When my eyes flew open, I was immediately struck with an excruciating headache that completely blew me away.
“My God...” I mumbled. My hands flew to my tempers, and even though I massaged myself there, the headache was still very painful. I tried to look around me, and it took me few seconds to realize I was at my aunt’s house – one I didn’t know she had.
I’d been taken here because I just couldn’t bear being at the Coopers house anymore, especially what I went through with Adam’s grandfather. And thinking of Adam... Memories swirled in my mind, and the moment I realized why he’d come here, I bolted up.
Did it really happen? I wondered. Did Adam really come to my aunt’s house to tell me he’d chosen me? Then why... why wasn’t he here, then? I looked around me, and went downstairs, only to find my aunt cleaning the kitchen. I glimpsed the empty bottle of vodka, and immediately knew what was happening to me – hangover.
I still couldn’t believe I’d reach that extreme state.
Well, what was I supposed to do? I just wanted to forget that Adam had gone after Rachel... However, I’d been dumb. He hadn’t gone after Rachel!
God, why isn’t he here?
“Eva?” When I looked up, my aunt stared at me, and a faint smile shaped her lips. “How are you feeling?”
“Horrible,” I replied, sitting down at the table.
“I didn’t know whether I should go to the room upstairs, since I was afraid I’d find you and Adam... Well, you know. Especially because I found the vodka and thought you’d be celebrating in the room, and-”
“Adam isn’t here, aunt.” I cut her off, feeling very confused. “He isn’t here, I... I don’t know where he is.”
My aunt looked suddenly more puzzled than myself. “Well, where is he? He asked me about you yesterday, and I told him where you were. He wanted to see you because he wanted to tell you he’d chosen you, Eva. It was all a mistake, Adam didn’t go after Rachel!” Word by word, my aunt became more excited. I thought she didn’t want Adam and I together!
“I don’t know why he isn’t here,” I whispered, but then... then I remembered.
"You can’t do this to me, you can’t quit when you said you’d never do that.”
"After last night...” I’d said mercilessly, ignoring the way he looked – so heartbroken. “I realized you’re just not worth fighting for.”
He’d just gaped at her, he’d tried to say something, but the shock was too much. He’d looked so... desperate. “Kid...”
And yet I’d been so... heartless. “Will you please just go now?”
"I love you!” He’d yelled.
"I love you too, Adam,” I’d told him, but then crushed whatever hope had been formed. “But I can’t bear it anymore, so please... leave.”
"After everything we’ve built... You’re going to give up?”
"I’ve already gave up.”
She gasped, utterly shocked at what she’d remembered.
“Oh my God...” I murmured, my heart skipping several beats. “Oh my God! I can’t believe I told him that!”
“What? What happened?” My aunt came closer, and looked worried, now.
I just stared at her, unable to answer. No, I didn’t say that to him. I couldn’t have possibly reacted that way, when he’d come to tell me I was the one he’d decided to be with! Why the hell did I react that way? Why?
I gazed up at my aunt, feeling the tears forming in my eyes already. “I told him I didn’t want him, aunt,” I said, despairing. “I... I didn’t mean it, but he believed me! I... I want him, how could he ever think I wanted to quit? I was drunk!”
My aunt looked thunderstruck. “You drank that bottle of vodka all by yourself? I knew I shouldn’t have left you alone!”
“It doesn’t matter, now!” I yelled, spinning around. “I need to go to back to the House, aunt, I need to tell Adam I didn’t mean what I said! What if... What if he decided to be with Rachel after last night? I... I-I can’t let that happen!”
Guilt, fear and anger flooded my body.
I could’ve spent the night with Adam, reveling in happiness because he’d told me he wanted me, yet I’d been drunk, and I’d told him I wanted to quit because I’d been so furious! Yet, it had been a mistake! He’d tried to tell me he hadn’t gone after her, but I refused to believe him, when the answer had been so simple! Of course he had to leave the house! After everything that came down on him yesterday... He couldn’t do anything else but to leave the house and calm himself down!
“What have I done, aunt?” I mumbled, feeling a whole inside myself.
“Don’t worry, I’m calling a cab, and we’ll be at the Coopers in fifteen minutes.” Aunt Deena told me. Then, I felt her hand on my shoulder, and a slight push towards the way out. “Go back to the room, and change, Eva. You reek of alcohol.”
I did as I was told, knowing that if I stayed put, I’d go nuts.
