Chapter 1

3235 Words
I'm seated in the back seat of the heavily tinted car. Kate, my fiancee, is seated beside me, her head resting on my shoulder. My arm is around her and my chin is resting on her hair. We are getting married in exactly five days. She is like a streak of sunlight in my dark soul and trust me my soul is quite dark; story for another day. "The paparazzi are out there again." I grunt with distaste and she lifts her face slightly to look at me. "I love the paps. They are spreading the gospel that we are getting married in less than a week." "And that's a good thing?" I ask with a lifted eyebrow, noting the way her red curls encase her beautiful face. She pouts beautifully. "I thought you wanted to show me off to the whole world!" "I did. I still do. I just don't like the media meddling in our business. I love some privacy." She rolls her eyes. "If you wanted to stay on the down low, maybe you shouldn't have become a young successful businessman. You should have stuck to poverty then no one would bother meddling with your affairs as you nicely call it." Her comment makes me frown. She knows I was wallowing in poverty long before I gained my wealth. I don't have a problem with that but she likes pointing that out everytime I whine about the paparazzi. I always let it slide. Picking a fight with her is just pointless. She looks up and kisses my chin when she notes my small frown. "Don't be sad, Jesse. I was just saying. I didn't mean to remind you of all that s**t you went through. I know it was awful but you are obscenely rich and famous right now. That's what matters." I sigh and nod absently. That's just how Kate is. The driver opens the door as soon as the car comes to a stop outside the fancy restaurant we are going for dinner. I step out and take Kate's hand in mine. She grins up at me when the camera flashes go off from all directions and questions start to flow from the paps. I ignore them. I always do. Kate, however, can't do that. She waves and blows kisses at the blinding cameras and I am tempted to roll my eyes. She always insists that the world should know that we are together. I don't mind that, I mind the way she wants to do it. Again, I let it slide. She always wins. Our table is reserved in a private dining area and I pull her seat, grabbing it at the back as she sits down. She is whining about the colour of the plush table cloth as soon as she is seated and I sit quietly at the opposite side of her. "Can we get another table? I really dislike this table cloth. The silvery color is so pale it's weird." She whines, holding my hand over the table. I beckon to the server who is trying not to eavesdrop and quietly ask her if we could get another table. She smiles and says she'll see what she can do. I thank her, making a mental note to tip her generously later. Kate hates it when I tip servers. She claims we could do much better things with the money; like going on a trip to Paris or buying that expensive neckless she saw the other day. It beats logic but well; that's just Kate. Her phone rings in her clutch bag and she hastily fishes it out. Her eyes widen as she looks at the screen and she hastily ends the call. "It's my Mom. I told you earlier that I'm supposed to pick her from the airport, right?" I shake my head. "You didn't tell me that." "I did. I'm taking the car. I'll be back in an hour." "No. I'll have the driver pick her." She stands up and walks to my side. Her arms go easily around my neck and she plants a chaste kiss on my lips. "I haven't seen my mother in three months. I have to go myself. I'll be back in exactly an hour." I watch as she hurries out of the room. Her shapely legs are swaying under the dinner dress and her gait screams confidence. I'm not in the mood for anything else so I get my phone out and check my emails. My PA has emailed all the information I asked for and I read through it. Tomorrow ought to be a long day at the office. The acquisition I'm eyeing is quite lucrative but challenging as well. My phone lights up in my hands when a text message pops on the screen. Go to your house. Now! That's from Bran. He is a very good friend of mine; best friend if I may say. We have grown up together and we do our s**t together. Of late, he's been weirding out on me and he wouldn't tell me what the heck was going on with him. I text back. I can't. I'm waiting for Kate. His reply is instant. Trust me bro. Just go. I frown. This is so unlike him. What is he doing at my house? Kate doesn't like him so he tries hard to stay way from her. I think the feeling is mutual on his part but he forces smiles when he is around her for my sake. I've tried to get them to like each other but it never worked. I stand up and I'm in the process of buttoning my suit jacket when someone runs into the dining area. My eyes shoot up in surprise when I realize she is coming straight for me. With a frown, I scan her dress code in a millisecond; a black dress which is on the shorter side and red high heels. Her face is fare but her eyes are wide... With fear I guess? Before I move, she launches herself into my arms and wraps her arms around my neck. The sudden impact makes me reel backwards so I quickly wrap an arm around her waist to keep both of us on our feet. "Sorry I'm late, babe. Heavy traffic. Were you leaving?" She asks breathlessly, her eyes begging, her breathe coming out in short spurts. Her face is engulfed with a breathtaking smile which is obviously forced