Chapter Sixteen: Favor
“Give me the boy,” his deep dark voice echoed down the alleyway, as I held Armando on my arms. I stumble forward and scrape my knee. Armando trembles hard on my arms.
“No, get away from him,” I yelled, shielding Armando, as I felt the long iron bar hit my back. I hissed in pain, feeling the ooze of my own blood oozing out. I felt tears already leaving me, from the pain itself.
“Give me the boy or I will do the same to you what I have done to his mother.” He threatens. I turn my gaze and gave him a death glare.
“Then do it. I won’t let Armando into your arms ever again. You are heartless. May God have pity on your soul.” I shout at him. His anger multiplying.
“Freeze,” we heard behind us. We turn to see the police running towards us. I sigh out in relief, as I turned to see Armando.
He is shaking hard, fear in his eyes. The three-year-old held me tight. He has blood covering his face.
“Is okay, is okay. He won’t harm you any longer. You are with me now. Your mom will be happy to hear that.” I told him. He doesn’t seem to comprehend it.
“Lady, are you okay?” I felt a hand on my shoulder. I wince in pain, as I turned to see a chubby older man, a policeman. I smiled and nodded at him.
“I’m fine, please attend to Armando. He’s been hurt, and his mother is in the car. Please save her.” I begged them. The police nodded, and wave his hand to tell the others to know. Armando held me tighter while burying my face in the crook of his small neck.
’Please God, let his mother be alive. It can’t happen again.”
I still can’t believe it. I’m at dazed by this. Not sure how to react or say to Ciel.
“Blow out the candle Sophy,” Lilly said, as I place the cake in front of Sophy. Everyone is in the backyard, sitting around a round table, that Ciel and Issac place out earlier today. Sophy claps and leans forward to blow. She frowns when she couldn’t succeed. I move the cake closer to her. Then she manages to blow out the candle. Everyone around me clapped. I smiled, leaning down and kiss the top of Sophy small head. She looks up at me with happy eyes. I felt my heart warm up.
“Now, cake time, if you all have room for it,” I laugh, as the kids eye the chocolate cake.
“Yes, I have plenty of room mama,” Oscar rubs his stomach to show off. I actually giggled at him.
“Good to know,” with that, I served everyone, until I reach Ciel. He was talking to Issac and Daniel. He went quiet, when I cleared my throat, placing his piece of cake in front of him.
“Thank you,” He said in a straight manner, making me frown at him. I nodded, watching him stand up and goes up to Sophy.
“Here’s your present, little one,” he puts his hand inside of his pocket and pulls out a small silver bracelet. I gasp, as he places it around her small wrist. Sophy smiles at him.
“Thank you, Ciel,” she said while clapping for him. Giving her smile. Ciel leans down and kiss the side of her head.
“You’re welcome,” he said. My heart burst on the scene itself.
’How was I so bless to have someone that treats my children with this kindness?’
Two weeks have passed since the incident, and yet he hasn’t spoken to me at all.As well, everything seems to go well, even Armando has been sleeping well.
I watch from a distance as Ciel plays with the children, having fun. I smiled gently when I heard the phone ring in my office. I turned around and headed in. Upon entering my office, I reach out, picked up the receiver, which my phone lies on top of my desk.
“Hello?” I asked. There was a silence, but then a clear of a throat.
“Miss. Hart, is Paul Glen, Ciel uncle,” he said. My eyes narrow, but I held tightly the receiver.
“Yes, how are you? What may I help you with? Oh, Ciel been looking for you. Where have you been?” I questioned him.
“I know, I have been avoiding him. I called because I wanted to ask you for that favor if you don’t mind,” he said. I thin out my lips on this.
“Ah, yes, what is this favor,” I asked.
“I need you to bring Ciel to the underground by two weeks,” he said. I went still at this request.
“I can’t, Philip doesn’t want him near there, plus he won’t fight anymore,” I told him. Paul went silent for a brief moment before answering me.
