Trapped by the Whilsons

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Chapter 19

I woke up hearing hushed whispers and opened my eyes to see the Whilsons standing at the door arguing whether or not it was time to wake me up.

“I’m up, guys.” I said while stretching my arms above me. I was feeling more awake than I ever felt this entire week but was still not ready to get up from the very comfortable bed.

“Mamma!!” Ace called out and as expected he jumped on top of me.

“Careful, son.” I heard Xavier warning him.

“Good morning, little one.” I greeted kissing his head and he muffled out a reply.

“Morning, Angel.” Xavier said and sat beside me after placing the breakfast tray he brought on the nightstand.

“Good morning.” I mumbled out as he leaned down to kiss my cheek.

“Had a good sleep?” He asked while placing his hand on my other side trapping me and Ace in between and I found the moment a bit too intimate.

“Yeah..”

“That’s nice. Here, I got you breakfast.”

“Let me brush my teeth first.” I said and broke away from the Whilson and hurried to the bathroom. I had a hunch on why my heart was beating so fast now but I didn’t want to admit even to myself. I shouldn’t be thinking or feeling such things.

I took my time to freshen up and dragged myself back to the room where I saw Xavier and Ace goofing around and just seeing them together like that filled me with peace and joy. While I ate my breakfast they continued on with their banter and asked me to support them on their argument.

“Mamma, tell Daddy that he is wrong.”

“She can’t do that because she knows I’m right, right Angel?”

They both turned to look at me and I stuffed more food into my mouth to avoid answering.

“So nice weather, huh?” I asked as if I didn’t hear them.

“Yes, yes. But I was right, right, Mamma? I’m your Ace and so have to agree with me.”

“And I’m your Xavier.” Xavier pointed out.

“And I’m not picking sides.” I stated and sipped onto my juice. They both then tumbled on the bed trying to tickle each other and eventually ended up falling to the ground.

“Boys, cut it out.”

“I’m not a boy.” Xavier deadpanned and threw Ace high in the air and caught him effortlessly but I almost had a heart attack.

“That’s it. Give him to me.” I said snatched the poor boy from his hulk of a father.

“Time out for both of you.” I said and made them sit on the opposite end of the bed.

“What does that mean, Mamma?”

“It means you sit there quietly and do nothing.” I said glaring at Xavier who was silently laughing at me. Ace huffed out and crossed his arms around himself and began pouting. He looked so adorable that I found it hard to stop myself from pinching his cheeks. But his father however didn’t control himself and literal dragged Ace by his foot and smothered him with kisses and Ace giggles resonated through the entire room.

“Daddy, you are so silly.” Ace laughed out while trying to escape from his father’s grip but his father wouldn’t let him until he was fully satisfied and Ace’s face was red from laughing.

“I think your Mamma is feeling a bit neglected, Ace.” Xavier said shifting his attention to me. My breath hitched for a second because though Ace called me Mamma all the time Xavier himself had never referred to me as Ace’s Mamma and I wasn’t sure how I’m feeling about him doing it now.

Before I could pond upon it they both charged towards me like hyperactive puppies and began peppering kisses on my face.

“Hey, that’s enough both of you.”

“Get off me.”

“Stop it you puppies.” I yelled out after five minutes for this and dived under the blanket.

“Okay..okay..we will stop. Come out now.” Xavier negotiated.

“No, I don’t trust you and haven’t I told you already to stop doing such things?”

“Daddy, she only likes my kisses.” Ace boasted and laughed at his father for good measure.

“That’s not true. She is just shy.” Xavier

“Whatever floats your boat, Daddy.” Ace teased.

“Since when did you get so sassy?” Xavier asked sounding actually shocked.

Just then I heard my phone ring and I picked it up under the bed. It was Mike reminding me that we are supposed to go shopping tomorrow to buy clothes for him.

“Where are you right now?” Mike asked probably hearing Xavier and Ace shuffling around.

