Chapter Eleven:

Author's Note: This is an end. Sorry for taking so long to update. One scene isn't the greatest, but I don't have the capacity to rewrite it.

Thanks to everyone who has stuck with me. I hope you enjoy the ending. Thanks to criti-sized, xXxKristie MariexXx, GN Perone, and sweets555 for reviewing last chapter.

--fayth required--

Epilogue

Fayth obediently went to all the shoots and fashion shows for the next week as she plotted how to reveal her guess at who was the person who injected her with the lethal poison.

One day after a particularly long time at a shoot, Fayth discovered Claire at the computer in her father's office. Fayth preferred not to bother with the steps if she didn't have to.

Claire paled when she looked up to see Fayth standing there. "Hello, Fayth," she murmured cautiously.

"My, my, Claire. I should catch you doing naughty things more often if it means you're nice to me."

Claire inhaled. "I don't dislike you, Fayth."

"You're just trying to keep your distance. We all do." Fayth smiled a bit.

"How do you do that?"

"What?"

"Act crazy and sane at the same time."

Fayth leaned in with an insane smile. "I wasn't aware it was acting."

Claire took a deep breath.

"So do you know anything about computers, Claire?"

Claire smiled brightly. "You know, just to shop online and stuff." She stood and exited the room quickly.

"Yeah, right," Fayth muttered as she took the desk chair. "Step-mommy isn't who she pretends to be," she sang. She clicked to check where she had been.

"Fayth, what are you doing?" Lee asked form the doorway. He had practically materialized. His tie was lopsided.

"Absolutely nothing." She smiled innocently.

"YOU WON'T BELIEVE IT!" Abe exclaimed as he came bouncing into the house while waving his arms wildly.

"What?"

"The guys after you have been caught. The police people still say to watch out because others might want your uncle's information."

"Oh, good."

"There's a party tonight! Claire's throwing it," Abe announced.

"Oh, bad."

"It won't be that awful. It could be fun," Lee offered.

Carl entered the room while clutching some papers. He was pale and dazed.

"Daddy?" Fayth led him to a seat.

"Someone has been embezzling from the company. They have taken almost everything. Mother is going to kill me."

Fayth hugged him. "It will be all right, Daddy. It will." Her heart sunk as her mind kept trying to tell her who the embezzler was. Her thoughts made her sick.

--fayth required--

Lee fettled with his tie. He was sure he was going to throw up. He hated himself for hurting her. He despised the fact that his past was making him do this.

Fayth came sprinting down the stairs while holding her dress up. "We're going to be late to Claire's party!" she exclaimed as she slipped on her high heels.

"I know." Lee sighed. He followed her out the door.

"What's wrong with you?"

"It's a bad day."

"Nah. It's only what we make it. We have choices. We all have choices," she remarked.

He froze, wondering if she knew. Then she gifted him with an innocent smile. He began to breathe again. Everything was going to be okay . . . for him. At least that's what he told himself.

--fayth required--

Halfway to the party Lee's cell phone rang. The sprinklers had accidentally been set off at the party hall. Consequently, everything had been ruined and the party had been canceled.

Fayth found herself sitting in a circle back at the house. Erica, Claire, Carl, Kayla, Lee, and Abe were all present. She surveyed their faces while wondering which one of them had poisoned her and/or embezzled from her family company.

Were there two perpetrators? Was it one person? Fayth seriously doubted it was one person. Everyone had done something suspicious.

Lee was nervous and jittery. He showed the classic signs of a guilty conscience.

Abe couldn't look her in the eyes after the embezzlement announcement.

Claire and her mysterious "online shopping".

Erica and her seemingly senseless vendetta against Fayth.

Kayla . . . well, she hadn't done anything but be a model citizen since she had returned from Paris, which was weird for her.

Carl was entirely too innocent to do anything criminal. He didn't have the heart for it.

"Honey, why are you studying us like you're getting ready to interrogate us?" her father asked meekly.

"Because I think," she started slowly. "That someone brought us here tonight to end the game they've been playing once in for all."

"Fayth! This isn't a game," Kayla remarked. "This is your life. Someone tried to poison you and another person is embezzling from your company."

"It isn't a game. You're right, but whoever is orchestrating this mess thinks it is."

"Are you saying one of us in this room is responsible for this mess? For me not being able to afford my skiing trip to Aspen?" Erica asked indignantly.

"Yes."

Erica sprang from her seat. "Which one of you did it?" she hissed, obviously upset about the way the embezzling had affected her.

"Calm down, Tiger." Fayth whistled. "I'll have to keep her around for interrogation. You really can be mean if someone gets in the way of your allowance."

"Oh, shut up. I don't even like you." She crossed her arms over her chest.

"Why is that?"

"You don't even remember!" she shrieked.

"If I did I wouldn't be asking."

