Josh awoke to a dark and relaxing bedroom. He looked over at the large velvet curtain that was drawn across the spacious window and saw a small sliver of light peeking through and got up to let even more in. He looked outside to the beauty the large garden beheld. "Beautiful as always, isn't it Josh?" Tim, the boy's father said as he looked from the doorway. "Yes, Father." Josh said as he bowed respectively to his elder. "Son, Francine wishes to speak with you as soon as you are dressed." Josh walked over to his armoire and was curious as to why his stepmother wished to see him. "Why?" Josh asked as he pulled off his silk night shirt. "Only the heavens know, but I'd like to wish you a happy birthday, Josh. You are finally 18" Tim said as he waited for his son to put his shirt on so he could give him a large hug. "Thank you father, so now that I'm eighteen, does that mean…I get the law firm?" Josh asked with a wide grin on his face. Tim looked at his son and then jerked his head swiftly away and said "you must talk to Francine about that and Miss Walters will be over later. Josh frowned, but then smiled as he heard Tara's name escape from his father's stern lips and watched as he closed the large mahogany door upon his exit. "Tara, my sweet honeysuckle…." Josh said as he walked towards the rest room. He closed the door and grabbed the small silver comb that rested next to the marble sink. He took the comb through his thick copper hair and swept the long bangs off to the right side of his face, that hid a small scar from a fight that he had with his older sister years ago.
He lazily walked down the plush hallway and greeted the maids as he passed them. "Ello' Mr. Welsh. How was our' slumber'" the older head maid asked with a heavy British accent. "Oh, Mina it was amazing. What is for breakfast?" Josh asked as he gave a smile to the older maid as she said "eggs and bacon, and sir…happy birthday." He thanked the maid with a quick hug and started to walk up the daunting red carpeted steps. He licked his lips as his heart began to race.
He slowly climbed the intimidating steps, one by one. He heard a step creak and add to his nerves. "Josh." A young woman said as she stood at the top of the stairs. "Oh, good morning Tori. How was your slumber?" Josh said to his wicked sister. "Fine, mother wants to meet with you, so hurry up." Tori said as her long, black curly hair turned with her body. "yes, please forgive me." Josh said as he hurried up the remaining stairs. "Whatever, my mum is a very busy women, so don't keep her too long. Ingrate" Tori whispered into Josh's ear as she bounced down the stairs. "Ello' milady, how are you this morning?" Mina asked and got an evil hiss from the evil young women. Josh knocked on the teak door and heard a voice say "yes, Josh you may enter." Josh slowly opened the door and saw his step mother, Francine. "Well now! Don't take all dim damn day, boy get in here!" Her voice loud and blood curdling as it hit Josh's ear. "Yes, Mrs. Welsh." Josh said as he bowed to her. "Now boy, you know very well that I dislike, no, hate you, correct?" Francine asked as she got up from her large desk. "Yes, Mrs. Welsh." Josh said as he kept looking at the floor. "Good, you're not shit for brains. Now, I have a…preposition for you." Francine said as she sat on the edge of her desk. "What is it, madam?" Josh said as he slightly raised his head. "Miss Halt, I'll be with you very soon." Francine said as she loved to torture the poor boy and knew this decision would damn near kill him.
