“You sure you’re alright here?” I asked Kieran as he surveyed my bedroom.
“Yeah, little mushroom, this is perfect.” He splayed his hands wide, gesturing to my bedroom.
“Sorry it’s not up to your standards,” I apologized, fiddling with my necklace.
“You’re kidding me, right?” Kieran stared at me incredulously. “This is great, I really like the room,” he told me.
“Okay then, you should get some sleep,” I said to Kieran softly.
“Where are you going to sleep?” Kieran asked me just as I turned to leave the room.
“I’ll sleep on the couch...in the living room,” I answered, waiting to see whether he would ask me any more questions.
“Right, good night,” Kieran said, dismissing me.
Taking that as my cue to leave, I walked out of my bedroom which Kieran was going to be occupying for the night.
Gideon and his father had left soon after I had signed the contract, and just as Gideon said Kieran was going to be spending the night in my apartment until the next morning when the new contract would arrive.
Since my apartment had only two bedrooms—one was my brother’s while the other was mine—I had to let Kieran sleep in my room tonight; he was, after all, a guest and I was not going to make him sleep on the couch; my mother taught me better than that.
Jogging over to Nico’s room, I entered and went straight for his cupboard. Hearing the sound of water running, I knew that Nico was in the bathroom, probably brushing his teeth. Getting back to the task at hand, I opened the double doors of the cupboard, then grabbed a small chair, which Nico used for various purposes, and used it to reach higher. Once my hand reached the top of the cupboard, I pulled out a couple of fleece blankets then closed the cupboard doors.
“What are you looking for?” Nico asked me, coming out of the bathroom, wearing his pajamas.
“I just came here to get the blankets, and it’s also time for your medicine, look I brought you milk.” I gestured to the glass of milk which was sitting on Nico’s nightstand.
Without a word, Nico shuffled over to his bed and quickly got under the covers. I perched on the edge of Nico’s bed then handed him the glass of milk along with the pills. Taking the pills from my palm, Nico put them in his mouth and swallowed them with milk.
Even though I was proud of the fact that my ten year old brother could swallow pills without throwing up, it saddened me that he had to learn the art of pill taking at such a tender age. I remember how hard it was, initially, when Nico was prescribed pills by the doctor, I had to act like Ben10 in order to make Nico take the pills.
“I don’t like these pills,” Nico muttered, after finishing the glass of milk and handing it to me.
My heart cracked with sympathy for my brother. I did not like giving him the pills any more than he liked taking them. But it had to be done. For his health.
“I know, but soon you won’t have to take the pills,” I assured him with a small smile.
“I wish you get married soon so I don’t have to take these pills,” Nico said, covering the top of my hand, that was clutching the fleece blankets, with his own.
“Don’t worry, I’ll get married in three days, and then you will have your surgery,” I replied, wanting to ease my brother’s worries.
“Then I won’t have to take these pills, right?” Nico asked hopefully.
“No you won’t.” I shook my head. “Now, go to sleep, it’s getting late.”
With a smile, Nico laid down and I pulled the thick blanket up to his chin. Kissing his forehead, I stood up and turned on the night light. With a quick smile in Nico’s direction, who was already asleep, I padded out of his room, making sure to leave the door ajar.
Putting the blankets on the couch, I fixed the cushions against the arm of the couch then laid down on it. Quickly pulling my fleece blankets over myself, I closed my eyes and prepared to sleep.
However, the bitter chill of the night prevented me from dozing off. Instead, it gave birth to the chattering of my teeth and bone wracking shivers, making me crave the comfort and warmth of my blanket that Kieran was currently sleeping under.
After a few hours of hearing my teeth chatter, I threw the blankets off me and got up. Rubbing my eyes with the back of my hands, I stifled a yawn. Standing up, I made my way into Nico’s room to grab a pair of woolen socks and gloves. If I did not wear two pairs of socks and a pair of gloves, I was sure I wouldn’t be getting any sleep tonight.
Quietly going towards the closet which housed Nico’s clothing, I slowly opened the door and took out a pair of gloves and socks—which did not take a whole lot of rummaging through—then closing the cupboard, I sneaked out of Nico’s room.
