Written by Princess Juliet
His dad�s anger
It was not until late afternoon that Jayden rounded off his appointment scheduled for the day. He stretched his arms and yawned tiredly as he arranged his desk, sorting out files and keeping them in order.
�I�m done for today, babe,� He said, moving his head up and his eyes widened in surprise when he saw Atarah dozing on the only sofa in the office.
�Like serious!� He chuckled at her laziness, �when did she fall asleep?� Rising to his feet, he took off his white coat and hung it over the chair before walking over to her.
Hey, Princess.� He cooed and tapped her gently under the chin. Atarah’s eyes blinked and opened, slowly focusing on his face.
�It�s time to go home.�He whispered softly and her face creased into a frown
�I don’t want to go home,� She sat up in a huff and stubbornly folded her arms across her chest. Jayden arched his eyebrow at her, confused. � I want to go home with you.� She gave him a pouting, pleading look and he regarded her thoughtfully for a moment.
�But your mum would be worried,� He tried to reason with her but Atarah would hear nothing of it as her mind was already made up.
�I don�t care,� She half shouted and Jayden let out an inaudible sigh of frustration.
�Is the argument you had with her that bad?� Jeez! He still couldn’t understand her or their conflicts.
By way of reply, Atarah looked away from him, her head bobbing uneasily on her neck. She didn’t know what to tell him as she was also in the dark. Her mum didn’t argue with her, but with his stepmom and she was having a bad feeling about it.
�Fine!� Jayden heaved a sigh and threw his hands into the air in defeat, � You can stay with me, I mean since that is what you want.
�Really?� Atarah’s face lit up with a smile on hearing that.
�But we�ll have to inform your mum first,� He added with a smirk.
�Yeah, sure.� She was satisfied with his decision. Slinging her bag over her shoulder, she jumped to her feet and mouthed. �Let’s go.�
Jayden smiled a lipless smile and with his hands tucked in his pocket, he followed behind her out of the office, through the hallway and outside to the parking space where he saw Nancy. She was alighting from her car and had this far-away look in her eyes.
�Hi, Munchkin,� He greeted her waving his hand and only then did Nancy notice him.
A smile broke out on her face and she walked towards him, stopping when there was just a step distance between them. �How are you, bestie?� She leaned forward to kiss him on his cheek but to Jayden�s surprise, Atarah stepped forward and received it instead.
�Yuck!� Nancy drew up her face in an expression of disgust and Atarah laughed in spite of herself.
�This is to teach you not to kiss other people’s boyfriends.�
�But she is my best friend, Princess,� Jayden looked a little embarrassed.
�And you are my fiance.� She winked at him mischievously and with that, climbed into the passenger seat of his car and slammed the door shut.
�What is she talking about, Jay?� Nancy asked, the loathing clear in her voice and posture, �Hun! Tell me, she is your what?……fiancee?� Hell no! She couldn’t bring herself to believe the bullsh*t.
Jayden could tell from her voice that she wasn’t pleased with this, but still, he didn’t try to deny it. �I�m sorry for my fiancee’s terrible behaviour.� He simply apologized. Without waiting for a response, he got into his car and pulled onto the road, leaving Nancy standing there shaken and dumbfounded.
�Why did you do that?� He confronted his jealous girlfriend almost immediately and Atarah slowly turned her eyes to him and met his gaze for a split second.
�Because she likes you.� She replied, with a nonchalant shrug and Jayden almost choked on his saliva.
�Is it that obvious?� He blurted out carelessly, then gasped as he realised what he have done. Oh, sh*t! he�d not intended to say that out loud but Atarah seemed to find nothing strange in the question.
Her bitter frown transformed itself into a sneer and then a contemptuous smile. �So obvious that she gives me a deathly stare all the time.� She drawled slowly and Jayden looked at her with an alarmed and inquiring look.
�But it is alright,� She assured him with a smile. �I�m no coward.� She mumbled these words so he wouldn�t hear but unfortunately, Jayden did and smiled at her courage.
