"Good morning, young Mistress Amelia. Your breakfast is ready" I just slightly grasp the butler, Manuel's, greeting as I descend the massive stairway.
My thoughts are too preoccupied to notice him in his usual spot. The old man has been with me since I was brought to the enormous estate after my father's death.
"Thank you, Manuel" I fondly smile before I walk to the massive dining area.
As always, I took time to stare at the abundance in front of me. A feast fit for a queen. A queen. But I am far from being a queen.
And most students in the University, where all heirs of affluent families are studying, have made sure to always remind me that no matter how lavish is my life, I am still a stray cat.
Yes, I am a no-one. I have no clear lineage for their reference. I tell no one who I am but everyone could see my lavish life.
I am just a charity case for the famous and wealthiest family in the country. A subject of their compassion. Whilst my unclear origin, they treated me like one of them. I share their family's power despite people not realizing it.
I've been living alone for almost six years and I should be used to it. Though I get well with the household staff, it's still a lot of difference to have a family. Which I do not have.
Regardless of the abundance around me, I felt hollow. I have no one to share even the pettiest things I did in school or the victory I won. Only Manuel would send me off to school and welcomes me home at the end of the day.
It's a routine. A routine that I'm starting to get tired of. But what choice do I have? None.
As I eat, I could hear myself chewing my food. The entire mansion is too quiet, like always. Only the soft clinking of my silverware would occasionally break the silence.
I'm used to eating alone and though it's lonely, I try to enjoy and appreciate all the efforts of Manuel and the rest of the staff to prepare my sumptuous meal. They are awesome.
Though for me it's unnecessary, the mansion is situated in a massive but secluded private area where no commoner could enter. Its heavily guarded main gate is still a kilometer away. Making the entire estate fully hidden from the main road and curious eyes.
Aside from the high-resolution CCTV cameras surrounding the entire estate, several security personnel were stationed at the main gate. While roving guards are everywhere to secure the vicinity of the mansion.
I'm like a precious jewel afraid to be stolen from its owner. Indeed, a modern-day princess. I've been patient and it won't be long before I will be rewarded. In less than a year, I will be finished with my medical studies. My dream is starting to come true.
After my breakfast, I rushed to get my things upstairs and prepare to leave. I have an early class and surely my friends will be waiting for me.
Stepping out in the garage, I look at the six limited edition, multi-million dollar vehicles to choose from. And I decided to use the newest one in my collection. The white Ferrari LaFerrari.
A kilometer to the main gate is just a blink of an eye as I speed down the private road. And not long, I am among the pool of vehicles laboring the congested traffic of the city.
Though I earned a lot of angry honking for my greedy spot on the road, I arrived at the university. I didn't stop until I reached my intended parking space. Yes, I have my own parking space. With my name.
Luxury cars are not an unusual scene in the university. Heirs of the most wealthy and affluent families in the country are a common view inside the campus but only me has the specific spot under my name. Though it raised a lot of brows, I'm too busy to care.
They all could question my existence, and they will just be wasting their time. No matter what they do, they will discover nothing about me. And with their hopelessness, those aristocrats and their heirs would oftentimes create uproar to drag me to the ground where they all wanted me to be.
The University is full of rumors about me like I am an illegitimate heir of some royalties abroad, hidden from the public eye. Some think I have a wealthy sugar daddy. Well, close but not close enough.
It's been an issue among aristocratic students who have been looking down on me, which in the long run doesn't bother me anymore.
"Oh, here's the queen pauper, Amelia Stepanov. How's your morning, your highness?"
The instant I got out of the vehicle, Carla with her group who are chatting near my parking spot sneered while looking at me from head to toe. My avid fan early in the morning. I'm pissed seeing her heavily made-up face but I force a sweet smile for her.
"I'm fine a while ago before I saw you. What brand of cake flour did you use in your face again, Carla?" I jeer back with the sweetest smile I could muster.
"Why you!" triggered and furious, she glares at me. If looks could kill, I will be lying on the ground, convulsing. Even her friends are all sharply staring at me.
"You missed a spot around your neck. I could send you another sack of flour if you are short of it" I added with a wink. If they could spoil my early morning, so do I.
"Stray cat, bitch! One day your sugar daddy will dump you and I swear I will be the first person to kick you out of here. You are still a nobody! You have no right to be haughty around us, you are just a stray cat, loser" she angrily shrieks with all her might for other students to hear her, but I don't care. I'm used to it.
