Beverly Hills Prep Academy—home to the rich, famous, and spoiled brats.
Twelve eighth graders, under the supervision of their two Art teachers, embarked on a two-day, fun filled educational trip to New York City, home to world-class galleries.
The group checked into their five reserved rooms at the famous Majestic Inn Hotel. The students were randomly divided into four groups of three and were assigned their rooms. The teachers shared the last one. However, six of the students, attractive, super rich, mean girls, thinking they were above all other cliques, refused to share a room with anyone.
In an angry fit, the teachers put them in one room—all six of them. The teens protested, not liking the idea of sharing, but the teachers were firm they stay together or sleep in the hallway, an idea so disgusting the teens shuddered at the thought. Since apparently, they had no choice; they agreed.
Amazingly, the teens discovered they had similarities and differences, and as they stayed in the same room, surprisingly, the bonds they made were incredible. They formed friendships overnight as if they had known one another in another life. Vanessa Florence Grandeville, Stephanie Elaine Lee, Rachel Ann Franchesca Davenport, Alexandra Jane Moore, Samantha Isabella St. James, and Jennifer Clarice Stevens, promised to remain friends forever and eventually called the SBPs, also known as Spoiled Brats Princesses of Beverly Hills.
The airport was particularly crowded that morning with angry passengers waiting for information on their canceled flights due to mechanical difficulties. Children running amok and disembarking passengers only added to the noisy confusion. The terminal was in chaos.
While waiting for their flight, Samantha strolled casually to a gift shop and browsed through the souvenirs section before selecting some light reading material. The magazines quickly sold out, so she randomly picked up a newspaper and handed the cashier a five-dollar bill. She flipped through the pages; nothing caught her eye immediately. And then she saw it; below her picture, written in large bold letters, was a full-page wedding announcement: Artemus St. James of Beverly Hills, California, is happy to announce the engagement of his daughter, Samantha Isabella St. James, to Robert Chandler Jr., the son of a wealthy industrialist, Robert Chandler Sr., and his wife, Emilia Chandler, of Los Angeles, California, and a summer wedding is planned.
Her eyes widened in shock. She became hysterical and started shaking. She screamed so loud everyone turned around to see what was going on with her. Samantha glanced up and saw them looking at her strangely. She kicked the chair next to her in exasperation. Her friends rushed to her side to console her. They asked worriedly, reaching out, caressing her back, to calm her down. They had never seen her shaken or unnerved before.
“Sam, what happened?”
For a little while, there was silence between them, broken only by Samantha’s sniffles and sobs. It took a while before she finally calmed down, and after she had recovered from the initial shock, she sat on the chair, tears filling her eyes in anger as she folded up the newspaper and handed it to her friends. They took it from her hand and read the society page section of the newspaper dated May 12, Los Angeles Times. Their eyes widened in shock. They, too, could not believe what they read.
Samantha was furious. How could her father do this to her? How could he plan her wedding without discussing it with her? She could not believe her happiness of only moments ago when she kissed and cradled her goddaughter in her arms before saying goodbye had turned into a nightmare.
“Sam, why would your father announce your wedding without your knowledge and approval?” Rachel asked curiously.
“I don’t know, but I have to get to the bottom of this. It’s not like him to do such a thing. Something must have happened at home for my dad to decide this on his own.” Samantha gritted her teeth and fought to control her anger. She was upset and confused, and she couldn’t wait to get home to talk to her father.
Samantha Isabella St. James, a frivolous twenty-two-year-old Beverly Hills socialite and a well-known spoiled, was the only child of Angelina and Artemus St. James. Her father was a millionaire retail mogul, a successful property developer, and CEO of Artemus Industries, a multi-million-dollar retail company. Her mother passed away just before her seventeenth birthday. As an only child, she was in line to inherit the family business, but without a mother to guide her, she grew up arrogant, obstinate, and an unruly, spoiled, rich kid.
She, along with her friends, Stephanie, Rachel, Jennifer, and Alexandra, were at the airport departure area in Honolulu. They were waiting to board their plane for the flight home after enjoying a month-long vacation at Fisherman’s Wife Vacation Resort in Towi Island, a quaint, but nonetheless, an unremarkable village in a small island in the Pacific Ocean. Vanessa Florence Grandeville-Angelo, their best friend, and the sixth member of the Spoiled Brats Princesses of Beverly Hills, or SBPs for short, owned the resort. It was what the students and even teachers were calling them in high school because they were popular, attractive, rich, and famous. That name stuck with them even though they had graduated and moved on. They were in Hawaii celebrating Clarissa Belle’s first birthday—Vanessa’s daughter and Samantha’s first godchild.