“Uhm..I’m with Sassy and Silly.” I blurted out not wanting him to know that I was Xavier’s house knowing how dramatically he would react. Mike wasn’t aware of how close I had gotten to them and he would make a huge deal about it if he did. Ace giggled hearing the nickname I gave for them and I peeked out of the blankets to see him covering his mouth with his tiny hands to try and stifle his giggles.

“Weirdo hanging out with more weirdo’s then. Anyways, I gotta go. Do not ditch me tomorrow.” He warned and ended the call with a bye. Ace then said he has something to show to me and I heard him run out of the room to get whatever it was.

“Stop hiding, Angel.” Xavier said and lowered the blanket off my face. He shifted himself and laid on his elbow beside me and I was very tempted to hide back again.

“So, I was thinking…” He began and caught hold of my right hand in his.

“Hmm?” I nudged him to continue keeping my eyes on his thumb running along my knuckles than on his face which so close to my own that my heart was having a dance party inside my chest.

“I was thinking that it’s time we go on our second date.” He said and I was sure my eyes almost popped out of its sockets.

“Uhm..what?” I asked hoping I heard him wrong because otherwise I wasn’t sure of how to respond to it.

“I said lets go on our second date.” He said leaning his face closer and being distracted I barely heard what he said.

“What?’ I asked again not realizing that I had and my eyes that was now focused entirely on his lips saw it spread itself to form of smile of amusement.

“Let us..”

“Hmm…” I hummed distractedly and though I would probably never admit it ever in future, it was me who first leaned in closer. Barely moved a centimetre but it was me who made that move.

“Go...” He whispered inching closer.

“On our second..” His breath now fell on my lips and that’s all I could feel then. That and the loud beating of my heart.

“Date.” The word was murmured against my own lips. His lips had barely touched mine, I had barely felt its softness against my own when I heard Ace’s voice penetrate through my fogged up mind.

“Mamma, look.” He called out and I heard his footsteps running in the hallway. I immediately pushed away Xavier and sat up abruptly, my cheeks feeling like it was on fire when my head finally caught upto my actions.

What the bloody hell was I thinking?

Xavier laid on his back groaning at the interruption while I was in a way thankful for it.

“At this point I’m sure he is doing this intentionally.” Xavier grumbled out.

“Look, Mamma. I drew a picture of us.” Ace said running into the room. He climbed onto my lap and pushed the paper to my face proudly showcasing two stick figures drawn on it. Ace wasn’t very good at drawing. I knew of this. He wasn’t interested in at all and so for him to take effort to even draw stick figures was a huge deal and hence I understood his excitement but I was way too flustered to speak then.

“This is me and this is you.” He said pointing at the taller and shorter figure respectively.

“And why am I not in this?” Xavier asked laying on his side again beside me.

“You are there in the drawing I drew after this. Of the three of us.” Ace said and Xavier seemed pleased with this.

“Well, why don’t you show us that one?” He asked glancing at me for a second and right then I knew it was his plan to get Ace out of here and I jumped into action.

“There is no need for that now. We can look at it later. I’ll go cook something for lunch now.” I said getting out of the bed with Ace in my arms. I avoided meeting Xavier’s eyes and began walking out of there quickly.

“We can buy lunch.” Xavier said from behind.

“Or you can get a chef.” I pointed out teasingly.

“I’m still searching.” He muttered as I walked out of the room. Xavier had fired his chef months ago for behaving rudely with Ace which though Ace himself did not admit to Xavier, he had found out and took immediate action. He haven’t since then appointed a chef as he is now even more picky at choosing home staffs which is a good thing but it’s been months now since they have been depending on their restaurant chefs to cook for them or on other fast food places hence I have been trying to convince him to get a chef as soon as possible.

I put Ace down and opened the fridge to see most of the ingredient available and noticed bottles and bottles of my favourite fruit drink stocked up in there. I also knew that if I were to check the pantry I will be able to find my favourite chips and snacks there. This wasn’t a new realisation. But somehow today with my feelings and thoughts all over the place this had a heightened impact on me.

‘It’s not a big deal.’ I told myself and pointed to myself that although I preferred almond butter I had back home a small jar of peanut butter for Ace to have whenever he came over and not to forget that really fancy and expensive Italian sauce that I have willed myself to spend money on for Xavier.

