The Best Friend’s Contract

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Chapter 23

Kenna

You know that there’s a word called ′smh′ which means ′shaking my head’? Well, that’s clearly what I’m doing right now as I cup onto my face, feeling the heat radiating as I continue to walk back towards our tents; this is way too much for me to handle right now. What was that?

Glancing at his lips? That was purposely asking him to kiss me! That was like giving him a hint. For god’s sake . . . I can’t be much dumber than now. I shouldn’t have done that because if I didn’t, he wouldn’t have kissed me. He wouldn’t even lean forward for the romantic intimacy.

Did I say . . . romantic?!

I am slowly going insane. I can feel it. My medulla oblongata is probably damaged for letting my heart rate raise; even more, my heart might even be pumping a lot of unnecessary blood throughout my body for the feelings I’m currently having.

Let’s admit it. One by one. There are a lot of reasons to have feelings for someone like Aidan. More particular, for Aidan . . . so, let’s list out why. Maybe, this is just a phase where it will pass and we can all pretend like it never happened.

It’s probably just nothing and we can all forget about it in the nearest future. He can continue on with his life and I can continue on with mine as soon as we get a divorce in a few more months. Exactly, not a big deal and we’re both adults, we can handle this.

After all, it’s not just me who would have the possibility of having feelings for Aidan. Come on, he’s good-looking, charming, funny, well-built, clever and he’s even cute, sometimes! What’s not to notice about him? If those typical women could fall for him, I’m no different. Of course, I never noticed how his eyes gaze into mine or when his lips curve up into a smile that shows off his perfectly straight teeth and slightly rosy cheeks due to the heat . . . but, maybe I’m just starting to notice it now.

Not only that, even his hands are beautiful. His fingers are long and somehow, his nails are very well-manicured; always short and clean, a little bit shiny if I may add. Okay, okay . . . let’s all admit that he’s the most good-looking man in New York. Correction, he’s the most good-looking billionaire in New York.

Enough about his appearances! Even his career and his worth is amazingly surprising.

So, these are the reasons of why anyone including me, Kenna Anne, might be feeling a lil’ something, something for Aidan Gabriel.

“Come join us!” Harley invites with a wide smile on her face as she waves at me. She’s sitting with Mia and Ava, getting ready to make some s’mores while the boys are grilling the meats.

“You’ve tasted these before, right? If not, you’re really missing in life.” She continues to speak, putting one by the fire while Mia is busy teasing Ava, trying to make her laugh; which cheers me up slightly at the sound of her giggles.

“I’ve tasted them before. They’re nice,” I reply.

A few hours are spent chatting and eating marvellous foods. Both Diana and Marc are sitting near the fire as she leans against his shoulder, smiling and probably remembering back to the old memories as they grew old together. My eyes can’t seem to look away at the couple, seeing them attracting my curious attention.

My eyes wander towards Harley who’s laughing near the tree as she chews on some s’mores, fed by Alain. They are laughing and smiling to each other, clearly enjoying themselves to a certain level while Mia sits with Ava, showing her the stars above.

Then, I glance at Aidan; seeing him sitting beside me with no expression on his face. His brown eyes are staring directly onto the fire; seeing it dance as he pokes onto it. As for me, I find him as my source of entertainment for the night. It’s just funny how his family are happy and together while our relationship or more precisely, marriage is just a contract.

We made a promise. Thankfully not in God’s house but with His name; to love and to hold each other for as long as we both shall live but deep in our hearts, we know this marriage will only last for a year and time won’t stop to look back and give us more chance to be together because one day, it’ll come to an end.

“I think I’m tired,” I mutter under my breath but loud enough for Aidan to hear as he turns to look at me with a raised eyebrow.

“We should head inside the tent,” He replies.

Just like that, he places the stick into the fire as we both stand up. “Where are you guys going?” Diana asks, her eyes gazing directly at Aidan who seems a little bit tired; his eyes are droopy and his smile appears more forced than normal.

“We’re both exhausted. We’re going to head in,” He replies with a nod, gesturing towards our tent.

