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Emily's Pearl Castle Chapter II (Part 1)


Author's Note: Ate (pronounced as ah-teh, not eyt as in "We ate the best burgher.") is a term for the older sister used by younger siblings in the Filipino society as a sign of respect.  The male equivalent is Kuya (Coo-yah) for older brother.
Nanay  (Nah-nay) is for mothers (mom, mama, mommy, mother in the English speaking world).
Tatay (Tah-tay) for fathers.
Lola for grandmothers and Lolo for grandfathers.

*On some pics, there is a bug in the photos if you look close enough.  It was my graphics card groaning.
My apologies for the inconvenience, but I simply don't have the time to re-shoot the scene.
Good news for slower connections, I managed to accept the fact that my previous photos are too big for you, now I limit the sizes to 500x375 to main pics.  I hope you have an easier loading time.

Thus let me live, unheard, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me die;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lie.






JC and Emily's coffee has turned  cold after their little chat inside her cutting room.  JC sat at the couch while Emily remained at her previous sitting place.  The night was silent but whispered some quiet songs of the night insects, and a random car would loudly pass by once in a while.  Once again they both can't seem to open a topic to talk about.  Emily has given up on racking her brain for any safe choice of topics.  But she did remember shortly her curiosity about JC's surprise appearance.
'Ehrm JC, I did ask you why you're here."
JC seemed jolted from deep thoughts.
"Oh-right, you remember Dina Caliente?" JC asked cautiously.
"Yes, she's very successful she has a lot of commercials right now on TV and print."
JC smiled wryly while Emily stared at him, her curiosity definitely piqued. JC coughed and breathed deeply.
"Well, did I ever tell you why she's here in Manila?"
"No, we never talked about her."


JC smiled sardonically.  "Right, I now remember why.  It's because during that time I also didn't know why she's here." 
Emily's eyebrows rose. "Well it was clear to everyone why she's here." 
JC looked at her quizzically.

"Oh you didn't know JC?  She was practically throwing herself at you every chance she got."
JC looks as if he finds that hard to believe.
"She had the itch for you JC, and as I recall you seemed to enjoy it."  Emily said sarcastically.  JC actually had the audacity to look hurt which made Emily laugh with derision.
"Well what do you want me to do Emily? Embarrass her?  You did say I had the tendency to do that a lot to other people so I tried to curb that."

This time Emily is incredulous, she sputtered and was at a lost for words and in the end loudly uttered "Pft!" while giving a loud, dismissive laugh.  JC glared at her, and Emily glared right back.
JC looked away and stood up.  He got his black briefcase and promptly opened it on the table in front of Emily.


"What are you doing JC?" Emily said with fear.
JC didn't seem to hear her and opened the briefcase it gave a click as the clips snapped open.
Emily's eyes almost fell from their sockets.  It contained money, lots of it and in green currency.
"Now JC I know you're the son of the god of craziness himself, but do you know what type of place I live in?  What is this foolishness, do you want to kill me and my family?!"

JC's mouth is still zipped, he sat opposite her.
"I want you to help me Emily, do it for a friend.  Do it for Sharon, I really need your help right now Ems."  Ems is her nickname, and only her family and closest friends call her that.  Emily's heart twitched a little upon hearing Sharon's name, an old dear friend of hers.

"You're really low for using her."  Emily in spite of herself almost became teary eyed.
"How dare you Emily talk to me about what's low or not, when you both were low with what you did to me."  JC's eyes are hard and accusing.  Emily flushed.

"B-but that's different!"  JC knows he struck a deep wound.
"Different how?  You and Sharon played with my emotions, and this is no different except I'll be paying you with a bigger amount and this time I'm fully aware with what's gonna happen."
Emily feels like someone socked her to her stomach.  She wants to sob with pain but she refuses to be defeated. But JC is far from finished.

"I know you need the money babe, heck your house is still the decrepit garbage that I saw before."
Emily wants to seriously kill him.  She knew it, he's nothing but pure danger and she should never have allowed her inside her house.

JC saw her flushed face and stiff body.  He relaxed and started to feel satisfaction, he's used to these kind of situations both in business and with his personal ones.  He's not called the Doberman for nothing in the business circle, he can sniff fear and pain with anyone and he knows when to go for the kill.  He grinned at her.
Emily almost lost it, she wants to wreck her table in his face but she's sure her family would wake up and she didn't want them to see him.

"JC you're still an insufferable bastard!" Emily said with anguish.  JC only grinned which made Emily angry at herself.  She forced herself to remain calm because she doesn't want to give him the satisfaction of losing her temper.
"Ems, I know that you got a hefty sum from Sharon after that fiasco.  Now I would call that the lowest of the low."

