Chapter 25: Breaking Point
I watched with bated breath as Alex entered the foyer. I carefully peeked from the second floor, afraid that he wuld see me. He musn't see me. This was my only chance.
I estimated that he would be in front of his office in a bout a minute or so. I quickly crept towards the nearest pillar, shielded by one of the expensive, huge vases that seemed to be scattered so uselessly around the house.
Lily had announced during lunch that she would visit her "dear friend" Isadora to gain brownie points from her adoring fans. I feared for what Lily would do with Isadora. My reaction could be deemed paranoid but I had strong reasons to believe that she was in fact in cahoots with Alex's mother. Samantha Morgan had done enough damage to Isadora and Daniel. So I gave Gabriel a meaningful glare, which he understood perfectly. And so now, Lily and Gabriel are together in the hospital to visit Isadora.
This is the rarest chance to get Alex all alone. I left Andrew to Kara, and made her swear that if anyone asks, she'd say that we're out shopping and shouldn't be disturbed.
I quickly leaped out of my hiding place as soon as I heard the door to Alex's office creak. I pushed him inside with all my might. For a split second, I saw his shock. He grabbed my wrist and I knew he was going to perform some elaborate self-defense technique on me. I had expected it.
I squealed and pushed him harder. I had to lock the door behind us. Lock us in.
I waited for the pain with scrunched eyes, ducked head and raised shoulders.
What the fuck, Drea?!"
I gasped, not realizing that I hadn't been breathing.
"I almost snapped your neck into two!" he yelled angrily. My hands quickly groped my neck just to check. Still alive. I winced and sighed.
"W-We have to talk," I panted.
His eyes quickly shifted away from me. The anger quickly went away and was replaced by fear.
"About what?" he hoarsely asked.
His lips thinned. "I'm busy, Drea. We have nothing important-"
"Isadora tried to commit suicide, Alex," I cried.
He stopped walking towards his desk.
"And I just learned that she aborted her child... D-Daniel's child because-"
I gasped when he suddenly dove towards me. I cried out from the pain. He held up my wrist and squeezing it too tight. "Ssh," he said. I didn't know if he was trying to comfort me or force me to shut it. I looked into his eyes and saw that he looked so scared.
I would never forget that look in his face.
"Just a sec," he whispered. He quickly marched towards his desk and popped open a hidden drawer. For a second, I thought he was getting a gun out. I shivered. Now this is how I think of him.
He took out a rectangular thing. A recorder. He pushed a button and suddenly, the thing had a red light on it.
His brows furrowed. "Something to keep out eavesdroppers."
I gaped. I had suspected for such a long time that the whole house was bugged. Seeing solid proof of my suspicions made me shaky.
He sighed and looked at me with such tenderness. Like a cue, my feet started to move towards him. He did the same, and we met in an embrace.
For a few seconds, I let myself seek respite in his arms. I breathed deeply just to make mind never forget his scent.
"I'm scared," I told him.
He hugged me tighter.
"You have nothing to be scared of, Drea."
"Nothing to be scared of?" I shakily whispered. "I just found out that your mother pressured Isadora to abort Daniel's baby so she could guarantee that you'd be head of the family!"
We released each other. Alex gaped at the floor. His eyes slowly welled up with tears. My heart was breaking but I stood my ground.
"Alex," I gently urged him.
"So he told you already."
"Gabriel told me almost everything he knew," I agreed. "But there are still too many holes."
"I don't want you to have anything more to do with this, Drea. It's dangerous. I want you to have an easy way out. I never meant for you to be so involved with us."
"But what about Andrew?!" I cried. "Maybe you could find a way to dispose me. You can send me away. God knows I'd be grateful for that. I don't need this shit. But what about Andrew, Alex? He's just a baby and-'
"He's my son. He will be fine."
"He won't be!" I couldn't help screeching. Tears started to fall down my cheeks. "G-Gabriel told me. Andrew is not your son," I sobbed. "Why Alex? He's just an innocent baby! Why drag him into this cursed family?"
"Andrew is my son, Drea."
"Please, Alex. No more lies," I begged him.
"You think I'm lying? You take that bastard's word over mine?" I flinched at the sudden raise of his voice.
