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Plum woke up and rubbed her eyes, the morning light was filtering through the curtain but she knew a blizzard was on the way, the sky was dim and hail and snow splattered against the window ferociously. She got of the bed and wrapped the knit blanket around her body, she whimpered when she realised her Arsenio San was not present with her. She was not feeling comfortable in this, she felt a warm breath at her feet and she looked down to find Hamburger and Velvet by her feet. She had made them wear matching warm dog jackets for the winters, the jacket were a bright orange.

“You guys,” she squealed and picked the two up. They started to lick her face and she giggled. “I think we should go downstairs, but first I will take a bath,” she said and placed them in the basket. Her mind went to Arsenio but she decided to take a bath first. She walked into the bathroom and quickly walked into the shower letting the warm water wash her naked body; she squirted some of the blueberry scented body wash on her body and started to lather herself up. Washing the suds off she walked out of the shower and started to dry herself.

She wore a dark green lace lingerie set and applied the body butter all over her body; she had very dry skin and always opted for body butters instead of simple moisturisers. She wore a simple cotton printed dress that fell to her thigh and a gentle cardigan over it but she knew she would have to change if she were to go outside.

She wore her cherry red ballerinas and took the basket with Hamburger and Velvet in them. The puppies couldn’t yet climb down the stairs and had to be carried. She walked down in the living area and found the entire family sitting by the fireplace. Arsenio looked stoic per usual and same was Roman, Hector was on his iPad while Damon looked lost. Just then Camilla walked out of the kitchen with the housekeeper in tow. The housekeeper rolled out a trolley that had freshly baked muffins, doughnuts, sandwiches, croissants and warm pot of hot cocoa.

“The breakfast is here and don’t worry I didn’t cook this time,” Camilla giggled. Plum seriously didn’t know how to feel about the lady. She walked to Arsenio who simply pulled her beside him and wrapped an arm around her shoulders protectively. She frowned but didn’t protest.

When the trolley was rolled over to them then Arsenio passed her a hot steaming mug of hot cocoa and placed a few items of the breakfast in one plate. She snuggled close to him and he placed a kiss on her forehead. When everyone was seated Camilla too sat down and looked at her puppies.

“They are so adorable aren’t they Roman?” she said to Roman Sr.

“They indeed are Camilla, what are their names Plum?”

Plum was about to say when Arsenio beat her to it.

“Archer and Blake,” Arsenio said. She whipped her head to him with her jaw dropped. She looked at Hector who too had the similar expression on her face.

“They are not Archer and Blake,” Hector said. Arsenio glared at him but Hector simply looked confused.

“We will have our breakfast and leave soon, the weather may get bad by tomorrow and I don’t want to be stuck here for another day,” Arsenio said.

Camilla was about to interrupt but Roman Sr. beat her to it, “well I can’t keep you here indefinitely but I am serious about keeping the family together Arsenio, we will be at your house in a few days, I would like you to have a dinner for the entire family.”

“I am not keeping any dinner whatsoever, keep your family bullshit to yourself,” Arsenio snapped and snatched the hot cocoa mug from her; “we are leaving.”

She bit her lip and looked at the furious Arsenio San. He walked upstairs leaving her down.

“I s-sorry for h-his b-bad behaviour,” she mumbled. Within five minutes he was down with their bags in hand. Hector too had taken Plum’s hand and took her out of the house. She bit her lip when the chilling cold hit her with full force. Her teeth started to chatter and she found herself in Arsenio’s embrace. He quickly placed her inside the car and shut the door after him.

The car started to drive and Hector turned to Arsenio.

“What the fuck was that Neo?” Hector snarled.

“I didn’t want to stay in that madhouse for another minute,” he snarled, “Roman Sr. and Camilla are not who we think they are.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Yes, what is happening?” Plum asked. She was very much confused with Arsenio’s erratic behaviour, he did not look in control, he looked scared somehow and she didn’t like that. He was such a headstrong man who was always in charge but now… he looked afraid.

“Nothing Plummy,” he brushed her off but she wasn’t having any of that.

“Please tell me,” she whispered.

“Plum…” he warned her but she had made up her mind today.

“Arsenio San please!” she stomped her foot on the car floor.

“That’s enough,” he roared and she immediately shut up. He had never been this angry with her. His eyes were wide and were almost popping out and the vein on his forehead was prominent. She whimpered and buried her face in Hector’s bulky arm. She felt Hector’s hand on her head and she sniffed quietly.

The entire car ride was uncomfortable and silent.

One thing was for sure, Plum was massively upset with Arsenio San.


That didn’t last long. She was missing him already. Hector and Arsenio were holed up in his office and they had closed the door behind them, she was standing outside their office with Hamburger and Velvet at her feet, poor Velvet even scratched the surface of the door but to no avail.

“What are they talking about?” she whispered to herself.

Just then the door opened and Hector walked out, he looked extremely tense and worried even, his entire face was ashen and she could feel the fear rolling off him in waves. She never anticipated them to feel an emotion called fear, they were so strong, but now that they were scared it meant something really big had happened. She saw Hector’s retreating body enter the elevator.

Plum peeked into the office, her head poking inside along with the half of her body, Hamburger and Velvet too stood in the same fashion, their little heads poking inside the office. The episode in the car brought tears into her eyes, how dare he yell at her! Her eyes glistened with tears and her round face had two red spots of blush. She looked at him with her glistening eyes that were accusatory. He didn’t look at her; he was staring at some stupid file that seemed more important than her.

She pouted and let one big fat tear trickle down her cheek. She stomped her foot to get his attention. He looked up and their eyes met, she saw his gaze soften, just for her.

“Come to me Plum,” he whispered.

She shook her head; she didn’t want to go to him.


“No,” she said.


“Because you are forgetting something,” she said, her voice wavering.

“What am I forgetting?”

“Forgetting to ask for my forgiveness,” she cried.

He got up from his chair and walked to her and picked her in his arms. He sat on the couch and wiped away her tears.

“I am sorry,” he said.

“K,” she mumbled. Hamburger and Velvet were looking at her with their soft lovable expressions.

“They are not Archer and Blake, they are Hamburger and Velvet,” she said.

“Okay, Hamburger and Velvet can be their pet names, we can call them Archer and Blake in front of others,”

“No, they are my doggies and their name is not Archer and Blake,” she said.

“Okay,” he relented.

She turned to him and saw his tired eyes and immediately her heart was filled with concern.

“What’s the matter?” she whispered.

“Nothing…” he started but she cut him off.

“I know what matter is,” she said, realisation hit her like a ton of bricks, how had she not seen this?

“You do?” he whispered, his eyes became guarded again.

“You are getting old, age is catching up with your body, your brain is weak,” she said, her heart aching at the thought of her Arsenio San getting weak and old.

He narrowed his eyes at her.

“I am not getting old; I am in my prime,”

“Sure,” she said, she would not argue with him, she would let him believe whatever it is that he wanted anything for his mental health.



“You are getting very naughty,”

She giggled and kissed him softly, she felt the tension leave his body and he too leant into the kiss.

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