Billionaire's Peeping Piper

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XLIX. Pink Diamond Tiara

I watch as Crystal twirled around the house with the tiara on her head. “I’m so pretty. Such a pretty girl.” She placed her hands over her head like a ballerina and twirled.

I cannot believe Jackson got her a pink diamond tiara for her eighth birthday. What is he going to get her for her ninth? A Lamborghini?

She grabs a hand mirror and looks at herself, “Mommy. Am I pretty?”

“Sure.”

She smiles, “I know.”

The audacity.

“Jackson,” she sings.

“Not here,” I respond.

She lowers the hand mirror and looks around. “When did he leave? He was right here!” She points at the empty chair.

“A few hours ago.”

“Where did he go?”

“Out.”

“But out...where?!”

Steadily, my eyes went from the tv to towards her, “I don’t know?” I raise my body, “Is there something I should know?”

“N-Nothing. It’s just I need someone to tell me how pretty I look.” Her eyes went around the room, “When will he be home?”

“I don’t know?”

“Oh.” Crystal slump down on the couch.

“You miss him?”

Her cheeks turned red, “No!”

“You like him?” I teased.

“No! He’s old!”

“Who’s old?” Jackson’s voice appears. He places the black bag on the chair.

“You,” I said. “Crystal said you’re old.”

“Mom!”

“Mom?” I question. “What happened to mommy?”

“I’m eight! I’m a grown-up now.” She puffs her chest, “And girls my age don’t call their mom...mommy.”

I raised a brow, “I mean, that makes sense. You’re another year older, which means Jackson is getting old.”

“I’m...old?”

“No. No. I-I mean- mommy!” Crystal stomped her foot and ran out of the room.

When her bedroom door closed, I couldn’t help but snicker. “I think someone has a crush on you,” I sang.

“You should stop teasing her,” Jackson responded. “She’s at a fragile age.”

“Speaking from experience?”

He settled beside me, “Maybe. How’s work?”

“Everyone nice.” I started working as a receptionist at one of Jackson’s hotels a while back. “My supervisor is so nice that he gives me multiple breaks a day.” I glanced at him.

“Okay. Don’t look at me like that. I may have-”

“I knew it!” I exhaled, “Jackson. I told you not to make any calls.” I turn my body, “We agreed, right? I applied. Somehow I get accepted, and everyone treats me like an average employee.”

“All I said was to watch out for you.”

“Yes. The hotel owner told an employee to watch out for an even lower employee is not suspicious at all.”

“One comment,” Jackson defended himself.

“Jackson!” I hiss out.

He cups my cheeks, “I’ll call them and tell them to treat you normally.”

“Oh. Good. Another call.” I removed his hands and made my way into the kitchen. Inside, I clean up all the dishes on the table. I hate cleaning, but it’s a way for me to relieve stress. I take it all out on the dishes.

“Piper-”

“I’m not my sister,” I said. “I won’t sit down for this type of treatment.”

He chuckled anxiously, “You’re not Nina. Of course, you’re not her.”

“So, stop treating me like Matt would treat Nina.” I can’t believe it. I’m yelling at Jackson for helping me get back on my feet. I know I shouldn’t since he only meant well.

But, whenever he starts doing things like this, it makes me feel like I’m falling back, and soon, I’ll be trap like my sister.

I don’t want to live that type of life.

Jackson ran his tongue across his cheek before his lips pinched. “Is it so wrong to care,” he burst out.

My brain went on shut down for a moment with his sudden outburst.

He rested his hands on his hips and turned around. His tongue ran across his cheek multiple times before he turned back. “I called because I was worried, okay? I was worried that they wouldn’t treat you well.”

No job will ever treat their employees well, just enough where they won’t gather together and revolutionize.

“But, here you are, screaming at me like I did something wrong.”

I wasn’t screaming.

“I care about you and Crystal and Dustin. I love you all very much, but you keep pushing me away. I-I know you don’t want to live my type of life. I know that.”

I have a feeling Jackson had a bad day.

“And I know what I’m doing is stupid. I’m here, pretending to be someone I’m not. And one day-”

I turn Jackson’s attention towards me. “Did something happen today?”

Jackson let out a light breath before he hugs me firmly. “Don’t,” he whispers. “Even if you don’t want to be together with me. Can you not be together with anyone else?”

“Why are you suddenly...saying this?”

Jackson didn’t respond.

When I moved back, I could see his sweet blues that seem to brighter than usual. His hot breath scattered across my face.

“Tell me,” I said. “What happened today?”

I could hear the music playing in the background. That must be Crystal. I should go upstairs and tell her to lower it before Dustin wakes up.

