Irresistible Invitations

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Chapter 40

Zachary Pov

“Sir Mr. Stephen has left the penthouse in a hurry. I tried to stop him but he said it’s urgent and he took the next plane back home,” Cosmina told me while I got up from the bed and looked back at a sleeping Juliette who faced the other side with her left hand on the bed on the pillow, while the other was on the back of her head while she slept on her belly. That’s an uncomfortable position...

“I know! He had informed me about the last night” I said I sat on the recliner that Juliette had chosen from that furniture shop. And honestly, I love this recliner. Why did I not ever think about bringing one home earlier? It relaxes me so much that whenever I wake up in the morning or whenever I am tired I have grown used to sit on this recliner.

“Oh! Foarte bine (Very well). He just called me some minutes ago and told me to inform you.” she said and my eyes averted to Juliette who stirred in her sleep and sleepily covered herself using the duvet.

“Hmm. It’s early in the morning. You did your job very well but now you can sleep. I will not be coming to the office today! If you want you can take the day off too. If you do so, make sure to inform Marc. He will handle everything,” I said and looked at the time to find its four in the morning.

“Oh! Thank you, sir! Yes, I will do that” she said sounding grateful. We hung up and I kept my mobile on the side as I raised my left leg and kept in on my right knee. Juliette’s father told me yesterday that he had to leave for some urgent thing and he will be back within the week with his family. Out of the all the people in Juliette’s family, only a few has the idea about what has been going on in Juliette’s life. Juliette’s mother Jessica knows everything and I think they have told only a few parts about Emmett being Nicholas to Jace and Juliette’s friend.

That reminds me of that Nicholas.

Not caring what time it was, I dialed Max’s number. He picked up after just two rings speaking or might I say whispering “Hello?”

“Where are you?” I asked after a moment of pause.

“Oh! Boss!” suddenly I heard shuffling in the background and then he spoke, “Yes Boss!”

“I am in my home now,” he answered but again he was back at whispering.

“I want to know about Nicholas’s whereabouts. Is your man doing the work properly?” I asked.

“Yes, Boss! He is constantly reporting me about Nicholas’s whereabout. Last time I checked that he took a flight to Afghanistan and he checked into a hotel in Kabul. My people has been sending me his photos and even his movements. So, far he has not tried to contact his father” Max spoke and I nodded chewing the inner lip thinking what is he up to?

Nicholas took a flight to Afghanistan and yet he had not tried to contact his father. Why not? Does he know that someone is following him or marking his movements? Or is he not contacting Vito because...

“Tell your men to have their eyes on the people that he met. Let that be a woman or even an old man. Inform me everything! even if it’s a child!” I said scratching my chin thinking about Nicholas.

“Yess Boss! I will do that!” he whispered.

“Why are you whispering?” I asked all of a sudden wanting to know why was he acting so weirdly, whispering in his own house. “Umm, I am in my bathroom,” he said and that made me raise an eyebrow.

“Baie?” (Bathroom?) I asked.

“My girlfriend is sleeping and she gets irritated whenever I umm I pick up my phone in the middle of the night. So, I walked into the bathroom not to disturb her sleep.” he said and I could hear the irritation in his voice. A small smile appeared on my face. I found the situation really funny though.

“Well! Don’t disturb your girlfriend then! Sleep well.” I said and hung up.

I looked back at Juliette, her back was facing me. “Well, she doesn’t complain!” I thought as I kept my phone on a table next to the recliner.

But she isn’t your girlfriend!

Actually, that reminds of that day when I cooked for her, just two days ago I was so tired because I had to drive back to the warehouse where I had kept Nicholas in order to set him free and then I had to attend a meeting and after that, I slept in my office exhausted. I intended on just to take a short nap and then I would have been in my car, driving back home because I was aware of the fact that Juliette was left alone in the house but then I was so tired to the point that without even having my dinner I slept on my office’s couch. The next day, I woke up early in the morning and straight away drove back home thinking that she must be scared all by herself in the house because her father had told me earlier that she despised living alone. But the moment I saw her in that kitchen wearing that skin fit tank top with her wet hair I literally felt the ground slip beneath my foot as I felt my heartbeat racing against my chest so, I had to balance my body by leaning gainst the open doorframe just to look at her.

