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He woke up and rubbed his eyes, the first rays of the morning were seeping inside the room and he sighed. The last night’s events were the first to attack him, he had behaved like such a googly-eyed puppy, his dominant male ego sneered at him and he quickly got up and straightened up. He couldn’t be so soft.
He stared at the balcony door, it was open and his kitten was sitting on a chair quietly. He walked into the balcony and cleared his throat to not startle her. Plum turned to him and he instantly was enamoured by the enchantress. A woollen blanket covered her body and her hair was wet.
“You took a bath?” he asked.
She nodded. He pursed his lips. It was almost December and she was sitting outside in the frigid cold, there was even a forecast for snow. The weather was brisk and definitely not the time to sit outside with wet hair. He walked up to her and wrapped her properly with the blanket and picked her up in his arms. He wanted to lash out at her; did she have no regard for her health and well-being? Her last night’s whisper flashed in her mind, she had called him Daddy. Did she see him like that? Like a dominant figure? Or was it because she was simply missing her father? The term Daddy was completely ruined by girls like her.
This had to be addressed.
“You want this? For me to dominate you like a Daddy?” he asked and placed her on the bed. She immediately jumped inside the comforter and peered at him shyly but he swore there was a mischievous glint in her eyes.
He took a note pad and passed it to her.
“You whispered ‘Daddy’ last night, what was that all about?”
Her lip trembled and she took the notepad, she scribbled something and placed it back and then flopped back inside the comforter and peeked a little. Arsenio took the notepad and stared at her beautiful script.
I was missing my father.
That dampened his mood a bit; he wanted to be her Daddy but the fact that she used it for her father now killed any fantasy he had. He just cleared his throat and walked to his robe and tied it around his boxer-clad body.
“Get out of the comforter, we will have our breakfast, I have to talk to you about something,” he said sharply and like an obedient girl she got of the bed. He took her hand and walked downstairs to the kitchen, Karen was already placing the breakfast for them.
“Good morning,” she said, “Sir, would you like to have coffee?”
“Yes, thank you Karen,”
Karen then looked at Plum and hesitated, she turned to Arsenio.
“Do you want coffee, Plum?” Arsenio asked.
Plum shook her head and looked down at her feet, obviously shy of the attention she was getting.
“Tea?” he asked.
She shook her head again.
“Orange juice Mrs Torres?”
And she nodded; his beautiful Plum wanted some orange juice.
“Coming right up,” Karen announced.
They sat on the dining table and he immediately helped her with whatever she wanted. He placed the croissants and the waffles on her plate and even passed her the chocolate syrup and bowl of fruits.
“Mr Torres, what you would like to wear today, I was thinking of the black…”
“Thank you Karen, but my wife will help me with that,” Arsenio said.
Karen smiled and left the kitchen. Arsenio intertwined his fingers with Plum’s and drew small circles on them, incidentally his eyes went on her ring finger, where the wedding ring was supposed to be only it was not there.
“Where is the ring?” he snapped.
She jumped in her chair and snatched her hand away. She stared at her finger and got up from her chair. There was panic in her eyes and she fumbled with her hands, trying to respond to him.
“Where is the ring, Plum?” he whispered harshly. He wanted it to be on her all times, it was not just any damn jewellery, and it was their wedding ring. He wore his and she was supposed to wear hers. She shook her head and looked thoughtful for a moment before shaking her head again.
“You forgot,” he said. He understood her actions. She had forgotten where she placed her ring.
“Heights of irresponsibility,” he yelled and threw his napkin on the table.
It could be a mistake, he thought, it can happen with anyone but he couldn’t help but feel angry. She was supposed to take care of the wedding ring, he just glared at her and he saw the fear in her eyes as she cowered away, her eyes even glistened, was she about to cry?
A knock interrupted them. He turned to Karen who stood with her eyes slightly downcast.
“Mr Arsenio, I was cleaning your room and I found Mrs Plum’s ring in the balcony, it was on the chair,” she confessed. Arsenio took the ring from her. He closed his eyes and tried to rein his temper.