Four years ago and the first time I learned of their disdain and experience their hostility is like a blazing dagger stabbed into my heart. It hurt like hell. But it's been long years have passed and my heart has hardened as a rock to mind all their insults. I learned to fight back and to get even.
"Until then, I will graze this ground with my eminence. Bear with it" I smirk before turning away from the group.
Aren't they tired of pestering me? I don't have time to indulge their qualms.
I walk straight to the entrance of the building where I spotted Caleb and Cristy. My two closest friends. The two people who stood by my side all these years of being in the den of hyenas.
Caleb Orlov, the son of the Secretary of Finance, and his mother's side of the family are very affluent with several chains of jewelry shops all over the country.
Cristy Antonov is the daughter of the Health Ambassador while her father is one of the major stockholders of the university. Cape University is ranked number one among other universities in the country.
We have been a solid group since freshmen and no one dared to mess with us. Well of course, aside from me.
Without a clear family connection, I've been occasionally subjected to bullying. But I am Amelia Stepanov, I will never give anyone the chance to bully me.
In fact, I earned the nickname 'stray cat'. Fiesty as a cat but still a stray. And just like my existence in high society where connections are significant... I am still out of place despite my obvious wealth.
Amelia Stepanov lacks connection and influence like the others. I am still an outcast of society, a fake diamond despite its blinding brightness.
Came lunchtime and we had our fill at the frequently visited cafe near the university.
We are already about to finish our meal when the news caught my attention.
"Billionaire heir Alek Vasili Wright who was rumored to become CEO of Petrov Petroleum arrives in the country. As we all remember, Wright Group of Companies has become a major investor of Petrov Petroleum. The two leading powerful families have been in collaboration for several decades now. Is the presence of the twenty-eight-year-old heir of another powerful magnate mean something to Petrov Petroleum?" the anchor spoke as the footage of the arrival was flashed on the screen.
"Wright and Petrov's families are leading the business world since I can remember. But Petrov Petroleum is a very conservative company. Since its establishment, only a Petrov could strictly govern the entire management. If the rumors were right, does this mean, they are opening their doors to allies? Will they allow someone to manage the company who is not a Petrov? A lot of questions have been surfacing that only Petrov Petroleum could fulfill"
"We are hoping to have an answer. We will try to acquire an interview with CEO Timothy Petrov soon"
"In addition, the handsome bachelor was seen with the celebrity socialite Miss Sophia Saunters as they came out of the private hangar of the Petrov family"
"Curious eyes of the public are now focused on the handsome heir who arrives with the very beautiful and sophisticated Miss Saunters. As we all know, Alek Vasili Wright grew up in front of the public's curious eyes. Son of the famous international model and fashion designer, Alexzia Montes-Wright, Alek Vasili was known for his exceptional criterion for women. Alexzia Montes-Wright has set an unattainable standard for her sons"
"Does his appearance with the famous model mean something? Will the famous heir be settling down soon? Will this mean heartbreak for those who dreamed of having the elusive heart of the very handsome bachelor? A Wright heir rumored to be Petrov Petroleum's next CEO is one of the young billionaires equal to his brothers and any Petrov. Every woman's dream. His arrival in the country has raised a lot of speculation and we are hoping to have answers soon. Stay tuned for more updates, good afternoon"
The report has ended but the photos of the heir's entourage flashed on the screen, which I earnestly watch.
"He is perfection...like his mother"
"Very handsome and rich..."
"That model is very lucky"
"They looked good together"
"They will have perfect children..."
Several murmurs reached my ears but I'm too focused on the screen where the face of the handsome man and the beautiful woman beside him is plastered. Indeed the two looked good together.
"Wow, my one great love is back" I heard Cristy whisper. She too is glued to the screen.
"That bitch is not that beautiful, she is just wearing very thick makeup. I don't like how she looked at the camera. As if telling everyone Mr. Alek Vasili is hers. I can't let her" she continues to softly rant while I continue to quietly watch.
"I may not be as beautiful as she is...but Lia is. She pales with Amelia's beauty" she snickers, which tears my attention away from the screen.
Incredulous by her ideas, I glare at her.
"What?" she asks while glaring back at me.
"Lia is more beautiful than her. Tell me I'm wrong, Caleb" she challenged.
