Staring at my little sleepyhead, I rose from the bed and walked inside the closet where I put Hazel’s medical reports. I remembered when the doctor said she might have cancer, I passed out, and after waking up, I prayed every single day for it to be a false assumption, but fate has other plans. The next two weeks were dreadful was an understatement.
The doctor said because of her age she has a higher chance to survive through the surgery and needed bone marrow. I felt relieved, but I should have known better. Happiness and me don’t belong together. I ran a few tests to be her donor, but they were negative. I gave her a life, nourish her for nine months in my womb. But still, I was incapable of being her donor; that absurd thing made me pissed like ever.
I never in my nightmare thought of facing Zach, at least not under these circumstances. The way things ended between us and how it had been affecting my life is more than I could handle. But for Hazel, I am willing to take anything. All the hatred, all the pain.
I grabbed those reports and left the room, heading downstairs. Zach has decided to work from home and went to his office room after having lunch. I was standing outside his office room, fidgetting with my fingers. After taking a few deep breathes, I knocked on the door.
A faint come in could be heard from the other side, and I opened the door to walk inside.
“Hi,” his head lifted from the files that he was working till now. He was wearing glasses and looked very charming. He cleared his throat when he caught me checking him out. I avoided his eyes, hiding my blushed cheeks. Three years and still, those mesmerizing eyes held me captive.
“What do you want?” His cold tone brought me back to the reality of our equation.
“These are Hazel’s reports and reference of the doctor.” I passed the file, and he nodded, taking it.
“I have made an appointment with one of the best cancer specialists in New York. I will mail these reports to him right away.” He rose from his seat and started scanning the papers.
When he was busy scanning, my eyes roamed around, taking in the beautiful interior. The Knights are fond of arts, and the ancient decore and antiques are the proof of it.
A-frame on the table caught my eyes, and I picked it up to have a better view.
It was a family picture, William and Zach were standing beside the throne chair, and Sophia was holding Chase on her lap. They were smiling, looking at the camera.
Chase looked the same apart from his height and some grown-up features. His hair was thicker than I remembered.
“Sneaking around.” I was startled by the sudden sound coming from behind.
I placed the frame back to its place and turned around. “Chase has grown up to be a handsome boy,” I blurted out but soon regret it when his eyes turned dark.
“You have done enough damage to our life, and I don’t want that to repeat. I want you to maintain your distance with my son.”
He pushed the file on my hand and turned to leave the room, but I stopped him.
“Wait!” I put the file on the desk, walking a few steps, standing in front of him. “Would you stop demonizing me?” He narrowed his eyes and was about to speak, but I cut him off. “I know, I have hurt everyone, and I’m more than sorry for that. But don’t you dare for a second to think that I have not regretted it, that I am not hurt by it. I have loved you with equal passion and sincerity. That night is something I can not change, but if I ever have the power to change it, I would.” I knew my tears were falling again. But I didn’t stop.
“It was not easy for me. You left me there, and I felt horrible and disgusted by myself. I was not able to look in the eye and face myself. I hate myself for breaking your heart, the trust you had for me. The pain I felt every time I missed you. When I found about my pregnancy, I wanted to call you. To fix all the misunderstandings and start new. But then I recalled your hateful words and disgusted stares, and it made me even more broken. I was scared to tell you. Thought that you would not even acknowledge her as your own. You questioned my character, Zach.” I wiped my tears and looked him in the eye. His eyes were trying to show the hidden emotions, but he covered it up.
“So, do you want me to accept you? To resume the relationship from where we left it?” He frustratedly asked.
I clenched my eyes shut, annoyed by his attitude. “For heaven’s sake, Zach. Stop it. I don’t want to be in your life again.” I yelled. “All I am asking for you to be is rational. Everyone has a past, and once in a life, they get hurt from it. But people have to grow up from that and move on. All I want for Hazel and Chase is to, not witness our arguments. And your hatred for me. They are kids, and I don’t want them to witness our problems. Can you do that for them? Be a normal father and treat me like a human.” I asked, but it was more like I was demanding him to agree.
He narrowed his eyes, but I stood straight on my ground, not showing the effects he has on me. He signed and ran his hand on his hair, messing them up. “Deal. For my kids, I am willing to tolerate your presence. Now get out from here.” He pointed towards the door, and I willingly obligated.
I walked to the living room, relieved. At least from now on, he would treat me like a human. The doorbell rang; I was already in the hall so, I walked ahead to open it. A well-dressed man was there, he has a serious exterior, more like a bodyguard. My eyes went to the kid beside the man, whose head was hung low. He was fidgeting with the cap of his water bottle.
“Who are you?” The man asked, getting alert. That question made the kid lift his head towards me, and I took a sharp breath. He scrunched his eyebrows, scanning my face. I gulped the thick lump that formed in my throat. “Miss, who are you?” The man asked again in a rough tone.
“Anna?” Chase’s confused tone called my name. Not able to speak a single word. I just nodded. He threw his water bottle and ran away from the house.
