″Good morning! Rise and shine, sweetheart. You got to go to work today so get that beautiful perky ass up,″ I say with a smile plastered on my face as I see her snuggling closer towards the pillows surrounding her, groaning in her sleep.
With one hand in my slacks’ pocket, I look down at her as she enjoys her sleep. The way she has the comforter wrapped around her body like a burrito has somehow managed to make me chuckle early in the morning. Even though her hair is a mess and sticking out in different directions with her face slightly oily from her night skincare routine, she seems to be peacefully calm which eases me.
Yet, I still find her the most beautiful woman alive.
Going down on one knee, I lean closer towards her before pushing her hair away from her face; but not even receiving a single movement which causes me to poke her cheek, once, twice and even thrice.
Kenna groans as she starts to open her eyes, looking directly at me with confusion before glancing down at my outfit—seeing that I’m ready and well-dressed for my day at the office which causes her to sit up straight, ″I’m late for work!″ She exclaims, pushing the comforter away.
I laugh, watching her panic as she starts to run towards her room—her old room where she used to stay before things started to get pretty heat up between us more precisely, serious. When we got back from Paris, we immediately started to share the same bed in the same bedroom but couldn’t find the time to move all of her clothes to my room because . . . well there are a few reasons:
1) She has a lot of clothes.
2) Don’t forget her collection of shoes.
3) Have I said anything about her makeup? She did shop a lot at Sephora at least once a month but I haven’t seen her went there ever since we got married.
4) Yes, her handbags.
5) There are just a lot of shit. Let me remind that she didn’t bring the rest of her stuff from her own apartment . . . yet.
So . . . we might be turning her old room into her own private closet which will be discussed later in the future. For now, we’ll be sleeping together in my bedroom for the rest of our lives. That way, I can easily know if there’s anything wrong with her, with us.
Within seconds, I have made my way towards her to wrap my arms around her waist, pulling her close to my body as she continues to panic; her eyes wandering around the room to look for a certain something. ″Baby, you’re not late.″ I say.
Her blue eyes shot up to look into mine, ″What do you mean? Of course I’m late. You’re all ready for work and I’m still in my pyjamas,″ She replies with a pout, letting me tap onto the bridge of her nose which causes her to grin; her cheeks heating up.
″What was that for?″ She raises an eyebrow.
″Pouting makes you look cute. I can’t help it if you keep on doing that,″ My lips land on the side of her cheek. ″So, don’t tempt me, Mrs. Ashton. You might not be able to get to work, at all.″ The way my lips brush against the side of her neck causes her to close her eyes and grip onto my arm, leaving me to think that she actually enjoys this.
″So . . . get your beautiful ass in the shower,″ One of my hands run down to softly touch her butt before letting go. ″And get ready for work. Then, head downstairs because I’ve prepared us breakfast.″ I add with a quick wink at the end.
Kenna grins, ″Can’t wait to see what you have prepared.″
After about thirty-minutes of waiting for her to walk down the stairs, she has finally made up for it with her usual scent; making me eye her hair, her face and down to her clothes—seeing that she has her hair high up into a ponytail today with her face added with light makeup to just appear awake and presentable. As for her clothes, well . . . they’re not going to attract any further attention which is good because I know how the male doctors would go crazy over her if she wears anything much more appealing.
″Omelettes! Yum,″ She exclaims.
Then, she takes a seat near the kitchen island as she grabs onto the fork to take a small bite of the well-prepared omelette. I lean forward, ″How does it taste like? Good?″ I ask, watching her chew as she continues to nod, taking a sip of water afterwards.
″Reminds me of how lucky I am to have you,″ She winks at me as she takes another bite of the omelette which causes me to smile at her, feeling my heart racing and my cheeks somehow heating up; probably my blood flow has increased from the words she said.
″At what time will you be home today?″ I ask, taking a sip of my own glass of water.
″Around six or seven,″ She replies with a shrug. ″I don’t have much for today except for appointments with a couple of patients but there are new interns coming in and some are assigned under me,″ She continues to speak as she finishes her breakfast, immediately drinking her water.
