Read The Trap Of Ace [by Eva Zahan] Chapter 61
Knocking on the door, I waited.
The hallway of the hotel was quite empty. I didn’t even notice much rush of customers around. This hotel’s being so old and deep in the city could be the reason behind it.
This was the hotel Warner was staying at for the time being. He once gave me his address to meet him there, but I couldn’t make up my time to do so. Well, I had been ignoring him a lot in the last few days, even months. And here I was thinking not to hurt him anymore.
It was my luck to have such a great friend like him. Even after everything, he was here for me.
When some moments passed and nobody answered, I knocked again. And this time I heard his voice.
“Who’s it?” asking, as he opened the door, his slightly swollen eyes met mine.
Surprise flashed in them.
“Em? Y-you came?” A uneven smile stretched across his face. “I thought you don’t care for me enough to keep my last request before I go back.”
I frowned. His words totally went ignored by me as I took in his appearance.
Disheveled hair, half tucked button down white shirt, some of the buttons were undone. The redness in his eyes, dark bags under them and the slur of his voice had me concerned.
“Warner, are you drunk?”
His shake of head was immediate. “Not at all. Was just having one or two glasses.” Rubbing his face, as if to make him look better, he held the door wide. “Come in.”
Wrapping my arms around me, I walked inside. And the crease between my forehead formed again.
He had booked a small room with an adjoined bathroom and balcony with it. It’d be pretty cosy if it wasn’t so messed up. Things were everywhere. Some of his clothes were scattered on the floor and on the bed. The cushions of the couch lied on the floor, the center table was upside down. Even the sheet of the bed was half hanging down and half covering the bed.
It seemed like a storm had passed through this room.
I glanced at Warner. He awkwardly looked around the room, before starting to pick up the cushions and his clothes.
Did he do the mess?
“Sorry, i- I was a little upset,” he said, swaying a little on his feet. “I thought you weren’t going to come to meet me. I thought I wasn’t going to see you for one last time. But…” A goofy smile tugged on his lips. “You did come. I was wrong, you do care for me. I was missing you a lot, you know?”
I smiled sadly. “Even after everything you’re saying you were missing me. Even after everything you had to go through because of me. The things Ace did to you…” Sighing, I shook my head. “I’m sorry again, Warner. I swear I had no idea about these. I wouldn’t have let him do those to you if I knew. I’m really sorry. But I promise, I’ll make everything right.”
His brown orbs met mine. “I know you wouldn’t let him do anything if you knew his intentions, Em. It’s not your fault. It’s him who ruined everything.” His tone turned bitter with the mention of Ace.
I let it pass. I myself was mad at him tonight.
“You’re just too innocent that he caught you in his trap.”
I wanted to disagree with this statement of his, but he cut me off.
“Anyways, let’s not talk about him anymore. Let’s talk about something else. Like old times,” he said, pointing towards the couch for me to sit, swaying slightly on his feet he walked towards the landline of the room. “Tea?”
“I’m fine. You don’t need to call the room service for that.” Running my hands up and down my arms, I sat on the couch. The temperature of the room was cold for my state.
“Yeah, got caught up in the rain on my way. You noticed it now?” I asked, glancing at him. But his somehow now darker gaze was roaming over my body clung with my thin sundress.
Averting my gaze, I tugged the end of my dress over my knees as a feeling of discomfort rose in me.
“Yeah…” he cleared his throat, shaking his head. “I was too surprised to see you here to notice anything else. Anyways, let’s have some drinks.”
Putting the center table back in its place, he brought a bottle of Whiskey and two glasses for us before plopping beside me.
“I’m not in a mood of drinking right now, Warner. And you shouldn’t drink either. You’re already slurring.”
My switched off phone was in my mind constantly.
A certain someone must be going crazy out there. Well, he deserves it.
“Oh, come on, Em! One glass won’t do anything. And I’m fine, don’t worry about me,” he said, pouring the liquid in both of the glasses.
When he pushed one towards me, I shook my head, hesitating. I didn’t come here to drink here with him. Though I already said sorry several times, I wasn’t sure if he really did forgive me.
“Just one drink, Em. For me? Can’t you do that for old times sake?”
His expectant eyes had me sigh. Nodding my head, I took the glass in my hand. The bright smile that etched across his face was instant.
Before I could take even a sip, he gulped the whole substance in one go and slammed the glass on the table. I frowned when he refilled the glass.
“Aren’t you drinking too much tonight? You don’t drink that much usually.”
