Four security guards

Embarrassed, Emma lowered her head, averting her gaze, her cheeks flushed pink when she subconsciously glanced at Zane, and he could see her holding back tears.

“Miss Taylor, please tell us whatever you need us to do to fix this, we will do so without complaint.” The manager apologized after swallowing harshly.

Glaring over at Zane, Ava snarled, “Kick him out! He’s sick and should not be among other people!”

“I am not sick.” Zane tried to defend himself.

But the Manager frowned at him and said, “You need to leave, now.”

A look of disbelief settled on Zane’s face as the sound of faint mumbling grew around him from other customers, and a mixture of embarrassment and anger rose in him.

“I am not sick,” Zane tried to explain. “I just sneezed-“

“Security, can you escort this guy out? He’s harassing a customer and making others uncomfortable.” The manager ordered.

Stunned, Zane frowned, staring in confusion at the manager as the two security guards stepped forward, grabbing his shoulders roughly.

“My orders!” Zane raised his voice.

But they ignored him and dragged him away, dismissing his attempts to explain that he needed to get his food and drinks, and the security threw him out and slammed the door after him.

“Hey!” Zane shouted after them, his anger rising once again. “Is this how you treat your customers?!”

Suddenly the door opened and the manager came out, looking pissed, and said, “If you don't leave the front of the shop, I will call the police on you.”

“You must be kidding,” Zane snorted.

“No, I'm not. This will be your only warning and I wouldn't be repeating myself. Now, move along, and it will be advisable that you don't come back here again!” 

“So that's how it is. I get kicked out because a lady sees me unfit-”

“Not any lady. She's Logan Taylor’s daughter... So yes, I rather offend Mr. Briggs bastard, than the lady of a reputable household. Now, leave. There's a coffee shop four blocks from here. You can go there.”

As Zane was about to give the manager a piece of his mind, he walked back into the shop, leaving Zane's bottom lip hanging loose as a look of disbelief settled on his face.

The sound of his ringtone snapped Zane out of his feelings, a moment later, and he quickly pulled out the device from his pocket and frowned at his father's name displayed on the screen. 

As he was about to answer, the cafe door abruptly opened again and Emma stepped out with four plastic bags in her grip, smiling softly at Zane, and said, “I hope they got your drinks and food correctly.”

“You got my orders for me?” Zane mumbled, looking surprised at her, but a smile tugged on his lips as he stared at her.

“Yes. It's the least I can do to apologize for what my cousin did to you.” 

“You are a Taylor, right?”

Surprised that he knew her, Emma nodded slowly, and said, “Yes. Honestly, I’m stunned that you know who I am.”

Even though Zane didn't know who the Taylors were until the manager mentioned them, since he was new to the country, he held back telling her that he was just guessing and asked instead, “Why is that?”

“Because I am the black sheep of the family. My mother had me out of wedlock by a dude no one knows… and she left the earth the moment she pushed me into this world... So, my grandfather doesn't recognize me as hers and tells everyone I am adopted...” Emma explained before her eyes widened like she had said way more than she wanted to.

Then she lowered her head, pushing the four plastic bags toward Zane, saying, “ Sorry about your nose.”

Chuckling faintly, he took the bags out of her hands and watched her hurry back into the shop before he could say, “Thanks,”

A moment later, after heading to his father's office and getting told by his secretary that Mr. Briggs was already in the conference room, Zane hurried down the hall, ignoring the rumbling from his stomach, the pain in his body, and the anger burning inside him.

Finally reaching the room, he pushed open the doors, revealing several people sitting around the table, most of whom were familiar faces to him, like Sophia, Theo, Jason, Austin, and Deborah.

“Why have you been ignoring my calls and so late with our orders?!” Mr. Briggs asked, giving his son a piercing glare.

“Sorry, Dad… But there were some complications.” Zane said as he hastily took out the cups, placing them on the table. 

After getting the food and drinks out of the plastics and onto the table, he took his time reading each note he made for each order.

“Sophia, here's your Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino with Cheesecake...” Zane finally said, looking at his half-sister.

“That’s not what I ordered,” Sophia complained, glaring at her brother. “Go back and get me my green tea with chocolate muffins.”

“But this is what you asked me-”

“Zane, I am not drinking or eating that. So, go back and get me my correct order!” Sophia coldly commanded.

Silently, Zane glared at her, his brows furrowed, annoyed to the point that his mind went blank.

 Then he sighed as he opened that box, took out the slice of cheesecake, took a seat at the table, and started eating it, ignoring the feeling of other eyes on him.

“Dad!!” Sophia cried like a two-year-old about to throw a tantrum. “Tell him to get up and go buy me my order now! I am hungry!” 

When Mr. Briggs slapped the table, Zane didn't flinch and met his father's eyes with a hard stare.

“What do you think you are doing?!” Mr. Briggs asked in a stern voice.

Without saying a word, Zane reached for the coffee cup and took a sip. After gulping the hot beverage, he put the cup down and ate the rest of the cake.

Everyone around the table just glared at him, stunned as he continued to eat until nothing was left, and then he relaxed in his seat, his jaw clenching shut as he stared back at them.

