#9 | A Diamond Ring

Logan wanted to do this with his siblings, he had no idea why he has kept them in the dark about Francesca, but he knows how things would be once they get to meet her. He wants to have her to himself for a little while yet. Not that they wouldn’t love her, they will, how could they not? And they will support him always.

‘Sir, we are ready for you.’ The stiffly dressed gentleman leads Logan to the back room of the inconspicuous boutique in one of the little alleyways just off Bond Street, where the big money spenders prefer to shop in peace. The room is cosy and quietly luxurious, even more so than the front of the boutique. Three assistants stand at attention, each with a tray of merchandise and two security guards stand at either entrance, more to keep the nosy parkers at bay: both staff and customers.

If the press get wind that Logan Sterling is in here, they will ruin everything, and he cannot afford anyone finding out. If he came with any of his siblings, they would somehow draw the press here. They simply have a knack for knowing where the Sterling children are at any point in time and have a hankering to know and inform the public of what they are up to and the public lap it up. This is not what he wants to expose Francesca to just now, he wants time to be alone with her and to love her in peace before the wolves circle them.

‘Drink sir?’ The butler offers Logan a drink from the well-stocked bar.

‘No thanks. Let’s get down to business.’

As if propelled forward by a gentle force, the three assistants set the trays down and the merchandise sparkle in the light.

‘You do not want to do that.’ Jibril looms over the paparazzo who’d trailed Logan from his office to Bond Street. He had no idea he was being watched.

‘Do what?’ The scrawny man with his camera had been on this job for a few days, the red tops have him and a bunch of other people on retainer to follow people like the Sterlings because any story on them sells papers. He’d been tailing Logan Sterling all week, and nothing excited has happened until today when he walked into the jewellers off Bond Street. Only people in the know, know what boutiques like these sell. And only photographers who tail people in the know, would know and luckily, he’d been on the job long enough to know that only the really wealthy walk into boutiques like that and come out with pricey items in little boxes.

‘You do not want to send that picture to your editor my man. Don’t be stupid.’

‘What’s worth to you?’

Jibril hands the photographer a roll of fifty-pound notes, ten thousand pounds. The photographer handed him the memory card.

‘Phone.’ Jibril holds out his hand for the phone and the other man hands it over. He filters through his photos, and the messages to make sure he had not taken any pictures of Logan on the phone or sent it to anyone via text or email. Satisfied he hands the phone back and the photographer did not need to be told to leave the scene.

Logan thought he was being careful, and he was, but Jibril is good at his job, too good, which is why Leila Sterling has kept him on staff for over a decade. He and his team are on retainer for the Sterling family since the children started being followed by the paparazzi. They rebelled against the obvious intrusion, but their parents were absolutely unified in this, the compromise was to maintain a safe distance. This morning Leila told him to trail Logan because he was seeing some new girl and it was obviously something serious. Serious enough for the young man to shop for a diamond ring. He has enough to report to his employer, her instincts were right.

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