“Thank you Karen, you may get back to your other tasks,” Arsenio said and Karen all but ran out of dining area. He looked at Plum; the little girl was so irresponsible. He was aware that she didn’t really want this marriage but maybe he should’ve specified how she could be punished for her mistakes.
He slipped the ring in her hand and tried to rein over his temper but somehow he couldn’t let this go.
“You know how important this ring is to me, you may have not wanted the marriage but you have to accept it. This is your world, me! Get used to it. I want to spank you so bad, fuck, I hate irresponsible behaviour!” he snarled.
She looked at him for a moment and then broke down. She covered her face and ran out of the room. Arsenio gulped and pinched the bridge of his nose. He didn’t want this, he should’ve reined his temper, and it was too much for too little. The rage in him needed controlling. How would she ever trust him?
He stood there for a moment, contemplating his actions, he had never done this before, what he said was final and what he did needed no apologising. But with her he had to think and then proceed, he didn’t want to mess up, suddenly this marriage wasn’t even about the island anymore, it was about him wanting to live with his little kitten.
He walked upstairs to his room and didn’t find her there. Karen was changing the bed sheets.
“Do you know where Plum is?” he asked.
“I saw her entering a guest room on the second floor,” Karen answered.
“Alright, I want you take my clothes out for today,” Arsenio said and walked to his bathroom. He would talk to her in the evening, when he would be back from work. Maybe she would be a little less skittish then and his temperament too would be better.
He entered his house; it was eleven in the night. The meetings had been ruthless and hectic. He was excited about the project though. He saw Karen in the kitchen, she was cleaning up.
“Did Plum have her dinner?” he asked.
“No, I asked her and she didn’t say yes for anything, a while back she sneaked into the kitchen thinking that I wasn’t here and took a tall glass of warm milk and the cookie jar to your room, she has since been watching the television,” Karen informed.
Arsenio gulped, her stomach would hurt if she had only cookies and no real food.
“What have you made today?” Arsenio asked.
“A fresh batch of loaded potato soup and freshly baked sour dough bread,” Karen said.
He entered the room and found her sitting on the couch staring at the television. She had a half filled glass of milk in her hand and a cookie jar resting on her lap. She was so adorable.
“Plum,” he said.
She whipped her head towards him and immediately lowered her eyes. He could see the fear in her form and he didn’t like it, he wanted her to interact with him.
“You cannot have just cookies for dinner,” he sat beside her and she shifted to the farthest corner of the couch.
Arsenio placed the steaming bowl of soup and buttered toast on the table and looked at her. He gently pulled her to him and she trembled like a little lamb, she snatched her hand away but he eventually succeeded in placing her on his lap.
“My little kitten,” he whispered, “can you find it in your heart to forgive me for my behaviour in the morning.”
She looked at him hesitantly and he saw the fear in her innocent eyes.
She then just nodded. He smiled at her and wiped away the milk moustache above her lip.
He then began feeding her the soup, occasionally taking a spoonful himself.
“You want more?” he asked.
She shook her head.
“Then let’s get to bed,”
He woke up again and turned towards the digital clock to see that it was two in the night. There was music playing in the house. Someone was playing the piano, he sat up and realised that Plum was not sleeping on her side.
“Shit,” he whispered.
He got out of the room and focussed on the sound of piano in the entire house. He knew that there was a piano on the third floor. He quickly took the elevator there. He walked towards the library, the piano was situated there. The fireplace was alive and his wife was playing.
It was ethereal. She stopped playing and he heard a few sniffles.
Not wanting to interfere on the private moment he backed away from the room and started walking towards his room. She was such purity.
He never knew that someone could affect him so much. He had grown up in a slew of foster homes, he was an illegal underground fighter looking for a way to vent his anger and earn something while studying, and he was living like trash in slum like conditions, that made him angry and he carried that anger for the rest of his life, from a young age he had learnt that he had to be in control to not let the situations control him and that’s what he did.
He had seen the world in ways that no one had ever and it was dark. And he didn’t want any form of darkness to touch his wife. She was too pure.
He slept back and after a while he heard her come in. she slipped under the comforters and quickly rolled to him and snuggled against his body, a smile came upon his lips and he pulled her on top of his body and covered her with the comforter. She sighed with contentment.