CHAPTER 17 – CONSTRUCTED
TWO WEEKS LATER
Time was flying by with James and I was feeling happier every day I spent with him. We were playing a dangerous game but it was worth it all. We were spending every night in each other’s arms since my mom barely made an appearance anymore. When she came back this morning we were not expecting her to stay.
The celebration party was tonight and my mom was back for only one purpose… to take back the role of being his wife. I was uneasy about this whole situation. I couldn’t stop myself from feeling a little jealous. After all she was the wife while I was the mistress. Worst of all, I was the stepdaughter who had turned into his mistress.
Getting dressed my mind was already messing with my feelings and I was trying to stay calm. I had never told James but I was so deeply attached to him. My feelings were so deep and I wanted to stay by his side all the time. I loved him... even though admitting it took time I was confident about it, I loved this man. I had fallen so fast and hard for him that I couldn’t even seem to care about the blurred lines between us.
Now that I knew how it felt to belong to him I couldn’t just go back to being the old Amy. James desired me like no other men did but I was still unsure about his feelings. He was sweet and caring but we never really spoke about us and it scared me. What if he wasn’t even interested in a future with me? Even the thought spread a sense of fear inside me. Pushing those thoughts away I continued getting ready for the party. Even if I couldn’t stand next to the man I loved I would still be close enough to touch and smile.
I had chosen the perfect dress for the occasion. A dusty pink body hugging dress that did my body justice, bringing out all my curves to display. I didn’t want to attract much attention but I still wanted to treat James’ eyes. Grabbing my purse, I went down to the living room area where my mom was already seated. She turned to look at me and smiled.
“Sweetheart! You look lovely.” She said, standing up and waking over to me. She put her hand on my cheek and brushed it slightly. She looked so elegant in her short black dress and I was jealous of how good she looked despite her age.
“You might even meet a decent man tonight.” She said and I noticed James walk in from the corner of my eye. This was definitely awkward.
“My ladies...” He said and smiled. His confidence was outshining both of us and when I met his eyes I couldn’t stop myself from wanting to kiss him. He was so handsome in his tux.
“Honey...” My mom said turning around and approaching James. Placing her arms around his neck she pulled him in and placed a kiss on his cheek. I felt the jealously wash over me once again. James’ eyes were on me constantly trying to reassure me.
“My handsome husband. I am a lucky woman. Don’t you think Amy?” Mom asked and I froze. I didn’t know what to say or do. I just looked at them silently.
“We should get going, our ride is here.” James said saving me from the awkward situation my mom had put me in. There was a car waiting for us outside and soon we were heading towards the venue of the party. My mom was all over James the whole drive which made me uncomfortable but I couldn’t say much let alone stop her.
When we arrived at the hotel where we party was going to be I rushed out of the car without waiting for James and my mom. My mom’s laugh was echoing in my ears and I hated to see her by his side posing for the few cameras. I turned around and decided to enter the main ballroom but walked into a very broad-shouldered man in a suit.
“Oh! I am so sorry sir!” I said looking up to see a very handsome man. He wasn’t anywhere close to James but he was good looking and deliciously big. He could make any girl feel protected I thought.
“Are you okay?” He asked and I realized his hands were on my arms helping me to steady myself.
“Yes... yes, I am really sorry.” I said taking a step back to give the man a little personal space. He was indeed a fine-looking gentleman.
“I’m Ben...” He said and flashed me a player smile. This man had done this kind of pick-ups before I thought and took his hand politely.
“Nice to meet you Ben.” I said trying to sound a little cold and distant.
“And you are...?” He asked, fishing for my name.
“Amy Baker... James’ stepdaughter.” I said a little uneasy. I didn’t like the sound of being his stepdaughter. I felt others people approach and soon James’ voice was echoing right next to me.
“I guess you two have met...” James said with a hint of annoyance in his voice.
