Written by Princess Juliet�
His promise to her.
When swimming Jayden was like a bird, able to glide and fly in the blue, he was extremely talented at his favourite sport.
He swam gracefully across the pool and around in circles, ducking his head under the water at intervals, creating small ripples along the surface and Atarah was completely blown away by his swiftness and skills. �Wow!� She exclaimed breathlessly and held onto the side of the pool tightly.
Her legs were beginning to get numb from staying too long in the cold water and her toes ached so badly that she wanted to climb out and run but she couldn’t bring herself to do that.
She was so scared of the water and was just putting on a bold front to please her boyfriend and his brother. �You can do better than him, Greg.� She cheered Greg on, encouraging him and Jayden looked at her rather too sharply as he eyed her critically.
�Whose side are you on, miss?� He asked somewhat angrily and Greg scoffed at him. �What a Jealous freak!� Muttering under his breath, he swam deeper into the water.
Jayden merely glanced at him. �I�m talking to you, Tarah,� He completely ignored his brother and started towards her, floating on his chest as he went. �Is my brother more important than me?� He whispered these words so only she would hear and Atarah tried to swallow the lump that insisted on staying in her throat.
�I-I didn’t…erm….mean it that way.�She spoke with a pronounced stutter, afraid to meet his intense gaze and Jayden chuckled softly as he wrapped his hand around her waist and pulled her to him possessively. She gasped as she went limp against his chest. �I was only joking, princess,� He trailed hot kisses down her neck and along her shoulders, �I can never be mad at you, you know that right?� His hands caressed her arms. Then they caressed their way up her side, his thumb sliding under her gown and gently up the curve of her brea$t.
� Holy sh*t!� Atarah could feel the warmth of her blush as it crawled up her neck. She moaned at his exploration of her body and at one point arched her back and straightened up grabbing him in passion. �But…but….your….dad….is….still…watching….�Her unsure protest brought Jayden back to his senses and he stepped back reluctantly, his eyes glowing with lust and raw passion. �D**n!� But when he looked towards the balcony, his father was no longer there, only his stepmother, and she was watching him, no, watching them with a tiny smile plastered on her face.
The expression on his face did not change as he looked away from her and his eyes strayed lazily everywhere. �Where is my dad?� He thought but said aloud.
�I�m here,� Trent spoke from behind him and he spun around, momentarily startled by the stern voice. His father was standing beside the pool bench holding a newspaper in his hand and Jayden have never seen him look so angry as this before.
�Is anything the matter?� He regarded his father with a puzzled expression.
�Step out, I need to talk to you,� Was Trent’s response to his question.
For a moment Jayden just stared at his father, his mind blank and then he mumbled something inaudible to Atarah before climbing out of the pool, dripping wet and walking over to his father.
�I�m here, so, what�s it?� He asked, tapping his foot impatiently and Trent withered him with derision.
�I want that b**ch out of the house, right now.� He blurted out what was on his mind and Jayden looked at him, confused at first, unsure of what he was saying.
�What b**ch?�His voice trembled with emotion as he asked.
�The crazy one behind you.� Trent penetrating gaze prowled over Atarah�s face, pouncing on her eyes and she blinked, not understanding for the briefest of moments until it clicked and her eyes widened in shock. �Me? A b**ch? You�re talking to me, right?� Shadows crawled over the world around her, and the tension in the air made it difficult for her to breathe.
Jayden glanced down at her helplessly, his mind numb and his brain struggling to understand what exactly was going on.
�I need you to leave my house, right now.� His dad�s voice sounded like an echo in his ear and at that moment, he heard something explode in his head–it was his anger. It stirred within him, pounding through his body and slowly he turned, step by step, inch by inch, till he came face to face with his father.
�But why?� His voice was barely more than a whisper, �Hun! Why should she leave, dad?�
In response, Trent flung the newspaper to him but it fell to the floor with a soft thud. Jayden picked it up without a word and his eyes flashed with pure rage as he silently read the headlines.
�The Hobsons hospital shuts down after a heated argument with the press.� It was dated back to twenty- ten and that was twelve years ago.
�Impossible!� He gave a snort of derision. �So this is it?� And when he moved his head up, Trent flinched a little seeing the raw look in his eyes, it was alarming, almost deadly.
�She is the cause of everything,� He still stood on his ground, �her disappearance from the hospital almost caused my downfall, our family’s downfall. She is to be blamed for your illness, son, she and her family are to be…………�
�And does that give you the right to call her a b**ch?� Jayden cut him off abruptly. D**n! He was trying so hard to control his anger as he didn’t want to get into an argument with his father, it will do him no good.
Stunned, Trent was speechless for a brief moment. �Didn’t you….h-hear everything I just said?� He was completely taken aback by his son’s sharp retort.
�Of course, I did,� Jayden glowered and glared at him, �but the past should be left in the past.� He stated coldly, and with that, helped Atarah out of the water.
She shivered from the cold and pain. Unable to control her spinning emotions, she clung to him and broke down in his arms, crying.
All four eyes were on her and Jayden bit his lip down angrily. �D**n you dad, d**n you.� He cursed his father and Trent slowly shifted his gaze to him.
