.
"Fine." She said, and Mr Herald's smile turned massive.
"Great! Now you can go to the hospital." He said, and Brooke turned and went to walk out of the glass door sulking when a deep, gruff voice stopped her.
"Where are you going?" Victor asked, and Brooke inwardly sighed. She turned around and took in the CEO before her. He was standing pretty close, hands in his pocket, eyes locked onto her face, that ever-present frown slightly more profound than usual. She smiled at him.
"To the hospital. Someone I care about has hurt themselves." She said, not offering any more. It wasn't the man's business, anyway.
"Will you be returning?" He asked, and Brooke shook her head.
"No, probably not." He hardened those eyes. "The meeting is almost over, and I have other things to do." Like, kick Tessa's ass for making her worry. Victor's expression didn't change. "Look, I really should be going..." She trailed off, and Victor opened his mouth to say something but decided against it, looking away, face indifferent.
"Then go." With that, he turned and made way back to the head of the conference table. Brooke blinked. Had she upset him? She didn't understand what she'd done wrong but decided not to linger on the interaction. She had to go and scold Tessa with Nyla, after all.
Victor watched Brooke walk down the hall and out of his sight. He'd heard the entire conversation between Brooke and Mr Heralds, they hadn't exactly been quiet, and found it somewhat troubling. Particularly the part where Brooke said she wouldn't attend the award ceremony. Even though Mr Herald a got her to agree in the end, apparently there was a reason why Brooke hadn't wanted to go in the first place. One that was bigger then 'I don't like them.' Victor closed his eyes. He was utterly certain now.
Brooke was not just a writer. She had something else going on in her life, something no one, except Mr Heralds, knew about. Granted, it was none of Victor's business. He hardly knew the woman, and he was pretty sure she wasn't his biggest fan. But he couldn't help but be curious. The woman intrigued him. She just treated him differently from everyone else. She wasn't a kissass; she didn't care about his position or the power he held. Victor sighed and rubbed his eyes. No one had ever confused him so much.
It didn't take long for Brooke to reached the hospital. LFG wasn't that far from it. Guess having the building in the middle of the city had its perks. She entered the building and quickly found out the location of Tessa's room number. She swiftly made her way to the room, having no trouble at all finding it since she had the entire hospital layout memorised. Why? It had been a pathetic drunken dare by Nyla that Brooke had utterly rocked. She could probably rob the place with how thorough her research had been.
She was walking towards Tessa's room when she spotted Nyla's familiar head of white hair leaning in the doorway. She was having a conversation with Tessa. "It's your own fault. You didn't wait."
"Gavin wouldn't let me!" Tessa's voice whined. Nyla scoffed.
"You couldn't have gone."
"And leave my partner to fend for himself? No way."
"Aw, that's sweet," Brooke said, coming up behind Nyla to join her in the doorway. "She cares for him. We should start planning for the wedding." Nyla smiled at Brooke and Tessa groaned, putting her face in her hands, one of them having an IV line connected to it.
"You called Brooke?" Nyla nodded with pride. Tessa then processed the rest of Brooke's sentence and flushed. "And there is no wedding! I don't like him like that!"
"Denial is the clincher, Tess." Brooke teased.
"Stop it!" Brooke and Nyla laughed at Tessa's reaction, and she pouted. "I hate you both."
"Aw, Tess. We're just teasing you." Brooke said, wandering in and over to Tessa, who was sulking and looking out the window. "It's sort of our job as your big sisters."
"Adoptive big sisters," Tessa muttered, and Brooke rolled her eyes, ignoring the remark. Nyla didn't, however, coming to join Brooke in the room.
"Still your sisters though and as your sisters, we have to scold you for being reckless." She said, and Brooke nodded.
"Yes, so tell me what happened?" Tessa glanced at Brooke and Nyla before sighing and telling the story of how she'd ended up unconscious in Nyla's ER. "And that's the last thing you remember?" Brooke asked, and Tessa nodded.
