Whatever It Takes

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Chapter 8 - Zachariah's point of view

Zachariah’s point of view

I watched my mum walk off, returning my attention onto the woman next to me.

“Isabelle, as you haven’t seen much of the house, I want to share a secret with you, which only a handful of the members of this household know about. Will you be ok walking?” She nodded.

“I can but not much.”

“Ok. Here,” I stuck a handout, tugging her towards the side of the bedroom. I looked from the wall to her credulous expression.

“Really Zach? How will we get through the wall?” I smirked, placing my palm over the small, glass pane, which was outlined with a teal and gold vine design. As my flesh had touched the cool surface, the wall in front of Isabelle opened, revealing beautiful grassy vines with various shades of red and pink flowers, mostly peonies and roses fighting for the limelight, at the centre of the spiral staircase.

Isabelle’s point of view

The beauty of this stairwell was incredibly shocking. I definitely was not expecting a freaking castle like passageway. This was so cool.

“Ladies first.” He bowed down an arm over his middle as one was carelessly thrown further to the side. I giggled, walking forwards as Zach followed behind. The door shut with a loud thud, making me jump. Instantly, Zach’s hands were at my middle, steadying me.

“Don’t worry Isabelle, just wait for the lighting to turn on, in three, two, one.” One by one, a flower lit up, a mix of scintillating red/pink tints lighting the dull, spiral passageway.

Unable to continue standing, I stumbled back, Zach catching me from my hips, steadying me before carrying me bridal style to the secret entrance. I looked up to the cobbled slab in front of me.The motion sensors changed from a dull grey to a bright, neon green, allowing the monochrome brick wall to split in half, revealing a lavish kitchen. The cabinets in the kitchen were a Prussian blue, a creamy obsidian spiked island in the heart of the kitchen. The intense sun rays filtered through the glass wall ahead, the square silver knobs fighting for the limelight.

I grinned, as Zach placed me onto a stool on the island, and for once, I was grateful for its cushion back support. He turned, allowing me to gain better visual access to the adjacent dining room. He returned with a large glass of water. I relaxed into the chair, as it soothed my parched throat.

Laura’s point of view

I walked in, the scene afore me unfurling; Isabelle sipping on some water and Zach intently watching her, an emotion I know too well appearing on his face. I cleared my throat, Zach’s cheeks turning a guilty shade of crimson. Before I could speak, a strange gurgling sound took my attention to Isabelle.

“Is there anything to eat?” Zach nodded, automatically taking some pots out, donning a bright pink apron with the words ‘Kiss the Chef’ in large bold letters. Isabelle looked at the apron and then at his face, a hearty laugh resounding the kitchen. A lopsided smile appeared on his face, as he turned to face her.

“Right Chef Wilson, what’s on today’s menu?” He leaned against the counter, a few fingers grazing his chin.

“Today’s special for Ms Ryder is,” a dramatic drum roll, “chicken lasagne!”

Isabelle’s point of view

I was ecstatic, abruptly sitting upright, which proved to be a big mistake.

“Isabelle, you still need to be careful sweetie. I don’t want you to delay your healing time.” I nodded, watching Zach dice some chicken on one side and make the cheesy Alfredo sauce on the other. Just the way I liked it. Laura and I passed the time by speaking more about my health, with Laura giving me some pointers about how to effectively recover from my painful delivery.

“Ladies, I am trying to cook and all this talk about pregnancy is putting me off.” I looked up at his face, which was flushed. Having sat for so long, I felt sleepy, my head lolling to the side.

Zachariah’s point of view

“Zach, help me get Isabelle up.” I turned, finding her asleep. I lifted her up, staring at her relaxed face. I laid her down onto the sofa, so that we could keep an eye on her.

“Zach, I know about her health but what happened before that? Where did you find her?” I told her everything, managing to prevent burning any of the food. We were both in tears at the end, for mum, it’s probably just because she is so sympathetic but for me, it was mood swings. God help me.