“Yes, you have a lovely daughter. You don’t talk much about her.” Ben said winking at me. This man was either in the end of his 30s or the beginningof his 40s but he had done this type of foreplay before. I wasn’t going to be his prey for the night. I had a perfectly fine man by my side.
“You know I don’t like to talk about my private life, Ben.” James said coldly.
“I will be at the bar.” My mom announced after James’ statement, leaving us three in a heated conversation.
“I hope you are not too bored with these two lovebirds.” Ben said checking me out. He was laying it out thick and James was getting pissed. I could feel it from the way his neck muscles were flexing.
“Amy... Ben is one of my old friends. He holds the Vice President position in Ashwood Constructions. He does also have an impressive track record of divorces.” James said and Ben started laughing.
“Indeed... my last marriage lasted for a good 3 months. It was fun until she started stealing money from me.” He said laughing and I couldn’t understand why the topic had shifted to divorces. Looking around I excused myself to go to the restroom. I wanted touch up my makeup and get away from the tension surrounding me. When I was inside the restroom my phone started buzzing inside my purse.
“//You look beautiful tonight.” James wrote and the butterflies inside my stomach was claiming all my senses.
“//Thank you handsome.” I wrote before another message flashed up on my screen.
“//and just for the record... stay away from Ben. He is not exactly the best man to get involved with.” He wrote, there was my clue. James was being territorial and I liked it. I liked how it made me feel. Where was that little feminist Amy now? I was melting with his possessive words and I wasn’t complaining to be considered as his property now.
Putting away my phone I walked out of the restroom to find James and my mom. They were at the bar when the MC of the evening made an announcement for James. It was time for the CEO’s speech. He walked closer to the stage and we followed him. He walked up the stairs to the stage one by one with applause and I could clearly see that everyone loved and respected him. My mom followed behind and I stood by the edge of the stage, looked up at them. Looking up to the power couple.
“Good evening everyone and welcome to the 20th anniversary party for Ashwood Constructions. I would like to talk about the good old days but I know a lot of you already know how this company came to be. We are entering a new era with new opportunities and risks but we have to remember the most important thing and that is to create safe living environments for people. Enjoy your evening and the free drinks!” James said and people around us started applauding his speech. It was short but meaningful in a way.
To my horror the applause turned into a chant where people started chanting for James to kiss his wife. Looking up at him I was puzzled. How far would he even go I thought while looking at the scene evolving in front of me. My fear got the best of me and I was trapped in my own jealousy watching James kiss my mom. It wasn’t just a peck but a full blown kiss at this point.
I looked over to the exit and didn’t think twice. I was the third wheel here and maybe James was feeding me bullshit to get in to my pants which he obviously succeeded. I started walking towards the exit while throwing a glance back at the stage and when I turned to look away I walked into the same broad-shouldered man again. Ben came to the rescue, great, I thought and tried to avoid him.
“Hey...” He said grabbing my wrist gently. There was a hint of worry in his voice. “Are you okay?” He asked.
“I am not feeling good. Can you help me get away from here?” I asked and he nodded in concern. It was the first time Ben looked serious since I had met him. I followed him out to his car and left the driving to him. I had so much thinking to do. My phone was constantly buzzing with messages and calls from James and I ended up completely turning it off. I needed some distance to sort out my feelings. Pulling up in front of James’ house Ben refrained from asking too many questions.
“Let me know if you need anything. Here is my number.” He said handing out a business card. I didn’t even know about his intentions by giving his number but I wasn’t going to question him right now. I wanted to go upstairs and pack while thinking. Running away sounded like the best solution right now.
“Thank you.” I said and stepped out of the car. Dragging my tired body upstairs I opened the door to my room and threw my purse on top of the bed before collapsing on the floor. This was probably the biggest mistake of my life I thought and tears started to trail down my cheeks. I had fallen for a man who was possibly toying with me and worst of all he was married to my mom. I had to pack and get out of here. In between my silent sobs there was a loud thud against the door of my room.
“Open the fucking door!” James yelled from the other side and I simply didn’t know what to do anymore.