This Man Confessed (Page 146)

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‘I thought it was Clive,’ she wheezes, clearly exhausted from her battle.

‘Cathy, I’ll deal with it,’ He places her to the side and gives her arm a reassuring rub as she straightens her apron and hair.

‘Who the hell does she think she is?’ she spits nastily. I’ve never seen Cathy cross before.

‘Cathy,’ Jesse placates her gently, ‘Please, go and sort out some breakfast for Ava.’ He’s whispering as he effortlessly holds the door shut, like he doesn’t want me to hear him, but the persistent banging from the other side is letting him down.

I look on as Cathy marches off, hissing and spitting to herself, and then my eyes fall on Jesse as I land at the bottom of the stairs. He’s spotted me, and the wary look all over his face instantly has me on edge. ‘What’s going on?’ I ask.

‘Nothing, baby’ He tries to smile but fails miserably. He’s all jittery. It doesn’t sit well. ‘Cathy’s making your breakfast. Go.’

‘I’m not hungry.’ I reply flatly, staring him down.

‘Ava, you didn’t eat last night. Go and have some breakfast.’ His tone is altering to impatient by the second and all the while, the banging continues.

I can’t believe he is being all concerned and honestly thinks that his demand for me to eat is going to pull me away from the mystery behind the door. ‘I said I’m not hungry.’ I stand firm, my eyes burning red rings of furious fire into his greens. I feel really mad.

The door jolts, and Jesse lets out a frustrated growl, his jaw ticking wildly as his looks up to the heavens for strength. I would like to think that it’s the tenacious idiot hammering on the penthouse door who’s causing his mounting anger, but I know it’s me. ‘Ava, why the f**k can’t you do what you’re told?’ His head drops, and I know instantly he means business. ‘Go. And. Get. Your. Breakfast.’ He speaks each word slowly and concisely, but I mean business, too.

‘No,’ I steam forward, not in the least bit bothered by my half naked body, and grasp the door handle. ‘Let go.’ I pull, for what use it is, which is none at all. ‘Jesse, open the f**king door!’

‘Watch your…’

‘F**k off!’ I snap, yanking at the door like a deranged, hormone pumped pregnant woman.

‘Ava!’ He holds it in place as I fight pointlessly to pull it open. I’ll never win, but I’m not backing down. No way.

But then we both freeze in place when a voice interrupts our spitting match, and it’s neither of ours. If I was a little cranky before, I’ve just been catapulted into the realms of psychotic. There will be no need for him to open this door because at any moment, I’m going to be flying around this apartment like the Tasmanian Devil himself, and I’ll smash it down.

I look up at him with clenched teeth. He visibly sags. ‘What the hell is she doing here?’ I use his lapse in concentration and his defeated hold to my advantage and pull the door open, coming face to face with Coral. ‘What the hell are you doing here?’ I hiss, looking her up and down in utter contempt. Her hair is tied up today, her short black bob giving her a pathetic excuse for a ponytail, such a bitchy thought, but it’s going to be the first of many. I can feel it, and they might not just be thoughts.

She blanks me completely and looks straight at my bare chested God. Why the hell didn’t he put some jeans and a t-shirt on? ‘I need to speak to you.’ She sounds determined. ‘Alone.’ she adds, flicking an impertinent look at me. Her fortitude will be of zero help. She’ll have to rip him from my dying hands before I leave them alone.

‘You’ve got more chance of having tea with the Queen,’ I snarl. My fury is building by the second, and I absolutely cannot control it. ‘What do you want?’ I feel Jesse’s hand rest lightly on the small of my shirt covered back. It’s a silent demand to calm myself down. It’ll never work. The more I look at this impudent hussy, the angrier I’m getting, if that’s possible. I feel like a pressure cooker, set to explode. ‘I asked you a question.’

‘Ava,’ Jesse’s calming voice just infuriates me further. ‘Calm yourself down, baby.’ His palm slides around to my front to hold my tummy. He’s worried about my blood pressure, the anxious fool. My blood pressure should be the least of his worries. Blood spilt, that’s what he should be concerned about.

‘I’m calm,’ I’m clearly not. ‘I won’t ask you again.’ I push Jesse’s hand away from my stomach, but he doesn’t let me get away with it. He pulls me back so I’m slightly behind him, and then holds his arm out to the side in silent warning. It won’t work, but he starts speaking before I can wrestle his arm out of my way.

‘Coral, I’ve told you before. It’s never going to happen.’ His tone is tinged with anger, but after my little performance, I can’t be sure if it’s for my benefit or Coral’s. ‘You need to f**k off and find someone else to stalk.’

I’m mentally cheering him on, even though I’m sure that I’m in for it when she concedes and clears off. I must look ridiculous in Jesse’s shirt, my hair a wild mass of chocolate waves, yesterday’s make-up on and being held back by my virtually naked husband.

Coral’s eyes cross from Jesse’s to mine a few times before she settles her smug stare on my God again. I don’t like that look. It’s bold, and I’m sure her next words will be, too. She’s going nowhere until she’s said what she came to say, and I’m annoyingly curious of what that is exactly. ‘Have it your way.’ She shrugs nonchalantly and holds a piece of paper out to Jesse.

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