The American

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CHAPTER 8

I can't believe good food was used to bribe me to come for this event. The food at the event was not bad, but right now, that is not the problem. I am starting to feel sleepy due to how bored I am. It's a dinner ball, the person my brother wants to sign a deal with is hosting it. I am currently sitting down outside, trying to entertain myself with watching videos on Instagram.

"Adina is that you," A familiar deep voice says. I turn around, and I am right, Ethan is the one who called me.

"Yes," I say, surprised to see him here.

"What are you doing here?" Ethan says, joining me in the balcony.

"I should be asking you the same"

"What is my name?"

"Ethan Mantone," I say, and I realise that Ethan has the same surname as the man hosting the event tonight. He must be Ethan's father; wow, I would have never guessed that.

"From the look on your face, I can tell, you know why I am here. So why are you?"

"My brother is trying to get a deal signed with your dad, so he came for the event to pitch his idea to him."

"Oh, that explains it."

"Yeah, and I would have never guessed him to be your dad."

"Why"

"Because everything about that man speaks Italian and you don't."

Ethan's dad, the man hosting tonight's event is Mr Federico Mantone, a very handsome Italian man.

"Really"

"Yes, you don't."

"Maybe it is because my mom is American."

"Oh, that explains it."

"Anyways what are you doing out here."

"Got bored of staying inside," I say feeling a cold breeze pass by. It's a bit chilly tonight; it's expected with winter around the corner.

"Are you cold?"

"A bit," I say, rubbing my arms around myself.

"Here," Ethan says, taking off his suit and drops it over my shoulder.

"No, you don't have too," I say trying to give him back his suit, but he stops me.

"No, you can have it."

"Thank you," I say smiling, really surprised with Ethan's kind gestures. They never seize to surprise me every time.

"You are welcome and how are you preparing for your exams," Ethan says, and I am about to answer before a high pitched voice interrupts me.

"Ethan, dear, is that you. I have been looking everywhere for you" A girl says while walking towards Ethan and I. She looks to be the same age as I. She has blond hair, blue eyes and a slim figure.

"How many times have I told you never to call me that," Ethan says in a cold tone, but not as severe as he used to speak with me.

"Whatever and what are you doing here?" She says, looking at me from head to toe with a scowl on her face. Why is she looking at me like that? I don't even know who she is?

"That is none of your business, now go inside. I will be there shortly" Ethan says

"Why don't we go back inside together," She says, wrapping her arms around Ethan's arm like he is her possession, and she is fighting for him. Why is she behaving like this? I also wonder who she is to Ethan.

"I think you can see I am talking to someone," Ethan says

"I do, but I doubt she is important. Let's go inside" She says eyeing me with disgust. Wow, I have never been insulted like this in my life.

"She is important to me Elena, now leave," Ethan says, removing his arms from hers. I also did not expect Ethan to say that. Wow, tonight is full of surprises. Who would have guessed Ethan to say to someone that I am important to him?

"Alright Ethan, but please be quick" Elena says and pecks Ethan on the cheek before walking away. Ethan picks a handkerchief from his pocket and cleans his face before throwing it away.

"Would it be too much to ask who she is?" I say

"No, she is one of the daughters of my father's associate."

"Your girlfriend?"

"I don't do girlfriends."

"Oh"

"Yeah"

We embrace into a comfortable silence before later talking about random things we both like. I was surprised by the things Ethan and I have in common. We both like horror and action movies. We both love things that have to do with technology and science, but that is kind of obvious since we are studying the same course. They are a few more I am yet to find out, but I will with time.

The next day came, and I am on my way to Ethan's house. I want to give Grace some Doughnuts I baked earlier today, and return Ethan's suit jacket. I was not able to give it back to him last night.

I arrive at his door and ring the bell. The person who opens the door is someone I have never seen and would never imagine seeing at the entrance of Ethan's house.

"Hi," I say to the little girl who opened the door for me. She has ginger hair that compliments her deep grey eyes. She looks to be around the ages of 7 or 8.

"Hello, please, who are you?" She says

"My name is Adina; I am Ethan's friend. Do you mind telling him I am here?"

"Oh, you are Adina, come in. Ethan already told me you were coming. He said you should wait for him. He is in the shower; he just got back from practice" She says, moving from the door for me to step inside. I called Ethan before coming and told him I was coming over.

"Practice?" I say while we walk to the living room

"Yes, Ethan plays football. Are you not his girlfriend, you should know that" She says sounding surprised.

"No, I am not his girlfriend. I am anything even close to his girlfriend or even a friend. If anything we just started getting along" I say clearing out her suspicions. I never knew Ethan plays football. I am not surprised though because it's not like we are friends or anything that I would know everything about him.

"Oh, that's sad because you are so pretty," She says, looking sad.

"Thank you for the compliment, and I am sure Ethan's real girlfriend is also pretty," I say trying to cheer up this little kid, I am yet to find out who she is

"Maybe, or maybe not."

" Yeah but anyways tell me about you. You have not told me your name."

"My name is Caroline; I am Ethan's little sister. What do you have there with you?" She says smiling, and I see the resemblance with her and Ethan. They both have the same colour of eyes.

"Oh, this, I made doughnuts for Grace, do you want to try some"

"Yes, I would love to try one," Caroline says, sounding excited. I open the box of doughnuts and hand her one.

"What do you think?"

