Chapter 1: Kayden
“So what? I don’t care if Jayden Knight was a coward. I just know that someone has to be there standing to marry my daughter! I will not be insulted in front of all the guests!” Adam Walker yells. I clench my fists, trying to control my anger.
“Adam! Let’s not forget that your daughter ran away too! If both of them are gone, how can this marriage take place?” My dad, Alexander Knight, says in an angry tone.
My brother did run away. But he was not a coward. He must have a valid reason for what he did. I believe in my brother. He’s a good person. He would’ve thought about everything. Maybe this was the best thing. But what I don’t understand is what could’ve happened. My brother loved the girl he was going to marry. Though the girl’s father turned their love marriage into a business deal, neither of the two were forced to do this. So why did they run away?
Both of them just left one note each for their families. Both the notes had just one string of words:
I am leaving.
Just these three words written in plain black ink. Nothing else.
“You don’t have to worry about that, Alex. I have another daughter. She’ll take her sister’s place.” Adam Walker says with a sickly evil smirk.
“Nonsense! Aviana is too young for all this! You can’t expect us to let you do such a crime and spoil that girl’s life!” My mother, Veronica Knight, argues.
“We can do anything with her life. After all, she’s our daughter. We can do whatever we want with her life.” Samantha Walker, Adam’s wife, says with a smug smirk matching her husband’s expression.
“What can we do? Jayden is not here. Neither is your daughter, Mikaela present. Both of them are gone. Even if you replace the bride, who will take Jayden’s place?” I say, trying to keep the anger out of my voice.
“You will.” Adam says, his smirk still plastered to his face as he looks at me. “The invitations and everything said that the daughter of Adam Walker and the son of Alexander Knight are getting married. My daughter, Aviana and Alexander’s son, which is you.” Adam explains.
“No.” I say, gritting my teeth and clenching my fists to keep my anger in control. Adam laughs menacingly.
“Oh! But you have to. If you don’t, I will tell everyone that Jayden Knight ran away from his own marriage which was supposed to happen with my daughter, Aviana. What the media will do to taint your family’s name won’t be my fault then.” Adam says darkly. I hear my mother gasping beside my dad.
My nose flared in anger at his threat. He knows that my family is my weakness. How low can this bastard go?! His daughter ran away too. And he’s ready to ruin his younger daughter’s life for his pride. I pity the two girls who call him their father. He’s a monster. But I can’t let him ruin my family’s name. My dad worked so hard to set up the reputation of us Knights as noble people. I will not let this selfish man spoil everything my father built and everything I have built during the time I have spent on this earth.
“But Aviana is just a college girl. She’s too young. And don’t you think that my son, Kayden is a bit too old for her?” My father reasons. Adam chuckles.
“I don’t care about that as long as I am not insulted. And besides, in this modern world, no one sees the age gap of the couple if you use the word ‘love’ in the story.” Adam says. He then turns to look me in the eye. “It’s totally up to you. Either be there, or when my daughter walks down the altar to find no one standing there, I will make sure to ruin the image that your family holds. I will make sure that you can never show your face in public again.” Adam threatens.
Adam is about two inches shorter than me and as he looks up at me, it looks comical. But his threats are delivered with perfection. I will have to admit, this man is good at being a total douche.
“Even if we agree to this, how will we get the wedding dress fitted according to Aviana’s size in just two hours?” My mother tries to reason.
“Leave that to me, Veronica. I am the world’s best fashion designer. I can get the dress ready with just a snap of my fingers. In fact, it’s already ready. Aviana is getting ready. And as for Kayden’s outfit, I have that ready too. ” Samantha Walker says as she snaps her fingers. She smirks at my parents.
“So, will you marry my daughter or get destroyed?” Adam asks me.
“I will marry her.” I say with gritted teeth.
I never thought that I would be getting married like this. In fact, I never even thought that I would ever marry anyone. But here I am, sitting in the backseat of the car with the girl who is now my wife. During the whole ceremony, I didn’t even look at her face. I just did whatever I was told. It was when the priest asked me to kiss her that I finally saw her face. She looked angry but she was trying not to show it on her face. I just pecked her. I couldn’t kiss her. She’s not someone I ever thought I’ll marry or even talk to.
When we were supposed to go for the reception, Aviana said something to her father which made his face pale. He announced that the ‘newly married couple’ wanted to go and rest and have their first night in peace as they were tired. That helped in avoiding any questions as we skipped our own reception.
During the whole ride to my penthouse, I sat there in my seat looking out of the window and she did the same. When we reached, I just gave her a look, telling her to follow me. She silently did what she was told.
When I reached my penthouse, I turned on the lights and saw that the staff was leaving after putting her luggage in her room. When they left, it was just me and her left. I cleared my throat, awkwardly.
“So, that is the kitchen.” I tell her pointing towards the kitchen. “There is your room and my room is over there.” I say, pointing in the direction of the rooms. I have specifically given her the room farthest from mine. Our rooms were practically on the opposite ends of the penthouse. “Don’t enter my room without my permission and I will do the same. The chef will be here in the morning to make breakfast. You can tell her what you like and at what times you will be eating.” I explain.
“Okay.” She says with a nonchalant shrug of her shoulders as she makes her way towards her room. I stand there in shock as she huffs and takes off her heels as she walks, taking the awfully tall heels in her hands.
“Okay? You have nothing else to say?” I ask in bewilderment making her stop and turn to look at me. Honestly, I don’t know what I was expecting her to say but ‘okay’ surely wasn’t what I was expecting. I thought that she would tell me stuff like how a married couple was supposed to stay together and stuff like that. I mean, she is still a young girl. I remember my parents telling me that she was still in college. Aren’t young girls supposed to be a little too over the top about love and stuff like that?