I had to go back to the Coopers, and I had to tell Adam that nothing of what I’d said last night had been meant. It hadn’t. I... God, how could he believe that stupid flare of anger? I was freaking drunk, he... He should’ve insisted, and he should’ve never left! After everything I told weeks ago, about how I’d fight for him... I’d never quit!
Five minutes later, I was already downstairs, and my aunt was at the door waiting for me. The cab was already there, and after we walked out, and climbed inside the car, and driver set off straight away.
“Calm down, Eva,” My aunt told me halfway, “Pull yourself together.”
How could I? How could I, when the man I loved thought I was done fighting for him? How could I quieten down, when the chance of Adam going back to Rachel was an agonizing possibility?
When we arrived at the house, I didn’t wait for my aunt. I just jumped out of the car, and ran towards the luxurious door. I knocked noisily, and yelled for a maid, until only a few seconds later, the door was propped open.
“Where’s Adam?” I blurted out, realizing only then to whom I’d asked the question – Linda.
“I have no idea,”
“Do not fool me, Linda.” I snarled, feeling the despair taking over me. “I need to see Adam, so tell me where he is!”
Slightly gob smacked by the way I reacted, Linda stepped backwards, and shrieked, “I really don’t know!”
Frustrated, I looked around me, and became aware three more maids stood in the hallway, staring at me. I glared at them all, and asked the same question, “Where’s Adam? Has any of you seen him?”
All of them shook their heads, and my temper flared at that. “You’re all fucking obsessed with him! How can you tell me that you have no fucking idea where he is?”
None of them replied.
Furious, I knew there was someone else that could give me a more accurate answer – Adam’s father. Hadn’t he told me he’d talk to Adam? Maybe that’s what he did yesterday, and perhaps that was why Adam went to my aunt’s house.
But then... why had he looked and sounded so broken-hearted before I even gushed out at him?
None of it made sense, but I wanted to get to the bottom of it all.
When I reached the first floor, knowing Mr. Cooper was definitely there, I didn’t even knock on the door when I got to Mr. Cooper’s office. Instead I stormed inside, and spotted him sat behind his desk, with his best friend Robert sat in front of him.
“I need to know where Adam is,” I demanded, not even apologizing for the aggressive and abrupt way I’d walked inside. I needed to know where Adam was, and I couldn’t lose time! What if he’d already gone back to Rachel? What if he was with her in that exact moment?
Instead of an answer that would make me breath, Mr. Cooper’s blue eyes flickered with dread, and he asked me, “You don’t know where he is?”
“N-no,” I stammered, “I... I was with him last night, but...” I trailed off, suddenly realizing I was about to tell them what happened. “He came over to my aunt’s house, and... I was drunk, Mr. Cooper. I told him I didn’t want him.”
“What?” A woman’s voice spoke behind me, and seeing that it didn’t sound at all familiar, I spun around, and faced Adam’s mother. “What do you mean you told him you didn’t want him?”
Ignoring that surprise, I replied, feeling the unbearable guilt creeping up my spine. “I was drunk, Allison, I... I thought he’d gone after Rachel yesterday, so I told him I was done with it. I told him that I... I quit.”
“Now that changes everything,” Robert remarked behind me. “We thought he was with you, and so we knew he was safe, but now...”
“What do you mean with but now?” My heart raced when I turned around, and gazed at the worried expressions on the men’s faces. What the hell did Robert mean with that? “Tell me!”
Alas, they all stared at me, looking afraid to say the words. Mr. Cooper just sunk in his chair, and Allison began pacing back and forth, desperation taking over her as well. But why did they appear to be so dead with worry? Wasn’t I the only one with something to lose?
“Did you talk to him, Mr. Cooper? About... that?” Adam’s father shook his head, his eyes glazed now. A question clung to my thoughts, and because I didn’t want to spare any time, I asked them, “Why did he go to me, if... if you still didn’t tell him he could choose me?”
“I don’t know,” He muttered.
“He went after you because he needed you, Eva.” It was my aunt’s voice behind. I looked at her over my shoulder, and heard what she had to say. “He was desperate, and it looked as if he’d go mad if he didn’t find you.”
“But he did,”
“Yet you told him you didn’t want him anymore.” Robert pointed out.
“Something happened before he came to me,” I stated, gazing back at Mr. Cooper. Something was missing. Adam wouldn’t just vanish! Determined to find out everything, I questioned them all. “What happened after I went away?”
Robert stared at Mr. Cooper, whose eyes were still glassy, while Allison strolled towards the man she still loved, and halted when she reached him. The moment she rested her hand on Mr. Cooper’s shoulder, he let his head fall. “I met him, Eva. I met him when he came back to the house, and he was so... angry.”
