“What?” I jerked my hands away from him and stopped in my place. He stopped in front of me and I watched as his shoulder rolled back and he sighed before turning to face me.
We were in a different part of the field away from our family and nearer to the lake. The sun was above us and the water in the lake shined because of the rays of the sun. Some people were boating while some were fishing. We stood under a tree and I crossed my arms over my chest looking towards the lake.
“Tell me,” he said out of nowhere which made me look back at him and I raised an eyebrow at him confused from the inside thinking what he meant by that.
“What?” I asked in a low tone. He shoved his hands into his pant pockets and pursed his lips as he threw his head backward and then slowly he looked back at me.
“We are not leaving this place until you tell me what is your problem,” he said and I turned around ready to leave but stopped when he held my hand stopping me from going.
“Leave my hand,” I said and wiggled my hand.
“That’s not the answer to my question,” he stated and that made me even angrier than I already was.
“I said leave my hand,” I looked back at him and said enunciating each word so that he would get it that I was not having it from him today.
“Fine,” surprisingly he said in a soft tone and let go of my hand and raised his hands in surrender.
“I won’t touch you but just answer the damn question,” he said and I rolled my eyes at him and turned around to leave but stopped when all of a sudden he moved in front of me blocking my way. I glared at him and took a side step but he mimicked my actions and finally, I gave up after three attempts and took a step back as I rolled the loose strands of my hair using my finger and put it behind my ear.
“Why are we here?” I asked once we stood silently.
“We are here because you will answer my qu-” I cut him off in the middle “I means why are we here in this place?” I asked circling my hands in the air gesturing the place.
“For family picnic?” he answered more like a question.
“Right, for a picnic. And what exactly is a family picnic?” I questioned to which he gave me a look which clearly told me that he didn’t get anything.
“Forget it! Nevermind! Look we are for fun and to cradle up some memorable days of our life, I have been through worse from these past few days and don’t spoil my mood now,” I said and I knew I was being a bitch but then he didn’t even react. I hoped to see anger resurfacing his features or him lashing out at me but nothing, which totally surprised me.
“So you are here for fun and happy memories?” he asked and I watched when he shoved his hand back into his pant pockets and pulled out his phone. I didn’t answer his question but looked the other way looking at the boat in which a kid and whom I guessed as the kid’s father were happily enjoying their day fishing and boating.
“Well, then I guess you are not the only who want happy memories,” he said and my head turned towards his direction in a jerk when he encircled his arm around my waist and pulled me close.
“What are doing?” I tried to push him and struggled against him. He raised his other hand in the air and I looked at it, to find him holding his phone up in camera mode.
“Taking a picture,” he said and as I turned to look at him to speak, I heard a click sound and I looked at his phone to find a picture in which he was looking at camera with me looking at his face.
“Give me that,” I ordered him and tried to snatch the phone from him. He raised his hands over his head. His height taunting and mocking my failed attempts of getting the phone. I raise my arm up in order to snatch his phone but then he pulled me closer. Closer to the point, where our face was only inches apart. His minty breath fanned my face causing a pure emotion taking birth inside my heart. All of a sudden, my heart raced against my chest and I felt my cheeks burning.
“What are you doing?” I jerked out of the little moment as I realized what was going on, I took a step backward and he let me go freeing me from his grasp. I turned around and took a step forward to leave but stopped when he asked ” Will you not answer my question?” he asked. I shook head negatively letting him know that I won’t but even though I wanted to tell him, I wanted to come forward by himself and tell me.
“Find it out by yourself!” I exclaimed and glanced over my shoulder at him before turning around and leaving.
“How did you two kiss? On the boat? Under the tree? Among the row of flowers? on the dock?” Kiara shot the number of questions at me once I reached back to her.
“Shut up Kiara!” I said and leaned against the tree and looked at Loana who sat on the carpet displaying her right leg and was busy texting something on her phone.
“Where is Zachary?” she asked looking here and there and then her eyes fell on me.
