Written by Princess Juliet
As always, Atarah was in a good mood. She rolled onto her back, giggling to herself as she chatted with Hilary over the phone, telling her about the Hobson’s warmth and affection towards her.
Living with them was a lot better than she had imagined. For the past few days, they had treated her so well and made her feel right at home, most especially Trent who although cranky, never failed to ask about her wellbeing.
�How does it feel to live under the same roof with two hot guys?� Hilary�s message made her laugh so hard. �Crazy girl!� She mumbled, but before she could respond, the door creaked open and Jayden barged into the room.
He was naked from the waist up and sweaty, a combination that made her sit up and pay attention to him, his abs….his lean muscles. �Gosh! Her eyes darkened with lust and she licked her dry lips seductively. �Why does he always have to look this good after working out?�
Jayden caught her checking him out and smirked a bit. �You haven’t taken your bath, why?�He dropped his phone on the table and briefly stared at his reflection in the mirror before taking off his trousers and going into the bathroom.
Atarah deliberately ignored his question and asked instead with a slight frown on her face. �What about my morning kiss?�
�Freshen up first.� Jayden insisted and she whined.
�But I have no class until noon.�
He scoffed at her childishness. �Don�t tell me you have forgotten about our plan to visit your mum today?�
�Oh my god!�She gasped and leapt out of the bed with a jolt, her long black hair flying. �How could I have forgotten about that?� Feeling stupid, she hastily took off her nighties and rushed into the bathroom, breathing hard as if she were being chased by demons.
Jayden laughed at her. �I thought you had no lecture until noon.� He taunted.
Atarah looked daggers at him and barked. �Shut up.� When he didn�t stop laughing, she stepped into the bathtub and began to slap his wet chest.
�Hey! Hey! Hey!� He slipped his hand around her waist and pulled her close. Before she could react, he kissed her, a commanding, intense kiss that sent her pulse into a frenzy of activity. She moaned into his mouth and wrapped her arms around his neck, her fingers lacing through his wet hair as she returned his kiss passionately. The caress sent a shiver of pleasure through him and he was completely smouldered by her fire.
His hands moved to her hips to keep her steady, and hers moved down to his back. He pressed her against the edge of the sink, and she almost bit him when she felt his erection at the apex of her stomach. It made her greedier, and it made everything a little sloppy�but in a good way.
�Jayden? you in there?� The sudden sound of Greg�s voice startled them and Jayden broke off the kiss. Dammit! Reluctantly, he released her and stepped back.
�No ooo.�Atarah almost cried out in protest but then she cautioned herself and gave him the nod.
�We will continue from where we stop at night.�He whispered close to her ear, then reached for his towel and wrapped it around his waist. When he returned to the room, he found Greg ransacking his closet and this made him pissed.
�What are you searching for?� He asked brusquely.
Greg glanced at him. �A red tie.�
� Like seriously!�His head snapped up and he raised his eyebrows in mock disbelief. �He disrupted my fun because of a tie, unbelievable!�
�I have a conference meeting to attend this afternoon and you know, I have to look my best.�
He nodded absently at his brother�s explanation and pointed to a lower shelf.
�Thanks.� Greg beamed a smile.
�It�s nothing.�Jayden returned the smile faintly, distantly and reached into the closet for a short sleeve shirt and a pair of black slack trousers. Towelling off, he wore a brief first, then proceeded to change into the clothes.
�Where is Tarah?� His brother�s question made him ponder for a moment.
�In the bathroom.� He grunted his response. For one thing, he didn’t know if he could trust him, his dad, or anyone yet. After all, they were both related to the crazy demented witch�Mary.
Greg saw his hesitation and sighed sadly knowing that his brother still hasn�t forgiven him. �Alright, bro.� He simply said. Jayden nodded wordlessly. �And thanks for the tie.� He walked out through the door with his head hung low.
As the door shut behind him, Atarah rushed out of the bathroom, naked and shivering.
Jayden scoffed at this drama. �You should have at least tied a towel.� He murmured.
�What did you say?� She shot him a glance as she walked to the closet.
�Nothing.� Hastily, he put on his shoes and wristwatch and dabbed a little perfume behind his ear. �Meet me downstairs when you are done.� He said shortly.
Before she could protest, he picked up his phone and car keys and dashed out of the room.
Atarah paused and thought for a moment. �Why is he always acting weird?� She had noticed his hot and cold attitude for a while now, � or is it because of his mother�s ongoing case?� With a deep sigh, she took a full-length blue gown and undies out of the closet and hurriedly changed into it.
She caught her reflection in the mirror and admired herself. She looked amazing and perfect in the gown.
Satisfied, she twisted her hair into a messy bun and slipped her feet into low white sandals before picking up her bag and phone and walking out of the room.
When she got to the sitting room, she found Jayden standing beside the television and staring into the distance, a vacant expression on his face.
�I�m ready,� She announced her presence and only then did he notice her.
He shook his thoughts away and forced a smile through gritted teeth. �Let’s go then.� leading the way, he walked outside to his car and held the door open for her.
