I woke up to a continuous light tapping. Forcing my eyes open, I saw Gideon in bed with me, working on his laptop, his back against the headboard. I tried to go back to sleep but it looked as if sleep had deserted me.
As if sensing me awake, Gideon stopped working and looked at me. He gave me a warm smile which instantly had me wondering what was the reason behind his smile. I mean, he was mad at me, and I was mad at him, too, so why the smile?
“Oh you’re awake, did you have a nice nap?” Gideon asked, as if we hadn’t fought just a few hours ago.
“What time is it?” I grumbled. I was still angry, but I needed to know the time.
“It’s 2:00 in the morning. Why don’t you go back to sleep?” he suggested. What, I had slept for seven hours!
Ignoring him, I sat up and ran a hand through my hair. I needed to get out of here, I had to leave Gideon. I still couldn’t believe that Gideon had destroyed the contract right in front of me. Did he really want me to stay with him as his wife forever or was it because of anger? Why did he terminate the contract if he was ashamed of me?
“Where are you going? Are you hungry? Do you need to use the bathroom?” Gideon questioned, his eyes not leaving me.
“I’m going to pack; I’m leaving as soon as the sun rises.” I told him.
“Where are you going, on a vacation?” He queried.
I sighed, trying not to explode. “I am leaving you. I want a divorce. Remember, we had a fight,” I said like I was talking to a four year old.
“If you remember us fighting then I’m sure you remember me telling you that you’re not leaving me, ever, and you can forget about a divorce because you’re not getting one,” he replied calmly.
“I can’t do this, Gideon. I don’t want to be with you,” I said. I was lying, but I was angry.
Gideon didn’t look as if my words affected him. “Why don’t you want to be with me?” He asked softly.
“Lots of reasons,” I replied vaguely.
“I want to know all of them,” he responded.
I sighed again. “Well, you don’t trust me and you expect me to trust you. You make decisions about me and my life and you get angry if I make a decision for you. You have more secrets than the MI6. And you are ashamed of me. Why do you want to be with someone who you hate and are ashamed of?” Unshed tears burned my eyes as I said the last part.
Gideon closed his laptop and placed it on the side, before pulling me closer to him until I was sitting on his thighs, straddling him. He cupped my cheeks before capturing my lips in sweet, tender kiss. The kiss made me feel as if I was the most important person in Gideon’s life. The kiss didn’t feel as if Gideon was ashamed of me.
He pulled away after a few minute leaving me bereft. He ran his nose over mine, his breath softly fanning my face. God, this man was confusing.
“You have a lot of reasons to leave me for someone who claims to love me.” My eyes widened when Gideon said this, and suddenly I felt more naked than I had all the times we had sex. Oh God, he knew. He knew how I felt.
“How did you—” I couldn’t bring myself to finish the sentence.
But Gideon understood what I was trying to say. “I told you I was going to read your journal.”
I gritted my teeth as a new wave of fury washed over me. “Yo—You had no right,” I seethed, glaring at him.
Gideon tucked a strand of hair behind my ear, a calm expression on his face. “On the contrary, little bird, I have all the right. And I’m glad that I read your journal, by the way, you ever think about leaving me or killing yourself, you’ll be bringing my wrath upon yourself, understood?” Gideon’s eyes hardened until they resembled green shards.
“I can’t bring your wrath upon myself if I’m dead, now can I?”
Instantly, Gideon’s arms around me tightened to the point of pain. He brought me closer to him, until the fury blazing in his eyes seared my soul.
“You think about killing yourself and I’m going to lock you in this room forever, do you understand?”
“You can’t keep me prisoner,” I stated, fearing for my freedom.
“I should devise a new contract, in which you can never cause yourself physical or emotional harm,” Gideon said.
“Why? So you can rip up that contract as well when you get tired of me?” I raised my eyebrows as I said that.
“Getting tired of you is impossible, little peach,” Gideon replied.
“And being ashamed of me is incredibly easy,” I snapped.
Gideon chuckled before giving me another tender kiss. “I’m not ashamed of you, little fairy. I can never be, you are much too amazing for that,” he replied.
“Liar. That’s not what you said earlier!” I raised my voice.
“I was angry,” he justified.
“Not good enough! If every time we have a fight and you get angry, will you always say such harsh words to me, because if that’s the case then tell me now and I’ll get the bloody hell out of here.” I was breathing heavily now.
He kissed me again. “I did not mean it, little fairy. Just because I said, it doesn’t mean I meant it,” Gideon said, sincerity shimmering in his irises.
“Well it still hurt, a lot.” I could not believe I just said that. Gideon already knew I loved him and now he knew how hurt I was. I really needed to learn to keep my emotions to myself.
Gideon tugged me closer until my chest was pressed against his. He kissed my forehead and begun running his hand over my back, soothing me.
“I’m sorry, little dove. So sorry. I did not mean to hurt you, and I’m sorry I did. I promise you, I won’t hurt you ever again,” Gideon murmured.