“What do you expect, anyway?” I snapped, angry at them both. “You hid the truth from him for over twenty years!” Still, I was glad Mr. Cooper had allowed Allison to come and introduce her to Adam. However, from everything that was going in that moment... it appeared that the meeting hadn’t gone that well.
Mr. Cooper sighed, and explained, “We tried to tell him why everything had happened this way, but he wouldn’t listen to us. He didn’t let us explain that my father had threatened the both of us, and that was why he grew up believing his mother had died.”
For a moment, my jaw fell open. “Was that why you didn’t stay with Allison? Because... your father threatened you too?”
Adam’s father nodded. I looked over at Allison, but she wasn’t surprised. Maybe Mr. Cooper had told her while Adam and I were both gone.
“I couldn’t allow my father to do anything to her or the baby. I had to step away!” He rose his head, and looked straight into my dark blue eyes. He looked so miserable. “I... I know I wasn’t man enough, but... at the time, I couldn’t really do anything against my father, because I knew what he was capable of.”
“But now, you can.” My aunt stepped forward, and came to stand beside me.
Allison looked down at Mr. Cooper, but didn’t smile. “I’ve already forgiven you, Arthur. I had no idea why you hadn’t fought for me, but... I understand your reasons, and... you know I forgive you. I’ve already told you that.”
The vision of Adam’s parents looking at each other felt like if someone was stabbing me right in the heart. They still looked so in love, so in need for each other... While I had told Adam that I thought he wasn’t worth fighting for anymore, especially when he’d needed me.
“Mr. Cooper...” I said slowly, “I need to know what happened.”
“Adam didn’t let us explain why Allison had given him to me, or why I hadn’t change that much with his presence in my life.” He explained, looking back at me again. “He believes we just don’t care about him, because I didn’t chance, or because Allison didn’t try to contact him over the years. He didn’t let us explain that my father was involved in this, Eva... He... He wouldn’t listen to us!”
My mind reasoned to fast.
Adam thought his parents didn’t care about him, and believed I didn’t want him anymore. Knowing him as I did...
“He’ll do something crazy,” I suddenly realized.
My aunt and Allison gasped, horrified. Mr. Cooper didn’t react whatsoever. He just stared at nowhere in particular, his glacial blue eyes glazed, whereas Robert walked up to me, and when he spoke his voice sounded urgent. “Eva, do you have any idea where he might be?”
I shook my head. “No, I... I have no idea where he might’ve gone, I... God, what have I done?”
Robert must’ve foreseen I’d break down, because he urged me to sit down when I just lost strength in my legs, and felt my heart wanting to tear through my chest. It was a stomach-churning sensation, and only Adam could make me feel better, but he wasn’t there. Where could he be, then? Where?
Drowned in my thoughts, the voices around me sounded as if they were far, far away.
“Deena, go and fetch her something to eat.” It was Robert’s voice, unleashing his inner therapist. “She looks as if she hasn’t eaten anything, and she’s clearly hangover.”
After my aunt strolled away, Robert began questioning Allison and Mr. Cooper. “Is there any chance he might’ve gone to Rachel?”
“I don’t think so...” Mr. Cooper replied, “After everything he said and saw, I don’t believe he’d go to Rachel.”
“Robert... you’re the expert!” Allison shrieked desperately, “What... What do you think he’ll d-do?”
“Adam can be very unpredictable and unstable, Al, I... Like Eva said... I’m afraid he might really do something crazy.”
As Robert said that, my mind immediately reasoned, and I found myself imagining heaps of scenarios and some... some were just surreal. I wanted to believe Adam wouldn’t really loose his head, but knowing him as I already did, and like Robert had said, he could really be capable of doing something crazy. He was that damage and instable, and I’d contributed to it.
“It’s my entire fault,” I suddenly uttered, my heart pounding in my throat. It’s all my fault, I chided. “I told him I didn’t want him when I thought he’d gone after Rachel... I... If I’d told him I loved him and wanted him and that we could finally be together... He wouldn’t be missing; he’d be with me... He-”
“There’s no point wondering about what you could’ve done, Eva.” Robert’s hand soared towards my shoulder, and rested there for some seconds. His voice was soothing, just like a therapist’s should be.
Seconds later, my aunt barged in carrying a tray in her hands. She came to me, and whispered, “Eat this, Eva, It’ll make you feel better.” She took a sandwich from the tray, and gave it to me.
