Read The Trap Of Ace [by Eva Zahan] Chapter 41 – Fuming, I strode to the door and tried to open it. But his pair of strong arms snaked around my midriff and hauled me to the middle of the cabin.
A shriek left my mouth. “What the h**l, Valencian! Leave me right now!”
“I will. Once you hear everything I’ve to say.”
His calm tone made me boil. I didn’t let him explain things, so he would literally keep me captive in his cabin, in his arms?
I can’t believe this man!
“No! I won’t hear anything! You’ll do what I want, and then let me go!” I said, putting on the scariest face I could manage on my face with a stern voice.
But he ignored me. Because he was too busy roaming his grey eyes across my every single feature. As if he hadn’t seen me for years. Not tolerating being disregarded like that, I stepped on his feet. With my five inches heel.
A hiss left his mouth, his filled with adoration orbs now watched me in shock and confusion. But I didn’t see any anger in there. Nor did his arms loosened a bit around me.
“Do not ignore me when I’m talking!”
His one rough palm caressed my cheek with the gentlest touch. “I could never ignore my Rosebud. But I won’t let you go anywhere until you hear everything and forgive me.”
“That would never happen!” My eyes narrowed. I wiggled into his hold, but as always, I failed to escape. My gaze flickered to those stupid bulging muscles underneath his sleeves.
“It will. I’ll make it happen. Now what my Rosebud wanted from me?” Leaning in, he took a desperate sniff of my hair. His heady scent was messing up with my senses.
Leaning back from him, I said, “I want you to terminate the contract. I want to leave.”
The mention of leaving had him tensed. His arms tightened around my waist and jaw clenched. Then the old Achilles Valencian came back in full force as his features hardened as stone. I saw the storm swirling inside him through the windows of his soul. Those stormy grey eyes.
“You’ll never leave me, Rosebud. Never again. I won’t let you.” The coolness of his voice sent shivers down my spine.
“Well, it was you who let me go. I didn’t leave on my own wish. I was pushed away,” I said, holding his gaze.
Now his stony features softened up a bit. “I didn’t want to, Rosebud. No sane person would push the only light away from their life. But…”
“But you’d to.” I completed for him, gulping the thickness of my throat. “Tobias told me everything.”
Surprise etched into his face.
“I had no choice, Rosebud. Trust me, I kept meeting you and spending time with you even after knowing how I would affect your life in a bad way. I was too selfish to let you go.” Pain flashed across his eyes.
“But you did,” I whispered. My heart clenched. “You left me.”
Shaking his head, he pressed his forehead against mine, letting out a shaky breath. “I never left you, Rosebud. I could never.”
“What do you mean?”
“Yes, I separated you from me. But I was always around. Though I couldn’t touch you from up close, my eyes always did from afar,” he said, stopping my heart at my chest. Then raising my left hand, he kissed my wrist, gazing at my bracelet. A soft smile tugged at the edge of his lips. “This looks more beautiful on you than I imagined.”
A gasp slipped through my lips. Eyes wide, mouth agape.
So, t-the anonymous person who gifted it to me was… him?
“I-it was you?”
He nodded, kissing my forehead.
“But… how?” I was shocked. All the time I wore it on my wrist and I didn’t even have any idea it was him who left the box that day outside of my door.
“How could I not give a congratulation gift to my Rosebud on her graduation day?”
“You were there? Y-you saw my graduation?” My voice came out like a meek child.
“Yes, I was there. I was always there for my rose.” He cupped my cheeks. “I always had my eyes on you even if I was far away from you here in California most of the time. But I was there on your every special day. I was there whenever I thought you needed me. And trust me, it wasn’t for you. It was for my own sanity.”
“That means, that means you were there all these years?” I asked, tears rolling down my cheeks. He didn’t abandon me? He was there all the time when I thought he didn’t even care to call once.
He nodded, wiping my tears. “Yes, I never left you alone. I could never leave my Rosebud alone.”
