39 | clash

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AN:
Hi guys, thank you so much for your support for my family. And thank you for staying on this journey with Aiden and Nevaeh. I love you ❤

***

A I D E N


I sit back at my desk after long hours of meetings. Today has been quite hectic in the office. There are many agreements to be reviewed, and I have to make sure that all of them will be executed timely.

My watch indicates that it almost reaches evening. I remember that it was around this time that I picked Nevaeh up from college yesterday.

I wonder how her day has been. Does she enjoy it? Does she have a long day? Is it tiring like mine?

I should ask her myself, but what happened yesterday makes me want to deny everything.

I don't message Nevaeh, but I shoot Sam a text to ask where he is. He doesn't respond, and I put my phone back on my desk.

I close my eyes and throw my head back against the chair. What the hell is wrong with me?

Why does it matter whether she's back home or not?

She's not a child, and I'm not even her guardian.

It's not like she's the one I want to see when I come back home. Neither is she the reason why I want to leave work early every day.

Right?

I'm fully aware that my mind is a fucking mess right now.

Sam has never ignored my message, so it bothers me while I'm trying to get back to work. Just when I'm about to reply to an e-mail, my phone buzzes.

Sam: I'm in a coffee shop. Nevaeh is doing her homework here.

He's typing a message but then stops. It goes on like that for about two minutes, which makes my frown go deeper the more seconds pass.

Sam: I'm sorry, boss. She's with the guy you met yesterday.

My jaw tightens.

Had I not met Kai yesterday, I wouldn't have been this triggered. But I've met him, and it's crystal clear that he likes her. Don't fucking ask me how I know that -- it's like spotting an elephant in the middle of a deserted field.

After Sam sends me the texts, the next ones pop up like spam.

Sam: Everything's under control

Sam: I've got this

Sam: No need to worry

Sam: I've handled it

Sam: They're not going to his apartment

Sam: They're on my radar

Sam: I won't even blink

Sam: I might be typing but Ive got my eyes onhem

Sam: *on them

Sam: Sorry, typos

What the fuck is Sam talking about?

Whatever he's doing to me, it has the opposite effect. I'm becoming even more restless.

Apartment?

I slam my car door shut as soon as I arrive

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I slam my car door shut as soon as I arrive. My gaze darts on the coffee shop window. I can see Nevaeh and Kai sitting at a table, laughing and talking.

My chest tightens, but I'm trying my best to keep my emotions at bay. I have no right to stop whatever Nevaeh is doing.

Even though my heart is racing because of the fear eating me inside, there's nothing I can do about it.

My eyes narrow toward the person I long to see although we just met this morning. I feel like I can gaze at her smiling face forever, but the guy sitting across her makes this whole situation unbearable.

The voice in my head tells me to deny everything and walk away for good, but the moment Kai wipes a cream from her lips, I lose all my senses. I clench my fist and storm inside.

Sam immediately spots me and shoots to his feet. His eyes are wide.

I walk toward Nevaeh, startling her. Her jaw drops, while Kai looks at me like I'm the last person he wants to see.

"Aiden?" Nevaeh says my name in disbelief.

My eyes scan the book, laptop, and papers scattered on their table. How long have they been studying?

Kai scoffs. He eyes me and licks his thumb, which still has the cream he wiped from Nevaeh's lips.

My blood boils. I feel like toppling their table, making it crash to the ground. It takes all the power in me to not grip Kai's collar and knock his head against the glass window.

"Are you done?" My voice is low, shaking.

Nevaeh is still swallowing my question. Kai throws me a cold stare.

"Um... What do you mean?" Nevaeh asks. "We're still halfway through finishing our assignment."

She glances at Kai, as though she's looking for his confirmation. Her brows furrow as she looks up at me again.

"Why are you here?" the question leaves her lips.

Fuck. Now is the right time to say something smart and not fucking ruin it.

"I was on the way from my office and saw the car parked outside," I say.

I'm not lying. There's no lie in that sentence.

"I'll drive you home," I add.

Confusion crosses Nevaeh's expression. "But Sam--"

"He has to leave for an urgent family matter." This time, I lie.

Sam can hear my words from where he's sitting. We give each other a knowing look. He quickly finishes his milkshake and walks toward me.

"Thanks, boss." He walks past me, playing along.

Good job, Sam. I may give you a raise after this.

Nevaeh's mouth drops open. I feel like dragging her out of this place, because the longer we stay here, the more I feel like exploding.

"How long will it take to finish the assignment?" I ask her. "I'll help you with it."

Nevaeh stares at me like I just gave her the most difficult question to answer. She's at a loss for words, and that's when Kai chimes in.

"Dude, there's no need," Kai says. "She and I are working on it."

I don't think that I can stand being in the same room with him any second longer. I won't be able to resist the urge to punch his face. It's a miracle that I haven't done so.

"Let's go home?" I ask Nevaeh.

I've never expected that my voice would sound this vulnerable. I would do anything for her to say yes, anything to make her leave this guy now.

***

AN:
Double update for Chapter 39-40

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