I shook my head, “No, I... Adam’s the only one that can make me feel better. I need him.”
“We don’t know where he is, Eva.” Mr. Cooper moved to stand beside my aunt, and knelt in front of me a second after. A faint smile curled up in his lips, and surprisingly, it made me feel safe. “But we need you in case we find him – and we will find him, however, you won’t be able to deal with anything if you’re as weak as you are now.”
Every part of me wanted to be freed, wanted to scream, run away and yell for Adam, but his father was right. I wouldn’t be able to deal with him in this feeble state, so I swallowed dryly, and accepted the meal. As I ate, I saw them debating about Adam and his whereabouts, but unfortunately, none of had had any idea of where Adam could possibly be.
All of a sudden, someone barged inside Mr. Cooper’s office, putting a brief end to the discussing about Adam. When I turned my head to see who’d had the audacity to do that, I saw Alexis, and I gasped as I looked at her face, out-and-out dumbfounded.
Whenever I saw Alexis, the blonde woman had always had a welcoming smile on her face regardless of everything, but this time... her face was streaked with tears.
“Alexis!” Mr. Cooper reacted, just as shocked as I was. “What happened?”
“Adam called me!”
As soon as those words flew out of her mouth, everyone’s eyes turned to gape at her, including mine. Mr. Cooper and Robert immediate drew even closer and bombarded her questions.
“Where is he?”
“Did he tell you something?”
“I don’t know!” She answered, her voice wavering with desperation. “He just called me about half an hour ago, saying that I’d been the only one who’d really taken care of him, but that wasn’t e-enough. He... He said it wasn’t worth living when Eva,” Alexis’ eyes searched for me, and when they found me, I felt her flare of anger. What had I caused? “Didn’t take h-him back, and that... that you didn’t love him as you s-should, just like his mother!”
Alexis wept nonstop, while the rest of us just stared at her, utterly thunderstruck. Not because the cheerful woman stood there weeping, but because we all knew her message meant.
“He’s going to kill himself,”
Everyone stared at me, and that was when I realized I’d been the one who’d said the words.
“Arthur!” Allison gasped, tears streaming down her face uncontrollably now. Mr. Cooper didn’t react. He just stood there, as if every muscle in his body had frozen. Even my aunt looked stuck in time.
Robert was the one who kept his wits. He pushed Mr. Cooper aside, and grasped Alexis’ hands. When he spoke, his voice couldn’t be any soother. “You know him better than we do, Alexis, and Adam trusted you that much to call you before he... decided to do something. Didn’t he give you a clue regarding his whereabouts?”
“No!” Alexis cried out, “I have no idea of where he might be! He... He didn’t tell me that!”
“Think,” Robert insisted, but his voice was no more than a comforting whisper. “Do you know where he used to go often? Do you have any idea of where he might’ve spent the night?”
The look on Alexis’ beautiful face told us all the effort she was putting in to come up with places Adam might’ve been, and that made me feel useless.
The word echoed through my mind, and I felt my heart tightening in my chest. I’d caused this. I was the reason why Adam was considering such a drastic option. If I hadn’t been drunk when he’d come to me... I’d have taken him back without a word. I’d have talked to him about his parents, and I would’ve calmed him down, like I always did. Everything would be okay by now if I hadn’t been stupid.
The weight of that understanding was excruciating.
“Call Rachel, call his clinic, call all of his friends!” Mr. Cooper roared desperately after Alexis had spilt out everything she could think of, but no one moved.
“Deena,” Robert spoke, his therapist-side giving him the energy to react, “Would you please have the maids make the calls?”
“Of course,” My aunt replied, and when she went away, so did her hands.
“There’s another place where he might be,” Alexis muttered, and when I looked up at her, I knew which place she was referring to.
“The hotel,” I blurted out, and all eyes focused on me. But why would he go there? It was nothing more than a hotel! I read the question in everyone’s eyes, and disclosed, “Adam and I used to go there when... well, when we obviously couldn’t be together here, and... I... We just...”
Robert’s eyes were ablaze with positivism and hope, as if he knew they would find Adam before he got the chance to do anything at all. “Do you know the name, the phone, anything...?”
“I do,” Alexis replied behind him, wiping off the tears from her eye-catching face. “I’ll call and see if he’s checked-in.”
Both Alexis and Robert darted out of the office, and seeing as I didn’t want to be alone with Mr. Cooper and Allison, also because I was sure they wanted some privacy; I dashed out of there as well. However, I had nowhere to go. I didn’t work there anymore; I couldn’t get distracted by the chores Glenda used to assign to me, and I sure as well couldn’t behave like some guest when I’d been their maid until yesterday.
