A school bus had rode down the streets of Belcazzar City. On it was a bunch of children in their early teens who were heading home after a day of school. Said children were talking to each other about various stuff
"Have you heard about the new stickers that they were selling?"
"Do I? They are all the rage right now!"
"I had gotten ten of them!"
"Heh. Kids' stuff! I have FIFTY of them so I win!"
"What are you, ten?"
The kids had continued to speak with each other about the stickers and the different types they were. However, one of the kids looked out the window. His eyes then widened when he saw something amazing.
The group that the child was with turned their heads towards the direction he was looking at. Soon, most of the kids turned their heads to see a fancy black limo riding in front of them.
"It's a limo!" The child said excitedly. "A limo is actually riding besides us!"
"Yeah, it is."
The child blinked twice in disbelief before turning his head towards the rest of the kids who didn't seemed that surprised in the slightest.
"Um, am I the only one who thinks that this is amazing?" He asked.
"Oh yeah! This is the first time you had taken the bus because of your parents being away right?" A boy asked.
"Um, yes?" The child asked raising an eyebrow.
"That limo belongs to the Carrington family." A girl explained.
"The Carrington family?" The child questioned.
Everyone turned their heads to see a red-haired girl. She seemed mostly normal save for her cat ears and tail.
"That limo carries Devon Carrington." The girl explained. "He is the son of Arthur and Veronica Carrington, two very rich people."
"Carrington? That name sounds familiar." The child mused.
"It should! Those are the people Cathy are currently staying with!" A girl piped up.
The child's eyes widened before turning towards the cat-girl.
"Really, Cathy?" The child asked.
The cat-girl nodded her head. "That's right. I am living with Mr. and Mrs. Carrington."
The child blinked twice before looking back and forth between the limo and Cathy in confusion.
"But... If that is the case, then how come you are riding on the bus instead of the limo?" The child asked.
Cathy merely shrugged. "Well, I am not a Carrington so I am not allowed to ride it."
The child narrowed his eyes. "Well, that's stupid."
"I know right?" A boy said as a few others agreed.
"No, it is all right. Mr. Carrington said that they didn't want people to mistake me and Devon are related by riding together." Cathy asked.
"What kind of logic like that?" A girl asked in disbelief. "I carpool with a few friends and we never had to worry about being mistaken for family!"
"Are you sure that they aren't telling you anything else, Cathy?" A boy challenged. "Something smells fishy to me."
Cathy paused looking to the side pondering what her friends had said. Truth be told, she had always pondered about that herself. Why did she had ride the bus while Devon rode in a cool limo? It wasn't just transportation. It was among other things. Perhaps she should ask somebody when she arrives home.
"Speaking of Carrington..."
Cathy looked up to see that the bus and the limo was approaching a large fancy mansion. She immediately recognized it.
"Anyway, this is my stop. I have to get off." Cathy said getting up.
Her friends bid her goodbye as she made her way towards the front of the bus. It was then said bus had parked in front of a bus stop and opened up for Cathy. Thanking the driver, she jumped off and made her way over to the entrance.
At the same time, the driver of the limo got out of the vehicle and walked towards the door and opened it. There, a boy stepped out of the limo. He had short red hair while dressed in a school uniform which looked more like a business suit. Cathy smiled before walking over.
"Devon, how was things at your school today?" Cathy asked catching the two's attention.
"Cathy!" The boy said brightly. "Fine, thank you. You know that test I had in Business Studies today. I aced it with flying colours!"
"That is great, Devon!" The cat-girl smiled. "Won't your father be proud!"
"I hope so. The teachers even said that if I continue at what I am doing, I would be a shoe-in for the honor roll!" The boy smiled.
"Nice!" Cathy smiled.
"So how about you, Cathy?" The boy asked. "How did band practice go?"
"Pretty good." The cat-girl nodded. "We may finally get off the ground sooner or later."
"Well, best of luck to you. Hopefully, I may see you play someday." The boy said.
"Yeah, hopefully." Cathy nodded.
As the two children talked, the driver got out a remote and pushed a button on it causing the doors to open up. The two of them noticed this and made their way over while still talking to each other while going through the gate to enter the mansion.
Soon, the two children had gone to meet up with the Carringtons, Arthur and Veronica. After a few greetings, the two had gone off to talk with each other on the couch over a cup of tea.
"And that was when the teacher told me that I would be on the honor roll!" Devon explained.
"That is great, son!" Veronica smiled while holding up a cup of tea to herself.
"That's my boy!" Arthur said brightly. "Just like his father. Pretty sure, you will start to gain the rest of my qualities."
Veronica rolled her eyes at this. "Let's just hope not..."
"Also, apparently Cathy is still doing well in her band." Devon explained.