�Just be careful, Princess.� Was all he said as he stepped on the gas and sped down the highway leading to her home.
They arrived at the farmhouse in no time and Atarah was surprised to see her mother sitting outside with her chin propped on her hands.
�Wait! She scoffed at this, �Is she waiting for me?� When she alighted from the car, her mother sprang to her feet and came running to her but she completely ignored her and stormed into the house, keeping a straight face.
�Come back here, Tarah.� Maria wanted to run after her but Jayden�s voice stopped her
�Let her be for now.� And she squeezed her eyes shut waiting for her heart to calm before turning around to look at him.
�Hello, Dr Jayden,� She held her breath and hoped her heartbeat wasn�t as loud to him as it was to her, �I almost didn�t notice you.� She lied and gave a slightly nervous laugh.
�That�s alright ma,� Jayden bowed his head politely and went straight to the point. �I�m here to ask for your permission.�
�To?� Maria cocked an inquisitive eyebrow at him.
�Your daughter wants to spend the night at my home���
�What?� Her head snapped back and she began to tremble with fear, panicking that her one mistake was about to catch up with her.
�� �And I really do hope you can stop hurting her.� Jayden pleaded with her and she froze for a second, looking so shocked.
�Me?� Her gaze wandered over his face, coming back to his eyes. �I didn�t hurt her. All I did was protect her.� The desperation in her voice caught Jayden�s attention and he tilted his head sideways, studying her face with a puzzled expression, wondering why she was looking so tensed. �Hurt you say! I protected her with my love, protected her with my life and even hurt an innocent��� Her throat tightened and she broke off in mid-sentence, bursting into tears.
Stunned, Jayden looked away from her and stared in the opposite direction, not knowing what to say or how to console her.
�I�m sorry, child,� Feeling guilty, Maria reached forward and touched his cheek, �so sorry for everything.� She looked at him with pleading eyes and this made Jayden more confused.
But before he could ask questions, Atarah walked out of the house, dragging a mini suitcase behind her.
�I�ll be spending the weekend with you.� She muttered and walked past him to his car, completely ignoring her mother.
Jayden nodded his head in response and then shifted his attention back to her mother. �Can she do that?� He asked in a whisper but got no response.
Maria just stood there, staring blankly at her daughter, lost in a world of her own.
�I�ll take care of her,� He promised and began to walk to his car, hesitated for a moment and then turned around to smile at her reassuringly.
He could feel her pain and at the same time, understand her daughter�s feelings.
She needed the space and the freedom, she was an adult, for crying out loud.
Without wasting any time, he climbed into the driver’s seat beside Atarah and slammed the door shut. When he started the car, he sped off the dirt road and down the expressway heading to the mansion.
Greg was sitting by the poolside, relaxing his mind and body when he heard the sound of a car driving into the garage.
Tossing his hair out of his face, he turned his head in that direction and was in time to see Jayden and Atarah step out of the vehicle. His heart skipped a beat and he became nervous, completely perplexed.
For a moment, he was tempted to walk up to his brother and tease him like he always does but the heaviness he felt in his chest was stopping him.
He was scared, so d*mned scared of how Jayden was going to react as they hadn�t talked ever since the fight at the hospital.
Jayden’s gaze caught his just then. The smile on his face slowly faded and was replaced with a light frown.
�Hey, bro,� Greg summoned up the courage to wave at him but Jayden completely ignored him and picked up Atarah�s suitcase instead. �Let’s go,� He muttered under his breath and led the way into the huge building.
Atarah walked behind him with her head hung low. She had noticed the uneasiness between the two brothers and was feeling guilty about it, knowing she was the cause of everything.
�You are still quarrelling with your brother, right?� She asked in her tiniest voice as they climbed up the spiral staircase.
Jayden glanced back at her but said nothing.
