Chapter 13 - Zachariah's point of view
“James drove me to the townhall, and he and Rachel were decorating the house, which I already knew about from his diary. Anyway, I, um, was with the other pregnant women when, hours later, we had people running into the building calling for help. We asked them what had happened, and they told us that,” she broke off, a few fat tears streaming past, “that there had been a surprise tsunami in the past few hours, and we were allowed to go down for a short while.” She burst into tears, and thankfully, the twins were fast asleep, in the room they normally stay in when visiting. I scooted over, wrapping an arm around her shoulders as she cried. A few stray tears skimmed past my cheeks, and I used my free hand to wipe them.
After a few minutes, she continued. “When I arrived at our home, all our furniture was trashed, our belongings everything. I noted all the birthday décor, and I moved some sheets over and found the card that Rachel was making for me.” I moved over, fully embracing her, her arms tightly wound around my shoulders. I stroked her head, keeping a firm hold over her as her body tremored. My heart clenched, as she broke down again, and all I could do was be there for her, watching helplessly as she fought her own battle. After what seemed like an eternity, she withdrew, sniffling, her nose a cherry red.
“I am so sorry Zach; I didn’t mean to start crying again. We should probably check on Aiden and Aubree.” She started moving, looking anywhere else than me.
“Isabelle, for the hundredth time, you have absolutely nothing to apologise for. It is ok, this is normal, and as for worrying about the twins, I could bring them over here if you’d like.” She nodded, reaching up to hug me.
“Thank you Zachariah.” I hugged her back, happiness flooding through me. As I walked to the children I smiled. I knew I was in deep shit, but if it involved a beautifully strong woman, I was willing to go through it a thousand times to attain her.
Isabelle’s point of view
I felt much better after taking that off of my chest. I went to the bathroom, washing my face. I went back out, adjusting the bed and moving to the door as I heard Zach’s footsteps and the children. I grabbed Aubree, adjusting her on my hip as I walked back to the bed. All the rooms in this mansion were massive, it was a workout just going from the bed to the door.
Zachariah’s point of view
“Zach, how do you know that my favourite dish is chicken lasagne?” I looked up from Aiden, looking at her serious face. Though I wanted to run, because that look from a woman always means trouble, I stayed where I sat.
“I hired a private investigator and he told me.” I shrugged, playing it off cool, as she stared at me, credulously. Seconds later, a pillow was ruthlessly smacked against my shoulder.
“What the f –” I remembered that there were children in the room and clamped my mouth shut.
“Zach, you can’t do that. It is an invasion of privacy. You should have waited for me to open up to you.” She sighed, finishing her protein salad as Aiden and Aubree sat at the centre, playing with their soft toys.
“I am aware of that, but I didn’t want to trouble you and after everything you have been through, it would have been unfair to stress you anymore.”
Isabelle’s point of view
I stared at him, moved by his thoughtful intentions but still annoyed with his antics.
“Thank you.” A strange, fuzzy emotion emanated from my chest, spreading a gentle warmth and sense of security. I looked at my bowl, disappointed that it had finished.
“The food was delicious Zach.” He smiled, staring out of the window, a distant look on his face. Aiden’s foot connected with the bowl and Zach suddenly caught the bowl and spoon. That guy had crazy reflexes alright. He gathered all the dishes and left the room. I relaxed into the bed frame, looking at the sleeping twins. I felt my eyes droop and drifted off.
Aiden’s low crying woke me up from my deep slumber, and I noted Zach leaning into me. I tried to move but his grip tightened. I shook him awake.
“Wha-Wha time is it?” He started.
“I need to check on Aiden and I cannot move because a certain hippo is on top of me.” I tried to move again but he slumped onto me.
“Geez, do you know how heavy you are?” It was definitely not like those romantic films where it was supposed to be lovely. Instead, it felt like being crushed by an elephant. Thankfully, the feeling was transient, and he quickly got up to tend to Aiden. Despite it being playful, a sharp, old pain returned to my side.
Security’s point of view
We were monitoring the cameras positioned around the mansion as always. I walked around the camera room, my eyes squinting at the numerous screens. Suddenly, a newbie broke the silence.
“Sir, the cameras are locking us out. Strange messages are being sent. Someone is trying to hack into the system.” As I was about to speak, a voice cut me off.
“We have you surrounded. Surrender peacefully.” The newbie paled, as I felt the muscles in my face stiffen.
“Right, Karolina, close down the system. Jennifer, find the source of the hacking. You,” I pointed at the skinny rookie, “call back up. Logan you are in charge whilst I inform Mr Wilson and Miss Ryder.”
I stormed out of the room, running up to Mr Wilson’s bedroom, remembering that he was there. I opened the door to see Miss Ryder with an infant. The smile on her face dried as she saw me.