Emily wanted to puke.  He still thinks I'm nothing but another gold digger.  She looked wildly around the room.  Lance, I dearly wish you're here right now.
"Don't expect anyone to save you now Emily, Lance won't be here."
Emily only looked at JC with dismay.

"Yep, I heard about you and Lance.  The society wags couldn't help but be scandalized, after your failed bid at me, now you're going after my friend?  Now that's really low." JC growled with emphasis.
Emily almost fainted with dismay.
"He's just a friend!  I swear to God!"  Emily looked at JC, trying her best for him to believe her.
JC only gave a dismissive gesture with his hands.

"W-we were okay a while ago JC, what's changed?  Why are you this monster once again?"
JC frowned, and he seemed touched by her genuine puzzlement.
"I don't know Emily, my anger with you and Sharon, it comes and goes."
Emily is shocked.


"You're still angry at her?  You have no idea how much it hurt her with what we tried to do with you.  Besides she's already gone JC, and I know for a fact that you loved her."
JC stretched his legs and remained quiet.  After a while he looked at her.
"Listen, there are things that changed in me but we all can't change the fact that you and Sharon made a toy out of me-" Emily gasped. "I don't care about money Emily, all I'm going to ask you to do is repay me and this time we'll be both in on the joke."  JC stared at Emily's blank eyes.

"Don't play the fool Emily, you know the drill about these kinds of deals and I can't blame you.  If I were born in your situation I would have done the same thing had the opportunity arrived."
Emily could only weakly protest. "It wasn't like that JC-" she croaked but JC interrupted.
"Cut the crap Ems, I would have sold my soul to the devil too just to help my family just like what you had to do."

Emily's ears started to buzz, her blood rushing to her brain.  This is the man she once thought she loved who's basically saying that she duped him because of her desire to help her family, it hurts her a lot.   She seemed to forget to breathe which made her feel dizzy, but as much as she's hurt she's also starting to get furious with him, her situation, Sharon's damned idea, her own poverty...

"Hey Emily, I understand alright?  Hell I've encountered men and women alike who wanted to fleece me for different reasons, and I don't make the mistake of considering you as one of them.  Do you know how rare it is for anyone to do the things you had to do because you had to not because you had ambition?  I really respect that in you, I know how much your family matters to you and I understand that."

Emily wants to punch him but she knows it won't help her a bit in getting rid of him.
"Stop your blabber Mr. Perfect, so what do you want in the first place?!" This time there's no mistaking Emily's irritation.

Three years and two months ago, at JC's office.

"What are you doing here Dina?" JC asked as he took a step back from her.
Dina smiled suggestively and lazily walked towards him as she swayed her hips with every step.
"Don't you feel cold with that?" JC asked mockingly.  Dina hesitated for a while, but she bets JC is only being his sarcastic self and she knows he's delighted to see her waiting in his office dressed only in white lingerie, this turned her on.

"JC I thought you'll never come." Dina purred and caressed JC's left cheek.  He smelled her fragrant and soft hands.  JC only pushed her away.

"Get dressed now Dina, and get out as quick as you can."  JC sat in his desk and looked coldly at Dina.
She's not amused. "You bastard, I waited for you here for almost three hours and this is all that you can say?  Do you know that men will kill just to see me like this?!"

JC rang her secretary.  "Get her out of my office." He slammed the phone and stared stonily at the beautiful woman in front of him, half naked and wholly offering herself to him, nothing new to him.  Dina paled and was at a lost for words.

"You're going to regret this!  No one does this to me!  No one!"  Dina started to sob.
"It's nothing personal hon, but your ex Don Lothario is a dear friend of mine, I know how you almost destroyed him.  You can call me many things but what's my friend's property is his alone."

"I'm not a property!" Dina stomped her foot and wanted to lunge at the man who coolly looks on as she's starting to break down, she realizes with horror that this never happened to her before it was always the men who did the begging with her.
"Is that so Dina?  Is that why men at the club bid for you like the latest car to be had?" Dina colored and hastily started to retrieve her clothes.

"I'm no fool, but my friend Don is one.  I told him he should never trust someone like you.  And look at him now after what you did to him, he's basically drowning in beer and vodka day in and day out."
"JC please, you're the one I only want not those men, not Don Lothario!"
Dina rushed to his side and tried to embrace him but JC pushed her away.

