They have the riches but do they have the power?
♠ Prologue ♠
Of all the most distinguished families in Britain, it had to be said that, as of yet, there was none that could surpass the Robertsons. With an impressive ancestry which took them all the way back to a nobleman of King James I's court, it could be argued that they had not needed to earn distinction but rather it had already been sown deep within the bosom of their family. Yet they did not rely solely upon their fortunes and had jobs, albeit very well paid. "They are the cream of our society" announced one magazine, the jewel in the crown, an impeccable example that thy do not take their fortune for granted. Yet there is a popular saying; "all is not gold that glitters." Everyone in their lifetime must discover this cruel fact at some time or another and the Robertsons are no exception, they may be able to buy their possessions but they cannot buy something that is absolutely priceless; Immunity.
♠ Chapter One ♠
Tristan Robertson frowned as he looked at the seating plan, four hours of moving people around and he still wasn't sure if he was happy with it. He was fully aware that the head of the charity hadn't been fully confident at hiring him to begin with, he seemed to think him too young and would have preferred someone in their thirties, even though Tristan only had a couple of years to go before the big three oh. Still, his PA had taken pity on him and had persuaded her boss to give him a chance for which he was extremely grateful. So far, everything had been going smoothly, even his fiancée, Laura, had offered to help out; she was, after all a party planner. However, it was the height of summer and he didn't want to put too much pressure on her, she was already fretting about whether they had chosen the correct centre pieces for their wedding, even though it wasn't until next March. Just as he had decided where the Lewis' would sit, he heard a knock at the door and his PA entered, she was a skinny woman in her late-thirties, a real spinster type, even though he would never say it out loud. She had frizzy hair which was tied back, had freckles and wore glasses. She was the type that most probably had been bullied at school which made him feel even more sorry for her. She approached him nervously,
'Excuse me sir?'
'Yes Polly, what is it?'
'Umm… Your step-cousin is here to see you.'
He frowned, Anne was here already? He wondered what had happened this time. Anne was the daughter of his uncle's wife, a widow of two years at the time when she had met him. She was shy and kind and the family had taken to her immediately, not much was known about her deceased husband, but, judging by Anne, Tristan had guessed that she might have taken after him.
'Hello! Dear step-cousin!'
He tore himself away from his daydream and looked to see the girl in question, standing before him, her auburn hair shone and when she smiled, her cheeks had dimples in them. He had never really trusted Anne, she was a trouble-maker and always manipulated people into getting what she wanted. Why she had to come at all was beyond him, not because he didn't want her there- well he didn't, but primarily because he was never sure what she was going to do next. He smiled back,
He kissed her cheek, 'You're early, I didn't expect to see you until the party.'
'Oh yeah! Congratulations by the way.' She sat down in front of his desk and suddenly spotted Polly enter, 'Errr… Excuse me… Yes you! A cup of coffee would be most welcome; black, two sugars, thanks.'
Tristan frowned at her brazen attitude but smiled at Polly, 'Make that two but no sugar for me as you know, thanks Polly.'
Polly smiled, 'Yes sir.' And closed the door behind her.
'You haven't changed have you?'
'Of course not! I never change unless there's a good reason.' Anne replied, engrossed in the shiny metal rubrics cube that had been on his desk.
'You'll never do that you know.'
'No harm in trying.'
'Anne, you know full well that you'd never have the patience in a million years.'
'Hey! People don't necessarily stay the same as they were when they were eighteen you know; a lot can happen in six years.'
'Oh I know that but not for you.'
'Gee thanks!' She grinned, 'So… You're to be handed the noose are you?'
'Just saying! I'm looking forward to meeting my future step-cousin- in-law.'
He frowned, 'That's a mouthful!'
'I know! That's why I said it!'
Tristan smiled, even though his step-cousin had generally been nothing but trouble, he had always been intrigued by her; she was unapologetic, 'That's the only thing, I never know where I am with you.'
'Well, I like to keep you guessing! So… Where's your "jailer?"
'Getting some champagne.'
'I'm looking forward to meeting her.'
He raised an eyebrow, 'Oh yes?
'Why do always have to be so suspicious of me?'
'Yes…Well… that was the old me.'
'A leopard doesn't change its spots Anne.'
'First time for everything!'
'Yes…' She looked at her watch, 'Oh I'd better be off.'
'See you Saturday then.'
'Yes, might be a bit late though.'
'Why is that may I ask?'
'You never did know how to prioritise!'
'That's what I'm doing darling!' She kissed his cheek, 'See you Saturday.'
'Bye!' He watched her leave and noticed how the atmosphere had changed and a thrilling chill suddenly shot down his spine. He turned round and shook his head; they weren't kids anymore for god's sake!
Tristan stood by the door and watched as the guests arrived; of which there were many. Suddenly, he felt a hand on his back and turned to see Laura, smiling at him,
He grinned, 'Hello you!'
They kissed and she nodded to the guests, 'Good turnout!'
'Yes! I'm surprised, I thought they'd be a few cancellations what with one thing and another!'