‘So what if we have each other’s favourites at our houses? That’s how it is between friends. There is no need to read too much into it.’ I told myself.

“Mamma?” Ace called tugging at my top and successfully putting an end to my personal conversation with myself.

“Hmm?”

“You okay? You have been staring at the fridge for a long time now.”

“I’m okay. Why don’t you sit right here while I get started with our lunch?” I asked and placed him on the counter top. Although I had woken up late and have only just had my breakfast, the Whilsons might soon get hungry and so I decided to make something filling but also not too hard to make.

“Is there any way I can help?” Xavier asked coming into the kitchen and I almost laughed seeing Ace’s scared expression. We all knew on how many different levels things could go wrong with Xavier in the kitchen and so it was safe to have him out.

“No, I got it under control.” I assured.

“Sure? I would like to be of some use here. I don’t like making you cook for us like this all the time.”

“I like cooking and so it’s not a big deal. And if you really want to help, would you mind going to the grocery store? You have no veggies in here for the salad.” I asked mainly because I wanted at least ten minutes to myself to get a grip of myself and to think about what almost happened and how it could have changed everything if it actually had happened.

“Sure, I can do that.”

“You can take Ace with you.” I said and though Ace looked like he was about to protest he did not because I think he assumed that in a way I was assigning him to take care of his father who had even lesser knowledge about such things.

Once they left, I made some chickpeas while cooking rice. I then poured myself a glass of juice and began to think of ways to take a step back from the situation that I almost tiptoed into. Complicating things with Xavier is not something I want to do. He is someone I have grown to care a lot more than I expected to and I don’t want to distance myself from him because of what I might or might not be feeling. So I just need to set some boundaries. It might be hard to do that but I must in order to maintain what we have and to make sure Ace doesn’t get hurt by us venturing outside that boundary.

Just as I was cutting up some bell peppers, the boys returned and I heard Ace’s footsteps hurrying to the kitchen.

“Eva!” He called out and it stunned me for my name felt so foreign coming his mouth. And strangely I felt a bit hurt. And that was really stupid because shouldn’t I be happy? Isn’t it better for him to call me Eva? Wasn’t I scared of the consequences of him seeing me as a motherly figure? Wouldn’t this actually help in setting the boundaries? So why is it that I feel strange and hurt? Why do I feel like I did something bad for him to revert back to calling my name?

“Oh my god, Mamma!” Ace exclaimed breaking me from my thoughts.

There it is. The word. So had I imagined him calling me Eva? Had I been overthinking for no reason?

“Mamma, you are bleeding.” Ace screamed and then the pain of the new wound hit me. I had accidently cut myself while being lost in my thoughts and if Ace hadn’t broken my trail of thoughts I would have cut my entire finger off.

“Hey, its okay.” I assured him turning my back to him to hide the blood from him.

“Daddy, Mamma is hurt.” Ace yelled out and in an instant Xavier was in front of me.

“Its just a small cut.” I told him but he as expected fussed about it too much and was tempted to take me to the hospital even.

“I’m sorry, Mamma. It was because I startled you, right? You got hurt because of me.” Ace whispered softly.

“No, baby. It wasn’t because of you. I was very careless with the knife and so the fault is mine. And look, your Daddy did such a nice job bandaging it that I don’t feel any pain at all. So please don’t be sad.” I comforted him and he gave me a reluctant smile.

“You really okay?” Xavier asked once Ace left the kitchen. He cupped the back of my head with his left hand while his right hand gently caressed my cheeks and all my previous thoughts of boundaries flew out of the window as he looked at me with so tenderness in his eyes.

“I’m okay..” I told him willing myself to not look into his eyes and fall for him.

“Are you by any chance overthinking about before?” He asked knowingly and my gaze flew to meet his before looking down immediately.
“No..” I mumbled and he lifted my face to make eye contact with me.

“I don’t want you to, okay? We’ll take things at your pace. But know this. I’m yours and I want you to be mine."

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