Chapter 1 Brave
I am not afraid anymore, I stepped into the real world with my brother Zach and my sister-in-law Simone by my side. They showed me their love and care I longed for more than half of my existence. The wall I created made me invisible to Zach and to all the people for many years. I shut myself into isolation before he can even understand me. I have been alone for too long that I forgot to make friends. I never experience friendship and affection aside from my father in my childhood years.
I even studied gestures of a normal person. I acted bubbly and easy going but that was all facade. Those facades which I started to like, it became natural and genuine. When there are people beside you who truly care, happiness emerged and became constant.
Zach with the coaxing of Simone, let me experience life to the fullest. I explored my femininity, used my courage and confidence to face the world. Simone showed me the meaning of true friendship, to be open and bold. I traveled alone and with my friends, yes... I made friends too... aside from my sister in-law.
When Simone was busy with the twins and their firm, Kevin’s attention shifted to me. I smiled when I remember his rudeness when he thought I was Zach’s mistress. I was amazed by their relationship; their feelings were hidden but deep friendship was visible.
“Hey ginger! Did you cook for me?” he said while he opened Zach’s three-door fridge. I rolled my eyes, “Nope, I just arrived from Bahamas and was tired, I’ll cook for us, I’m hungry too” I said while I pushed him to the side and took some frozen meat and vegetables. Martha and Jack were out every weekend. When I was not around, Zach cooked or ordered from his hotel’s restaurant.
I cooked mozzarella stuffed chicken and Chicken Alfredo. I asked Zach before I went to Bahamas to move out, he was concerned yet he understood. He joked “I’ll cook every weekend now, without you here” Shimi stared at us and said “I can help you” we all laughed. Shimi’s cooking always turned into disaster and the output always inedible. Two weeks from now, I’ll be staying in my condo unit. Zach, Shimi and Kevin installed security devices like freaks.
I called Kevin when I set the table, Zach and Shimi are having dinner with Shimi’s father. He eats like there’s no tomorrow, same old same old Kevin. When he finished eating, he looked at me “I will attend a stakeholder’s ball tomorrow, can you be my partner?” I sighed, Kevin is workaholic, he brought me to parties many times already as his partner. Maybe because I was available and he doesn’t want to tangle himself to a women’s frailty.
I smiled and agreed with him “sure...but you help me move out” he nodded. It’s not that hard because we will live in the same building, Zach chose my unit near him. He was a controlled freak, he wanted Kevin to look after me when he was not around. When I asked him about it, he told me that the units in the building were all sophisticated and the most expensive aside from owning it.
Kevin was a good partner, he washed the dishes while I took shower, we planned to play computer games while waiting for my nephew and niece. We were in the middle of our game when Dom squealed “Aunt Brie, Uncle Kev I want to play with you” I looked at Zach he motioned me to let him play one game, my niece was sleeping in his shoulder. Shimi kissed me and hugged Kevin. She looked tired, Kevin arched his brows when she said her goodnight to us.
We played one game, before the game ended, Dom looked so sleepy I carried him to his room. I helped him brushed his teeth and changed into his pajama. Zach came in and said thank you, his son was already in his sleep.
I wore dark green floral embroidered gown enchants in a sleeveless, deep V-neckline with straps connecting to the strappy lace up back. The dress has a fitted bodice and from the waist flourishes a full-length tulle A-line skirt with a leg slit and a sweep train finish. My thick and wavy red hair was braided into a high bun with leaving ringlets in front. Kevin picked me up at exactly seven “you looked gorgeous ginger” he said and pecked on my temple.
We arrived at the ball, a military ball actually, highlighting their stakeholders. Kevin and Shimi were partners in building air crafts, their firm sponsored many social projects of the Armed Forces. It was not surprising when he knew lots of high-ranking officials at the party.
“Fancy meeting you here Kev” came from a voice behind us. We turned “Mitch my man, where have you been?” Kevin patted his shoulder and they shook hands. It looks like they knew each other for a long time. I swallowed hard when he looked at me, his expression changed into dark scowl “hello pepper.”
He remembered me, I grimaced when I recalled the embarrassing moment with him. Me and Tiffany was having dinner in one of Zach’s hotels when she asked about my first kiss, her jaw fell when I told her I never been kissed. “We can remedy that darling” she smiled wickedly.
“See that man over there, I want you to approach him and kiss him in front of his date” she said in serious tone. “Are you crazy? do you want me to ruin his relationship?” I asked in astonishment. “Nah, the woman is a two-timing bitch, she was with Haider last time” her look became fierce when she mentioned Haider.
Well, it’s time to experience my first kiss. Tiffany taught me the seduction game like she trained Simone. She encouraged me to act boldly as if I own the moment. The man is tall, dark with clean cut hair and strikingly handsome. I made deep breaths and walked towards him, swaying my hips. I wore baby pink body con dress that accentuated my slim figure. I stopped in front of him.
“Hello husband” I leaned on him, pulled his nape and kissed him. At first it was awkward but when he delved his tongue to mine and I followed his rhythm, I succumbed to the pleasure of kissing. We tried to catch our breath after the torrid kiss. He whispered... “more practice pepper” I looked at him and he leered at me. I smirked, touched the contour of his lips with my fingers and winked at him “I will.” His date glared at me like a shooting dagger. I flipped my hair and walked towards our table swaying my hips, I can tell the man’s eyes followed my every move.
“Do you know each other?” Kevin asked. We both answered no and yes at the same time while we stared at each other. Mitch was called by his superior, he patted Kevin’s arm and left. Kevin took my hands and led me in the dance floor, I put my arms in his neck and his hands in my waist. People assumed we have a thing except my family and friends.
He pecked on my forehead” I love you ginger.” I stared at him smiling “I love you too knight.” We bonded like siblings, more than Shimi and him. Her sister died in the hands of pedophile at early age. We have strong bond as we suffered the same fate, resembling the damage inside us. He told me that I looked like her sister, he called me ginger, the same endearment he used to her sister as he remembers her through me.
When I look up, I saw Mitch glaring at us. We went to the table after the music stopped. Kevin was talking to his fellow engineers when I excused myself and went to the comfort room, I looked at myself in the mirror, my striking thick red hair and blue eyes are my prominent features. I have silky skin and slender body; my breasts are firm but not big. The only thing me and Zach shared the same feature was the color of our eyes. I sighed, I plan to travel in Asia next month.
Zach trained me to check the restaurants in his chain of hotels. I stayed in his hotel when I visited them, but Shimi advised me to experience the ordinary, the reality of many people, the life they struggled to survive, that way, I may be able to gain wisdom in different perspective.
I was surprised when I emerged from the comfort room, Mitch was waiting for me outside. He took my hand and pulled me to him, my face was collided with his hard chest. He kissed me hungrily, I joined his tongue like they co-exist in the same environment as our mouth connected.
We both panting when we caught our breath. “Did you practice with Kevin pepper? your skills improved.” I arched my brows “Yes, I did practice well, I plan to explore my other skills aside from kissing” I left him and returned to Kevin. The nerve of that man!
They were discussing about the designs and features of jet fighters when Mitchell joined us. “Lt Col Humphrey sir, how was South Korea?” one of Kevin’s colleague asked him. “Great! How are you guys doing? I stared at him, he looked stunning in his uniform, I never imagined he is in this field. He caught me staring at him, he smirked and raised his brow. My heart vibrated in irregular spasms.