Read The Trap Of Ace [by Eva Zahan] Chapter 73
His pupils darkened more in rage even if it was possible. “You remembered the accident when we were returning from the house I bought for us?”
My eyes widened. “H-he was behind it?”
He nodded, a muscle of his jaw ticked. “It was him. Even though I was his target, he shouldn’t have involved you in this.”
I let out a breath.
So that was the reason behind his intense hatred against Antonio. That’s why he was so mad at Tess’s wedding when Antonio came to meet me.
“When Arthur brought up the Russians offer to me, his desperation for me to sign it and his being the head of this project had me suspicious. So I had his phone tapped. To know what was brewing in his shrewd head. And I was right. I got to know about his intention behind the project while he discussed it with Ivanov on the phone. But as cunning as he was, he never unfolded his whole plan to him. Until this morning, when everything in his path was clear for him to go ahead.”
But he did tell Ivanov about k*****g him. Ivanov knew it except being aware of how Arthur was going to pull it.
“That means you knew he was going to k**l you after the signing? I thought you told me you weren’t aware of it.”
“I knew, but I didn’t know how he was going to do it. What his exact plan was. But I got to know about his stupid master plan when he was with Ivanov this morning. We were listening to everything he was saying from the conference room.”
“We?” I raised my brow.
“Me, Duncan and Mr. Balakin.”
“Duncan and Mr. Balakin?” I was shocked. So Mr. Balakin and Duncan knew everything? That explained why Duncan was there.
He gave a nod. “It was Duncan whom I asked to tap Arthur’s phone. Besides being a successful businessman, that b*****d is also an expert with computers, hacking and all, he also did something to Arthur’s phone for us to hear every conversation when his phone was with him, even when he wasn’t on a phone call. As he was a partner in my company and we always had each other’s back, when I told him about Arthur, he was more than willing to throw out that leach out of the business.”
Though he showed that he didn’t really like Duncan, I knew they were good friends.
“When Arthur was planning to get rid of me, Ivanov also wanted Balakin out of his way to get their company all to himself. When I made him listen to all Arthur and Ivanov’s conversation about how later Arthur was going to move Balakin away from Ivanov’s way, he agreed to help us. I knew the contract would be beneficial for both of us, so I wanted the contract, but without Arthur’s plan in it. And Mr. Balakin wanted the same. So he agreed to sign the contract as per their plan. But not for their benefit, for our gain. And it would also let Arthur believe that he was winning. So that he would play his next move and face defeat.”
Then suddenly his demeanor changed, those strong shoulders of his tensed. “When I left in my car with Mr. Balakin as per their plan and Duncan stayed back to keep an eye on them until they left the hotel, I got to know that you were in that hotel.” His breathing came out deep as he tightened his hold on me, his eyes watched me as if he feared I’d disappear at any moment. “Duncan sent a recording to Mr. Balakin’s phone of Arthur’s phone call where he was talking to you and then giving orders to his dog to…k**l you.”
I ran my fingers in his hair to calm him down, pressing my forehead against him.
“You don’t know how I felt at that moment, Rosebud,” staring into my eyes, he gulped. The sudden redness in his eyes and the moisture in there had my heart clench. “I felt my heart stop beating the moment I heard him giving orders to k**l you. I…”
I squeezed his hand. “I know. I’m sorry, even I was scared. Terrified actually. I thought I could sneak out quietly before they would even notice me, but unfortunately they did. Thank God Duncan reached there at the right time.”
“Where I should have been. I should’ve been there to protect you rather than trying to proceed my worthless plan to defeat him. I should’ve protected the most precious person of my life. But…” His hands balled into fists. “I clearly failed. I failed to protect you.”
“Don’t you dare blame yourself for that! It was my fault I took that risk. You put those guards outside the house to keep me safe. But it was me who didn’t listen to them. So whose fault is it? Me. So stop torturing you for the thing you didn’t do, again.”
He shook his head, eyes pained. “I should’ve known that you were there. I should’ve listened to your voice messages and picked up your calls. But my phone was f*****g d**d! I forgot to charge it last night! It’s all my f*****g fault!” He slammed his fist against the hardboard of the bed, cursing.
I gasped. “Ace! Stop! I said it wasn’t your fault. And nothing happened to me right? I’m fine. It was my stupidity that I followed Arthur without taking anyone with me.”
“But anything could’ve happened! I could have…” His jaw ticked. “I could’ve lost you. If Duncan hadn’t reached there in time…”
I cupped his face, kissing his forehead. “But he did. I’m alright now. You couldn’t have known I wouldn’t listen to the guards and leave. So stop blaming yourself,” I murmured. “Anyways, what happened then? What happened after you heard the recording?”