and I notice she's wearing more make-up than a regular model. And she's definitely out of her mind. I start to push her away but she clings to me. Her lips touch my ear as she whispers. "He is going to hurt me with his friends. Please save me." I lift my eyes and that's when I see him. He is standing at the doorway, his angry eyes on us. He looks somehow decent but looks could deceive. Is he trying to hurt a girl? That douche. "So you are the boyfriend." He states when our eyes meet and I lift an eyebrow. The girl in my arms goes absolutely still and I realize she's very scared. "Yes I am." My voice is smooth and cold even as I lie. "Now butt off." He takes a step backwards. "Tell your girlfriend to stop getting into deals she can't deliver. Next time I'll kill her." I grit my teeth angrily. What type of a man threatens such a fragile warm girl like the one in my arms? It's obvious his parents didn't bring him up to be a gentleman. That wanker. "Now listen to me you little shit." I say in a condensing tone, pulling the girl to stand behind me such that I'm taking a protective stance in front her. I cross my arms over my chest and I narrow my eyes at him. I know that the intimidating posture scares people; so I've been told. He cowers and I take a step towards him. I make my eyes intentionally hard and my face remains poker faced. He should know better than threatening a lady. He's not short but I tower well above him. An advantage on my side. "If you ever touch my girlfriend again, you won't have a face to show around here. Now f**k off my face. We could use your absence." He blinks twice and turns on his heel, running from the room like a bat out of hell. I reach for my wallet and extract a few dollar bills, leaving them on the table for the waitress. Kate would be horrified at the amount of cash I'm willing to part with for a mere tip. "Thank you." The girl beside me says quietly. I had already forgotten that she was here. I look at her again. Long blond hair, striking eyes, heart shaped face. Fragile young thing. "It's nothing. I'll walk you to your car." She blinks in surprise. "Why, thank you. That's considerate of you." "Considerate is my middle name." I say dryly and she purses her lips. I realize my mistake as soon as we step out of the hotel. A myriad of paparazzi creeps from God knows where and the flash of the cameras makes me blink twice. I hear the girl's quiet gasp from somewhere beside me and I know they scared her silly. My jaw is set as I wrap an arm around her waist and we walk together towards the most dilapidated car in the parking lot. How will she get home in that? It's nothing more than scrap metal! She flashes me a grateful smile before opening the door and getting in. "Are you someone I should know about? A celebrity maybe?" She asks mischievously, looking up at me through the open window. "Why do you ask that?" "The goddamned paps were taking pictures of you.'' I toss my hand dismissively. "Mistaken identity no doubt." She shrugs. "I bet. Thank you, really. You saved my life." "It's nothing. Go. The crazy paparazzi are still taking pictures." She nods once and reverses the piece of work she calls a car then she pulls out of the parking lot. I wait until the car is out of sight before I turn around, completely pushing her off my head. Everyone is looking at me. Creepy asses. I'm genuinely surprised when I spot my car. I thought Kate left in that?? I walk briskly to it and my driver is already on standby, waiting to open the door. "Are you ready to go back Sir?" He asks and I nod ruefully, getting into the back seat of the convertible Audi. I'm in a very foul mood all of a sudden. Kate was supposed to take the car; how the hell will she get to the airport? I dial her number as David, my driver, closes the back left door behind me. She doesn't answer. Typical Kate. I'm used to that. Out of ten phone calls, she only answers three, four maximum when she's in a good mood. "Did you see Kate?" I ask the driver who is busy on the wheel. "Yes. Someone came to pick her a few minutes before you walked out." I shrug. So she decided to take a cab. I keep my eyes on the passing streetlights as the car flies down the highway. Five days to go, and I will be a married man. I'm not so sure if taking the big leap will be beneficial to me but I sure hope so. I need someone to come home to everyday, someone to spend my money on and someone to cherish. I don't exactly cherish Kate but we are getting there. Most of the times, that girl is actually a pain in my ass. She is quite annoying but she's an awesome cook and she's great in bed so she makes up for that. I like her enough to want to spend the rest of my life with her. That's a bit scary but I can do it. David parks in the basement parking lot of our grand apartment building before he scurries to open my door. I step out, slipping one button on my suit into it's hole as I walk to the elevator. I key in the pass code to my penthouse before leaning against the elevator wall and closing my eyes. Kate and I are moving into our new home immediately after the wedding. I just purchased a posh three storey house for us but we agreed to stay in the apartment until we are officially married. The ping of the elevator doors opening brings me back to my senses and I let out a tired sigh. I'm overworking myself because Kate wants a whole month of honeymoon so I want to cover as much work as I can right now. I reach to key in the pass code at