“Where is he?” she asked me.
“He is - oh there he is!” I said pointing towards the way from where I saw Zachary walking towards us.
“What was doing there? Alone?” she asked and I raised my eyebrows at her and heaved a sigh. She gave me a headache. How is it even her concern where Zachary went and what he did?
“Who told you that he was alone?” Kiara butted in and I looked at her signaling her not to open her stupid mouth and say something stupid but being the stubborn woman she was she rolled her eyes at me and said: “Juliette was with him.”
“What?” Loana questioned looking confused.
“What were you doing with him there and that also alone?” she crossed her arms over her chest and looked at me giving me a nasty look as if she was accusing me of committing a crime.
“Duh! What can’t she be with him” Kiara air quoted the word “alone?”
“She is his wife after all and why are you asking so many things about Zachary. Your date is there,” Kiara pointed towards Kristian who was talking to Jace near the lake “Ask things about him and your concern should only be him not a married man, Mr. Zachary Sullivan,” Kiara taunted her and I watched as the colour faded away from Loana’s face and anger marred her face. Her jaws clenched and unclenched and she had her palms in a tight fist.
“Watch what you say! You are in no position to talk to me like that! Do you even know who I am?” she snarled at Kiara.
“Who are you? Enlighten me!” Kiara mocked her.
“You bitch! I am Zackie’s girlfriend!” she said in pride and that immediately blocked the air in my lungs as I looked at her stunned by her words. Her revelation caught me off guard but most importantly, her words like were a sharp knife which went past my heart making it bleed.
“Ha! Have you seen your face bitch? This woman,” Kiara pointed her finger at me “Is his woman, his wife! You are nobody!” Kiara said and Loana stood up from her place and Kiara held my arm and pulled me up with her.
“Wife? Are you kidding me? My Zackie loves me not her. I know he is married because of family pressure but soon he will be getting rid of this bitch. Do you want to see the signs of how much he loves me?” she asked smirking at us and then she took her her hand up and pulled her neckline baring her right breast to us. A gasp escaped my mouth as I saw the love bites on her skin that instantly clenched my heart.
“Firstly don’t show us your sagging boob. My eyes will bleed now!” Kiara said closing her eyes as if her eyes were hurting her seeing the feminine of part of the woman who stood before us.
“Secondly, keep your dirty tricks to yourself. Juliette don’t believe a slut like her have the number of men in their bed you can’t even imagine. She is just trying to get to you and create misunderstanding between you two!” Kiara warned me but it seemed as if the words were not reaching my mind. Loana’s voice in the background when Zachary called me echoed my mind and my mind began to think about the impossibilities. But then my heart broke and shattered into pieces when I thought about it.
My eyes stung as the tears threatened to stream down but I refused to let it flow. I took in deep breaths and closed my eyes telling my mind that it wasn’t true. The woman before me was just lying on my face and it was only because of the fact that I liked Zachary, her words were getting to me. Even if her words like a slap to the feelings that I felt for Zachary, I managed to control my emotions and opened my eyes glaring at her.
“Your wish!” I said and crossed my arms over my chest.
“It’s not my wish darling it’s his wish,” she smirked at me. The patience in me was reaching its limit and I knew I would not let her go that easily with this.
“Control your filthy mouth and leave me and my husband alone!” I said as politely as I could.
“Oh so desperate you are! You are the only one who calls him that else let me clarify this to you! You mean nothing to him. I am the only one who he truly loves ad likes and I felt it when we slept the night,” she smirked and closed her eyes as if she was reminiscing the experience “naked, wrapped up in each other’s arms and every time he made love to me-” she couldn’t even finish because I lunged at her and slapped her hard on her face.
“You bitch!” her face contoured anger and she raised her manicured nail trying to scratch my face, but I held it and slapped once again on her face and this time it was, even more, louder and harder. The skinny model didn’t even have the power and strength to fight me but she managed to grip my braid and she pulled it painfully. I grab her hair and pulled her and using my filed nails I scratch her arms and face.