"Get out Dina, you're only making it worse for yourself.  I maybe a jerk but I have my standards in women, I don't want to be with someone like you, a common cheap commodity for those who have the right amount of money."
Dina slapped JC hard.  He only looked and turned his back on her.  Knocks were heard on the door.
"It's alright, don't come in as long as I don't ask you to!" JC commanded tersely, the people outside could hear a woman sobbing.  They shrugged, they're used to this kind of scenes in their boss' office.  JC's secretary shooed them off, and they stood at a distance from his door.

"I-I won't allow anyone from having you JC, no one!" Dina cried.
"What do you mean by that Dina?" JC carefully stared at the desperate woman in front of her.
"I know that you're screwing your sister-in-law Ashley!" JC almost punched her but it took all ounce of his strength to stop himself, Dina cringed and became scared of him.
"Get out or I may not stop myself!  I swear to God I've never hurt a woman before or I may just break that code with you!"  Dina believed him, his pupils are dilated and nostrils flared as his fists are bunched with his knuckles white.

"N-no, I'm not done yet.  I have a video of you two going at each other!" JC stared at her for a few terse seconds then laughed.
"I'm not making empty threats JC, it was at that company party three months ago, I was there remember you were a coward with me and you were hiding and I actually thought you were gay!  I was starting to accept your coldness but when I saw you and that fake prim and proper lady Ms. Ashley-Ricafort Dezena tearing at each other like wild rabid dogs, it made me furious."
JC's eyes widened, what Dina said is true.  Dina started to feel thriumphant.
"What do you want money?  How much?" JC said quietly.
"No, I want you."
"Impossible."

"Then I'll upload this video on the internet and give copies to society collumnists, how about that?"
JC grabbed Dina's left arm and held her brutishly.  "JC, you''re hurting me." Dina pleaded.
"I can kill you, this is not America no one will help you here.  I can sell your life in here for as little as one grand.  Then I'll have your body thrown at the Pasig river like a common dirty pig."
 

"Then do it!  I have someone I trust who keeps that video, so if I were you you'd let go of my hand and work with me if you don't want your own brother to massacre you."
JC blinked upon hearing his brother mentioned.  He promptly released Dina Caliente and run his fingers though his hair in despair.
"I know that you're the kind who should never be trusted!" JC spat and punched the wall, Dina winced but JC seemed unhurt.

In spite of her fear Dina and practically everyone knows JC's sole weakness: his brother. Dina felt in control of the situation once more and smiled smugly.
"I don't want you Dina." 
"Then get out of Manila."
JC's eyes widened.
"Are you crazy?  How am I supposed to manage my business?  Do you think this is all a game?!"
Dina shrugged. "I'm sure you'll manage."

"My wife Sharon is dying you bitch."
"As if you love her." Dina laughed.  JC is itching to punch her lights out but he loathes men who hurt women for whatever reason it maybe.

"What do you want then?" JC asked with defeat.
"Get out of this country for a couple of years, maybe two to four years will do for me to forget you.  And if you do come back, you should be married or at least engaged with someone."
"I'll make you pay for this Dina, I swear I'll get you someday."
Dina tossed her head and walked away after she got dressed.

JC did leave less than a week after that scene.  He sold a large part of his shares with his construction company to a trusted and competent friend, Henry Gaisan.  In this way he still owns a huge part of his company but this time someone he knows who have the skills and the one he trusts took control of it.

He stayed at Vienna which confused and scandalized their social circle.  Everyone knows that his wife Sharon is very sick and yet he left her.  Tongues wagged, and Emily and Ashley was dragged into the vicious gossip but Dina Caliente is spared.  Although she is much hated by the wives who suspects she sleeps with their husbands, they have gotten used to her because they always say they are men, it's normal.  This only riled Dina Caliente, she knows they think she is too beneath JC Dezena to even matter.

"So that's why you left?"

"Sure, I didn't want Rico to kill me so I left." JC answered matter of factly.
"You're always selfish JC, Sharon was not spared with the gossip you know!" Emily said.
"It's alright, I called her constantly.  Besides Sharon understood that we both didn't owe anyone an explanation, and I had nothing more that I can do for her, besides Lance was constantly with her and I know that he's what she needed during her last days, not me."  Emily is still confused, she thought she's Sharon's husband and he never should have left.

"Are you sure that's what Sharon wanted?"
"Yes, why you didn't know that?  I thought she's your friend?"
JC is right, she should have asked Sharon how she felt but during those times she herself was drowning with hurt and anger to even be aware of Sharon's situation.  Besides, Sharon herself refused to talk with her about JC, when she was still strong enough to talk, she only wished for her and Emily to talk about anything and everything except her husband who Emily thinks abandoned her.  Sharon never looked angry or hurt, which a lot of times made it difficult for her to be with her but she constantly critized herself for her selfishness.  Sometimes her sick friend would just hold her hand as she sobbed and sobbed, Emily never did say a word but she knows Sharon understood her perfectly.

