The breath I was holding slipped through my lips after hearing my name from Carlton. I tried to struggled out from his grip but he was too strong for me. His left hand slowly moved up to caress my cheek caused me to flinch and he had the gut to smirk, realizing the effect he had on me.
You can’t be serious dude! I pushed me away and to my surprise he let go of me. I shot him a glare expecting him to say something. He shook his head as if I amused him in any way, “Why are you so adamant, wife?”
STOP CALLING ME WIFE!
“Listen to me, my parents coming for a dinner tomorrow. And I want you to be here right after your work.” I crossed my arms in disagreement because he should know that I’m not anyone’s slave especially not his. He clearly has no any idea about me, isn’t he? I merely laughed in my mind if he thinks I’ll be attending his parent tomorrow. His parents must be thinking we were happily married couple with so much of love that could suffocate anyone else.
Hell no! JOKES ON THEM. The reality was something else. You’ll get a very warming welcome from me, Mr. Carlton Wilber.
“Don’t ever try anything Adele Raquel. There will be consequence, trust me you wouldn’t love it even a bit.” His dark rich voice interrupted my thoughts. “And I will make you to talk to me, soon. Very soon. Or even scream out my name.” He said that with a wolfish grin.
WHAT THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN!
And unexpectedly I smirked at him before slamming his door and walked out from his office.
The next morning, I got ready for work quickly and walked out from my room. As I went into the kitchen, Carlton was already there with a cup of coffee and was scrolling his phone. My mood totally dropped down when I saw my morning sight. As I was filling my water tumbler, I felt his gaze fell on me. I regretted for my choice of outfit, a split thigh blue dress.
I’ve stopped wearing anything formal these days, especially after started up my own business. I owned a café after moving to Italy. My family members and best friend of course support and respect my decision. I wish I could pluck out his eyes and feed them to the crows. I hissed so he would shift his gaze but no he didn’t.
“Ma’am, can I bring you the breakfast?” Tantiana asked politely where I saw Carlton looking at me expecting I would say something. I shook my head as no and grabbed my car key from the table.
By the time I reached my café, I saw my staffs working their ass off serving the customers. The freshly brewed coffee welcomed me and I couldn’t resist to have the taste of coffee to melt on my tongue. “Good morning, Miss Adele you look lovely today.” My staff greeted me while handing my coffee. I picked up from her and sipped it, “Thank you, gorgeous. Any updates for me?”
“Oh, nothing much. We have sent the orders to the school. Our suppliers have updated their products. And there’s a bouquet for you from Mr. Alfred.” She said smiling widely as she passed the huge bouquet of roses to me. She continued, “Miss Adele, you should go out for a date with him. Poor of him, trying his all best”
No one knew about my marriage; it was an agreement with Carlton and as for my wedding band I won’t wear it to my work place. On our wedding night he said we can keep our marriage as secret as he has business rivals who would take revenge on me. Whatever his reasons were, I don’t care but I was so happy about it.
“I’m not interested Natty. You can try him if you want to.” I winked at her and took out my phone to text Tantiana. Though I won’t be attending today’s dinner, I planned to bake some cupcakes and sent over there.
After a while, I saw Tantiana walking inside the café, “Ma’am, is everything alright? Why do you want me here?” I sensed the worry in her voice as she was holding my hand. “Oh dear, it’s nothing. I’m all good. I need your favor.” I spoke quietly and told her everything.
“Ma’am I can’t do this please. You should be there.” She replied nervously.
“But Tantiana, you’re aware of my situation right. I can’t do this. Please serve this later and let me know once they’re back.” I tried to persuade her as put the cupcake box on the table we were sitting.
“Ma’am but it would be obvious if I help you this time. Sir would find out.”
“No, he won’t. Unless you reveal our little secret to him.” I tried to brainwash her with my puppy eyes and somehow it worked on her. She agreed slowly and went back. I didn’t want to do this or even pull her in between my game with Carlton but I had no choice left.
I never liked the idea of faking around with his parents and gave them any wrong ideas. Plus, his mum can be really intimidating sometimes with her weird looks that she threw on me since our wedding day.
It was half past eleven pm when I received text from Tantiana that his parent left the house. But I was still chilling with some champagne with my staff, Natty. She was shocked when I asked her to company me. I felt quite tipsy when I was on my way back but somehow managed to reach the house. Before I touched the doorknob, it was swinging open and revealed my dear husband with white shirt hugging perfectly on his well-built body. He kept his frustration in check and he gritted his teeth when I giggled in success looking at his state.
