Read The Trap Of Ace [by Eva Zahan] Chapter 68
Sunlight beamed against my eyelids, making me slowly flutter them open. A yawn sneaked out of me as I stretched across the bed very unladylike. The soreness around different places of my satisfied body bloomed a smile on my lips.
But it slipped as soon as I found the emptiness beside me when my hands searched for his warmth. The sheets were cold enough for me to understand that he had gotten up a long time ago.
It was getting on my nerves not finding him with me in the bed when I woke up in the morning. I craved his body warmth around me and his sultry kisses.
Then memories of last night flooded into my mind. My heart clenched with the recollection of his pain and suffering for years. For the crime he didn’t do.
It was saddening that he had lived half of his life thinking he was the cause of his father’s death and thought that I’d hate him after learning the truth. I wished he had told me earlier about his fallacious guilt and fear. I would’ve cleared it out to him that I wouldn’t leave him no matter what. I couldn’t. Not especially when he was innocent.
I let out a shaky breath remembering the torment in his beautiful grey eyes. My heart bled for him. I wanted to take all his pain as mine, only if I could.
After knowing the truth, I saw everything from a new angle. My respect and gratefulness for my father went to another level higher now. Though it was still shocking to know that it was Dad who saved Ace from that tragedy and he never told a soul about it. On the other hand my opinion about his mother did also change. No matter how much my heart went out for her, even after understanding her pain and sufferings, I wouldn’t be able to forgive her for leaving Ace and Caleb when they needed her the most. Especially Ace.
I understood that she needed an escape from her traumatic life, but she shouldn’t have left her son behind to suffer in the endless guilt and insecurities. He needed her. There was no one to give him emotional support.
Maybe I was being selfish. I was only thinking about the love of my life. But I wouldn’t leave my only son like that ever no matter the hell I went through. Especially in that situation.
Though I’d never give words to my opinion about his mother before him. I knew no matter what she did, he didn’t hold it against her. He respected and loved her.
Sighing, I sat up, rubbing my face.
And then the note on the side table caught my eyes. The smile returned on my face.
It must be from him.
Yes, I was a little upset that I didn’t find him in the bed with me when I woke up, but he did sleep the whole night wrapped around me like a baby. He didn’t get up in the middle of the night and go to the gym to channel his frustration and fears to the punching bag last night. And I think this was a big progress.
Good morning, my beautiful rose!
I’m so sorry, my love. I couldn’t stay until you woke up. Had to leave for an urgent meeting. But just for two hours. Stay here, I’ll come home as soon as I’m finished. I know we came here for just one day, but a day keeping you all to myself isn’t enough for me. I need more.
I made you breakfast. Heat it up before eating. I’ll try to cut this meeting short and fly into your arms as soon as possible.
PS: As it’s an very important meeting, my phone will be switched off. If you need anything, just call Carter. He’ll give your message to me. But DO NOT leave the house until I’m there.
Placing a kiss on the note that smelled like his intoxicating scent, I pressed it against my chest. A sigh of bliss left me.
How did I get so lucky with love? I thought I was never going to get this man. And here I was, staying into the house he bought for our future, sleeping in his arms on our bed.
God, I already missed him!
Then something clicked in my head.
What important meeting was it that he had to leave our vacation and drive back to the office so early?
As far as I remember, he didn’t have any important meetings until the next Monday. Except…
My eyes widened.
The meeting with the Russians! He did say they were about to sign the final contract. It must be it!
Leaping on my feet, I put my last night’s clothes on.
I had to stop him! I had to tell him about Arthur before he signed the contract. The contract that old bastard was so eager to make Ace sign.
After hearing everything last night, I didn’t find anything that he could use against Ace. First of all, Ace didn’t murder his father. It was an accident. His father got shot during the fight. It wasn’t his fault. Even if Dad and he kept it hidden for the sake of his future, it wasn’t that big of a crime for Arthur to destroy Ace. Nor there’s any proof of it. He might know about it, just like Warner did, but he didn’t have anything to prove. Ace and Dad made sure not to leave any evidence of the past.
That leach! I was right. He was just throwing arrows in the dark. And he hit it right. He knew what Ace meant to me. I’d die before letting anything happen to him. And that bastard just used it against me, to keep my mouth shut until he gets a way out of his crimes and Ace’s wrath.
I was hundred and one percent sure he didn’t have anything against Ace. If he did, wouldn’t he and Antonio have used it to defame Ace already?