Several times over the next five hours, Samantha became uncomfortable and restless sitting on the plane. Releasing the tense breath, she hadn’t realized she had held, she sat back on her seat and fastened the seat belt. She tried to pass the rest of the time leafing through magazines the flight attendant had handed her earlier, but she found herself looking back at the wedding announcement again. Looking at it caused a sense of dismay and helplessness to sweep over her. Something bordering on fear made her blood race as if she had entered the twilight zone. What could have possibly made her father betrayed her by making such an arrangement without talking with her first?
As soon as they landed at LAX, she immediately called her father, but no answer, which was just as well. She was angry at what he had done she didn’t know what her first words were going to be.
After claiming her luggage, Samantha hugged her friends, refusing their offer of a ride home in the black stretch limousine waiting at the curb. All she wanted to do was to be alone to collect her thoughts.
“We understand, Sam. Just remember, we are here for you. Promise you will call if you need us?” offered Rachel.
With a gentle smile, Samantha waved her hand and said goodbye to her friends as she walked to a car rental desk. Moments later, she was driving away from home along Pacific Coast Highway in a rented silver convertible, and letting the wind whip wildly through her black hair. She played the radio loud—hard rock—something she never listened to but thought it would help her. She wanted to forget everything; her dad and her pending nuptials to a man she despised. She pounded her fists on the car steering wheel until her hands hurt. Tears trickled down her cheeks, and as it obscures her vision, she dashed them away. She had an urge to scream so she raised her hands and shouted, just as she would on a roller coaster, but her cry caught in her throat. Pulling over to the side of the road, she turned the ignition key switching the car off and leaned on the steering wheel. The urge to cry was strong, but instead, she slumped back into her seat, unable to move . . . unable to breathe.
After a long moment of silence, she started the car again. As she drove, the strong wind gusts buffeted her convertible from time to time. The realization there had been no place to forget, no place to wander, and no place to hide hit her. It was time to face her father. She slowed the car, swung a U-turn, and went back the way she had come.
All the way home, she was raging. The security guard at their gated community immediately saw her coming. He smiled, waved his hand, and leaned out the door of the gatehouse to allow her to drive through. Samantha paid no attention to him. As soon as she entered the gate, she accelerated her speed until she pulled into their driveway, slamming on her brakes, and coming to a screeching stop, in time, barely missing her father’s car parked a few feet away. Her sudden stop left some deep tire tracks in the driveway. Grabbing the folded newspaper from the car seat, she jumped out of the car, dashed up the steps, and rushed into the living room where her father was entertaining a guest.
“Dad, is this true? What it says in the newspaper? Is this true?” she asked, waving the newspaper, but her father only gave her a quick look, shrugged, and continued talking to his guest. However, that did not deter her from her hysteric ranting.
“You can’t do this to me, Dad! You can’t force me to marry someone I hate! I am not ready to marry yet, and even if I were, I refuse to marry someone like . . . like RJ. He is the devil’s spawn. I am only twenty-two, and if it has slipped your notice, I am too young to get married. Dad, are you listening to me?”
Artemus abruptly stopped the conversation he was having with his guest; his eyes narrowed slightly. With his weathered old face growing crimson, he rose from his seat and for a second, just stood still, as if he had a moment of indecision, before moving to his wet bar. After pouring a glass of his best cognac and downing it, he closed his eyes and exhaled loudly before turning toward his daughter.
“What the hell is this about? What is so important you feel the need to interrupt my meeting?” he said finally and started back toward his seat.
“This wedding announcement in the newspaper,” she asked, waving the paper. “Is this true?”
Her father barely glanced at it. Instead, he let out a long breath.
“I am disappointed in you, Samantha. Since when do you raise your voice to me, especially in front of a guest?”
“I’m sorry, Dad, but I need to know.” Turning to the guest, she said, “I hope you don’t mind, but I need to talk to my father alone.” This she said firmly while flashing an impatient look his way.
Of course, the guest caught the gist of the girl’s impatience and knew he should leave.
“Um, Mr. St. James, we can continue this meeting some other time.”
“Humph,” Artemus grunted softly in response. “Perhaps you are right. Just call my secretary to set up another meeting.”
The guest nodded and walked out the door, leaving the father and daughter to their discussion.
“Well?” Samantha asked when they were finally alone.