Josh stared at his stepmother's black and curly hair as he interrogated his Stepmother "why is Ta- Miss Halt here?" Josh's voice was high, but protective. "If you do this small favor for me then I'll let you call me mother and let you spend as much time with Miss Halt as you like, hell you can even skip your studies to see her." Francine said, trying to sweeten the pot. "What…do I need to do?" Josh was taken in by the "arrangement" and would do anything to spend more time with Tara. "marry her, but know once you say yes to our arrangement you can't take it back, or you will lose any right you had to succeed P&M law." Josh's eye's widened and he nodded "yes! I will marry Miss Halt on the first day of autumn." Josh was so happy; the women he had loved for ten long years would finally be his. "Miss Halt, please enter the room." Francine asked as the door slowly creaked open. "Yes, Mrs. Welsh? Did Josh agree to it?" Josh turned around and his heart sank as he saw the tips of brunette hair hang down in as she clung to the heavy door. "Yes, Lily. Josh accepted our terms, and you will be married in a month." Francine had a malevolent smile on her face as Lily calmly walked through the door, her brown hair swaying as she took each step. "I don't care if you love me, but cheat on me is something you will never do." Informed Lily as she walked past her soon-to-be-husband. "Hello, mother." Lily said as she bowed to her mother-in-law. "Oh dear, you're my daughter in law! You hug family." Francine said as she pulled Lily in to a hug. Josh started to laugh and said "you tricked me; you said I'd be marrying Tara!" Francine smiled and said "no, I never said "Tara" I said Miss Halt, you were stupid enough to not ask which one, Lily or her younger sister, Tara." Josh grew mad with anger and yelled at both of them "then I want out!" Francine laughed and said "then I'll take those rights to the firm as well." Josh was shaking and said "you have no DAMN right!" Lily's eyes widened as she heard the young boy cuss. "I have every right, I'm technically your mother and you must listen to me, also you waved your right to inherit the firm when you thought you were going to marry that moronic blonde instead of the careful and beautiful lady right next to me." Francine laughed as her stepson pouted and ran out of the room.
Josh was furious at Francine and stormed down the velvet steps. "Sir, what is wrong?" Mina asked as she looked at the fuming teen. "Nothing, Mina "Josh was lying and the old maid knew. "Oi! Why are ya lyin' to me?" Mina asked as she grabbed the boy's arm tightly. Mina knew yelling at him was the wrong move and invited him into the kitchen for a cup of hot tea. "Hey! Mina I have something in need to do!" Josh said as he was pulled by the strong maid. "No ya don't. You never pass up a cup of tea." Now tell me what the evil harridan said to ya?" Josh heaved a great sigh and said "she tricked me…" "That damn harridan! Why did she do this to my grandson?" Mina looked as she hugged him tightly against her breast. "Mina, I'm sorry." Josh said as a tear escaped his eye and rolled down his cheek. "oi, why are ya' sorry?" Mina looked down wiping his tear away. "If it weren't for me then mom…"Josh continued, but stopped as more tears came from his ice blue eyes. "Now listen to me boy. My daughter gave birth to a beautiful baby boy eighteen years ago and my grandson is the most precious thing to me." Mina grabbed a small hanky from her pocket and wiped the tears away. "Gram, you must hate me!" Josh said as he placed his arms around her back, pulling her tightly into the warm and loving hug. "Oi! Did ya' not hear a damn word oi just said?" mina said as she kissed Josh on the cheek. "I love my grandson with all my heart! Now don't get me wrong, I wish she had been married, instead of being with a married man, but she those 9 months she carried you were the happiest for her and your father. If I hate anyone then it's that damn bitch upstairs. She's made a living hell of your life." Mina said pouring the earl grey tea into the two small tea cups. "Thanks, Mina." Josh said as he sipped the hot liquid that burned his throat as he took it down. "no problem sport, how are spending your birthday? Since your dad left after you woke up and won't be home until very late. " Mina's voice broke as she placed her hand in josh's copper hair. "I'll probably celebrate with Ta- Miss Halt, tonight." Josh said as he tried to hide his blush. "You love her, don't you, that Halt girl, the blonde, not that bitchy brunette." Mina was a very nosy maid, but hit the nail on the head. "Yeah, which is why I hate myself right now? I signed a contract with the devil, she said I could marry Miss Halt, but it wasn't that clear." Mina looked at him and said "then do that, elope. Withdraw your proposal and run off with Tara." Josh looked at her and said "it's not that simple; if I don't marry…Lily then I lose any rights to the firm." Mina looked at him with an evil eye and said "you would give up your one and only love for a dusty old law firm? What the hell did your father teach ya?" she slapped the boy on the back of the head and said "if I don't get back to work then the evil rat upstairs will fire me, but oi love ya Josh, I've loved ya since the moment I knew about ya" Mina said as she washed the two empty tea cups and placed them back in the cupboards. "Thanks, gran." Josh said as he hugged mina one last time before going up to his bedroom.
Josh walked down the plush hallway and went to his dark and suppressing room. He opened the mahogany door and saw the curtain was closed and decided to open them so he could see the beauty of the garden in the summer heat. He saw the red roses thriving and then a girl in a powder blue dress and golden blonde hair sniffing the roses and decided that now was no time to sulk in his room.