"Oh, really?" Veronica asked.
"Yeah, thanks to the extra music classes, we are really doing well!" Cathy smiled.
Devon immediately got an idea. "Say, Cathy, when your band had started to get more better, how about I'll come to one of your performances sometime?"
By this time, Arthur was drinking some of his tea. When he had heard this, he ended up choking his tea with some droplets falling out of his cup. Cathy, Devon and a servant looked in shock. Veronica on the other hand calmly watched before taking another sip on her own cup before. She sighed as she watched the servant patted Arthur hard on the back.
"Here we go again..." Veronica muttered.
After Arthur calmed down, he looked up. "Devon, are you sure you wish to go?"
Cathy winced a bit while Veronica narrowed her eyes. The young boy in question blinked twice in confusion.
"Of course I do, father." Devon asked. "Why wouldn't I want to go to my friend's band recital?"
Arthur paused. "Um, well, they would mostly play one of their houses and I don't want to want you to go to a stranger's house."
Devon blinked twice. "Stranger's house? They are Cathy's friends. While they may be a "stranger" to me, they are not to Cathy."
"Yes, well... I just thought someone who likes going to the opera would dislike music of the... opposite." Arthur said.
Devon paused crossing his arms. "Father, with all due respect, you are not making any sense. Just because the music Cathy's band play is nothing like the opera, that doesn't mean I would dislike it."
Veronica shook her head. "That is right, dear. Our son could enjoy any type of music."
Arthur shot his wife a fierce glare where the redheaded woman returned the favour. Cathy looked back and forth nervously while Devon raised his eyebrow in confusion.
"In any case, we won't start doing recitals until we are very good." Cathy piped up with a sheepish grin. "So you don't have to worry about us subjecting your son to horrible music, Mr. Carrington."
Arthur paused before letting out a deep sigh. "I suppose so."
Devon stayed silent not liking the tension before everyone. "In any case, would you like to teach me some fencing skills after tea, father?"
Arthur immediately brightened up. "Of course, my boy."
Cathy merely stayed quiet as the two men spoke with each other. She was more concerned with something else. However, she didn't wanted to talk about her feelings in front of Arthur or Devon. It didn't took the foursome to finish their cups of tea and get up.
"So, shall we, son?" Arthur asked.
Devon smiled brightly. "Let's."
With that, the two then made their way off with the servant taking their cups on a tray.
"Miss Veronica, Miss Cathy, you would like anything?" The servant asked.
Veronica shook her head. "No, I am fine, thank you."
"No..." Cathy said softly causing Veronica to look at her concerned.
"All right, then." The servant said walking out of the room leaving the two women by themselves.
Veronica turned towards Cathy. "Cathy, dear, don't let Arthur's disapproval get you now. He is just so fussy about stuff that are not considered upper-class to him."
The cat-girl looked down at the ground. "It isn't just that."
Veronica paused in confusion. "Hm?"
Cathy looked at Veronica with a sorrowful look on her face.
"Mrs. Carrington, why do Mr. Carrington keep me around if he clearly doesn't like me?"
Veronica's eyes widened at this. "What?"
"Yeah, I mean he makes me take the bus to school while Devon gets to ride in a limo, I have to go to a normal school while Devon gets to an elite one." Cathy explained. "Mr. Carrington almost wants Devon to do NOTHING with any of the stuff like I do... If he truly dislikes, why does he keep me there?"
Veronica paused for a moment realizing how upset Cathy was as she looked down at the ground. The older woman couldn't help but feel upset for the cat-girl. She wanted to cheer her up by trying to get to forget about it.
No. She couldn't do that. She had to tell Cathy the truth. She was fourteen years old. It was a good enough age to tell her. Even if it may end up breaking her apart.
Veronica let out a deep sigh. "Cathy..."
"Yes, Mrs Carrington?" The teenager asked.
Veronica looked down with her hands on her lap. "Do you know why Mr. Carrington is afraid of having you and Devon be related?"
"Yes, I always just nodded and waved it off but no matter how much I looked at it, it made no sense." Cathy said.
"Of course it doesn't..." Veronica sighed. "But Cathy..."
The older woman then looked up with a sorrowful look on her face.
"...Technically, you ARE related to Devon?"
Cathy's pupils shrank taking the news she had been told to heart.
"That is right, my dear. He is your half-brother." Veronica said before looking down again. "And I am your... mother."
Cathy could feel her entire world shaking around her. What was she had been told, she was an orphan which the Carringtons had decided to raise. She had always wondered what happened to her real parents. But all of this time, her mother was literally right next to her the whole time. However, the whole thing still didn't made any sense.
"But... But... That's improbable!" Cathy exclaimed. "If you are my mother but Devon is my HALF-brother then..."
