My flight landed in New York and I felt like dying. I was heavily jet-lagged and I have survived longer flights without feeling so exhausted. At this point, I just need to sleep for days.
My phone was still switched off and no one knows where I am. The whole flight I wondered what am I going to do after I land? I cannot just go to Nathan and beg him to help me solve everything.
I know that man. He doesn’t give away anything for free. He made his intentions clear on the phone. He still wants me. I need to get that thought out of his head. Even though being in New York is making me nostalgic, it is also reminding me of the life I left behind.
There is a heavy ache in my chest. I keep rubbing it but the pain persists. I have felt heartbreaks before this time the pain just wouldn’t stop.
I check into a hotel and if I know my father then he’ll be here shortly. He still tracks my cards, after all, it is his money that I’m blowing. I know it makes me a hypocrite. I hate him because he never really gave a shit about me but he has also always provided me with everything that money could buy. I wished love was on the stock too.
It doesn’t take him long. I hear the knock on my door exactly thirty minutes later. I open the door and I’m greeted by my father. A woman is standing behind him. She is looking at me with eyes wide, lips parted in wonderment.
Yeah, I have that effect on men and women, both sometimes.
“Who is she?”
“She is my fiance and I would like to know what are you doing here? Is this one of your mother’s ploys to get my attention again?”
“Honey, you are being very rude. Hi, I’m Kayla, it’s so nice to meet you. Matthew has said so many wonderful things about you.”
I could smell a fake from a mile and this one was pure sunshine. Why the hell is she with my father? She looked younger than him, a good ten years younger. Look at me, pot calling the kettle black.
My father’s expression softened after her words. I gaped at her in complete shock. Where the hell is my father and what type of black magic she has performed on him? He is listening to a woman. That’s a first.
“And yet I wasn’t invited to the wedding.”
“Who told you that?”
“Oh C’mon. You don’t have to act surprised Dad. I get it. You don’t want anything to do with me.”
“Are you done? This is all your mother sitting like a devil on your shoulder whispering these words into your ears I’ve never once uttered. I specifically told your mother that I will be sending my private jet to that god awful place you live at now. That’s why I’m surprised to see you here so early. You are my only child and I want you here. I’ve never been straight to you about a lot of things and I guess I should have known that Kate would do something like this. That woman has no limits.”
“She told me I wasn’t invited to the wedding and I believed her. You never talk to me unless I’m doing something that makes you crazy or angry. I don’t know how to talk to my own father.”
“Adelyn, do you think dating Nathan Fox will make you trustworthy. That whole family is out there to get me and you went behind my back. I was angry. I still am. I don’t trust him. I don’t trust him with you. So, what am I supposed to do if you are not going to listen to me anyway? So, I call your mother instead of you because even after everything I thought she would not let the hatred we have for each other come in between you and me. I guess I was wrong.”
“Let’s not get bitter on such a beautiful day. Everything worked out for the best. Isn’t it? She’s here. That’s all that matters.”
I liked Kayla. In two minutes she somehow managed to worm her way into my heart. So I did something that will permanently damage my relationship with my mother.
“Okay. So here’s the thing. You were right about Mom. She is planning something and she blackmailed me into doing her bid. She wants to remove you from your company. The Fox duo is working with her. I don’t know how they are going to manage that. There is also a great chance that she might crash the wedding.”
“I knew it. Kayla, this is what I warned you about. My crazy ex. She pushed my child away from me. She made me the bad guy. She wants my money. She wants everything I worked hard for and now she wants to ruin the only thing that makes me happy nowadays. If she set a foot inside our home I’m going to kill her.”
My dad was having a meltdown. I would have laughed at his face if I wasn’t so upset. Just what I wanted to hear, my father, making promises about killing my mother. Great. Both my parents are melodramatic and I think it is in my genes too. But this means that my dad will not notice the little details I gave away in my short rant and how I avoided talking about the things that made me run away.
“I need some fresh air.”
Kayla gave him a sweet kiss on the cheeks and somehow he visibly relaxed. He was out of the door before I could protest. I stood there in the presence of my soon-to-be stepmother. Damn, this is awkward.
“Why is Kate blackmailing you, Adelyn? What does she have over you? If you tell me I promise you I’ll help and I won’t speak a word to your father about it.”
“I slept with my stepbrother.”
