“C’mon Alec, just get it over with.” Asher ordered, his eyes lazily scanning each scratch and dent on Alec’ shoes.
“That’s not begging for your life.” Alec quipped, moving away into the kitchen. Asher could hear him fumbling around in the cupboards.
“Here.” Asher looked up to see Alec holding out a drink, a strong shot of whiskey. “Drink!”
Asher furrowed his brows before taking the glass and bringing it to his lips, he raised it in the air. “Here’s to a fucked up life.” He spat, and chugged it down. Alec poured another as well as for himself.
“Stop feeling sorry for yourself.” Alec spoke through gritted teeth. “-and keep your hands off my girl.”
Asher scoffed, a smirk playing on his lips. “Can you blame me?” He shook his head and knocked back another drink. “I’m sorry. I just got a bit carried away, she’s the only girl who’s been by my side.”
“It’s her job to stay by your side.” Alec replied.
“Fuck the job, she’s my friend.”
“A friend your coming on to. What about Sarah?” Alec asked, his brow raised and his arms folded.
Asher laughed, his head fell back onto the couch. “What about her?”
Alec threw Asher a ‘you know’ kind of look, he couldn’t believe that Asher even considered making a move on Siena.
“Sarah didn’t want me, just like Kate didn’t.”
“-and you think Siena does?” Alec hissed.
“I don’t know.”
“You’re fucking delusional.” Alec’s hands turned into fists by his sides.
“If you think she loves you, what are you so worried about?” Asher snorted, his hands gliding through his hair. “Let’s be honest Alec, I can give her more than you.”
Alec stayed silent, trying to control himself as he listened.
“I have money, I’m from a wealthy family. I can make all her dreams come true. All of them!” Asher continued before hearing a cold laugh from Alec.
“Money?” Alec scoffed, his eyes darkened. His body tensed as he inched closer.
“Would you die for her? Would you kill for her?”
Asher glared at Alec, he took a deep breath but kept silent. He had no answer.
Alec nodded as he turned back around. “Thought so.”
“Not everyone is a fucking murderer like you Alec.” Asher spat.
“You weren’t fucking complaining when your parents hired me to protect you!” Alec growled, he was shocked as to how he hadn’t laid a finger on Asher yet. Somewhere deep down he knew Asher wasn’t a bad guy.
The world was full of bad guys, the worst sort of men and Asher Hayden was not one them. Alec hated that he couldn’t bring himself to hurt Asher, he knew that Asher was one of Siena’s best friends.
Asher closed his eyes, his head falling into his hands. He was exhausted, exhausted from feeling this way. Feeling alone, even when he was surrounded by plenty. He was alone. Didn’t he deserve to be happy?
“I’m sorry.” He sighed. “I was out of line.” He looked up at Alec. “I let my jealously get the better of me, I know Siena loves you.”
He stood up and walked over to the window, his tired eyes looking out far beyond the coast.
“Do you love her?” Alec asked, he was sure he heard Asher laugh.
“Yes.” Alec gritted his teeth.
“I do love her.” Asher turned to face Alec. “-but not like that.” He smirked.
Alec tried to hide the relief on his face as his shoulders slouched.
“I love who she is, she’s my best friend. I just... I just liked the idea of being with her, only cause she’s never turned her back on me.” Asher sighed, pricking back the tears.
“You know I can’t let her stay here.” Alec stated.
“I know.” Asher croaked, looking back out.
“Do you need help cleaning this mess?”
Alec nodded before walking towards the door, but as he reached the handle he heard and felt a loud thud hit the ground. He turned around to find Asher passed out on the floor.
“Thanks for all your help Sarah. Only a few months to go until you’re fully qualified.”
Sarah laughed at her colleague. “I know I can’t wait, these assignments are killing me, but I love working here.”
“Well we love having you on the team. You’re going to make a fantastic nurse.”
“Thank you doctor.” She smiled at the handsome man.
“Is your shift over?”
“Yes. I’m ready to jump into bed. These nightshifts are hard.” She giggled.
Sarah walked into the staff room where a few other nurses were taking their break, she went to her locker to collect her things when she couldn’t help overhearing their conversation.
“Can you believe Asher Hayden was brought in?” One nurse blurted. Sarah froze, her key sitting in the lock.
“Yeah I heard, he’s in the private wing.” The other nurse shook her head. “They found cancer in his stomach.” Sarah stepped back, her lips parted and her hand fell over her mouth.