“Well, what?” Artemus asked with irritation.
“Dad!” Samantha screamed. “Aren’t you going to tell me what is going on?”
“There’s nothing to tell! I made the arrangements for you to get married and that is that.” Artemus answered firmly but looked away to avoid her gaze. He was afraid she would see right through him and, somehow, she would know right away he was hiding the truth from her.
As the shock of her father confirming what he had done, Samantha felt betrayed. The truth rushed at her in a dizzying pace. How she could speak at all or even breathe, was afterward a matter of wonder to her. She should be able to choose her future. Every person should have that right. She knew her parents had never believed in arranged marriages, not for religious or financial circumstances. She would never think her father would allow the conceptual possibility of a coerced agreement. Knowing him well, she knew something was wrong.
“B-but why, Dad? It’s not like you to do such a thing. Please help me understand your sudden decision. What is going on?”
Artemus preferred to avoid confrontation, but admitted he could be passive-aggressive and may make condescending comments when he was mad. On the other hand, he knew his daughter well. She had no problem expressing her anger and often would throw a tantrum to get her way—the one thing he could not stand.
With sadness in his eyes, Artemus finally looked at her. He decided it was time to tell his daughter the truth, but he didn’t know where to begin or how to start with it. His heart filled with emotion too powerful to contain and thought it would explode from his chest. He took a deep breath. His voice cracked as he speaks.
“Sam, believe me, you are the last person I would ever want to hurt, and you deserve to know the truth. I am in trouble. I didn’t say anything to you before. I thought I could handle and fix it. I was wrong. When your mother passed away, I spent much time drinking, trying to drown my sorrows. I devoted myself assiduously to my business empire, acquiring a variety of projects to develop. I wanted to keep busy and my body physically exhausted. I hoped to distract myself long enough to help me deal with the unrelenting grief I endured after your mother’s death. She’s gone a long time, but I still miss her. One day, a friend of mine invited me to meet him at Bayview Casino, about an hour drive from the office, to discuss some business opportunities. I had not seen him for a long time, and out of the blue, he called me. I thought I needed a break so I accepted. We had some drinks, and afterward, we played a few hands in the high limit poker room. Later, we returned to the bar again and drank some more.”
Samantha listened attentively to her father’s story. To her surprise, her father sat back on the chair, put his hands on his face, and sob.
“Sam, I don’t know what happened after that. Everything was a blur. Something terrible had happened, and I found myself in a jam. I’m sorry, but I can’t tell you the rest. I feel ashamed and embarrassed.”
Samantha’s eyes grew wide and confused as she looked at her father. “Dad, what is it you are not telling me? Who was the friend you were drinking with? Please tell me, Dad. Help me understand you.”
“I’m sorry, Sam, but that’s all I can say. Just believe me it is best for you to marry RJ for our sake.”
“For our sake?” she repeated. “I don’t understand what you are saying. You are one of the most influential business leaders, one of the wealthiest and successful people in the country. Why are you letting RJ push you around? Does he have something against you that makes you feel compelled to go along with this? You are twice as wealthy as his father is. It’s not like you to compromise me like this. I know you are keeping secrets from me, Dad. Tell me the truth. Why do you want me to marry RJ?”
“I’m sorry, Sam, but I’ve already decided for the both of us.”
“No! This is not happening to me!” Samantha demanded under her breath. Her head felt as if a bomb hit it and exploded. Angry, frustrated, and disappointed, she wanted to yell at him. It defied everything she knew her father could be capable of such a despicable act. Her entire world was crashing down around her. She could feel all her hopes and dreams shattered to bits.
She stood silent, but the extreme pain was still evident in her eyes. She shook her head as tears continued to fall. “So, this marriage is a business deal, is that it? Did you sell me to pay off a debt? Is it money? How much is it, Dad? How much do you owe them?” Samantha screamed her lungs out as she stared at her father, with a sickening feeling of tightness in her chest.
Artemus couldn’t look at his daughter. Instead, he looked at the floor, avoiding her stare, and rubbing his hands together. He remained silent and made no attempt to answer.
Samantha was growing frustrated with her father’s silence. She loved him very much, but she could not trust him anymore.
“If you force me to marry RJ, I-I will run away,” she threatened.
“My decision is final, Samantha, and if you disobey me, I will disown you!” Artemus firmly said, hoping to scare his daughter enough to agree with his decision. He looked at her and almost broke down when he saw how much he had hurt her with everything he had said. He walked away without looking back; afraid he would fall apart in front of her.