“Oh my goodness! Juliette!” I heard Zachary’s mother but I didn’t stop because she didn’t let me go and neither did I let her go as we continued swearing and cursing at each other pulling hair and scratching each other.
How dare she, lying on my face?
She raised her hand to punch me but I got hold of it and turned it in the opposite direction painfully and a cry left her mouth when I did that.
“What’s going on?′ I heard Gale and pretty soon my whole family surrounded us as they circled us and I felt arms encircling my waist as I was roughly pulled backward. I grip around Loana’s hair loosened and she made an attempt to punch me but like me, she was also pulled back by none other but Kristian.
“Stop it!” Zachary snapped at me when I struggled against his hold wanting to kill Loana. My hands and legs wagged in the air when Zachary picked me up from my back but then I was again placed down when I didn’t stop struggling against it.
“I said stop it!” he snapped and that made me instantly stop. I looked at him with wide eyes and exhaled and inhaled breath through my mouth. Anger was still building up from inside me. Loana’s words kept rotating around my head and that made me even more anger.
“No! Let me go!” I argued.
“Look, Zachary, what she did to me,” we looked back at Loana who sobbed pointing towards the scratches on her arms and face.
“Oh, you will get even more of those, you bitc-” Zachary cut me off as he turned me around to face him. His eyes filled up with anger, as he looked into my eyes.
“Enough!” he snapped at me.
“But Zachary she starte-” he didn’t even let me finish as he yelled on my face, “I said enough!” which made me instantly close my mouth.
“I have just enough of your drama. You will not speak a word now, do you hear me?” he said pointing his finger at me.
“Drama?” I asked inhaling air.
“Yes, drama! I let every stupid action of you insulting me thinking it as your innocence and naivety but now it’s just too much for even me to handle. I can’t believe this!” he said and looked at Loana who kept her head on kristian’s shoulder and wept dramatically.
“Whatever it is, say sorry to Ms. Ularu right now!” he said and my eyes widened hearing his words.
“No! Why should-”
“Juliette!” he raised his hand in the air as if he was going to slap me. His words didn’t hurt as his action did. He blamed me and he raised his hand on me. Gasps were heard when he rasied his hands.
“Zachary!” I heard Julia.
“Udolf!” even grandfather snapped at him for his action. But the damage was done. His lack of support, faith on me made me believe that he had not even an inch of respect and likeness for me. Why blame the other for your miserable fate? He didn’t even hear me, he didn’t even let me explain the side of my story, he had no faith on me, and he everything I did was like a drama to him. Not a single ounce of likeness for me but everything for Loana. Does this mean he loved Loana? Was Loana speaking the truth? Then it’s totally my mistake in here. I am the one who came in between them. i kept on thinking that Loana was trying to create misunderstanding in between us but I was totally wrong. In fact, I was the one who was playing the gooseberry in between them.
Guilt washed up his feature as he lowered his hand and before he could speak I turned towards Laona and pursed my lips.
“I am sorry. Please forgive me!” I said and Kiara interrupted “But Juliett-” I stopped her by showing my hand in the sir asking her to stop. Thankfully she got the point and closed her mouth else, she would have made the situation even more thick if she opened her mouth. I would have felt even more guilty then I was already feeling.
Of course! I should remember that why I was with Zachary. It wasn’t a normal and love relation but a marriage deal where he was bound to save me in order to get the peron in his grasp who killed and destroyed his family member.
“Zachary are you kidding me? You are taking this woman’s side over your wife?” Julia asked his son and before he could answer I wallked towards Kiara and held her hand and pulled her with me towards the lake.
“Juliette come back here!” came bellowed voice of Zachary but I ignored him as I walked towards the dock holding Kiara’s hand.
As we were near, I left her hand and walked towards the end of the dock. All the while, tears streaming down my face.