the door when I realize it's unlocked. My brow creases instantly. That's weird. I'm pretty sure I locked it myself before we left. Without thinking, I pull my gun from my belt. I'm a licensed gun holder since a year ago when my life was in danger but I've never really used it. I walk stealthily into the living room where the lights are blazing. Weird. Kate absolutely hates leaving them on so I know for a fact she switched them off. The kitchen is unoccupied and so is the guestroom downstairs. I walk swiftly up the stairs and I move stealthily down the corridor. I push our bedroom door open and it's dark and empty inside. I switch on the lights and sure enough, nothing is ruffled. Feeling stupid, I toss the gun into a drawer and close it. I'm just being paranoid and I have no idea why that d**k of a best friend wanted me to come home. He's probably coming over with beer and pizza. He does that a lot when Kate is not in. I sigh while tugging my coat and the tie off. I toss them carelessly on the dresser before standing up to get rid of my dress pants. If Bran is coming, I might as well dress into something casual. I'll just ask Kate to come home after her business with her mother. I wear a pair of black jeans and I'm in the process of zipping them up when I hear the noises. I frown, standing still to focus and I walk out of the room. I realize then that they are coming from Kate's office which is next to our bedroom. She insisted on having an upstairs office and she got it. The noises must be pretty loud since the walls are partially soundproof. I gasp when a thought clicks into my head and the back of my neck prickles with uncertainty. I laugh at myself for even thinking that. That's ridiculous. I push the door open. Holy f*****g s**t. It's indeed what I thought. I'm surprised at first, then I'm shocked, then pure rage flows through me. I watch in horror as a guy whose face I'm yet to see pins my wife to be on the mahogany desk I bought for her as soon as she moved in. He is pounding furiously into her as he mutters incoherent words and she just lies on the desk, moaning like a banshee. A muscle in my jaw twitches and my hands curl into fists. I want to pound them to death but I really can't. I may be trembling with rage but I am usually reasonable; even when my fiancee is getting f****d in my own house, under my own watch. "Jesse!" Kate gasps when her eyes meet mine. She panics while I just stand there looking at her. I'm surprisingly calm and I know the anger and the pain will come later. I'm in some sort of a trance right now. She pushes the guy away and he looks up in surprise. That's when I see him. Shit. I close my eyes and my fist connects with the wall. I want to tear him apart. I know I can do it with my bare hands but I don't. My mind is screaming at me to take deep breaths and calm the f**k down. I grit my teeth then I turn on my heel and walk to the staircase. I hear Kate yelling my name and I make a dash for the front door. It'll be a while before she gets dressed so she won't follow me; at least not right now. David rushes from the downstairs bedroom when he hears my footsteps and he already has car keys in hand. He takes in my shirtless appearance in a stride. "I don't need a driver. Give me the keys." I tell him and he shakes his head. "With all due respect....' "Keys, now!" I repeat and he reluctantly hands me the keys. I turn away from him and I'm in a trance as I walk to the elevator. My phone is vibrating in my jeans pocket and I just ignore it. I'm somehow attached to it and I don't want to break it right now. I slide to the floor of the elevator as it makes it's downward plunge and I hold my head in my hands. I'm not going to freak out. I am not. I pull myself off the floor at the basement and I press the button on the keys. A black SUV flashes it's indicator and I walk to it. Wrestling the door open, I climb in and slam it shut behind me. I don't bother putting on my seat belt. I just pull out of the parking lot like a mad man. I roll all the windows all the way down and the cold hair tousles my midnight hair about. It's freaking cold and goosebumps are rising on my shirtless self but I don't give two f***s about that. I can barely feel it. My ringtone goes off yet again and I gnash my teeth while pulling my sleek phone from my pocket. I sigh when I realize it's Bran before I lazily hit the button on the steering wheel. His voice fills the car. "Dude, where are you? I've been trying to reach you." I run a hand through my hair, controlling the wheel with one hand. "How long have you known?" My voice is quiet but deadly. "Jesse...." "How long, Bran?" He sighs heavily. "A while." "What does 'a while' exactly mean?" "A couple of weeks." I chew the inside of my cheek absently. "I see. What did I ever do to deserve a piece of s**t Friend like you?" "Man, come on. Let's meet for a drink." "I don't want to drink." "What do you want to do?'' "Go back home and cut his balls to pieces." "That... That makes sense." "I know right?" I release my breath. Why am I so f*****g calm? "You know what Bran, let's meet for that drink." "Sure man. Where do you want to go?" "Our usual. I'm almost there." "I'm on my way." "And Bran?" "Yeah?" "Bring me a shirt." "Copy that." I hang up and focus on the road. I'm slowly realizing that it indeed happened, that I just caught my wife pants down, Literally, banging my only brother. My own brother.
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