Cherry Wine

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Chapter 5

Liam’s POV:

I spent almost all day every day at the office due to a project that needed done immediately and the entire board was working over time to get this done, causing everyone to be stressed. I was especially stressed and tense, I cussed out anyone who screwed up or said they needed a vacation (which were usually the people who were basically asking to get fired with the way they worked).

“Thank God I haven’t smacked someone today...” I rubbed my temples as I whispered under under my breath and relaxed for only a second before I heard Clara on the phone.

“Mr. Harris, Ms. Patterson and her daughter are here to see you.” I sat there confused for a second before my brain connected the dots, I had invited Tessa and Princess over to use my break to take them shopping. I know it’s probably not smart since they are packing but it would be an excuse to give them a house tour too. My part of the project was done and my mother was coming tomorrow and I needed a distraction.

“Send them in, thank you.” I smiled and looked up when the girls eventually came in, Princess almost immediately rushed over and hugged me tight which I gratefully returned.

“How was your day, Princess?” I asked, using the named I practically renamed her as since the day I met her. She blushed a little at that title, making me smile wider as her honey brown eyes that glinted a hint of green in the light looked up at me.

“I’m not a princess, Lee.”

“You most definitely are, not all princess wear crowns.” I stood up, taking her up with me as she squealed then giggled in my arms. I kissed her cheek and tickled her side, noticing Tessa smiling bright which caught my attention quickly. It wasn’t every day that beautiful woman smiled genuinely but when she did...it was absolutely worth the wait. “Are you two ready?”

“Ready for what?” Tessa’s eyebrows furrowed and looked at me in confusion.

“Shopping. Duh.” I chuckled and she tried to retaliate but I stopped her with a kiss to the forehead and told her she had no choice but to go and let me treat the two girls, Princess stayed in my arms and continued to get excited to go shopping. Once we got in the car and Lynn started to drive, I rested my hand on Tessa’s knee gently and whispered in her ear, “nothing will happen while we’re there other than having fun, I promise. I already have security guards there and gave them a photo of Harry, if they see him they’ll immediately go after him. You’re safe, Maravillosa.”

She relaxed under my touch and slowed her breathing, “you still haven’t told me what that means. I don’t even know how to spell it nor what language it is so I can’t even look it up.” She glanced at me and I grinned.

“I’m a mysterious man.” I spoke a little louder above a whisper and removed my hand, my palm now feeling cold and empty but I ignored it as we continued driving.

Once we got inside the store I glanced at one of the guards and nodded at him a little before walking beside Princess as she stood between Tessa and me, I walked a little bit behind to make Tessa feel safer and not have to be paranoid about someone coming up behind her. I don’t break promises, I wasn’t lying when I said I will make her feel safe whenever she’s around me and I won’t let anything happen to her; I’d hate myself if anything happened to her. God why am I so protective of this woman?! She can take care of herself, Liam.

“Liam Harris, didn’t think I’d see you here ever.” I stopped in my tracks and groaned internally at the voice. Tessa stopped and turned around, holding Princess to her leaving no inch in between them out of instinct as she glanced at me then the person who owned the voice.

“Micah Sullivan.” I turned and looked at the man that I grew up with. We were great friends until we started to take over our fathers business. Mine died and his retired and we became practically enemies but he left to Paris, France and I didn’t think he’d be back.

“I see you’ve move on from Samantha.” Micah looked at the girls. “I was gone for three years, Harris. You have a new girl and kid?” Micah ended up staring at Tessa but not in a way he shouldn’t have been looking, he wasn’t the villain here...just a man I disliked due to our companies being at their own business war. “Do I know you?”

“N-No. I’m uhm...not well known, maybe you’ve seen me around?” Tessa spoke but didn’t seem too stressed now that she understood this man meant no harm.

“She’s not my girlfriend, and this isn’t my kid. Te-Tavia. Octavia Patterson and her daughter, Reyna Patterson.” I introduced them to him and saw Micah look down at Princess and smiled brightly.

“Micah Sullivan, as you know by now.”

“Yeah...we should get going.” I rushed the conversation to a stop and stood by the girls, putting my hand on Princess’ shoulder.

“Micah.” Our heads turned to see a girl about Tessa’s age walk over to Micah and peck his lips. She had brunette hair that probably fell just below her shoulder blades and icy blue eyes that popped and became the first thing you noticed. Her hair was in a professional bun and she wear a white dress with a black jacket to keep her from the cold since it was the middle of November; her face seemed focus but once she reached Micah she relaxed, perhaps a cashier made her angry.

“Done with your shopping, darling?” He asked and looked at us when she nodded and wrapped an arm around her waist. “Liam, meet my wonderful wife. Tallulah, meet my childhood friend and his...friends: Octavia and Reyna.”