"Who is the mother then?"
"Just some prostitute!" he yelled defensively.
I laughed bitterly.
"You don't believe me."
I continued my laugh. "I heard you talking to Andrew, Alex. About his mother. You know her. You know her. She's not just some prostitute," I spat at him. How dare he lie to me a time like this.
He quickly clamped his mouth shut. His cheeks reddened and I knew he had lied.
"You know Andrew's real parents," I said. "You're not the father, Alex. You never cared about Andrew. You used him to get to me. You used him to get that goddamn position in your fucked up family!"
Alex sighed, defeated. He gritted his teeth as tears flowed freely down his cheeks. "He's my son," he croaked.
"That's all you need to know, Drea. You could've walked away from me already. Filed this away as some nasty memory. We would never see each other again. But you had to take up Gabriel's offer. And now you're part of this. I never meant to... to drag you... "
He sobbed openly in front of me.
My mind was spinning.
"I thought Isadora and Daniel were Andrew's parents," I told him. "I was so excited to tell her. I figured, maybe, they broke up because of Andrew. Maybe when Andrew was born, they weren't ready or something. I thought you had volunteered to take the hit and own up to the baby. I didn't... I didn't know why..." I wiped the tears off my face.
"You never told me about that awful Morgan tradition. Only Gabriel did. Gabriel explained things to me. Things that you should've given me a heads up with." I glared at him. ' I never knew that you three are half-brothers. That history with your mothers..."
"I was ashamed, okay? Wouldn't you be?" He cried through gritted teeth.
"My dad's a fucker with no humanity left in his soul. My mother's obsessed for his love, which he'll never give after all the things she has done. Everything's dealt with using money, money and more money. And I'm supposed to play the game or else... Or else I'll lose everything. I'm born to be fucked up, Drea. You're right. We're all cursed. I was selfish when I thought I could escape with you. I realized too late... It was too late. You're going to be in too deep then even I wouldn't be able to save you."
He bit back another sob as he grabbed the back of my neck and head and pulled me to his chest again. His heart pounded crazily, and I knew he wasn't faking it.
"Can't you fucking see that this is Gabriel's revenge on me?!"
"I can't. Because you won't tell me. Nobody's telling me. Why does he hate you so much? What the fuck did you do?" I hugged him back tight. He was hiccuping from crying so hard.
"Isn't it enough that I tell you that Gabriel hates me, that he's out to get me? I'm the legitimate son, Drea. And he wants my place. If Gabriel gets my place, then he'll be head of the family. Me and my mom... We're history."
"He's trying to turn you against me because he knows that you're my only weakness."
Alex tilted my chin upwards so we'd see each other eye to eye. My breath hitched a bit before his warm lips covered mine. The pounding in my chest was all I could hear. The warmth spread towards my fingertips. My palms pressed on his chest in a futile attempt to stop him. His gentle hands grabbed my wrist and directed them to hug him around his waist. My mind stopped thinking, conscious only with the licks and nips he did on my lips.
I gasped when he nudge my face upwards, and started trailing his lips on my neck. The electricity it produced was exquisite. I was blushing so hard. At the back of my mind, a part of me was yelling for me to stop it.
Well, it's a fake engagement so...
I felt his hand softly exploring the curve of my waist.
Do I want this?
No, seriously. Do I want this?
"A-Alex," I tried to say but it only came out as a whimper. Nearly a moan. Oh Lord.
"I love you so much, Drea," he whispered in my ear before nibbling at my earlobe. I gasped. Without warning, he grabbed my thigh and hoisted me up on the his desk. The odd position had my legs spread wide open and wrapped around his waist.
I wasn't ready.
This is wro-
"Ah!" I squealed when one of his hands strayed over to my chest. He paused. I saw that he was also shocked by his audacity.
Those eyes. I could stare at them for hours.
"Jesus! Your first time together? On a desk?"
I was this close to a heart attack upon hearing Gabriel's voice.
"Goodness, brother. I thought you'd have more respect to give to the only woman you've ever loved."
I didn't miss the hurt and sadness in Alex's eyes as he looked at Gabriel. Then his eyes burned into an angry glare.