″I’ll probably be home earlier than you. Just going to head out with Flynn to shop for some Christmas gifts after work for my employees. Then, I’ll take us out for dinner, how does that sound?″ I caress the side of her face as she nods, agreeing.
I look down at my wrist watch before sighing, ″Ah, got to blast—meeting starts in thirty minutes and I can’t be late. I need to get back on track,″ I mutter but loud enough for Kenna to hear as she continues to nod, taking her supplements for the day before earning a kiss from her on the cheek as I quickly walk out of the house and straight towards my car.
Just as I’m about to enter my car, I hear her calling out my name which causes me to turn around; seeing her running towards me before handling me my phone, ″What would you do without me?″ She says, chuckling.
I lean in to kiss her on the lips, feeling her responding back towards me as she cups onto my face while I place my hands on her waist, feeling the smallness of her body. The kiss lasts for a few seconds but long enough to remind how much we both love each other deeply, ″I love you, baby. See you tonight,″ I peck onto her cheek.
It doesn’t take me long to drive down the road and straight towards my office.
″With all due respect, Mr. Ashton, we would like your brother’s cooperation in this. We’ve had several meetings for the past two weeks and it’s a shame to not see him joining us,″ One of the board of directors say, leaving me to sigh deeply; knowing that Alain is actually nowhere in New York City which is indeed a shame.
I rest both of my palms on the desk as I bend forward, all attention on me. ″There are certain undiscussed matters. Don’t get me wrong, Mr. Lee but I’m simply not my brother’s babysitter and I certainly don’t know his whereabouts,″ I reply before looking around the room to see them exchanging glances.
″He is still the company’s chief financial officer, isn’t he? It’d be good to see him play his role than being completely absent due to ‘certain undiscussed matters’ and please don’t misunderstand me, Mr. Ashton—I simply want the best for this company as one of the board directors.″ He replies, looking directly at me as I clench my jaw before curving my lips into a small smile; listening to him. ″We still need to discuss the financial details,″ He adds.
I stand up still, showing off the perfect posture before shoving both of my hands in my slacks’ pockets. ″For the time being . . . the financial details can be discussed with me,″ I respond.
″Will he be back anytime soon?″ Someone else asks, making me turn to look at him.
Deep down, I understand their concern about Alain’s absence but ever since he found out about Mia’s pregnancy, he kept his distance. Not even Harley knows where he is and it worries me more, knowing that he’s actually nowhere to be found; Mia’s matter may not be a big issue but Alain might even blame himself for what happened.
He cares a whole lot about Mia, more than I can even care for her. They’re closer together, they keep each other’s secrets and they definitely do not tell lie. I completely understand how this would affect him but at the same time, he’s overreacting.
″Like I said . . . I’m not my brother’s babysitter. If that’s all, end of discussion.″ I answer before picking up my coat from my seat and make my way out of the meeting room with Flynn following behind me.
We both enter the elevator with my mind fully occupied about Alain, wanting to know of his whereabouts and even his wellbeing. Yet, he’s an adult and he can surely take good care of himself but he’s worrying others around him. Then again, he wouldn’t leave for too long; he wouldn’t be gone for more than two or three weeks top, he wouldn’t want Ava to question about his disappearance.
″Call him again,″ I gesture towards Flynn.
Flynn lifts his phone up to his ear before sighing, ″Straight to voicemail, sir.″ He replies.
″For fuck’s sake, Alain. Where the hell are you?″ I mutter under my breath, pinching the bridge of my nose as I lean my head back—feeling my head starting to hurt, the common kind of pain when I’m going through a lot of pressure or stress.
″Mr. Ashton, did you make a huge amount of payment recently? The bank called to confirm your withdrawal an hour ago under your name,″ He hesitates at first as I turn to look at him but he continues to speak, ″Just need to make sure because of the amount . . . incase you made any withdrawals while you were drunk,″ He adds.
My lips curve up into a smile before bursting out into soft chuckles, ″What makes you think I’d call the bank when I’m drunk, Flynn?″ I ask, raising an eyebrow.
″Well . . . I’m just making sure,″
″How much was the amount?″ I ask, the elevator doors open as we exit—heading straight towards my office, passing by the empty hallway.