I went back to my room.
It wouldn’t be my room anymore, because I wouldn’t be working there any longer, but... it was the only place I felt safe.
The moment I closed the door behind me, I froze. My eyes raked over the room in disarray, and I couldn’t help when all of those memories of Adam and I kissing, talking, arguing, and ultimately making love assailed me so hard it almost felt like a blow. It almost felt as if he was already dead too.
He’s not dead, I told myself. He won’t be.
Of course that was just the childish part of me ignoring reality.
Letting the tears fall without any restraint, I walked towards the balcony, and stepped outside. The stable immediately stood out against the green scenery, and I felt my heart breaking a little bit more. Adam’s horses moved freely around the stable, and both the Lusitano stallion and the gigantic black one caught my eye. It was like a stab in the heart watching those beautiful animals, and knowing that there was the possibility that Adam wouldn’t be taking care of them anymore and that I wouldn’t be helping him, even though I was always scared of them.
I swallowed dryly, the guilt seeping deep bone and tearing me apart.
“Eva!” I heard behind me, easily recognizing the voice as my aunt’s. Compared to the grim tone she’d had before, this was a much gleeful one. I understand the change the moment she revealed, “Adam’s at the hotel!”
“Is he okay?” I immediately questioned her, darting inside, my eyes shining swiftly ablaze with hope and my heart suddenly alive inside my chest.
“Yes! They sent someone to his room, and he was still there!”
Those words took me into bliss. Adam’s still alive. He’s okay!
“Arthur’s going there with Robert, Allison and Alexis.” My aunt added, the smile on her face brightening the room. “They’re looking for you, they want you to go with them.”
After she said that, I didn’t think twice. I just pulled myself together, and ran downstairs. On my way, I spotted Ms. Cooper and Brad. Brad had a grim look on his eyes, but I guess no one expected any different of him. After all, his father had practically let everyone know he still loved Allison! However, Ms. Cooper confused me. She wasn’t smiling, of course, but she didn’t appear to be sad or angry whatsoever. Did she know all along Mr. Cooper had always loved Allison?
The voices outside the mansion draw my attention back to the fact that they were going to the hotel to find Adam. I stormed outside the house, and noticed four people getting in an expensive black car. Mr. Cooper was on the passenger’s seat, whereas Robert was driving. I didn’t picture it any different because I was well aware Mr. Cooper wasn’t fit to drive. As for Alexis and Allison, they were in the back, and I joined them as soon as I reached them.
The ride to the hotel was agonizing, and the silence was excruciating.
No one was crying anymore, but they weren’t smiling either. The fact that Adam was still okay when Alexis had phoned the hotel didn’t mean he’d still be okay once we reached the place. We didn’t know what to expect at all! Who knew if he hadn’t already... done something?
The thought ate me inside.
He couldn’t do that to me. God, no. I loved him, and I wanted him. He couldn’t do something stupid and leave me when we could finally be together! God, why did he have to be so thick-headed? Why had he over-thought instead of having listened to his parents? Now they were dropped dead worried about him as parents should! Alexis didn’t stay behind either. Her eyes were glassy, and she looked as if she was about to die inside if they didn’t find Adam and stopped him from doing something out-and-out stupid.
I sighed, feeling the blood pounding in my temples. None of this would’ve happened if I hadn’t been drunk when Adam had come to my aunt’s house...
When we arrived to the hotel, we all rushed out of the car, and darted towards the hotel. Once on the lobby, Alexis dashed towards the check-in, and all of us followed her.
“Where is he?” She demanded, the urgency bringing up the aggressive side of her. “Where’s Adam Cooper? I called the hotel about twenty minutes ago about Adam Cooper and you told me he was still-”
“He’s in room 102, Ms.” The receptionist uttered nervously, as if the anxiety we were all feeling was creeping up her spine as well. “Do want us to send someone...”
No one was there to listen to the woman after she gave them a key to Adam’s room. We all just spun over our heels and ran towards the elevator, with Mr. Cooper holding the keys tight in his fingers, as if Adam’s life depended on them.
After we reached the floor Adam’s room was in, all of us glanced at all the doors on each side of the corridor, eagerly looking for room 102. My heart raced in my chest as fear built in my gut.
What if we’re already too late?
“Here!” Allison shrieked abruptly, pointing at one of the door on my right side at the same time tears filled her blue-grey eyes. “It’s here! Room 102!”