“Goodnight and sleep well. I’ll see you both in the morning,” She smiles as Aidan and I, walk towards our tent, a deep sigh escaping our lips as soon as we get inside.

I look at the space in the tent. Enough for two people but that’s the problem, it’s only enough for two and not for more. It’s ridiculously small and it’d take some cuddling for us to be able to sleep well in this tent instead of arguing about how one of us isn’t getting enough space for the rest of the night.

“This is just perfect. It can fit everyone in here,” I say, sarcastically with a smirk plastered on my face as he rolls his eyes, thinking of a solution.

“Whatever. Let’s just get some rest,” I lay on my back as he joins me, a few seconds after but our arms bump against one another; leaving me rolling my eyes at the space we have which is clearly none.

With a sigh, I begin to sit up straight, “Give me some space of my own, Aidan.” I say, trying my best not to raise my voice; not making the conversation being heard outside. “Why is this tent smaller than anyone else’s, anyway?” I groan, slowly.

“I switched with Alain. He brought a small one and he said it wouldn’t be able to fit Ava if he uses it. So, we swapped tents.” He replies, running his fingers through his, messy brown hair. Somehow, they’re just falling down, effortlessly; enhancing his beauty.

Stop it, Kenna! Don’t bother about his beauty or anything else.′ I thought to myself, wanting to just literally slap my face or bang my head against the wall to kick some senses in me but I know deep down, it won’t work as easy as that.

“Since when are you so generous?” I raise an eyebrow, “Now . . . we’re stuck in this small tent when it can barely fit both of us.”

“Let’s just try again. I’ll make sure we fit,” He bumps onto the spot beside him, gesturing for me to lay on my back and I do, the same time as he does. Our shoulders bump again and apparently, this time, I can’t help but groan louder before smacking onto his arm, causing him to protect himself from my attacks.

“You and your damn broad shoulders! Keep your shoulders to yourself, god damn it.” I say, angrily.

“Fine! Fine! Take the goddamn space,” He sits up before moving away and leaving me in the middle on my own as he tries not to show how he is suffering from the lack of space. Even though he pushes himself further towards the tent, he’s not getting further away from me.

We both stare at one another, only looking at each other without saying a single word. It appears a little bit awkward and somehow, annoying but I can’t utter more words to express how this is just pissing me off than actually letting me feel anything else. Then again, why are we even making it a big of a deal when it’s just about not having enough space in this damn tent?

“Are you just going to sit there and stare?” I ask, after realising that we’ve spent the past couple of minutes, staring at one another without uttering anything.

“Then, what am I supposed to do?” He asks, “One of us has got to give in and that person is me. You can have the spot . . . I’ll probably just sleep somewhere else. Maybe even head back to the house,” He continues to speak, his eyes never moving away from mine while I feel anxious about the word ‘house’ because no, he’s not going back to the house and leave me here sleeping in this tent.

“Are you serious? What if your parents see you?” I furrow my eyebrows.

“Look . . . let’s just work this out. We have to lay on our sides instead of our backs because that’s not going to work. We’re also going to be a little bit closer to one another than usually in order for us to fit. If only you would give that a try, it’ll work.” He replies, ignoring my question.

I remain quiet at his solution; not knowing if being close to him tonight would be a good idea when we’ve just went through something intimate this morning. We might even come to develop feelings to each other, things might get complicated.

“Kenna, do you trust me?” He asks, his brown eyes are piercing deeply into mine; making me stare back, finding how those eyes belongs to someone I trust, someone who has always been there for me through thick and thin.

I nod my head before laying on my side, waiting patiently for him to come and join me in which he did, a few seconds after. My heart starts to beat fast at the body heat on my back as he tries to adjust his body behind me, causing me to stay still.

“I’m not used to sleeping on my right,” He mutters near my neck which causes me to close my eyes at the warmth of his breath. “I hope you don’t mind if I face you while I sleep,” He adds.

“As long as you stay on your side,” I answer.

It takes me a few minutes to finally fall asleep due to his presence near me but I can’t help but feel safe and comfortable by knowing he’s right behind me without even having the intention to move away. It’s kind of weird how we’re this close for a long amount of time but as long as I don’t think about it, it’ll just be the same as sleeping with him on bed with pillows in the middle of the bed.