″About eighty-eight thousand dollars,″ He replies as he fixed his glasses, making sure they don’t slip down the bridge of his nose; blinking a few times before clearing his throat, eyeing me as I take a seat in my office.
I look up at him, ″Then, you have nothing to worry about, Flynn. That’s a rather sober amount of money,″ I reply, running my fingers through my hair as a sudden gesture, somehow wanting to lift away all the amount of stress but nothing seems to be working.
Flynn blinks nervously, ″If you don’t mind me asking, Mr. Ashton, did you invest in something illegal?″ He keeps his voice down, somehow afraid if the other staffs are going to hear us which causes me to laugh at his question—even if I’d like to invest in something illegal, it would be without anyone knowing.
″I bought a car,″ I reply.
″How exciting. What kind of car did you buy? Will Gerald be driving your new car soon? Do I need to start making arrangements—″ He continues to speak until I decide to cut him off.
″Actually, I bought a car for Kenna and it’s a Porsche. The one that you’ve been talking about lately . . . it’s a Christmas present—I wanted something unusual and unexpected,″ I cut him off with a smile plastered on my face before leaning back on my seat, seeing Flynn nodding his head.
″You’re making me a little bit jealous here, sir.″ He chuckles, placing the files on my desk.
I lean forward, ″Well . . . how would you feel if I let you take that car for a drive as soon as it arrives?″ I raise an eyebrow, causing his eyes to widen at the sudden offer as he starts to stutter, ″I mean, if that’s what you want—knowing it’s also your dream car.″ I add.
″I—I would love to, Mr. Ashton.″ He replies.
″Speaking of money and cars, I need to go to the bank to settle these cheques. Tell Gerald to prepare the car,″ I stand up, fixing my coat on my body in order to make myself appear more presentable and neat instead of ‘stressed out’ or filled with unsettled problems.
Both Flynn and I step out of the elevator to walk straight towards the exit, seeing Gerald standing beside the car as he smiles at me before he starts to open the door for me, letting me enter. Just like that, Flynn immediately enters the passenger’s seat before Gerald drives down the road.
″Are you alright, Mr. Ashton?″ Gerald asks, looking at the rear-view mirror.
I smile, ″Just a little bit tired but I’m alright. What about you, Gerald? You seem happier today,″ I reply as I lean my head back on the seat, frowning at the sudden headache before closing my eyes, hoping it will all pass away.
He chuckles, ″Today is my daughter’s first day in kindergarten and my wife took pictures of how excited she was to be there. It cheers me up,″ He answers as he takes a left turn, ″It’s crazy how time flies, sir. She was just a baby and now she’s growing up to be a beautiful girl,″ He adds.
″Why didn’t you tell me that it’s her first day? I would’ve asked you to take the day off,″ I say.
Gerald has been loyal ever since he got a job here and by far, a very good listener. He understands me quite a lot because he has been with me through my hard years, with all those that I’ve done in the past. It’s easier to talk to him about things, he gives off the best advice.
″It’s fine, Mr. Ashton. Just by looking at her picture was enough for me because I know that she’ll be telling me everything when I get home,″ He says as I turn to look out the window, seeing the amount of people walking down the pavement before closing my eyes again, the pain spreading to the nape of my neck which causes me to frown.
As soon as we’ve arrived, Gerald steps out of the car to open the door for me in which I appreciate as I walk inside the building with Flynn following closely behind me, a couple of steps away. My eyes wander around to the amount of people here before letting out a deep sigh, knowing that it’ll be quite awhile before they start calling the numbers.
Just as I’m about to take further steps towards the counter, I begin to feel the aching pain to increase which causes me to stop walking immediately; trying to grab onto something to hold, luckily Flynn manages to grab me by the arm before I could fall onto the ground.
″Mr. Ashton, what’s wrong?″ He asks, worriedly.
I blink a few times to get a clearer vision before taking a seat, ″Nothing. Nothing’s wrong, Flynn. Can you please handle these cheques for me? I don’t think I can make it through without collapsing.″ I reply and he nods, grabbing the cheques from me as he makes his way towards the counter while I close my eyes, trying to relieve the pain.
To my surprise, the sound of guns are loud and clear which causes everyone in the building to scream in shock. My eyes widen at the sight of men with masks covering their faces as they point guns at innocent people, trying to make sure that they put their hands up high in the sky.