The other nurse grimaced, holding a plastic coffee cup in her hand. “So sad, all the money in the world but nothing can stop cancer.”
“He’s so young as well.”
“Haven’t they caught it early though?”
“I don’t know.”
Sarah flew out of the room within seconds, her feet were moving on their own as she slammed through people to get to the private wing which was a completely separate building. Her heart was in her stomach, she felt sick. She had to see him. His smiling face flashed through her head as her tears escaped her eyes.
Flying through the double doors of the private building, she ran towards the reception. “Asher, Asher Hayden. Where is he?”
The lady at the reception eyed Sarah’s name tag and trainee nurse title before pointing through another set of double doors. “Room number 5.” She mumbled.
Sarah stumbled through, looking at the door numbers. Her heart hammering as she urged to see his face. Spotting the room number she flung herself inside the room.
Asher lay weakly asleep on the hospital bed, Angela sat by his side. Her tear stained face glanced up at Sarah. “Yes?” She croaked, after furrowing her brows. “Sarah?”
Sarah couldn’t bring herself to answer her, she just inched closer to Asher, the ache in her heart growing more painful. Angela stayed quiet as she watched Sarah plant a trembling kiss on his forehead, a single tear fell down Angela’s cheek as she watched.
Sarah took a deep breath and walked out of the room to control herself, she didn’t want to break down in front of Angela.
As she fell onto a seat outside the room, she saw Siena and Alec walking towards her. Both holding coffee in their hands, Siena’s hair was up in a messy bun and they both looked exhausted.
“Sarah! We were trying to find you.” Siena gasped, rushing over to Sarah and falling into her arms.
“What happened?” Sarah choked.
“They’ve found a number of abnormal cells in his stomach, it’s cancer.” Siena trembled. “They said they’ve managed to catch it early but there’s still a huge risk.”
Sarah stared down at the ground as she took in this information, her hands shaking as she closed her eyes and rubbed her temples with her fingers.
“Doctor! He’s awake.” Angela could be heard shrieking from the room. Siena, Alec and Sarah stood up and waited by the door.
After what felt like forever Angela stepped out of the room, her phone in her hand. She glanced at the three of them with teary eyes before walking away with the phone to her ear.
Sarah ran into the room and her eyes met Asher’s deep blue orbs. His eyes widened slightly when he saw her, his mouth opened to speak but nothing came out. Sarah took in a deep breath before her hand glided through his hair, he closed his eyes and sunk into the pillow beneath him.
Alec and Siena stood at the opposite end watching when Asher glanced over at them and smiled. “Who died?” He chuckled before his eyes fell back on Sarah. He thought he was dreaming.
“Are you hungry, shall I get you some yogurt?” Siena asked. Asher shook his head, he closed his eyes for a brief moment.
“Did the doctor explain to yo-.”
“Yes.” He cut Sarah off. “I know.” He grimaced as his eyes opened. “If it’s my time... it’s my time.” He shrugged.
“Shut up, you’re going to get through this!” Siena snapped.
Siena stomped on Alec’s foot causing him to groan and mumble under his breath before sighing. “Yes, you’ll get through this.” He spoke, giving Siena a ‘are you happy now’ sort of look.
Asher chuckled under his breath weakly and raised his brow. “He’s just jealous cause you find me hotter than him.” He winked at Siena.
Alec rolled his eyes before a small smirk played on his lips. Sarah furrowed her brows and smiled, she wondered what kind of joke she missed out on.
“Guys can I speak to Asher alone for a minute.” She asked, her amber eyes pleading with Alec and Siena.
“Sure.” Siena replied, before they walked out.
“Hey.” Sarah whispered.
“Hey.” Asher spoke. “Nice scrubs.” Sarah laughed at his silly attempt at flirting.
“You’re gonna be okay Asher, you have to be.”
“Why is that?” Asher replied, his eyes involuntary closing as Sarah stroked her fingers through his hair.
“-because you can’t leave me.”
“-but you left me.” He whispered.
“I shouldn’t have.” Sarah admitted. “I was scared. Scared of getting my heart broken.” Asher shot his eyes at her as she spoke.
“Asher, I don’t know how you feel about me but I have to tell you.” She gulped nervously, her hand cupping his chiselled jaw.
“I’ve loved you for as long as I can remember. From the first moment I saw you, I loved you. You never noticed me and you never even looked at me.” Her eyes closed.