And the frustrating thing was, why didn’t I figure this out before? Why didn’t I listen to my instinct?
I was certain he was planning something big this time. And he’ll pull off his plan through this contract. I didn’t know what was exactly going through his wrinkled brain, but I had this strong hunch. He’d be using this contract to harm Ace and the company. Half a billion wasn’t a joke.
But I wouldn’t let this happen.
I wanted to tell Ace everything last night. But last night he was distressed enough for me not to start any more stressful conversations with him. He needed a break.
I thought I’d tell him this morning calmly. But he was gone even before I could wake up.
Rushing down the stairs, I called his phone. But as he said, it was unreachable. So I called Carter. After two rings, he picked it up.
“Good morning, Ms. Hutton!” His cheerful voice came through the phone.
“Carter, can you please pass the phone to Ace? I need to talk to him urgently.”
“Umm, I’m so sorry, Ms. Hutton. But the boss maybe has already entered the conference hall. I’m still to reach there since I had to pick some files back from the office. Do you want me to give him any message?” he asked.
I came to a halt, panting from flying down the stairs so fast. “Wait, the meeting isn’t happening in the office?”
“No. It’s being held in hotel Diamond Valley.”
Diamond Valley? It’s almost twenty minutes drive from here. Not that far. But…the meeting has already started.
“Is it with the Russians?” Even if I knew that it was, but yet hoped for the otherwise.
“Yes, Ms. Hutton. Both companies are going to sign the final contract today.” He stamped on my doubt.
I groaned. “Listen to me very carefully, Carter. Stop the meeting. Go there as fast as you can and tell Ace that I said, no, I pleaded not to sign the contract. You understand me? Tell him that I need to tell him something important before he goes ahead with it. I’m coming there as soon as possible.”
Grabbing my purse, I ran out of the door.
“What? But what happened, Ms. Hutton? Is there any problem? Everything is set, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this contract…”
“Just do as I say! Give him my message and make sure he doesn’t sign anything. At least not before I reach there. If you fail to do that, it can cost you your job, Carter. Remember it. I already left for the hotel.” I cut the call before he could say anything, and rushed out of the enormous silver gate.
But my legs stopped on my way as several big hulky men in black towered over me. Their tinted sunglasses hid their eyes. I could recognize two of them were from Ace’s security team.
I frowned. Where did they come from all of a sudden? They weren’t here yesterday.
“Ms. Hutton. We’re extremely sorry to inform you that you can’t go out anywhere until the boss arrives. Please, go back inside, Miss,” one of the hulks spoke in his deep voice.
“What?! Where did this come from? I’m free to go anywhere I want! I need to go somewhere urgent, so move away from my path!”
When I tried to pass them, they blocked my path again.
“We apologise, Miss. But we can’t let you go. It’s the boss’ order. You can’t leave the house.”
My temper rose. “But why?”
Why the hell did he tell them to lock me in the house? I didn’t remember him mentioning any of this yesterday. Everything was fine. Then what happened all of a sudden?
Then I remembered his note.
DO NOT leave the house.
He did warn me not to leave. But forgot to give me the reason.
I was getting late. The meeting has already started. If I don’t reach on time, he will sign the contract. I didn’t care at that moment about why he didn’t want me to leave the house. I had more important things to handle right now.
The guard shook his head. “We aren’t allowed to say that. But we can’t let you go.”
“Listen here, I’m getting late. So move away from my way. And I’m going to your boss. So I don’t think he’ll mind me leaving.”
They didn’t budge from their place.
My lips pressed tight. “Move.”
“Sorry, Miss. But we can’t. We’re just doing our job.”
I cocked my head. “What will you do if I leave? Stop me? How?” I took a step ahead. “Manhandle me? Drag me back in the house? Because, of course, I’ll fight tooth and nail with you. But you can’t do that.” A smirk tugged on my lips. “If you even touch a strand of my hair, Ace is going to skin you alive,” hissing, I glared at them.
The subtle look they exchanged and one of them gulping slowly planted seeds of hope in my heart that I was winning this fight. I just needed to hold my ground.
“Now you don’t want me to run to him crying and say that how you guys manhandled me and hurt me to drag me back inside, do you? Do you know what will happen then?”
The color of their faces drained and they stood still, not uttering a word.
I smiled. “Good. Now excuse me.”
“But…Ms. Hutton. Stop!” One of them called out but I didn’t stop. Ignoring them coming behind me, begging for me to stay, I stopped a taxi and got into it immediately before they could reach me.
