Second Chance

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Chapter 16

My eyes wandered around the house which left me in awe since I reached this afternoon. It was a huge house with the best landscape too. Talking about landscape, I remembered those days I spent with Harriet as I gave ideas for his teams. But was it fair for Carlton if I still think about Harriet and the memories, I shared with him?

It left me in deep thought. Anyhow, I can’t control my mind from going to that particular chapter of my life. At least I try to not stuck in my past and move on slowly with this man in front of me who in deep slumber after a long day.

Just give me time, Carlton.

But only if you want this to happen too. I had this thought all this while until everything changes since past few days. You were acting different than before; I would say you were being more emotionally available around me.

I liked it, enjoyed all these but I still have millions of unanswered questions in my tiny brain. We can’t keep playing hide and seek in life. One should talk about this. About us!

I quickly shot another text to Rheala which definitely going to blow her mind.

Why he got married with me at the first place? I mean why he agreed? In which era are we in?

My phone beeped with new message from Rhea.

Where is this coming from, Adele Raquel? What the fuck happened to you? After all these days, you’re asking this now? NOW!?

I let out an exasperated sigh when I read her reply.

I mean it just hit me babe. Isn’t it weird? Ugh! I’m going crazy!

Yes, YOU ARE! And which era are you in, Adele? You agreed to marry that hot Italian man. You have your own reasons, right? He might have on too? Perhaps to move on from Giana?

TO MOVE ON FROM GIANA? WHAT THE FUCK? God, tell me I’m exaggerating!

GIANA? RHEALA YOU’RE NOT HELPING AT ALL!

Then, she replied again.

Adele stfu and enjoy the moment please. Stop thinking crap. I was just sharing my thought.

Carmela’s voice startled me when she knocked the room door softly and entered. I put my phone aside and approached her.

“Oh, he’s sleeping?” She said when she saw Carlton’s figure on the bed, sleeping handsomely.

I laughed smally, “Yeah. Must be tired of driving. Is the food ready?”

“Yup the food is ready.”

The room fell silent for a moment while I was trying to ease the awkwardness. From the corner of my eyes, I felt Carmela’s unreadable stare. Then she slowly talked with hesitance in her words, “How’s my family?”

I blinked few times as I took her words to my mind. “They’re good. You’re not talking with them?”

She half smiled at me then shook her head no and that was it without any extra words. I had this hard time deciding if I should ask any further questions or just let things as it was. Then I had the thought to not keep digging things since she didn’t want to reveal anything much.

It struck me to ask Carlton; perhaps he will tell me about Carmela and her relationship with their parents. It was totally bizarre for me to know that Carmela asked her parents’ well-doing towards me.

“Hmm, shall I wake him up?” I asked Carmela, pointing at Carlton.

“Let him rest. He looks really tired. Maybe we three can spend time together. What say? Or you want your dear husband to be next to you all the time?” She gave a sheepish smile. I blushed at her and decided to have my evening snacks with the two ladies.

We sat together to enjoy the delicious traditional Italian food and desserts. I swear I never had anything tastier than the food I had this evening. It was super delicious especially the tea prepared by Carlton’s grandmother.

“Hmm, god!” I moaned as I ate the ‘tirtlan’, a type of fritter with a classic filling of spinach and ricotta prepared by nonna.

“You like it?” she asked as she placed back her tea cup on the table.

My eyes widen when she asked me that, “Are you kidding? I’m loving this. Please pack this for me!”

She chuckled, “Of course. Anything for you, Adele.” I beamed with her reply.

As I took a bit of the savoury bread baked named as ‘baba rustico’, “How’s my daughter?”

Shit!

My mouth that filled with food almost choked when nonna asked that. I wiped my mouth with a napkin, “Owh, she’s fine. Seems like everyone asking about her.” I trailed my eyes toward Carmela who was chewing her food without tilting her head up.

With my reply, nonna slowly turned to look at Carmela and smiled faintly at me. “How is she treating you?” Carmela asked it.

I felt as if I was a criminal that going through my interrogation by two police officers. “You can say that I didn’t even get a chance to miss my mum. So lovely and caring.” I wasn’t making up anything since that was truth. Mamma really showed nothing but endless love just like the way a mother treats her children.

Carmela scoffed, “Finally someone had her lesson.”

Ok, I’m confused! And scared too. Carlton, save me from your family drama please!

“Carmela!” Nonna warned her but she stayed unbothered.

“How about my dad?” I took a while to answer that, thinking the right word so she won’t feel offended or reply anything weird.

“Dad is fine. If you’re concerned much, you should come Carmela.”

Wait, he heard me?

I thanked God boundlessly for sending my saviour! The only voice that rescued me from getting involve in this mess. I don’t mind being a good listener or problem solver but don’t come to me without giving a headline. Come on, I just learn about her existence and still getting over it.

Plus, it was Carlton who said ‘Try to stay away from these people’s drama. I know she’s my sister but still I don’t want you to get their mess in your head and get stressed because I know you will.’

Aww, how sweet!

True indeed! Even when it comes to my family, I’ll try to not get involve but sometimes that’s about family. You can’t really be ignorant! God, marriage life can certainly be challenging! You have to be wise and responsible at the same time.

Carlton sat next to me and took a cup to pour his tea. “Aren’t you tired of backing up them?” Carmela huffed in annoyance but her eyes filled with pain.

“Carmela, stop it. We can talk later.” Carlton replied with a slow yet firm tone.

I don’t mind if anyone growl or snarl but I fear the most when a man that appears calm but actually, he isn’t! Carlton is that!

