I stared at the scene in front of me, and the shock that resonated through my body was enough to have me clutching the banister. Kieran was standing in the foyer with Jenny who was desperately trying to free her wrist from his hold. Gideon was standing in front of Kieran, a harsh look on his face. While Lizzy was standing a few feet away holding her baby. All of them were wearing different expressions. Kieran looked determined, like he would destroy the world any second. Jenny’s face showed a mixture of fear and confusion. Gideon glared at his brother, looking frustrated. And Elizabeth looked like she wanted to smack her brother.
Even though Gideon had told me to rest, I couldn’t. Kieran was going to force Jenny into marrying him and I just couldn’t stay in bed and let it happen. And I would try to help if needed. But I just couldn’t stay in bed and worry myself to death. And so, despite my husband telling me to take it easy, I was out of bed and was now looking at the two brothers having a standoff. No one saw me standing on the stairs, both of them too busy staring at each other.
“Get out of my way, Gideon,” Kieran said.
“Let go of her, you’re hurting her,” Gideon ordered.
“Kieran please, let go of me,” Jenny pleaded.
Sighing, Kieran let go of Jenny’s wrist, who immediately began rubbing it with her other hand. She looked so scared, my heart ached for her. I really hoped Kieran wouldn’t force her to marry him, God knows how Jenny would react.
“Liz, can you please take her to one of the guests rooms,” Kieran requested.
Elizabeth came forward, grabbed Jenny’s hand lightly and begun leading her away. Jenny, not knowing what else to do, hesitantly followed Elizabeth to the guest room. Seeing her scared and confused, I vowed to myself to talk some sense into Kieran.
“What the hell is wrong with you?” Gideon exploded as soon as Jenny was well out of sight.
“What do you mean? I’m marrying the woman I love, there is nothing wrong with that!” Kieran shouted.
“No there isn’t. But when you’re forcing someone to marry you, then it is wrong,” Gideon argued.
“Oh please. You did the same thing. You forced Alice to marry you,” Kieran said.
“That was different, Kieran, and you know it,” Gideon defended.
“How? How was that different? You wanted a baby, you forced Alice to marry you, and you’re telling me that forcing Jenny to marry me is wrong!” Kieran did not lower his voice.
“Have you seen how scared she is?! She is confused and terrified, and you’re going to force her to marry you, are you out of your mind?!” It looked as if Gideon did not have control over his emotions either.
“So what?! Alice was scared as well, but she learned to live with it. Jenny is strong, she will be fine,” Kieran argued.
Gideon sighed audibly. “Tell me. Do you really love her?” He asked softly.
“What kind of a question is that? Of course I love Jenny, I refuse to live without her!” Kieran threw his hands in the air.
“If you love her, then stop being a selfish wanker and take her feelings into consideration. You love her, you marry her when she wants to marry you. Don’t force her, she won’t be happy,” Gideon explained.
“I can’t give her that choice,” Kieran stated.
“Why not?” Gideon enquired.
“What if she says no. What if she says she doesn’t want to marry me? I can’t live without her. Hell I won’t let anyone else have her. She is mine.” Kieran raked his hair with his fingers.
“If she says no, then love her until she says yes. Don’t force her into marrying you, treat her in such a way that she has no choice but to love you and marry you,” Gideon reasoned.
“I don’t want her to be free. Other men would have her if she doesn’t marry me,” Kieran stated.
“Look. Marrying her like this is not the answer. She won’t be happy, you need to think rationally,” Gideon asserted.
Kieran sighed. “Two weeks. That is all I’m willing to give her to make up her mind. After that, I’m going to do what I want, and you are not going to stand in my way,” Kieran conceded.
“I will if my sister-in-law is upset,” Gideon stated.
With a sudden growl that had my heart jolting, Kieran stormed out of the house, slamming the door on his way out. Gideon breathed out a sigh before running a hand through his hair. Thinking that it was safe for me to show myself now, I walked down the stairs. Gideon saw me and tried to give me a reassuring smile but failed; I could see the worry in his sea green eyes, he was worried about Jenny.