Closing his eyes, he took a deep breath as if calming himself down.
“I got out of the car and went back to the hotel as soon as possible. I wanted to turn back the car forgetting our plan, but Mr. Balakin wanted to continue it, he was eager to see the shell shocked face when his partner would get arrested after he realized how badly their conspiracy failed,” he replied, shoulders still tensed.
“But I saw the car getting trashed by the truck. Was he in the car when…”
He shook his head. “No. He and the driver also got off the car turning the autopilot mode on just some minutes before they reached the spot Arthur’s men were waiting for us. They shot the accident and sent it to Arthur. And he must’ve sent it to you after somehow knowing that you got out of there alive.”
Taking his shaking fists in my hands, I kissed both of his palms.
“How did I get home?”
“When I reached the hotel, you already left with Carter’s car. And after following your phone’s location, we found some people moving you out of the car because you lost consciousness stopping at the middle of the road. Then I got you home.” I leaned into his gentle caressing over my cheek. “Are you okay, Rosebud?” Concern and regret echoed in his voice. I knew how the thought that he couldn’t be there to protect me was torturing him. And knowing him, he’d continue to blame himself for that no matter what I said.
I nodded. “I am.”
His hard eyes fell on my cheek. “You’re hurt.” His jaw ticked. “Who was it?”
“One of the guards. But he’s d**d right now. And I’m fine now, don’t worry.” I assured him.
“I promise, Rosebud. Arthur will beg for d***h but he won’t get it. He will suffer for the rest of his life. I’ll make sure of that,” he swore, gaze still latched onto my cheek.
“Where is he right now?”
“In the jail.”
My eyes shot up in surprise.
“After the accident, he and Ivanov went to the spot to be sure if I and Mr. Balakin, as he was with me in the car, were d**d. They wanted a confirmation before they cheered over their success. That’s when Balakin reached there with the police and got them caught on the act before providing them the phone recordings.”
“D**n, I missed the look on Arthur’s face. It must have been worth watching,” I muttered.
That got a small chuckle from him. “So did I. I was waiting to see that look in his eyes. But I had much more important things to do than being there, bringing my Rosebud back into my arms.”
Sighing, I snuggled into his chest again. “I’m glad he’s finally behind the bars, and out of our lives.”
“It’s just the start of his punishment, baby. A much worse future is waiting for him.”
After a long time, I finally felt light. As if a huge burden had lifted off my chest. I no longer felt the s*********n of Arthur’s threat dangling on my neck. He was finally out of our life.
Stroking my arm, he asked, “What are you thinking?”
“I’m relieved that he’s finally out of our life. I just hope he never returns,” I replied.
“He won’t. He’s going to rot in the jail for the rest of his life.”
“Good. That’s what I want. Make sure he suffers”
“What my queen wants, she gets.”
I smiled, looking up at him. “I love you.”
He leaned in and pressed his lips against mine. “I love you more.”
Pulling away, he tucked a strand of my hair behind my ear.
“Your family is waiting outside for you. Do you feel like going outside? If not, I’ll just tell them to come to see you later.”
I sat straight. “You mean Mom and Dad? When did they arrive?”
“The moment they heard what happened to you. Even Tess and Caleb returned from their honeymoon cutting it short,” he said.
“How did they know about it?”
“Caleb told me he got your call this morning but couldn’t talk to you. And then he heard what happened next, those guards didn’t cut the call.” His voice hardened again.
Oh! Yeah, I remembered calling him hoping he could help me in some way.
“Wait, they’re already here? So soon? How many hours I was sleeping for?”
“It’s past eleven in the night.”
I gasped. “I slept for that long? Why didn’t you wake me up?”
He kissed my forehead. “You needed sleep. Don’t worry about it. If you need to rest more, I can tell them to come tomorrow morning?”
I shook my head. “No. I’m fine. Let’s go outside.”
“Mom, I’m alright. Don’t cry,” I said for the upteenth time, but her tiny arms wouldn’t leave me as she kept shedding tears on my shoulder.
“You don’t tell me what to do, young lady! You almost gave us a heart attack today!” she snapped, sniffling. “You don’t go and put yourself in danger and then expect me not to freak out.”
I shook my head, looking at Dad for help. But he only watched me with displeasure. After I got an earful from Dad, Tobias, Tess and Casie, I was now in the clutch of my Mom. She wouldn’t leave me for a second.