I just blurted it out. Once this secret was out of my chest I felt light as if a huge weight was just lifted off my shoulder. I looked up at Kayla and waited for her judgement.
She looked more confused than repulsed. Man, my father found a diamond in the rough. I need to know how they found each other.
“Yeah, also I love him but things are complicated now. I’m not sure what the hell we were doing all these months. He’s so headstrong and so am I. We both don’t back down and every time we end up fighting. And then fighting leads to sex. I think we just met each other at the wrong place and at the wrong time. Even if I beg him to take me back or otherwise it doesn’t change the fact that we will somehow end up destroying every beautiful memory that we created together. I-I don’t want that.”
“Oh sweetie, come here.”
I didn’t realize I was crying. I don’t cry. I don’t cry because of a man. But he was not an ordinary man. He meant so much more. He meant everything. I was thinking about a future with him. But now all I see is darkness. We can’t solve every problem and argument by having sex. In the end, it will make our relationship hollow and force us to resent each other. I don’t want to end up like my parents.
I need him to be a part of my life but not if our love keeps on turning ugly every time we speak. I don’t think it’s healthy for either of us. Maybe, I’m being overdramatic about this but I can’t take the chance. What if he cheated on me? What if he found someone more mature than me? What if one day he realizes that I’m not worth the drama? Isn’t that what happened with my mother and now she has turned into a completely different person?
“Um... I know you are eighteen and all but was your relationship consensual?”
Once again there was no judgement in her voice, only concern. The question I would have thought my mother would have asked me if she was not busy blackmailing me.
“Of course. It was completely consensual. I pursued him until he relented if you can believe that. He had his walls and I broke each one of them only to get hurt myself with the final swing at his last wall. I think my mother is going to make a deal with my father.”
I don’t know why I blurted that out. It’s like someone injected me with truth serum or Kayla was really good with people. I was baring my soul to a complete stranger. The day couldn’t get weirder than this.
“What kind of deal?”
“That’s why I am here. I have a meeting with a certain Nathan.”
“Can you do me a favour, Adelyn? Before you tell anything to your father, can you tell me about her plans first?”
“Yeah, okay, sure.”
I don’t know why she asked me to do that but if she’s not going to utter a word about Alastair to my father then I can surely return the favour.
“A car is waiting for you downstairs. Take your time, freshen up and then that car will take you home. Your father had made a huge deal out of our wedding but I’m happy with whatever he wants.”
“Seriously? Your wedding is going to be telecasted live and you are okay with that?”
“I can deal with that. You deal with Nathan Fox before your father finds out about him. I’ll see you later.”
She gave me a quick hug and then warmly smiled at me. She left the room and I locked it behind her.
I stared at the phone resting on the bed. The urge to call Alastair was strong as hell but I won’t do it. I have to make things right first.
I took a quick shower and grabbed a sundress off my bag before making my way downstairs. As Kayla said, a car was waiting for me. The driver grabbed the luggage from my arm and before I could enter the car, a voice stopped me. A very familiar voice.
“Adelyn, are you kidding me?”
I turned around to see Chester Evans walking out of the hotel. It was like a blast from the past. We used to date. He was popular, rich, handsome and a good kisser. And now looking at him all I could see was another immature teenager.
It came out like a question because I don’t know what he was expecting from me. He grabbed me by my arms and pulled me in for a quick kiss. I almost kneed him in the balls. Instead, I pushed him away. He got it. He seemed confused by the rejection.
“We are not doing this, Chester. Don’t try to kiss me again. I’ll break your balls and feed it to cannibals.”
“Oh, there’s the Adelyn Stark I know. You look so different. Your hair. Something is different about you. I guess you are here for your father’s wedding.”
“Don’t tell me you are invited?”
“I know you’ve been away but have you forgotten how our world works. My family will be invited even if it was your pet’s funeral.”
No matter how smug he was being right now, the truth is that what he said is a fact. Every gathering is a business opportunity. These people only care about one thing: money. That’s why my father is going insane thinking about how my mother is planning on destroying his business.
“I wish I could say it was nice meeting you but I won’t lie to you, Chester. See ya.”
“Oh, Adelyn, you make me want you again so stop being a bitch. I’ll see you at the wedding.”
He was not even kidding. He was attracted to me because I was a fucking bitch to everyone.
I got into the car and told the driver to make a quick detour. There is some unfinished business I need to handle.