Carlton stood tall in front of me and about to say something but his phone rang in between. He answered the call without breaking his eye contact with me. “Hello, yeah proceed.” While he was busy with whatever business he dealing with, I took the chance the take a closer look of this beautiful specimen in front of me.
His voice purely deep, thick, and sexy. My little finger traced his prominent jaw that curved gracefully, slowly my finger moved to his shirt and casually unbuttoned the first few buttons of his shirt. He was both confused and nervous as he unable to do anything at the moment. He should learn his lesson by now for messing up with me since day one especially the other night at New York.
Carlton tried to yank my hand away but failed because somehow my hand to slid to his chest, “Adele Raquel, stop it” He spoke in between his call covering his speaker. My hand moved to his chest while his eyes darkened and my vision blurred.
I woke up with a horrible headache. I clearly remembered what happened last night and I wish I could record Carlton’s expression. His face was tensed when I left me in that state last night, he most probably had a long cold shower last night. Serve you right Mr. Carlton Wilbert!
A quick shower was all I needed this morning and dressed up for work. For my outfit, I chose a white lace tank top and skirt set. Glanced myself and I jogged down only to find empty house.
Last night’s incident kept hitting at the back of my mind regardless. He better not wears any white shirt anymore. It won’t let my mind work straight. God!
What happened to me?
My cafe completely gave a different vibe this morning as everyone there throwing weird glances on me. It was mystery until Natty and the other staffs jumped on me, “OMG you’re married to The Wilberts!”
What the fuck was that!? My eyes bulged out after heard that. It must be him! As they were kept blabbering nothing went in my mind. My nail unconsciously dugged into my palms. I was at edge of sit and acted cool among hyped staffs.
Just at the right time, to make the situation even worse, I received a text from Tantiana - ‘Sir fired me ma’am’
What?! Guilt and anger took over through my veins. “We want a treat!” A loud voice of my staff brought me back to reality. I smiled and promised to make up with them soon.
I didn’t wait any longer and drove like a maniac to his office. I had enough of this! I was continuously hitting the steering wheel, imagining in what kind of situation I had Tantiana in. That poor girl doesn’t deserve all this and she badly need this job to pay her sister’s school fee.
I was fuming in anger when the receptionist stopped me. “I’m here for Mr. Wilbert.”
“You can’t simply meet him. Do you schedule any appointment with him?”
This bitch really testing my patience.
“His wife doesn’t need one!!”
My voice was loud enough to stop whatever people around me were doing. Some were murmuring and the rest of them kept staring at me. The receptionist almost faint but managed to speak, “I’m sorry Mrs -”
I didn’t wait for her to finish as I marched to the elevator. Once reached his floor, I strode to his room, almost breaking it without waiting for his secretary who running after me.
“Carlton! You’re disgusting! What the fuck have you done!? Who do you think of yourself?”
I was shouting my lungs out and he seemed enjoying this! I had only thread-bare of patience for him!
“Answer me Carlton!” He smirked while playing with his pen.
“Carlton!” He sat back from his chair and studied me for a moment.
“Tsk tsk, did someone just decided to speak with me? Wow not bad. I can hear to this for the rest of my life” he said sarcastically.
“Shut up Carlton. You promised to keep our marriage as secret and you broke it today.”
“I warned you Adele Raquel. But you were too stubborn”
“But that was ugly Mr. Carlton Wilbert!”
“I don’t care.”
“And what about Tantiana. She had nothing to do with this. Don’t drag her in. Hire her back!”
“Well apparently I was paying her but she was working for you. Or should I say she was being your spy all this while!” He said calmly but I sensed rage in his voice. He best to know for keeping himself in control all the time.
“Don’t do this Carlton. Hire her back. Stop being childish!” I was merely begging and I hate it.
“You the one being childish. You didn’t show up last night. It was rude Adele Raquel!”
“Well, I didn’t promise you anything”
“Then face the consequences. If there’s nothing left, you may leave. I have lots of things to do.”
Was he kicking me out?
“I won’t until you hire Tantiana back.”
He sighed heavily and stood up from his chair. “Apologize to my parents.”
“I won’t” he advanced towards me; I was kept backing up until hit the door with no room to escape from his caged arms to my sides.
“I have no any lost here, my wife. I don’t care if Tantiana couldn’t pay her sister’s school fee or any other shit. None of my concern.”
“But I do!”
“Then let go of your ego and apologize to my parents”
I sighed in defeat, “Fine I will.” He smiled in satisfactory, “you better keep your promise, my wife”
“it’s you who doesn’t keep your words.”