“Hey, I thought I told you to rest,” Gideon said softly, as soon as I reached him. Gideon enveloped me in a warm hug.
“I got tired of resting.” I breathed in his masculine scent. “How are you? And how is Kieran?”
“Why do I get the feeling that you saw everything that transpired down here?” Gideon uttered.
“Maybe because I did,” I replied.
“You are a naughty little dove, aren’t you?” Gideon tightened his grip around me before letting me go.
“Am I supposed to apologize?” I asked.
Gideon laughed. “No. Come on, I want to tell you something.” He led me to the couch in the living room and sat down next to me.
“What is it?” I asked.
“Remember I said that I have a surprise for you.”
“Yes.” Was he going to tell me what the surprise was?
“You remember the boy that I said I want to adopt?” Gideon asked me, a soft smile on his face.
Instantly, the face of that adorable baby came into my mind. “Yes. I remember him,” I answered.
“Well, in two days you and I will go and adopt that baby,” Gideon stated.
“Really?” I couldn’t believe it. We were going to adopt him; we were going to adopt that little boy. My heart swelled with happiness at the prospect of having that little boy as my son. I would love him like my own, and would never make him feel like he didn’t belong.
Gideon nodded. “Yes, little peach. We’ll go and adopt him.” The smile on Gideon’s face told me exactly how excited he was to adopt that boy.
“That’s wonderful. I’m so glad you decided to adopt him. Which room will he stay in?” I asked, looking forward to spending time with the little boy.
“He’ll stay in our room while we are here, when we’ll move in our new home, he’ll have his own room,” Gideon replied.
“We’ll have to buy toys for him and clothes, and diapers and...” I trailed off.
“Yes. We’ll buy everything for him,” Gideon agreed.
“Uh, hate to break you two love birds apart, but where is Kieran?” Elizabeth asked, snapping us out of our plans.
“He went out...to cool off, hopefully,” Gideon muttered.
“And why didn’t you go with him?” Lizzy questioned.
“Where is your baby?” Gideon queried.
“I asked you first, answer me,” Elizabeth demanded, causing Gideon to roll his eyes.
“I think he needs time to himself,” he responded drily.
“Umm, how is Jenny?” I asked
“She is in her room. I was trying to help her relax but I think she got more scared.” Elizabeth told me.
“Do you mind if I go...”
“Oh sure, her room is that one.” She pointed to the last door on the left.
“Thank you.” I turned my attention to my husband. “I’m going to see if she’s all right.”
“All right, little bird.” Gideon kissed my cheek, before he allowed me to leave.
It didn’t take me long to reach Jenny’s room. I knocked twice before entering, only to find Jenny sitting up in bed, with her arms around her as if protecting herself. When Jenny saw me, her eyes sparkled with relief. I gave her a small smile before venturing further in her room and closing the door softly behind me. Jenny tried to smile but didn’t quite succeed, confusion still evident on her face.
“Hi. How are you?” I asked, coming to sit on the bed beside her.
“Hi. I’m fine,” Jenny replied.
“Liar,” I teased.
Jenny sighed. “What is this place, Alice? Who is that woman? Why did Kieran bring me here?”
“That woman is Kieran’s and Gideon’s older sister and this is her house,” I answered.
“I never knew Kieran had a sister,” she remarked.
“Neither did I, until recently,” I said.
“And Kieran brought me here because he wanted to introduce me to his sister?” Jenny questioned.
“You know, I would love to tell you why Kieran brought you here, but I think it’s best if you ask Kieran that.” I told her.
“Why is Kieran acting like this?” She queried.
“Acting like what?” I asked.
“All controlling. I don’t like controlling men.” Jenny shuddered slightly as she said that, and I wondered what has happened to this girl that had her terrified of controlling men.
“Why don’t you ask him?” I wanted to tell her what was going on, but it was not my story to tell.
“Where is he?” She eyed the closed door, like she was expecting Kieran to enter any moment.
“He’s out, but he’ll be back soon.” I told her.
“I hope he hurries, I need him right now,” Jenny stated.
“Jenny?” I wanted to ask her something in order to appease my mind.