“Chase!” I cried and ran after him. “Baby, stop!” I pleaded, running after him. He was running faster for a 6-year-old. The pavement of the mansion was wide and long, surrounded by beautiful flowers and trees. In the center was the water fountain. Two guards were standing by the iron gate. When a sharp pebble cut my foot then only I realized I was bare feet. “Chase! Stop! Please!” I yelled again.
He stumbled on his feet and fell on the ground. I ran again and kneeled in front of him. “Are you okay? Why did you run away from me?” I cried, trying to examine his body.
“Go away. Don’t touch me. Go away, like you did before. Why do you care if I fall or have a wound? You don’t even care. So just leave me alone.” He tried to stand up but stumbled again, he has a scratched knee.
“You’re bleeding. Yelled how much you want but please, just let me help you first.” I pleaded and held his hand. He didn’t deny this time.
“What the hell is happening here?” Zach and the other guy ran towards us. “You’re hurt. Let’s go inside.” He kneeled, examining the knee. He picked Chase, giving me a single glance.
I signed and stood up, just to cry in pain. “Ahh!” I was about to fall when the guy held my hand, making me stand straight.
“You’re foot is bleeding.” He stated the obvious.
“I’m fine. Just a little cut.” I pulled my hand from his hold and tried walking again but failed miserably.
“Hunter, take Chase inside and ask Samantha to take care of his knees,” Zach ordered Hunter and passed Chase in his arms. Hunter walked inside holding Chase, and I was alone with Mr. grumpy pants.
“Could be any more careless?” He sassed. I rolled my eyes and started walking again, hissing in pain. “Where are you going?” He asked, following me.
“Away from your arrogant ass. I am hurt, and all you could do is criticize me.” I said, dragging my injured foot.
“What do you expect? You are running on the god damn stones bare feet and still walking with that bled foot.”
“You don’t have to show your fake concern when I know you don’t give two shits about my wellbeing.”
“Anna stop!” he exclaimed, but I didn’t listen. With a rough grip, he pulled my arm and lifted me bridal style. I gasp at the sudden action.
“Zach!” A whisper left from my lips. This was the closest we got since our dramatic reunion. His face was blank and was facing ahead. I placed my arms behind his neck in a firm grip. Our proximity and his cologne were making me hard to breathe.
“Stop staring.” He said, still looking ahead.
“I’m not.” I lied, playfully.
“Don’t, Anna.” He turned his head facing me. The hazel eyes turned darker.
“W-what?” I stammered.
“Just don’t,” he repeated, and the rest of the walk was filled with silence.
“Bring the first aid kit to Anna’s room,” Zach instructed Beth and carried me to my room.
“You know, I would have done it myself,” I said when he came in front of my bedroom door. He ignored me and gestured at the doorknob. I turned it and opened the door. Walking inside, we both remain silent as Hazel was still in deep sleep. He made his way to the bathroom carrying me in his arms.
He put me on the countertop and kneeled to check the cut. “Ahh!” I cried when he pressed the cut.
“Sorry. There is no stone inside. The cut is slightly deep. but stitches won’t be necessary.” He opened the cupboard and pulled the paper towels. Beth came right on time and passed him the medicine.
“Anything else, sir.”
“That would be all,” he dismissed her and cleaned my foot with antiseptic.
“Shit! It hurts.” I bite my fist to hold my voice.
“It will hurt a little, okay.” I nodded my head. He blew to reduce some pain, and that made my insides flip. He was giving me all his attention. Taking care of me like old times. Does he still feel something for me deep down in his heart?
Does he still care? Or am I just over assuming things? He hates me, and he has proven that from his words over and over again. Once in a while, I get to feel the old Zach beneath this stone-cold one; as if he is hiding it from the world, from me. I want to make it right. If there is even the slightest possibility for us to be together, then I want to make it work.
“It’s done.” His words broke my thoughts. He has wrapped a gauze around my foot, keeping them clean.
“Thank you,” he nodded his head and helped me get down from the countertop.
“Keep it away from water for some time.” I nodded. We stepped inside the room and found Hazel sitting on the bed, rubbing her eyes.
“Mummy! you hurt.” her eyes wide open after they landed on my foot.
“I’m fine baby, Daddy took care of it,” I assured her and walked towards the bed. “Did you sleep well?” She nodded her head and patted the other side of the bed for Zach to sit on it. He smiled and obligated the little one’s demand.
“Are you hungry, princess?” he asked.
“Yes, daddy,” she answered, scooting on his lap. She has already became daddy’s little girl.
“You stay here with mummy, and I will bring something for you, okay?” He kissed her cheeks and was about to leave when her innocent request halted his steps.
“Give kisses to mummy too.” My head jerked to her side, and she was staring at Zach, waiting for his move.
“Baby, it’s okay. I don’t need one.” I tried to avoid the subject.
“No! you hurt. Kiss her, daddy. Please.” she pleaded, and I heard a rough intake of breath coming from Zach.
He walked my way and bent forward, coming closer to my face.
“You don’t have to do it?” I whispered.
“It’s the first thing she asked me to do, and I don’t want to disappoint her.” He said and brushed his lips on my cheek. It stayed for a mini-second, but the slight touch send the electrifying sensation all over my body.
“Yeah!” Hazel clapped her hand as if she won a battle or something.
“I’ll be back.” He said to Hazel and left my room.
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