She looked beautiful and I even couldn’t help those words slip out my tongue and I told it on her face “frumoasa” (beautiful) but thankfully she couldn’t get it. It’s so frustrating that I have been like this since the day I have started to have all these strange emotions for her. Are this emotions and feelings related to the fact that I am just trying to protect her from Nicholas or something else?

But whatever it is, I guess she will never like it. Nor will I. I must continue to have all my attention on Vito right now. I am just wandering off my ambitions. But.

She has this effect on me now. I have never been in any relationships nor have I ever dated any woman yet here I am straight away married to a total stranger whom I only knew from a simple plain photo just to had this on my mind that she was Stephen’s daughter who would be walking down that aisle for Nicholas and whom I had to marry in order to save her. That was the deal and as soon as I get that Vito in my hand she will be going back home, to her normal life being her normal self. I knew it from the beginning that she despised criminals and I doubt that she ever had this dream to marry a criminal but much to her annoyance she is, she is married to a criminal must I say, to a mafia leader who has this already messed up life of playing two roles, one of being a mafia leader and another of playing a successful businessman.

This is what life has chosen for me. I never really chose this life for me. Who really wants a life like me?

It will be better if she gets back to her own life. She doesn’t belong here and nor do I belong in her life. It will be better if she gets back to her life away from all this chaos, weapons and especially from my life because, in the end, she will end up hurt if she doesn’t. And judging from her question that day while having her breakfast she did ask me if she could go back. This only indicates that she wants to go back. As much as it gives me an uneasy feeling but I understand that she doesn’t want to have anything to do with my life. She even made it clear that day that she clearly has no interest in my life nor has any intention of staying here after all this is over.

I closed my eyes as I leaned against the recliner making myself comfortable.

I was as she stirred in her sleep and turned towards my direction. A mere sight of her does all these things to me. My hands formed into a ball thinking about that. And do I like whatever I was feeling? This woman...

It’s been two days since we had breakfast with each other but that fresh, sans of any makeup out of the shower look is still in my mind. Undoubtedly the woman on my bed is beautiful and the fact that she doesn’t even realize how beautiful she is which just adds another feather in her cap. I never really thought that she would be mentally this strong to take in about Nicholas, but she proved me wrong and here she is already moved on.

Is she really moved on or is she just trying to act stronger than she is already is?

Whatever it is, but I have no doubt on the fact that the woman before me is not only beautiful but strong and eve brave.

That made me smile for she is the only woman who has the braveness to glare at me. She even speaks of her mind and she even shouts and screams at me which no woman apart from mom and my grandma did to me.

“If you’re done with your phone call then sleep!” came her sleepy yet sultry voice as she pulled the duvet to her neck and snuggled up more to the pillow which I wish it to be me...

“You are awake?” I asked even though I knew she was.

“No, I am asleep. Can’t you see?” she said sarcastically as she opened her eyes and looked at me through those vivid electrifying blue eyes of hers. I smirked thinking that she is unknowingly behaving like me. Out of all my activities, all she learned is how to be sarcastic.

“Yes, I can see!” II said as I got up from the recliner and made my way back to the bed.

“I still don’t understand! Why do you sleep shirtless?” she said as she squinted her eyes shut. I could see those red tint forming on her cheeks which she tried to hide by pulling the duvet over until her cheeks were hidden.

“It’s too hot!” I said as I lay down next to her and turned to her side and put my head over my folded left arm.

“The temperature is so down that my teeth is literally chattering and you call it hot?” she complained snuggling into her duvet.

“Really? Let me help you,” I said as I threw my right arm over her body and her eyes shot open alarmed as I pulled her up against me with the duvet placed between us.

“What are you doing? Move away!” she pushed hard on my chest.

“Move!” she complained.

“No, I’m fine, thank you!” I told her closing my eyes.

“Ugh! You are a jerk!” she said and she slapped me on my arm but as she stopped struggling against me and finally fell into sleep, my eyes opened slowly just to look at that calm face as I slowly let her go and raised my hand to slowly unhide her face from that duvet. Her innocence showed on her sleeping face, the peaceful and serene dreams blocking out the dangers of the outside. The soft breathing making my world seem to stand still as I gazed at every inch of her face drawing an exact picture in my mind which I decided to cherish later when she would be gone.