"It taste amazing, you have to make some for me next time," Caroline says with a mouth full of doughnuts.

"Thank you, and I will make some for you next time," I say smiling, feeling happy she likes them.

"Do you like princesses?"

"Yes, I do. Which princess is your favourite" I say making conversation with the little girl

"I like Princess Elsa."

"She is a beautiful princess, but my favourite is Belle from Beauty and the beast."

"I like Belle, but not as much as I like Elsa. You should see my dolls sometime. We could play dress up and braid their hairs. Do you know how to braid hair?"

"I do, and I would love to play with you sometime."

"Caroline is that Adina with you," Ethan's voice says from up the stairs.

"Yes, she is here," Caroline says

"I will be there in a sec," Ethan says

Ethan comes downstairs looking all freshen up. He is wearing a pair of faded grey ripped jeans, a white t-shirt, a demi jacket and a couple of white vans.

"Hi, Adina what brings you over," Ethan says, sitting beside his little sister.

"I came to return this, and I also brought some doughnuts for Grace," I say giving him the bag I put his suit jacket and the box of doughnuts.

"Oh, thank you on her behalf," Ethan says, taking them from my hands.

"No problem, and since that's settled. I will be taking my leave" I say getting up from the couch.

"Ethan, she should come with us," Caroline says before I walk out the door.

"I don't think Adina would want too," Ethan says

"What don't you think I would want to do?" I say turning back to the siblings on the couch

"We are going to get ice cream, and Caroline wants you to join us," Ethan says

"And why wouldn't I want that," I say lifting my brows at Ethan, wondering why he would think I won't want ice cream

"I don't know, maybe you are on a diet or something," Ethan says chuckling.

"Really," I say, chuckling.

"So, will you come with us Adina," Caroline says looking excited to invite me to join her brother and her.

"Sure, I will."

"That's wonderful," She says in excitement.

"Alright, get your things so we could get going," Ethan says, and Caroline runs upstairs. She comes back with a princess bag over her shoulders. Caroline grabs my hand, and we walk of the door together.

We arrive at the ice cream parlour, and for a Sunday afternoon, I am not surprised it's filled with children.

"Adina come let's take our seats while Ethan gets our ice cream. We still have a lot of princess stuff to talk about" Caroline says pulling me to a seat

"Alright Caroline, just a minute," I say stopping her in her tracks.

"Here," I say handing Ethan a few dollars for my ice cream.

"What is it for," Ethan says looking at the money confused

"For my ice cream."

"Keep it; I am paying."

"No, you don't have to pay for me."

"Adina do you think I will collect money from you to pay for ice cream."

"Alright, fine," I say giving up in paying for my ice cream.

"Better, and what flavours do you want."

"Surprise me," I say smiling, feeling curious to know if Ethan could guess what I would like.

After a few minutes, Ethan comes back with three cups of ice cream. He got my favourite flavours. I would have never guessed him getting something I like. Ethan keeps surprising me day by day.

"You got my favourite of flavours. Coffee and mint chocolate chip" I say smiling.

"That is Ethan's favourite also," Caroline says with a mouth full of strawberry ice cream.

"Really, I just got the same thing I got for myself," Ethan says taking his seat.

"I would have never guessed our favourite ice cream flavours to be the same"

"Me too."

"Ethan, so you play football."

"Yes, I do, and maybe you should come for the game next time, but if you don't want to it's totally understandable," Ethan says, sounding a bit shy asking me. It's so new to see Ethan shy around me. I wonder why he is shy to ask me. The way things are going between Ethan and I is something I never saw happening.

"I would love too," I say smiling, loving every moment of the way things are progressing between Ethan and I

I had a wonderful time at the ice cream parlour with Caroline and Ethan. I am back at Ethan's place to pick up my car and go back home. I felt like peeing so; I went back to his apartment to use his restroom. I drop my kegs and bag at the kitchen counter and walk to the guest toilet to use it.

I finish doing my business and walk out. I pick up my keys and phone in a hurry from the counter, but I wish I did not. I did not see the water on the floor close to the kitchen sink. I try to grab anything to prevent me from falling, but nothing is close to me. I close my eyes as I feel myself about to kiss the ground when something prevents me from falling. I feel something warm and hard around my waist. I open my eyes, and I realise it's not something, but someone. The warm and hard thing around my waist is his muscular arms. He pulls me back up from falling, causing my hands to land on his bare toned chest. Without knowing my eyes lock with his, and I stare into those beautiful grey eyes of his. Ethan has charming eyes. I could stare at them all day, but I know it's Haram to stare, so I avert my eyes away. I also realise that it's not only my eyes that are doing something wrong. My hands are placed on his bare toned chest. The warmth passing through my hands from his body is making me feel tingles all over my body. I quickly drop my hands, but Ethan does not remove his hold around my waist. I can feel him staring at me, but it's not out of hatred or lust. I think the best word to describe it is wonder.

"Ethan"

"Yes," He says not taking his eyes off my face for even a second

"You can let go now," I say looking at the ground, feeling very shy.

"Oh, sorry," Ethan says, slowly removing his arms from around my waist.

I stand there wondering what in Allah's name just happened between Ethan and I. I know it's wrong for his arms to be around me, but I did not put it on me either. I felt very comfortable and warm in my heart while in his arms. Something I could have never guessed feeling in Ethan's arms.

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