Not wanting to start an argument, I roll my eyes at her. She could sometimes be extra. But her triumphant smile got me curious, too late to notice the pair of earnest eyes staring at me. Caleb stared at me like he just saw me for the first time.
"What?" I irritatedly ask, glaring at him.
"Nothing...you are indeed very beautiful" Caleb mumbles as if realizing it for the first time.
"Fuck you" I sneer, aghast by how they are making fun of me.
"Yes, I agree, Lia is far more beautiful than that woman" Caleb added his agreement after a while.
"Fuck you two" incredulous of my two friends, I glare at them both.
What made me more exasperated is when Caleb just shrugged and smirks in response
"See even Caleb agreed...you are really beautiful Amelia. Wait till Mr. Alek Vasili sees you, he will definitely throw that bitch away" Cristy seriously added while staring straight into my eyes. Trying to convince me.
I have nothing to counter whenever the two are teaming up against me. And seeing how adamant she looks, I doubt she will easily let go of her crazy ideas.
"I will find a way to introduce Mr. Alek Vasili Wright to you. My father has met him and is an associate of the Petrov. If the rumors are right, he will be the next CEO of Petrov Petroleum. He has the power all men have been vying for. Considering how conservative the Petrovs are, Mr. Vasili Wright must be close to them to have acquired the position no man had been allowed but a Petrov heir" she earnestly continues. Her eyes are even narrowing with whatever crosses her thoughts.
"I won't allow such a great man to be with that bitchy woman, I don't like her Amelia. So you must seduce him if you have a chance. It would be an eyesore seeing her beside the most powerful man in the country once he indeed took the CEO seat" I was startled when she grabbed me by the shoulder. Her words were clenched and her face looks deadly serious.
Recovering from my initial shock, I incredulously glare at her.
"You are crazy, Cristy" with nothing to counter, I just shook my head in resignation.
My gaze returned to the screen and continue to watch the flashing photos, exhibiting Vasili Wright's magnificence. He becomes more handsome as he ages.
He looks more imposing and intimidating. Even his smile is calculated.
By then, the usual question bugging me for years crept into my mind.
Does he still remember?
Donning tattered shorts paired with a loose black sweatshirt and sneakers, Amelia and her friends made way to the crowded aisle of the Lindt Mall. Although the three of them constantly banter about a lot of things, even petty ones, they love to spend time together during the weekends."Lia, there's a new summer dress I've been dying to have. It's a limited edition and it's only available in three colors but only one per color. I really love the yellow one. I have to buy it before anyone does, please, let's go to the shop first" Cristy pleaded while they all entered the mall entrance. "K, let's go there first" Lia casually agreed while Caleb followed in silence. Cristy is seeming to be bouncing in glee while entering the elevator that will bring them to the fourth floor of the mall. The instant the elevator door opened, she hurriedly dragged the two towards the exclusive shop where the dresses are already on display. "Wow, there it is Lia" Cristy whispered in awe while her eyes glis
Sophia was in a daze while staring at the black card. She had been dreaming to own one but failed all the time. Knowing a mere student owns one made her loathe her more. "A mere student having a Black Card, interesting" she snickers. "Which you don't have, I pressume" spitting back, Amelia mockingly smiles. "You, impertinent girl!" Sophia angrily raves.Scoffing, she just watch the woman throw a fit. "I don't think pointing out a fact is impertinence. What's more interesting is a full grown woman throwing a tantrum like one year old child. You should watch your unbefitting action" she spoke after a while of enjoying Sophia's tantrum but her words riled the woman even more. "You...bitch" "Enough!"The woman is about to attack her when a thunderous voice rumbled. Flinching from the frightening sound, everyone froze on their feet. "You tame your cat's tantrum. A preschooler has a better disposition than her" turning to Mr. Wright, Amelia mutters with disgust. Unaffected by his ang
"Welcome home young mistress Amelia" Manuel greeted her and got her sweet smile. "Thank you, Manuel" she smiles and politely thanks the man. "How's your day young mistress?" he gently ask, staring at her tired face. He watch her drag her steps until she reach the couch and slumped her whole body on it. "The usual, I just met a petty old man at the mall earlier, he is such an ass...but all in all I had a great day" she softly whines but becomes annoyed at the thought of the man at the mall. Amused, a smile grazed his lips while watching the emotions crossing her beautiful face. It's very unusual for her to be irritated like what he is seeing now. So maybe the man she met really exhausted her patience. "Have some refreshment first, young mistress. Take some rest. Dinner will be served later" he gestured to the servant to serve the fresh strawberry shake. "Thanks, Manuel, this is what I really need...hmmm" she smiles sweetly while taking a sip of the very cold shake, her favorite.