He chuckled and replied me, “No I don’t think so. I made you to talk to me. Even made you to scream my name though I was expecting that in different setting.” I shrugged for his reply, the he continued “On my bed, for instance.” I hissed fumingly, “When hell freezes over.”
“Will see that too!” I wanted to smack that smirk off his face but luck was on his side when his secretary came in to remind him on his next meeting. I didn’t wait any longer and left the jerk’s office.
When my car pulled over the café, I was surprised with Rheala’s visit. This girl always with her own sweet surprises and I really missed her. I sighed deeply, when a train of flashbacks hit me out of nowhere. The pair of beautiful eyes smiled at me as I neared her and we both crushed in a big warm hug. “I missed you bitch! How are you?” Her eyes studied me with concern while I took a seat next to her. “I’m good” I lied deliberately.
“No, you don’t look like one. What’s wrong?” I was on the verge of tears when she asked me that. I hate crying and letting anyone to see my vulnerable state. But I need to clear off my mind, I was aware of it so I blurted out whatever happened.
I assured that she wasn’t happy at all with everything happened. I tried my best to keep her calm but “Are you for real, Ele?”
“Rhea, I didn’t want this. Never ever wanted this.” I snapped at her.
“Then why did you agree? He doesn’t deserve whatever you’re doing to him.”
“For my parents. I don’t want them to see me in that state. I want them to be happy.”
“Still, do you think they will be in delight if they find out about all this? Move on Ele. For fuck sake!” She rubbed my hand with her fingers but that didn’t comfort me at all. I can never move on from Harriet. I still remember the day I saw him in the coffin, sleeping beautifully and it was so hard for me to convince myself.
“No. I can’t. I won’t!”
“You can Ele. Harriet wouldn’t be happy too seeing you punishing yourself. You’re being too stubborn and selfish Ele. Your husband, Carlton – think of him. How he would feel?”
I remained quiet because it was unbelievable getting all this from my own best friend. I thought she would get me but no. I was wrong.
“Why are building up the walls again? What’s so hard to be nice and polite with his parents-?”
I stopped her right there, “Since when he become your best friend? I thought I’m the one. Why are you all concerned about him?” It was hurtful to see her siding him and throwing her words. “Of course, yours. I care for you and love you Ele. You deserve to live your life and open your heart for him. You’re not thinking straight Ele. Get yourself together!”
Before our argument get heated, Aidan’s presence stopped us and I was so happy to see him there. “Hey little one. How are you?” He gave me a brotherly hug. “I’m good Aidan.” Rheala rolled her eyes and fished her phone from the handbag. Aidan seemed noticed and guessed whatever just happened. He tried to change the mood, “Can I have your signature cake please? I missed it.”
I laughed off and excused myself to get the cheesecake for them, hoping at least this would calm Rheala. “Here it goes.” They ate the cake up while Aidan was telling about his new business at Italy. “Can we leave?” Rheala said that as she placed back her phone in her handbag.
I sighed deeply looking at my best friend and shifted my gaze towards Aidan, “Sweetheart-” She stopped him, “I’m leaving. I don’t wanna talk with someone who don’t understand what I’m trying to say.” With that she took her handbag and walked out from the café.
“You should go.” A muscle in my jaw twitched. This day shouldn’t get any worse than this. “I’ll talk with her. You don’t worry okay. Take care of yourself. But please don’t punish yourself and people around you.” I nodded after a small hesitation.
I grabbed the cupcakes I baked for Carlton’s parents and walked towards the exit of the café. I prepared myself for another unspeakable drama with The Wilberts. They were kind and warm with me just as the Harriet’s parents treated me but fear and insecurities not allowing me.
The Wilberts lived up to their name. I left in awe seeing their castle-like house because the entrance alone was gorgeous. I picked my stuffs and walked inside the house. By the time advanced my steps towards the main door, a blonde with double layers of makeup who dressed up like a runaway model, came out from the house.
She eyed me from head to toe. The grimace on my face was enough to tell her ‘Fuck you bitch!’. I hate her at first sight! A sharp click of heels made me turn to find Carlton’s mum headed towards us from inside of the house. Unexpectedly, the bitter expression of the bimbo changed and I was shocked for sure. “Giana, you’re still here.”
Giana, I wonder who are you.
“I’ll take a leave now. See you Mamma.”
