“To feel you breathing, to lay my head upon your chest is one of the greatest honours of my life.”
“Say it again.” Said Adeline with conviction.
At first, she thought that Ace did not hear her. His back was turned to her, but she could tell his head was tutored back so that he was looking up at the night sky. But a few moments later, when he turned back around, Adeline could tell he had definitely heard her.
Maybe it was because of the way she had sounded, or maybe it was just because Ace was sick of talking. He probably spoke as much as he did these past few minutes in an entire year or something.
“Forget it, Adeline Martinez,” he muttered, squeezing his eyes shut, pinching the bridge of his nose. “Just forget it. You will read everything in the documents anyway. You don’t need to hear this poor little sob story.”
“Is that what you think? A sob story?”
Adeline did not know how it happened, but suddenly she was on her feet, squaring off in front of him, very pissed off again.
“Sob story? Yes, I pretty much said that.” Ace answered, his arms crossed tightly over his chest.
“One unknown cousin who I never in the worst of my worst dreams thought had ever existed suddenly appeared five years ago with an insane deal, whose insane grandfather led to everything pretty much thinks that this, THIS, tragedy happens with all of us is a little sob story? Are you that out of your mind?!”
Adeline could have slapped herself, where the hell was this coming from? She had no idea what she was talking about.
“You are not making any sense, Adeline Martinez.” Ace said, his lips pressed together in a tight line. “So, stop talking about insane things and lower your voice, we are in the middle of somewhere.”
God, he was right.
“Look, either way, you slice it, it still would not do you any harm to open up more like this,” Adeline said, clearing her throat, dropping her gaze to her feet as if an entire universe was lying down there.
“To you, maybe? Is that what you are getting at?”
“Why not?” Said Adeline, jerking her head up to look at him. “We are family, aren’t we?”
“We were actually, but seeing you working for my mother who hasn’t spoken a word till now to you means we are still a family.” Ace sighed heavily, sounding a bit dramatic.
Her lips twitched as she tried to fight back a smile. The serious air that had fallen on us had let up a little, but the mood was not entirely gone yet. She had a feeling that this was not the last time they were going to be talking about this. But the next time what was going to happen? Adeline had no idea.
Why had he suddenly changed the subject?
He might have been trying to downplay her, but it was not working very well. Was what happened to his family really that bad?
“Are you okay, Ace?” She blurted out before she could stop herself.
She lifted her head to look at him and saw that he was watching her with a curious look on his face, his lips tilted down in a frown just the slightest bit.
“You know, you look a lot like Rose Martinez, your mother.” Said Ace, which was totally uncalled for.
Well, Adeline had seen the pictures of her mother and she knew that she was the exact carbon copy of her mother, exact same honey brown eyes with brown hair and heart-shaped face.
You know what people say about beauty- That, there is a connection between "beauty" and "love," but not in the way advertisers would have us believe. They tout a form of beauty that is merely aesthetic, something that could inspire lust - a thin replica of love based more on desire and conquest. What they claim to bestow they cannot, for real beauty comes from within; and it is only that form of beauty that can make lasting love connections. True love is a unity of souls, not facial features and products that will be wiped clean away come the evening time. If we truly wish to be happy, to be healthy and grounded, content with who we are, we need to find real beauty in both ourselves and those who share our lives. Finding it begins with a quiet understanding of one other, not demanding perfection but seeking the beauty every person holds within.
Shaking her head, she asked again, “Don’t change the subject, tell me- are you okay?”
Ace took a few moments to register the question in his mind before answering, “I’m fine,” he answered in a stony voice. “What else would I be?”
“No, I mean, really,” she said quickly. “Are you okay?”
“Does it matter, Adeline Martinez?” He asked her scathingly.
“Yes, it does.”
Ace stared down at her in surprise, his eyes wide, and she, like an i***t, blushed bright crimson.
“Fine,” he said after a moment. “I’m fine.”
He tried to sound more convincing the second time around, but he did not really succeed. Of course, Adeline wanted to interrogate him further, but she knew that probably was not going to go over so well with him.
She was struck then with an idea then that was probably considered pretty stupid. She did not know where the idea came from, but she decided to go with it.
“Come with me,” she said, reaching to grab his hand.
Before he could object, Adeline started dragging him back down the sidewalk, a destination fixed firmly in her mind.
“Where are we going?” Ace demanded, sounding annoyed.
Trying to keep her heart from pounding against her chest, like she was going to commit a very very big mistake, and ignored his question. He would occasionally keep asking in an annoyed voice where they were going, but she kept ignoring him. If she had told him where they were going, he definitely would have objected.
It was the place of loving words, where the earth welcomed back her own, Adeline found tranquillity, a sense of connection to those she had passed on. It was a place to feel that expansive universal love cementing in her bones. So, to him, this was a place for soulful reflection, to hear the emotions with the clarity that comes with such quiet. We were sailors on a stormy sea, each blaming the other for the wind.
“Oh, no,” Ace all but shouted, yanking his hand back from Adeline. “I am not going in there with you Adeline Martinez.”
Well, where did Adeline bring Ace?
When will she finally know the truth?
Where is the beast hiding from them right now? What is he up to?