�Thank you.�Atarah�s face lit up with a bright smile as she climbed into the car. �You�re welcome, Princess,� Jayden closed the door behind her. When he slid into the driver’s seat, he started the engine and sped off to the police station.
They got to the station house in no time. Jayden swerved his car into the parking lot and cut its engine before turning to Atarah. �Go in, your mum is waiting.�
�Aren�t you coming with me?� She wanted to ask but then thought about it.
�It�ll do him no good to see her.� So she simply nodded and stepped out of the car.
With slow graceful steps, she walked into the reception and found her mother standing beside the front desk.
Happiness stroked through her like a comet and she raced over to her. Unlike the previous visit, her mother was looking healthier and her hands were cuffed free.
�Oh, mother,� She hugged her tightly, breathing in her familiar scent and Maria gently patted her on her back.
�How are you, child?�She asked softly.
Atarah pulled away from the hug and smiled at her
�I�m fine, mum.�
Blushing, she replied. �He is waiting outside.�
Maria looked around anxiously to make sure the police officers standing guard by the door weren�t listening to them before asking. �Any news about Mrs Hobson?�
Atarah swallowed hard and shook her head slowly.
Maria felt a spasm of panic sweeping over her. �You have to be careful, Tarah,� She grasped her daughter�s hand firmly and whispered. �You and Jayden have to be careful.�
�But why?� Atarah was beginning to get scared.
Before Maria could answer, a police officer interrupted them. �Your time is up, Mrs Jones.� And she gazed at her daughter with sad eyes. �Be safe out there, child.� She mouthed at her before following the officer out of the reception room.
Slowly, and with a sinking heart, Atarah walked out of the station house and found Jayden leaning against his car.
�How did it go?�He asked lazily
�Your step mum is dangerous,� Atarah muttered somewhat and he cocked a questioning eyebrow at her.
�My mum said we should be careful and wary of her.� She explained and he nodded his head slowly, maintaining a poker face. Of course, he knew the b**ch was dangerous, dammit!
His nostrils flaring, he climbed into his car and slammed the door shut.
Atarah took one last look at the station house before climbing into the passenger seat beside him. �Let�s go.� Her lashes fluttered shut as she let out a quiet sigh.
Without wasting time, Jayden jammed his foot on the accelerator and sped down the highway leading to her school.
It was exactly twelve, bang on the dot when he drove in through the school gate. He braked in front of a tall building and Atarah leaned over and kissed his cheek lightly before stepping out of the car.
�Goodbye, Jayden,� She bade, slung her handbag over her shoulder and started hurriedly down a narrow path.
�Hey b**ch,� Hearing the not-too-familiar voice made her stop walking. Slowly, she turned around and saw Nancy walking towards her with quick determined steps, her face livid and her hands clenched.
�Uh-Oh!� Atarah took a step backwards, �this doesn’t look good at all.�
�You murderer, I thought I warned you to stay away from my best friend.� Nancy made no attempt to hide the disgust in her eyes.
Atarah scoffed at her stupidity. �Is this the reason why you stopped me? To tell me to stay away from my boyfriend, my fiance?�She didn’t want to believe her ears.
�He is not your fiance,� Nancy yelled at her. �He can never be your fiance.� Gosh! She could feel the jealousy rising in her and it didn�t seem righteous at all. �How dare Jayden choose this low life over me?�
Atarah flashed her a sarcastic smile. �Then you should just wait and see.�With that, she brushed her shoulder and walked past her to the lecture room.
Boiling with rage, Nancy stared after her for a moment longer before reaching into her pocket for her phone and putting a call through to Mary. Mary received the call halfway through the third ring.
�What is wrong, Nancy?� She hissed angrily. �Why are you calling me by this time of the day?�
�It is Jayden, ma,� Nancy almost broke down in tears. �He is still with that b**ch despite everything. I saw them together, he drove her to school. He loves her, they love each other.�
Mary snorted in derision as she heard the pain in her voice. �Do you realise you are talking to your fiance�s mother?�At that moment, her heart ached with pity for her son.
Nancy was too angry to care about that. �I don’t want to see Atarah anywhere near my best friend.� The desperation in her voice made Mary smile faintly and she mumbled under her breath. �Neither do I.� She had her own plans, a perfect one at that.
With slow unhurried steps, Jayden stepped into the hospital and was welcomed by the nurses and junior doctors.
�Sir, a patient is waiting to see you.� One of the nurses informed him.
�You have a meeting by 2:00 pm, sir,� Another voice rang into his ear
�And there is……�
�That’s enough.� He cut in abruptly, face-palming himself! Gosh! Is this what being a chief doctor feels like? So d**n stressful!
Closing his eyes for a few precious moments, he breathed deeply and let his breath out in a long, relaxing sigh.
�Send all complaints, meeting schedules and appointments to my email.� He passed a message across to his staff and without waiting for their responses, climbed up the spiral staircase to his office.
When he entered, he found a parcel on the table and lifted his brow, a twinkle coming into his eyes. �Who sent this here?� Out of curiosity, or perhaps acting on an impulse, he slowly unwrapped the parcel and what he found made him take two steps back, shuddering in disgust and fear� A short threat note written in blood.
�Give it all up Jayden, or else I�ll destroy you.