As her world collapsed, Samantha felt she was falling with no solid ground beneath her. Her father had been adamant in his demand she accepts RJ’s proposal. He had threatened to disown her, and it was something she never thought she would hear from him. It filled her with a seething rage.
Artemus heard his daughter’s voice behind him. He stopped walking and turned around.
“If my mom were still alive, she would not let you force me . . . marrying a . . .” Her voice cracked. She could not bring herself to say horrible words like, “I hate you, Daddy!” but sank, almost fainting on the sofa. The sharp pain in her heart had her gasping for breath.
“I’m sorry, Samantha. I don’t want to hurt you, but I don’t want any more discussion about this. Whether you like it or not, you are marrying RJ,” he said firmly again.
Samantha hesitated as if she wanted to say something in protest. She stared at her father, a terrible anger welling up in her again as she watched him staring back at her, steady but not defiant. She had enough. She could not keep up this façade a moment longer.
“I’m going to my room!” she yelled, and made her way across the hall, and ran all the way upstairs without looking back.
Moments later, there was a tap on her door.
“Sam, may I come in?”
“No, you may not!” Samantha’s voice was icy. “Please go away and leave me alone.”
“Samantha, we have to talk. Please open the door!” said Artemus in a hard voice.
Samantha didn’t answer and remained silent. She didn’t want to hear anything her father had to say to her anymore.
“Okay, have it your way, but this conversation is far from over,” said Artemus as he left.
Samantha didn’t care how many times her father knocked on the door and asked her to open it. She closed her eyes, covered her ears, and ignored his plea.
It was dark, and the room was quiet. Samantha got up and tiptoed toward the door. She twisted the door handle but shocked to find the door was locked from the outside. She shook her head and drew in a deep breath.
Maybe if I sleep long enough and wake up tomorrow, I’ll find out everything that had happened today was only but a bad dream, she told herself.
Samantha stretched and yawned when she awoke the next morning. What a strange dream I had last night, she told herself sternly.
She got up and staggered to the door. She turned the door handle, but the door was locked. Memories of the night before engulfed her, and she panicked. What she remembered could not possibly be true. It couldn’t be!
She pounded on the door hoping someone would hear her, but no one came. The harder she did it, her breathing became more labored until she became weak. She held herself up against the wall for a minute and tried to turn the door handle once more, but it still did not open. Frustrated, she slowly sank to the floor.
Moments later, she got up on her knees and staggered awkwardly to her feet. Samantha threw herself on her bed and curled up on her side, cradling her pillow. She sobbed uncontrollably, more out of anger than anything else. It was the first time her father locked her in her room, raised his voice, and threatened to disown her. She felt betrayed and in a state of utter despair. She had no doubt her father would never change his mind and that she would have to marry RJ.
She knew the time would come when she would have to get married, but she was unprepared for it; not when she had not seen herself as a woman yet. She still had a lot of growing up to do. She wasn’t ready to be RJ’s wife or any other man’s wife for that matter. She never envisioned her life turning out this way.
She vividly remembered her first meeting with RJ at his parent’s ranch in Texas many years ago when she and her mother attended a charity event hosted by RJ’s aristocratic mother. She was simultaneously insulted and titillated by his innuendos. She was fourteen, and RJ was sixteen.
Sure, everyone knew who Robert Chandler, Jr. was. He was handsome, wealthy, and charming. He was every girl’s dream, but he was also self-centered and obnoxious. He was every inch the young, dashing, arrogant guy, who loved to flaunt his charm and wealth as he strutted around. He had a unique way of making girls feel privileged and important, but there was something in his eyes she couldn’t understand. She thought maybe it was the way he looked at her. It seemed he was undressing her mentally, which made her feel disgusted and violated. Samantha shivered at the thought. It happened many years ago, but she remembered it like it happened yesterday. She buried her face in her pillow and sobbed. Without her mother, she felt unloved and alone due to the weight of responsibility her father wanted her to take on.
Before she realized it, she had fallen back to sleep and awakened by the smell of Irish crème coffee, bacon, eggs, and pancakes—her favorite breakfast foods. She opened her eyes and saw Nanny Lorraine standing by the door, holding a tray of food.
“Nanny Lorraine, please help me. I need to get out of this house,” she begged.
“I’m sorry, Sam. I have strict instructions from your father not to let you out of this room. Believe me, child; this is for your own good.”
“For my own good?” she repeated. “How can it be if I’m a prisoner in my home?”