I pulled away and looked at him, eyes wide in surprise. He apologized. Gideon Maslow apologized to me. I never thought a man like Gideon would ever apologize to me. I thought he would tell me to suck it up and live my life like a docile wife, but no, he apologized for hurting me and promised to never hurt me again.
Well forgive the poor lad now, don’t keep him waiting, he might change his mind.
“It’s all right, you’re forgiven, but if you hurt me again I’m leaving with Justin,” I warned.
“Shut up,” he stated before kissing me again.
“I’m sorry, for invading your privacy and reading your family’s journals, I’m extremely curious, I’m sorry for that,” I said as soon as Gideon released my lips.
“Are you apologizing for reading my family’s journals or for being curious?” Gideon enquired.
“Does it matter?” I questioned, feeling a blush creeping up my face.
“Yes, it does. If you are apologizing for reading the journals then you’re forgiven, but if you are apologizing for being curious, then don’t apologize.” Gideon caressed my cheek. “Curiosity is a part of you, you shouldn’t apologize for being yourself. I like you just the way you are, so don’t apologize for being curious.”
He said like, not love. Oh man!
“Right, so do you forgive me for snooping around?” I enquired, not wanting to dwell on the fact that Gideon told me he likes me and not loves me.
“I forgive you, little one.”
“Oh good, and since you’re in such a forgiving mood, you won’t get angry if I tell you I went up to the seventh floor, right?” I asked, nervously.
Gideon’s eyes widened. “What? You went up to the seventh floor, how?”
“Through the library. The door was open, so I went,” I explained, gauging his reaction.
“And how many times did you go?” Gideon asked.
“Just one time, promise,” I answered.
He closed his eyes, preventing me from finding out what he was thinking. I stayed where I was, straddling him, twisting my fingers in anxiety. I did not regret telling Gideon that I went up to the seventh floor, I wanted to be honest with him.
“Right.” Gideon said upon opening his eyes again. “Well I forgive you.”
“Really?” Wow, that was easy.
“Yeah, I mean, you are my permanent wife now, so you have to know about all the skeletons hidden in the closet. I was going to tell you about Elizabeth anyways, so it’s good that you found out about her yourself; saves me the trouble and the awkwardness,” Gideon explained.
Wow he called me his permanent wife! It feels so much better than temporary wife.
“I also went up to the eighth floor,” I blurted out, and by the look of frustration on his handsome face, I knew it was too soon. “I’m sorry.”
“Did you go to the ninth floor as well?” He queried.
“No, I swear,” I answered truthfully.
“May I ask why?” Amusement shimmered in Gideon’s eyes and I knew he wasn’t mad.
“My guilty conscience kind of kicked in.” I told him.
Gideon chuckled. “I see. Well I forgive you.” He was so sweet.
“I promise I won’t go up there ever again,” I stated.
“That’s all right. I’ll give you a tour of those floors myself. You can ask me anything you want while we are touring,” Gideon said, and I swear I fell in love a little more with him.
“Really? Wow, can we go now?”
“No. First of all, it’s 3:00 am and you need to eat and then sleep. Second, you need to know about Elizabeth before we go up there,” Gideon said.
“But I’m not tired,” I argued, but one look from Gideon had me shutting up. I knew he was not going to budge.
“Okay, but can you tell me about her right now, while I eat? That way, we’ll go up there in the morning.” Now that Gideon said he would tell me about his sister, I wanted to know everything, right now.
“No and no. I’ll tell you about her in a few days,” he stated.
“But she was your sister.” I wanted to know now.
“Was? She is my sister,” Gideon corrected.
“Oh, she’s still alive? Why didn’t you ever tell me about her?” I enquired.
I thought Gideon would tell me to mind my own business. But he picked up the tray filled with tacos and tamales and placed it between us. He picked up a taco and handed it to me.
“You are only allowed to ask me a question if you finish all this,” Gideon stated, gesturing to the contents of the tray.
I took a hearty bite of the taco. “Is your sister still alive? Why didn’t you ever tell me you have a sister?” I asked once I had swallowed, then took another bite.
“Yes, my sister is alive. Her name is Elizabeth and she is older than me, she is the first born. And the reason I didn’t tell you, is because Lizzy is a sensitive subject in the family, and only the family knows about her and our most trusted staff, those who have served the family for generations. No outsider knows about Lizzy,” Gideon answered, watching me eat.
“Why did she leave, or get kicked out, whatever it was?” I picked up one of the seven spicy tamales from the tray. Both the tacos and the tamales were extremely spicy, which was exactly what I was craving.
“I’ll tell you that later. But for your information, she ran away and the family decided to sever ties with her,” he responded.
“Because she loved Henry?” I finished half of my tamale in less than a minute.
Gideon nodded. “Yes, and father refused to marry her to him.”
“So where is she now?” I picked up another tamale.
“She lives in the countryside now, with Henry. A couple of hours from here,” Gideon said.
“Is she happy?” I enquired.
“Very. She had a baby girl a few days back,” he informed me.
“Oh? Wow. Is that where you went when you said your friend fell ill?” I really wanted to meet Elizabeth.
Gideon nodded. “Yes. She we went into labor, and my niece came into this world.” He smiled affectionately as he recalled seeing his niece for the first time.
