Read The Trap Of Ace [by Eva Zahan] Chapter 56
Sweat trickled down his strong back along the tensing and flexing of his muscles and shoulders as he was lost into k*****g his huge punching bag.
Only the sound of his ragged breathing and punches echoed around the gym.
But what had me shocked was the b****y spots on the punching bag. And I knew where they were coming from.
Rage boiled inside my veins as my fists clenched. He was doing it again.
“Ace! Stop it!”
His movement stilled with his hands gripping the bag to halt its swaying. The broad shoulders of his moved up and down with his every heavy breath as he moved his head to me. Dark stormy grey eyes met mine flaming turquoise.
Striding closer, I snatched his hands from the bag. A gasp left me at the sight. They were worse than I’d ever seen before. They weren’t just bruised, they were b****y.
“What the h**l you’re doing!” I snapped, my eyes b****d with tears as I held his gaze. “Have you lost it? You’re bleeding! How many times do I have to tell you not to do this! You’re hurting yourself again!”
But my outburst didn’t seem to reach his ears. His eyes were too busy to watch me, roaming onto every feature of mine.
But when a tear slipped down my cheek, he got back into his senses.
“Rosebud? What happened, baby? Why are you crying?” He cupped my cheeks, grey pools alert. “Are you hurt?”
Didn’t he even realize what I was talking about?
Something squeezed inside my chest. Where was he lost into so much? What was bothering him to that extent that he didn’t even realize his own pain?
“Yes, I’m hurt.”
Concern etched into his beautiful face as they searched for any injuries on my body. “Hurt? Where? How did you get hurt?”
“You hurt me,” I whispered.
He stilled, watching me in silence. A pain flashed across his eyes as if even the idea of hurting me hunted him. “I could never hurt you, Rosebud. I’d rather d*e before doing that.”
“But you did. Not physically, but emotionally. You’re hurting me by hurting yourself.” Taking a hold of his bloodied knuckles carefully, I held them before his face. “You lied to me. I thought you told me it’ll stop once I’m in your arms forever. But it didn’t. I guess, I’m not important enough for you to soothe your pain.”
Shaking his head, he tried to touch me but I stepped back. A grimace touched his face.
“Rosebud, there’s nothing more important than you for me. You’re the sole reason I live for.” He gulped, pain flashed across his eyes as another tear rolled down my cheek.
“Then why? Why do you torture yourself like that?” I sniffled.
Glancing down at his knuckles, a muscle of his jaw ticked. “Pain makes me forget, Rosebud. It helps me escape my fears and insecurities. And intense working out helps me with my frustration and the storm that rages inside me.”
Hearing those words from Achilles Valencian’s mouth sounded foreign. What fear this powerful man before me could have?
“What fear?” My voice came out as a whisper.
Grey eyes met mine. “Fear of losing you.”
For a moment my heartbeat slowed down as I stared at him, speechless.
“Why would me lose me? I’m not going anywhere.”
He averted his gaze. With fists clenched, he turned away. “It’s late, Rosebud. You should go and sleep now.”
“Do not change the topic!” Grabbing his arm, I made him face me. “I’m not accepting my questions being unanswered anymore! You’re definitely hiding something from me and that’s eating you alive! What is it? Tell me. Please, Ace. Don’t keep me in the dark anymore.”
“I’m not hiding anything from you,” his reply came out cold.
“Of course, you’re! I’m not a kid you could just lie that easily,” I snapped, my temper rising.
I couldn’t let him torture himself like that. There was something that was ruining him from inside, and he needed to let it out. And I definitely needed to know why he had this fear of losing me. Because I wasn’t going anywhere.
“You’re still hiding something from me about your past, aren’t you? You didn’t tell me the entire truth.”
His whole stance tensed as his dark eyes snapped to mine. His hands shook at his sides, the unreadable emotions swirling around his orbs were unknown to me.
“I told you everything that you needed to know.”
I titled my head. “So that means the things you hid from me weren’t important enough for you to tell me?”
His lips pressed tight, eyes flashing. “I don’t want to talk about this anymore.”
“No! You have to! I won’t let you torture yourself like that! Nor will I let you keep me in the darkness anymore!”
“Why do you have so much interest in my past!” His voice boomed across the room, making me flinch. “I’ve been hearing these questions the whole f*****g day! Can’t you get this one thing that I don’t want to talk about it? Leave my past the f**k alone!”