“Sam, sweetheart, your father already explained everything to you. Whatever his reasons or faults, trust him. Don’t worry; it’s going to be all right,” consoled Nanny Lorraine as she embraced her, enveloping her in soothing warmth. Samantha clung to her, wanting to weep, but she had no tears left in her.
Samantha closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She didn’t know how long before Nanny Lorraine left her room, and how long she remained sitting by the window, staring blindly into space. She climbed into her bed and curled up into a ball beneath the sheets.
Meanwhile, Artemus was in the library room drinking into oblivion. He had spent many long nights with guilt for what he had done to his daughter. He was drinking more heavily all last night and into this morning. He loved Samantha very much, and he spoiled her too much, especially since his wife died. It pained him tremendously to force his daughter into a marriage she did not want. It was all his fault.
Why did I let this get out of hand? I should have gone to the police immediately.
He was a well-respected man in the business world, but he was also aggressive, and nothing was enough for him. He was drunk with power as he wanted to acquire more businesses and properties. It was his way of dealing with his wife’s death. He missed her terribly. If he weren't greedy about another business opportunity, he would have never met with Robert Chandler, and this would never have happened. He would not be in this predicament. The chances of being able to have his only child happily marrying someone she loved, and of him playing with his grandchildren, were no more. Now, it was too late for them.
“I don’t know what I would do if my parents told me I have to marry a complete stranger. I would run away for sure,” said Stephanie. She and her friends, Jennifer, Rachel, and Alexandra were in Samantha’s room trying to comfort her. Surprisingly, Artemus had allowed them to visit Samantha, but he remained outside guarding the door. He thought keeping a careful watch on his daughter was the right thing to do. He even tightened security and hired a bodyguard for his daughter.
“I don’t know about you, but if I can’t live with someone I like, how could I live with someone I despise?” said Jennifer. “That’s why I am picky when it comes to dating and finding a relationship. Do you have any idea how high maintenance I am? I can’t be dating just anyone.”
“Jen, you don’t have to tell us. We are part of the SBPs, too, remember? We all have the same issues?” Stephanie said as everyone burst into laughter.
“Seriously, Sam, you have got to think this through. You don’t want to be tied up to some random guy your father picked for you. There’s no way in hell I would put up with that,” said Jennifer.
“But what should I do? I don’t want to disobey my dad, but I don’t want to get married to that pervert either,” cried Samantha.
“Calm down, Sam. We are pretty smart people. I am sure we’ll think of something,” said Alexandra. “When is the wedding?”
“RJ called me the other day, and he said he wants us to get married right away. His family wanted us to forego a traditional honeymoon to fly to Paris after our nuptials. They decided everything for us without discussing anything with me first. RJ also said once we’re married, everything I do, everywhere I go, and who I see, I have to check with him first.”
“What?” the girls shocked by what they heard. “That is insane like you would be living with a dictator.”
“Tell me about it,” Samantha answered. “I said I don’t even know him well, and he is crazy if he thinks I would let him have much control over me.”
“What did he say?” Rachel asked. Her eyes widened in swift curiosity.
“He said, ‘we’ll see about that,' and hung up.”
“He seems to have a bad temper, too. You had better think this through carefully, Sam. He could be a dangerous man. What gets me is why your father would force you to marry him? Can’t he see there’s something wrong with this union from the beginning? Something fishy is going on here. There’s more to this than meets the eye,” Rachel stated curiously.
Everyone looked at one another with a puzzled look on their face.
A tired and weary Samantha lamented her situation. She looked out the window, feeling helpless as she watched her friends drive away and then a smile broke over her face as she remembered something that might help her with her situation.
She spent the day locked up in her room, searching for her gold trinket box where she hid all her treasures and secrets, including a master-key she had made that opened the inside and outside doors throughout the house. She decided to have it made when her father forbade her to go inside her mother’s room after her death, and it remained locked after they buried her. When her father was away on business trips, she would sleep in her mother’s bed and sometimes smell her clothes as if she was still with her.
It was late at night. Samantha moved around carefully. She secured her backpack on her back, tiptoed silently, and opened the door slowly. If she made one slight noise, her father might hear her, and that would be the end of her escape plan. An odd mixture of emotions swept through her as she made her way downstairs. Her heart was pounding in her chest. Finally, with some fear and trepidation, she tried to open the front door only to discover her key did not work. After several minutes of standing in shock, she realized her father had installed two new types of key locks, and her master-key was useless after all. Her father made sure she would not be able to leave the house. He was trying to imprison her in her house.