"Who is your father?" Veronica asked before sighing. "He is a cat named Felix. I met him in a bar prior a couple of months before I married Arthur."
"WHAT!?" Cathy gasped putting her hands to her mouth. "Are you saying... That I was born from an AFFAIR?"
"NO!" Veronica gasped before realizing what she had said. "Well, yes. But it was an accident. You see... Both of us were having a few drinks and..."
It was then she froze in her sentence. She looked at Cathy who had her jaw wide open upon hearing what she had heart. Her wide eyes had started to go misty from the news she had been told.
"THAT'S how I been born?" Cathy asked softly. "Because of an accident..."
Veronica gasped. "What? Cathy, no, don't say that!"
The cat-girl narrowed her now-teary eyes. "Oh? And why not? Mr. Carrington sure thinks so!"
Veronica narrowed her eyes with a growl. "That man is nothing more than a boorish, stuck-up brat!"
Cathy's eyes widened at the sudden shout from her newly-revealed mother. Veronica breathed in and out a few times before letting out a deep sigh.
"Cathy, please don't take what that man seriously. He doesn't care for all at me. All he sees me as a symbol of two joined businesses." Veronica said softly.
"What... What do you mean?" The cat-girl asked.
Veronica let out a deep sigh. "The whole thing was an arranged marriage.
Cathy gaped at this. "You mean... You two never loved each other."
"Never." Veronica said in hatred. "He may act polite but his heart is made out of coal."
She then looking down at the ground.
"Now Felix... Some may say our meeting was an accidental one-night stand and in some cases, they're be right." Veronica said sadly. "But in that one night, he treated me with more respect than Arthur and my own father put together."
Cathy stared with tears running down her face. Everything was going so fast for her. Why she wasn't being treated right by Arthur, who her true parents were and what was really going on with the Carringtons?
Veronica saw this and scooted her way over to Cathy and wrapped her arms around her daughter taking her in a warm embrace. The cat-girl allowed herself to bury her mother's chest trying her not too sob out loud but with little success.
"Cathy, a lot of things had happened to be. Some good, some bad. But I had never regretted giving birth to you OR Devon." Veronica said softly. "Even though Arthur may see you as just a child who he just happened to live with, I don't see you like that. You are my daughter. And even though Devon doesn't know that you are his half-sister, he still treats you like a sibling..."
The cat-girl paused for a moment still burying her face in her chest. "M-Mother?"
Veronica's eyes immediately filled with tears of joy upon hearing this. "Yes, Cathy?"
"What is going to happen to me?" The cat-girl asked softly.
"Hm?" Veronica asked.
Cathy looked up. "Am I doomed to be seen as the black sheep of the family?"
Veronica paused staring into her daughter's sad eyes. She then sighed and rubbed her back gingerly. "I don't know, dear. I really wish I could give you a clear answer. I mean you of course have my and Devon's support..."
Cathy paused looking to the side. "Thanks, mom..."
Though deep down inside, she still felt upset. Even with the love from her mother and half-brother, everyone else would still look down at her seeing her the plague of the family. After all, she was the child born out of an affair and was staying there. All she could hope that things could get better from there.
Sparks flew as a pair of rapiers clashed against each other. They then went into a blurry fight struggling to gain ground on each other. The weapons belonged to two men wearing fencing uniforms. However, it seemed like the larger one had the upper hand.
Soon, the larger one thrusted his rapier forward sending his opponent onto his rear dropping his rapier. The taller one shook his head before taking off his mask to reveal Arthur.
"Honestly, son, that was just poor." Arthur sighed.
The smaller one took off his own mask to show Devon's face. "Sorry, father. I suppose that I was just preoccupied."
"Oh?" Arthur asked tapping the rapier against his shoulder. "Is there something on your mind?"
Devon paused for a moment. "Actually, yes. Father, I know this sounds ridiculous but I was thinking about what I want to do when I take over your business."
Arthur's eyes lit up at this. "Ah, that is not ridiculous in the slightest! In fact, I was thinking about taking over the business when I was your age!"
"Really?" Devon asked.
"Yes, of course. I didn't let that get into the way of other things." Arthur said crouching down. "Whatever you had in mind for the company seems to be really boggling your mind."
Devon looked to the side. "Well, yes, I am thinking of an idea and I want your opinion on it."
Arthur paused before letting out a hearty laugh. "Is that all? Ha! You don't have to be all shy to your own father, boy!"
Devon smiled at this and nodded. "Oh, thank you, father. I feel much more better now!"
Arthur returned the nod. "So what is it you want my opinion on son?"
However, the next sentence that came out of Devon's mouth made Arthur's smile vanished as he dropped his rapier.
"I want Cathy to help me run the business."