Chloe stood on the sidewalk, frozen, as she gazed at what was left in front of her. It was her cakeshop, but it no longer had its roof.
The cute, simple, elegant Sweets Cakeshop that was once decorated with white and pastel-purple paint was now mostly covered in a gray-black color on what was left of a wall.
All her equipment had broken and burned, even the crucial ones: ovens, freezers, and mixers. Not only that, the Sweets Cakeshop’s van was “parked” in the middle of the space—also burned.
They were lucky the fire didn’t spread to the other buildings and there were no other people who got hurt by the accident.
Chloe crossed her arms on her chest, hugging herself with tears on her cheeks. Her dreams were gone, just like that. She stared up at the night sky, closed her eyes, and tried to soothe herself.
Don’t worry, this is what insurance is for, right?
Wait, are the insurance contracts already activated to cover all of this? They must be active, or she will never get back on her feet.
I have to call all the clients whose projects rely on the cakeshop. I have to cancel all the big projects.
She ran her fingers through her hair, feeling frustrated, before wiping all the tears off her cheeks.
It was late at night, and she couldn’t do anything there anyway. She looked down at her feet before slowly walking home.
“So, how did it go with the insurance company?” Amy said from the other end of the phone. Amy had been checking on Chloe since early in the morning. This was the third call from her that afternoon.
Amy had been her best friend for years. She often helped Chloe with many projects and even in other aspects of Chloe’s life. Chloe considered her as her own sister.
“Uhm… No luck.” Chloe sighed while putting her coffee mug in the microwave. She sniffled quietly.
“According to their policy, every contract will be active a month after signing the paper… Since I just joined them and signed the paper last week, they can’t cover my shop.”
“Have you tried to speak with someone more—”
“Yes, I did,” Chloe cut in, desperate with the fact that talking with the supervisor from the insurance company didn’t help. “But still…they said it is what it is.”
Chloe touched her forehead. “Anyway, I had canceled all of the big projects that we can’t handle anymore, you know, since we can’t use the shop’s equipment… But the project with Jeremy is still up.”
“Of course it is,” Amy said. Chloe could sense Amy’s smile from the way she spoke.
“It’s not like that, his project is our closest scheduled, and I can handle it with the regular oven in my apartment—”
“You don’t need to explain… Besides, I didn’t say anything.” Amy smiled again.
“When are you gonna stop teasing me about him? He’s just a customer.” Chloe scoffed weakly.
“When you start accepting his offer to date him.” She laughed slightly. Chloe was about to reply when she heard another incoming call tone.
“Amy, I have to take another call… It’s Mel.”
“Okay. See you on project Jeremy! Take care!” Amy partly shouted.
“Thanks, you too!”
After hanging up with Amy, Chloe quickly picked up the call from Melanie.
“Hey, sis. When will you get here? I need to talk,” said Melanie.
“Um, I’ve got a lot of things to do, I don’t think I can be there today. Sorry.” Chloe sighed quietly. “How are you today?”
“Better, thanks. So, Scott is awake, and he said his brother is coming,” Melanie said, and Chloe could hear her chewing from the phone.
“And you’re telling me this, because…?”
“I need you to meet him. Scott’s brother will take care of everything for our cakeshop.”
Something in Melanie’s voice told Chloe that she was more than better, Melanie sounded happy. Too happy for someone who should’ve been feeling guilty about what they did.
Not that Chloe blamed her for being happy, but that was just typical Melanie.
“Irresponsible, sometimes ignorant,” Chloe thought, but she kept quiet for a while.
“Y-yes, I’m here.” Chloe shook her head.
“Scott said you have to meet his brother at his office tomorrow morning at Kingston Tower. Scott spoke to him, so he knows you’re gonna be there. You do know about Kingston Consolidated, right?”
Her questioning tone was very obvious to Chloe.
“Actually, I don’t.” Never heard of it. Who follows all the rich guys from a different world slash every owner of the big companies in the country anyway? I’m too busy dealing with my own world.
“Besides, aside from the fact that our shop does need to be restored, shouldn’t you and Scott be the ones who meet with him first? Why doesn’t he come to the hospital?”
For a second, Chloe was not pleased by the fact that she had to take responsibility that was not hers. She knew her sister too well.
“Scott told him everything. He’ll be arriving in town early morning… I don’t know why he decided not to meet us first at the hospital instead of his office.
“Scott said his brother wants to take care of our shop first. I guess that’s the main reason he came here in the first place, to help Scott.
“Please, you know all about this and the shop better than me.” Melanie sighed before saying, “Chloe, this is my way to make things right.”
“Okay!” Chloe raised her voice slightly when she cut in and then took a deep breath when she realized it. Some other time, one day, she really would speak to Melanie about what had burdened her.
“Just send me the details.”
“Yes! I’ll text you the details. Thanks, sis!” Melanie squealed lightly.
Liam Kingston threw the magazine onto the seat next to him on his private jet while looking outside the window. He still couldn’t believe what his brother Scott did. Got his girlfriend pregnant.
“How could he be that stupid?” Liam thought.
As the firstborn of the Kingston family and Kingston Consolidated, Liam was the man who protected both the family and the company.
He protected the Kingston family legacy—what his father had built from ground zero—from the people wanted to exploit his family’s wealth.
And when he said, “the people,” he was referring to the gold-digging people in particular, and in Scott’s case, the gold-digger girlfriend.
In all his life, he knew too well not to cross the line when you had to “have fun” with the girls. Especially the gold-digger type of girls.
Don’t get him wrong, he loved girls. But trusting them was another story.
He wasn’t having self-pity party at the moment, sure, he had some bad experiences with both good girls and bad girls, but there weren’t any old wounds that would make him have a self-pity party.
There are no wounds at all. Only lessons.
And from the look of it, Scott hadn’t learned anything.
Liam took a deep breath, feeling overwhelmed for a second. He was tired of the fact that he always had to clean up his brother’s messes.
Maybe if Scott was his only brother, he wouldn’t be so overwhelmed, but he had two more brothers who were younger than Scott, Jackson Kingston and Marley Kingston.
Liam had taken over his father’s role, along with the obligation to keep his family steady, and he always was the son that his mom counted on.
In fact, the reason he was on the jet to Alvero City to help Scott was for their mother’s sake too. There was nothing that Liam wouldn’t do for his mom, Elouise Kingston.
Liam knew his mother had been struggling being alone ever since his father had died a decade ago.
It’d been a rough life for the company and the family, but he was not a fan of nostalgic thoughts or self-pity.
Liam just couldn’t believe that after everything got better over the past year, one of his brothers just had to make a new problem. Again.
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