“f**k!! Let go of me, let me beat up his ass. Why is he here?”, Avner questioned as he shoved Stephen off him and gave Leonard a deathly glare.
“Well, if you had asked that in the first place, then maybe we wouldn't be pulling you off him,” Stephen replied seriously as he adjusted his collar.
Avner turned to glimpse at Stephen, waiting for him to explain why the man he loathed with all of his beings was standing in front of him as his newly hired bodyguard.
He was struggling so hard to maintain his temper just long enough to let Stephen speak.
Stephen groaned gently just as he was about to speak, but Avner intercepted him and demanded Leonard leave their presence as he was not okay with him being there.
Leonard did as Avner had ordered as he was in no position to refuse his order, so he strutted out quietly with his hands in his pockets, hoping that he wouldn't be sacked even before he started the job.
“Avner, we have had over ten bodyguards quit in less than six months, and that is not a good report. All the security agencies are refusing to send in their men. They believe you are difficult to work with and undoubtedly harder to protect.”, Stephen wasn't done speaking when Avner interrupted him from finishing what he had to say.
“What does that have to do with your evil bastard son being here as my new bodyguard?”, Avner yelled out, frustrated. Stephen wasn't giving him the answer he demanded, which had him more annoyed, but Stephen did not budge as he was already used to Avner's outbursts.
“Well, he is the only one willing to work as your bodyguard, so you had better get used to it. He would not be here if you had treated your bodyguards with just a little respect, but you just kept on transferring whatever anger you had built up in you unto them and now, here we all are,” Stephen stated strongly, he didn't bat an eyelid when he said all that, he knew Avner would have to agree with the idea of Leonard being his bodyguard whether or not he liked it.
“Built-up anger? Have you, for once, asked why I am so angry or why I fired those gnarly bodyguards you employed?!? They were being disrespectful to me, Stephen. You don't expect me to keep quiet and let them get away with it, do you? I am Avner Reginald, for f**k's sake,” Avner punched the table that was close to him, he was alight with fury.
“Excuse me, Sir, you might not have realized this, but respect is earned. You don't call for people to respect you just because of who you are. You work hard and earn their respect. You earned my respect, so why can't you gain their respect?”, Stephen challenged. He would not allow Avner to justify nor give excuses for his rude behavior.
Avner became silent and just glared at Stephen: if only he knew why he was this way, if he only knew what his child had done to him, then he wouldn't be here saying this, he thought as he continued to glare at him, tears forming in his eyes.
“Fine, you want him to be my bodyguard. I won't protest anymore as it's only going to make you and I argue further, but tell him to stay out of my sight,” Avner said, and went back upstairs after telling the chef to throw away the food he had prepared for him.
Leonard came back in as he noticed Avner had gone upstairs. He stood in front of his father and thanked him for speaking up for him and convincing Avner to accept him as the bodyguard.
“I hope I don't regret this, boy. I don't know what you did to him, but please fix it,” Stephen expressed, and left Leonard's presence.
“Young master Leo, it's so good to have you back with us”, Charles commented, and gave him a hearty hug as soon as the tension had cleared slightly.
“Charles, how I have missed you”, Leonard whined tenderly as he hugged him back with a weepy smile.
Avner tucked away in a corner and watched Leonard and Charles exchange pleasantries with the kind of joy that he yearned for himself.
After all these years, he still had feelings for him. He was such a fool, he thought to himself as he watched them from afar.
Avner had felt he had gotten over Leonard, his first love, but he was mistaken. It was like Leonard had never left his side, and he despised himself for still harboring feelings for him. He kept on staring at them until his eyes and Leonard met. He hurriedly left where he was standing and raced into his room, banging the door behind him and locking it.
Not only that, but he pressed his back to the door and placed his hands on his chest as his heart was thumping so fast that it was scaring him. Not only that, but he tapped at his heart, urging it to stop beating so fast, or else they would get caught, and the entire world would know he still had feelings for Leonard.
He finally left his door and walked down to his bed, landing flat on it.
