Chapter 1: Home Not So Sweet Home
Loving A MobBoss
Chapter I: Home Not So Sweet Home
The bell rang over top of my head as I pushed inside the cafe. The nostalgic scent of coffee beans, donuts, and other pastries was a warm welcome. Around me, people sat at tables, chattering and typing away on laptops. Kids swung their feet in their chairs, humming along to no tune in particular as they took a bite out of the cupcake given to them by their mothers.
A smile tugged the corners of my lips. I dug my hand into my coat pocket, fishing out my wallet. My eyes scanned the menu board, but I already knew what I was ordering. I bought the same thing every time, a white chocolate mocha. It was my ultimate favourite drink in the world, and nothing could get me to order anything else.
"The guy behind the coffee machine is pretty hot, don't you think?" My friend Juliet said from beside me, eagerness in her tone as she slapped at my arm to gain my attention. Her long auburn hair was tied back in a ponytail, a few strands shaping the sides of her face. She looked up at me with deep forest green eyes carrying a questioning glint, and her cheeks were covered with a dusting of freckles that made her all the more stunning in my opinion—yes, my best friend was a model.
I glanced in the direction her eyes were staring, my gaze landing on said male preparing a beverage, and he handed it over to one of the customers. His smile was like a million dollars, and it had my best friend swooned. Juliet was practically drooling over the king's looks, which was honestly amusing, but she quickly snapped out of it when Beatrice nudged her arm.
"You look like a complete weirdo staring at him like that, Juliet! Damn, couldn't you be more obvious?" Beatrice raised a brow.
"Eh?! He's not even looking in our direction!" Juliet whispered a shout back at her, a blush coating her cheeks. Beatrice shrugged, tucking a strand of her short blonde hair behind her ear.
"So? What if he was looking? You even have drool on your chin!" Beatrice exclaimed, using her sweater sleeve to rub at the small droplet of drool that was rolling down Juliet's chin, "you don't wanna look like a complete fool in front of him, do you?"
"Shut up, Beatrice!" Juliet slapped her hand away.
I rolled my eyes and laughed at my two best friends, "If you two keep making a ruckus, maybe he'll look over and see what fools you both are."
"I have a boyfriend, so it's not like I'm trying to impress anyone," Beatrice shrugged, "It's Juliet who needs a boo. Besides, she's been ogling the guy behind the counter for weeks now, and she won't even approach him!"
"Seriously? How come I didn't know about this?" I snapped my attention back to Juliet, who smiled innocently.
"You're busy taking care of your daughter, Lloyd. I wanted to tell you in person!" She replied.
"I guess you're right," I sighed.
We ordered our drinks once it was our turn to approach the register. The entire time we were waiting for our drinks to be prepped, Beatrice would nudge Juliet's arm, winking and gesturing towards the man making our drinks. Though, Juliet would blush bright red and shove her, basically telling Beatrice to quit it with her eyes.
The whole scene was hilarious to watch. When I glanced back to the male pouring our drinks, he was watching them as well with an amused smile. I could see why Juliet liked him; his hair was dark, almost black, which brought out his pale blue eyes and tanned skin. He was also pretty built, and he was watching Juliet with a fond look in his eyes.
"White chocolate mocha, mixed berry frappuccino, and a juniper latte?" The male called out, placing our drinks down on top of the counter. My two friends quickly stopped bickering with each other and grabbed their drinks off the counter just after myself.
"Juliet is a beautiful name, by the way," The male called out, stopping us as we were about to find a table. Juliet snapped her head towards him, a bashful smile working onto her face.
"Ah, thank you, uhm...?" Juliet paused, and the male laughed charmingly.
"The name's Beau," He smiled, gesturing towards the name tag sitting on the right side of his shirt.
"Your name is lovely as well," Juliet responded with a light laugh. Beatrice quickly gripped my arm for dear life, silently screaming for joy at the encounter.
"I'll see you around," Beau said lastly, and after an exchange of waves, he went back to work making drinks while the three of us quickly scurried to find a table.
As soon as we found a booth pressed against a window and sat down, that's when Beatrice unleashed her inner excitement and squealed, grabbing onto Juliet's hands from across the table.
"OH MY GOODNESS JULIE! He talked! Like, moved his mouth with sounds coming out from those plump lips!" Beatrice exclaimed excitedly, "This is a definite start to a beautiful relationship! He will become your hubby, daddy, to your children!"
