Samantha didn’t answer Axel’s question for a moment as she contemplated his question. This was the longest conversation they ever had, excluding their professional conversation and she could feel that something was changing between them with the cold walls Axel erupted around him was now coming down.
For once, Axel was not wearing the cold exterior, he always sported. Though he appeared calm, her eyes didn’t miss how his jaws clenched or how his shoulders remained stiff as if he expected something worse.
“Last year, my sister-in-law set me up on a blind date, which ended terribly. The jerk wouldn’t take no for an answer and I punched him in the face when he tried to kiss me without my consent. He was stalking me ever since, always sending flowers, cards and you know the rest.”
“Why didn’t you file a petition before?” Axel was curious as he visibly relaxed.
“My father is not a forgiving man, especially, when someone messes with his family. Dylan is a successful business person. Going to dad meant I signed Dylan’s demise.”
Axel chuckled, his expression more carefree. “That jerk deserves that.”
“After what happened today, I think so too. I feel bad to think I am behind someone’s fall. I didn’t want you to be dragged into this issue either. My dad would ruin Dylan’s business and the future. When this is over, he will have to start all over again.”
“Who is your dad?” Axel wondered. He’d remembered how Jerry spoke highly of her father, his tone held admiration.
Axel whipped around to see his parents rushing towards his car, both mirroring concerned looks. He didn’t even notice she had parked the car in his driveway.
“We got the news. What happened?” His mother asked as she looked for any injury and her eyes watered when she noticed his bandaged arms.
“It’s just a hairline fracture, mom. I’m okay,” he tried to comfort her.
“No. You’re not okay. Come on in, we will talk,” she said in a stern voice, only the mothers possessed as she led them both into their living room.
She never pegged Axel to live in a comfy home like this. She thought he would live in a penthouse apartment or a posh villa loaded with modern interiors. Instead, warm colored walls and a comfortable warmth blanketed her as soon as she stepped in, making her feel home.
Their living room was perfect, just how she preferred with less furniture and lots of space carpeted with a fluffy rug that made her want to remove her shoes and feel the softness against her bare feet.
Photos of Axel, his parents and a few others, she didn’t recognize hung on one side of the wall, while a flat screen television perched on the opposite side. Samantha spotted a few pots of plants near the stairs and the walls that drew a small smile on her lips.
“I know who you are. My son speaks highly of you,” Sara chirped, smiling warmly at her as she stepped forward to embrace the young one. “Jerry told us what happened earlier. We appreciate what your father did for my son.”
“Oh, no Mrs. Finlayson, it’s actually nothing. Mr. Fin - ah, your son got into trouble by defending me,” Samantha replied, returning her smile.
“You can call me Sara and this is my husband, Henry. Mr. & Mrs. Finlayson are his parents,” Sara chuckled.
“Oh, okay.” Samantha smiled as she tried to recover from the awkwardness.
“Now Axel, tell me what happened?”
Samantha watched as her boss’s I-rule-the-world expression turn into that of a child caught with his hand in a cookie jar.
“Um... A guy misbehaved with Samantha and I lost it when he implied that she was sleeping with, ah–you know. He was just being an ass, and I taught him not to talk ill of any women.”
“Huh... Now, that’s my son,” Henry clapped on Axel’s shoulder with a proud smile.
“That’s my boy! Come here and give your mama a hug,” Sara gushed, engulfing him in a warm hug. “We are so proud of you, Axel.”
Axel smiled as he relaxed into his mother’s embrace. Samantha watched their conversation in awe. She couldn’t help but wonder how differently her boss behaved to his parents. He looked so relaxed with a genuine smile, gracing his lips. His parents reminded her of her family and she knew as a fact that her mom and Sara would click right away if they met each other.
One day her brother had come home with bruises one night after a college party. Apparently, he beat down the son of a bitch who was trying to force himself on a drunken girl. Her mother had embraced him after hearing his side of the story and told him how proud she felt, simultaneously warning him against his partying and drinking habits. Eric had come a long way since then.
“Oh, apologies, dear. Where are my manners? Sit down, please. I will get you something to drink.” Sara pulled Samantha to the couch and made her sit.
“I’m fine, Ms.–ah, Sara. Actually, Axel hasn’t eaten since morning,” she informed his mother.
“And, what about you, Sam? I don’t think you ate anything either,” Axel piped in with a concerned look.
“Huh!” His question surprised her for a moment. She was not expecting Axel to ask her had she eaten or not.
“I-I was busy,” she drawled as a slight blush crept into her cheeks. This was getting awkward, and she wished her expression didn’t rat her out.
Sara and Henry shared a knowing look, a warm smile spreading on their faces. She liked the new girl Axel had brought home.
“I made pasta for lunch. Both of you come along and we will talk later,” Sara ushered them both into the dining hall, which was next to the open kitchen that was separated from the kitchen island.
Samantha’s clicked against the dark-walnut floors as she took in her surroundings which held green soapstone counters and custom furniture painted in black.
“Spanish spaghetti with olives, one of Axel’s favorite recipes,” Sara crooned.
Samantha inhaled the delicious aroma of the food and let it fill her lungs, the pasta tasted just as delicious as it looked. “It’s so good,” she hummed in approval between the bites. “I haven’t tasted Spanish spaghetti this good before.”
“She makes them from scratch,” Henry boasted, and Sara’s grin widened with joy as she served her more.
Axel never brought a girl home, except for Alicia, whom she never approved of. She liked Samantha immediately, and she loved how she didn’t fuss with the food, complaining about extra calories. Samantha had a healthy body, unlike the skeletons that lived on salads. She would fit perfectly into their family with her infectious smile and a friendly personality.