“Goodnight, Kenna.” He whispers near my ear before slowly placing his hand on my waist.

--

The sound of birds chirping outside the tent causes me to open my eyes, blinking a few times at the change of light. Things were dark hours ago but now, the sunlight is pouring in and everything seems clearer, more likely brighter.

I turn around to find an empty space beside me, quickly making me step out of the tent. My eyes wander around before breathing in the smell of nature, it’s by far the most calming sensation. Within seconds, I find myself staring at Aidan who has a shirt on with some shorts as he chop a few woods.

Earphones are plugged inside both of his ears as he pays attention to the woods, not looking anywhere else. The way his hands are gripping tightly onto the axe as he aims it to exactly chop the middle of the wood, it’s breathtaking. Not by the way he chops the woods . . . obviously, but by the way his muscles reflex whenever he raises his arms up.

I blink a few times at the sight.

Am I dreaming or something? I begin to pinch my cheeks and shake my head a few times but I can’t help feel the pain and the dizziness. So, this is by far as real as it can get.

I make my way towards the house, sparing a few glances back at him but as soon as I come face to face with Diana near the front door, she lets out a deep sigh which confuses me, slightly; leaving me frown.

“You’ve seen that side of him?” She asks, making me glance back at Aidan, seeing him taking another wood before chopping it.

“What side?” I raise an eyebrow.

“He got a call this morning saying that he lost the tender with Wilde’s company and he went straight to change before heading there . . . chopping woods or more exactly, expressing his anger.” She replies as she takes a sip of her tea, “It’s best if you don’t go near him when he’s like that.”

“I’ve known him for so long but I’ve never seen him like that. Was it a huge project?” I ask, concern.

“Well . . . it’s up to a few thousand dollars but he worked hard on that project. So, having his tender rejected, it’s probably stressing him out. He’s very dedicated to his job and I can’t help it when he’s all stressed out or depressed about failing, he’s been a wonderful son and he has made me more than happy to have him but he wants more and he wants to show more than what he have now. That’s my boy,” She lets out another sigh before entering inside.

I heard that Aidan has anger issues. Not major anger issues where it’s uncontrollable but he prefers to danger himself when he’s stressed. He’d go for long and fast rides, drink the night away or even . . . chop wood, something I’ve never seen before or knew.

Ever since we met, or ever since we grew up together, I’ve never seen him get angry at me or even get angry at anyone. He’d be pissed, yeah, when people pisses him off but . . . I guess he’s better at keeping and feeding the anger before letting it all explode all at once.

Glancing one last time at Aidan, I step inside and head upstairs to take a shower before changing into a pair of clothes from my luggage. A ripped skinny jeans with a checkered top, I pair it all up with flats. Just as I step out of the bathroom, I come face to face with Aidan.

He still has his earphones plugged in but as soon as he sees me, he takes one out.

“You want to take a shower?” I ask, moving to the side as he nods, a small smile creeping up on his face which leaves me to return it. “I’m just going to grab my phone and I’ll be downstairs,” I add.

I glance at him and it surprises me to see him lifting up his shirt, causing me to catch a glimpse of his V-line which leaves me staring but just as he’s about to take his shirt off, his phone starts to ring, immediately causing him to pull it back down.

“What is it?” He speaks on the phone.

Our eyes meet as he turns around and I quickly smile one last time before stepping out of the room. It’s kind of weird to be reacting this way when I’ve seen him shirtless before, countless times and it hasn’t bothered me, at all! But let me just say something, has he been working out more than normal because damn, his abs are more visible.

“Do you need any help?” I smile at Diana who’s busy chopping the vegetables but as soon as she sees me, she lets out a sight of relief.

“Thank God, you’re here. I just need some help with the potatoes, would you mind washing them and cut them into small pieces?” She asks and I nod as an answer before washing the potatoes; missing how I used to help my own mother in the kitchen, sometimes when I’m not busy.

But, now . . . I’m too busy to even cook for myself.

“How is he? I saw him going upstairs,” She starts the conversation by asking about Aidan and I look up to see her still chopping the vegetables.