The moment I walked through the entrance of Diamond Valley, a voice made me turn around.
Carter climbed up the stairs before reaching me. Hunching forward, he placed his hands on his knees, heaving laboured breath. His sky blue shirt clung to his body soaked with sweat. With a red face, he looked up at me. Some files were tucked under his armpit.
I frowned. “What are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be in the conference room to deliver Ace my message?” Then realization set in, my eyes widened. “Don’t tell me you’ve just arrived! Where the hell were you till now?”
Shit! I had made the taxi driver drive faster than a sane man would to reach my destination fast, bribing him with double cash. I thought Carter was already here interrupting the meeting. But he had just freaking reached here!
“I- I’m so sorry, Ms. Hutton. I got stuck in the traffic. It was so severe that I had to leave my car and rush here,” he panted.
Shaking my head, I turned around and ran inside.
Damn it! I just hoped he didn’t sign the contract yet.
With my heart thumping down my chest, anxiety rolling into my stomach, I made my way towards the elevator.
“Ms. Hutton, wait!” he called out for me, still at the entrance, huffing and puffing.
“Which floor?” I yelled over my shoulder, attracting some glances.
“Thirty eight, room number 1504, but Ms. Hutton, wait! They won’t let you inside the VVIP area without…”
His words faded away as soon as the doors of the elevator closed, his rushing form towards me vanished from eye sight.
While the others in the elevator patiently stood beside me, I kept fidgeting in my place. My palms were clammy as I wiped them on my jeans.
I just hope I’m not late.
Chanting this prayer in my mind, I tried his number again but it was still unreadable. I had left some voice messages for him in the hope that he’d switch on his phone and hear my messages. But clearly, he didn’t.
Groaning, I threw impatient glances to the elevator panel. Why was it running so slow?
My phone blared in my hand, making my heart leap thinking it was him. But disappointment soon filled me as Casie’s name flashed across the screen.
“Casie, I can’t talk to you right now. I’m a little bus…”
“Em, did you see the news?” I cringed at her loud screech. “Oh God! It’s everywhere! I can’t even recognize his face!”
“What are you talking about?” I rubbed my temple, getting restless. I needed to stop Ace. “Look, Casie. I’ll call you later. I’m in the middle of a…”
“It’s about Antonio! Didn’t you see it yet?”
She again cut me off. But the name she took grabbed my attention.
“Wait, Antonio?” I frowned. “What about him?”
“God, Em, which world are you living in? The internet is going crazy over this. Antonio’s butt is in the open now. Everything his stupid ass has done, his every illegal businesses is out now. It’s all over the internet. That prick is even involved with human trafficking, can you believe that?” I could imagine her shaking her head. “He got out of the jail last time, I don’t know how, but this time no one can save him. Everyone knows his deeds. He’s going to rot in jail for the rest of his life!”
I gasped. “You mean, he’s exposed before the world? But, how?” Last time he got out using his connection with some powerful politicians. But if the media has proof against him in their hands now, no one can save him.
“Of course, you and I both know who can be behind this.”
Of course. Who else?
But why didn’t he tell me anything?
“Though I hate that man, I can’t help but feel pity the way he’s looking with him covered in blood. Disgusted actually,” she commented.
“What are you talking about?”
She sighed. “You don’t know anything, do you? I’m sending you a video. Watch it.”
Moments later, my phone buzzed as she sent me a message, the same time the elevator’s doors opened, letting me move out.
As soon as I opened the video, my eyes widened at the sight.
Antonio was lying on a stretcher as some people carried him inside a hospital. His face was battered with bruises and cuts, the same went with his hands. Blood soaked his shirt and the side of his head. He looked horrible.
I read the headline.
The famous business tycoon Antonio Reymond was found beaten brutally and unconscious in an abandoned alley. Police are looking into the matter. Though people are content at his state with his illegal activities now out before the world.
I stood there shell shocked.
Exposing him with proof was understandable. He deserved Ace’s wrath. He had been trying to mess with the Valencians for so long. But torturing him like that?
Was he responsible for this too?
Even if he told me everything about his past, his secrets, I felt like I didn’t know everything about Antonio. He was still hiding something.
But I was content that one enemy of ours was down. He couldn’t harm us anymore. And now it was Arthur’s turn.
It’s enough, Arthur. Let’s finish your game now.
Clutching my phone in my hand tightly, I held my head high and went for room number 1504