Laura’s point of view

I could not believe that she had to go through all that, and then being hunted by someone. How could someone go through so much and still have so much hope? Looking over at my naïve son I smiled. He still couldn’t see the simple truth, that he loved her, that’s why his emotions were all over the place. He took a seat out, leaving the food on a low setting, his hands cradling his head.

“Sweetheart, look at me,” I consoled, wiping his tears away and pushing his thick black curls back so that I could see his watery emerald eyes. “She has lost her husband and children; this is a normal phase she is going through. Give her time and everything will fall into place.”

“But Mum, how long?”

I sighed. “Sweetheart, with these types of things, you can’t determine the time just like that. This is heartbreak, it needs time.” He nodded, offering a watery smile, which I returned, moving closer to hug my son. As he was still seated, the side of his face was resting on my chest, his arms tightly wrapped around my waist. I gently stroked his hair, waiting for him to calm down.

“Thanks Mum, I love you,” he croaked, his voice thick with emotion.

“I love you too son. Wait, the food!” I moved out of the way, as he sprang out of his seat, checking the oven.

“It didn’t burn, thank fucking God.”

“Zachariah Xavier Wilson, watch your mouth.”

“Sorry Mum.”

Zachariah’s point of view

I often forget that my mother doesn’t like it when I curse. But at least the food didn’t burn. Seeing that it was done, I served it onto three plates.

“Zach, is the food done?” I looked up, smiling as I saw Isabelle stir awake. I nodded; my eyes too busy watching the sleepy head in front of me. A strong poke in the arm brought my attention to my mother. “Don’t tell me that now Isabelle is here that you don’t need me.” I looked at her, shocked, despite knowing that she was only pulling my leg.

“Mum, regardless of who is in my life, you are not going to go anywhere. I can promise you that.” She nodded, hugging me. I returned the notion. Ever since the death of my uncle, her husband, she has been afraid of being left alone, and though she never showed that side of her, it was very evident.

Isabelle attempted to stand, toppling over her own legs and falling on to the sofa with a thud. I pulled away from the embrace, running over to Isabelle and helping her over to the dining room, with mum bringing her a large tray with all our plates. I went into the kitchen to grab the drinks.

Isabelle’s point of view

“Laura, I have a question.”

“Yes sweetie, what is it?”

“Where is your husband?”

“Sweetie, I lost him in the battle of throat cancer. Zach is the only family I have left. I love him like my own son.”

“Is he not your son? And if not, where are your real children?” Her face crumpled, my heart pinching from her expression.

“Sweetheart, Zach is my nephew, but I adopted him so that he could stay in the family. I didn’t want to lose him. I am haemophiliac, so when we wanted to start a family, I was strongly advised against it as there was a high risk of dying during childbirth.” Tears stung my eyes, bitter emotions threatening to resurface. She got up, moving to the other side, comforting me with her motherly embrace. I cried freely; my memories of my mother were too painful to remember.

Zachariah’s point of view

I watched everything that was going on, tears streaming down my face as I forced my emotions down, wiping my face dry and heading into the dining room, a smile plastered onto my face.

“Right, time to attack.” I picked up my fork, digging into my food, my eyes on a certain, well, only blue-eyed beauty in front of me. I watched as she closed her eyes after the first bite, sinking into her chair. With new-found ardour, she attacked the food in her plate, her eyes trained at its victim. She ate two large portions, and I was getting a little bit worried. I mean, surely, she could become ill if she carried on eating like that? Oh well, I can always ask Mum. At the end, I offered to pick all the plates up, being the gentleman I was. At Isabelle’s turn, she stood up to hug me. That took me by surprise I mean this morning she was pushing me away. Why do women have to be so freaking complicated? I moved away, walking faster than I intended to.

“Isabelle, I need to tell Zach about –” Everything went silent. All I could feel was warmth spreading from my neck to my face. I knew that I developed a liking for her, but I couldn’t pursue it, not after… I can’t think about. All I wanted to do was cry, maybe scream. My life was a mess. I turned to my favourite form of therapy – washing the dishes.

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