Chapter 1 My Dream or Nightmare

Like a strong desire to disappear from the earth, the sounds, the voices, the room, the smell, everything felt so pulsating and unstable.

She wanted to be alone, in a place were no one would find her, a place without sounds, terror, nightmares nor disappointments.

It was a Tuesday morning and summer was bidding farewell, ushering in the new season.

It was a cool morning but for some reason, Olivia was feeling particularly hot.

She was in the midst of a heated argument which must be the reason why the room felt so hot. Or maybe it was knowing the fact that whatever decision they make today would affect her life greatly.

She didn't move, she couldn't, she just sat there faced down, hoping no one throws any question or remark her way.

Her mother is seen at the end of the conference table where she normally sits as the Chairwoman of the Luthel Enterprise, looking unnaturally calm and composed-even intimidating, in a heated argument.

But that was Judy Luthel, always composed but determined to make everything go according to her will, even her daughter's future.

The other people in the room were, Mr and Mrs Winfrey of the Castlehill Group with their lawyer, and Mr Vince- Judy's trusted lawyer.

The Winfrey's were trying to make Judy see reasons as to why they have to end the contract between the both companies, but Judy doesn't seem to like that idea at all.

Olivia can't believe all these was happening now, when its barely less than a month since her twin sister died.

She had always seen her mother as unfeeling, but never would she have thought that it would reach even to this extent- at her own daughter's expence.

Couldn't they hold this meeting in like 4 or 5months from now?

Everything was so nauseating, and she wasn't in the right frame of mind to handle such delicate matters yet. She still needed more time to grief her twin sister's death.

"You have to understand Mrs Luthel, the conditions behind us signing this contract in the first place is non-existent now. Having had your daughter as our daughter-in-law was such great joy for us, but she's gone now. Wouldn't it be wise to cut our losses put an end to both our pending precedent? We sympathize with you, but without Sophia this contract is already void to us", Mr Winfrey stated.

Scoff..."You came to me on bended knees few years ago, begging me to help you save Castlehill. And today you want to terminate our agreement without giving a second thought about the consequences of your action? Isn't that simply the most foolish thing to do?" Judy asked calmly.

If they had come to her to ask if there's a better way to sustain the deal between the both companies that was forged in a marriage union, that would have been better.

But her daughter had just died- as their daughter-in-law, and all they could think about was how to breakout from a contract they had proposed themselves back then, irrespective of the feelings of her late daughter then.

This made her mind go through lots of possibilities concerning the death of Sophia.

Could it be that the Winfreys had planned the assassination of her daughter so they could call an end to the contract?

Few years ago, Castlehill Group incurred a very huge debt and investors were pulling out- taking with them what they could. The company was at the brink of collasping with lots of debts to pay.

Matthew Winfrey had come to her on bended knees asking for her help, and that it doesn't matter what she wants in return as long as she helps him save Castlehill.

It took a serious toll on Luthel Industry after that risky save, so as a businesswoman she asked that 60% shares of Castlehill be transferred to her.

The Winfreys would be left with only 40% and this scared them, so they proposed a marriage agreement between their son and one of Judy's daughters.

This was the only way they could at least secure up to 15% out of the 60% shares Judy asked for.

Getting their son married to one of Judy's daughters would automatically make her daughter's own shares in Castlehill their son's, making him the highest shareholder of Castlehill with 25% shares already making it a total of 45% shares in his name and her daughter's.

But with Sophia dead, all 55% of the shares was now in the Winfrey's name. She wouldn't be surprised if Sophia's death ,was their doing.

"We have honoured this contract from day 1, but it doesn't benefit either of us any longer so let's end it already. We know for a fact that you helped us when we asked for your help, and we are willing to let you keep some shares in Castlehill but no longer as a major shareholder," Barbra Winfrey stated.

"Since you both have given this a lot of thought and have already made your decision, why then are you here? Go ahead and do as you please. What's the point in telling me all this? Isn't Castlehill yours?" Judy questioned sarcastically.

"We want you to sell over 25% of your shares back to us before the next board meeting. That way the investors will be clarify of the rumours of you leaving Castlehill with your shares," Barbra boldly requested.

And with an emotionless smile, Judy stated, "And if I don't, what will happen? I know the investors- I called them to you and you know that the moment I leave walk out of Castlehill, they would leave with me too- after all I still have 45% shares. Castlehill will crumble the second I turn my back against you ungrateful twits, but I don't want that. So I want to make a new deal, a stronger one."

If Judy goes ahead to propose what she plans, then the odds would be surely be against her- especially if the same thing that happened to Sophia repeats itself. But on the other hand, Olivia would become one of the major shareholders.

Olivia had only had her eyes on Markian Winfrey since her college days, but she never said anything- not even to her sister, Sophia.

While Sophy had always been the bright and cheery one among the both of them, Livy had always been the exact opposite- so distant and quiet.

Sophy had lots of friends and from time to time they would offer Livy a chance to hang out, but she always turns them down.

She lived in her own world, and kept a lot of things from her sister- like the fact that she had a crush on Markain.

Only after her mother had broken the news of Sophy's engagement to Markian, did Sophy realised that Livy was in love with her fiance- Markian.