“Knock some more sense into her head. Because she has suddenly got a habit of playing hero all of a sudden,” said my best friend, narrowing her eyes at me.
“I knew she was going to do something. I told her not to get herself into any mess, but she didn’t listen.” This time it was my brother.
“And yet you didn’t care to tell me what was running into her head about Arthur?” Ace glared at Tobias.
My brother shuffled in his place, scratching the back of his head. “Well, I didn’t think it was that serious.”
“That’s the problem. You never think anything. If you had even told me then I’d have talked to her. But you just carelessly let it go! Do you have any idea what could have happened today?” accused Tess.
“Hey! I said I didn’t know it was going to be this serious. I also thought Arthur was a good man like the rest of you.”
“That man! I’d strangle him with my own hands if I get my hands on him for doing that to my baby girl,” Mom hissed, pulling me more into her hug.
“Yes. And I will assist you in that!” Cassie joined.
“Me too!” Caleb and Tess joined.
“Ugh! Mom! I can’t breathe!” I complained.
On the other hand, my man shifted from one leg to another, eyes set on me. With a creased forehead, his hands clenched and unclenched. Irritation laced across his hard features.
Then finally his patience snapped.
“Alright, now, Mrs. Hutton. It’s time to feed her something,” saying, he gently pulled me from Mom’s chest to his, immediately wrapping his arms around me.
Only then I felt him relaxing against me.
As if it was a torture for him not to touch me for even some seconds. He hasn’t left me for a second after I gained my consciousness.
“You okay?” he asked in my ear while our family planned how they were going to punish Arthur.
Smiling, I nodded. “Now that you’re with me, I am.”
Pressing a lingering kiss on my forehead, he took a sharp inhale of my hair.
“Are you okay?” I looked into his stormy grey eyes. They were still dark, swirling with concealed volcano.
I knew what storm was running inside him. But for my sake, he stayed calm. But I was also aware of the fact that he wouldn’t for long. I saw what he did to Antonio before he left him in an abandoned alley. I just hoped he would at least leave Arthur’s life. No matter how much I hated that man, I didn’t want his hands to be tainted with Arthur’s blood.
He just nodded.
I sighed. “Just don’t k**l him, alright?”
His dark orbs just stared at me silently, without saying anything.
As I opened my mouth to say something, Mom’s voice cut in.
“Alright, now, everyone. Let’s go and have dinner. It’s late. Then we’ll leave. My baby needs more rest.”
Taking my hand into her, she dragged me behind her to feed me the food she made for everyone while I was sleeping.
We were back into Ace’s penthouse. And as much as he didn’t like so many people in his home, he didn’t seem to complain. All he did was just keep me within his touch and stare at me. Not to forget grunting if someone of our family members took me away from him for a moment.
After the dinner once everyone left, promising to visit tomorrow morning, we were left alone again.
“You want to go to the gym?” I asked as we sat on the balcony, watching the still rushing city beneath us. He told me to go to bed but I insisted on getting some fresh air. So here we were. Curling on his lap, we sat on the rocking chair under the night.
A peaceful comfortable night. He looked at me in surprise. A perfectly arched brow of his raised. “I thought you hated the idea of me going to the gym?”
I shrugged. “I don’t hate it until you don’t bruise your knuckles. A little bit of blowing the punching bag isn’t bad.”
He needed to get his frustration out. And he always used the punching bag for that. But since knowing how much I disliked it, he wasn’t going for it tonight.
As much as I liked it that he wasn’t practicing his unhealthy exercise anymore, but if a little bit of that could reduce his anger a little, then I was okay with it.
He shook his head. Hugging me closer, he kissed my forehead. “I’m fine, Rosebud. And I’m saving it for someone else. So don’t worry, the storm inside me will get unleashed, but at the right time.”
The coldness of his voice sent a shiver down my spine.
That’s what I didn’t want. I didn’t want him to take any wrong steps out of rage.
But I’d talk to him about it later. I had my Ace finally in my arms now. I didn’t want to ruin this moment talking about him.
“I want to go to Greece. Where Tess and Caleb went for their honeymoon? I loved the pictures they sent me. It has such amazing places!”
A smile curved up his lips. “When do you want to go?”
My eyes went big. “You’ll take me there?”
He pecked my nose. “Whenever you want to go. I promised you a vacation, right? If you want to go to Greece, then Greece it is. Whatever my queen wants.”
I giggled, squealing like a small girl getting a Christmas gift. “Tomorrow! I want to go there tomorrow! I had even planned the places I want us to visit when Tess sent me the pictures.”
A musical chuckle vibrated through his chest as he cupped my face and watched me with unconditional love and adoration.