"Beatrice!" Juliet cut her off with a gasp, blushing furiously, "Stop shouting those things! He just said he liked my name!"
"Oh, come on, Jules." I laughed, "He likes you. I could tell by the way he looked at you when you guys were too busy bantering with each other."
"He was watching?? See! This relationship will soar in flying colours!" Beatrice shouted, a goofy smile on her lips.
"You guys suck!"
We both laughed at Juliet's embarrassment. The three of us spent a few hours sitting, chatting, and sipping our favourite drinks. I haven't hung out with them in so long. Most of the time, I was busy taking care of Leah, who would be turning three in just a few months. My daughter was my sunshine, bringing light to my dark life with Anton, her father, who was also my boyfriend. I didn't like to talk about my relationship with him, but when my friends and family asked about him, I lied through my teeth.
He was amazing. I would tell them often.
After finishing my drink and catching up with my friends for almost three hours, it was time for me to pick up Leah from daycare and head home to make dinner. I said a quick goodbye with a tight embrace to both of them and headed out, tossing my empty cup into the garbage.
I arrived at the daycare fifteen minutes later, stepping out of my car. I stepped inside the daycare with my hands tucked inside my coat pockets, scarf wrapped around my neck. I picked up the sound of playing and laughing children. I walked into the playroom. A smile tugged the corners of my mouth from the sight of children scattered around tables with other kids, building block towers and playing with dolls.
But when I saw my daughter, giggling as she played with her teddy and a little boy, my heart soared. When she noticed that I was there to pick her up, she jumped to her feet and used her short chubby legs to hurry over, teddy bear clutched in her hand.
"Mommy!" Leah squealed as she reached me. I knelt to catch her in my arms, laughing as she latched onto my neck, hugging me tightly. Her cute giggle was like music to my ears.
"Hello, sweetie! How was your day?' I asked, letting her go-to pinch her chubby cheek, making her giggle and swat at my hand.
"I have fun! I show teddy to my new fwend Isak! And, and he said that he had one too! He has many stuffies at home!" Leah exclaimed, rambling on and on, and I could only listen with a bright smile on my face.
"I'm so glad you had fun! But how about we go home for the day, yea?" I asked, and she quickly nodded her head.
After saying goodbye to the few daycare workers, I signed Leah out. I took her by the hand and led her out of the daycare. We reached the car in a few short seconds. I pulled out my keys to unlock the doors.
"Teddy, hungry mommy, can we have ice-cream?" She asked while I buckled her up, staring at me with a cute gaze. She pushed her thumb into her mouth and cuddled her teddy bear close to her, not once letting it out of her grasp. I swear she had been obsessed with the thing since she was born. My parents bought it for her at the hospital's gift shop ten minutes after I gave birth to her.
"I'm afraid, not baby. Can teddy wait until we get home? I will be making dinner very soon," I asked, a pout forming on her face.
"Please, mommy?" She whined, but I shook my head.
"If you eat, now you won't be hungry for dinner. Maybe another day. Okay?" I kissed her forehead. She pouted for a moment longer, eventually nodding her head and smothering my cheek with a kiss. Of course, I couldn't forget one from her teddy as well. I smiled at her, ruffling her blonde pigtails before closing the door and slid into the driver's seat.
When we arrived home, I helped Leah out of the car and set her down, watching her scurry to the front door as I followed behind. I unlocked the door, letting Leah rush inside first and slip off her shoes. I helped her out of her coat and slipped my scarf off and my jacket.
I spent the next hour or so sitting on the couch, letting myself relax for a bit after a long day. Leah was already situated on the ground in front of me with a pile of blocks and a few of her other toys surrounding her. The television was on, Max and Ruby playing. It was Leah's favourite show, and honestly, It gave me throwbacks. Sometimes I would binge-watch Totally Spies all alone, chowing down a tub of ice-cream. How I wasn't fat yet was beyond me.
Scotch, our cat, aka my fur-baby, found comfort on my lap while I watched TV. Leah looked engrossed in the talking bunnies on the TV screen with her two fingers in her mouth, clutching a block in her free hand. My daughter was my pride and joy, the only good outcome from being in a relationship with Anton. He may be nice to her, but he did get quite angry at her for things that all toddlers did. He had a temper and short patience. But most of the time instead of lashing out at her he was quick to judge my parenting skills.