″Shut up! Shut the hell up!″ One of the men says as they begin to shoot around the building without having any target, causing everyone to remain silent as I slowly sit down on the ground; trying to be out of view as possible.
I instantly turn to look at Flynn who is currently hiding away the cheques in his coat which causes me to frown as he starts to drop onto the ground on his knees; everyone doing the same.
″One sound and I’ll pull the trigger for the bullets to go through your skulls. Do you get me?!″ The other says, pointing the gun at everyone in the room as they all look down onto the ground, afraid to make any noise or movement while I start to feel my head hurting more and more, leaving me to close my eyes; trying to calm myself down.
They begin to run towards behind the counter before they start to place some sort of high technology code breaker by the door, causing it to unlock as a couple of men goes inside, heading straight towards the vault.
The sound of a baby crying has caused the man who’s in charge to groan loudly, ″Can you shut him up or I’ll shoot you and your goddamn son? For fuck’s sake, lady, shut him up!″ He points the gun at her and her son as he continues to cry, in which she tries hard to calm him down.
″Please . . . he’s just a baby,″ She cries.
″A noisy one at that!″ He replies, ″Tell him to shut the fuck up, lady. Don’t make me shoot him,″
She pats onto her baby’s back as she starts to whisper words in his ear, trying to soothe him down but his cries are only getting louder. My eyes wander to the people around here to see their reaction and to me, they’re just as scared as the rest of us as they keep their heads low.
″Fuck!″ The man shouts, shooting the ceiling.
″Don’t, please. You’re scaring him!″ She pleads, securing him tightly in her arms. ″Please, please, don’t hurt my baby. Don’t hurt my baby,″
″I didn’t sign up for this, woman. I didn’t sigh up to deal with a crying baby nor your stupid begging. So, shut the fuck up, will you? You’re pissing me off and you don’t want to know what will happen when someone pisses me off!″ He says, angrily as he grabs onto the back of her hair, making her squirm in pain as tears are streaming down her cheeks.
To my surprise, the man grabs onto the baby which causes her to cry even louder, trying to take his son back in his arms but the man begins to point the gun at his head, threatening the mother while I blink a few times, trying to make sense of what’s happening.
A man with a baseball bat walks out from one of the rooms with a big black bag, throwing it off on the ground as he turns to look at us.
″Don’t hurt him, please!″ She begs.
Just as I begin to crawl towards Flynn, trying to get closer towards him, my phone starts to ring which causes everyone to turn and look at me especially the two men with guns. He adjusts his gun away from the baby’s head before directing it at me as I stop making any further movements, mentally cursing myself.
The man drops the baseball bat onto the ground before approaching me, grabbing onto my arm to make me stand on both feet as I feel the aching pain beginning to form again but I keep quiet, afraid if I might risk my life.
″What do we have here?″ The man that has been holding the baby, walks towards me as he eyes my face; trying to get a better look. Both of his eyes wander to my features, ″If it isn’t the famous billionaire, Aidan Gabriel Ashton! What a fucking coincidence to see you here, Mr. Ashton.″ He says out loud, grabbing everyone’s attention as the other man grips harder onto my arm.
″I mean . . . I’m a little bit surprised actually,″ He circles around me, eyeing me up and down. ″It’s not everyday that you get to meet one of the richest man in the world, right? So, let me have this moment.″ He laughs, patting lightly onto the baby’s head.
The man continues to chuckle and the only thing that comes up on my mind is that . . . is he Joker? Then, where’s Batman? My heart feels like it’s going to thump out of my chest due to beating utterly fast in fear but at the same time, I find myself trying to find some source of peace.
Then, Kenna’s face starts to appear in my head.
″So . . . Mr. Aidan Ashton, how are you? Congratulations on your wedding even though I know it’s a little bit too late to congratulate but how is your wife? She’s quite the beauty,″ He leans closer towards me as if he’s staring into my soul even though his eyes are not even visible to my sight. ″You’re a very lucky man, aren’t you? A great career, big cars, big houses, a wife to fuck at night—″
I cut him off by clenching my fists, wanting it to land straight onto his face but it’s an action between life and death. ″Don’t talk about her like that,″ I say through gritted teeth.
