Last time on Harpers Falls:
- Richard names Michelle as the new CEO of Harper Industries.
- Aileen is enraged by Michelle's becoming CEO and outright challenges her.
- After an argument with Aileen, Richard suffers a massive stroke and dies.
- In triumph, Aileen drives off to celebrate.
At Florence Harper Memorial Hospital, everyone was quietly sobbing. Dylan Harper sat with his two sisters, Hannah Anderson-Harper and Rosemary, as they tried to comfort him; Sheila and Chris Wainwright, as well as Chris's life partner, Alex, were comforting Dylan and the others. With Sheila was her new friend, Julie Wandsworth, who had planned on transferring to another school, but persuaded her mother and Mr. Harper to remain at Harper Academy, to prove to everyone that she cannot be bullied.
Michelle looked stunned, she had just become CEO of Harper Industries and then she lost her father, not only a month after she lost her mother. Marie Sanborne, Michelle's friend, gave her support.
Michael was brokenhearted, first his mother dying and now his father, and this time, his father had died because of his evil daughter, Aileen.
In fury, after discovering that it was Michelle and not her that had become the CEO of Harper Industries, Aileen and Richard had gotten into a vicious argument. Richard, whose health wasn't good anyway, had keeled over not long after.
Several minutes later, they had found out that Richard Harper, one of the most powerful names in Harpers Falls, had died of a massive stroke, brought on by stress.
The funeral was well-attended by everyone in the community. Michael and Michelle spoke of their father's tireless efforts for the town; how he helped expand Harper Academy and made one of the top boarding schools in Massachusetts. Sitting in the back of the church, Aileen Harper watched and was giggling under her breath. She would make her move, when she was ready!
Richard's huge mansion was one of the things that was going to be willed to someone, but whom was not known. Rumors speculated it would be going to Michael and his family. Aileen wanted that house for herself, and not for the family.
Days later, the will was read, everyone was in attendance. Mitchell Sawyer, the family's attorney, read the will. As was expected, the Harper mansion would go to Michael and Shelby Harper and their children, Dylan, Rosemary and Hannah. Substantial trust funds had been established for all the grandchildren, Dylan Harper; Rosemary Harper; Hannah Anderson-Harper; Sheila Wainwright; Christopher Wainwright and Alex Wainwright. (He had rewritten his will weeks previously after Hannah had been adopted, and Alex and Chris had been married)
The shares of Harper Industry stocks would be divided up between the five children, Michael, Michelle, Aaron, Jason and Erica. There were stocks that were also written up for the grandchildren. The majority of those shares would go to Dylan Harper, as he was the oldest of the grandchildren, but could allow his two sisters, Rosemary and Hannah to vote them in his place; Sheila would receive twenty shares, as would Chris and Alex, since Michelle, their mother, was the CEO.
As expected, Aileen got absolutely nothing, but a paragraph in his will. It stated that "Aileen Harper had done nothing in her life but sully the family name. By using the Harper name to bully, intimidate and get whatever she wanted no matter who she stepped on, has brought incredible shame to the name Harper. Hence, she will receive nothing. If I had my way, I would strip her of the Harper name, but I cannot do that, but I CAN order her to work in a menial job as the CEO, Michelle Harper, sees fit. Maybe this will teach her some humility!"
Naturally, when Aileen heard about this, she was beyond furious! When she arrived at the Harper Mansion, which was now owned by her parents, she stormed into the den, where Dylan and Rosemary were working on some business papers; and Hannah was reading a book. "Where is father?" she screamed.
Dylan and Rosemary pointed toward the library, which adjoined the den, without saying anything; Hannah looked through her former best friend, "Why do you want to know?" she said sarcastically; "Are you upset?"
Aileen didn't even bother to answer her question, "Oh, shut up!" she snapped, as she stormed into the library. Michael was going over some school paperwork and Michelle was telling her brother what she was planning on doing in the company.
"How DARE you!" she screamed at Michelle, "How dare YOU? You all bloody knew that I am the best and only choice to run the company!"