A flare of fire again lit inside me. “Then you saw how much I suffered! And yet you didn’t consider confronting me. Didn’t once come before me. Why did you do that? Why?”
My struggle began again but he held me firm against him.
“I know you suffered. And I’m extremely sorry for that. But you’ve no idea how much agony I went through staying away from you, Rosebud. Especially when…” A muscle of his jaw ticked as his nostrils flared. “Especially when I had to see my girl dating other men. I’d to endure it all. Trust me, they were lucky I took it as my punishment to push you away from me. Otherwise, they’d be d**d right now.”
Surprised, subconsciously a blush crept up my neck remembering those guys I dated back then only for some days. I couldn’t even stretch them to a week. Because all I felt towards them was, nothing. Not even a bit of attraction.
And then again my temper rose. Jabbing a finger in his chest, I gritted out. “Do you know how guilty I felt to date them? Even after I thought you’d nothing to do with me. Even after I was single. Do you know how much it hurt me to feel like playing with others? Just to get a little distraction. Just to forget my headache for some time! And all because you were being too great by keeping me away from you! And now that I’m finally with a guy who is great, you appeared all of a sudden declaring me as yours? The nerve of you!”
His lips pressed. “I know you were hurt. And seeing you in pain only doubled my agony. But it was for your own good. And I didn’t just appear out of nowhere.” His greek accent dense. “You were always mine. I was waiting for you to finish your study and my being stable enough to be worthy of you. Though I was stable for a long time before you finally graduated.”
To be worthy of me?
Something tugged inside my chest at his words.
“It wasn’t your life to decide what i’ll do or not. How did you know I wouldn’t fall for anyone else and accept you back into my life just like that?” My tone hard.
“I didn’t need to know that you wouldn’t fall for anyone else. Because my Rosebud loved me enough to keep me in her heart forever.”
My eyes b****d as waves of emotions slammed into my chest. I let out a shaky breath, not denying him.
“And I also knew how stubborn my little Rosebud was. I knew you wouldn’t forgive me so easily. But I couldn’t give up. After all, I’d waited seven f*****g years to have you back in my arms.” His thumb brushed my lower lip.
I shook my head. Some more shameless tears slipped my eyes. “No matter what you say, I can’t forget what you did. You hurt me. You…” I bit my lip. “You didn’t let me stay with you. You pushed me away when you needed me the most. I… hate you! I hate you Achilles Valencian for that! I hate you!” Pushing at his chest, I tried to get away from him again.
Even if it wasn’t my fault, I didn’t know anything about his condition. But still, I felt guilty. For not being there for him when he needed me. It tormented my soul to even think of that.
He pulled me closer. With raw emotions flashing across those stormy grey eyes, he whispered, “And I love you, Emerald Hutton. I love you so f*****g much!”
My breathing stopped as I stared at him. And then slowly my heart started racing, a tingling sensation spread across my veins. My knees wobbled at his declaration. The intense emotions searing through my chest had me let out a shaky breath.
He’d said those words again. The words that haunted my dreams. The words that ran into my head twenty-four hours. The words I hated myself for feeling flutters in my tummy even after hating him.
I love you…
I wanted to hear those words again. My ears yearned to hear them again.
My lower lip trembled. I had no words. I was speechless.
“I loved you from the day those turquoise eyes met mine, my precious rose. I loved you every time you smiled at me with those big doe eyes. I loved you whenever that little nose crinkled every time you thought you’d lose into the chess matches.” He kissed my nose, followed by my eyelids. “I loved you when you were away from me. I loved even your annoying habit of eating garlic prawns using your hand. And I love you when I have you in my arms right now. The place where I want to keep you for the rest of my life.”
Leaning in, he captured my trembling lips into a scorching k**s. A whimper left me as I melted against him. My heart soared high.
“I love you so much, my rose. So much that without you, I deny to even breath,” murmuring against my lips, he claimed my mouth again. The way he moulded our lips around each other, the intoxicating strokes of his tongue, the warmth of his arms, I found myself letting out a sign of content.