“I realized-” Jackson whispers, “how you haven’t been smiling around me.”

“W-What?”

“How you smile much easier around other men.”

“Don’t tell me,” I said slowly. “You visited the hotel I worked at?” If Jackson wasn’t so attractive, this whole situation is downright creepy.

His cheeks turned red.

“Jackson.”

Jackson turned around and ran his hands through his hair, “I may have,” he barely said the words.

Once the initial awkwardness strolled out of the room, I said: “I’m not looking for anyone, and I don’t think I’ll be dating anyone for a long time.”

I walk towards the table and clean up the rest of the mess. Jackson moved to the other side and helped me clean. When I piled the chopsticks together, Jackson said: “Me too.”

I stop what I was doing and look at him. His eyes were right at me. Hesitantly, we continued to clean the mess.

It was stupid - what we did today.

But, since we already had a stupid day, we might as well finish it with pure stupidity.

Jackson slams my back against the wall as he thrust into me. His tongue latched onto mine, and I could feel the muscles on his back.

“Did you know?” He whispers into my ear.

His chest pressed harder against mine, and we could no longer distinguish who’s sweats come from which body.

“W-What?”

“They say two people don’t have to be married to stay together.” His thrust only got harsher. I would be surprised if there weren’t bruises between my legs tomorrow. “Just as long as those two people don’t see other people.”

I held a hand against the bed frames, “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.”

“I want to do it,” he grunts. “I want to be there for all of you.”

“Are you suggesting for me to be alone for the rest of my life?” We’re seriously having this converstation in the middle of sex.

“If it helps, I’ll be alone too.” He stops his actions, but I could still feel him buried inside of me. “So, why don’t we be alone...together?”

I chuckled, “That sounds like a badly written line from a cliche rom-com.”

He smiles, “It does.”

I kiss him, and he kisses me back.

It was the type of kiss that’s both sweet and ultimately bitter.

These days continue to pass in an unsettling manner. I could feel wet kisses on the nape of my neck. “What’s wrong?” Jackson mumbled. “Nervous for the court date tomorrow?”

I turn my body and lean against the bed frame. “Kind of.”

Jackson settled beside me, “Don’t worry,” he said. “The lawyers say we have a solid case.” He tangled his hand around mine. “And once this is over, it’ll only be another memory.”

“A bad tasting memory.”

Jackson placed his hand on my head and pulled me towards his shoulder, “But still a memory.”

Someone knocked against the door, “Mommy!” Crystal rattle the knob before she pounded again, “Why is your door lock?”

I pushed Jackson to the other side of the bed, and he rolled to the bottom. Once I wrapped the nightgown around my body, I open the door. “What is it?”

The edge of Crystal’s lips pulled upward, “Why is your door lock?”

“You’re here this late at night to ask me about the locked door? Why aren’t you in bed?”

“I can’t sleep.” She placed a hand on her stomach, “For some reason, I don’t feel well.”

I went down on my knees and placed a hand on her forehead. “You’re not hot.”

She grabbed my hand and placed it on her stomach. “Here. I don’t feel well here like-”

“Like?”

“Like something bad will happen.”

I know I shouldn’t take her words so seriously. After all, it could be the tacos earlier that made her stomach upset. She did put a ridiculous amount of hot sauce in her tacos. But, somehow, her words made me worried.

I smiled, “It might be the tacos,” I said. “Let’s turn in your night light just in case you have to use the bathroom tonight.”

Crystal nods slowly, “Okay.” I help Crystal go back into her bed.

After I tucked Crystal in, I kiss her forehead. “Goodnight, my Crystal heart.”

Crystal grab my sleeve, “Can I go with you tomorrow?”

I settled back down onto the bed, “Don’t you want to play with your cousins?”

“I...I don’t feel well. Can’t we stay at home?”

I tucked her hair behind her ear, “I told you. Mommy has something important to do tomorrow.”

“Can you stay with me until I fall asleep?”

I smile, “That...I can do.” I clicked on the night light, “Tummy rub?”

She nods, “Please.”

I place a hand above her stomach and move it in a light circular motion. Soon, Crystal fell asleep. “You have nothing to worry about. Mommy will see you tomorrow after everything is over,” I whisper.

Those words were more for me than it is for her.

I push her hair back, “I love you.”

My eyes close as I lean against the bed frame. It will be fine. That single line replay inside my head. I wish it would stop - these negative emotions - but no matter how many times I told myself, everything would be fine. I could never force myself to believe those words.

Two back pats and my hand reach for the lamp.

I stopped when I noticed a tiny mole behind her right ear.

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