Lance would sometimes be with them two, playing the violin for Sharon which pleased her greatly.  Emily would just sit back and observe the intimacy of the two of them. 
"Emily, was-was she really happy or did she fake it over the phone?"  JC asked with pain.
"No, she was genuinely happy,  Lance was wonderful.  She told me once, he's the one who she should have married not you."  JC smiled sadly.  "It's true."  Emily felt a bit sorry for JC.
"And now you're back JC, so I assume you want me to help you about Dina Caliente.  You're right, I do owe you one.  Don't worry I'll help." Emily feels genuinely ready to help the man in front of her.
"Good, then tomorrow you'll be my fiance."
Emily almost fell from her chair.

"Why do you act so surprised?!  It's not like you didn't pretend before to like me before." JC said with derision.
"Have you lost your mind JC?!  That's not the kind of help I was prepared to give and w-why me?!  Besides it's been established that your circle can't stand me!  Do you want to punish me again?"  This time Emily is almost screaming, a dog barked loudly.

"Can you lower your voice for a bit?"
"Actually I should now stab you  with my scissors instead of merely screaming at you!"
JC had the gall to be amused, but he turned serious shortly after.
"Think about it Emily, I'll pay you more than any money you will see in your entire lifetime.  What you're making as a seamstress is cute, but it will never be enough between having to buy your mother's constant medication,
your sister's education, and the endless expenses of running your household."
Emily kept quiet, JC is right.

Her mom's heart medication is getting more and more expensive, notwithstanding the fact that she's also on a special diet, her sister Agnes meanwhile could take a break from being a working student to fully concentrate on her studies, her grandma could use a vacation to have fresh air away from the polluted city.
Their house needs a crazy amount of repairs, and her sewing machine is starting to groan from her workload.  JC is right, she could use the money.  But---Emily took a deep breath and JC waited.

"JC no, I can't."

"Oh come on Emily, I know you're way smarter than that.  You've done it before with Sharon, what is wrong with doing it again with me?  Nothing will change, I did tell you I understand you now."
"But you're still angry at me JC.  And this time I've grown up, I now know this isn't just a game, so I say no."
JC actually smiled.
"That's why I trust you now Emily, had it been anyone else they would have jumped at the opportunity babe."
"What makes you think I won't help you JC?  Yes I will but I won't accept the money."
JC was at a lost for words.

"No Emily, there's no deal if you won't take the money.  I suppose this is also my way of saying sorry to you too."
Emily stiffened.
"If ever I felt hurt by you, I don't need your money."
"Look just accept the damned money!"  Emily scowled.
"You're not my boss so no!"
JC stood up and left while muttering "crazy, full of pride, foolish."
Emily just stared at him.  Had she just agreed to be his fake fiance?!
Before JC left the door, he turned and looked at her.

"You know the drill, two days from now I'll have someone pick you up to get you dressed on proper dresses not those rags."
"W-wait, JC you--"
But he's already gone.  And Emily is still flabbergasted by it all.  She almost jumped out of her skin when she saw the black briefcase, which JC has left with her.




"Jesus Christ dude, your dad waited for you all night to come and visit him!"
JC barely looked up, but he knows it's Henry who arrived in his house.  Henry opened the lights and helped himself to a glass of brandy.
"How's dad and Rico?" 
"Bad, your dad won't probably last a few more months.  While your brother is still an ass."

"I see.  You need to understand my brother more.  Thank you for your patience with him." JC answered mechanically.
Henry smiled wryly. JC never said a bad word about his brother who's ready to sell him to a pack of hungry wolves any second.
"So, where you've been?"
"You know where."

"I didn't think you were seriously gonna ask Emily, so I thought it would be with someone else.  Besides she'll have a difficult time after our circle crucified her.  If I were you you'd choose someone else J."

JC took a gulp from his beer.
"Shut up Henry, I didn't ask for your opinion."
Henry laughed.  He's used to JC's rough talks, he's after all his friend since childhood.
"Alright man, I won't question your wisdom about that Dina Caliente."  Henry shrugged and sat at the dining chair to drink.  They remained quiet for a while.  He's used to JC's periodic sullenness.