When Mr. Briggs finally got over the speechlessness that kept his tongue tied, he stood up, his fists clenched, and his eyes darkened as his gaze rested on the bloodstain on Zane's nose and shirt.

As he was about to unleash his rage, the room doors bashed open and Theo stormed in, his expression grim as he eyed Zane before turning his gaze to his parents, and he said, “After standing outside the building for hours waiting for security to let me in to see Mr.  Alfred, they turned me away in the end, saying that he was not there building! But I knew he was because his car was in the parking lot.”

“What?!” Mr. Briggs barked, “What is that supposed to mean? Why would they turn you away?!”

Tossing the business proposal in front of Zane, Theo popped down in a chair beside him and sighed, “I don't know... We have been chasing this project for months, and I don't think Mr. Alfred wants to do business with NewEra... After all, rumors have it that he's a picky man and only the top elites in the business world work with him.”

After going through the three stages of grief within the span of one minute, Mr. Briggs sighed in defeat, but then his sight rested on Zane.

“Blueprint Tech Inc.” building is not an easy access place, no one enters the building without an appointment with Mr. Alfred, and if you don't have one, you have to stay outside the company until Mr. Alfred confirms your entrance.

Knowing that, Mr. Briggs frowned at his son and said, “Zane, take the proposal and go to Blueprint Tech Inc. and if you don't meet up and discuss the content of the document with Mr. Alfred, do not come home.”

When the taxi came to a stop at “Blueprint Tech Inc.” Zane looked out the window at the giant, silver Towers and sighed heavily. 

Then he paid the driver, collected the file off the car seat, and walked toward the building, knowing that his father only did this to humiliate him, but he was determined to show him that he wasn't going to back down, not in the slightest.

Upon arriving at the glass door four security came up to him before he could grab the handle and made him halt in  his tracks. 

They looked at him suspiciously before one of them said, “What do you want?”

“To speak to Mr. Alfred,” Zane replied, trying not to make any sudden moves because they looked like they were skeptical of him.

One of them raised his eyebrows slightly, “Do you have an appointment with him?” 

“Yes,” Zane said before he could get a grip on his tongue.

There was a long pause while the guy seemed to study him, and then he looked back at his buddy, and then they busted into a wild laugh, throwing their heads back and letting out loud guffaws, leaving Zane frowning at their maddness. 

“Bum, what do you take us for?! A fool?! We know who your ass is.” One of they said between laughs.

Still wanting to push his luck with the guards, Zane ignored their absurd laughter and asked, “Can you guys inform him that Zane Briggs is here to speak with him?”

“No, fool!” Another one said, his laughter dying out quickly as he glared at Zane. 

“Your half-brother, Theo was here and Mr. Briggs refused to meet him. What makes you think a bastard like you can accomplish what a full-blooded Briggs couldn't, huh?” A guard  said in a cold tone as he crossed his arms against his chest with a sneer on his face.

With those words coming out of the guard's mouth, the rest of the guards burst into laughter, leaving Zane blankly staring at them.

“Leave,”  The guard stated, giving him a warning stare.

Feeling that they were not going to budge, he turned on his heels and walked off, hearing the guards’ faint laughter behind and after walking ten feet away, he stopped, looking over at the security shock faces.

Even though Zane didn't know when Mr. Alfred was going to clock out from work, he waited, and waited, the seconds becoming minutes and then hours as he did.

Finally, the glass door opened, and Zane quickly woke from the sidewalk where he sat and hurried toward the building, a slight sense of hope crowding his heart as he recognized the old man walking from the opposite direction with a cane as the gentleman he had that conversation with the night of Mr. Alfred party.

Since he did not know his name, he kept shouting, “Excuse me, sir... Sir, please wait for a second!”

As the security around the old man was about to react defensively, the old man mumbled, “Let him come to me.”

When Zane reached, he was out of breath because of the little energy in his body and he took a second to catch his breath, holding his hand to his forehead.

“Are you okay, boy?” The  old man asked, a worried look painted on his face.

“No, I am starving...” Zane absentmindedly mumbled before realizing that he said those words out loud.

Frowning slightly, the old man met Zane's eyes and said, “If you are starving as you claim, why wait out here, instead of finding something to eat.”

“Because...”Zane said, looking at the security around the man with hesitation. “I am not allowed to go home if I don't meet Mr. Alfred and discuss the content within this folder with him.”

“Such absurd rule.”

“Well, my father is an absurd man... so can you please help me get inside the building to see Mr. Alfred? Please! I have this proposal that my father wants me to page to him.” 

Silence settled betweenZane and him  as the old man stared at the folder before smiling warmly and said, “You are out here, waiting on a man whose face you do not know?” 

“Well... I am new to town, so I was hoping that the guards would be helpful enough to take me to see him.” Zane said, a bit embarrassed.

“How long have you waited out here for?”

“Well, Umm... I came by ten o'clock, and now, it is-”

“Six PM.”

Looking back at the four security guards, who had been standing watch at the entrance all day, he asked them, “Why didn't I get notified that Zane Briggs was here to see me?”

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