Written by Princess Juliet
Jayden�s heart raced in his chest as he stared down at the parcel. He willed his hands to stop shaking as he slowly read the note again.
�Give it all up Jayden, or else I�ll destroy you.�
For an instant, all the colour drained from his face. He was shell-shocked and in complete disbelief. �Who in heaven�s name could have sent this here?� Try as he might, he couldn’t understand the note, the message, or the intent of the sender. Dammit!
Think. He had to think.
Everything was going wrong and becoming alarming. He was in too damned deep, and he had nowhere to turn. Even turning to his family was no longer an option. Not after the truth about his mother�s death. For one reason or another, he couldn�t trust them or relate with them any longer. Gosh! He was in a complete mess and was on his own, or so he thought!
Acting on impulse, he reached down and began to close the parcel carefully, and a bit absentmindedly when the door suddenly creaked open. Startled, he moved his head up and saw that it was his secretary�Anna. Perfect timing! He gave an inward sigh.
�I�m sorry to bother you, sir, but there is a patient downstairs waiting to……..�
�How did this parcel get here, Anna?� His loud voice drowned hers.
Anna gawped at the brown parcel before replying. �A dispatch rider delivered it here.�
�And you brought it into my office without confirming its content first?� Holy jeez! Jayden didn�t want to believe his ears. How could his employees be so dumb?
�Erm��Anna swallowed hard, her throat nervously working as she tried to explain. �That is because�erm�he said it was from��
�From who?� Jayden cut in impatiently.
�Someone close to you.� She muttered somewhat and that was when the realisation struck him
Mary, that w**ch! She sent the parcel and he was so sure about it. �Oh no!� A sinking feeling of panic swept over him, a temporary paralysing fear. In his confused state of mind, he could only think about one person�-Atarah.
�What if the witch tries to harm her? What if she tries to attack her at her school?� Heck no! He gnawed down on his lower lip till he tasted blood, but he felt no pain. His mind was troubled, all he cared about was his girlfriend�s safety. He�d to protect her, he�d to go pick her up from school, but that�ll be after he had confronted Greg.
His heart thumping loudly in his chest, he stormed out of his office and down the stairs, leaving his secretary all alone to ponder the question of what was going on with him.
He had intended to get Greg alone but it didn’t happen that way.
When he barged into his office, he saw that Greg had another visitor: their father.
Trent Hobson obviously had just arrived. He was flinging his coat onto the sofa when Jayden crossed the table.
�Good,� he greeted Jayden with a wide smile plastered to his face, showing his perfect gleaming teeth. �I�ve got you both together. Now maybe I�ll hear some funny stories about your first week as a chief doctor���
�I ain�t here for that, dad.� Jayden cut him off abruptly, a muscle working in his jaw. Trent glanced at him and noticed for the first time that he was worn out. At that instant, the smile left his eyes and he frowned slightly.
�Are you all right, son?� He asked concernedly but Jayden ignored his question and yelled at Greg instead.
�Where in god�s name is your mother?�
Greg was confused and taken aback by the question. He looked at his father, who looked equally confused before asking. �What are you talking about, Jay?�
�Just tell me where she is.� Jayden thundered, banging his fist on the table. He was disoriented and as a matter of fact, couldn�t even understand himself. All he needed were answers to the numerous questions bugging his mind. �Your mum sent a bloody parcel to me, telling me to give it all up or else she would destroy me.� Irritation surged through him as he spat out the words. �Tell me, what�s that supposed to mean?�
Trent�s face turned pale on hearing that. He couldn�t believe his ears. He couldn’t bring himself to believe that his wife was so vile and evil. �Oh God, please forgive me! �Where is this parcel, if I may ask?� Feeling pained, he forced himself to speak through gritted teeth.
Greg caught his breath in fear, holding it until the answer came.
�On my office desk.�
He let out an audible gasp. �I�m sorry, Jay, so sorry for everything.� He tried to apologize on his mother�s behalf but Jayden wasn�t ready to listen to his bullshit.
�How dare he stare into my eyes and utter nonsense!� He glared icily at his brother and warned him sternly. �Tell your mother to come out of hiding and face the law squarely, only then are we going to be good.� With that, he stormed out of the office and straight to the reception.
�Instruct the janitor to get rid of that devilish parcel on my office desk.� Absently, and without stopping, he told the nurse at the front desk before walking outside to his car. With trembling hands, he opened the door and slid into the driver�s seat.
When he jammed his foot on the accelerator, he pulled onto the highway and sped off to his girlfriend’s college.
He got there in no time as he went by a shorter route to beat the afternoon rush hour. Briskly, he parked and jumped out of the car and started towards the narrow path leading to the studio room when his eyes suddenly caught sight of a familiar face lurking around a secluded corner close to the gate.
�Mary.� He lurched forward to give her a good chase but it was too late. The witch had already seen him. She ran as fast as she could out of the school and down the paved road without stopping or waiting to calm her nerves.
Jayden kicked the trash can beside him furiously. �How could I have been so careless and dumb to lose her?� He cursed himself for his stupidity, even though he knew that it was not entirely his fault. Mary was a conniving, self-serving and arrogant manipulator.
Exhausted, he returned to his car and found Nancy waiting for him. He scoffed silently.