“He’s alright; he came up looking a little bit stressed out but he smiled when he saw me. I guess that’s a good thing, right?” I reply, continuing to cut the potatoes into pieces after washing them.

“If he’s smiling . . . that’s a start,” She says.

“He has never shown that side of him. I mean, I’ve never really seen him get mad. He’d be pissed off by certain things but he was never really the type to scream or shout.” Diana continues to speak, “He shows his anger through actions . . . than words. He’s rather spend time alone to sort things out than pouring his problems to others,”

“I can see that,” I mutter under my breath. “But, I heard rumours that he’s very strict at work and he’s the type to get what he wants, whenever he wants. I’ve come to think that he has two sides to show. He shows me a better side of him, a happier, cheerful and funny Aidan instead of the opposite.” I add.

Seconds before Diana can say another word, we hear someone walking down the stairs which causes us to shut our mouths; not wanting Aidan to hear our conversation. Just as the person enters the kitchen, he looks at us with a confused expression.

“What? Why are you guys looking at me like that?” Aidan asks, furrowing his eyebrows as he heads towards the fridge to take an apple.

“I was just talking with Kenna about the town. It has been awhile since she’s been here and a lot has changed. Would you mind picking up some groceries and while you’re at that . . . show Kenna around,” Diana swiftly says, causing me to turn and look at her but her lips curve up into a smile; leaving me turn to look back at Aidan who starts to chuckle.

“Would you like me to show you around, Kenna?” He asks, like asking me on a date.

″I’d love that, Aidan.″ I reply, smiling.

I walk with him towards the back, seeing a Mercedes-Benz and an unknown covered car. My eyes wander to the car and Aidan seems to have caught my gaze as he walks towards it, “It’s an old truck. I’m not sure if it still works but we can give it a try,” He says, pulling the sheet off to reveal the truck.

He takes the keys on the wall before stepping inside the truck, me following afterwards. It feels nice but different at the same time as I’ve never been in a country truck before.

“Let’s just hope this baby starts,” He mutters under his breath as he puts the key in before twisting to start the engine. It fails for the first time but as he tries again and harder, the engine starts with a noise, causing both of us to grin.

Aidan drives down the road with both of the windows down, letting the wind blows onto my bare skin as I watch the trees we pass by. My lips curve up into a small smile, liking the experience.

“We’re going to pick up some groceries first,” He starts to speak. “Then . . . we can have breakfast before I can show you around town. There’s nothing much if you still remember from when you last came here but I guess it’s good to relive them.” He adds, making a right turn.

Silence accompany us once more but before it can, any longer, I start another conversation. “I saw you this morning. You were chopping wood?” I half-asked and half-said, not wanting to make him remember back about the tender he lost while we’re going out trying to spend time together.

“I’m sorry you had to see that side of me but I lost a project and I couldn’t resist the urge to express it. I wanted to fly back to New York and get the tender again but, that’ll be no use.” He replies, casually.

With every perfection he owns, there are certain flaws that comes along with it. Like anyone or everyone would say, nobody’s perfect.

“We’re here,” He says, gesturing for me to look around. “There’s not much country in Dallas but you’re still in Texas and this is it,” He chuckles at the end, as we both step out of the car; heading towards the nearest grocery store.

We walk side to side, eyes wandering inside the store before heading towards the aisles. I keep still, only eyeing things around while Aidan chooses the kind of canned beans he’d take.

Uh, I forgot to bring something from home and I’d like to buy it here. Is it fine with you?” I ask, as he turns to look at me; frowning.

“Since when do you ask for permission when you want to buy something?” He smirks, tilting his head to the side. “Take what you need, Kenna. It’s what you always do when we go grocery shopping,” The way the words casually escape from his lips is somehow cute, knowing that we go grocery shopping all the time together but I’d pay for my stuff and he’d pay for his; even though he would always insist on paying but I can’t let him, we’d even argue all the time.

“Be right back,” I say before making my way towards the women’s aisle where they place pads and tampons, making me examine over to the same brand I use, ever since I started my period; never changed the brand.

Just as I turn, I see Aidan. “Mm, pads?”