He laughs, ″Oh, come on, Mr. Ashton. Don’t tell that’s not what you do to your wife? I can simply fuck her for you,″ He replies, somehow testing my patience as I feel the anger rising.
The two of them continues to laugh, leaving me in to try and breathe properly even though my patience has reached its limit.
″Imagine her screaming my name as I fuck her deep and hard or how she would cry out for me to go faster and faster just so that she can feel the fucking pleasure,″ He continues as he leans closer and closer towards my face. ″Then, I’d shove her face down onto the fucking bed just to spank her hard so that she wouldn’t be able to sit properly the next day. Man, your wife is giving me all these fucking urges.″ He chuckles.
Just like that, my patience has somehow gone off the roof as I push myself away from the man’s grasps before punching straight onto his face; continuously trying to break his bones as I go on top of him, continuing to punch as I grip hard around his neck.
″You don’t talk like that about my wife!″ I find myself lost in the waves of anger, my eyes tearing as I feel my hands go numb; even though the amount of pressure that goes onto his face would cause pain to myself even more, ″Don’t—″
I am cut off with the other man pulling onto my arms, almost choking me as I hit onto the ground; the baby crying louder and louder due to the screaming and shouting but everything around me seems to have faded away as they begin to kick onto my stomach and hit me hard onto my face.
My eyes wander around to see Flynn looking at me in surprise, his hands shaking in fear as he starts to search for his phone but I shake my head; not wanting him to risk his life because after all, this police will be here any minute, as the alarms go off, leaving the two men to panic.
I look up at the ceiling, coughing up blood as I turn to look at the woman crying as she looks at me; her arms securing her baby that has somehow stopped crying from being dropped on purpose by the other man. My body aches in pain and for some reason, the pain seems to have seeped into my skin.
Just as I turn around to stand straight on my feet or at least sit, I feel an undeniably amount of pain at the back of my head as my body falls onto the ground again but this time, numbness is all I feel as my body feels impossible to move.
The baseball bat drops onto the ground in front of me, making me know that I was hit with one as they start to shout, trying to run out of the building before the police arrives as Flynn runs towards me, his hands reaching out to grab onto my arms, trying to make me stay awake.
″Mr. Ashton! Mr. Ashton!″ He shouts, his eyes are widening which confuses me.
For some unknown reason, too, everything around me seems to move in a slower pace. The police running in with the SWAT team as they secure the building, making sure that the bad guys won’t get away as they shout, scream for them to stay where they are but I can’t seem to respond to anything as my sight blurs out.
″No, no, no, sir. You have to stay awake!″ Flynn continues to shout, reaching for my hand.
My chest hurts as I continue to cough out blood, feeling the pain beginning at my ribs but before I can respond, my eyes wander up to the ceiling as everything feels to get quite unclear; leaving me to feel the continuous pain at the back of my head.
I look straight into the light as I see a familiar face, a familiar beautiful face staring back at me with a frown. My eyebrows furrow at the sight of her, seeing that her eyes are as blue and her smile is as sweet, but that frown . . . that frown.
It’s not that I’m not trying and it’s not that I don’t want to stay awake but I find myself draining away, away from the light and even away from reality. My eyes are closing as the blackness surrounds me, letting me to believe that this is all a dream instead of something real, more like a nightmare.
″Kenna . . . ″ I breathe out, glancing up at Flynn for a couple of seconds before closing my eyes, the noises disappearing.
People say that when you die, you would and should follow the light but how do they know? Why should we even follow the light? How would they know if there’s going to be a light? What if it’s all a goddamn joke and there will only be pain and discomfort. Just like now. They also say that when you die . . . you feel at peace as if you’ve left it all behind without any intentions of looking back.
Then again, why am I feeling anything but peace?
My chest is hurting, my head is aching and my soul . . . my soul seems to be stuck and attached onto my body, still. I can’t seem to see anything around me or hear but the pain is all too clear to be a mistake or a dream because the pain is somewhat . . . vivid.
There’s only thing that I can be sure of. Just one and one only, nothing else needs confirmation.
So, Kenna Anne, till death do us part, indeed.