Every single one of us rushed to the door, but before Mr. Copper was able to open the door, Robert gripped his arm, and whispered, “Wait. We can’t come in on him like that.” Adam’s father accepted Robert’s without a question, unlike Allison.
“We have no time for this, Robert!” She yelped, with Alexis nodding by her side, agreeing. “What if he’s... doing something now?”
“If he actually is, then he’ll hurry if we suddenly barge in!” Robert hissed. I knew he was probably right, but I felt the same way Allison and Alexis did. How was that different of knocking on the door and tell him we were here? As if Robert had heard my thought, he said calmly, “But if he listens to us outside, he won’t just...”
Robert stopped talking.
More people screamed outside.
The reality of what the screams might mean drove me crazy. Before I knew it, I was hitting Adam’s door, desperation taking over my wits. “Adam! Goddamn you, Adam Cooper, don’t you dare doing something stupid! Open the door! It’s Eva! I’m here!”
But no one answered. I didn’t listen to any movement at all, let alone Adam’s voice.
People crept screaming outside, and this time Mr. Cooper didn’t think twice. He tackled Robert, and hurried to open the door. When it swung inward, all of us darted inside and looked for Adam, but the room looked completely empty, and the only sign that told us Adam had indeed been there were some of his belongings – car keys, wallet, phone...
I began pacing back and forth in the hall as Alexis and Allison shrieked in the other rooms, both of them just as desperate as I was. My vision blurred again as tears hung from my eyelashes.
Adam wasn’t there.
People were screaming outside.
Where was he?
“Oh my God!”
“What’s wrong?” Mr. Cooper yelled from behind Robert, who stood by the balcony. He walked up to his best friend, and I noticed his head glancing outside the balcony and looking up, just like Robert. My heart skipped a beat when I saw color draining out of his face.
Alexis and Allison met them there, and glanced up as well. Then, I heard Allison screaming helplessly and madly.
Alexis yelled words I couldn’t understand. Mr. Cooper held Allison in his arms, but he was shouting something as well.
No, no, no.
Adam was going to do it. His family and friends wouldn’t be acting like that if he wasn’t about to do something stupid. God, no. No, no, no. Every muscle in my body had iced over, but then I saw Robert coming towards me, and his words jolted me out of my stupor.
“Adam’s on the roof, I-”
I reacted before he did.
I spun over my heels, and ran as fast as I could.
I wouldn’t let him do it. God, no. He couldn’t do that to me. He couldn’t leave me. He couldn’t.
Taking the stairs, I ignored every single stab of pain I felt in my muscles, and darted upstairs as fast as I could, but it looked the stairs had no end. I could listen to Robert coming up behind me, but the adrenaline and desperation urged me to keep running, to keep ignoring the pain in my legs and the air being sucked out of my lungs. I’d die before I’d let Adam kill himself.
I kept wiping off the tears that streaked my face, I yelled his name as if he’d listen to me, I prayed he hadn’t done anything yet.
When I finally reached the roof top, I was fleetingly brought to a halt as the vision of Adam struck me.
He was still there, completely alive, but if he ever stepped forward, he’d fall.
“Adam,” I said his name soothingly, choking back that extreme anxiety and forcing myself to sound serene. “Adam,”
For a moment, I thought he wasn’t going to do anything at all, but then he looked over his shoulder, and I saw his icy blue eyes flaring with recognition - the same eyes I’d looked at countless times after we’d been together, some of those times he’d been smiling, some he hadn’t, but nothing compared to the look on his face in that moment.
His eyes were glassy. He saw me, but he didn’t do anything. His head just turned again, paying no heed to me. He looked down, but whereas I was aware of the horde of people staring at him from down there, something inside me told me he probably wasn’t.
“Go away,” He pleaded, sounding so broken inside.
“I’m not going away,” I said, Adam’s fragility compelling me to sound determined and strong for him. “I’m not going anywhere until I have you with me again.”
“You didn’t want me before,” He immediately attacked me.
“I was drunk,” I promptly said, loathing myself in that very moment. Before I spoke again though, I heard the door behind me open. I glanced over my shoulder, and spotted Robert. He didn’t say anything. I signaled for him to stay where he was, and continued, “I didn’t mean any of what I said, Adam...”
“Why would you want me now?”