“I told myself it was a stupid crush and I was going to get over it, but seeing you at every event with Kate. It broke me Asher. Then I thought you had feelings for Siena and I panicked.” She sighed as she looked at him.
“I mean I couldn’t blame you if you liked her I mean... look at her. - but I’ve always had you in my heart Asher. - and if you let me, I would never leave you again.”
Asher fought his lip from trembling, he tried to swallow down the lump in his throat. He was overwhelmed, here was this beautiful girl pouring out her heart to him when he thought there was no one who loved him.
“Sarah?” He whispered, wiping away her tears.
“I won’t expect you to be with me, not now. I don’t know how long I’ve got.”
Sarah hissed at his heartbreaking words. “Stop!” She snapped, shaking her head. “I’m with you, I’m not going anywhere. We will get through this together.”
“I don’t want your pity Sarah.”
“Pity? Asher please, this is not coming from pity this is coming from here.” She put his hand to her heart.
“I...” He sighed. “I may need you to lift up your scrubs so I know exactly where it’s coming from.”
Sarah laughed, her tears falling as her face lit up. She shoved him playfully, before kissing him softly on his lips.
“You’re special to me Asher, you always have been.”
Asher wiped away his own tear, he didn’t want her to see him cry but having her declare her love for him lifted all his worries away. No matter what was going to happen now, he had her. She was determined to stick by him, even if he couldn’t stay in this world.
Angela walked back inside the room with Asher’s dad. Angela locked eyes with Sarah who pulled away immediately but Asher held onto her hand tightly.
“What is the meaning of this?” Angela asked.
“Asher don’t.” Sarah shook her head, they didn’t need to know right now. Angela had enough to deal with than to worry that her son was with her part time maid.
“Asher?” Angela raised her brow.
“Sarah stays here... with me.” He insisted.
“We have a meeting with your consultant Asher. In private!” Angela quipped.
“Sarah stays.” He replied through gritted teeth.
“I can go.” Sarah panicked.
“No.” Asher snapped.
“Mom get use to this girls beautiful face, she makes your son very happy.”
Sarah blushed at his words, she half wanted to smack him on the arm for acting this way. Angela took a deep breath, her eyes dancing between the two of them before she stomped over and took a seat on the opposite side.
“My son, a sucker for a pretty face.” Her lips curving at the corners. “-thankfully Sarah is so much more than just a pretty face.” She continued, throwing Sarah a warm smile.
Sarah smiled back before the consultant walked in with a hand full of paperwork. He had a lot to go through starting with a fast track treatment and a care plan for Asher.
Asher held on to Sarah’s hand, he closed his eyes as he listened to the instructions to secure a future. - but if there was no future, he was thankful he lived. Thankful he achieved all that he had, thankful that he didn’t let his heart turn bitter. If he was going to leave this world, he was going to leave a good man.
“Your moving in with me.” Alec demanded, watching Siena walk into his house.
“No I’m not!” She snapped, heading straight for his bedroom wardrobe.
“Yes you are tesoro!”
“No, I don’t need to move in with you.” She rummaged through his clothes and picked out a T-shirt to slip into.
“If you don’t like this house, we can buy another one, one that you like.”
Siena smiled as she came out of his bathroom with his T-shirt on. She unclipped her hair and fell onto his bed.
“Alec I don't know.” She picked up the blanket and climbed in. “You would drive me fucking crazy living with you.”
Alec shook his head as he undressed himself. “Just think about it. Please.” He insisted before disappearing into the bathroom.
Alec walked out a few minutes later, spotting Siena flicking through channels on the tv. Alec slid in next to her, resting his arms behind his head.
“I’m worried about Asher.” Siena admitted.
“He’s getting the best care.” Alec stated, trying to comfort her.
“Thank you for not hurting him.” Siena whispered before turning off the tv. “I knew he didn’t mean the things he said, he was hurting. He belongs with Sarah, he just couldn’t see it.” She smiled. “But I don’t know if I can leave him Alec. Especially now.”
Alec sighed as he turned over to face her, her emerald eyes were twinkling at him. “Siena you can be there for him without living with him.”
“I’ll think about it.” She whispered, her hands tracing his hard jaw line.
“What’s there to think about?”
“Argh... You talk too much.” She moaned.
“That’s rich coming from you tesoro.” He scoffed.
“I don’t talk as much as you!”
“Are you kidding me? You can talk for the whole world.” He laughed.
“Why? So you can talk more?” He teased.
“Good night!” Siena snapped, turning over in a huff.