Hastily pulling the socks and gloves on my feet and hands, I went back to my bed and once again prepared to sleep. This time, however, I did manage to fall in the land of dreams and nightmares, although it was not easy, but I was thankful nonetheless.
“Good morning, little mushroom,” Kieran greeted, yawning open mouthed, causing me to grimace.
“Would you stop calling me that,” I muttered, placing the plates on the kitchen counter for Nico and Kieran.
“Nope, I like calling you little mushroom, and when I like something I don’t stop doing or wanting it,” he answered, sitting on one of the chairs.
“Yes, but it irritates me,” I complained, going back to whisking the eggs.
“You’ll get used to it, everybody does,” he responded, folding his arms on the counter.
“I doubt it,” I muttered under my breath as I poured the whisked eggs in the pan.
“What’s for breakfast?” Kieran asked while texting on his phone.
“Scrambled eggs, bread and bacon, is that okay? I can make something else if you want.” Despite the crazy circumstances under which Kieran was staying here, I did not want to give him something he did not like, he was a guest after all.
“Yup, perfectly fine, where is your brother?” Kieran queried, looking around for my brother.
“He is in the bathroom, I woke him up, he’ll be here in a few minutes,” I answered him, completely focused on my current task.
“Hmm, how did you sleep?” he questioned.
Frowning, I eyed Kieran with curious eyes. “Uh...fine, I slept fine,” I responded, although it was not exactly the truth.
“You moved around a lot, I believe you did not sleep until 2:00 am last night,” he stated, making me wonder how in the world did he know I was awake; was I not as quiet as I thought I was?
“I didn’t know you had doggie ears, when did you sleep?” I smiled at him.
“I did sleep, but woke up because you were moving around, I’m a light sleeper and I do have very good hearing,” he replied.
“Well, I’m sorry for disturbing you last night,” I said to him, feeling slightly guilty for making my guest uneasy.
“Don’t be, by the way, why were you roaming about so late night?” Kieran enquired with a soft smile.
I took Kieran’s plate back to fill it with food, then placed the plate filled with bacon, eggs and bread in front of Kieran. “I had to make sure Nico was all right, I check up on him twice or thrice every night, so...yeah,” I told him, going back to working on Nico’s breakfast.
“You take really good care of Nico, I mean really good,” he stated, making me smile sadly.
“I love taking care of my brother, he’s my only family,” I explained to him.
“Who takes care of you then?” Kieran asked.
Shaking my head, I smiled. “I don’t need anyone to take care of me, I can take care of myself, been doing it for quite a few years now,” I answered.
“Good morning, Alice,” Nico greeted with a smile, sitting on one of the two remaining chairs.
“Good morning, how are you?” I smiled at Nico, placing his breakfast plate in front of him.
“Good,” Nico replied. “How are you, sir?” he asked Kieran.
“I’m good, young man,” Kieran replied with a smile.
As soon as I turned to make breakfast for myself, the door bell rang. Wondering who could be visiting me so early in the morning, I ventured out of the kitchen to open the door.
“Good morning, Alice.” Gideon’s deep, silky voice made my knees wobble. Gazing at him through my lashes, I gritted my teeth to stop my jaw from dropping.
Gideon was looking so handsome in his three piece suit, with his hair styled neatly and his shoes shining to perfection. He was holding a blue file in his hands which I assumed was the new contract.
“Good morning, please come in.” I stepped aside so Gideon could enter, ordering my heart to stop pounding.
Once he was inside, I closed the door then went back to the kitchen to prepare breakfast.
“Would you like to have breakfast?” I asked Gideon politely.
“Yes, I will,” he responded simply.
Nodding my head, I quickly prepared eggs, bacon and bread for Gideon. Once I placed the plate of food in front of Gideon, I realized that I had run out of bacon and eggs.
“This is the new contract, sign it,” Gideon ordered, pushing the file towards me.
“I’ll sign, eat your breakfast,” I told him.
“No, sign it now,” he ordered.
“Can’t it wait till after breakfast?” This man was clearly something.
