Read The Trap Of Ace [by Eva Zahan] Chapter 67
“He was m******d by his own son. I k****d him.”
I watched her silently as she froze in her place. With her Turquoise eyes wide in shock, her lips parted. The color of her face drained the moment she heard those words left my mouth. The truth I had been hiding in the deepest corner of my memories. The ugliest and darkest truth of my life I never wanted to reveal before her.
She kept quiet. Only unbearable silence echoed throughout the hall. Other than shock and disbelief, I couldn’t read a single emotion on her beautiful face. Because there was none.
I inhaled deep. The same ominous feeling was rising up my chest again, choking me in its vicious grip. Clenching my fists, I ignored the pain that shot through my heart.
“Emerald,” her name sneaked out as a whisper through my lips. “Say something.”
She didn’t. She just stood there, staring at me with tears glistening her eyes.
I turned around from her. Deep labored breathing came out of me. My hands shook at my sides. The pain in my heart only soared high that it physically pained.
I knew it. I knew she was going to hate me. After knowing what a monster I was, she could never love me the way she did. She could never stay with a m******r. A m******r who k****d his own father.
I clutched my chest, as if trying not to fall apart or destroy something. This fear, this fear of losing her didn’t let me sleep for years. Once I let her go because I didn’t deserve her time and love. I let go of her not only because I was a d**g addict and I didn’t think I had a future, but also because I knew that my past wouldn’t let me live freely so easily. It’d always follow me everywhere I go. I knew a monster like me didn’t deserve a flower like her.
But I was too selfish to stay away for long. Her absence in my life was ruining me. The thought of those Turquoise eyes not looking at me with full of love and adoration, not hearing my name from her sweet angelic voice, not watching her blushing because of me and not hearing her giggles drove me insane. It still did.
That’s why I didn’t want to tell her. I decided to keep my past miles away from her so that it never could be a hindrance in my path of keeping her in my life.
But… but she deserved the truth. She deserved to know everything about me before I bound her to me for the rest of our life. I couldn’t keep her in any more darkness.
She promised to never let go…
But who could love a m******r?
“I…” I gulped, rubbing my chest to soothe the b**n. “I know you must be hating me now. I- I know I don’t deserve you. You deserve a normal,” I took a deep breath, to even think of her being with another man made my blood boil, “man. A normal man with a normal easy life. Not a man with a tainted past. Not a man who k****d his father and was a d**g addict. But…I love you, Rosebud,” whispering, I clenched my fists, trying my best not to pull her into the cage of my arms and lock her there forever. So that she couldn’t leave me.
I wouldn’t survive without her.
“I’m too selfish to let you go. I can’t function without you. I can’t…”
A pair of petite arms wrapped around my torso from behind. I felt her pressing her cheek against my back.
“I’ll not leave even if you wanted me to. I can never,” she said.
As if a sudden light lightening my dark insides, the pain in my chest disappeared. Replaced a feel of desperation to hear those words again and relief.
I turned around, cupping her cheeks. “You- you won’t leave me? That means, you don’t hate…”
She shook her head. Her beautiful eyes watched me with the same love and adoration they did for years, not a trace of hate was there as I expected.
“Never. I can never hate you. Even if you were wrong, I couldn’t hate you. I’d always love you.”
I frowned in confusion. “I know I can’t let you go, but aren’t you disgusted with me? I…” I gritted my teeth. “I’m a m******r. A monster, Emerald. You don’t need to lie to me not to upset me. I can understand if you think you need time…”
“You’re not a monster.” She cut me off, voice firm. “Nor you’re a m******r.”
I shook my head. “Maybe you didn’t hear what I said. I k****d him, Emerald. His blood was in my hand.”
“It wasn’t your fault. You didn’t k**l him. It was an accident,” she said softly.
Taking my hands, she made me sit on the couch and placed herself on my lap. My arms pulled her closer against me instinctively.
“I can understand your dilemma, Ace. No matter how he was, he was your father. And because of that incident, you feel guilty for his d***h. But it’s not your fault, baby. It wasn’t your fault he died. It was an unfortunate accident. You were just trying to help your mother.”
