Her eyes swept over the area, capturing the trees, the sparkling
waterfall. Light purple flowers adorned the bright green grass; the lake was a clear blue color--easy to paint.
But her mind wasn’t on art.
Her mind was, oddly enough, on Joshua and David Evans, the two brothers who had been involved in her earlier evil
act of stealing a job from the handicapped man who had been painting landscapes.
She couldn’t get David’s dark hair out of her mind; his green, piercing eyes. He was attractive; a man who should
be out modeling or acting. His muscular arms, broad shoulders and rock-hard chest were embedded in her mind, but
she knew right when she saw him that he was a dangerous man.
Diana swept her auburn hair over her shoulders and stared with daring, hazel eyes at the lake in front of her.
She was supposed to be painting, as she had always done in this area of the woods. She’d never been able to capture
the very essence of the scene in front of her, which frustrated her. So, here she was, trying again. When was the
last time she had tried?
Her mind wandered for the moment, thinking back to the times she had shared with Peter. Three years ago, she had
been with her long-time fiancée; the one who’d she’d been making love to for two years; two wonderful years.
The one who’d given her the chance at providing life for another.
But, unfortunately enough, the one who she didn’t love.
She remembered that night...when was it? Three years ago?
Diana had sat in the very same place, her hair swinging behind her in a ponytail and her green eyes sparkling in
the light of the bright, unblemished moon. She was happy. She was carrying a child; a daughter who was to be born
in two months.
And she was painting.
The lake sat in front of her, the moon echoing off of it in a shiny vision of perfection; satin waves of love seeping
onto the sand in a fascinating embrace of unshielded beauty.
What was it about it that beckoned to her? She didn’t know. But, now, she sat in the very same place, tears running
down her cheeks as she remembered that night.
She took a deep breath as she stared at the stars reflecting off of the beautiful, silky waters of the lake. It
was so familiar, so real. Peter...he’d held her that night. He’d wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close
to him as the child had beat against her stomach, willing her to free it.
And it had been set free that very same night. To the lights of Heaven. Why?
For the first time in months, she sobbed into her hands, crying aloud incomprehensible words and crazy thoughts.
The black clouds of rain beat down on her now brownish hair as she slipped her hands over her face, lifting her
"Why did you take them?" she screamed. "Why?" Uttering a soft sob, she fell back against the
ground, the mud clinging to her light blue jacket. It was three years ago, three whole years ago, and still, she
cried for them. She no longer had a chance at life, all because of that dreary night when she had lost her unborn
daughter and fiancée.
"Why didn’t you take me instead?" she sobbed, lifting her hands to her face as the rain pounded down
on her. "Why do I have to suffer?" The pain, she was sure, would never go away. She still had an empty
feeling in her heart, something she was sure she’d experience all of her life.
She missed Peter. She missed Exquisite. Nothing could ever replace the safeness and warmth she had felt three long
years ago. She was still a living zombie, and she didn’t know when it would stop.
"What are you going to do?" Joshua snarled, glaring at his brother. "Make her go bankrupt? Shoot
the both of them? There’s nothing you CAN do, you hear me? I will NOT be responsible for the downfall of two people.
Damn it, David! Leave matters where they lie!"
"No," David responded, slipping into a chair in front of Joshua. The dining-room in which they sat was
made for a king.
And they were, basically, kings. The two brothers were famous around these areas of New York, only because they
were so rich. Otherwise, they were looked down upon; not respected. Both brother’s knew the disparaging words that
flew amongst the community when they weren’t looking. But neither cared.
"Aren’t you listening to me? Diana KNEW you were handicapped. She knew there was no other job for you, and
"David," Joshua sighed. "I know she knew. But that job wasn’t for me, anyway. Just look at the paintings
I did." He lifted his hand and threw a framed picture of what looked to be a lake, but it was lifeless and
boring. There wasn’t a stroke of talent in the painting.
David sighed and leaned back in the mahogany chair he sat in, running his fingers thickly through his wavy, black
"See," Joshua prodded. "You think I suck at art, too. And you’re absolutely right."
"I didn’t say that," David countered. "And Mrs. Welheim could have, at least, given you a chance.
But she’s too damn selfish to care!"
"Ms. Welheim," his brother corrected. "Listen, everyone needs a job. >From what I’ve seen, Diana
deserved that job. She’s a fantastic artist. You even agreed when you first saw her paintings."
Disgruntled, David looked away. He’d always been over-protective of his paralyzed brother. Diana had stepped over
the boundaries when she’d stolen his brother’s job. She was attractive, he had to admit, and under any other circumstances
he was sure he’d like to get to know her. But she was evil underneath. Her syrupy sweet looks weren’t enough for
David. She had not a caring bone in her body.
"Like I said," David finally announced, standing up. "I’m going to get the both of them. They’ll
"Don’t I have a say in the matter?" Joshua flared, wheeling around the large table towards his brother.
"She stole MY job, not yours! You need to stop this!"
"There’s no way you can keep me from doing what needs to be done," David said nonchalantly, lighting
up a cigarette. "She hurt you. Now, I’m going to hurt her--and Ellen Maybourne."
"And just how are you going to do that?" Joshua asked with a glare. He resembled his brother when he
put on an angry face; the same menacing stare David often harbored. They looked alike, in some ways, but Joshua
had blue eyes and dark hair.
"Well," David grinned down at his brother, his eyes sparkling almost evilly, "it’s simple, really.
We’re of high society while Diana is only average-"
"No," Joshua interrupted, shaking his head. "She’s rich, David. Almost as rich as us. And you know
for a fact that she’s well-known around these parts, and respected--unlike us," he added bitterly.
"We’re the richest people in New York," David said evenly. "People listen to us. They act like scared
little kittens when they’ve done something wrong and I find out. They’d do anything to please me."
"Just what are you suggesting?" Joshua asked, his eyes narrowed.
"I’m going to have Ms. Welheim, and her little boss, go broke."