I stood still. Shock, surprise and hurt ran through me at once. He had never talked to me like that.
What happened years ago that made him react like that?
Seeing my shock, guilt washed over his face as he let out a curse, rubbing his face in frustration.
“Rosebud, i- I’m so sorry! I’m so sorry, baby!” His features were laced with agony. “I didn’t mean to shout at you. I just- I lost it.”
When he tried to reach me again, I took another step back.
“It’s alright, it can happen sometimes. I don’t mind. As long as you tell me the truth.”
Closing his eyes, he pinched the bridge of his nose. “Emerald, please stop it. I can’t.”
Even I couldn’t. As selfish as it sounded, but he didn’t know what dagger we had dangling on our necks. To truly start our life together and defeat Arthur, I needed the truth.
“I won’t. You’ve kept me in darkness for seven years and it made both of us suffer for years. I won’t let you do it again. Tell me, Ace. Please, I beg…”
“Oh, for God’s sake! Stop it! Don’t be so f*****g stubborn, Emerald! I can’t tell you anything. What you needed to know, I told you that. You don’t need to know anymore. So let’s just keep it that way! It’ll be good for both of us!”
Before I could say anything else, he passed me and stormed out of the gym, slamming the door behind him.
I just stood there silently. So many questions were swirling inside my head like a wildfire. But I had no answers.
He used Emerald two times today. And that wasn’t a good sign.
I padded inside the bedroom again. Leaving the door ajar, I walked towards the bed and sat on it.
Letting out a sigh, I glanced at the clock.
One in the morning.
After our fight, he left the penthouse before I could even come out of the gym. When I heard him slamming the door close, I knew he wasn’t returning for at least some hours.
Where did he go?
Now that I was calmed down a little, I felt how harsh I was with him. I knew how sensitive this matter was for him, but I continued to poke him. Nagged him for answers. I should’ve just given him some time instead of snapping like that.
How could I be so careless?
It was the fear of Arthur’s doing some harm to him and the desperation of removing him from our lives. And now seeing how much the truth is affecting him, I needed to know everything even more.
I wanted to heal his wounds. I wanted to give him comfort, tell him that I was there with him, that I understand. But how could I do that if he wouldn’t let me in completely?
If he didn’t open up to me completely, it’d become a hinder between us for the rest of our lives. It’ll always weaken our relationship.
I wanted him to open up to me. I wanted him to trust me with his secrets.
Maybe I should just give him some time.
And then I remembered that I didn’t bandage his knuckles.
Picking up my phone, I dialed his number. But it directly went to voicemail. I called again, but no vail.
Where the h**l is he?
His wounds are needed to be taken care of.
Frustrated, as I slammed my phone on the bed, it began blaring.
With a skip of my heart, I picked it up. But disappointment soon followed as Warner’s name flashed on the screen.
Rubbing my forehead, I received the call.
“Hey! I called you earlier the day, you didn’t pick up. What’s up?” Honestly, I didn’t have the strength to talk about Arthur right now.
“I was busy digging out some worms, but guess what? I’ve found a snake instead,” his voice spoke from the other side of the phone.
I frowned. “What’re you talking about?”
“Remember once you told me how you didn’t know a lot of things about Achilles’s past. And knowing how sensitive it was for him, you were hesitating to ask him?”
I remembered talking to him at Tess’s wedding. When he saw Ace and me together, even though he didn’t look happy, he did congratulate me. And when he asked me what was my next step in our relationship, I told him how I wanted to know more about Ace. It’d be our first step of our new life.
But seemed like it was turning out quite difficult.
“Yeah, but why are you talking about that now?”
“Well, I thought I could help you a little. And guess what? I was right from the beginning. That man doesn’t deserve you. Because he never told you any truths. All he did was keeping you in the dark and manipulating you in his trap with his sweet lies!” he hissed through the phone.
I stood up from the bed. “What do you mean? What are you talking about? I thought I told you not to talk about him like that…”
“I’m just stating the truth, Em. I just called you to tell you what a liar he is.”
My eyes narrowed further. “Come to the point. What lie did he say to me? What do you want to say exactly?”
“He told you his father did s*****e, didn’t he?”
Something churned inside me as I slowly nodded even if he couldn’t see me. “Yes?”
“His father didn’t s*****e, Em. He was m******d.”