It's been a few days since the restroom encounter and Amelia's life is quite peaceful. With their upcoming hospital internship, they become preoccupied. Except for tonight. They will be attending the birthday celebration of Cristy's father.Caleb picked her up from the hotel she was staying in in preparation for tonight's event."This unit hasn't been out of the market yet and this is the top of the line" Caleb mumbles as he admires the interior of the latest addition to Amelia's car collection. For a girl, she has all the latest and limited-edition vehicles any man could ever dream of. No one knows Amelia's background but whoever is her guardian, he or she is insanely wealthy. He and Cristy never ask where her wealth came from. "She is yours tonight" Amelia winks before buckling herself. Tonight, she let Caleb drive her newest car.Upon reaching the hotel, admiring eyes turned their way while they walked towards the entrance. From just anyone's perspective, Caleb and Amelia looke
After the encounter at the party, Amelia is once again faced with the tense encounter with the Wright heir.She clucked her tongue upon seeing the couple at the other table. Unfortunately, the two are also looking at them when they entered the exclusive restaurant. The tension immediately become obvious when they were seated next to the couple's table. Despite being dismayed by the table assignment, she choose not to show it. She will never give the shameless couple the chance to see her as a coward by requesting a transfer. After the encounter at the restroom of the bar and at Cristy's father's birthday celebration, of which her friends are not aware until now, Vasili Wright seemed to be more pissed with her. His expression darkened upon seeing her. Needless to say, he and his date has been trying to intimidate their group, which somewhat affected her friends' mood. An attendant approached the other table after Sophia Saunters gestured for them. "What are the students doing here
Inside the vehicle back to his office, Vasili remains dangerously quiet. Wanting to be alone, he sent Sophia Saunters in a different vehicle. Which the woman didn't counter seeing his grim disposition.His mind is full of the girl whose angry eyes taunt him more than being infuriated. She reminds him of someone he cannot remember. Yesterday, Timothy Petrov has officially turned over the CEO seat to him upon the approval of the board. The official announcement will follow in the next few days. The weight of the responsibility of the entire company has been transferred to his shoulder but here he is, troubled over a petty fight with a university school girl. He has been immensely busy but his mind cannot sit well until he knows all about the girl, Amelia. Admittingly, she had succeeded in creating havoc in his peace of mind and he is not liking it at all. He won't be pacified until he gets what he wants. He cannot go on with all the uncertainty lingering in his head. With a grim face
"You are jealous and you are stubborn to admit it" Larry added.He is sure Vasili heard him but the man chooses not to counter. Instead, he stares at him in silence. Defiant of what he said. "I don't care how you understand the situation, Larry. I hate that girl and I want her background. I'm asking you a simple task, do it" he coldly mutters. Looking at him, Larry heaves another sigh. "Vasili...stop it" he frustratedly begs. "Why are you protecting her? Are you attracted to her?" seeing the other man's frustration, Vasili angrily raves.Taken aback, Larry gaped in pure surprise."What the fuck, Vasili? What's happening to you?" upon coming to his senses, he spat at him. "Why are you protecting her? What hold does she have on you?" he persistently asked while fuming in anger. "I'm not interested in her...fuck Vasili, why are you this unreasonable? Leave the girl alone" exasperated, he exclaims while glaring at him."Then why are you protecting her? Do you know her parents? Is s
"I am fucking jealous that she is so fucking cocky on me while sweet with others! I seem to not do anything right in front of her! She despises me" he paused to take a ragged breath. "I hate her for displaying that boy everywhere near me! She is rubbing to my face how attentive she could be towards him! It's making me feel insignificant to her" huffing, he continues."She will only look at me with disgust and mockery. While she looks at the boy with her sweet smile! Everyone bows to me but she ignores me like I'm just a scum" furiously, he seeth."She is fucking making me feel like an asshole! Making me desperate to gratify her. I am Vasili Petrov for goodness sake!" he growls despite the frustration in his voice."I will not be treated like this! She will witness how capable I am to destroy her. I am not a coward, Larry! I will let her see how powerful I am. I will make her watch how I crush anyone if I dare to!" Vasili yelled back, totally forgetting all his facade. The entire tim