�I�m talking to you, Jayden.� She poked him from behind and Jayden scoffed at her stubbornness as he stepped into his room, turning on the air conditioner.
�My brother and I are fine, Tarah.� He said, with a tone of finality, tossing her suitcase aside and Atarah nodded her head in reluctant agreement. �Alright.� Then she sat on the bed, her hands folded in her lap and watched him change into a bigger brief.
�Why are you wearing that?� She was confused by his choice of outfit, � Do you want to sleep now?�
Jayden chuckled lightly as he put on his swim cap. �I want to go swim,� He gave her a response and Atarah swallowed hard, her eyes slowly taking in his perfect body, his abs and his handsome facial features.
�You are welcome to join me if you want.�
�I don�t know how to swim.� She pursed her lips in a pout.
�Then I will teach you,� Jayden gave her his most fetching smile and stepped out of the room, �but that is if you are willing to learn.� He added with a smirk and with that, trotted down the stairs.
�Like seriously, he left me all alone!� Atarah jumped to her feet immediately and ran after him.
�Wait for me, Jayden,� She screamed and Jayden chuckled lightly, deliberately ignoring her. He walked through the garden to the pool area and found Greg swimming in the deep part of the water. Gosh!
�Race with me, little bro.� Greg lifted his head above the water and stared at him somewhat pleadingly.
Jayden smiled inwardly at the offer but maintained a straight face without blinking.
�Yes, you should race with your big brother……�Atarah spoke from behind him and he cringed, �holy moly! when did she get here?�
�…..and don�t be a stubborn head.� She whispered close to his ear and he pecked her forehead lightly, breathing in her familiar scent before diving into the water and swimming towards his brother.
�What about you, Joan…erm… Tarah?� Greg called out to her but she just smiled at him and sat on the edges with her leg dangling down into the water.
�I have an idea, bro.� Jayden wanted to say but then he thought
No, we aren�t on speaking terms yet,� So he swam toward Atarah without a word and caught her off-guard when he pulled her into the water with him.
She let out a piercing scream closing her eyes and began to throw her hands about like someone drowning but Jayden held her tightly to him and whispered in her ears
�Open your eyes princess, I won�t let go of you.� And when she did, he softly kissed her on the lips, their wet bodies sticking together. She slipped her hands around his neck and returned the kiss long and deep, her passion flying through her as she delved her tongue into his mouth, almost choking him.
Jayden chucked at this and broke the kiss, biting her lower lip lightly. �My dad is up there on the balcony, you know that right?�
�What?� Atarah’s head snapped up and only then did she notice the handsome middle-aged man that was watching them. Worst still, he wasn’t alone. The annoying woman who�d quarrelled with her mother was beside him, watching her.
Unable to hold her gaze, she quickly looked away and Mary smiled a tiny secret smile meant only for herself.
�What do you think about our son�s relationship?� She asked her husband, � Do you think the girl is worth it?�
For a moment Trent said nothing. He just stood there with his hands on the railings, watching his son, the huge smile on his face, listening to his boyish laughter and that was enough to convince him. �She makes him happy and that�s what matters.� His response got Mary thinking and she looked towards the swimming pool with an expressionless black stare, her mind filling up with insane thoughts. She didn�t know if it was going to be a win for her but she decided to take the risk and watch it unfold.
�But do you know who she really is?� She held her breath as she asked and Trent looked at her with his eyebrow raised questioningly.
�She is Joanna Jones……� Mary whispered
What? He heard a bang in his head, loud and clear and the anger he had been suppressing for years exploded within him in full force.
�……The little girl who you�d saved, who disappeared from the hospital without a trace. The girl who is to be blamed for Jayden�s misfortune and panic disorders.
�I want that b**ch out of his life right now,� Trent clenched his fist and stormed off the balcony and out of the room. A pleased little smile spread across Mary’s face, and her eyes sparkled brightly as she leaned against the balcony railings, waiting for the scene to play out…..
Happy new month