“Juliette,” Kiara called me from behind softly but I didn’t even turn to look at her.
“Juliette!” she made me turn to face her and when she witnessed my tears she gasped and I saw the sympathy in her eyes but then she pulled me into a hug.
“Oh, Juliette! Please don’t cry!” she patted my back and I wrapped my hands and sobbed on her shoulders.
“That slut! Wait for me! I will just go and tell Zachary everything that she tol-” I cut her off “No! You won’t!” I said with a determined look holding her arms.
“What but why?” she asked in confusion.
“Because,” I put my forehead on her shoulder “They are in love,” I cried feeling my heart hurt thinking about it.
“Nonsense! She was lyi-”
“They are in love Kiara. Everything she said was true. Don’t you get it?” I pulled back and looked at her “He was forced to be with him. It wasn’t his choice to marry but it was a deal. It all makes sense!” I said and put the knuckle in my mouth.
“It all makes sense!” I sobbed and Kiara pulled me into a hug.
“I am so sorry Juliette. It all happened because of me, I shouldn’t have charged her,” she said sympathetically apologizing for a mistake which wasn’t even hers.
“Not your fault!” I said in a low tone and repeated it multiple times until my words turned into sobs as I cried being despair.
Severals days past by to that incident and it was certainly not the memorable day of my life. Zachary hardly came back home in the night. I even changed my room and slept with Kiara. Julia apologized to me multiple times on the behalf of her son but that made it even worse because every time she apologized I felt the guilt rising up. Because it was my fault after all. I should be the one who should apologize because I was acting like a fool behaving and acting like a stubborn teenager.
Zachary didn’t talk to me nor did I make any attempts to talk to him. In all this, my father was happy. He was very happy because he told me that he was getting hints of me liking Zachary but thankfully the incident back then proved him that he was wrong, and there is nothing in between me and Zachary except hatred.
But I don’t hate Zachary. Still, after all this, I didn’t hate him. I just couldn’t hate him because I knew he was just pulled into my life. It’s not his fault and that is why I don’t hate him.
It was the day where very one were going back to Zachary’s house. Zachary’s including mine were going with them to visit Julia’s and Gale’s house. I walked up to the door to bid them farewell as I was the only one who wasn’t going. I wasn’t feeling well and that is why I denied politely for going with them. My family would return in the night while Julia’s family will stay back in their house.
“Are you sure you don’t want to come, my dear?” Zachary’s grandpa asked me as he kept his hand on my head. I smiled and shook my head no at him.
“I will come some other time, for sure,” I told him and he nodded.
“Okay and dear,” he said but stopped in mid-sentence. I nodded at me asking him to continue.
“Please forgive my Udolf, I will talk to him! Believe it wasn’t what I taught to hi-”
“Grandpa,” I stopped him and smiled.
“It’s okay! Everything is sorted out now,” I said and watched as the sadness in his eyes didn’t leave instead it grew even more. I guess he saw behind my facade of smiling face. He was the ‘General’ after all.
“Please don’t give up on my Udolf,” he asked and that broke my heart. When there is no hope in our relation how could ever have any faith upon Zachary?
Nonetheless, I nodded to keep his words and he smiled.
“Take care,” he said and replied the same and watched as they got into the car and drove away.
Sighing, I closed the door and went back to the bedroom. Nobody except me and Hilda was in the house today. I went to the balcony and looked out to find the bodyguards guarding the house perimeter. Zachary went to his office, for work. He didn’t join fo which I’m really glad because I didn’t want Julia or grandpa talking to him about anything that I didn’t want him to listen. Even Kiara went them. It will good if she maintained the distance from him else she would end up spilling everything before him.
It was already afternoon when I had my lunch and I walked back into my room. Unlike the other days, I felt really hot today. The temperature was high and I chose to wear a black short pant and blue stripped boyfriend shirt to ease my body temperature. I was just about to turn the Tv on when there was loud noise which came from the outside. I jumped on my toes and looked towards the balcony thinking what just happened.