Duh, my period would start soon and I need them.” I reply before throwing it at him, causing him to look around as he holds the pads.

Aidan is cut off by someone calling out his name from behind which causes me to look at the figure, at the same time as Aidan turns around. “It’s really you! Wow, it has been years since we saw each other,” The stranger says as she smiles widely, surprised to see him.

He stands there, confused as he tries to remember if this woman in front of him has actually meant something in the past but nothing seems to come in his mind.

“It’s May,” She continues to smile. “I got my braces off and now I’m wearing contacts. I’m guessing I look different; that’s why you don’t seem to notice me anymore?” She raises an eyebrow.

“May? May Attwell?” Aidan asks, wanting to confirm her identity but as soon as she nods her head, happily; he lets out a chuckle, “Right . . . you were my summer friend. You’ve changed a lot,” He adds.

Oh, that May Attwell. The one who was friends with Aidan during the summer when we were fifteen because he had to back to Dallas for a week. She used to have braces and big thick-rimmed glasses when she was younger but now she looks more like a January than May, if you get what I mean.

“You too,” She exclaims. “I never thought you would turn out to be more good-looking than you were before but it’s funny how things work,”

Aidan places a hand on my back, “May . . . this is my wife, Kenna. And, Kenna . . . this is May. She and I used to be friends when we were teenagers but it was for one week,” He says while I smile at her, liking how Aidan introduced me as his wife.

“It’s nice to meet you. I heard that you got married and I even saw it on the news. Wow, congratulations.” She smiles, revealing her straight teeth; must’ve been from the braces.

“What do you do?“ She turns towards me, again.

“I’m a neurologist in New York,” I reply. “What about you?” My smile never fading away even though I swear this is tiring, I need to stop smiling.

“A neurologist? I would’ve never guessed that you’re a doctor! You look more like an actress or a model but I’ve never seen you before . . . which explains it, maybe.” She replies with a slight tone while I furrow my brows, “I work at a law firm,”

“Are you a lawyer?” I ask.

“I’m a secretary,” She answers.

As the situation starts to get a little bit awkward with all the smiling and glancing or gazing, I start to hear Aidan clear his throat; saving the moment. He grips harder onto the pads as he pulls me by the waist, “We have to get going . . . we got a lot more to shop,” He says, chuckling.

“Right . . . but why are you here in Dallas?” She asks, wanting to know.

“My parents want to celebrate their anniversary here. They’re throwing a party tomorrow night. Feel free to come,” He replies.

“I’d love to come but I have a date, tomorrow. It’s kind of like a first date so, I’m pretty excited about it but we’ll see, if I can make it, I’ll be sure to see you there.” She smiles, placing her hand on his shoulder while I look like I’m third-wheeling but as she turns to smile at me, “It was nice meeting you, Kenna.”

“Likewise,” I reply as she walks away.

“Let me guess, she has two sisters named June and July?” I raise an eyebrow at Aidan as he bursts out laughing; immediately grabbing people’s attention but he doesn’t seem to mind that, much.

“No . . . she’s an only child but sure, why not if they’re named June and July? Might as well take August with,” He smirks, wrapping his arm around my shoulder as we walk side to side, heading towards the different aisle.

--

We place the groceries in the truck before walking towards the nearest café, the smell of coffee and butter overwhelming my senses. My eyes wander around to see people having their breakfast here, chatting away rather than being busy with their smartphones like in New York; everyone would be holding their phones and communicate through there which is a lil’ bit rude, if you ask me.

You ask someone out for breakfast, lunch, brunch or dinner but you end up playing with your phone; then, what’s the point?

“There’s an empty table,” Aidan gestures for me to follow behind him as he grabs onto my hand, passing through the amount of people.

“May I take your order?” A woman walks by as she looks down on her notepad before gazing up to Aidan and I but as soon as she does, her eyes widen in surprise at the sight of him, “You’re Aidan Ashton!” She exclaims, causing the whole café to grow silent.

Aidan clears his throat, “Excuse me?”

“I’m so sorry but I notice you from the internet. I also follow you on Instagram, you are by far the most successful man in New York; I mean, the youngest man to be as successful as you. You’re actually my inspiration,” She smiles, widely.