Clutching his coat tight in my fists, I kissed him back with equal urgency. I missed those lips. I missed his arms, his voice, his everything.
Slowly pulling away, he stared deep into my eyes. With both of our breathing harsh, we couldn’t move our gazes away from each other. It was like an invisible magnet pulling us towards each other.
“Are you still mad at me, Rosebud?” he asked, grey pools filled with hope. “Will you give me- give us a chance?”
Just as I opened my mouth to give him my answer, a knock landed on the door. I tried to pull away from him but he didn’t let me.
“No need. Whoever it is, will go away.”
Shaking my head, I wiggled out and opened the door much to his dismay. It could be something important.
But the actual reason behind my eagerness to open it was, I got an escape from his question in this way.
And before I could even pull the door wide, it flew open making me stagger back.
“Mr. Valencian! It’s so great to see…” Her ear-splitting grin fell into a half not so happy smile when her eyes landed on me standing there.
My jaw clenched, hands fisted.
Red f******g witch!
What the h**l was she doing here?
My eyes immediately formed into a glare. I could feel fumes coming out from every pores of my body.
“Uh, hello, Ms. Hutton, Mr. Valencian! I’m sorry if I interrupted anything,” she said, planting an extra sweet and fake mask on her face. The once over she threw at him didn’t go missed by me.
“Rosebud, you didn’t answer me.”
Not even acknowledging her, he took long strides towards me. But I stepped away. My twisting facial expression must’ve told him to keep his distance.
“Don’t you dare!” My voice came out as a snap. He called her here? Why? Why her? “You’ve got a guest to attend! Why don’t you concentrate on her instead?”
I stepped back again from his approaching form.
Fisting his hands, he let let out a curse, murmuring something incoherent under his breath. His eyes were desperate… wild.
Then those flashing stormy gaze flickered to the red witch who wore a maroon dress today.
“What the f**k are you doing here? Who let you in?” he roared, making both me and that witch flinch. His shoulders were rigid, he seemed furious.
With eyes wide open, she opened her mouth and closed like a gaping fish. Her little outfit and excessive make-up just spoiled my mood further. Not wanting to be there anymore, I pushed my legs to move. My heart still thudded from his words. Warmth, anger, jealousy, all were messing with my head. And I definitely didn’t want to see her face any longer. What she did last time still b****d me like a hot knife.
“Don’t!” Giving him a warning look, I passed that witch and stormed out of his cabin. And to my dismay, the door automatically closed behind me.
“Mr. Valencian, I’m so sorry…”
Her meek words faded away along the gap of the door. My lips pressed tight as I glared at it. Her s****y dress p*****d my insides. Did she wear it for him?
My nails dug into my palms. He definitely didn’t call her. The way he behaved proved it. Then why the heck she was here?
I just stood there like a psycho staring at a closed door with venom. And why the h**l did I come out like that? I shouldn’t have left her alone with him.
Shaking my head at my ridiculous thoughts, I decided to leave. But still somehow lingered around the corner. Several ominous thoughts were nagging in my head.
Though his booming voice that flew out of the closed door did soothe my burning heart a little. So they were definitely not doing anything that I wouldn’t like.
After some more barking of him, the door opened again and that witch came out with a teary face. I hid myself from her sight.
Throwing another glance at his cabin, with her pale face she turned around and rushed down the hallway without looking back. And I just kept glaring at her until she was out of sight.
A thud came out from his cabin, followed by another. I took a few steps towards the door, ready to barge in again. But then I stopped myself.
If I go in there right now, he wouldn’t let me leave until I answer him.
I shook my head. He must be angry and throwing a tantrum right now.
But… what if he was hurt?
I bit my lip.
And then I heard him shouting something at someone. Must be talking to someone. Seconds later, a huffing and panting Carter appeared and rushed inside the devil’s den.
I heaved a sigh. I think he was okay. It was just another bad day for Carter, I guess.
Just as I turned around to leave, my phone buzzed.
Opening the message, I read it.
Great! He sent the information I needed. Now all I had to do was to drive there and sort things out myself.