I quickly righted myself and gently pushed Alex away. I felt a stab in my heart when Alex looked at me sadly before moving away to give me space to hop off the desk.
"Treating her like some ten dollar whore... I don't know if it's good news that you take more of our father, the wife thief, than your mother, the abortionist."
"Gabriel," I called out, willing him to stop at the same time pulling Alex's arm to stop his imminent attack on Gabriel. Alex looked murderous.
"You already got the first baby in our generation, Alex. Chill. No need to fuck my fiancee, ayt?"
"She could've been my fiancee, you fucking prick," Alex seethed.
"Oho! I don't think so!" Gabriel sneered. "You don't have the balls, Alex. You love that nasty Morgan family name too much. You'd die if you lost your mommy. You won't be able to survive without your 60 billion dollars," he cooed tauntingly.
"Gabriel, that's enough. We don't need this conversation!"
"You don't love her, Gabriel. Why do this? Why use her? Don't tell me you've been inspired by our father's example?"
Gabriel only smirked in reply. "I'm not stealing anybody's girl, brother. She's not yours. Typical son of the father. You want everything. You want Lily because that deal with her family will save you and your mother in father's eyes. Without Lily Atherton's money, there would be no investment for that pretty expensive mining expedition you have. No investment means no profit, just a mountain of expenses. And that would be the end of the two of you. You want Drea because, well, as you told me a gazillion times before, she's the only woman you'll ever love."
I gasped when Lily stepped away from behind Gabriel.
Her face looked betrayed. Broken.
I have become my worst nightmare. I stole someone's fiance.
How much did she see? Hear?
God. The shame of it all.
I looked up at Alex and saw his horrified facial expression.
"I-Is it true?" Lily croaked out.
"Lily," Alex pleaded as he started with one step. Lily backed away.
"You... You only wanted my family's money."
"If he doesn't get married to you, he'd lose everything," Gabriel told Lily. His eyes gleamed as he fanned the flames of Lily's anger. "All those mistakes from the past, all those costly, fruitless investments, you and your mother had hoped to bury them by sealing that deal with the Athertons."
Lily's chest was heaving, her lips pressed into a thin line, her nostrils flared.
"Well, if that's the case, then I see no problem here," Lily coolly replied. "I want to ask you just this once, Alexander. Do you still want to get married to me?"
Her voice was sure. Powerful.
My knees were so close to buckling.
"Well this is interesting," Gabriel commented while rolling his eyes. "You still want to marry this cheating scum?" He sounded comically exasperated.
Lily smirked. Instead of it looking cruel and evil, it just seemed kind of sad. Bitter. "It doesn't matter as long as he's mine. So what is it going to be, Lexi? Your father will surely leave you and your mother to the sharks if you fail to get my family to sign the deal. You'll be left with nothing. Your mother will probably go bat shit crazy. I know how much she adores your father. It seems I'm your only practical chance."
Alex stared at them, looking helpless. I already knew the answer to the question.
"Go," I whispered to Alex.
Alex flickered a glance at me. The only thing I could do is smile, and make things easier for him.
It felt like hours. I died a million times on that spot. Then, he spoke.
"Let's go, Lily."
Alex quickly stalked off way past Lily and Gabriel.
Lily smirked victoriously. 'If I ever see you near him again, I'll make sure baby Andrew regrets it."
I gaped at her, horrified at what she just said. Lily stared daggers at Gabriel and said, "You better keep your bitch on a tight leash, Gabriel. Or else-"
"Or else what?" Gabriel sharply growled with a cruel sneer of his own. "You're not in the right place to threaten me, Miss Atherton."
Lily scoffed. "Oh, but I will be once Alexander and I get married." And with that, she spun on her heel and went out to follow Alex.
I crumpled on the floor and covered my face with my hands once Gabriel closed the door.
"Andrea," Gabriel sternly called out to me. "Andrea, stop it."
I continued sobbing quietly into my hands. The pain was unimaginable.
I stiffened when I felt his arms surround me and hold me close. "It's not your fault," he gently told me. "Stop crying for him."