“Tomorrow it is then. Where do you want to go after that?”
My smile only got big. “We’re going for a long vacation?”
He nodded. “The more time I get with my Rosebud all to myself, the better.”
“Turkey! I want to go to Istanbul! The city of dreams!” I gushed. “I love their lifestyle and food. I can’t wait to visit there!”
“And I love you,” snuggling into my neck, he rasped. His rough stubble raised goosebumps across my skin.
Hot sensations rushed directly to my core.
I squirmed against him, feeling him springing to life within seconds under me.
A husky groan left his sinful lips.
Wrapping my arms around his neck, I brought his mouth to mine. “I love you more.”
Gripping my a*s cheeks firmly, he pulled me closer and asked for entrance. And I opened my mouth eagerly.
The moment his tongue met mine, a jolt of electricity ran through my veins. It was addicting. My core clenched in want.
A m**n left my lips as he ravished my mouth as if he craved my lips like they were his salvation.
And just as his hand slipped under my dress, getting every nerve of mine burst with excitement and lust, his phone decided to interrupt.
Groaning when he cut the call and got back to me, it started to blare into the night again.
Cursing, he pulled away and received it.
“What?” he snapped.
Hearing something the other person said, he clenched his jaw. “What do you want? Come to the point!”
I frowned. “Who’s it?”
He threw a glance at me but didn’t answer my question.
Was he talking about me?
His lips pressed tight. “Why do you want to talk to her? I said she’s okay now. Isn’t that enough?”
I raised my brow. Who was it?
Letting out a grumble, he passed me the phone. At my questioning gaze, he huffed.
“It’s De Sylvano. He wants to talk to you.”
I rolled my eyes at his antics. I didn’t know why he was grumbling about it. Was he jealous that Duncan wanted to talk to me, or he was just annoyed that he interrupted us. Well, I was in his team if it was the latter.
But I needed to thank Duncan for what he did. He was a big help today.
“Hey!” I said, pressing the phone against my ear.
“Emerald, how are you doing right now?” Came his thick Italian accent.
Cassie was always a goner for Italian men for their s**y accent.
“I’m good now. Thank you. I’m sorry you had to take so much trouble for me today.”
My Greek god’s eyes narrowed at that. He definitely didn’t like me apologising to anyone.
“Nah! Actually it was my pleasure that I could help you. As much as I didn’t expect our second, technically third meeting like that, but still, I’m glad I got the chance to get you out of that situation. Even though your Greek man didn’t appreciate me with words. But tell him that he owes me big.”
I laughed. “Oh, he knows it really well.”
He tried to take the phone away from me, getting irritated second by second but I pulled away.
Chuckling, he cleared his throat. “Anyways, jokes apart, I hope Valencian told you everything?”
I sighed. “Yes, he did.”
“Good. Now don’t worry at all about everything. Arthur is out of your life now. So cheer up! And yes, make that moody man of yours a little less stressed. I didn’t ever see that man that much anxious and disturbed from the years I’ve known him. He was terrified, you know?”
I nodded, even if he couldn’t see me.
Grabbing his hand, I kissed his knuckle, making his clenching jaw relax.
“I know. Thank you so much for helping him through all this, not to forget saving my life. Thank you, Duncan! You really did a big favor on us,” I said truthfully. And this time, Ace didn’t show any displeasure.
“Nah, it was nothing. I know, if Valencian was in my place, he would have done the same for me. So you don’t need to thank me. It was always a pleasure!” he said. “Anyways, I won’t hold you for long. Your caveman must be planning to k**l me right now for keeping his girl busy for that long. You take care, Emerald. I’ll see you later.”
“Yeah, see you later. Goodnight!”
Once I returned his phone, I slumped against him. “He seemed to be a nice man. Then why do you behave like you don’t like him at all?”
He snorted, wrapping his arms around me. “He’s always a gentleman to ladies. Especially to those he thought was decent. Otherwise he wouldn’t even look at you twice.”
I rolled my eyes. “Whatever you say, he helped us a lot today. We should personally thank him, you know? Maybe invite him for dinner?”
He grunted, muttering something under his breath. Something like,
‘I owe my life to that b*****d now.’
“Maybe. But not now. After we return from our vacation.”
My mood instantly brightened remembering our vacation.
“So? What do we do now?” he asked, nuzzling his nose in my neck.
And just like that my mind darkened again, but with desire.
Pressing myself against him, I whispered into his ear. “You make love to me.”
He growled, standing up along me in his arms.
“What my queen wants, she gets.”