“Good night baby.” Alec grinned. He started to count to ten in his head, when he got to number seven, Siena turned around and pounced on him.
Her lips crashing into his own desperately. “Take away my stress baby.” She breathed, her legs straddling him as he groped her soft bottom.
One week later...
“You all packed?” Asher smiled.
“Yes, I’m going to miss being here.” Siena sighed.
“I’m going to miss you a lot.” He inched closer and hugged her. “I’m going to miss you too.”
“Well it’s a good job I’m moving in!” Sarah blurted from the couch, her feet up high as she rested.
Siena laughed before picking up her last box of belongings. “That’s all of it.”
“Just leave it near the door. Alec will come and collect it later.” Asher spoke.
“Okay so dinner at mine tomorrow guys.” Siena demanded.
“Aww I love how she’s calling Alec’s house ‘mine’ already.” Sarah teased.
“Shush.” Siena blushed.
“I’ve got my college presentation tomorrow, I’m so nervous.” Siena gulped.
“You’re going to do great.” Sarah beamed.
“I hope so.”
“I have to go and prepare so I’ll see you guys tomorrow.” Siena waved as she left the apartment.
“It’s going to be weird without her around.” Sarah admitted.
“Yeah.” Asher agreed, looking around at his apartment. “It was for the best.”
“How are you feeling?” She asked.
“Better, just a little tired.”
“Why don’t you take a nap?”
“I will if you take one with me.” He grinned.
“Come on then.” She smiled.
“Yes.” Sarah laughed.
“I need a thorough check up.”
“Really?” She narrowed her eyes, a smirk playing on her lips. She loved how playful Asher was after everything. Even though he was going through so much right now, he found the time to flirt, have fun and be himself.
“Yes please nurse.” He smiled, his crystal eyes putting a spell on her.
“Asher, go to sleep. No strenuous activities!”
Asher slumped down in the bed like a child having a tantrum. Sarah climbed in next to him and kissed his cheek. He turned his head and kissed her lips. “Asher, you’re supposed to be resting.”
“I know.” He snorted before holding her close and closing his eyes.
He couldn’t help the smile on his lips as he tried to fall asleep, he held Sarah as tight as he could. He wasn’t afraid anymore, he was at peace.
For once in his life, even though it seemed like it was collapsing around him, he had never felt more grounded. Never felt more loved. He closed his eyes, as he drifted off into a memory.
“What brings you here?”
“Kate’s away on a business trip. I was bored at home.” Asher smiled.
“Come on in! I was just having some tea.”
Asher sat with her on the couch.
“How are things going with Kate?”
“They’re good. She’s away a lot, but I want her to be successful so I’m happy for her.”
“Good.” Angela smiled, sipping her tea.
“Shall I get Berta to fix you a cup of tea?”
“It’s not a problem, she’s in the kitchen. I’m sure she’s finished interviewing the new part time maid.”
“How many maids do you need Mom.” Asher scoffed.
“Well you can never have too many. I would tell you to get one to help in your apartment but I know Kate doesn’t like the idea of one.”
“No she doesn’t.” Asher nodded.
“Thank you I won’t let you down.” A sweet voice elated through the hallway.
“Looks like Berta hired her.”
“Excuse me whilst I go and meet her.” Angela stood from the couch. Asher stood after her, waiting by the door.
His eyes fell onto a beautiful tall girl with long fiery hair. Her eyes like honey, her full lips smiling at his mom. Asher took a step back, as though her beauty knocked him off his feet.
His heart started to hammer in his chest, the more he heard her talk, the more he wanted to hear her voice. She didn't see him, but he watched her walk out of the house through the window.
Wow, she’s stunning, she’s amazing and... she just fell into a bush. Asher laughed. She stood up and shook herself off before walking out of sight.
Asher sat back down on the couch with a big grin on his face. He had never felt this way upon seeing a girl without even talking to her. He chuckled to himself, he wanted to know her name.
Angela walked back in, she smiled at the sight of her son grinning. “Thinking of your wonderful Kate I presume?” Her brow raised high. “Oh young love” she cooed.
Asher lost the grin, he was smacked with reality. Kate, he’s with Kate. He loves Kate. Guilt swept over him as he shuffled in his seat. He made a promise to himself, he wasn’t going to ever look at a girl like that again, he had to ignore this new maid. He couldn’t let himself slip. Kate didn’t deserve that.
“Berta, have you ordered a new uniform for... what was her name?”
Asher closed his eyes and tried not to think of her.