‘Do you know where your son is?’ Paula shows herself into the parlour and takes a seat on the armchair without being invited to.

Leila was not in the mood for her mother’s bullshit, she never is, but now is not the time.


‘I asked you a question.’

‘Has it escaped your mind that I’m an adult, have been married, had children, had a divorce, run an empire-‘’

‘On its last legs if you cannot save it.’

‘I am working on it.’

‘Really?’ Paula raised a brow, she’d been trying to get a hold of her grandson, Logan for weeks but he is as stubborn as they come, won’t take her calls. None of her grandchildren bother with her and what would they know? She is only trying to save their legacy. Granted her husband is the reason she’s had to try to so hard, but it wouldn’t kill them to try.

‘Yes. Really. Now what do you want?’

‘Do you know where your son is?’

‘I have three.’

‘Leila Marigold I am trying to save you from yourself.’

Marigold, she hates that name so much. Who names their child after a pair of cleaning gloves? Who the hell does that? And her mother only uses her middle name when she is trying to make a point.

‘I hate that name.’

‘And I really don’t care my darling.’ Paula offers that cold smile she is known for. The one that speaks volumes, always has to the child she harbours little emotion for.

Leila bristles at the coldness of her mother’s expression, even as an adult it chills her how cold and unfeeling a mother she can be. ‘You need to leave mother.’ Leila began to walk away from her mother before she said something unforgiveable though she is not sure what more can be said that hasn’t already been said between them that is unforgiveable.

‘I had breakfast with The von Weissburgs.’

That is enough to stop Leila in her tracks. ‘you did what?’

‘You heard me.’ Paula finds her perfectly manicured fingernails rather fascinating.

‘I don’t think I did.’

Paula stands, her handbag hanging from her elbow, prepared to take her leave. ‘Then let me make this clear for you my darling. Your son, Logan, to clarify is the one who will save your family legacy, you need to get that through that brain of yours that is good for anything but common sense. We do not have time, so I have set the ball rolling. Jojo is a simple enough girl, and she has always harboured a little crush. Elizabeth and George are on board, but they need to meet with you first. Your son is in Florence with that girl. I’ve done all I can, the rest is up to you.’

Leila saw it, it was only there in a flash but was that… affection? Paula must have felt it too but, without another word, Paula walks out of her daughter’s home certain she will never be allowed back here. For all her faults she tried, tried to love her daughter but too much has gone on over the years for that to happen, so this is her way for making amends. However, twisted they are. She watched Leila work her arse off for the Sterling, watched her light up at the thought of the empire passing down to her one day as her grandfather always promised. She’d begged him to skip over his son, but he was trying to be a good father, now here she is trying to be a good mother. Too late, but not too little.