Second Chance

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Chapter 18

After having our dinner together, I headed to sit at the living room with the others and when I checked my phone, it was bombarded with Rhea’s text. She can be really unbelievable with her assumptions and gifs!

I laughed softly when I read each and every text, she sent me. Crazy!

Why wasn’t I surprised with her wild imagination?

Several minutes later, Nonna called me out with a box in her hand. I pressed my lips together and neared to sit next to her. Carlton was sitting there too. Nonna smiled at me, “This is yours. Hope you like it.” she handed me the box as I took from her hand hesitantly while my eyes searched for Carlton’s.

“Open it.” He insisted too.

I swallowed in as my hand began to unwrap the packaging. When I opened the box, I was astonished and unable to speak for a second. It was a beautiful diamond tennis bracelet. It had the touch of sophistication just the way I prefer when it comes to jewellery but I could say it must be expensive. “This is so gorgeous. You don’t have to do this, Nonna.”

“No darling. I keep it to give it to my grandson’s wife. You are here now so you must accept it.” My eyes sparkled when she said such beautiful words.

“You can give it to me if you don’t want.” Carmela interrupted as she entered there with a box in her hand.

My eyes fell on Nonna who was waiting for my respond, a smile curled on my face and took out the bracelet to wear it. I glanced over and over my wrist toward Carmela’s face, to show off the beauty that circling around me. I even did that to Carlton but he watched me with his doe eyes.

“Thank you so much Nonna.” she embraced me into a warm hug and kissed my forehead.

“What are you guys planning for tomorrow?” Carmela asked Carlton. The man who said I should be spending all his time with him, was typing something on his phone without any guilt.

When he didn’t reply her, she threw the cushion on his face but he ducked his head quickly, “Hey, what’s wrong with you?”

“I was asking you a question. What else got your attention when your wife is here?”

“Giana” He blurted out the answer, causing my heart to stop.

“WHAT?” My face instantly had this disbelief look and that was when he realised his own words, “No, no. I mean office stuff. She had to send me a file but still haven’t send it yet.”

A scowl formed on my face, looking at him. “Whatever.” I mumbled with a shrug.

Carmela sat there as she studied my expression and again looked at Carlton. She wore a silent mysterious smile on her face but quickly replaced with a small smile when I was looking at her. My stupid face and mood literally betrayed me by showing the obvious thing.

He rose up from the couch when his phone rang, “I should take this.” I kept my head down looking at the family album, Carmela brought in the box.

My face soured since then with a pout and every word that came after that, I replied with one word or lips that pressed to a thin line.

“You okay gorgeous?” I heard Carmela asking me when my eyes glued on Carlton until he went away from my sight.

I glanced at her, seeing worry that lined her face. “I’m cool.”

Out of habit, I began to bite my thumb nails. It wasn’t really biting but I always get scolded for that. It was just my way of showing my anger or in this case, jealous.

Hold on, did I mention the word? Great!

“Look at this.” Carmela passed another picture that she took from the box. I slowly took it and saw a small boy grinning widely with a cap on his head as he sat on a bicycle. “Is that Carlton?”

“Yes, you’re right.”

“Aww so cute.” I said in cheerful tone. It was a real fun when I got the chance to see his childhood pictures. There were many other pictures that she showed to me where the siblings mostly took with Nonna. I also noticed that Carmela didn’t exactly have many pictures with Mamma or Pappa.

“Guess what, he really has many fans regardless gender and age since small. The favourite kid of everyone, including our friends. But only I know how annoying he can be most of the time. I’m sure you can guess too.”

Tell me about it! I mentally rolled my eyes because I couldn’t agree more with her.

The pictures were everywhere, covering the floor and one piece caught my eyes. My fingers slowly crawled to the picture and put it before my eyes. It was a picture of Carlton with his head looking at his left as for his hand locked in someone’s hand. That was it for the picture.

The picture just captured the small glimpse of a hand that locked in his. The picture was fine but it was about the way he looked in the picture. “That one we took at Rome when our cousins came down from Turkey.” Carmela said it.

My eyes went up from the picture to her, “Oh okay. Cousins from Turkey? I think I saw them in our wedding.”

“Yup, they the one. We all had good time. Here the other pictures.” She passed another pile of picture and guess who was there.

Giana!

So that must be her, the one in the picture even though she wasn’t in the picture. My fingers trailed over the picture, “I wonder whose hand he was holding in this picture. He looked at her the way all women would want to be looked by a man. Full of love and affection.”

I sighed.

Carmela didn’t say anything instead smiled at me. I shrugged my shoulder and returned the picture to her.

“Is that Giana?” I asked her, hoping she would say no.

“Nope. Not Giana. I can assure you.” And she continued, “You can keep it if you want.”

I relieved when I heard her saying, the hand he was holding in the picture wasn’t Giana.

Crazy! I would never keep the picture and spend my nights over a picture.

“Nah, that’s fine.”

Frowning, I sat there with Carmela after Nonna went to bed early. She was telling me about her childhood memories with Carlton at this house. My mind ditched me and wandered to Giana and also to the picture.