But yet, I don't see him acting like a father to his own daughter, the fucking asshole.
Anton was nice when we first started dating. I was only sixteen and he was twenty. Our relationship was sweet and blissful up until I found out I was pregnant with Leah at the age of eighteen and Anton decided for me to move in with him. But once we started living together under the same roof, everything seemed to turn toxic. It sucked, because while I was dealing with his abuse at home, I was being judged at school for getting pregnant at such a young age. I wasn't able to go to school without people staring, and making remarks behind my back.
Life doesn't go the way you imagined it to be. I thought the love of my life was it for me, but he turned out to be what I wished he wasn't; a demeaning, deceitful monster who used me for his own win. I wanted to scream every time he laid a hand on me, beating me so hard that I couldn't move the next day. Blaming me for everything. I couldn't even escape him.
It was sad to say living wasn't all sunshine and rainbows. The double rainbow blossoming its vibrant colours would only stay for so long until vivid darkness washed over, thundering clouds shading the sky, turning reality into a scary mess. Even when we reached that point to end all of it in a matter of hours, threatening to drown ourselves, we still had to pass through deep waters.
But I couldn't do it, not after Leah came into my life.
A couple hours passed. After relaxing on the couch with Leah showing me her block towers, I got up and headed to the kitchen to make dinner. I grabbed everything I needed from the cabinets and set them on the counter, filling two pots up with water and set them onto the stove burners to boil.
I cut up some carrots and other vegetables, tossing them into the large pot on the stove. I prepared some spaghetti in a smaller pot. Scotch was meowing at me while I prepared the food, rubbing herself against my leg, which made me smile.
A sudden loud bang reached my ears when the keys jingled and the door slammed shut. I flinched to the loud sound, my heart hammering in my chest. I snapped my head towards the archway, catching Anton as he stepped into the kitchen, setting down his briefcase. His dark brown hair had been slicked back out of his face with hair gel, brown eyes looking cold and bothered as he loosened the tie around his neck.
I threw on a quick smile, biting my lip as Anton came over to press a kiss to my forehead, "welcome home, Anton."
"Is that dinner you're making?" He asked instead, staring into the pots sitting on the stove burners.
"Yea, it will be done in a few minutes," I nodded, my smile slowly fading.
"Good. I'm fucking starving. It was a long day at work," Anton sighed, squeezing my shoulder gently before taking a seat at the head of the table.
I rolled my eyes. When I finished cooking and plating the food, I carried the steaming plates to the table that consisted of pasta with butter and cheese, and vegetables.
He nodded his head in thanks and dug in. I sighed heavily, picking up Leah from where she sat in the living room, and carried her to the kitchen, sitting her down in her high chair with a smaller plate of food in front of her. She thanked me with a cute giggle and began eating, and after filling Scotch's food bowl, I sat down at the table and ate.
"So, you went out today?" Anton asked suddenly in the middle of eating, making me stop mid bite and snap my head towards him.
"W-what?" I furrowed my brows, starting to feel uneasy.
"Don't lie to me Lloyd- you took Leah to daycare. Do you forget that they inform me as well?" Anton scoffed, "so, where the fuck did you go? Don't fucking lie to me."
I swallowed a lump in my throat, my hands feeling clammy as I shakily lowered my fork, taking a deep breath, "I-...I hung out with Juliet and Beatrice at the cafe for a couple of hours..."
"Why the hell would you do that, huh? I specifically told you NOT to leave the house. Are you disobeying me?" Anton raised his voice, slamming his hands onto the table, causing the dishes to shake. I flinched, tightening my fists together in my lap, squeezing my eyes shut for a long moment.
"I just—I haven't seen them in so long and I wanted to catch up! And—and, Leah is going to be attending preschool this fall! I wanted her to get used to being around other kids!" I reasoned, "please, Anton. I-I'm sorry!"
"You know what, Lloyd?" Anton seethed, "I am sick of you disobeying me! If I tell you to not leave the house, you DO NOT LEAVE THE HOUSE! What kind of fucking queen are you huh? Not following my orders?"
"You can't just lock Leah up in here just because of me!" I raised my voice, "she needs to make friends! She needs an education! She is your daughter so you need to look out for her!"
I stood up from my chair, picking Leah up from her high chair before setting her down onto her feet.
Smack. My left cheek stung like a bitter winter's breeze. I cupped my cheek and looked up at Anton, who was now standing in front of me with fury in his eyes. My body started to tremble with the tears that filled my eyes.