Letting out a humourless chuckle, he gulped the second fill. “Situation changes a man accordingly, Emerald. And this thing,” he pointed at the bottom, “can be quite a good friend when you’re all alone. It makes you forget everything.”
Guilt washed over me as I looked down. “Well, it can’t. Because even when you’re drunk now, it’s not helping with your problems at all. You still remember everything.”
He shrugged carelessly, filling his glass again. “Let’s not talk about the problems tonight. Let’s talk like old days. I’ve missed our time back in NY.”
I smiled, twirling my bracelet. “I missed it too! Life was so simple back then.” And then came Achilles Valencian. Like a storm, he put my life upside down. And unbelievably, I still loved that storm.
He nodded. “I wish I could get back those days. Where there would be only me and you. No one else.”
When I went to open my mouth, he put his hand with his glass still in his grasp in the air, stopping me. A sudden dry laugh left him.
“I know, I know. I’m crossing my limits here again. Sorry, I tend to forget the lines every time.”
Pinching the bridge of my nose, I took a sip on the drink. The sweet and bitter taste of it b****d down my throat.
“By the way, you told your cousin to leave Arthur’s case? Because I don’t want him to get hurt, you know?” I changed the subject. I didn’t want to argue with him on the night he was leaving.
He just nodded. Suddenly going all quiet, he just sipped on his drink and watched me.
Shifting a little in my place, I put the glass on the table. “I tried to call Sierra again but her phone went unreachable again. I really don’t know what to do…”
“Can you just stop it, Em? I thought we were having some ‘us’ time like back in NY. And here you’re, starting with your problems again. I’m tired of listening to all your problems now!” With his lips pressed tight, his voice turned demanding.
I just stared at him.
He had never behaved with me like that. Not even when he was in his shittiest mood. But his behavior was totally different from the Warner I knew.
Maybe it was the alcohol?
I cleared my throat. “Yeah, uh, sorry. I was just a little worried for her.”
His mood changed all of a sudden as he smiled. Adoration filled his eyes as his eyes roamed on me again. “I know, my Em is always concerned for everyone.” Sliding closer, he grasped my hand. “Did I ever tell you that this color suits you? It brings out your perfect skin tone so gracefully.”
When his thumb brushed over my knuckle, I tried to pull my hand back but his grip was firm. His eyes didn’t leave my face as he tucked a strand of my wet hair behind my ear.
“You’re turning more and more beautiful day by day. California’s weather is suiting you well, I can see.” His tone dropped to a husky voice.
With unease, I pulled my hand from his grasp and made some distance between us. All of a sudden, I felt slightly suffocated in this room with him. And I didn’t miss the way his features hardened with my reaction. His fists clenched.
“Uh, thank you!” I averted my eyes. “C-can I get a towel? I need to dry my hair I guess. They’re still dripping.”
Remaining silent for a moment, he slowly nodded his head and then stood up. Stumbling once on his way, he went into the bathroom and then returned with a white towel.
Taking it from his hand, I started to towel dry my hair. And he just watched me silently. An unreadable look on his face. And the way his dark brown gaze slid down my body, a chill ran down my spine. The eerie silence was making me nervous all of a sudden.
I planted a tight smile on my face as I put the towel on the table and stood up. “Uh, I think I should go now. It’s getting late.”
I thought coming here, I’d have a good talk with him before he goes back. But now, I didn’t want to stay here any longer. His behavior was different tonight. I had seen drunk Warner before, but his presence never made me feel that uncomfortable like I was feeling right now.
His face dropped as he took an urgent step towards me. A frown formed between his brows. “You want to leave? So soon? We didn’t even talk much yet.”
“I know. And I’m sorry for that. But I’ve somewhere to go,” I excused. “So, uh, I’ll see you soon?” Maybe when you’re sober.
He shook his head, lips curling up in displeasure. “It’s Achilles, isn’t it? You don’t want him to wait for you much longer. But you can definitely leave me here when all I wanted was just to spend some quality time with you before I leave.”
I sighed. “It’s not Ace. I’m going to Beth’s place right now. And I did come to meet you, right? And you also must have some packing to do. So… I’d just leave now. You get sober up and pack your bags. Otherwise you’ll get late.”
His gaze hardened. “So everyone in your life is important for you other than me. You’ve time for everyone except me?”
“Warner please. It’s not like that, and you know that. You wanted me to meet you here and I did. But I think I should go now. And I can’t stay in these wet clothes all night,” I explained. “As you’re leaving tonight, I think you should start packing now. I’ll see you soon.”