“Do you love Kieran?” I questioned.
“Yes. I do.” She didn’t even hesitate.
“So will you marry him if he proposes?” I enquired, getting excited at the thought of Kieran and Jenny getting married.
“He’s never going to propose,” Jenny said.
“Why not?” I asked confused.
“Because...I’m not...I’m not the kind of girl Kieran would want as his wife,” she replied, looking forlorn.
“What? How can you say that? Kieran lo—” I caught myself before I could spill Kieran’s secret. I had no idea if Kieran had told Jenny he loved her or not, so I had to be careful.
“Oh come on, Alice. Have you seen Kieran? He is like...perfect, and look at me, I don’t even hold a candle to all those women who Kieran might choose as his bride. I’m just a girl who works at the toy store,” she muttered.
“That is not true, Jenny. Kieran is anything but shallow, and he will never make a girl fall in love with him only to never catch her. And you are better than all those rich girls or whoever you think is fit to be Kieran’s bride,” I said firmly, willing Jenny to believe me.
“You don’t know that. And Kieran never talks about marriage or anything like that.” Jenny told me.
“He’s a man. Men don’t talk about marriage or any of that stuff...well not to their girlfriends at least,” I responded.
“Then how will I know if he loves me enough to want to marry me?” Jenny queried.
“He will propose. Or he will force you to marry him.” I cursed myself for saying the last part, but prayed with all my might that Jenny did not understood what I was trying to say.
Jenny’s eyes widened. “What? Men actually do that, force a woman to marry them?”
“Uhh...maybe.” I had no idea what else to say.
“No. Kieran is not like that. He will never force anyone to marry him, he is a really nice guy. But as for your question, if Kieran would ever propose, I’ll say yes. I love Kieran and being his wife would be the greatest honor,” Jenny replied, her eyes shining with love for Kieran.
Damn, Kieran is one lucky man. I wonder if Gideon thinks he’s lucky to have me. I thought.
“When will Kieran come? I want to go home,” Jenny said. I could tell she was uncomfortable in this equally unfamiliar territory. Had Elizabeth told Kieran to stay for two weeks as well? If so, what did that mean for Jenny? Would she stay or would she go?
“He’ll be here soon,” I assured her. I had no clue how long it took for Kieran to cool off, I just hoped not too long.
“When is your baby coming?” Jenny enquired, changing the subject.
“In a few months,” I answered, eyeing my swollen tummy. I wonder if our adopted baby would have a brother or a sister.
“Have you decided on any names yet?” Jenny asked.
“Not really, no,” I replied.
“I love babies.” Jenny told me.
“Is that why you work at a toy store?” I queried.
Jenny smiled. “Partly. I love seeing kids smiling and laughing, that is why I love working at the toy store, it makes children smile.”
“How many kids do you want?” I could imagine Kieran’s and Jenny’s children, running around, shrieking and giggling, while Jenny made sure no one got hurt.
“I want four kids, at least,” she answered.
I opened my mouth to reply when the door opened and Gideon, Kieran, Elizabeth and Brenton entered; all of them wearing expressions of horror and dismay. I frowned as Gideon reached me while Kieran went to Jenny. When did Brenton come?
“Gideon, is everything all right? What’s going on?” I asked, anxiety blooming in my heart at seeing my husband looking so distraught.
“Little one, listen to me. We have to go, now,” Gideon stated.
“Why what happened?” I enquired. Behind me I could hear Jenny and Kieran talking in hushed voices. Brenton and Elizabeth were standing in one corner whispering to each other.
“Gideon we have to go,” Elizabeth urged.
“Brenton, go start the car, we’ll be right there,” Gideon instructed his youngest brother who nodded and jogged out of the room. Was it me or did Brenton look really pale?
“Gideon, tell me what’s going on?” I asked.
“We have to go to the hospital immediately,” Gideon answered.
“Why? Is everyone all right?” The questions wouldn’t stop coming out of mouth.
Gideon shook his head and my heartbeat accelerated. “No. Little fairy, my father had a heart attack. We have to go to the hospital. Now.”