�Have you seen what you have caused?� He was shooting his father with his eyes, bullet-piercing eyes. �Hun! Tell me, are you satisfied now?� He yelled
�I did what I did to protect you,� Trent yelled back at him. He was trying to defend his actions but Jayden wasn�t ready to listen to his bullshit. He stepped closer to him and whispered a warning. �Call her names one more time and be prepared to lose me for good.�
�What?� Trent reacted with a startled gasp that left Atarah beyond confused as to what they were saying. Their voices were so low that she couldn’t understand them. �Do you realize you are talking to me, your father?�He whispered through teeth that did not move.
Jayden held his gaze without blinking and smiled a tiny wicked smile. �Not a father, but a sperm donor.� He whispered back and Trent’s head exploded in anger.
�You rude brat.� He gritted his teeth and on an impulse, raised a hand to slap his younger son but someone stopped him.
Jayden jerked his head around and saw that it was Greg. His brows lifted in genuine surprise.
�Don�t you dare try it, dad,� Greg warned his father icily and Trent was even more surprised. �Even you, Greg?�He muttered somewhat.
�And don’t ever call Joanna a b**ch, ever,� Greg let go of his hand then and Jayden shot him a grateful look, �Thanks.� Feeling a bit relieved, he grabbed Atarah’s hand and led the way through the garden and into the sitting room where they found Mary. She was climbing down the staircase with light steps and had this vacant expression on her face.
�What is the noise all about?� She feigned ignorance, looking at Jayden and then at Atarah.
Atarah bent her head down, unable to meet her gaze and Jayden scoffed at her question, it sounded stupid to him. �You should go ask your husband.� He replied simply and Mary laughed out loud, surprising him
�Sure, he is my husband, but at the same time your father,� Her intention was to start a conversation with him but Jayden saw right through her and deliberately ignored her.
�Let’s go, Princess.� He nudged Atarah and with that, they walked past her and began to climb up the stairs, unhurriedly
�Don�t tell me you argued with your father because of her.� Mary�s voice made them stop walking and Jayden slowly turned around to look at her.
He gave her a puzzled look, telling her he didn’t understand what she was talking about and Mary hesitated a bit before speaking again.
�This girl isn’t good for you, Jay,� Her heart was racing but she forced innocence into her voice, hoping to win him over. �She isn�t good for you at all. Apart from being such bad luck, she is also an opportunist, a lowly gold digger and a…….�Her voice trailed off in mid-sentence when she noticed something akin to anger flashing in Jayden�s eyes, but it was already late, the deed has been done.
Atarah felt a stab in the heart, the pain unbelievably sharp and completely real. �Me, an opportunist, a gold digger? Oh my god!� Embarrassed and unable to handle the insults, she ran up the remaining flight of stairs, crying her eyes and heart out. Now she finally understand what her Nana had been trying to explain to her–Wealthy people were the worst set of individuals, so self-centred and inconsiderate.
�Wait, Atarah,� Jayden called after her but she didn’t respond and ran into his room slamming the door shut.
A fresh swell of anger curled hot and unstoppable in his gut, like a blazing inferno that wanted to burn him from the inside out and he yelled at his stepmother. �What right do you have to say all that to her?� Gosh! He couldn’t help feeling irritated at the annoying cranky smile on her face.
�The right as your mother,� Mary said defensively.
�Read my lips: you are not my mother, Mary.� Jayden spelt it out to her and her eyes grew wide in apparent disbelief, �Mary?�
�And you will never ever be one, jeez!� He gave her a poisonous stare before storming up the stairs to his room.
Mary watched him absently till he disappeared around the corner and the bitterness in her heart returned, much stronger this time around, stronger than the one she�d had for his mother.
Jayden entered his room with resolute steps and found Atarah crying profusely on the bed and holding her phone to her ear as if trying to make a call.
His heart skipped a beat. �What are you trying to do, Princess?� He raced over to drag the phone out of her hand and Atarah screamed so loudly, almost deafening him.
�Give me back my phone.� She struggled with him but it was to no avail, Jayden was holding unto the pinkish phone tightly. �Please,� She screamed in frustration. �I want to call my…my mother, I…need her to explain to me, I need…need her to come to pick me up, I want to…to know to truth, I…need….to…..,� She began to hiccup between sentences as she struggled to get the word out, …..� I need her to…to…..�
�That is enough, Tarah.� Jayden pulled her close in a warm embrace and gently patted her on the back in an attempt to comfort her. �You don’t need to call your mother as you will be spending the weekend here, just as you wanted.� He whispered close to her ear and Atarah pondered on this for a moment.
�But your parent doesn’t like me.� She sighed sadly.
Jayden pulled out of the hug just to stare at her face.
�It doesn’t matter, princess.� He cooed, brushing the wet hair out of her face and Atarah flinched at his touch. �I love you and that is what matters the most.� His calm voice assured her and she smiled lightly, feeling safe in his arms. �I love you too,� She whispered to him gently, �don’t you ever forget that.�
�And don’t you ever take off my neck chain.�
�Never,� Jayden hugged her again, more tightly this time around and rocked her back and forth in his arms, much like quieting a restless baby.
His hand was so warm and the caress was so gentle that Atarah’s eyes gradually closed.
�I will always love you, Tarah no matter what happens between us and I�ll do whatever it takes to keep you in my arms.� These were the last words she heard before dozing off In his arms.