If it wasn’t Giana then who must be the person that deserved such look from Carlton. I can’t keep my mind away from that cloud of thought. The way he looked can make people to say, ‘Have you seen the way he looked at her’.

Who wouldn’t be bothered about it?

Was that the girl who made him to stay in distant with me because he still in love with her? It wouldn’t make sense at all if he can just call things off with the girl and marry me. Didn’t he fight for her? Tried to solve their issues?

My mind began to be a complete mess and became the enemy of my breath.

“Can I go to bed, Car?” I ridiculously sounded sad, weak and sick.

“Did you eat your medicines? You seemed unwell.” She asked in concern.

I nodded her in reassuring smile and gave her a good night hug before walking away. “Good night, Adele. I’ll tell Carlton once he settles his office matters.”

In our room, I washed my face and prepared to sleep. But then I realised I didn’t bring any comfort clothes along. I reached Carlton’s closet and took a t-shirt that neatly hung. Once changed to it, I dragged myself to the bed and let the comforter to cover me up to my chin.

I seriously had to shut off my thoughts and sleep. Since I couldn’t sleep, I checked for any new messages and Carlotta texted me about her dinner with Kayden and pictures they took together. There was even a message from Kayden and Rhea. I replied them lazily before I forget to reply for next business days.

Ten minutes passed and my mind still didn’t change the direction. It remained there, to the same picture and my husband who still not in the room. I switched off the light at the nightstand while turning and tossing on the bed. It was unexplainably uneasy. Then I felt a figure at my back on my side of bed.

“That’s not your side, in case you forget.” I said drily.

“All aware.” He murmured in my ears and his hand wrapped around my waist pulling me closer after he turned on the light again.

I remained in his arms without trying to get out because it won’t work after all so why bother wasting my energy. His hand went under the t-shirt I was wearing and settled on my stomach, drawing circles on my skin.

I felt the anxiety that was welling up certainly vanished with his presence. He buried his head in my neck, sniffing and stayed like that for a moment. Our hearts were pounding safely in each other’s scent and heat.

I just want to stay like this forever.

“I’m still mad at you.” I murmured with closed eyes.

He let out a throaty chuckle and said, “Just like this morning, you can stay mad at me but still enjoy this.”

I pressed my lips tightly from laughing or even smile with his words. “Adele, look at me.” I craned my neck without turning back to him. He smiled, “It was just work that I can’t avoid and it settled now.”

“Whatever.” I replied and pulled away from seeing his beautiful features that I can never resist.

“Don’t whatever me.” He said in low tone but his one hand was sliding down from my stomach and stroked my thighs.

“Or else?” I challenged him while enjoying the sensation of his fingers.

My body was getting hotter than before when he asked, softly, “Or else this.”

I gasped when with the same slowness, I felt his warmth fingers lightly ran and started to stroke over the panties with his thumb. I felt an electric shock ran over me even with the light touch of Carlton.

Holy shit!

“Hoi!” I exclaimed and pushed away his hand. He let out a soft chuckle when he saw me panicking and rose up from the pillow.

“Is that a reaction from a turned-on woman?” he asked huskily with his dark eyes.

“I am not turned-on!” I emphasised a deliberate lie. He raised his eyebrows, amused, “Really? Can we check?”

“Oh, shut up, Carlton.” I kicked his leg in annoyance.

He laughed and pulled me back in his arms, “Tell me, angry bird. What happened now?”

I took a lengthy breath before answering his question. “I saw a picture of you. Holding a girl’s hand but she wasn’t in that picture. Who is she?”

He looked into my eyes longer than usual. “Carlton, stop staring at me and answer.” I demanded.

“Why do you want to know?”

I stayed silent and spoke again, “Simply. Is that Giana?”

“No. That’s not Giana. Nothing close to her. Someone else.” He replied softly as he pulled away from me and rested his head against his folded arms. I sat up on the bed, facing him with legs folded under, “How many exes you really have, Casanova?”

Carlton watched me, with a tint of mischievousness in his eyes and lips, “How many do you think?”

I picked up the pillow on the other side and hit him. He was shielding his face with his hand that followed with a laugh. I continued to smack him, letting out my anger but he grabbed my wrist, “God, woman! I was kidding.”

I stopped hitting him and glared at him, “You better be, Carlton.”

“Did my sister show you the other picture? The picture with the girl too in it?”

I pressed my lips into a thin line, “I don’t want to end up thinking about your ex in my sleep.” Something else came into my mind that I waited to ask him ever since we arrived here. But I feared the idea of asking him about his sister, what if he think I’m being nosy.

His hand gently brushed my hair while his other hand wrapped around my waist, “Ask away. Don’t hold back.”

Gotcha!

“I can’t even plot a murder on you. You’ll find out and run away.” He can read my mind without any problem but I can’t read him easily because he always been mysterious in his own sexy ways. Then I asked the question I pondered, “It was about your sister and your parents.”

“If it’s about them can we talk some other time? I just don’t want to spoil the mood now.” He kissed me good night without answering the question that I highly hoped he would answer tonight.

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