I had been more 6 months since Greyson had last visited. In that time, I had seen the man photographed with half a dozen more women at various events. While I was bound to this mansion, except for going to the office, but I had 4 bodyguards with me each time I left the house. It’s like he knew I was planning an escape and added double the bodyguards. I wish Grey could have experienced 3 years of solitude, and then tell me how it felt to be caged.
Today of all days Ileana was going to enjoy herself, after all it was her champagne birthday, which happened to coincide with her brother Adonis’.
I had been in the kitchen since 5 in the morning, baking a cake for Adonis, I was sure he would call and come visit me today. I knew he was in England, unlike last two years he was in different continents. She was sure he would visit his only sister and want to celebrate with his only living relative. She hoped.
The last 6 months she had spent on finding a way out but today she was going to just try to be happy, and baking a cake was the perfect start to this day., while Mrs. Burton was trying to get me to stop, since entering the kitchen at 8 this morning.
“Mrs. Novak, you don’t understand Jane will be here soon, you do not need to cook ma’am. Mr. Novak will be furious to learn you were in the kitchen doing work!” She rambled on.
“Mrs. Burton, I know how to cook, and I don’t need my husband’s permission to come into my own kitchen and bake a cake, now do I?” I asked her.
“But Ma’am I don’t want to upset Mr. Novak.”
That got to my nerves, I was the only person who lived in this house all year around and yet they were more concerned about the man who rarely visited. Yes, he paid them and owned the house, but I had to stay there, so why weren’t they more worried about making sure everything was to my liking instead.
“Well Mrs. Burton, what Greyson doesn’t know, won’t get you into to trouble, will it?”
I knew she was supposed to tell him everything I did, especially since his last visit ended in a fight. I was curious to see the results of disobeying. For the last 3 years I followed all his rules but enough was enough. Today I going to be Ileana, the strong, happy and hopefully free.
“Oh no! Mrs. Burton am I late?” Jane exclaimed, worry in her voice.
“Jane, its perfectly fine. I was just preparing for tonight. The cake is finished. Make sure it’s stored away for tonight and I’ll make the finishing touches later.”
“Yes Ma’am.” They said simultaneously.
I shook my head, as I removed my apron, heading out of the kitchen to quickly get ready for work. I emerged a half hour later ready to leave for the office. As I walked from my bedroom down the stairs, I saw Mrs. Burton texting on her phone, no doubt updating Greyson.
When I reached the bottom step, I turned to look in the mirror by the door. I had chosen one of my own designs today, a nude color full sleeve dress that was figure hugging, it went just a little over my knee to about a mid-calf length and I wore with matching heels. I chose a navy-blue bag and gold jewelry. My hair was curled and left open. I was wearing little makeup, some powder, blush, mascara and a bold red lip.
I choose a suede trench coat and was ready to leave when I thought I saw a flash from the corner of my eye. I turned to see Mrs. Burton typing away on her phone but didn’t understand why she would need a picture of me. I couldn’t think of a reason why Grey would want a picture of me. But maybe I was mistaken.
I opened the door to leave and saw all four of my bodyguards standing there waiting for me. I should have known they would be out here, they seemed to know my movements before I did.
“Let’s go guys.” I said stepping out and toward the waiting SUV.
It took 55 minutes to reach the office, living far out of the city was quite inconvenient, especially since I had my own apartment in the city across from the office but was forbidden to use it. Adonis had even had the locks changed. My unnecessary security team followed me into the building, two staying at the main level and the other two following me upstairs. Mark and Kennedy had been my bodyguards since I was 17, I had always been able to talk with them and had a bond. The other two were a requirement from Greyson, though the only places I went to were work and back.
I worked for a few hours but then decided I needed some inspiration and was tired of feeling caged. I had been planning an escape without my bodyguards for a while. I had my assistant, Gina distracted them as I snuck out through the back of the building.
I walked into Valentino’s and that was how I spent the next six hours, with a coffee break in between. I spent a chuck of money at all these store buying things I didn’t need but getting a chance to look at the competition and have a little fun. It would have been better if I had any of my friends here; I was missing my best friend.
Just as I walked out of the last store my phone started ringing, once I got it out of my bag, I saw that it was my brother Adonis calling.
“Where the hell are you Ileana?”
“Hi big brother, I’m good, how are you?” I asked. I knew it would annoy him further.
“Ileana! I got a call from Greyson, who told me you somehow ditched your bodyguards and you lied and said you were in your office when you weren’t. What is going on and where the hell are you?” he yelled through the phone.
“I’m fine Adonis, and if you want to know where I am you have to come and get me yourself. It’s about time I see you, it’s only been about three months, but it’ll have to do this time.”
“Fine text me the address and I’ll come get you.”
I texted him the street I was on and he managed to get there 10 minutes. He rolled down the window and said, “Get in.”
I threw my shopping bags in the back of the car and got in.
Adonis said nothing to me the entire ride back to the penthouse and I knew he was steaming mad. I tended to bring it out in him. I looked at him while he drove. He was in his early thirties, my brother. There was a time when he looked too young for his age and now it’s the opposite and I can’t help but feel like I caused it.