"You stole Cade from me. We were seeing each other until he saw you. Suddenly, he wanted to break up with me."

"But you were mean to me before that."

"That was just to put you in your place."

"I'm going to the bathroom," Kayla announced while rolling her eyes and standing up.

"So who did it? You know, don't you?" Erica asked Fayth.

"Well, Abe, I'm pretty sure you embezzled the money, but why?" Her eyes landed on him.

"Oh, it's been awful. I'm so sorry. I didn't want to." Abe was almost in tears.

"Who or what made you do it?"

"I was being blackmailed!"

"You, blackmailed? Are you kidding? What could you have done that was blackmail worthy?" Fayth wanted to laugh at the thought of Abe doing anything criminal.

"They were threatening to completely demolish the Day Company. They were going to sell all of our designs. They were also going to do an exposé on all our secrets—including your mother's bipolarism and your anorexia."

"Who are they?"

"You mean you don't know?" Kayla asked quietly from behind her. "And here I thought you were all knowing." A sarcastic smirk decorated her face.

"Why?" Fayth asked in a whisper. She felt the betrayal like a stab in her gut because she had never suspected her.

"Like you said earlier, it's just a game." Shadows covered half of Kayla's face. She had the wickedest grin. It made Fayth shiver. It really was something out of a horror movie.

"I think it's more than that," Fayth remarked quietly.

"All right. I was jealous of you. Pretty Fayth, so smart, going to get her medical degree, wonderful daddy, and let's not forget how lovable she is!"

"My life was never prefect."

"Oh, you've got to be kidding me. So your mom hit you and you felt fat. At least people paid attention to you."

"Kayla, what does this get you?" Fayth felt compelled to ask.

"I got to see you guys run around like chickens. It was fun while it lasted," she said quietly as she pulled a gun out of her pocket. As she aimed the weapon at Fayth, everyone held their breath.

"You don't have to kill her, Kayla! You can just take the money and run," Lee exclaimed.

Kayla grinned. "How does it feel to know Lee helped me out? Your other best friend. He told me things. I really owe him my gratitude. Without him I might have not been able to do it."

Carter materialized behind her with his weapon level to her head. "Put the gun down or I'll shoot."

Kayla pulled the trigger. Fayth fell backwards with crimson red blood spilling from her side.

Carter managed to wrestle Kayla to the ground and handcuffed her. The police and the ambulance were called. Lee applied pressure to Fayth's wound.

"Carter, you promised me you would take Kayla out before Fayth got hurt," Adonis growled as he appeared. He had insisted on joining in on the action with Carter when he overheard Lee and Carter's plan to get a taped confession from Kayla.

"I thought I knew what she would do." Carter looked pale as he looked down on Fayth. "Is she going to be okay?"

"I don't know. It looks bad."

Fayth found her vision blurring. She needed to tell them. "Lee, I know you were pretending to be in cahoots with her to protect me," she rushed to get the words out. "Abe, you've forgiven. Erica, you're hilarious. Claire, my uncle's information you are looking for is on a disk in my bag."

"Wait. You knew Claire was an agent planted to get your uncle's information and protect you?" Carter asked.

"Heck, yes. Oh, Carter, your partner killed himself and framed the dirty agents he was working with. He was just in too deep. He came and talked to me before he did it. There's a VHS tape in my bag. It has a message for you.

And, yes, I was a complete idiot to stay quiet this long." Then she passed out.

--fayth required--

Hours later she awoke to find herself staring at Adonis.

"I never got a final message," he teased after informing her she was going to live.

"Well, I thought yours was obvious." She smiled even though she was aching.

"I didn't want you to leave all those years ago. There was a surprise. A very bad one. My advisors said if I didn't get you out you could be killed or worse. I thought saying those things was the only way to get you to leave."

She gifted him with a mischievous smile. "It probably was."

"I'm sorry."

"I forgive you."

"That easily?"

"Yes."

"I love you."

"And?"

He gave her a bewildered look. She tapped her ring finger.

"Ah, yes." He retrieved the ring form his pocket and got down on the ground. "Will you marry me?"

"Yes." He slid the diamond heirloom ring on her finger.

"Fayth, you forgot something."

She stopped admiring the ring. "Oh, I love it. Ah, I mean, I love you." She tried to keep a straight face, but failed.

"That was an awful joke."

She carefully leaned forward and kissed him. "I know. You'll just have to learn to live with them."

"Oh, I can."

After that Fayth rarely had a reason to make use of a steak knife.

--fayth required--

Author's Note: This is an end. Sorry for taking so long to update. One scene isn't the greatest, but I don't have the capacity to rewrite it.

Thanks to everyone who has stuck with me. I hope you enjoy the ending. Thanks to criti-sized, xXxKristie MariexXx, GN Perone, and sweets555 for reviewing last chapter.

If you didn't the meaning of the last line refer to the first sentence of the first chapter.