The strands of her hair falling on the side of her hid her face from me, which I decided to slowly push her hair to the back of her ear by my finger as I trailed my finger on her skin feeling that electrifying sensation against my skin. Her skin was undoubtedly smooth and flawless. My finger trailed her small scar just above her eye right under her eyebrow and it made wonder how she got that scar.

It would be so easy if I never had this life. How much better it would have been if we met in some other situation and in different being.

I sighed thinking that it is of no point to think what is never really possible because what is before us is our real life and we had to live it whether we want it or not.

“Frumoasa,” (beautiful) I heard my own voice as I complimented the woman right before my eyes as she slept next to me carefree about the world.

I turned around away from her face because I knew it was the best. I should turn away when I can because if I don’t then it would be too late to cope up with my new feelings that are seemingly growing every day for the woman behind me. And it scares me that eve if I deny it, I knew exactly what those feelings are. And I shouldn’t complain when I say whatever I’m doing to is best for both of us.

As I closed my eyes and snuggled into my pillow feeling my eyelids growing heavy due to sleep, my eyes it shot back open as I felt those cold yet fragile arm circling over my torso and I felt as she snuggled up against my back pulling me closer.

“No! Don’t turn around!” my brain warned me and I chose to listen to my brain, I didn’t turn around because I knew if I did then I would go weak. I would fail to keep my emotions at bay and I would definitely break.

I pulled the duvet over us and rested my head back on the pillow as I tried to sleep once again with her hand over me. Unintentionally, I grabbed her hand and intertwined our fingers as I fell into deep slumber saddened thinking that it is just a wonderful dream which will soon diminish into all those wonderful and beautiful dreams that my brain had shown me once. What shall be left is only memories. Painful and saddened memories.

“What is this?” she asked as she opened the bag that I brought for her. She looked through it as I tied my tie and looked at her activities through the mirror.

“A dress?” she smiled as she unfolds the beige colored high hem and low v-neck sequin dress and lifted it up to look at it.

“For you to wear for today’s party,” I told her and before she could find me already looking at her, I averted my gaze away from her and lowered my head to look at my tie. I was ready for my office as I wore a gray Armani suit with white underneath shirt.

“I will be wearing this for your award function?” she asked with a hint of fear which made me look back at her immediately as I narrowed my eyes at her thinking what she meant and why is she scared.

“Yes! it’s a couture that Cosmina chose for you for today’s award function” I told her walking towards the wardrobe.

“Liar! You chose it for her” my brain mocked me which I ignored. It was true though. I sat for hours in the showroom searching for a dress which would flaunt her skin and I wanted to see her figure once again which I had witnessed when she wore that bodycon dress when she fell in that fountain. Hilarious day of my life.

“But I- I uh” she stuttered looking uncomfortable.

“You what?”

“I have never worn this uh this- um it’s too short” she bit down on her lower lip as she looked at the dress that she was holding.

“Whether you wear it for the party or not is totally your wish. Cosmina told me to give it to you for the party. You can always wear whatever you want” I said when she looked up at me.

Please wear it...

I will be picking you up before seven or be ready by that time. And Cosmina has also arranged a beautician to help you get ready for the function. She will be arriving her before five. Turn on your phone. Call me if you need anything else,” I said and without even looking her way I made my way out of the room.

She can wear whatever she wants.

The whole day, I remained busy with my legal work of my real estate business. Today was certainly the day of my life as I was again nominated for the ‘Businessman of the year’ for the third time. People were enthusiastic to see my wife, as the paparazzi has already flaunted and left no stones unturned to spread the news about me getting married secretively. People wants to see that woman whom they will know as my wife. I went to that showroom especially for Juliette because I wanted to make sure that she looks the best in the award function. Everyone hopes that!

By the time, it was evening when I Iooked at my watch to find its already six in the evening. I got up from my table and shut down my laptop. Cosmina must have already left for getting ready for the function.

Along with Juliette, me too have to look best in the function. We were the newlyweds after all! Everyone’s eyes will be over us today and I made sure to get ready in the most expensive and sophisticated suit for the function.

In the mansion, I hurried my way into the bedroom and looked around not able to find Juliette.

“Oh, my!” I heard a lady when I turned around towards the bathroom.