I just stared at her, utterly appalled. I just told this woman my darkest past, my crime, the deed I have been blaming myself for years, and she still wasn’t repulsed by me. Instead she was looking into my eyes cupping my cheeks and telling me that I wasn’t at fault.
I gulped the thickness of my throat, clutching her to me tightly. “You really don’t hate me? You- you aren’t disgusted by me?”
She placed a delicate kiss on my forehead before peering into my soul. “Why would I if it wasn’t your fault? I can never hate you for the crime you never did. I can never feel disgusted by a man who had enough courage to stand before a gun for his mother. And you were just seventeen then. I don’t think everyone at that age has the amount of bravery you showed that night. If you hadn’t done that, you would have lost your mother to that monster. But you stopped it from happening. You saved her.”
Letting out a breath, I pulled her into me, placing my head at the crook of her neck. She ran her soft hands through my locks as I took a lungful of her sweet scent. She didn’t know what she had said. She didn’t know what favor she had done to me by saying those words. The fear of her leaving me was lesser in my heart now. My muscles relaxed as the pain in my chest slowly dissipated.
“You won’t leave me,” I whispered more to myself than to her. I needed to hear it out loud.
Her hug tightened. “Never.”
I could feel the storm inside me calming down. She won’t leave me. My Rosebud will always be with me, in my arms.
I breathed her in again, desperately held her against me tightly. And she didn’t complain.
“Stop punishing yourself for the accident that happened years ago, baby,” she murmured, rubbing my back soothingly. “I know whatever happened was unfortunate, but stop blaming yourself for that. I know, you didn’t want to tell me about your past because you thought I’d hate you. Because you thought you were a m******r, you were guilty. But you’re not. You were just trying to snatch that gun from him so that he couldn’t hurt your mom. But he didn’t let you. He was in a trance of anger and hatred. If you hadn’t stepped in between him and your mom, he most probably would’ve k****d her.”
My jaw clenched at the possibility.
“It was his insistence not to leave the gun. So how was that your fault?”
“I know what I did, I did it for Mom. But…that memory, Rosebud, that memory doesn’t leave me alone. His blood in my hands, the way his lifeless eyes stared at me after…” I clenched my fists as recollection of that night flashed over my eyes. “The thought that maybe if I had handled things in a different way, maybe if I could do something else other than fighting him, he would be alive, our wrestling wouldn’t cause the trigger to go off. I wouldn’t have to take the burden of his d***h on my shoulders for years.”
“Then don’t.” Pulling away slightly, she grazed my jaw with her palm. “You don’t need to take the burden, Ace. You couldn’t have done anything else at that moment. Anyone couldn’t do anything at that moment. You did what you felt right. Tell me one thing,” she made me look at her Turquoise orbs, “would you do it again, would you fight him again to save your mom if you could go back to the time?”
“Yes,” I replied, without hesitating.
A soft smile tugged on her lips. “That means you weren’t wrong. You did what was right. You saved your mother from your father. Anyone who loved their mother and has courage would do that sane thing you did. That doesn’t make you a m******r. It wasn’t your fault. It was his fault that he didn’t let go of the gun. He just was too blinded by his fury. You didn’t k**l him, Ace. You saved your mom.”
I just stared at her.
How did I get so lucky to get her in my life? I was thinking she would leave me once she got to know everything. And here she was, providing light and warmth to my darkness. She was my sun that kept the demons of my past away.
A flash of pain flashed through her eyes as she leaned in and wiped my cheek with her thumb. A tear I hadn’t realized that slipped from my eye.
Placing my forehead against her, I kissed her knuckles. “I love you, my rose. I love you so f*****g much.”
“I love you too,” she murmured back.
I brushed my lips against hers. “Thank you so much. You don’t know what you’ve done to me by saying those words. Thank you…for not giving up on me. For not leaving me. I don’t know what I would do if you left me.”
“And thank you for trusting me with your past.” She smiled softly.