"Apparently your grandfather didn't think so," Michelle said archly, "and he told me to give you a menial job!"
"I won't take it," Aileen said angrily, "I refuse to be intimidated by you! And I will contest the will!"
"You do that," Michael said in a deadly voice, "and you will be sure to lose!"
"I'll take my chances!" Aileen sneered, "I will destroy the whole lot of you!"
Hannah stormed in, "You do, Aileen," she said viciously, "and you will certainly regret it!"
Aileen slapped her hard, "I don't care, traitor!" she seethed, "You shouldn't even be a Harper! I am a Harper by blood, you are a miserable little nothing!"
"Stop it!" Shelby yelled at Aileen, "You've caused nothing but trouble, and I will not allow you to treat Hannah like she was nothing."
This didn't move Aileen, "How dare you choose her over me, Mother," Aileen said sharply, "Ive come to take possession of this house and this company, and this community!"
"It's not your's to take," Dylan said angrily, "You can't take what you want to and hope to get away with it!"
Aileen slugged him, "Don't you backtalk to ME, loser!" she screamed, "I will win, and you won't! I am the only true Harper in this room!" Shelby ran to Dylan, as did Rosemary and Hannah to help him to his feet.
Michelle shot Aileen a vicious look, "Did it ever occur you that your last name is Harper because you were BORN to your father? I am the DAUGHTER of Richard Harper! You are his GRANDDAUGHTER, there is a difference you know!"
"Not to me there isn't," Aileen howled, "You are nothing! You have no right to be the CEO! Whereas I am the perfect and only choice to be CEO!"
"Listen to me, brat," Michelle grabbed Aileen and put her against the wall, "My father chose me to head this company and you have no reason to say otherwise!"
Aileen slapped her own aunt, "Get your hands off of me, you fraud," she seethed, "I will take your company, and every cent that it makes. It's mine by right!"
"You are utterly insane," Rosemary yelled, "The company doesn't belong to you by divine right! Grandfather chose Aunt Michelle to run the company, because he thought that she would be the best choice to run it! All you would have done is bully people to get what you want!"
This didn't faze Aileen, who just stormed out of the library, "This is war, Michelle Harper," she screamed, "and you may think otherwise, but I will be the one who is victorious! I am Aileen Harper, and you are nothing but a Wainwright!"
"You fail to grasp one thing, Aileen," Michelle shouted angrily, "Wainwright was my married name! My maiden name is Harper, as you should well know."
"I don't care," Aileen got into Michelle's face, "You were married to a loser, and that loser dumped you!"
That shot hit home with Michelle, and Aileen knew it, and gleefully pressed on, "All he did was cheat on you with the secretary! I am surprised that he didn't marry her!"
Marie Sanborne came in, furious at Aileen for her snide comments, "For your information," she seethed at Aileen, "I told Michelle the truth about her husband, and I realized that he was a slime. At least, I was honest with her, unlike you, who can't be honest at all!"
Aileen went and slapped Marie, "You are nothing but a trollop!" she said snobbishly, "I don't dare stain my hands on someone as you!"
Michael finally took charge, "Aileen, you get out of here!" he sneered, "you've caused enough trouble for one day!"
"Fine, I will leave," Aileen said viciously, "but I warn you, I'm not through with the lot of you! I won't rest until you all have lost everything and I have it!"
She then stormed out and slammed the door hard. Everyone relaxed, but all were very shaken up. "Don't worry, Michelle," Marie said loyally, "We're on your side, definitely."
"Marie is right, sis," Michael said, "Aileen will not win, and she won't make you a fool."
Michelle felt better, "Thanks you all," she said gratefully, "What would I do without you?"
"Well, we stick together, Aunt Michelle," Dylan said, "and Aileen will not win this time!"
What will happen next?
- How will Aileen deal with the united front of the Harpers against her?
- What will be the menial job that Aileen will have to do?
- What will come of Michelle and Marie's relationship?
Tune in next time for the next installment of Harpers Falls.