He began poking the bed continuously as he used the pillow beside him to cover his mouth, restraining his howling from being heard by others. Suddenly, he heard a knock on his door. He immediately stopped howling and raised his head, moving his eyes sideways, wondering who could be at the door.
“Who is that?” He asked swiftly and harshly.
“Boss, it's Leonard. I brought you some refreshments,” Leonard announced.
The nerve of him, Avner scoffed.
He couldn't believe Leonard's boldness. He stood up from his bed and walked down to the door, let out a deep breath, and opened the door. He immediately noticed the tray in Leonard's hands, which had his favorite snack and juice on it.
“I didn't call for a snack”, Avner said with a straight face.
“You didn't, but Charles told me you had not eaten yet, so I volunteered to bring you some refreshments”, Leonard answered.
“Leo, do you think bringing me some snacks would get us back to how we were? Because, I'm trying to figure out what the hell you are doing right now?”, Avner asked. He was in disbelief at the character Leonard was displaying in front of him.
It was like he had forgotten all that he had done to him in the past. This man was acting like whatever issue they had, had been a minor one which got Avner more irritated. At that moment, he picked up the jug of juice which was on the tray Leonard was carrying and poured it on him and then smashed the jug on the floor. He gave him a devilish grin and was about to shut the door when Leonard blocked it with his leg, stopping him from closing the door.
Leonard wiped the juice off his face with the napkin he had brought for Avner and fixated his gaze on Avner's face.
“Aver”, Leonard called out delicately, sending an icy chill down Avner's spine as it had been so long since anyone had addressed him by that name.
Only Leonard called him by that. It was a sort of endearment that Leonard had given to Avner, so it was somewhat special to both of them.
“I never said I was going to slide back into your life as nothing happened between us. I know I hurt you, and I will not say sorry or ask for your forgiveness. Rather, I'm going to show you why I deserve your forgiveness, so please be a little lenient with me,” Leonard pleaded with the utmost earnestness in his voice. You could see that he wanted Avner to give him a chance.
Leonard always knew the correct words to convey, which only got our dear Avner more pissed. Hearing those words had Avner burning with rage. He felt mocked and emotionally belittled by Leonard's words.
He gripped his hand, ready to throw Leonard another heavy blow, when Sophia walked up to them and stopped him from doing it.
“Darling, what did we agree on? You solve your problems with conversation and not violence”, Sophia iterated and kissed him on his cheeks, coming in between Leonard and Avner's little spat.
Observing how Sophia was being so affectionate with Avner made Leonard curious as to the nature of their relationship. He was jealous of her as he saw how good she was with Avner.
Just a word from her and he had become calm. The more he watched both of them the more enraged he got, his eyes were piercing both of them like a sharp dagger, and his eyebrows furrowed as he continued to watch them. He couldn't hide it anymore. He scoffed at the sight in front of him.
'Who the hell was she? Was she his competition?', he thought to himself.
“Umm, I'm sorry, Mr…?”, Sophia called as she waited for Leonard to introduce himself.
“Leonard Sullivan”, he said out loud.
On finding out his name, Sophia reacted weirdly, like she knew who he was, but she played it off secretly.
“I apologize for his rude behavior”, she said instead, and opened the door, dragging Avner in, without hearing Leonard's response to her apology.
“I apologize for his rude behavior”, Leonard rolled his eyes as he mimicked Sophia on his way downstairs.
Wondering who she was to Avner had Leonard on the edge, especially because she had been so beautiful and seemed to know quite a lot about Avner.
Leonard could not handle not knowing for a second longer. He rushed down to the kitchen to ask Charles who she was.
“Charles, who is she?” Leonard asked immediately as he arrived in the kitchen, putting the tray into the sink loudly.
“Oh, that is Miss Sophia, a bosom friend of the young master,” Butler Charles informed.
“Is she…” Charles cut him off from finishing his statement.
“No, she is not his girlfriend, she isn't the one you should be troubled about, this is who you should be bothered about”, Butler Charles pointed at the door and Leonard peeped through and saw a tall, slender gentleman walking past the door.
“Who is he?” Leonard asked, more interested.
“That is Harry Foley. He is the young master's friend or should I say more, of his boyfriend,” Charles revealed quietly.