“I know, but I’ll protect him. Just bring him, trust me, this concerns with the orphanage.” he said. My heart suddenly started to race in fear.
“Um. What about it?”
“You know that man, Mr. Don?” He asks me. I nodded, but answer.
“Yes, what about him?” Paul went silent again, but breathe out again.
“He personally came up to me, to see if I can redraw the money I gave to the government.”
“Wait, you can’t do that or can you?” I asked.
“I can if I wanted to. Yet, he has the documents of the property, but no stamp.”
“What jurisdiction does Mr. Don has to make this kind of demands?” I question him.
“Mrs. Morris has. She is legally the owner of the place. So she can demand to sell the property.” he explains.
“Then why demand you to take back the money?” I scratched my head in confusion.
“So when she sells it to Mr. Don. He can buy not only the orphanage, but the property. Since he’s loaded, he can make it legally, without having issues with me.” I think the blood in my face drained. I had to go and take a hold of the table for support.
“Then... Why do you need Ciel?” I asked.
“A deal. I knew this would come in handy. Mr. Don made a deal with me. To fight one of my best men. If he wins, I just take back the money and give it to him, so he can pay himself, thus losing everything you have. If I win, he’ll leave it alone, so Ciel is the best man for the job.”
“That makes no sense, why didn’t he pay it before?” I asked, now getting lightheaded.
’Not Ciel, why him?′ my heart felt heavy about this.
“Mrs. Morris didn’t allow him until now.”
“What? Then why did she make me pay it? I mean insisted me to pay it if she could have Mr. Don’t do it?” I asked, now confused as ever.
“That I don’t know Miss. Hart, ask her yourself. So please send Ciel to the underground within two weeks if you wish to save your home, good day.” with that he hangs up.
‘Oh God, what do I do?’
Midnight has come by, I couldn’t sleep. How can I do this? I walk down the hallway, nibbling on my thumb. Without looking, I bump into someone warm chest. I look up to see Ciel looking down at me.
“Sorry,” I hiccuped, moving to the side, not daring to see him.
‘He hasn’t spoken to me, he must be disgusted by me.’ my heart hurts at the thought. So I kept on walking until I felt a hand on my shoulder.
“Where are you going?” he asks me. I look back at him.
“Getting some warm milk, I can’t sleep,” I told him.
“Can I speak to you then?” he said. I nervously nodded.
After I prepared a hot warm milk, we sat at the round table in the kitchen. I look down, not daring to look at him.
“About the other time..” he started, interrupting the silence. I place my hand on my lips.
“Why didn’t you say anything? You must be discussed with me by now. I understand, but what makes me sad, that you been ignoring me. You should just tell me straight ahead.” I told him.
“Disgusted? What?” he asks, looking at me with baffled eyes. I lifted my gaze and nodded.
“You haven’t spoken to me for a while, so I understand, even though I don’t know why you, um. Kiss me.” I blushed the last part, touching my lips once again, with pain in my heart.
“What silly things are you thinking of? The reason I haven’t spoken to you is because,” he went silent, as I turn to see him once more. He looks hesitant.
“What?” I asked.
“I feel like I took advantage of you. I shouldn’t have kissed you, especially since it was your first kiss.”
‘No, please don’t regret it, I don’t. It was beautiful, awkward, but beautiful. I loved it. Never thought it would be like that, my heart felt like it was going to burst, and I felt like you enjoyed it as well. Like your kiss was. I don’t dare to say it. I don’t want to have my hopes up.’ I wanted to tell him.
“You didn’t take advantage of me. I was caught in the moment. I.. Was scared that you will run away. I don’t know, plus I must be a terrible kisser, since like you said, I never kiss anyone and you have more experience than me.” that hurt me more. He arched a brow.
“How would you know that?” he sighs, running his hands through his short hair.
“Huh?” I asked, confused by his sudden words. He frowns at me, looking at the window.
“When I was fifteen, when I started the underground. I never told this to anyone.” he went silent. I watch have a hard time looking for the words.
