The biting words were said in such a coldly furious manner that I felt a chill in the air, wrapping my arms around me to try and find some warmth once more.
When the doorbell had rung, I’d come down the stairs to answer it. Nana was currently enjoying some quiet time on the back patio reading a book.
I’d found a young, blonde, blue-eyed man waiting at the door with a dark green suitcase standing just to his left. He was quite handsome, to the point that I’d thought perhaps he had the wrong house for some reason.
There was no way a model would just show up at my doorstep.
But after a second, seeing the look of joy on his face, I remembered what Nana had said, just two days before.
Was this visitor my supposed fiance?
Considering the fact that I’d been away from Vale for two years and Nana didn’t have any friends with grandsons who looked like movie stars, this was the most logical guess I could come up with.
Why else would he have a suitcase, unless he was planning to stay for a bit?
But as the next three seconds passed by in silence, I saw a change come over him that made the unease in my heart spike rapidly.
His bright gaze lowered to my pregnant belly and a look of pure fury, unlike anything I’d ever seen from someone else before twisted his entire face into something that could only be described as monstrous.
It only lasted for a single blink of the eye, but I was very certain I’d seen it.
Then his face smoothed out to something a bit closer to human, but still furious. When he spoke to demand an answer from me, I’d known completely that this man before me was the one I’d been both waiting for and praying wouldn’t show up.
Clearing my throat, I shifted my weight a little, starting to back up into the house and close the door. But the moment I tried to move away, the man’s hand flashed forward and grabbed hold of the door, which swung out toward him. I glared at him, struggling to pull it back, but it seemed to have no effect. “Let go!” I finally demanded angrily.
His face twisted into a terrifyingly amused expression as he continued to stare at me. “I asked, dear heart, who is the corpse that knocked you up?”
Thrown off by the slightly less coarse, but still violent words he was using, I paused in my struggle.
Blinking up at him for two seconds, I let go of the door and immediately turned on my heel, making my way toward the back door. That way Nana and I would be able to make an escape to safety before I called the police.
Behind me, I heard the door slamming and heavy footsteps following after me. “Grace Angelia Caldwell, you will show yourself this instant!”
The man roared like a lion, making my ears ring at the sheer volume he could achieve when he really tried.
Crashing noises came from my destination, the back patio, and Nana quickly appeared at the door. Her eyes behind her glasses were wide and filled with fear as she stared between me, rushing toward her, and the man behind me.
He was following, so close I could feel his breath running down my spine without having to glance behind me. I stretched out my hands, three steps away from the back door when his arms came around and caged me roughly.
“Love,” he whispered very quietly in my ear. “...I must warn you. Right now I am in a very bad mood and I can’t guarantee your grandmother’s safety if you continue to act how you are. ...I can’t control my emotions at this moment, so I must ask that you remain quiet and docile. Once my emotions are back under control, we can have a proper conversation. But as of this moment, the only thing I want to do is get answers, by any means necessary. Do you understand, love? Any. Means.”
Stopping the struggles I’d put up the second he grabbed hold of me, I swallowed nervously. Staring at Nana through the glass, I remained still in fear.
“Now,” I could feel the very deep inhale he took as his expanding chest pushed my body forward. “Grace, please come inside. There are some very important things you forgot to put in your monthly report, it seems. Why is that, dear Grace?”
His voice in my ear was so cold, I felt my own body heat lower at the sound of it. Shivering, I watched silently as Nana stepped through the back door and stood in front of us.
Her gray eyes filled with tears as she raised her hands up in a pleading motion. “P, please, sir. I beg you, Nisha is all I have left. I’m so sorry! Truly sorry!” she begged, lowering herself to her knees clumsily.
“I was fearful of your reaction, like you are right now, and hoped that I could convince Nisha to have an abortion so you would not find out. Please, Your Grace, I only meant to spare you the pain this would cause.”
I stared at Nana in stunned, pained shock.
The man’s arms tightened for a few moments before his long exhale brushed along my left ear and rustled my hair. “Yes. I see…. I understand now, Grace. Please, get up off the floor. After all, you were only trying to spare my feelings. Nisha is a free-thinking, modern adult, so there was no guarantee that she would not seek out a relationship with someone else.”
I’m not your freaking property! I screamed in my mind. Unfortunately, I ended up muttering my thoughts aloud under my breath.
“Hmm? What was that, love? No, you aren’t my property. But I staked my claim a very long time ago and I’ve invested a large number of resources and money into that claim. Last I checked, the current total was sitting at—. Hmm, yes, it was $1,023,736 as of the first of this month, counting the money directly given to Grace. The extra expenses required for some other things increase that total to a little over a million and a half. So, do you plan to pay all of that off? I must warn you that I also include a ten percent interest rate, which would bring the total around a million and three-quarter dollars ”
Freezing in numb shock, his words rattled around in my head like bouncing balls, making me feel dizzy.
What did he just say?!
Nearly two million dollars?!
Does he have a bank hidden away inside his pants or something? How does anyone have that kind of money?!
I struggled to speak, sputtering nonsense while I tried to get my brain to work.
“Maybe at this point, one could say you are my property, but I’ve never been so presumptuous to assume so.” He continued to speak in a calm tone that made me no less fearful. It was like listening to a sociopath.
Am I going to die, like this? A bitter part of my mind questioned how much longer I actually had.
But his next words made any more coherent thoughts cease immediately.
“Your grandmother, on the other hand, is a different matter. After all, both she and your father willingly sold themselves to me six years ago.”
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