Then I heard gunshots and people yelling and screaming. I felt the bile rising up as I walked to the balcony door and looked out of the glass door peeping through the curtains.
A gasp escaped my mouth when I witnessed a man killing our guards. But the fact was there was not only one man but many as they shoot and killed every guard as they made their way towards the house.
“Nicholas?” I said and clamped my mouth using my hand when I noticed him from one of those men.
“Ma’am” I heard the door opening and walked in a worried Hilda. Her face was pale and she huffed out air as if she just ran a marathon.
“We have been attacked,” she cried and ran up to me.
“Hurry! You need to hide!” she cried and pulled me with her.
“Don’t argue!” she snapped at me.
“I have already informed sir and he is in his way, now hurry you need to hide. Sir told me to hide you,” she said and looked around thinking where must take me in order to save me.
“Please! Don’t say anything! Let me think! Oh, my goodness! What should I do?” she cried and then dragged me out of the room. Gun shots were heard everywhere and people screaming and yelling at each other was clearly heard as we made it up to the third floor and towards a room.
“Where are you taking me?” I pulled her to stop.
“It’s not the time to argue. Please trust me and cooperate with me,” she said and pulled me into a room.
“You will stay inside this room, make sure you lock up from inside!” she said and turned around to leave but I stopped her.
“Where are you going?” I asked and stopped her from going out.
“I need to stop them from reaching up her,” she said as she tried to free herself from my grasp.
“No! Are you mad? Stay here! It’s dangerous! You will die!”
She pried my hands away and shoved me backward. I stumbled on my own foot and fell on my back on the ground.
“Please forgive me, I am just fulfilling my duty,” she said and ran out of the old and dirty storeroom closing the door behind her.
“No-” I coughed and tried to get up “Wait!” tears blinded my vision as I stood up n my feet and walked towards the small open window and looked out. The window was facing the backside of the house and luckily I found no one under the window. But I could hear the gun shots and the scream of people. Guessing from the pitch of the scream I assumed that, people were dying. It was the scream of their plea and I placed my hands over my ears and closed my eyes pleading the Almighty to help and save the people and to stop it.
Twenty minutes later, everything stopped. I could no longer hear the scream nor any gunshots. As a ray of hope lit inside my heart thinking that it was over, but then it shattered into pieces when I heard rumbling and footsteps from outside my door. Clamping my hand over my mouth I looked around frantically searching for a place to hide.
“Did you find her?” I heard Nicholas’s voice and that made me even more frightened than I already was.
They have reached me!
“No, we checked every room even his study room for any type of secret passage but found none!” another man spoke.
“Did that woman open her mouth?” Nicholas asked and a gasp escaped my mouth when I thought about Hilda being captured.
“No! she isn’t opening her mouth. Your father is handling her!” the man said and as if it wasn’t enough the mention of his father made my heart pound against my chest.
Vito was also here?
“Go! check that room, I will check this room,” I heard Nicholas and then heard his footsteps nearing the room where I was hiding. I looked here and there frantically when my eyes fell on the window. I made a run for the window and looked out. The only thing that I found was a narrow beam beside the window. The beam looked as the only support for my life and I struggled to get out of the small window and carefully took baby steps as I walked towards the side with my back facing the wall and my front facing the front open area. I did a mistake to look down and that knocked the sense out of me. I was standing in a narrow beam, three floors up from the ground with no help but the walls to be held as I took small sidesteps in order to get away from the damn window.
No! Don’t look down.
You can do it, Juliette!
God, please help me.
As seconds went by I realized that I was going to die soon. Either in the hands of Nicholas or by falling off from a three floor high. If I lost my balance and managed to fell, the chances of me surviving with broken limbs and hands waved before my eyes and I shook my head even thinking about letting go and jump in order to escape them.