Dismayed, she dragged herself back to her room and cried until she had no tears left to shed. Soon her eyes were heavy, and she fell asleep until she heard a knock at the door, causing her to awaken, confused, and disoriented.
Samantha heard her father’s voice from the other side of the door, but she remained silent.
The door opened a crack.
“RJ and his father are here to talk to you. Please come downstairs and see them for a few minutes.”
Samantha rubbed her tired eyes. She looked at the clock on the wall. It was nine o’clock. She pulled the blanket over her head and tried to go back to sleep. “I don’t want to see anyone,” she said, groaning, pulling the blanket tightly around her.
“Don’t start again, Samantha. Do not challenge me. This marriage is the best thing for both of us.”
Samantha looked at her father sharply. “I will not marry RJ.”
“Oh, yes you will, so help me God.”
Samantha glanced at her father standing at the partially opened door. Her mind began to comprehend what he was saying. “And if I refuse?”
“This is my family, and I make the rules around here. As I said, if you disobey me, I will disown you.” Artemus said, trying to calm himself down.
Samantha blinked, startled. There was no point in arguing with her father anymore. In the end, she caved in, resorting to tears. With a heavy heart, she pulled out her black dress she had worn to her mother’s funeral service and put it on. She slowly walked to the bathroom, splashed cold water on her face, and twisted her hair into a bun. She walked towards the door slowly and headed downstairs. The noise from her black high heels echoed in the living room, and everyone turned as she entered. She scanned the faces of the people sitting on the sofa. There was Mr. Chandler, RJ, and a middle-aged man in a brown suit.
“Good morning, Sam,” greeted RJ with a kiss on her cheek. “I’m surprised you are not wearing black gloves and a black veil to compliment your mourning dress,” he joked.
Samantha didn’t react.
“Sam, don’t be rude to our guests,” Artemus said, irritated.
“That’s okay, Artemus. In time, she will learn to like me,” said RJ with a sly smile.
Mr. Chandler stood up. “We have come to ask for your proper consent, Samantha. Do you accept RJ’s offer of marriage?”
Not knowing how to respond, Samantha looked at him in silence.
“Before you answer, Samantha, I would like to introduce our attorney, Andrew Tomei.”
Artemus looked at him, troubled. “Your attorney?”
“Yes, Artemus. He will be drawing up our agreement. Also, I am offering you a fantastic opportunity for us to be partners in your business. Of course, you will still have some control and shares in the company, but you will no longer be the CEO. You will have to step down.”
“Step down?” Artemus was outraged. “I will not enter such an arrangement. Our agreement is for my daughter to marry your son, but I didn’t say anything about giving up my business, too.”
“We’ll see about that,” Mr. Chandler said with a grin.
“Is that threat, Robert?”
“No, it’s just a thought since we will be one big family soon, but don’t worry about it. We will stick to our original agreement. I will leave you now as I have other matters to attend. I will see you later, Artemus. Goodbye, Samantha,” Mr. Chandler said as he left abruptly.
A tongue-tied silence followed this revelation. Samantha could not believe what she heard. Like a broken record, she could hear ‘agreement’ over and over in her head. She was right. Mr. Chandler was holding something against her father. Now more than ever, she knew he was being blackmailed. She was certain of it. She needed to play along. She needed time to figure things out. She took a deep breath to reinforce her courage and hurried to catch up to Mr. Chandler. RJ, his attorney, and her father followed her.
“Mr. Chandler, Mr. Chandler,” Samantha called out, catching up with him.
Mr. Chandler stopped and turned slowly, pasting a smile on his face. “What can I help you with, Samantha?”
“I am begging you. There’s got to be a better way to settle this. I don’t want to marry your son,” Samantha said, changing her tone to pleading.
Mr. Chandler stared at her for a full minute before speaking.
“Let me make everything crystal clear for you, Samantha. Your decision will significantly affect the outcome of your father’s debt to me. Do you get what I am telling you?”
“I don’t understand. My father is one of the wealthiest men in the country and a successful businessman. You, however, did not even make it to the top one hundred entrepreneurs. It smells of blackmail, Mr. Chandler, and I have seen and heard enough that I recognize what is going on. What secret are you holding against my father?”
“Well, well, I underestimated you, Samantha. But as you said, it’s a secret, but one thing I will reiterate is your decision will significantly impact the outcome of your father’s debt to me.”