Going against her mother's wish was futile, so Livy buried her feeling as deep as she could. Even when Sophy had confronted her about her feelings for Markian before the marriage, Livy lied and said that she simply dislikes him so much for agreeing to an arranged marriage.

So, after Sophy's death, Livy blamed herself for days. She thought that she may have subconsciously wished ill of her twin sister, all because she was bitter about her sister's marriage to Markian.

Livy loved her sister a lot, so when she saw how excited she was about the news of her engagement to Minnesota's most eligible bachelor, Livy couldn't help but hide her feelings deeper than they already were.

She was terrible at pretending and hated it, but she felt her sister's happiness was more important than her unrequited love for a man who doesn't even know she exists.

Who was she? She was no one of importance that could catch his eyes.

Sophy on the other hand was a one-time winner of Miss Minnesota. She had the looks and body of a supermodel and she was a social butterfly. So it was no surprise that even though it was an arranged marriage, Sophy and Markian hit it off very fast like they were destined for each other.

Livy was more reserved, timid and low headed. Never once did she go on a date and was always referred to as Sophy's opposite.

People would argue that they both were sisters sometimes, let alone twins.

Sophy was the brightest star and as a result casted her shadow on Livy, which she really didn't mind. But sometimes Livy wished she was even a little bit bold and brave like Sophy, then she would have been able to express her feelings to the man of her dreams- until it became too late.

After Sophy and Markian wedding, Livy became even more withdrawn from everyone especially Sophy.

Whenever the couple would visit the Luthel mansion, Livy would act as though Markian repulsed her to the core, and as a result was totally disliked by him.

This morning, when her mother had told her that she would be attending a meeting with her, Livy never thought in her wildest dreams that she would be listening to people insulting her late twin's memories.

They were referring to Sophia as though she have been gone few years now, like she was just an asset to them and nothing more till the very end.

"Another marriage proposal. I want to get my older daughter married to your widowed son," Judy stated.

And immediately, all colour left Livy's face. It felt like a boulder have just been placed on her, and the air in the room had suddenly become too thin, she was suffocating.

She felt like the ground should open up and swallow her whole before anything else is said or done.

A marriage to Markian- her sister's husband? What in the world is going through her mother's mind at the moment? How could such a vile thought cross her mind?- was she even thinking straight?

Of course her mother isn't thinking straight, she must still be shock of Sophy's death.

Livy felt like screaming, but her throat was too dry for words to form.

"What? That's absurd, we won't allow such, it's madness. Why would we want to get our son remarried to your other daughter when his late wife just died a month ago?" Matthew spoke in disbelief.

"For the very same reason you want me to sell my shares back to you. This is the only way you can have my shares. It's either this or I walk away with my 45% and my investors- goodluck finding new ones before you company folds. I think this meeting is over, and when next we meet, I hope you would have an answer for me," Judy abstrusely dismissed them.

Standing up and heading to her exquisite glass desk, she didn't let her face show any sign of emotion whatsoever. She was sturdy as a tree, very elegant and graceful even though her decision just made everyone in the room freeze for a moment.

Soon, they all stood up and left the office without saying a single word nor a happy expression on their faces, leaving only Livy who looked like she was about to collapse any moment.

"You too may leave. I have work to do, so you can ask me whatever question you wish to ask me when we get home," Judy spoke referring to Livy without looking up from the document she was reading.

Livy who was still glued to her chair, shook her head in utter disbelief.

After a while she gathered up her strength and stood up from the chair staggering. Her feet were weightless and her eyes were heavy filling up with tears. She was feeling light headed but she still dragged herself to the door.

Looking back at her mother who was busy going through an important document, she wondered if this was real or if all she just heard was just a dream.

She knew her mother so well, and for Judy to instruct that she asked whatever she wanted when they got back from work, was just a formality.

Whenever Judy made a decision, there was no room for opposing or arguing. That is one of her many tracts as a successful businesswoman.

So Livy quietly left the room without saying a word. Only when she had left, did Judy raise up her eyes from the file she held and gave out a deep sigh.

She knows how awful she must have appeared to be, but she needed Castlehill. After that save 2years ago, Luthel Industry suffered losses too but quickly recovered after Castlehill hit the international markets.

So, Castlehill is like a safety net for Luthel Inc. If she loses her shares in Castlehill, Luthel Inc might once again suffer a risk of huge debts and that would not be a pretty sight. But to secure her shares in Castlehill, she needed Livy as a major shareholder of 60% shares.

It's risky, but it's a risk worth taking, especially if the Winfrey's were really behind her daughter's death.


In her office, Livy felt very nauseous and sick she had to leave work early. She still couldn't wrap her head around the fact that she might be getting married to her sister's husband, the same man she have ever loved- the man that hates her so much.

Was this fate or coincidence? She had dreamt of marrying Markian, but 2years ago that thought and wish had died, along with her pain and sadness of that never happening.

She was not social enough so she rarely get asked out on a date, and when asked, she makes up an excuse and turns it down.

So she had already made up her mind to forever be alone after Markian married her sister. She mentally convinced herself that a life of solitude was what's best for her.

But now, seeing the turn of event, she doesn't know exactly how to feel or react about everything.

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