Because I love you, goddamn you! Because I can’t live without you! But I didn’t say any of that. I breathed, and said steadily, “I’ve always wanted you,”
I saw his head twitch, as if he wanted to look at me, but at the same time didn’t. “You didn’t want me yesterday,” He countered me again, and I felt his pain. God, had my words stung that much? “I needed you so bad, Eva, but you didn’t want me. You said it yourself.”
“I was drunk, Adam, I want you more than anyone else!” I prompted somewhat frantically, stepping towards him, slowly, hoping Adam wouldn’t do anything abrupt if he saw me getting closer.
“No, you don’t,” He uttered, this time his voice a deadly and icy tone. It was his turn to say words that stung painfully. “You just don’t want me to kill myself, because then you’d feel guilty.”
A blaze of anger burned my chest as I those words made a way deep in my brain. How could he even think that I didn’t want him to do something stupid, just so that I wouldn’t feel guilty about it later? I loved him! I refused to live without him! So how could he go on and say such words?
“No,” I abruptly said, still walking towards him, not allowing Adam’s words to bring me down. “Because if you actually do something stupid, I’ll do the same thing. I don’t want to be without you.” And when I reached him, I climbed onto beside him, and looked away from the multitude shouting even more when they realized someone else was beside Adam.
“Stop it, Eva,” He snarled, glaring at me. “Go down this once.”
“You’re not my boss anymore, Adam, remember?”
“You’re not in your right mind,”
Seriously? Had Adam really had the audacity to say that? “Look who’s talking,”
He huffed out an impatient sigh, and when he spoke again, he tried a different approach, “I’m not worth it,”
“You’re worth everything and much more, Adam.” I said straight away, the words coming out of my lips before I was even aware of what they meant.
Adam just shook his head, and when he laughed, it was a bitter laughter. “I’m damaged, Eva. I’m not perfect. I’m heartless, I don’t know what’s like to be nice to someone. I don’t know what it feels like to be loved, I-”
“Wait, what? You don’t know what it’s like to be loved? Are you kidding me?” I cut him off, utterly outraged. What the hell was he saying? That I’d freaking lied when I’d told him countless times that I loved him? ”I love you!”
“Of course you do.” He spoke sarcastically, that tone tearing my insides, yet showing off how badly he refused to see reality. “You didn’t even tell me yesterday that you didn’t want me anymore.”
“You said you’d already given up, Eva!”
“God, I didn’t mean it!” I yelled, and when I did so, I leaned forward just an inch, and when that happened, a fear built rapidly in my gut as my eyes glanced downwards. I immediately looked away, and took a deep breath, hoping that dizziness disappeared. I needed to get out of there... with Adam.
My heart racing in my chest, I moved carefully when I turned to look at the man I was desperately trying to save from his own misery. God, I wanted to cling to him, because I knew I’d be save even from where we were standing, but... I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t. Not when he looked as if he’d jump off if I ever dared to do something.
“Adam...” I whispered his name, ignoring all the eyes on the roof top and down there, staring at us, each heartbeat a painful one. “Don’t do this to me, please.”
He shook his head, denying what I was longing for.
“You’re the only one who can save my life,” I added, wanting to touch him and say everything would be okay, that I’d be with him if he ever fell, but... he wouldn’t listen. “Your parents love you, Adam.”
The moment I spoke those words, he finally looked at me, those icy blue eyes looking every bit lethal, and I saw that rage had burned away all reason. “They don’t love me, Eva! My mother left me, and my father didn’t ever care about me! Why would they, anyway? Look at me! Who would like to have a son like me? Broken inside? I’m a fucking freak with control issues, who’d hurt without delay anyone who tried to harm my family! But what for? They don’t love me! You don’t love me, you said it yourself!”
I gasped in shock, utterly overwhelmed by the wrath in his words, by the rage that streaked his beautiful face, and by the way his icy blue eyes blazed with hate.
Even the strongest had to be shaken to the core with all the hatred coming from him.
“What do you want from me, kid?” He shouted, his voice a deafening roar, but his facial expression begging for an answer, pleading to be held and taken out of that situation. If I said the wrong answer, he’d collapse, and I’d lose him. “Just tell me, because I honestly can’t understand what you see in me!”
His tone, a beseeching one, broke my heart – and others - right there.
Did he really believe he was truly that damaged and alone?
I caught Mr. Cooper from the corner of my dark blue eyes, craving to come to his son and pull him down, but Robert was holding him in his arms, just like Alexis was holding Adam’s mother. They were all relying on me to get Adam out of that situation. Did they trust me that much?