“Is your niece the first child?” I picked up a taco.
“No. She is the third.” My eyes bugged out at hearing this.
“Your sister has three kids, wow, you’ll only get one,” I said.
“No. I want more than one child. We’ll have more than one baby, all right?”
“But you married me for one baby.” These tacos were delicious.
“Yes, and then I terminated the contract so now we are free to have as many babies as we want, and I want more than two,” Gideon stated.
“Let’s have one baby first, then we’ll see about the others,” I said. “So, when did you decided to make me your permanent wife?”
“Uh, a while ago,” Gideon replied.
“How long?” I queried.
“Since Nico’s surgery.”
“That long?! Why didn’t you tell me?” Damn, he never told me anything.
“I wanted to tell you at the right time,” he defended.
“And the right time was now?”
“No, but I realized the right time won’t come and I’ll have to make this time, the right time,” Gideon explained.
“Right, so does that mean we are husband and wife forever?” I wanted to make sure I understood him clearly.
“Yes, little one, that’s exactly what it means.” Gideon squeezed my hand.
“And Nico will live with us as well, right?” I never I thought the man I love would ever accept me as his permanent wife.
“Yes, he will live with us, and I’m going to pay for his education. You can stop worrying about your financial problems because now you won’t ever have to deal with any kind of problem...if I can help it.” He gave me one of his special smiles. The smile that made him look as if he was child of the angels themselves.
“I thought you were going to leave me after this year was over,” I said, feeling like the luckiest woman on Earth. I never thought anyone would want me. And now, this man, who was no less than royalty, wanted me as his permanent wife.
Dreams really do come true.
“I’m never leaving you, little dove, never. You are mine forever.” Gideon kissed my hand.
“For what?” Gideon frowned.
“For accepting me. For making me your permanent wife.”
“Hey, don’t talk like that. You are perfect. And I am one lucky son of a—” He broke off as his gaze landed on my swollen baby. “I mean, I’m a very lucky man to have an amazing wife like you; only an idiot will reject you.” He kissed me deeply after that.
“So, do you love me?” Gideon asked as soon as he broke apart.
I nodded, feeling my cheeks heat up. “Yes. I love you, Gideon.” Never in my life had I felt so vulnerable than I did when I confessed my feelings to Gideon.
When Gideon kissed me is time, it felt like he was kissing my soul. The emotion flowing through the kiss replaced the marrow in my bones. My soul lit up. Fireworks flashed before my eyes, as Gideon consumed me. With just one kiss, he told me what words couldn’t.
I was his.
“Thank you. Thank you for loving me, little fairy,” Gideon murmured, as he kissed my jawline.
“You don’t need to thank me for that.” I was breathless after that intense kiss.
“I do. Your love and your heart is a treasure that you have given me, and I thank you for that. And I promise to protect your heart from all the darkness in the world.” Gideon was not good for my heart.
I wished he would tell me he loved me too, but I believed it was next to impossible. It was a miracle that Gideon had accepted me as his permanent wife, I didn’t think he would ever love me like I loved him. But I would be happy with what I had. I would be happy with being Gideon’s permanent wife.
“Helga, please call the entire staff here, right now,” Gideon ordered her.
Gideon and I were sitting in the dining room having breakfast. He had just finished his breakfast and now had ordered Helga to call the entire staff here, I had no idea why. Maybe he had an announcement to make.
After Gideon thanked me for loving him, it didn’t take us long to fall asleep after that. Gideon kept me especially close to him as he drifted off to sleep; and I had one of the most peaceful sleeps of my life in my husband’s arms.
“Why do you want the entire staff to be present here?” I asked as soon as Helga left.
“Because I have something I need to tell them,” Gideon replied.
“You’ll know soon.” Now I was curious.
After five minutes of patiently waiting, Helga returned followed by fifteen men and seventeen women. The males were wearing a uniform, and the females were dressed in the standard maid’s outfit. They all stopped a few feet from us.
Gideon stood up, my eyes following him. “Welcome everyone, today I have called you here because I have something very important to tell you.” He took my hand and pulled me to a standing position.
“As you all know, I married Mrs. Maslow.” He gestured to me. “Conditionally. She was to give me an heir within the first year of our marriage and after that the contract would end and she would leave.
“But, not anymore. Mrs. Maslow is now a permanent residence of this castle, and a permanent member of the Maslow family. You all are to treat to her with utmost respect and shall not question her. She is now the queen of this castle, and anyone who dares to defy her or disrespect her will be removed immediately, am I clear?”
I blushed when a chorus of “Yes Sire Maslow” was heard. “Good, that is all, you may leave now.”
Before leaving, each staff member came in front of me and bowed shortly before leaving. I just stood there awestruck, not knowing how to react as one by one the staff members bowed to me.
Finally, all of the staff members left, leaving only Helga standing. I swallowed hard as Helga came and bowed shortly. She gave me a smile that was way too sweet to be real, and I instantly knew I was in trouble. Helga had not accepted me.
“Welcome to the family, Mrs. Maslow.”
Oh Lord. Help me.