“That’s good to hear,” He looks at me with a confused look, not really knowing what to say. “I’m just handling my family business . . . it’s not like I’m the founder or anything,”

“But you have made it more successful than before. By the way, my name is Rosie. Can I take a picture with you? If you don’t mind,” Her cheeks are slowly turning red as she tries to calm herself down while I stare at them as if I’m not even here.

“Sure,” Aidan replies with a smile as she takes out her phone, giving it to me. “By the way, this is my wife, Kenna.” He introduces me, trying to cheer me up than just faking a wide smile with wide eyes, hard not to burst into sarcastic explosions.

“Cool. So, can you take our picture?” She continues to urge me on taking their picture so I grab onto her phone, slowly zooming in to her face before clicking a couple of times.

Oops, one more.” I grin as I zoom out, taking a proper picture of them; mostly liking how Aidan looks extremely attractive but I also find him looking at me instead of staring at the camera which causes me to clear my throat before handing back her phone.

“Thanks!” Rosie says with a wide grin before turning to Aidan, “I just want to say that you’re by far the best thing that has ever happened to the world. You are an inspiration to me and I’m sure to others, too. Can I be a lil’ bit honest with you?” She asks.

Aidan chuckles, “Sure. Why not?”

“I started following you on Instagram because you are very handsome. Everything about you screams perfection, your hair, your face, your lips and even your voice. So . . . I started stalking you everyday and then I realised that you’re the CEO of Empire and I had to make you my inspiration.” She tucks a strand of hair behind her ear while I keep on repeating the same word on the menu before placing it on the table, looking up at Rosie; our supposed to be waitress for the day but she’s more interested in Aidan.

“Thank you, Rosie.” He replies, shortly; trying to find the words on trying to make her leave as she continues to talk about how he has made her go on with life when she feels down, he has been an inspiration but mostly because he’s handsome.

“So, Rosie . . . I’d like to order,” I say which catches her attention.

“Can you give me a sec?” Rosie says without even looking at me as she continues to mumble on and on and on, nonstop.

Just as my anger starts to boil, I immediately stand up as I slam both of my palms on the table. Everyone in the café starts to look at me including Aidan and Rosie; surprised at my sudden action. Slowly, my lips curve up into a smile, “Look, Rosie, the reason why I’m here with my ′husband′ is because we want to have breakfast together and when a waiter or a waitress comes to our table, we would like to order instead of listening to you going on and on about how amazing he is because for god’s sake, Rosie, I know how amazing my husband is and he knows how fucking amazing he is. You have got to stop reminding him of something he knows because you’re annoying me and you’re also annoying him. You’ve got a picture taken and you’ve got a chance to talk to him but now I’d like to order some food so I can get the hell out of here!” I say while I said the words husband and like a little bit louder than intentional.

Aidan looks up at me in surprise but slowly, his lips begin to curve up into a smile before chuckling.

I sit down but the people won’t stop looking at me as I try my best to control my emotions from going all over the place. Rosie, on the other hand, has been dead silent ever since I stood up. She has her left hand holding onto her notepad and her right hand holding onto her phone, her eyes never leaving me.

“I . . . I don’t know what to say,” Rosie mutters.

“How about you start by taking our order?” I ask, pointing at the menu before smiling.

--

“You were bold,” Aidan chuckles as we both walk side by side after leaving the café, “I’ve got to admit . . . I didn’t expect you to burst out like that.” He adds, bumping onto my arm, purposely.

“Well, she annoys the hell out of me. What was I supposed to do? Sit quietly and wait for her to finish talking because by the looks of it, she wasn’t going to stop.” I reply with a smirk, not really expecting him to find it funny because it’s more likely embarrassing.

Aidan surprises me by grabbing onto my wrist, causing me to stop as he stares onto the glass window by the shop. I follow his gaze, reading:

It’s a flyer, promoting a funfair tonight which causes Aidan to smile, instantly letting me know that he has plans for tonight and it has got to do with the damn funfair but I don’t mind.

As long as it doesn’t involve obsessed fans.

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