“Nice to meet you!” Tallulah smiled and smiled brighter at Princess and she soon kneeled down and Tessa seemed impress that she could keep her dress over her knees and balance on her heels without falling or losing balance. “Hello there, darling. Sorry, I’m just a sucker for kids.” She laughed and Princess smiled a little but hid behind her coat shyly, “you remind me of my step-aunt’s daughter, actually.” Tallulah pulled out a picture from her purse that showed two little kids, most likely twins, smiling and standing side by side with backpacks on their backs.

“She’s pretty.” Princess slowly unhid herself.

“See why you remind me of her?” Tallulah smiled and so did Princess before they had a quick conversation about the twins. Tallulah and Micah took care of them since her step-aunt passed on a few months ago, and Tallulah was their godmother. The girl was named Marielle and the boy was named Jereth, both were 9 and recently joined the private school here in Manhattan, which seemed to upset Princess since she didn’t go to school. Tessa got friendly and one thing led to another and suddenly Princess and Marielle had a playdate set up for Saturday and Tallulah and Tessa planned to have lunch at the house while the kids played and got to know one another.

“Wish I could be there, but I have a business project presentation with two other companies.” Micah informed and I groaned out loud this time, “I’m guessing I’ll see you there, Harris.”

“So stoked.” I said with heavy sarcasm, leaving Tessa to pout at me to be nice. I sighed softly and we bid our goodbyes and continued with shopping.

~~~

I walked into my house with a girls after convincing them to stay the night since it was pretty late by the time we finished shopping in a million places. Princess was exhausted and Tessa wasn’t far from being in the same state. I let Tessa put Princess to bed upstairs and she seemed content in the new bed of hers and the 6 fluffy pillows that sat at the top of her bed. Tessa planted a kiss on her forehead when the little girl immediately fell into a deep sleep.

Tessa and I ended up watching a movie on the couch in the upstairs living room since she knew I wasn’t one to sleep and she seemed as she didn’t want to leave me alone as everyone else slept. I don’t even remember the name of the movie, it was about some kids getting trapped in a board game and going through life threatening challenges; which seemed horrible and it wasn’t as great as they made it sound.

I felt myself drift off a little as the credits rolled, my mind kept trying to fight it off to get Tessa into bed as she slept silently and against my chest. By the time I got my body to listen to my brain I was fast asleep.

“Mr. Harris?” I jumped away and closed my eyes at the bright light called the sun and looked at the person who woke me up.

“What is it, Daniel.” I went to sit up and only then did I notice the position I was in. I laid on my back with Tessa on top, her head resting on my chest and her hand relaxing on the side of my diaphragm. Her face seemed relaxed and not as tense and focused as it always was, I didn’t bother to move in fear she was a light sleeper.

“Your mother is here to see you.” Daniel kept his voice quiet with respect for Tessa. Daniel was my...what people would call...butler. He was a 58-year-old who had dark short hair although he aged very well, many mistaken him to be at least in his mid 30′s such as me when I interviewed him. He had a daughter who was in her late 20′s and a wife who was 52. His wife and daughter visit a few times, mostly on Christmas, they are great people honestly.

I cursed myself softly and glanced at Tessa before looking at Daniel, “tell her to wait in the downstairs living room for a while and be quiet, please.” I watched him nod then walk off to give the news to her. I let my left hand lay on Tessa’s shoulder to see how much of a light sleeper she was. She didn’t move but she flinched a little, I proceeded to carefully and quietly stand up and picked her up bridal style. She moved a little but nuzzled her face into my chest, making me smile a little. I was about to take her to her room when I froze hearing my mothers now mad voice yelling at me and her heels stomping up the thankfully carpeted stairs.

“Liam Henry Harris don’t ever send your...BUTLER to send your mother in. You are my son you will greet me yourself with respect!” I rolled my eyes as she shrieked, my mother hasn’t been the sweet non yelling woman since my dad got sick and caught her cheating. She apparently switched her views and agrees that rich people get the right to do anything, abuse their butlers, make maids work extra, don’t give them breaks, a son should always respect her mother and treat her like a queen (even if the mother is a rude disrespectful snob). She was caught sleeping with her driver and my dad was pissed so he kicked her out until she convinced him to take her back. I was 10, so you can imagine how that played in front of a 10-year-old boys view to see his mother hurt his father, sleep with another man that wasn’t his father disappear, and come back like nothing happened.

“Apologies, Mother. Please quiet dow-”

“Are you sleeping around?!”

That’s when I remembered I had Tessa in my arms, I looked down and sure enough she was wide awake and looking clearly terrified. I would be too if some random loud woman woke me up. I glared as my mom and she sent me the glare back as I set Quintessa down. “Princess can sleep in if she wishes, I already called into the library in advanced and said you won’t be going. Go downstairs, Daniel should be preparing breakfast or waiting for your request. Don’t be shy, Maravillosa.” I watched her walk downstairs, trying to avoid my mother as she sent her distasteful looks. She looked at me and then I got the typical rant.

♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

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