I shook my head and continued crying. I needed to cry. Let it all out. The pressure in my chest was just too much. I'd die if I didn't cry it all out. Like riding a roller coaster and being advised to scream or else you lose the ability to breathe.
"Alex chose his path." I looked up at Gabriel, pleading with him. I didn't know what I was begging for. Maybe that he help me get Alex back? That we save both Alex and Andrew? I was so tired suddenly. The fatigue kept me from going hysterical.
Gabriel sighed. He looked disappointed somehow. "He failed . Again," he mumbled.
"He doesn't deserve your tears, Andrea," he said, offering me a white handkerchief.
Kara kept staring at me with a blank facial expression. It wasn't her style to fuss over me with pity. One of the many, many things I loved very much about my best friend. It's just kinda funny that I think that she thinks I'm gonna stab myself any second now.
"Do I really have to hold him every time we're together?" Gabriel whined for the nth time.
"That's the deal, Gabriel," I said with a weak smile.
He made a face. "Tsk. I found you in the act of almost making babies with my brother. You broke the deal first," he pouted. He shivered dramatically, and looked disgusted.
I winced at the memory of what Alex and I did in his office. I could still feel his phantom hands roaming my body.
"You are such a kid, Gabriel," Kara rolled her eyes.
"Yeah? Well, I'm glad the kid was with you that time. That was some R-18 stuff I saw." Andrew laughed at Gabriel's disgusted face and reached out to touch him. Gabriel winced and avoided his hands.
"Ugh. He just put those hands in his mouth a second ago. Kara! Where's his towel?"
"I don't know," Kara said, pretending to be clueless. I stifled a chuckle and stared at the pumpkin soup in front of me.
"How's Isadora by the way?" I asked.
Gabriel shifted Andrew on his lap and cocked his head. "Fine, I guess. Alive. Still in a coma."
I saw Kara nudge Gabriel and frown. I pretended not to notice.
"Well, what am I supposed to say?"
"Isadora's parents visited her. They seemed utterly heartbroken," Kara supplied. Gabriel only snorted.
"I'm here," a voice behind me declared.
Daniel looked absolutely stunning even if he looked as if he rammed into a tornado head on. His shirts looked rumpled and I think unwashed. He had a nasty case of the stubbles that only served to accentuate his bad boy aura. He looked haggard and older, but still kinda like George Clooney during his heyday.
He took a seat beside me and a waiter immediately served him some water and a menu. Without looking at it, he asked for a soda and the biggest burger they could serve.
For a second nobody said a word. Everyone's mind thought of a non-awkward conversation starter but couldn't find the right thing to say.
Finally, Andrew squealed and reached out for Daniel's hair. He started excitedly talking to the distraught man using his baby language with matching hand gestures.
I felt like tearing up once again when Daniel smiled and picked up Andrew.
"I thought Andrew was your son," I suddenly blurted out.
Kara's eyes widened. Gabriel bit his lower lip and stared worriedly at Daniel.
"I... I mean... Andrew had always loved the color red. And... he was closest to you. So..."
"I wished many times that Andrew is my son," he confided before kissing Andrew's forehead. "I guess our baby would have looked like him. Maybe." He was silent for a few seconds before he sighed.
"But I've already accepted that I lost my child. And it was all my fault. I was too weak. Too naive. Too immature."
Kara coughed to hide a sniffle.
"I just... I just wish I won't lose the love of my life now," he said with a broken smile.
The love of my life..
You want Drea because, well, as you told me a gazillion times before, she's the only woman you'll ever love...
I blinked back tears and fought to get back to reality.
"I abandoned her again and again. I was stupid then. But I'm stronger, wiser now. As soon as she wakes up, I swear I'll drag her to the nearest church and marry her," he said with a smile and tears running down his face.
Andrew continued his gibberish and he seemed to sound increasingly agitated. Daniel hugged Andrew close and rocked him softly.
"We're going to have awesome babies. And I'll make sure this time, no one can hurt us anymore."
I bit my lips to stop them from quivering. I was wearing sunglasses to hide my swollen eyes. I really thought I had already exhausted my tear ducts an hour ago.
I guess I was wrong.
A/N: Ugh. I'm hating on Alex right now. He's so weak. Demmit. ;(