Adam avoided my gaze once more, and looked down. I watched his chest heaving with the pressure of what he was thinking of doing, and I saw his lips turning white as he pressed them together. I saw wind whipping that dark hair of him that begged to get tangled in my hands as he moved his foot an inch.
“Imperfect, flawed,” I blurted out, feeling the pressure eating my guts, but to hell with me if I didn’t stop Adam from committing suicide. “That’s how you come out to me and everyone else.”
“I know,” It was the plain truth and he knew it. I watched him swallowing dryly, his eyes fixed on the multitude that was dying with anticipation to know what would happen. “I know,”
“Rita refused to accept how you’d fallen for me, and I told everyone, especially your father, that it was because I saw beyond all that,” I told him, my eyes raking over his face, and my whole body wanting to be engulfed by his robust arms. “I told him that I saw beyond the angry person you were, beyond your flaws, your weaknesses, your money and looks that I never really gave a thought... I knew how miserable you were and still are, but... above all... God, Adam, I see beyond everything.”
I watched him turning his head to regard me.
His eyes... tears stung them.
“I love you, Adam,” I repeated for the millionth time, but no less determined and honest. “I know I still have my aunt left, but... you’re the only one I can picture myself with within a few years. I want to be with you, I want to marry you, and I want you more than anyone else, and I’d die if you... if you tried to...” I trailed off, the heaviness and the anxiety taking over me.
Tears welled in my eyes, and I felt that mayhem of emotions rushing through my veins.
“You can’t leave me, Adam!” I cried out, clumsily wiping off my tears with my forearm, and hating myself that I’d begun crying during such a crucial moment. “You can’t be that selfish just because I’ve made one lousy mistake, while you made tons of them! You can’t do that to me, you can’t!”
I tried to hold his gaze, I tried my hardest, but when Adam didn’t give in, I was swept off by all kinds of emotions – hate, sadness, emptiness, and tears began to slide down my tanned face.
“And if you jump, I swear to God I’ll follow you!” I yelled desperately and furiously.
But when I thought I’d cry by myself, I saw the man I loved dashing towards me, and when his arms wrapped about my petite body, I was briefly taken to bliss with my heart fluttering passionately. I cried in his shoulder, just like he wet my curly hair with his own tears.
I held onto him as if there was no tomorrow.
“You ask what I want from you,” I uttered, pulling my face away from his hold, and trying to gaze into those icy blue eyes, so deadly, yet so desperate to be mended, with tears still hanging from my own eyelashes. I took a deep breath, and the words came out without any difficulty, because they were the most truthful words I’d ever dared to speak. “I want you, because... in the end, there’s no me without you.”
Adam’s reaction swept me off my feet.
His hands came up and framed my face, and before I could even come up with a thought, his lips had come down on mine.
His kiss was everything we both needed.
It was something natural, but something we couldn’t – and didn’t want to - really stop at the same time. We were completely consumed by that neediness and that intense passion and desire, but it was the best feeling in the world.
I finally clung to the man I loved so fiercely as if I’d been longing for him from the very first moment I saw him – where he’d ignored me and I’d had thought he’d been rude. I didn’t care that his family and friends were watching us. It didn’t matter anymore, because they didn’t mind. We could be together without worrying about his father catching us, about the maids bitching around, and about everyone that was against our love, because they’d finally accepted us.
When Adam pulled away, struggling for breath, he was smiling. “Shall we go?” He asked, tucking my feral black hair behind my air.
I nodded, that question the only one I was yearning to answer, and grinned, my heart still racing in my chest, but I knew it was just due to the emotional distress. When Adam pulled away, but still held my hand, I unconsciously looked down at the mass of people who were suddenly applauding and cheering.
Out of the blue, however, my vision turned blurry and their claps part of the background, especially when dizziness stroked me and the air was abruptly sucked out of my lungs.
Breathe, I told myself, but the truth was that I was actually breathing. I was hyperventilating! And I couldn’t take my eyes off the floor hundreds of feet down!
“Adam,” I mumbled his name, gripping the part of my shirt over my heart. I could feel the beating in my hand and I wasn’t even pressing against my chest.
I heard Adam’s voice, but I didn’t understand a word. All I felt was both of his hands letting go of me, and my body leaning to the side, getting closer to that dangerous edge. I moved my arm to hold on to something, but I found myself lacking strength even for that.
Fortunately, Adam quickly reacted and grabbed me by the waistline.
When he pulled me away from the edge, back to safety, I tried to stand up, but I lost strength in my legs. And the moment every single one of them came rushing towards Adam, I blacked out before their hands even reached us.