As I waited for my death to cocoon me, I heard gunshots again and that came from inside the room from where I had taken the beam for support. Guessing it as Nicholas firing the bullets in thin air for frightening me, I closed my eyes and waited for him to come and kill him. Prayers left my mouth as I chanted in a low voice praying to the almighty’s to save me. But then I heard the voice, which I thought as Nicholas’s turned out to be of Zachary.
What? Am I imagining Zachary at a time like this?
I cursed myself for being so weak and felt as beads of sweat formed on my forehead. It was like a slow motion, I felt sweat trickling down my forehead, I could even hear my own pounding heartbeat, heard the shuffling sounds in the background when my eyes jerked open hearing the particular man’s voice.
“Juliette! You idiot!” he screamed and slowly when I turned my head towards the window I found him.
Half of his upper body was out of the window and he was looking at me with what I thought I would never witness in my life but worry filled in his eyes. Tears rolled down my face when I saw him as his words went past my ear and I watched as he forwarded his hand asking me to take it. As I cried, I shook my head no because I was too scared to move now. I thought I would lose my balance and end my life but then he encouraged me to take his hand.
“Juliette! Juliette! Look into my eyes. Just look into my eyes! Listen! Nothing will happen to you- No! No! don’t close your eyes. Look into my eyes and just hear my voice. Come to me, Juliette! Yes, Come here! Take my hand! Just a few steps more. Yes, you are here. You ar-” he grabbed my hand and pulled me to him. He went in first and then pulled me in. Once I was in, I was pulled into a tight hug.
I was still in shock. I was petrified. As I looked behind him, there I saw him. Nicholas on the ground, with blood oozing out of his leg with Willie pointing a gun above his head warning him not to move.
“It’s okay! You are safe now,” I heard Zachary’s voice and felt him caress the back of my head.
“I am here. It’s okay now,” he said softly into my ears as he embraced me tightly and soothingly caressed my hair. But I stood their limp with my arms on my side in his arms as I tears continued to roll down my face as I looked at a captured Nicholas and the gun.
Both Nicholas and Vito were finally caught. They had come to kill me and to get my money. Zachary found out that one of our guards was one of his man who gave them information about everything that was going on inside the house. Vito and Nicholas were just looking for the right time to get to me alone in the house with no shield or protection and as soon as everyone left they made it to me.
Not a single guard of Zachary survived but still, he managed to reach me on time with his men and took the charge. Max was also present there captivating Vito while both Zachary and Willie ran up to save me, or should I say to get Nicholas.
I was still traumatized by the event that took place with me being alone in the house. Hilda was safe and she sat gave me a glass of water as I felt my mom caressing the side of my face constantly saying me that they were here now and everything was okay. It turned out, my family including mom, dad, Jace, Kiara and even Kristian returned back as soon as Zachary informed them about my condition. It’s already been fours hours to the incident but yet I am feeling the same anxiety inside me thinking as if I was going to die any soon.
Zachary took Vito and Nicholas to his study room followed by Max and Willie and some other men and they didn’t come out of the room the whole four hours.
“Juliette, my baby. Everything is fine. Talk to me!” dad said as he knelt on his knees before me on the ground.
Jace was standing behind me, while mom sat on the left side on the sofa while Kiara sat on the other side holding my arm.
“Juliette baby girl look at me!” my dad begged and even though I could hear everything they said I just couldn’t move from my place.
“Mr. Sullivan,” I heard my dad as Zachary finally came out of his study room and walked to our direction. I didn’t look at him but I knew he was coming.
“Take them!” I heard Zachary and the guessing from the curse and scream voices I assumed he wanted Vito and Nicholas to be taken somewhere away from where he could handle them all alone. It was good though. Just take them away from me.
“How is sh-” I cut Zachary in the middle as I finally made an effort talk and I looked up towards my dad saying “Dad?”
He looked relieved and he turned around and paid me his whole attention smiling at me as he waited for me to speak.
“Let’s go back home!” I said and watched his eyes filled up with joy and he took a step forward encircling me in his arms he said a loud ‘yes.’