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Plum heard the house creaking and gasped. She whimpered and brought the comforter up to her chin. The house was so big for just two people and at night it made noises. She was so sure it was haunted. The house creaked and whined again and she turned to Mister Arsenio and shook him awake.

He opened his eyes and looked at her and sighed.

“Why did you move away in the first place?” he chided and she looked down.

He pulled her underneath him and she sighed in contentment. He made her feel so safe, protected and cared for. She liked being around him, it was a very tantalising experience. His piercing eyes had the ability to make her fall on her knees and she liked it when he spanked her.

Her cheeks warmed at the memory and a giggle escaped her lips. He moved and stared down at her.

“What is so funny?”

She giggled again.

“Daddy,” she whispered.

She liked calling him that. He was so old and handsome like a Daddy and also caring like one. He was always after her, scolding her and chiding her and spanking her. She felt so shy but she loved it. The spankings yesterday were delightful. It was hurting and slightly embarrassing but she liked the feeling in her lower abdomen. It made her feel wet down there.

“I wish you could say something more than Daddy,” he said and placed an indulgent kiss on her forehead.

Her mood dimmed at that. She gulped and looked away. Arsenio San, her husband was very intrusive like that.

She was half Japanese and half South Korean. He didn’t know this but her English was limited. She had spent only the past six years in America and that too inside a house mostly. And the fact that she didn’t speak… she didn’t know. She didn’t have the courage, the trust to speak. She remembered that as a child she was a complete chatter box. It dimmed after her father died at five and completely stopped after her mother died when she was barely twelve. Her mother coddled and loved her a lot. She was a sweetheart and so loving. She didn’t feel like speaking to anyone else.

She wanted her parents. She wanted that love that seemed missing from her life. Uncle Dae Jung was good but she knew she was a burden on him. He didn’t want her around.

“It’s ok,” Arsenio San whispered.

Arsenio San was so handsome. He had a nice dark tanned skin and he was so huge. He was almost six feet four and just very muscled and built. He wasn’t lean either, he was huge and it made her feel so small like a baby girl. Damon was lean but Arsenio San was huge.

He was also very understanding, at least he was trying to be. He scolded her and chided her if she did anything wrong and she could see that he was sometimes losing his patience. He knew how frustrating it was to have a wife who said only two words and one of it was not allowed.

She wouldn’t speak it though, his spankings were a warning.

“I was thinking,” he said. He had a deep voice that was authoritative, intimidating and very cold and string.

She blinked at him.

“Maybe we could go see a therapist tomorrow,” he said, “He would help you out.”

She whimpered, she didn’t like doing that, they forced her to speak and she would then babble a combination of three languages and they would dive deep in her past and she would miss her parents and feel lonely and lost. It was not a pleasant experience.

She shook her head and pleaded with him through her expressive eyes.

“Baby girl, you cannot just say Daddy all throughout your life,” he tried, “you are a budding designer, you have to network with people and tell them of your brand. Establish yourself.”

She shook her head, it was painful. She whined and pushed him away and plopped her face in the pillow. Arsenio San kept his hand on her lower back and shook her gently. He was so authoritative, his entire presence demanded respect and attention. She turned to look at him.

“I will be with you, always and forever,” he reassured her.

She broke into tears and hugged him. Those words were false, her father and mother both promised eternity but they left her so young. They couldn’t just say words and not mean them. She would never speak to anyone again; even Damon went away the moment she opened up with him. She gave her first kiss to him and he just walked away. Who’s to say Arsenio San wouldn’t do the same?

He wiped her tears and kissed her forehead.

“My baby girl… alright, we will do this later, right…”

He was interrupted by the loud doorbell. She heard him curse under his breath. Arsenio San could curse but she couldn’t.

“I’ll be back,” he whispered.

She nodded and wiped away her tears.

He walked out of the room.

She sat up on the bed and stared at a picture on the bedside table. It was of Arsenio San and her on the day of the wedding. When did he get the picture? She sniffed and looked away. Her mother had always taught her to be a good wife and it was something that was inculcated in her mind. Her mother was an astute businesswoman but also a good and obedient wife and her father too was very strict but a loving man. She was coddled a lot as a child but also scolded if she caused any mischief.

A few moments passed and Arsenio San didn’t come. She bit her lip and got off the bed. She walked out of the room and into the elevator; he must be in the living room. Who had come so late in the night?

The elevator stopped and she walked towards the living room and stopped right outside.

“I apologise on the behalf of my reporter Mr Torres, it was not intentional,” a bald man pleaded.

Arsenio San just gulped his whiskey down and walked to him. She shivered; he appeared so cold and cutting.

“Oh it was intentional Smith, you don’t pull someone’s hair, your reporter crossed a boundary,” Arsenio San said. He was very nonchalant and not all interested in Mister Smith’s conversation.

“I understand… I have fired him if that makes you feel better, but please, I beg of you, we won’t be able to afford your lawsuit… our company is already tanking…”

“Get the fuck out of my house,” Arsenio San snarled. His posture was rigid and he was holding the whiskey glass with an extremely firm grip.

“Please Mr Torres, our company is tanking, we wouldn’t be able to get through this…”

“Don’t expect me to forgive you Smith. Your man has touched my wife,”

“How will I ever pay?”

A whimper escaped her lips and both the men turned to her. Arsenio San’s eyes narrowed and she saw that he was trying to control his anger.

“Plum, go back to your room,” Arsenio San spat.

Plum turned to Smith who simply kneeled in front of her and begged.

“Please Mrs Torres, my reporter didn’t mean to do that, I apologise, please take the lawsuit back,” Mister Smith pleaded.

Tears appeared in her eyes at the poor man’s state. Mistakes happened and Arsenio San should forgive Mister Smith. She looked at Arsenio San and pleaded with her eyes, her lip wobbled but she continued to beg him through her eyes. He seemed unfazed.

“No one can stop me from destroying the one who hurts my wife, not even my wife herself. I will see you in court Smith and go to the room Plum,” he instructed.

When she didn’t move and simply gave her pleading eyes he narrowed his eyes.

“Get to the room now,” he snapped and she quickly ran out of the room.

She heard Mister Smith’s sobs as he continued begging.

She quickly entered the room and sat on her bed. Arsenio San was so strict and cold and ruthless. He should’ve forgiven the man, it was just a mistake. She looked up when he entered.

He looked murderous to say the least. He slowly walked up to her and she crawled back on the bed and stared at him fearfully. She bit her lip and whimpered. His eyes were feral and his stance predatory. He was so mad at her.

“Plum,” he growled, “why did you come downstairs?”

She just blinked her big teary eyes and pouted her full lips.

“No, that is not working. That will never work when you try to interfere in an important conversation and try to sway a very important decision just because of your emotions,” he snapped.

A whimper escaped her lips.

“You cannot expect me to support a wrong decision just because you look at me like a little kitten. The man is wrong; he is trying to shun his responsibility away,” Arsenio San roared, “don’t come waltzing in between a business conversation again Plum. That is my order.”

She nodded quietly and looked away. Her lip wobbled and she closed her eyes. She saw Mister Smith sitting on the street begging for food and work in her mind. The poor man was crying, his kids and wife were also sitting behind him like destitute. Arsenio San’s lawsuit would destroy them, there company was already tanking….

A hiccup escaped her lip and she covered her face but all she saw were the haunting images of a homeless Mister Smith.

She had to do something.

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