He roughly grabbed my chin and yanked me closer, our faces inches from each other's. He stared at me with those murderous eyes of his, "I swear to god Lloyd, if I find out that you snuck out of the house again, I will beat you to death. Understood?"
I choked back a sob, quickly nodding my head, "Y-yes."
"Good," Anton snarled, letting go of my chin, "now clean up the fucking kitchen. It's a mess."
That was the last thing Anton said before he walked out of the kitchen, leaving me to slowly drop to the cold tile floor. A deep heartache settled in my chest, making the sob I was trying to hold back break the dam. I sobbed hard, the tears blinding my eyes as I gripped my chest, pulling my knees up.
All kings were the fucking same. All they wanted was power. Dominance. They wanted to have the power over us queens and it was sickening. That's all Anton wanted, was to control me, force me to submit to him, spread my legs when he wanted me to.
I hated every minute of it.
Little footsteps grew closer. I felt small arms wrap around my neck, and when I wiped my tears away, I saw Leah hugging me tightly from behind.
"You okay mommy...?" She asked softly. Fighting back more tears, I choked back the remaining sobs and nodded my head.
"Yes...sweetheart. I'm alright."
I opened my eyes to Scotch shoving her nose into my face. My vision appeared dazed as I groaned, wrapping my arms around her and pulled her closer to me. She didn't mind as she continued to purr. I nuzzled my face into her soft fur, one of my eyes opening to see Anton pulling out a casual suit from the closet and tossed it onto the edge of the bed.
Squirming on my side of the bed, Scotch wiggled out of my hold and rushed out of the room while I pulled the covers up to my chin.
"Are you heading to work?" I spoke in a tired voice while my eyes locked onto Anton's every move. He tugged a pair of black boxer briefs onto his naked form. A shudder shot up my back from the memories brought back to me—late last night when we had gone to bed together. The cold shiver ran up my entire spine and tickled my neck. Even though I had the blanket covering my naked form, I still felt exposed and vulnerable from being in the same room as him.
He came to me last night, forcefully. I hated it so much―that feeling of remorse and disgust I had after. He didn't do it out of love; he never did anything out of love anymore. He did it just because he needed a screw, and because I was a queen, I was obligated to give myself to him.
"Yes. I will be back around 6:00 so make sure to have dinner ready," Anton replied, not once sparing me a glance. I nodded my head before closing my eyes again.
My cat, Scotch, rubbed her tail in front of my face once my eyes closed. The sound of her purring rang in my ears followed by an adorable meow. I groaned, wrapping my arms around her and pulled her close to me. I heard the ruffles from Anton as he threw on his suit and tie. The smell of cologne filled the room like smoke wafting out of a fire as he sprayed himself with a scent that I knew way too well.
It was almost hilarious how something that you once loved so dearly, could be the thing that hurts you the most, scares you the most, and tears you up on the inside. Even stitches couldn't heal those wounds that had been ripped open. Anton came into my life for better and for worse. He came into my life and showered me with so much love that I thought I was on cloud nine. But he also brought me down harder than ever, and he drowned me in a way I didn't know was possible.
I never knew that I could hurt so badly over one person. I didn't know how much I could be affected by someone until I met Anton. And so, I vowed not to fall in love again. Never to trust another king. I didn't want to live through the same nightmare.
"Of course," I replied, and with that I heard footsteps leave the bedroom, and the door close before it fell silent.
I opened my eyes and slowly pulled myself out of bed. My body shuddered to the coldness of the room against my exposed skin. I moved towards the window and peeked through the curtains. Anton stepped into his car, and drove away out of sight.
Just as he was gone I walked myself out of the bedroom to the bathroom. Scotch was quick to follow after me as I closed the door and filled the tub with water. My plan? Bathe, get dressed and pack my bags. I was leaving this house and taking Leah and Scotch with me.
Where would I go? I had no idea.
I couldn't stay with my parents. They lived all the way in England for work purposes and didn't want me around since they deemed it dangerous. What kind of work they did was beyond me. I was going to have to find someplace else—a hotel maybe?
It wasn't just me I needed to look after anymore, it was me and my daughter's life on the road. I had to protect this child's life with everything in me, and if I had to leave Anton to do so, then that is what I would do.