“No, I won’t eat breakfast until you sign the contract,” Gideon persisted, making me sigh in frustration. We had yet to be married and he was already getting on my nerves.
Opening the file, I quickly went through the revised content then held out my hand for a pen, which Gideon immediately handed to me. Giving Nico a covert glance, I hastily scribbled my signature over the dotted lines, then closing the file, handed it to Gideon, who took it without a word and begun eating.
Grabbing two pieces of bread, I spread mango jam on the slices then took a bite. I had gobbled up half of my sandwich when Gideon’s voice thundered through my apartment, making me drop my sandwich.
“What are you doing?” he asked, irritation marring his face.
“Uh...having breakfast?” It came out as a question, even though I intended for the opposite to happen.
“That’s all you’re going to have?” Gideon questioned, aghast, making me wonder what was wrong with eating a sandwich.
“Yes?” Another question, bloody hell I needed to stop doing that.
Standing up, Gideon strode over to me. Taking a hold of my arm, Gideon led me all the way to his chair and forced me to sit down. Giving me the knife and fork he ordered, “eat this, no wonder you’re so small and skinny.”
“No, I made this for you, I can make myself something else,” I said to Gideon, who stood towering over me.
“No, you are going to eat this, you need nutrition, you are so weak,” he stated.
“But what are you going to eat?” I was not going to let him go without breakfast.
“That’s not your concern, just do what I say and eat this,” Gideon ordered.
“Fine.” Stabbing the eggs with my fork I lifted the fork to my mouth. “And I’m not skinny or weak,” I told him.
“Yes you are,” Kieran chimed in. The man was never going to side with me.
Gideon did not once remove his eyes from me as I was eating, making breakfast very awkward and difficult for me. Usually, I was relaxed whenever I ate but not this morning, this morning I was hyper aware of everything I was doing.
When I was half finished with my breakfast did Gideon took the plate from me. Eyeing him from my perch, I narrowed my eyes when I heard Gideon chuckle.
“Don’t eat all of it, leave some for me, little fairy,” he said with an amused smile.
Gobbling up the remaining food, Gideon put the plate in the sink then went to have a conversation with Nico, who had quickly finished his breakfast and was now watching TV.
After washing the dishes, I went to Nico with his medicines. After he took his medicine, Gideon told me he wanted to talk to me in private. Giving him a peculiar look, I led Gideon in my bedroom and closed the door.
“What is it, is everything okay?” I asked anxiously.
“Yes, I wanted to know that since we are getting married in less than three days would you like me to accompany you when you go to buy your dress?” Gideon asked.
Confusion filled me after hearing his words. “What dress?” I queried.
“Your wedding dress.” Oh, so that’s what he meant.
“I don’t need a dress, I have a white dress, plus I can’t exactly afford a new dress,” I told Gideon.
“You are getting married to me, which means you’re not poor anymore and second, you are going to be getting a brand new dress, so when will you like to go shopping for your dress?”
Whoa, the idea of buying a wedding dress never occurred to me. Hell, the thought of actually getting married never occurred to me.
“Right...we’ll go tomorrow,” I told Gideon.
“Good, see you tomorrow, little dove.” Kissing me softly on the cheek, Gideon turned and strode out of the room.
The three days of my bachelorette hood flew away. With a few shopping trips, which consisted of my dress and accessories, and Nico’s suit and shoes.
Gideon told me that the wedding was going to be small and private with only Gideon’s father and brothers and my brother. However, he also said that if I wanted a lavish wedding all I had to do was say so, but I did not want a grand wedding. This wedding was arranged and I only wanted the one million pounds Gideon promised me, nothing more nothing less. The wedding clothes were the only things I was going to accept from Gideon; I was not going to let him spend another extra penny on me.
I did not bother asking Gideon where the wedding was going to be held, because frankly, I did not care. I just needed to marry Gideon, be it in court or in church, I just needed to fulfill my end of the contract.
Now the day was here. The day I was going to marry Gideon. The day that was going to change my and my brother’s life. The day that was going to be the start of happy days or days of despair, I was not sure.
So when the doorbell rang, signaling the arrival of the person that was going to take me to my husband to be, I was ready.
I was ready to get married.