At the age of sixteen, Aurelia lost her father due to complications stemming from his improperly managed diabetes. Overwhelmed with grief, she found comfort in the arms of Marshall Pierre Jean-Baptiste, the nineteen-year-old nephew of her mother’s then wealthy
When Aurelia later told
After having it out with
When Aurelia declared her love for
Unwilling to marry into a family that contained the likes of Oliver, Aurelia decided to call the wedding off. The threat that the older man gave her before he left that day, which hinted at his ties to organized crime, gave her even more incentive to break the engagement and to also maintain her silence about his visit.
That dying day came a week later.
Needless to say, Aurelia was crushed to hear the news about
Aurelia was further devastated when
With his big girth taking up almost half the sofa he sat on, Oliver outright demanded that Aurelia terminate the pregnancy. He claimed that he didn’t want such an unfortunate situation to malign his nephew’s memory or the Jean-Baptiste’s esteemed reputation.
Aurelia countered by insinuating that Oliver likely didn’t want another heir to the Jean-Baptiste fortune.
Oliver looked like he was either going to have a stroke at Aurelia’s words or else pull out his gun and kill her and the baby on the spot. Instead he quickly composed himself, told her that she was going to get that abortion or else suffer dire consequences, and then gave her a large sum of money to take care of the situation. Those funds were also a one-time payoff for Aurelia’s continual silence.
As for Emile, Oliver fired her during that visit. That was all fine and good since she no longer wanted to work for the evil man anyway.
Terrified of the man for sure now, Aurelia took the money and promised to abort the child. But she couldn’t. She couldn’t kill the only part of
Aurelia found her mother equally supportive of her decision to keep the baby, despite Oliver’s threats. After putting their heads together, the two women decided to relocate to
Stateside, Aurelia laid low and awaited
In preparation for the baby’s delivery, they hired a midwife to deliver the baby at home. A midwife who agreed to certify that Emile was the birthmother and not Aurelia…for the right price, of course.
That plan might have worked perfectly if Aurelia hadn’t changed her mind at the last minute. All it took was one look into
However, as a special precaution, Aurelia left the father’s name blank on the birth certificate. She also named
Six weeks after
After getting a clean bill of health, Aurelia enrolled in a local night school. She finished her high school diploma in a matter of three short months. She nursed and took care of
Although the money Oliver gave them was long gone within two years’ time, neither of them ever thought of asking him for another dime, not even this last time when
Had Oliver not left the V.I. completely and moved to France soon after Marshall’s death to pursue business interests overseas, and had Gladys not reported how bad their renters had trashed the house, Aurelia and Emile would have stayed in Florida. Yet it didn’t make sense to continue to pay rent stateside while rowdy tenants destroyed the only thing they owned. The fact that those same tenants were often delinquent with their rent payments was another deciding factor.
And so Aurelia and her mother returned home. With
Aurelia and Emile also crafted a long-term plan of prosperity upon their return to
That plan successfully stayed on track until…until Aurelia fell in love with Baron.