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THE SCENT OF CHERRIES RAVAGED his mind as he stared at the wall. Angelina Belmont was a woman who was different to other women. Not just for the obvious reasons that she was a working woman when it was not normal in the climate that they lived it but for the fact that she did not gravitate to him as other women did. He recognized her blank looks when she looked at him, there was nothing there. He had to prove to her that his business was worth it in comparison to Billy Kimber and every time she looked at him, it never improved but worsened.

He found himself chasing her around more than he would like to. 

"You know, staring isn't very nice." She mumbled, staring down at the papers she brought along with her as she sat at his desk, her feet lifted on the chair adjacent to her.

He was flabbergasted. The whole reason why she was to meet with him was so they could discuss business and she was yet to look at him. "You're not looking at me." He spoke calmly but her nonchalant presence was causing irritation to rise in his throat.

"I don't need to look when I can listen, dear." She pointed to her ear causally and encouraged him to begin.

He hadn't gotten any of his points across at that moment. It was a wonder to him how she was as grand as everyone claimed her to be. From all of the people he had looking into her, they all claimed the words of greatness and a powerhouse that had control over a good portion of the economy in New York. He wasn't so sure that they were looking at the same person.

Angelina Belmont was not a serious woman. She was a nuisance but he wanted her business. 

Over the next couple of days, he decided he would make a risky decision. 

"Angelina." His voice called her name. They weren't necessarily on first name basis but he caught her rushing out of the Garrison with a bottle in hand. 

"Mr. Shelby, fancy seeing you here." She nodded in acknowledgment at him with a calm relaxed demeanor to her.

"It's been a while." It had been a week to be exact since he last caught her. 

"Indeed, well I have to go." She raised the bottle to him and proceeded to walk away when he stopped her. His hand wrapping around her wrist softly to stop her in her tracks.

"I've got something to talk to you about." He pulled her back and led her into the Garrison. She allowed him to drag her along for a moment before she ripped her arm away from him. Her arms crossed over her chest as she walked into the snug.

"You're playing games with me." He spoke right as he closed the door behind him. She leaned back with the same bored look on her face. 

"I don't know what you're talking about." Her shoulders relaxed as she leaned back, crossing her legs.

"You wanted me to prove myself that I was a capable business partner. I did all of the formalities, putting together a plan that you spilt coffee on. When I attempted to discuss business, you don't pay attention. Now, I couldn't figure out why until I had people look into it. There was a little processing method your father used when he would hire employees. It was one that tested the patience and commitment of the employee..."

Her face dropped a little, a sadness forcing its way to the surface but was quickly shot down. She remained quiet listening to what he had to say.

"... If the employee could not handle the pace and the qualities of his child, then he would not hire them. You were always there and it was evident that everything would be left into your name once it came down to it. You were pulled into the process of who would be allowed in the company and who wouldn't be. Everything that you are doing now is a part of the ritual that your father established, isn't it?"

𝐀𝐍𝐆𝐄𝐋,   𝐬𝐡𝐞𝐥𝐛𝐲.Where stories live. Discover now