The tub was filled with warm water and bubbles. I slid my naked form into the water with a heavy sigh. I leaned back against the wall and gently smiled as Scotch jumped on to the ledge of the tub and sat there, not daring to go into the water. I reached my hand out and rubbed my fingers over her head and massaged her ears, earning a purr of gratitude. After a few minutes of sitting in the warm water, the bathroom screaming with purified silence, my mind began to wander. Tears pierced the corners of my eyes, followed by a choked up sob that bubbled in my throat. A single tear gradually fell down my cheek.
All I could do was cry when I sat in the midst of the warm water and bubbles. The salty tears ran down my face and dropped into the water below. I brought my knees up and pressed them against my chest while gripping the side of the tub as I cried. The life I had here was shitty, one that I didn't wish upon anyone. The beating heart in my chest ached with every thought and every tear that spilled down my cheeks.
All I needed to do was leave. To make this pain go away.
Once I was done crying and calmed down, I relaxed in the tub for a little longer before I unclogged the drain and stepped out. Scotch was by my feet as I dried myself off. When I looked into the mirror I frowned at my blotchy face and red eyes from my crying. It was not a good look at all.
Sighing heavily, I brushed my teeth and ran my fingers through my dirty blond hair before I wandered back to the bedroom and grabbed a pair of clothes—just a pair of distressed jeans and a baggy hoodie. I sprayed cologne on myself and once I was done getting dressed it was time for the moment of truth.
I bit my lip, tossing my suitcase onto the bed and began packing my clothes, toiletries, etc. I was lucky I didn't have much, but I did have to pack a carry on for smaller stuff. I made sure to grab my wallet and take some money from Anton; he hid away several thousand dollars for emergency purposes.
Zipping the suitcase closed, I set it by the top of the stairs before moving into Leah's bedroom, shaking her awake. I got her dressed before grabbing her own suitcase from her closet and quickly packed her clothes and her favourite toys, anything that she needed. All the while, Leah was watching me with a sleepy look, rubbing at her eyes.
"Leave mommy?" She gripped my pant leg. Zipping her Disney Princess suitcase, I knelt down and lifted her up into my arms.
"Yes, baby. We're leaving," I kissed her forehead. Leah clung to my neck as I grabbed her suitcase and moved into the hallway and down the stairs. I grabbed my keys and moved outside. Unlocking the door, I helped Leah into her booster seat and tossed our suitcases into the back, before moving back inside the house.
"I'm not leaving you here either...you're coming with me and we will find somewhere to stay," I smiled at Scotch as she meowed. I pushed her into her carrier with slight force. Picking her carrier up, I brought it outside the house towards the car, sitting her in the back seat next to Leah.
"Where mummy?" Leah questioned curiously. I slid into the car, turned it on, and drove off. I made sure to choose a pet friendly hotel so they would allow me to bring in Scotch.
"We're gonna stay at hotel sweetie, no more Anton," I spoke up, glancing back at her briefly through the mirror.
The roads weren't too busy on my way to the hotel to which I was grateful for. When I approached a red light, my phone went off in the cup holder next to me. I pulled my phone out, glancing at the screen, seeing that is was Beatrice calling. I paused, before answering the call and put her on speaker.
"Hey Lloyd! Whatcha up to?" Beatrice greeted with excitement. She always greeted me with a tone full of jubilance, which was honestly soothing to me even though my hands were trembling against the steering wheel. It felt like I committed a crime running away from Anton, but I knew it was the right thing.
But right now, I was fighting back tears.
"I'm honestly scared right now, Beatrice... fuck, goddammit," I admitted, cringing at the way my voice cracked at the end. Immediately, Beatrice sounded worried.
"What, why? What's wrong Lloyd? What happened? Tell me," She demanded quickly, and I inhaled a deep breath.
"I packed my bags and left. Anton....I can't stay with him. I just can't. I left and took Leah with me and now I'm driving. I'm terrified right now."
"What? What's going on Lloyd? Come to my house right now, I want you to tell me everything that's going on," Beatrice explained, "did he hit you? Do you need a place to stay?"
"I was going to find a hotel..." I trailed off.
"Come stay at my place for now. Then, we can figure out what you can do next. I'm worried about you Lloyd and I'm here to help," She said. I blinked back a few tears.
"Thank you Beatrice, it means a lot. I'll be there soon."
"It's no problem sweetheart, anything for you! I'll be waiting," Beatrice replied, and after sending a quick muah over the phone, the call ended.