“Good evening Sir!” the middle-aged lady whom I recognized as the beautician that Cosmina had appointed for Juliette standing near the door of the bathroom holding her cosmetic bag.

“Where is Juliette?” I asked the lady and looked behind her towards the bathroom’s door thinking she must be inside.

“She is downstairs, in the kitchen,” she said as she held the strap of the cosmetic bag on between her finger.

“I was just about to leave.” she bowed and walked out of the bedroom door.

I sighed as I got rid of my jacket and went inside the bathroom for a quick shower and to shave. After I was done, I set my hair by combing it into a sleek backward hairstyle and wore my black Emporio Armani tuxedo for the function following with a Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Astrotourbillon watch and black Gordon Rush shoes. After I was done, I applied my favorite Straight to Heaven by Kilian cologne which has a woody and mixes up but most importantly has this rum fragrance. After I was done, I took my wallet and signed some cheques for the charity before putting it inside an envelope and picking up my phone, and walking downstairs.

I checked the time to find its already fifteen minutes left to seven in the evening. So, speeding up my pace I walked inside the Kitchen to find her drinking water from a glass.

She was wearing the dress that I heard brought for her. The dress fitted her as I had imagined and she matched it up with a studded beige stiletto. Her hair was left down as I had asked Cosmina to inform the beautician and with a minimal makeup as if her face was sans of any makeup but with thickened eyebrows and eyelashes. I couldn’t really see the front part as she was standing with her side facing me.

But then, she kept the empty glass on the kitchen counter and then everything happened like slow motion for me. She wiped those luscious pink lips and then turned towards me only to catch me off guard that I practically tripped on my own foot and I stumbled before I held the open doorframe to stop myself from making a fool out pf myself before her. Damn!

The low neckline made me see her cleavage enough and ready to tease me the whole evening and I cursed for even bringing that dress for her because now not only me but many wolves like men will also see what was only meant for me...

She took my breath away. Her long slender toned legs didn’t help.

I held the back of my neck feeling it sweaty.Funny! I just took a shower and here I am feeling hot. I looked behind me and then back at her cursing under my breath thinking I have dug my own grave. What was I thinking when I chose that dress?

“Oh, you are here already?” I heard her voice.

She smiled at me.

Why do you need to smile at me?

And then she walked towards me tossing her hair to the side.

Why do you have to play with your hair before me?

“And you are ready! So, do I! Let’s go?” she asked stopping right before me. My nostrils flaring up to sniff that lavender fragrance of hers which immediately calmed my mood but then realising it I tensed up even further. Oh no!

“Zachary?” she snapped her fingers before me to snap me out of my thoughts.

“Let’s go?” she asked and then smiled batting her eyes signaling her attire. Perhaps, she wanted to know how she looked in that dress.

I cleared up my throat and nodded “Yes! Let’s go!” I said and turned up my back against her and although I knew that it would only make her feel hurt that I ignored but in truth, I was saving myself. How can I answer and compliment how she looks, when I myself doesn’t know that whether it’s the dress that compliments her or was it her body who complimented that dress.

As the chauffeur stood by the car and opened the door for me, I noticed how his eyes looked towards Juliette who was right behind me.

Perhaps someone had a wish to lose his jobs.

The chauffeur turned wide eyes with a pink cheek to look at me glaring at him which caught him off-guard. He adjusted his cap and lowered his head. I allowed Juliette to went past me and go inside the car first, before me. She said a quiet and polite ‘Thank you’ to the chauffeur who smiled in response with his cheeks growing even redder.

Shoot him right here.

Shooting daggers his way I went inside and he closed the door and hopped in the driver seat to drive.

“Zachary you didn’t tell me how do I look?” she whispered to me when we drove off to the venue.

I looked at her when I felt my hands forming into a ball.

“You look just fine!” and then I looked out of the window.

“Wear whatever you want” I mocked myself thinking what I told her earlier when I handed over the dress to her in the morning.

She wore it! Be happy! Why are you sulking now?

“Oh” I heard her saddened and disappointed voice.

“Well done Zachary. Well done. Are you sure that award you are expecting is for the businessman of the year? or is that for best jerk of the year?” my inner self mocked me while I looked back at Juliette who sat quietly looking outside of the window. I put my fist in my mouth and hit my thigh hard continuously by the other thinking what I have done.

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