My eyes widened when Giana called Carlton’s mum as Mamma. But to my surprise, his mum snapped at her, “It’s Mrs. Wilbert for you Giana. Get over it.” I felt Giana’s eyes burnt into me when she was leaving. I met her gaze for a moment then turned away when Carlton’s mum greeted me, “Hello gorgeous. What a pleasant surprise!” I hugged her back and handed over the cupcakes.
“I believe you enjoyed the desserts I sent last night.” We both made a small talk as we made our way to the garden. It was a warm day when I was tasting the coffee and felt too good here especially after a long dreadful day. Never thought his mum could be a good company for me. And I love this place already. Quiet and serene.
“Mrs. Wilbert-” she stopped me, “How many times should I tell you, you should call me Mamma” I realised how Carlton can be intimidating at times. He got it from his mum. I laughed off my anxiety, “I’m sorry, Mamma. Anyways, I’m sorry for last night.” She reassured me with a lovely smile, “Oh no Adele don’t be. We understand. But still, you should make up with me.”
“Of course, I will. Tell me what should I do. I’m all in.” My smile widened. Honestly, I would do anything as long Tantiana will get back her job and to put a smile on this lady’s face, not to forget his dad.
“Stay in for dinner. Wilbert is not around so I’ll be alone and I hate it” I laughed so hard with her child-like request and agreed in instant for it. We spent the evening together and relieved when I received a text from Tantiana saying she will join back from tomorrow onwards.
“Just call me if you need anything, Ma’am” the help closed the door behind my back. I looked around the room and was mesmerized with the elegance of his bedroom. Every corner of the room seemed like resembling his personality.
I saw how neatly his shirts hanging there in his walk-in wardrobe and my fingers ran through on them. I gently touched one of his white shirt and the other night’s incident flashed in my mind. I hated to admit it but he was indeed a handsome and hot man. I immediately pulled back my hand and cursed myself for being such a weak ass.
“You don’t get to sleep on the bed Adel. Take the couch.”
“A gentleman sacrifices the bed for a woman and takes the couch”
“Harriet, why did you have to go?”
Suddenly, staying in this room drifted my thoughts to Harriet. Next week would mark the three-year anniversary of his death. Every time of his death anniversary made me realised that he was truly gone and it would hurt me to the core.
I banished all the thoughts which could put me back into my anxiety, I climbed into the bathtub and let it washed over all my emotions. As I walked out, I saw a familiar figure sleeping peacefully on the bed still in his suit from work. Thank God, I had my robes on. I stood near the edge of bed and examined him carefully. I remembered Rheala’s words; ’Your husband, Carlton – think of him. It’s unfair for him. How he would feel?’ My hand wanted touch his perfectly engraved face but stopped myself from doing it. A soft knock from outside brought me back to the reality. The help revealed when I answered the door, “The dinner is ready ma’am.”
“Thank you. We will be there.” Before I could turn back, I felt his presence behind my back, too close as his warm peppermint smell on my neck. I felt his finger sneaked under my wet hair and it made the hair on my arms stood up. He dropped little kisses on my shoulder, I inhaled sharply when he grazed my earlobes. As I closed my eyes to feel everything completely, I no longer felt his warm body and I missed it.
Did he just? Fuck him!
I cursed and turned back to find him sneering at me. His lips curled into a smirk. I avoided Carlton’s eyes which were laughing sarcastically and arrogantly at me and started find for something proper to wear. While I was looking for my outfit, he spoke “So we back to square one? Fine, this time I’ll make sure you scream my name out of pleasure.” I nearly chocked when he said that, without waiting I slammed the walk-in wardrobe door on his face and locked it.
When I got all dressed up and came out, the room was empty. I went down to the dining room and saw Mamma and Carlton waiting for me. Carlton didn’t look at me but he looked fresh as he had taken his shower and the wet hair made him look even hotter than usual. Mamma and I was talking while eating. I’d glance over at Carlton; he was enjoying his food silently. One good habit that I noticed in him; he had never used his phone while eating.
After our meal together, I was standing at the garden and enjoyed the cold breeze kissing my skin. But my alone time was interrupted when I was hugged from behind. I gasped; tried to pull away from the hug but it got tighter.
“I will be away for a business trip. At Germany and I’m leaving in a while.”
I panicked hearing those words and turned to face him. Anxiety creeped in immediately when I heard that from Carlton. I least expect it and it really gave me a hard time.
Business trip! Germany!
No! He can’t be serious. My heartbeat got insane and I felt how rapidly it rushed. Carlton held me by my face and kissed on my forehead.
“Take care when I’m not around, alright.” I stood frozen in my spot, watching as Carlton disappearing from my sight.