“I wanted to tell you everything on our first date. But then, I didn’t have the courage. I thought even if you would forgive me after knowing about seven years ago, you would hate me forever if you got to know about it. So I backed out and just told you what I thought would be right.”
“But you were clearly wrong. If I think you weren’t at fault now, I would think the same then. Maybe if you had told me that night, I’d have found your reasons behind pushing me away stronger. Maybe I’d have forgiven you easily.”
“I’m sorry, Rosebud.” I pulled her into my chest again. “I was scared. I can tolerate anything but losing you.”
She snuggled into my chest. “Was it the reason behind your turning to d***s? Your guilt?”
I nodded, sighing. “No matter how bad of a person he was, I still couldn’t forget that he was my father. And no matter the reason was, somehow he died because of me. And I couldn’t deal with that feeling, Rosebud. After that night, Mom went into depression. She was broken. She blamed herself for his d***h and my status. She thought if she hadn’t reacted that way that night, if she hadn’t pulled that gun out, nothing would’ve happened. She completely pulled away from us, from life. And it just pushed me more into darkness.”
I still remembered the way I used to wait for her to return home every night. But she used to be missing for days, drinking and staying out of the home. And it continued until she finally stopped fighting her grief and decided to leave this place, us, her past behind and go somewhere far.
Her hand ran over my chest in a small slow circle, it soothed me.
“How did Caleb take all of this?” she asked.
“At first, he was shaken just as we were. But then slowly, he got better.” My lips turned up at the side into a small sad smile. “He became the eldest among us taking care of me when I used to be senseless with d***s and alcohol.”
“I’d be forever grateful to him for that,” she said, tone low.
I knew she felt bad about that fact that she couldn’t be there for me when I needed her the most. Yes, I did need her the most. But I couldn’t just drag her into my mess. I couldn’t taint her with my darkness. She was too pure and innocent for that.
“You know that it was only you I didn’t lose hope, do you?” I looked down at her. “It was you why I tried my best to become normal again and leave d***s behind.”
She smiled, kissing my chest. “I’m glad I could help in some way.”
I sighed. “You always helped, baby. If it wasn’t for you, I would’ve let my addiction consume me whole. You have no idea how horrible it was. There wasn’t any kind of addiction I hadn’t tried. I once even almost overdosed myself.” She gasped, shocked at my words. I squeezed her hands. “But thank God, I’m out of that h**l now. And all of it because you were constantly in my mind when I was trying to get better in the rehab center.”
Shaking her head, with teary eyes, she wrapped her arms around my neck and placed her head back into my chest, hugging me closer. “I wish I could be there for you,” she whispered.
I kissed her head. “You were, baby. You were always there with me, in my heart.”
After a moment of silence, she asked, “When did you go for rehab?”
I gazed into the fireplace. “Right after you left for NY.”
She turned her head up to look at me, still not moving away from my chest. “But you were in the UK at that time for your degree…” Then realization set on her face as her eyes widened. “So, you went to the UK for Rehab and not to take any degree?”
I shook my head. “No. I went there to get better. After Arthur returned, he started to handle the company well as mom was always absent. Then he suggested that I should go to the UK for my treatment, he had a friend who could help me. So I did, but not to his friend, but to a renowned organization that Jonathan’s friend ran.”
She sat up straight. “Dad? He knew about your condition?”
Nodding, I tucked a strand behind her ear. “He knew everything.”
Her head tilted at the side. “Everything, as in…”
“Yes, Rosebud. He knew what happened. It was your father who helped me with everything. He kept the police away from me and used his influence to make everything look that it was a s*****e.”
Her mouth hung open, eyes wide in shock. “Dad?”
“Yes. I didn’t know what to do after that… accident. I had no one to seek help from. Mom went into shock to do anything. So I called your father and he rushed to my place immediately. After listening to everything I had to say, he placed a hand on my shoulder and said to leave everything on him. He will handle everything,” I said, remembering the way he had reassured me like a guardian.
A guardian I never found in my father.