"I'll go and see dad tomorrow morning.  Tell Rico I'll come."
Henry shrugged again but he made a mental note to call Rico later or JC will know if he didn't do as he say and he'll be furious at him.  He sometimes finds it funny that JC acts like everything is fine between him and his younger brother.  Henry dislikes Rico with passion, but he respects JC's decision to be a brother to the antagonistic Rico.
They heard a car purr and enter JC's garage.  Henry has an inkling who it'll be.  He's hoping there won't be any trouble.



"Hey Lance, help yourself to a glass of beer." JC said casually, but Henry is not fooled.  He knows JC and Lance enough to know that there's a brewing trouble between them.
"No, I don't want your beer.  I won't stay here for long anyway."
"Suit yourself." JC stood up and was about to leave when Lance stopped him.
"I've got something to say to you."
When JC turned to look Lance's fists connected and he stumbled on the floor.

"That's for Sharon and Emily."
JC grinned and stood up.  Henry is pissed, but he doesn't know what to do with the two.

"I've always known you have a mean punch to you." JC said with mock.
"Are you satisfied now?!  Go ahead punch me again until you're happy." JC pushed his face near Lance's, but Lance only looked stonily.
"I saw you at Sharon's grave, and I followed you to Emily's house."
"I know." Lance was surprised.
"What are you doing JC?  Leave Emily alone or I'll kill you,"
Henry is really pissed now.
"Lance, don't involve yourself."
But Lance only ignored Henry.

"You've always been a stupid, selfish, son of a bitch.  What will make things any different now that you're back?
Not only that, I know for a fact that you don't care one bit for other people's feelings, so I'm asking you to leave Manila right after your dad dies, or you'll only do once again what you did when you last left.  You're going to leave everything a train wreck."

"Lance, am I still your friend?" JC asked gravely.  Lance stood quiet for a while.
"I honestly don't know JC, but I know you well enough to know that you're going to hurt a lot of people again, so I'm asking you to leave before you royally fuck us all up again."

JC grinned and playfully wrestled with Lance's head, he couldn't avoid him because JC is an expert with ninjutsu and Lance realized JC allowed him to punch his face to somewhat appease him although he could have easily deflected his blows, drunk or not. This riled Lance up.
"Uhm, let me go you fucktard!" Henry mediated and pulled JC away from the flushed and furious Lance.

"Don't make me hate you for good JC, you know what I can do.  Don't hurt Emily."
JC shrugged and waved his hand.
"Eh, whatever Lance, you're too serious all the time!"
"This is not a game you fool!  This is my last warning to you if you wish me to remain your friend."
Lance left in a huff and made his car roar.
"He's right J, choose another girl to be your fake girlfriend.  You don't want an angry Lance within your sight.  I seriously think he's now got a thing with that girl."

"You're probably right about that." JC said while rubbing his sore jaw.
"Go get some sleep, ask the maid to give you a fresh change of clothes.  We'll go to the hospital tomorrow.  And don't forget to call Rico before you sleep."
Henry shook his head.  He knows he's bound to be in a plethora of explosive situations again now that JC is back.

He took a sip of his brandy and thought about the current situation.  He clinked his glass with no one in the room and said 'Salud' before he took another gulp.  "God help us all, I hope we all survive this."
He reflected about his friends Lance, JC, and Ashley.  They are all important to him, he would give his life if any one of them asked him for it, and he knows the feeling is mutual.  His own family doesn't understand his devotion to his friends, but he could say that with all honesty his friends are his family.  His own dad is never home but with his different mistresses, his mom addicted to keeping a close obeyance to all social rules, he never really felt loved until he found his friends during childhood and they pretty much had the same family story.
But it's during these times that he's thinking if they all need a different pace in life, JC still a selfish person to everyone except to his friends and family, Lance a tragic romantic hero, Ashley jailed in a miserable marriage.
 

He thought about Emily, he knows she'll suffer if Lance and JC don't stay away from her soon.  He never really got close to her and never understood her charm to Lance and Sharon, but maybe because he's not used to her simplicity.  "God help her." He muttered, and a passing car's murmur drowned his words.
Next (Part 2 of Chapter II)
Previously
Intro (Beginning) of Emily's Pearl Castle
 

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
yoroshiqueen
Dec. 8th, 2008 03:23 pm (UTC)
Ooh, things are getting really exciting now!

I have to say, before I run to the next post - that picture of Shocked!Emily is my new favourite thing. I'm STILL grinning!
kikayfirefly
Dec. 8th, 2008 03:58 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you're liking the flow Yoroshi! Lol, about the shocked Emily pic, I almost didn't post it thinking you guys might hate it and I'm glad you liked it.

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )