This Man Confessed (Page 33)

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The day passes quite swiftly, with only a few missed calls from my Lord. The calls were expected, but what wasn’t expected was his lack of persistence. He didn’t call the office, he didn’t stop by and he didn’t ring off the hook. I’m not sure if I should be satisfied that he seems to accept my request for space, or worried that he’s uncharacteristically giving it to me. It has now been over twenty four hours since I’ve seen him, and I would be a liar if I said I don’t miss him, but I need to over-ride this. I need to stick to my guns and the only way I can ensure that happens, is if I don’t see or speak to him. It’s frightening what he can do to me when I’m determined to hold my own, and it’s usually with his touch, so yes, distance if key.

I collect by bag and get up from my makeshift desk, which happens to me a paste table we had stored out the back. ‘I’m off. See you tomorrow.’ I say as I pass all three of my colleagues. ‘I’ve cleared it with Patrick.’ I don’t want to be saying where I’m going because it will undoubtedly lead to further questions. Privacy in this office is a luxury.

A chorus of goodbyes ring out as I shut the door behind me and make my way to the tube. Angel starts up as I’m approaching the station, but I leave my phone in my bag. Where I’m going, I really don’t need to be thinking about him, but it’s hard when his favorite track, is echoing very loudly, even from the depths of my bag. It stops for a nanosecond, but then starts again. I ignore it, focusing my attention on the nearing station.

I jump on a shocked gasp when a tall, lean, green eyed wall lands in front of me, and my hand flies up to my chest, resting on my heart as I breathe heavily. Then I get mighty irritated. ‘What are you doing?’ I ask shortly.

‘You wouldn’t answer your phone.’ He points to my bag. ‘Maybe you didn’t hear it.’

I look up at him and find an accusing stare. He knows damn well I could hear it. ‘You were following me.’ I can be accusing, too.

‘Where are you going?’ He steps in closer, but I move back. I can’t let him touch me. And s**t, where am I going?

‘A client.’ I blurt.

‘I’ll take you.’

‘I told you, I need space, Jesse.’ I’m aware of fellow pedestrians stepping around us, some moaning, some throwing filthy glares, but I’m not concerned and neither is Jesse. He’s just staring at me, looking shockingly spectacular in a grey suit and blue shirt.

‘How much space and for how long? I married you on Saturday and you left me on Sunday.’ He reaches forward and grasps my upper arm before sliding his touch down my arm until he’s holding my hand. As always, my hairs stand up on end and a shiver reverberates through me. I watch him just stare at our joined hands, his fingers weaving through mine slowly as he chews his lip. ‘I’m struggling, Ava.’ He looks up at me and lands me with a green glazed stare. ‘Without you, I’m really struggling.’

My heart breaks for this man standing before me, and I clench my eyes shut, desperately fighting my natural instinct to step into him and hold him. If he’s not getting his way with f**kings of various degrees or a Jesse style countdown, then he’s breaking me down with heart wrenching words. It wouldn’t be so bad, but I know he absolutely means each and every syllable. He’s crippling me again.

‘I really need to go.’ I hate myself for leaving him like this. I go to turn, fully expecting to be held back, but he releases my hand and I’m walking away, shocked and actually quite worried.

‘Baby, please. I’ll do anything. Please, don’t leave me.’ His pleading voice halts me dead in my tracks, pain slicing through me. I’m still so mad with him. ‘Let me at least drive you. I don’t want you on the train. Just ten minutes, that’s all I’m asking for.’

‘It’ll be quicker on the tube.’ I say quietly amid the roaring crowds. I turn to face him.

‘But I want to take you.’

‘We won’t make it in time with the…’ I halt when it occurs to me that with Jesse driving, I probably will make it. He is clearly thinking the same because his eyebrow is slightly raised.

I can’t tell him where I’m going. He’ll have a seizure. I quickly wrack my tired brain and come up with only one option. I’ll ask him to drop me off around the corner from the doctor. There are some residential properties close by. He won’t know any different.

I sigh ‘Where’s your car?’

The relief that washes over his face is obvious, and it emphasises my guilt. Why I’m feeling guilty is beyond me, though. I watch him slowly lift his arm and take my hand gently, then slowly lead me back towards a hotel and into the car park. The valet produces the keys from his cabin and hands them to Jesse, and he releases me only when we get to the car so I can get in.

Pulling out onto Piccadilly, he drives with consideration for the other road users and shifts gears gently, too. His driving style is matching his mood; subdued.

‘Where am I going?’ he asks as he turns the music system on and XX, Islands filters through the speakers. Even the music is passive and soft.

I scan my brain for a road name around the surgery, and only one comes to mind. ‘Luxemburg Gardens. Hammersmith.’ I say, looking out of the window.

‘Okay,’ he answers quietly. I know he’s looking at me. I should turn and challenge him, prompt him to explain himself better, but my despondency is getting the better of me. He’d better not mistake it for submission. I’m not surrendering on this. I just need to get myself to the doctor, minus one Jesse, and get my awful situation remedied.

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