“I won’t stop mum and dad realise their mistake.” Carlton started to crack his knuckles which was an obvious warning.

Don’t argue when I’m around please! I silently prayed for it.

“Carmela, stop it! Why can’t we enjoy the evening peacefully? We have Adele around.” Nonna warned. Carmela’s face expression changed and smiled apologetically toward me, “I’m sorry.” I mouthed her ‘it’s okay’.

There was a moment of silent at the table after Carmela apologised to us with her teary eyes. I felt bad seeing her like that. Carlton exhaled sharply as he leaned back to the chair.

“Carlton, eat something.” Nonna broke the silence as she offered the food to Carlton. He took it reluctantly and ate them.

“Adele darling, you’re getting pale. Are you okay?” she asked me.

They almost had a war and how can I be okay?

“What’s wrong?” Carlton lowered his head toward me as he murmured audibly. He held my gaze when our eyes locked and made me stiffened. My eyes instantly drawn to his light stubble, then to his lips and stopped at his eyes.

Did I ever mentioned that Carlton always look straight into my eyes?

He really shouldn’t get any closer to me with this appearance and voice! I’m trying to keep my hormones really off now.

Kiss me, Carlton!

What the fuck is wrong with me?

“Adele, what’s wrong? Say something.” He asked again.

Is he playing dumb?

Oh Lord! Help me. Something gotten into me! I can’t get turn on every time he gets angry! UGH!

“You both badly need a room.” Carmela’s voice brought me back to reality.

I faked cough and took the glass of water to clear my dried throat. “I’m okay, nonna.”

Nonna chuckled at us and excused herself while shaking her head at us. When I moved my eyes toward Carmela, she was giving a sheepish smile which undoubtedly turned my cheeks to bright red.

Fuck, that was embarrassing! They literally saw me drooling over him! I wanna bury my head in the sand!

“I will help nonna to clean up.” I mumbled in panic and rushed out from there without looking at him. Plus, sitting there didn’t sounded as a great idea so I escaped from the sinfully handsome man and his sister.

While I was doing the dish alone after convincing Nonna to rest, Carmela entered the kitchen with her same smile. I closed my eyes as I tried to control my smile, “Why not you all go for a honeymoon?”

“Carmela, stop it.” I said without looking at her.

“You’re blushing and giving me all the opportunity to tease you badly.” She giggled. “What are you both doing here with me and grandma? Don’t tell me you both going to be banging here?”

“Jesus, woman!”

We both laughed there without doing the dishes. Then my phone vibrated with a new message. It must be Rheala, I thought but I was wrong.

Carlton! Something new! Horizontal lines formed across my forehead when I saw his name and the message he sent.

If you want something don’t wait. Do it.

Erk, excuse me sir what do you mean?

Do what? I reply him right away and started to fidget my feet while waiting for his reply.

You know Adele.

That was it! Only that and I should figure the whole thing. He must be kidding. I stared at the screen and read again to get what he meant but nothing made sense to me. I began to bite my lips and paced back and forth at the kitchen.

My eyebrows were furrowed and endless sigh as I tried to solve Carlton’s riddle. “What’s wrong with you and your face?” Carmela asked in clear annoyance.

Your brother and his riddles!

She lightly reminded me of Rhea. Rhea hates whenever I anxious about something and started to pace around with a serious face.

“Nothing. Be right back.” I quickly went out from kitchen, started to find Carlton so he would answer me instead of me squeezing my brain. He was nowhere in the house but a help came in saying Carlton was at the river, swimming.

Great! After throwing puzzles on me he bloody swimming peacefully. I stomped my feet to outside as I muffled inaudibly about Carlton.

I gulped when my eyes glued to the scene in front me. Carlton’s hair was wet and his chest was naked. I was completely immobilised when he smirked at me as he swam toward my direction.

Get yourself together, Adele Raquel.

“What do you mean?” I asked casually without revealing the effect he had on me and sat on the rock near the river. He just shrugged his shoulder and lightly splash the water on my feet, “You know, Adele. Figure it out by yourself.”

“Fine. I don’t want to know.” I replied dryly and looked at the time.

“Carlton, get back. It’s getting late, you will catch cold.” I said in stern voice. But he ignored and continued to swim.

I groaned inwardly seeing him being too stubborn. I felt as a mom now!

“I won’t. I’m familiar with this river.”

“Whatever you say but keep this in your mind that I won’t babysit you.” I said as I stood up from the rock and stepped to the house.

“Really?” A deep husky voice alarmed me from my back. I spun around to catch Carlton standing so close to me without drying himself. My pulse increased crazily when his eyes pierced into mine and as the water droplets crawled slowly from his body, it really made me hot and uncomfortable.

“Let’s go inside.” I managed to say something but he didn’t move an inch. His hand traced up and down my thigh and whispered, “Really? You don’t want to know or you escaping? Where is the fearless cat?” I felt his hot breath fanned on me for every word he said.

I exhaled softly and looked at him with a small smile creeped in. I moved closer to him and ran my thumb over his lips. His body tensed even though he played cool by smirking at me.

Well, well sir!

His eyes darkened and I was bloody sure he knew what was coming next when my lips met his lips. He pulled me by my neck with one hand and deepened the kiss that kind of full of lust and sensation. It started soft but slowly turned to a rough kiss.

I breathed out when he bit my lower lip and suddenly, “Kids, get in. It’s getting darker out there!”

I hate her for once! We broke apart where he tilted up his head to respond to his grandma, “Yes nonna.”

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