�Why are you here, Jayden?� Nancy feigned ignorance and slowly looked him up and down. �And why are you panting so heavily?� She had seen everything and was just trying to get him to talk.
�I need to see my girlfriend.� Was Jayden�s response to her question.
Inwardly she cringed but managed to keep her voice conversational as well. �She should be in her class by now.�
�Then I will wait.� Jayden leaned against his car, seething with rage and frustration. Nancy gently patted him on the shoulder in an attempt to comfort him. When he didn�t react, she inched closer and hugged him loosely, smiling happily to herself.
Mary was still breathing hard when she got to the highway. Feeling tired, she steadied her hands on her knees to calm herself before anxiously looking around her.
Her young lover, Connor was nowhere in sight and this made her so pissed. �Why the heck was he taking so long?� Try as she might, she couldn�t understand him and his sluggishness.
She had come to spy on Atarah, to keep track of her movement, and perhaps to hurt her. But all of her plans failed when she saw Jayden. Dammit!
�Why was he at her school by this hour?� The thought of him, the police almost apprehending her sent shivers down her spine and made her so sick. But more important, it worried the hell out of her. It raised some really ugly questions about how much he knew. Was he aware of her plan, or did he pick up clues from the parcel she�d sent? If yes, then he must be smarter than she�d thought and braver than she�d ever imagined���Suddenly, her thoughts were interrupted by the honking sound of a horn.
Terrified, she moved her head up and was in time to see Connor pull up his motorbike in front of her.
Her brow drew together in a frown as she yelled at him. �Why did you take so long to return, Connor?�
�I had to cause a distraction.� Came Connor�s response as he handed her the second helmet. �You wouldn�t want me to attract attention to myself, would you?�He openly sneered at her.
For a moment Mary was tempted to smack him hard across the face, but then she thought about it.
�She needed him to keep her company, and needed him to do all of her dirty work.� So she simply pulled on the helmet and straddled the seat behind him without a word.
�Did you see the girl?� Connor asked after he started the engine.
Mary nodded her head and wrapped her hands around his waist lest she falls. �But that son of a b**ch ruined everything.� Her voice sounded very young and thin as a light breeze blew the tendrils of her hair into her face.
Connor smirked but said nothing. For all he cares, she could do whatever she wants and hurt whosoever she wants. All he needed was her money and for that reason, he was going to stay with her and do her bidding.
As they drove past the hospital, Mary caught a glimpse of Greg as he walked out of the building and her heart sank in her chest seeing that he looked so pale.
She sniffled and turned her head to the sky. �Don�t worry baby, I�ll be back for you after I�m done with my revenge.� Her heart dared to hope that everything will go well just as she�d planned.
It was not until late noon that Atarah finished her lecture. It was a general class and Hilary was with her. They both looked so tired and famished.
�Let’s go, girl.� Hilary squealed excitedly, glad that her boring lecture was finally over. It was an emotional hell listening to the professor repeat the same words over and over again. �So annoying.� She thought but said aloud and Atarah could only roll her eyes at her friend. �What a drama queen.�
With their fingers intertwined, they walked out of the lecture hall, down the long passage and stopped short in surprise when they got outside the parking lot.
�Isn�t that Nancy?� Hilary blinked at the interesting scene before her.
Atarah nodded her head slowly in response, she couldn�t still believe her eyes.
�And she is with Jayden?� Hearing her boyfriend�s name brought her to her senses and only then did she realise that she wasn�t dreaming. Her boyfriend was with Nancy and they were both laughing.
�Goodness gracious!� Her shock wore off and a boiling fury swelled inside of her. She let out a soft growl of annoyance, waved Hilary goodbye and marched up to them, fuming mad.
Jayden�s eyes lit up with a smile when he saw her but she maintained a poker face.
�Jay?� She kept her voice low. �What�s going on?�
She knew he heard her. But he didn�t answer and just bit his lips.
�Jayden.�Atarah wasn�t letting this go. �Why is this b**ch with you?� She glared at Nancy who immediately looked up at Jayden with soft puppy eyes. Strange!
He let out a deep sigh and said calmly. �She is not a b**ch, princess, but my best friend.�
�Oh yeah!� Atarah commented sarcastically. �A best friend who doesn�t like your girlfriend and always bullies her at every chance she gets.�
�I was only looking out for you, Jayden,� Nancy whispered, her eyes pleading for understanding. Before Atarah could react, she turned to her and muttered the magic word. �I�m sorry.�
Atarah was quite surprised and a bit speechless. �Did the rich and sophisticated Nancy just apologise to me?� Her mouth dropped open, and disbelief crossed her features.
Seeing her facial expression, Jayden wanted to laugh but then he quickly cautioned himself. This was not the right time to make a joke. �Forgive her Tarah, she said she�s sorry.� He pleaded on Nancy’s behalf, much to her relief. She smiled sweetly at him
It took a few moments, but Atarah nodded her head in consent.
�I�m sorry too.� She said, a bit reluctantly. To her surprise, Nancy jumped up, grabbed her and hugged her tight. �Thank you so much, Tarah,� she whispered in her ear.
Atarah looked a little embarrassed as she pulled away from the hug. �Thank you too, but we need to get going now.� She smiled faintly and interlocked her fingers with Jayden�s as they slowly walked to his car.
Nancy watched them silently and a faint smile rested on her lips.