Samantha shook her head and stopped when she offered another serving. “Thanks a lot for the lovely meal, Sara. But, I will burst if I eat anymore,” Samantha stated patting her already full tummy.
“You should come here often, my dear,” Sara said to Samantha later when they were in the driveway, tossing a look at Henry who caught up.
“Ah, yes, you should. Sara likes you a lot and I would love for you to visit us often,” he added looking at his wife. He could already see the wheels turning in her head.
Axel shifted beside them. “Sam, why don’t you take my car?” Axel asked, offering her his car keys.
“I can’t drive for the next few days and you can pick me up from my home tomorrow morning,” he said, waving his injured right hand in front of her face.
“Okay,” Samantha accepted, taking, the key from his hand.
“He allowed no one to drive his car before,” Sara whispered to Henry, who nodded without taking his eyes off his son and the new girl.
“Um... see you tomorrow then,” Samantha waved as she turned the ignition on. Axel and his family watched as Samantha drove off.
“I like her! She is good for you, son,” Henry commented.
“Huh... what? Dad!”
“I agree with your father,” Sara supported with a huge grin.
Axel shook his head in denial. “No, you got it all wrong. I’ve never ever thought about her that way. She is a hard worker and I respect her,” he argued.
“That’s a good start. Then, I suggest that you better think of her that way.” Henry was not the one to go down without an argument.
Sara squeezed her husband’s shoulder before going in.
Time to give alone time for father and son.
Axel always listened to his father, and she hoped he listened to him now. She wanted him to have a second chance for happiness, to fall in love again, this time with the right woman. As his parents, it was their responsibility to make sure that their son had a chance for happiness again.
“Dad, I don’t think it’s wise.”
Sara could hear them talking as she sat on the couch.
“Of course, it is, son. You know, your mother approves her and we think she could be the one for you.”
“But dad, you never know that. She is my secretary and nothing more.”
“How long is she working for you?”
“A little more than a year. One year and two months.”
“She is the only woman aside from your mother, who puts up with your arrogance. Isn’t it true?”
“She is the one you are training for the new place as a General Manager. Isn’t she?”
“Yes. But, that means nothing,” Axel argued.
“That means everything, son. That means you trusted her enough to assign more of your works to her.”
It was a statement and Axel couldn’t disagree.
“Of course, I trust her with responsibility.”
“Good. Now, all I could say is that women like Samantha are hard to find. She is a hard worker, she had earned your trust and from what I see, you are comfortable with her around,” said Henry, and regarded Axel who had a frown on his face. Henry knew his words were working.
“I have seen you with enough women after that soul-sucking leech to know you are never the one for pleasantries. You care for her and you got arrested today just because you couldn’t put up with someone talking bad about her.”
“The choice is yours to make, son. I am just stating the facts here,” Henry said, patting his son’s shoulder.
Sara smiled inwardly. Their job was done, now it was up to Axel to take it further. Sometimes, Axel needed a push towards the right direction.
Axel pondered over his father’s words for the entire night. His father was right. He cannot live like this forever. He had to move on with his life. For that, he had to put his trust in someone and he could only hope that she didn’t break him this time.
Was he ready to take that step?
Sleep seemed so far with thoughts of Samantha occupying his mind. The thought of her warm body flush against him hardened his member once again, and he remembered how soft she felt in his hands.
Shrugging the indecent thoughts away, he switched on the TV, settling down on a news channel as he fought the thoughts about her. She was different, a professional. He never saw her unprofessionally until recently and didn’t know what to make of his father’s words. What must he do to think of her in a different way?
You are already doing it, his subconscious answered.
NEWS from a trustful source claims the heartthrob Alexander McGregor is now dating the gorgeous Alicia McKenna. The couple met at one of the met gala’s and had gone for a few secret dates since then.
The news had him sit straight as he watched a video clip of the couple played on the channel. Anger pulsed through him and he gritted his teeth as he took in her appearance. If anything, she had gotten more vibrant and her skin was glowing.
“That was faster than I thought.” His lips curled up into a wicked smile as he tilted his head looking at her again. “This changes the game.”
Axel switched off the TV and closed his eyes as sleep took over enclosing him in its warm embrace.
Alicia smiled in satisfaction as the news channels kept repeating the fake story. They kept gushing about how perfect the couple looked together. She’d had their photos taken without Xander’s knowledge and leaked them to the press.
The photos looked cozy enough to make others believe they were a couple. Only Alicia knew how perfectly timed those photos were.
Her mother’s idea seemed to work and Xander so far hadn’t declined the claim. It was only a matter of time before she made the story true. It wouldn’t be too long before she had him in her bed and there would be no turning back for him then.
Xander wasn’t like the other men she dated before. She had to push him to do everything and last night was the first time he’d ever bought her a gift. A bouquet of roses, nothing more. An old-fashioned way to please a woman. If you want to please me, get me a diamond necklace. She wanted to shout at his face when he showed up with the flowers.
However, she’d become more determined to have him. The thought of him following her like a lost puppy was a turn on and she was counting on it. A gossip column suggested that Alicia didn’t stand a chance with Alexander as she wasn’t his type. A statement she took it as a challenge and the one she would win soon. Alexander will be hers.
Maybe cooking a dinner for him would make him see her in a different light. Not that she knew how to cook. She can order a delicious meal and make it look like she’d spent hours preparing that special dinner for him.
But then, she’d received a call from her father, congratulating her and inviting both her and Xander for dinner. Alicia agreed immediately as the wheels in her mind reeled with all the possibilities.