“Is okay, you don’t have to..” but he shakes his head.
“I saw a woman being um, raped before my very eyes. She was crying hard and she couldn’t let anyone near her. Later she committed suicide.” he tells me. My eyes widen at his words, as I gasp out, covering my mouth.
‘Oh God, how horrible,’ He places his trembling hands on top of the table and laced his fingers together.
“I vowed to never touch any woman. It was too horrifying, the look of her face was petrified and broken. I didn’t like the evil look in that man’s eye, as the woman begged him not to do it.” he went quiet, noticing his hands shaking. I move and place my hand over his trembling hands.
“So, you never kiss a woman because of that?” he lowers his head.
“I tried, but every time I wanted, all I can imagine is that women face. I felt like I’m taking advantage of them because I don’t love them, so I gave up. The old man told me that it should have love behind it, not forced or just for pleasure, it makes you feel empty afterward. When I asked him about bedding a woman.” he tells me.
“So that’s why your uncle meant that you avoid women like a plague.” I felt my heart clench at him. I don’t even know how that feels, but it must be so bad to shake him up this way.
“So I’m your first to kiss and you don’t find me disgusted?” I wanted to clarify it. He simply nods. I cough out a laugh, the tears finally falling. I cover my face with my hands.
‘I feel selfish, why am I happy to hear that I’m his first kiss? I shouldn’t feel like this, he went through a trauma.’ I felt conflicted and sad by this.
“Oi, why are you crying?” he asks as I lower my hands and wrap my arms around him.
“I’m sorry,” I cried out even more. He went stiff at my hug, but then lowers his head.
“My poor Ciel, I can’t imagine the pain you went through,” I told him. He doesn’t say anything, while I look down at my hand.
“Then, why did you kiss me? If you have that trauma?” I asked. He clears his throat.
“I don’t know, sorry about that, I hope you’re not mad,” he said. My heart hurts at his words.
“Oh.. I’m just hurt that you ignored me these last two weeks. Is all. Then why aren’t you asking me about my back?” I ask him. He stares at me, as though he’s letting my words go down on him. Then he shrugs at me.
“Is your own story, when you’re ready to tell me, then tell me. Apparently, we aren’t as different as we look,” he tells me. I bite my lower lip, wanting to thank him. Silence filled us.
“Soon, I will, since you share a deep dark secret, then I think is fair to do the same.”
‘Should I tell him? No, he shouldn’t get involved, I don’t want him hurt.’ I ponder on this, my heart against it. I rub my temples, only to feel Ciel fingers brush my hair away from my face. His gaze is gentle and deep, as he watches me.
“Why did you enter the washroom that night?” I asked him, as I shivered delightfully from his touch.
“I thought the ghost harmed you,” He tells me. I turn to face him as I took a hold of his hand.
“You thought I was hurt?” he nods at me. I felt my heart swell,
‘He cares about me?’
“Sorry, I fell asleep in the tub. I woke up when I heard you call out my name. Is the first time that I heard it. Can you say it again, instead of lady.” I ask of him.
“I don’t know why I call you lady. I think it became a habit,” he admits.
“Well, at least you know my name, right?” I giggled, sniffing. He nods, moving his chair closer. I felt my heart race as the memory of our first kiss play in my mind.
‘Is he going to kiss me? Please do. I loved it. I like how you feel. We don’t have to rush it either.’ I move my hand and run my fingers through his eyebrow.
“Can I ask for a favor Zara?” he asks using my real name. I smiled and nodded. Feeling my heart soar at the mention of my name on his lips.
“Anything Ciel,” I said. The corner of his lips pulled up, his dark eyes are serious. I licked my lips.
“Can you help me find someone? A woman,” I went still at his words.
“Sure, I will love to help, but what woman?” I asked. He smiled, as his eyes brighten up in a way I never have seen before.
“A woman that I loved all my life.” My world crashed. I forced a smile, while my heart broke into two.
‘He loves someone?’