'You look beautiful by the way.'
'Aww thank you darling!' She smiled, 'Come on, let's go and meet our guests.'
Tristan smiled as he followed her downstairs.
It was noisy and everyone was talking and laughing. Tristan slowly made his way through the sea of faces and helped himself to a glass of champagne. He smiled as he watched Laura talking and laughing, she was the perfect girlfriend. They had met two years previous, nothing fancy. In fact it had been a bit embarrassing. He had been in a café, engrossed in work as usual, he had been staring down at his mobile phone when he suddenly walked into something soft, what followed next had been a horrible screech, when he glanced up, he saw an attractive woman, drenched in the coffee she had been carrying and understandably wasn't very happy,
'Why don't you watch where you're going?' She had snapped.
'I'm terribly sorry! Allow me to get you another!' He had immediately pulled out his wallet but, to his embarrassment, he didn't have the cash, the one time! But to his surprise and relief she had giggled,
'Well…It's the thought that counts I suppose.'
'I'm terribly sorry!'
'Don't worry; I wasn't really paying attention either.'
'Well…Let me buy you a coffee by ways of you making it up to me then.'
'I think I can go one better, how about dinner?'
'Well…Who's paying? Because I can't afford five star!'
She grinned, 'Well in that case…'
'Penny for them?'
He was suddenly jolted awake by Anne who had sidled up to him, 'Oh I was just dreaming?'
'About Laura? Oh how sweet!'
'Look Anne, if all you're going to do is make snide comments…'
'Alright! Alright! I'm sorry! I am genuinely pleased for you.'
'No Ryan then?'
She stared at him, blank, 'Who?'
'Ryan, you know; the source to your extravagant spending in Harvey Nicks.'
'Oh I ditched him a long time ago.'
Tristan raised an eyebrow, 'Ran out of money did he?'
'He wasn't honest with me.'
'In what way?'
'Well, he promised me a store card and he never gave me one.'
'I know! It was fifty percent off on your next purchase when you spent two hundred and fifty pounds I mean come on!'
'Yes, completely overreacted I can see that.'
'So you dumped him?'
Although it wasn't strictly funny, Tristan couldn't suppress a smile, 'You are incorrigible; you know that.'
'Why thank you!'
'Wasn't a compliment.'
Suddenly Laura came rushing across, 'There you are!'
'Here I am!'
Anne smiled, 'Hello!'
'Oh I'm sorry!' Tristan suddenly turned, 'This is my step-cousin Anne, Anne; this is Laura, my fiancée.'
'How do you do?'
'How do you do?'
'I hope you're enjoying yourself?'
'Yes, it's a good turn out.'
Tristan smiled, pleased they had got off on the right foot, 'Anyway darling, what did you want to tell me?'
'Oh I just wanted to introduce you to someone.'
'Oh right.' He turned to Anne, 'You don't mind do you?'
'What sort of question is that? Of course I don't you go ahead!'
He looked around and suddenly spotted his sister, 'Look, there's Caroline over there, Caroline!'
His sister turned and headed over, she smiled, 'Hello Anne! Long-time no see!'
'Yeah! Caroline, I've got to nip over there; will you stay here with Anne?'
'Of course! Go ahead!'
Tristan smiled, 'Thanks! See you later.' As he was dragged away, he found himself wishing he could have caught up with her a little longer but then shook his head; there was plenty of time for that.
Finally, the evening drew to a close and everyone started heading home. Laura put on her coat and turned to him, smiling,
'What a great evening!'
'I'm glad you enjoyed it.'
Tristan suddenly grabbed her hand, 'Come with me.'
'Wait! What are you doing?'
'Just come with me.'
Giggling, Laura followed as they rushed down the steps and into the night air. The stars shone and the moon came out to greet them, she gasped, 'It's so beautiful!'
'I love you, you know that don't you?'
'Well…I certainly hope so!'
'Come here!' Laura smiled as he pulled her towards her and kissed her deeply, 'We're going to have a wonderful life together.'
'Yeah! I can't wait!'
'I'd better get going.'
'Yeah! See you to-morrow.'
'Oh we need to just make a few more arrangements with the caterer.'
'Oh right… Well…I'm free to-morrow.'
'Oh you don't have to, I can do it.'
'I know that but I want to, it is my wedding too you know.'
'Well…Alright. I'll text you and let you know when I can meet him.'
She smiled, 'I love you.'
'And I love you.'
As he watched her go down to the car Anne suddenly appeared next to him, 'Hey!'
She kissed his cheek, 'Congratulations.'
'It's been great to see you again.'
'Perhaps we could meet up sometime?'
'Yeah I'd like that.'
'Great! Hand over your mobile number then.'
He laughed, 'If that was your attempt at mugging me, you're supposed to ask for my actual phone!!'
'No dummy! I don't have your number, I thought that I could have it to keep in touch, you know.'
'Oh yeah! Sure! Here you are.'
'Cool!' She kissed his cheek, 'See you around then.'
'See you.' With that, Tristan watched her head out into the night feeling more intrigued than exasperated.