"I woke up in this room just a few minutes ago." Brooke nodded, understanding.
"Gavin sings the same story," Nyla said, her hands in her lab coat, looking relaxed and calm like always. Brooke frowned.
"Her partner," Nyla said at the same time Tessa said "My partner." Brooke blinked then nodded, remembering.
"Oh yeah. Is he okay?" She asked.
"Yeah, he's fine. His in the room next store, though his brooding." Nyla said, smiling. Brooke raised her eyebrow.
"He can't leave until Nyla says so." Tessa clarified, and Brooke nodded in understanding. She felt his pain.
"You should bring him in. I want to meet him." Nyla nodded and turned on her heel, exiting the door.
"You're not going to interrogate him, are you?" Tessa asked, and Brooke shook her head, sitting down on the edge of Tessa's bed.
"Of course not. I trust your judgement of character. I just want to hear his side of the story." Tessa nodded, and Brooke smiled down at her younger sister. "How are you doing by the way? Any backfire?" She asked, and Tessa shook her head.
"Other then the concussion, I'm fine."
"That's good." A male voice said, and Brooke turned to see a young man with brown hair and golden eyes, who she assumed was Gavin, smiling at Tessa, entering the room with Nyla trailing behind. Even though he'd been given his own room, Nyla seemed to allow him to keep his clothes on instead of changing into the hospital gowns. Tessa hadn't been so lucky. Tessa smiled.
"I'm glad to see you're alright too." She said, and Gavin nodded. He then locked his eyes on Brooke, face becoming indifferent. "Oh, This is my older sister, Brooke." Brooke held out her hand, smiling.
"Hey!" Gavin frowned, grabbing her hand.
"Hello." He then turned to Tessa. "I didn't know you had a sister."
"Sisters." Nyla corrected, giving a wave. "And biologically speaking, she doesn't. We are her adoptive big sisters." Nyla clarified.
"Yep, we all grew up in the same orphanage," Brooke said and a look of surprise and sadness past through Gavin's eyes but it was gone in a flash. "There's one more of us, Aria. She's the youngest." Gavin nodded.
"Now, with that clarified, I'll talk treatment," Nyla said, coming to stand in front of Gavin. "Since your doing so well, being up and aware, I suppose it's okay if I send you home." Gavin nodded, grateful.
"But, you have to take these tablets," Nyla said, pulling out a box of pills with a note attached to it. "And if you experience any of the symptoms listed on the note, you have to come back." She concluded, handing Gavin the box. He took it, giving it a once over before pocketing it.
"What about Tessa?" He asked, and Nyla smiled brightly.
"What!? But I'm fine!" Tessa whined, and Nyla sent her 'doctor glare' towards her, shutting her up. Brooke covered her mouth with her hand to suppress her laugh.
"She stays the night. If everything is all good tomorrow, she can go home and back to work." Gavin nodded.
"Alright, I let the chief know. Thank you, doctor." Nyla nodded in return to Gavin's appreciation before turning and grabbing Tessa's chart from its holder, pulling it out and filling out sections, pretending to be working. Brooke got out her phone and began scrolling through her messages, pretending to read them. She still eavesdropped in on Gavin and Tessa's conversation. "I'll pick you up when you get released tomorrow."
"Okay, thanks, Gavin."
"Be sure to text me tonight. Let me know you're okay." Brooke saw Tessa nod out of the corner of her eye. Satisfied, Gavin left the room, most likely going back to his own to gather his things. Brooke peeked up to check he was truly gone before putting away her phone.
"He's so caring." She said, leaning back on her hands and smiling at Tessa, whose face was started flushing.
"And handsome too," Nyla added, causing Tessa's face to flush deeper.
"Definitely a keeper," Brooke concluded, and Tessa's face was now deep red.
"STOP IT!" She yelled, and laughter rang throughout her hospital room in response...