“What else am I supposed to say?” She asks with a confused frown on her face. Then, in a few seconds, I see the wheels turning in her head as realization dawns on her about what I was expecting. “Oh! Sorry! Goodnight.” She says with a smile on her face. I raise my eyebrow at her.
This girl is weird...
“So, you are okay with the fact that we have separate rooms?” I ask her.
“Oh! That! Actually, I am happy that you gave me my own room. I am used to having my personal space. Thanks for that.” She says with a sweet smile.
“Uh... You’re welcome.” I say, not knowing what else to say.
“Okay, I am super exhausted so I am going to bed. Goodnight!” She says as she turns and enters her room.
“Goodnight.” I say behind her as a smile breaks on my face. I didn’t know what I expected but I certainly wasn’t this.
I adjust my tie as I walk out of my room, reading the day’s schedule that my assistant sent me this morning. I hear laughter when I reach the kitchen. I look up from my phone to see Aviana laughing at something with the chef who was a kind lady in her late forties. Aviana notices me standing there and waves at me with a huge grin.
“Good morning!” Aviana says in a chirpy voice. Her smile was beautiful and contagious but I struggle to keep my face blank.
Aviana’s medium length chocolate brown hair is in loose curls as they reach her waist. She looked young and carefree in her skinny light blue jeans, plain black top and a pair of black sneakers.
“Morning.” I say with a slight nod of my head as I start eating the waffles that the chef places in front of me. I look at Aviana when I don’t hear her saying anything to find her frowning at me. “What?” I ask her.
“I wished you to have a good morning and in reply, you just wished me to have a morning. I am going to have a morning anyway. You were supposed to wish me to have a good morning!” She explains to me as she pouts at me. I hear the chef chuckling at her and a small smile breaks out on my face at her cuteness.
“I am sorry. Good morning, Aviana.” I say. She grins at me before turning to the chef.
“Martha, you really have magic in your hands! I really love these waffles!” Aviana tells the chef as she eats her waffles.
“Thank you, dear.” Martha replies with a smile. I haven’t seen my chef smile or talk to someone ever.
“You have nothing to thank me for. In fact, thank you for making these waffles for me.” Aviana tells her. Martha chuckles a little as she watches Aviana eat her breakfast.
“It’s my job.” Martha replies.
“I’m telling you, Martha, if I had met you before I got married, I would have eloped with you! Really!” Aviana tells her with a serious face which makes me chuckle. Martha chuckles at her too but I can see that she’s shocked to hear me chuckling.
Now, if it was someone else other than Avian, I would have ignored them or thought that they were acting. But after all the times that I have seen Aviana during my brother’s wedding preparation, I know that she’s not pretending. She is what she is.
“Okay, so, I am leaving now. I can’t be late on a Monday.” Aviana says as she gets up after finishing her breakfast. Martha takes her plate away as she picks up her bag from the foot of her chair.
“Where are you going?” I ask her, making her turn to look at me.
“If you don’t remember or if you didn’t know, I am a college girl. I have to go to college.” She says as she leaves after saying a goodbye to me and Martha.
At work, I tried to focus on my work but a certain brown headed young girl was on my mind, not letting me concentrate.
I was constantly thinking about how I wanted to enjoy my life alone. I am 26 years old but I still wasn’t ready to get married. What would it have been like for Aviana, a 21-year-old girl who was still in college? She hasn’t even seen the world yet.
I enter my penthouse to find it completely dark. I switch on the lights. It looked the same as I left it in the morning. Didn’t Aviana come back? Where is she? I look around the house but it’s completely empty. I am just about to call her when I hear the door of the penthouse opening. I hear her giggle.
“Yes, Caroline. I have entered the house. And now I am walking towards the kitchen.” Aviana says as I see her walking in the kitchen where I was standing. “Oh! Looks like I’m not alone. I’m safe now, Caroline. I’ll call you later. Bye!” Aviana says into her phone before disconnecting the call. She looks at me with a big smile.
“Where were you?” I ask her, my voice coming out more forceful than I intended it to be.
“Relax! I was at my friend, Candice’s house. She needed my help with some lessons which she had to miss last week when she was sick.” She explains with a sigh.
“Oh!” I say.
“Yeah. But now that we are both at home, do you want to watch some movie or some TV show?” She asks me with a grin. I frown at her.
“You have a TV in your room. You can watch whatever you want.” I tell her. She pouts in disappointment.
“I was thinking that we can watch something together. Maybe get to know each other a bit.” She says.
“I am sorry but not today. Let’s just have dinner. I have to wake up early tomorrow.” I tell her. I have to go to the gym in the morning and then I have to go to work. And I am feeling tired right now.
“Okay. When will you be home tomorrow?” She asks.
“I don’t know. It depends.” I tell her as I loosen my tie and make my way to my room.
“I forgot that you were a workaholic.” I hear her mumbling as she walks to her own room after taking a bottle of water from the fridge.
“Good morning! What are you doing so early in the morning?” I am about to open the door to leave when I hear Aviana’s happy voice. I turn around to find her in black tights and a sky-blue sleeveless crop top. Her hair was up in a neat high ponytail. She was smiling at me.
“I was going to the gym. Why are you up so early?” I say. She grins at me as she walks up to me with a gym bag.
“I have to go for my dance rehearsals.” She says as she smiles at me. Just as I am about to question her, her phone starts ringing and she looks at it with big eyes. “I am getting late. I’ll see you later. Bye!” She says as she runs away to the lift and leaves.
She’s the same in the morning. Happy and over excited as always....