“I wanted to tell everything to the police but he stopped me. He had this fear that the media would use it against my name for their own TRP. My reputation and career would be ruined in just a day. My future was at stake. No matter how it happened, our powerful rivals were ready to jump on us at any time, they just needed a spark to turn it into a volcano. And that mistress of my father was ready to give a statement against me. So Jonathan showed it to the world as a s*****e. He even shut that woman’s mouth with money. He destroyed every proof that could turn against me.”
A shaky breath left her as she took my words in.
Kissing her forehead, I pulled her tightly against me again. Even if she said she wouldn’t leave, I needed to feel her against me to be assured that she was still here. With me.
“Please don’t hate me because I didn’t tell the truth to the police. I just didn’t know what to do at that time, so I just did what Jonathan told me to do.”
She shook her head. “You did the right thing. You don’t know how grateful I’m feeling to Dad for what he did. If he hadn’t done it, your rivals would definitely use it against you and your company. And without anyone there with you, you wouldn’t be able to defend you at that time. Don’t blame yourself for anything.”
I squeezed her hip gently. “Thank you for understanding me.”
She kissed my lips. “And thank you for letting me in even after how much difficult it was for you to talk about your past.”
I pressed our foreheads together. “Anything for you, Rosebud. Anything for you.”
After that, I carried her to our bed and pulled her into me again. I felt much lighter than I ever felt. Especially now that I had my Rosebud into my arms forever.
Throwing a leg over my waist, she snuggled into me. And placed my hand on her t***h.
Then a question struck my mind. “How did you know that he didn’t s*****e? Who told you about his m****r?” Because I knew neither Caleb, nor Jonathan would tell her anything about it. They even didn’t tell Tess and Tobias.
Her form stiffened. After a silence, she spoke, “Warner told me.”
I tensed. At the mare name of that b*****d had my blood boil. “How did he know about that? No one except me, Caleb, mom and your father knew about it. The officer that handled the case was your father’s trustworthy person, he wouldn’t spit a word out. And that woman died after a year from a car accident for her to leak any information.”
Pulling away slightly, she stared at me for a moment. A small frown formed between her brows. “No one else knew about that incident?”
I shook my head. “Even if there was any proof left, I made sure to destroy it forever. There isn’t anything left.”
She went quiet again, thinking something, biting her bottom lip.
I moved my gaze from her innocent yet provocative act. “What are you thinking, Rosebud? You didn’t answer my question. How did he know about it?”
My fists clenched. How badly I regretted not finishing that insect right at that moment. It was the only right punishment for him for even thinking to harm my Rosebud. Now he dared to dig up into my past!
She shrugged, hiding her face into my neck. “He didn’t like you from the beginning. He might’ve investigated you so that he could use it against you and make me question our relationship.”
Closing my eyes, I took a deep breath to calm myself down.
“Are you sure no one else knows about it? What if someone got to know something just like Warner did and will try to defame you using the media? You know, you’ve still a quite number of rivals that wants you down. And if they knew you lied to the world not to put your future at risk, they could use it to show everyone that you hid the truth to save yourself. They can even accuse you being a m******r and blame you that you did it so that the police wouldn’t catch you.”
I was amused how far her mind raced. Worry was thick in her voice.
“No one would do anything. They can’t because no one has any proof. Even if anyone knows what happened that night, they don’t have any evidence to prove it. They don’t have the autopsy report or the gun that had my fingerprints too. I made sure to destroy everything, Rosebud. So don’t worry. No one can do anything.”
Letting out a sigh of relief, she finally relaxed against me. Kissing her head again, I closed my eyes. But the glimpses of that night continued to flash behind my eyelids. Subconsciously, my grip tightened on her t***h.
Raising her hand, she ran her fingers through my hand, massaging my scalp softly. “Sleep now. Everything will be alright. I’m right here with you.”
Heaving an exhale, I flipped our position and placed my head into her chest. With one arm around her waist, I placed her leg over me again.
With her soft hands running through my hair, soon darkness overtook me into a peaceful sleep I never had in years.
But not before I took an oath to destroy those who wanted to take my home away from me.
Antonio was down. Now it was time to get his partner in crime out of his hole.