Gathering my purse, when I turned to go, his voice stopped me.
“Wait! Won’t you even give me a goodbye hug before you go? Did I lose that right too?”
I turned to him. Though my brain was telling me to say no and get out from here, my heart called out for my friend. I could at least give him a bear hug before I go, right? Nothing was wrong in that.
Flashing him a smile, I nodded and wrapped my arms around him. The strong smell of alcohol filled my nostrils instead of his familiar smell.
He didn’t waste even a second to pull me closer in his hug. More closer than I was comfortable with.
“I’ll miss you so much, Em,” he whispered in my ear, his hot breath fanned my neck.
Ignoring the unease, I patted on his back. “I’ll miss you too! But it’s alright, we can talk everyday on the phone. And we can meet whenever we can. We’re not worlds away, right?”
As I tried to pull away, he tugged me in his hug again, placing his head at the crook of my neck. “Don’t leave me, Em. I want you here with me.”
I pushed his shoulders but his hold on me only tightened, fingers dug into my skin.
Panic set in my mind as I wiggled into his grip. “Warner, let me go.”
“I can’t, I can’t tonight,” his husky yet demanding voice in my ear made me feel disgusted. A chill ran down my spine when his hands started to roam over my hips, to my sides.
“Warner! Leave me! What’s wrong with you?” I pushed at his chest, making him stumble back. “What the h**l were you doing?” I snapped. But that unfamiliar gaze of his lingered on my lips.
Shaking my head, as I turned to leave, I was harshly pulled into him again.
A shriek left my mouth with the force I collided against him. And then I saw him leaning in, but I was quick to move my head away.
“What the f**k, Warner? Let go of me!” I tried to push him with force, but he didn’t budge.
“Just one kiss, Em. Just one. I’ve been d***g to taste those lips since I came here. But you didn’t even let me hug you properly,” his voice came out urgent as he tried to reach my lips. His vice grip on me didn’t budge with my continuous fight.
“Warner! No! Leave me! What are you doing! Let me go!”
Tears started to blur my vision as his lips landed on my jaw and cheek. I pushed away his head with my hands.
Letting out a curse, he took my hands and put them at my back. “Just one f*****g kiss! I was after you for two f*****g years and you’re treating me like that! You cheated on me with that b*****d, broke up with me but I still tolerated your s**t and helped you with Arthur’s matter! But you can’t even give me a kiss?” he hissed. Gripping my hair in his fist, he tried to turn my head to him. “Just give me one f*****g taste and I’ll let you go!”
“No! Warner, please!” I whimpered at the sharp pain with his vice grip on my hair. Tears were rolling down my cheeks, my heart pounded down my chest with the panic that ran through my veins. “You’re drunk! It’s not you! Come back to your senses! What the h**l are you doing? Let go of me!”
He twisted my arm at my back making me hiss. Cupping my jaw, he forced me to face him. “You’ll kiss me tonight. I swear, you’ll repent the moment when you decided to leave me. No one can make you feel like I can. I’ll make you forget him.”
I screamed when he wrapped one arm around my hips and the other in my hair, his fingers dug into my flesh. “Get off of me!”
“You’re mine, Emerald!” He went for my lips again, but again, just by some inches he missed as I moved my head away.
“Warner, let me go!”
In the hustle, furious pounding on the door reached my ears. Hope started to fill me. Just as I opened my mouth to scream for help, I heard his voice.
“Emerald! Open the door!”
With my eyes blurred with tears, I let out a sob. “Ace! Ace, help me!”
“Shut the f**k up!”
I hissed as Warner pulled at my hair harshly. His eyes were dark, wild as he pulled me close to him, desperately trying to get my lips. “I won’t let you go with him tonight! You’re mine, Em!”
Leaning away, I kept my face away from him throughout the fight as much as possible.
“Emerald! What the f**k…”
His voice was cut off. Panic washed over me once more not being able to hear him anymore. But then I heard the door being pounded harshly.
“Ace!” I pushed at Warner again. “Let me go, Warner!”
“You’re not leaving!”
When his lips fell at the side of my lips, using all the power I had, I hit my knee against his groin and pushed at his chest.
Letting out a hiss, he flinched away as I stumbled on the floor. And at the same time the door slammed down on the ground.
And there here was. With rigid shoulders, clenched fists, tense jaw, he stood at the doorway. And then his dark alert stormy grey orbs fell on me. “Rosebud…”