When we got to the building where the penthouse was, Adonis parked the car and we took the private elevator to the top floor.
“Adonis…” I started off.
“Please Ileana, we’ll talk when we get inside.”
When we stepped out of the elevator, I saw my four bodyguards standing at the door. I smiled sheepishly at them. This was the second time I had fooled Reese and Delia.
Adonis went and sat on the sofa as soon as we walked in and went and sat beside him. He put his hands on his face, trying to take the tiredness out.
“No Ileana, I don’t have to understand. You need to understand. You’re not a child anymore. Your 26 and married, that comes with responsibilities. Kid you know why you have that security, and you know you can’t be out by yourself. Grey promised me that you would be safe here in New York and I believed him. I helped moved your head office to New York so you could continue to work from here; we kept your bodyguards so you wouldn’t feel completely alone. I’m here too, I might travel a lot but I’m here. You have everything you need. I don’t understand your behavior till this day. Ditching your bodyguards and going shopping, which was something you would do with your friends back in London. But I feel like you don’t realize, London, Paris, Barcelona and Greece are all behind you. I thought once you were married things would change. I was starting to believe it too, you lasted 3 years without showing up in any papers. Why can’t you just do as your told Ileana, it would make it so much easier for everyone else around you, or at least take into consideration other feelings.”
“Thanks for the lecture Adonis but how about you listen to what I have to say. That’s just it; I’m 26 and I’m married to a man I do not love, and I may even hate. I wanted romance a beautiful fairytale or maybe a broken heart and as much as I sound like a naive child, I’m not. You have taken care of me since I was 8 years old, and I know it wasn’t easy losing mom and dad, having to take over the business and raise me all on the day you turned 18. But do you think this has all been easy for me? I spent most of my childhood away from my only family in boarding schools. I graduated early from university and started a business all to lose it if I didn’t marry Greyson Novak. Something our parents had decided before I was even born! Now that I’m married it’s not even real. I stay here in this huge penthouse by myself, alone in a city where I don’t know anyone and all I do is work! Greyson brought me here on our wedding day and then he disappeared only to show up two weeks ago for 10 minutes. This isn’t a marriage Adonis. How about you trade places and think about how hard this is for me! I barely saw you growing up and the only way I know to get you to come see me is do something like this. Every time I call you don’t pick up and when you do you don’t talk to me for more than a minute, but I’ve grown to accept all that. You’re my brother the only family I have, and you pushed me off to the next man in my life. I so tired of this and I think I’ve had enough. “
I was crying so hard by the end of my outburst. I couldn’t handle him being the way he was, so I walked to the door I turned the knob and said, “Happy birthday to us.”
I was at a bar. Drinking a lot.
Delia and Reese were somewhere nearby, and I had forced the other two to stay way I didn’t want anyone near me now.
Today I had turned 27 and Adonis had turned 34. We were both born on the same day but seven years apart.
But I was sitting here in a bar drinking.
“Four more tequila shots!” I yelled to the bartender who was eyeing me like I was candy.
“Stop staring at me and start pouring!”
I drank all the shots in one go and asked for another four.
“Ileana, I think you need to stop drinking.” Reese said.
I looked to my right and saw what I think was concern for me in his face, but nothing mattered at that moment.
“You are just here to protect me so shut it and do your job. I’ll drink as much as I want to.”
I don’t know how long I sat there and just drank. I was trying to drink the pain away, but it just got worse.
I looked up to see a handsome man looking back down on me. He has these light grey eyes and pitch-black hair, and you could he was in really good shape, or at least I thought.
“Hi, your hot.”
“Thanks… What are you doing here?” He asked over the noise.
“I’m in a bar what do you think I’m doing. I’m drinking …a lot.”
“I can see that are you planning on drinking all the tequila in the here tonight?”
“Maybe…it depends on my mood.”
“What are you in the mood for right now?”
“I want to dance… with you.” I screamed. I grabbed his hand and pulled him to the dance floor and spent the next half hour dancing with him.
“I think it’s time we take you home.” He whispered in my ear and I just shook my head.
“I’m not going back to jail.”
“Honey I don’t think you have much of a choice.”
“It’s my birthday and I can do whatever I want on my birthday.”
“I’m sorry to tell you that your birthday ended about two hours ago, now it’s someone else’s birthday.”
“I’m not done drinking-Uh!”
I was about to fall over when he grabbed me and pulled me to his rock-hard chest. I put my head against it and just stood there and after a minute he pulled back and grabbed my hand taking me out of the club.
“You’re taking me home and I don’t even know your name? Oh, wait where are my bodyguards? If they’re not with me my brother will through another hissy fit like a five-year-old child.”
“You can call me whatever you want, and I’ll send your bodyguards away.”
“Oh! Really? That’s great! I didn’t want them with me anyway…. I’m going to name you Grey.”
“Why name me Grey?”
“You resemble the arrogant, obnoxious husband of mine.”