It took several seconds for what Amy was saying to sink in: Tanya was not a member of the family. Therefore, her “father” John James was not really her father at all. For most people in the room this was not news, but to John James, the news crashed down over him like a powerful wave, and for a moment he couldn’t breathe. So it was true. She had betrayed him with that worthless coward, that pathetic, scheming, good-for-nothing…John James could feel his ears begin to burn. And Tanya. His numbness fully gave way to rage as he thought about all the pride he had taken in Tanya over the years, comparing her likeness to various ancestors and boasting that she would one day have his business savvy, despite the fact that she was a girl. To think that that lazy scumbag’s blood flowed in her veins was enough to make his own boil, and he looked at Catherine through a red haze of fury.
“Get out.” Although his insides were trembling with rage, his voice was steady, and hard.
“Leave my house this instant, and never come back. Never speak to a member of my family again. Never contact a member of my family again, never think about a member of my family again, or you will regret it. Before tonight you were dead to us. As far as we are concerned tonight never happened, and you are dead to us still. Now go!”
Catherine looked around the room – at Amy’s cold, victorious smile, Victoria’s satisfied smirk, Granny’s steady, expressionless gaze. She turned towards Tanya, hands outstretched, but Tanya shrank back from her and turned toward John James, teary eyes full of questions. “Father, I – Can I still call you father?” Her voice was trembling. John James closed his eyes briefly and then looked at Granny, still expressionless, who gave the smallest of nods. John James exhaled hoarsely, a look of relief came over him and striding over to the sofa he gave Tanya a brusque hug and peck on the cheek. “Of course. You will always be my daughter. No matter what this whore has done -”
“Wait.” Amy’s voice cut in like a knife. “Still your daughter? But father, she’s not! She’s the child of this, this – whore, as you say, and that man –“
“Yes?” This time it was Victoria who cut in. “That man was your uncle until tonight, Amy, and will always be a member of this family. I’d shut up if I were you.”
But Amy, like her father, could not control her inner fury and was less adept at hiding it. Shaking with rage she wheeled around to Granny, who was quietly sipping tea from a china cup.
“How can you sit there and allow the Harwood name – among other things – to be passed on to someone who isn’t even related by blood?!” She stood up, shaking out her long hair, eyes flashing as she continued. “I don’t care how sweet she is, how obliging, how good – you’ve always preferred her, always! But the Harwood house will be passed on to me, as it rightfully should be.” Suddenly there was a dangerous glint in her eye. “And I will get my way. How do you think I knew about Tanya? Victor thought he was so clever…Look what happened to the last person who tried to take my inheritance away from me.”
Is Amy the one who killed Victor?
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