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   Chapter 5 Meeting the devil again

The Trap Of Ace By Eva Zahan. Characters: 11942

Updated: 2021-01-24 15:07


I cleared my throat, catching everyone's attention around the table. The noise of their cutleries and spoons stopped along.

I knew what I was about to say would upset them. But it had to be done. So taking a deep breath, I said, "I'm leaving for NY this Friday."

Silence. The shock on Tobias's face and sadness that formed over my parents' were clear.

"But we thought as your college is finished now, you'd stay with us again from now on." Dad's forehead creased. Mom agreed with him.

"No Dad. I'm not a kid anymore. I can't just crash here just because my college is over. It's time to build my career. So I've to go back," I clarified.

"But what's wrong with California? You could easily get any job here," Mom argued. "If you want your privacy, honey, then it's alright. But if you look for a job here, at least you can stay close to us." Her voice broke.

"Why don't you help Tobias in our own company?" Dad suggested, and my brother bobbed his head eagerly.

"Yes, in that you won't have to work under anyone. You'll have a free will in your own company. You don't need to leave, Em."

"Dad, Tobias, how many times do I have to tell you that I want to do something on my own? I want to prove myself that I can stand on my feet without anyone's support. I'm extremely grateful to have you guys care for me. But- I can't work in our company. Maybe in the future, but not now."

What I said was true. I wanted to do something on my own ability. But it wasn't the main reason for me to leave right now.

"Alright, if you want to work somewhere else, it's fine by us. But you don't have to go that far from us, honey. You could look out for jobs staying here, near us," said Mom. Guilt washed over me for hurting her like that. But if I stayed here, I wouldn't be able to take care of my heart.

"I'm sorry, Mom. Staying all these years over there, my plans are revolving all around NY. And I'd have reconsidered my plans if I already wasn't called for interviews next week."

I'd two interviews from two prestigious textile companies in NY. And I couldn't miss them even if I wanted.

"And these companies who called me for interviews, they've been my dream places to work at. So, I've to leave this Friday. I'm sorry."

Dad sighed and placed a hand on Mom's, comforting her. "If that's what you want, princess. We won't stop you. We're happy if you're. But if by any chance you change your plans, let us know."

I nodded, relieved that he understood. "Thank you, Dad. But don't worry, I will visit time to time to see you guys."

"But what about Tess's engagement? You can't miss that," Tobias stated.

"It's in next month. Nothing to worry, I will figure something out when the time comes," I assured him. But he didn't look pleased at all. Honestly, I didn't want to go away from them again. But I didn't have any choice.

***

A knock landed on my door, and Warner poked his head in. "You busy?"

"No really. Just checking some emails," I answered. Placing the laptop on the bed from my lap, I turned to him. "How did your dinner go with your cousin?"

He shrugged. "Good. Just as usual. You tell me, how did your talk go with your family?"

A sigh left my lips. "They weren't happy. But they also know that I'm not gonna budge from my decision."

I glanced outside the window, gazing at the starry night.

"Hey, what is it?" he asked, turning me to him.

I bit my lip, my throat tightening. "Nothing, it's just… it's difficult to go that far from my family. Even if I stayed away for years. But still, I wish I could stay here with them." But for one person, it wasn't possible.

"Hey, look at me." He grasped my hand. "Everything will be alright. Don't be upset. It's just the beginning of your career. Once you get a good grip, maybe in the future you can shift back to this city. And it's not that you won't visit them time to time. And they can also go and see you there. So, don't worry, okay? Everything will turn out good."

Nodding my head, I squeezed his hand. "Thank you for being always there for me."

He smiled and pecked my lips. "Anything for you."

***

"Where're they?" I asked, adjusting my cap from the scorching sun. People buzzed with excitement around us as they rushed in and out of the auditorium.

"They will be here in no time, don't worry. Let's just go and grab our seats," Tobias said, ushering me and Warner inside.

We were at Castelo Track. The famous place to enjoy horse racing. I didn't know we were coming to this game until my brother called this morning announcing his and Tess's plan. Apparently, Caleb, Tess's fiance didn't get that much time to spend with me and Warner, so Tess thought it'd be great to enjoy a horse race together; a way to catch up with us.

I didn't want to come, but Warner was too excited for me to say no. Even though meeting my sister didn't appeal to me that much, saying no would've been rude to Caleb. So I agreed.

Once we grabbed out pre-booked seats, we waited for the couple to arrive and the race to start. At least thirty or thirty five horses were lined up at the side, far from the auditorium. Their jockeys were preparing themselves and checking their horses to see if everything was alright. Their neighs were covered by the hubbub of the audience.

A smile stretched at the side of my lips. Those horses were beautiful. I'd always wanted to ride one, but didn't get the chance ever.

When Warner brought popcorn and drinks for us, the announcement blared across. The race was about to start in five minutes. "Where are Tessa and Caleb? They should be here by now." He moved his brown locks away from his forehead.

"There they're!" Tobias exclaimed.

Following his gaze, I saw my sister and her fiance climbing down the stairs. In a yellow sundress and a matching hat, she looked stunning as ever. And Caleb chose to flaunt a white Tee and jeans.

And here I was. In a black tank and leather jacket, pai

red with worn out shorts and sneakers, I didn't even try to doll up a little.

"Sorry, guys! Got stuck with the traffic," Caleb apologized, greeting Tobias with a side hug. And the same with Warner, but when it came to my turn, he engulfed me in a tight bear hug. "I'm glad that you came, Em. Finally I will get to spend some time with my would be sister-in-law and long lost friend."

I smiled. "It's great to see you again. And don't worry, you're not late. The race is about to start."

"I thought you wouldn't come. But I'm happy to see you here," Tess said, giving me a hug. And I didn't reciprocate.

Tobias and Caleb saw the act, but didn't comment on it.

Once we were all seated, in no time the race began. Every one of the horses were extremely good and competitive. Their Jockeys were guiding them with brilliance. But the teeth and nail race was between two red and black horses. They both were ahead in the race than the others.

I was cheering for the red one, Jordan. Not because the black one, Cage was any less good or beautiful. Because I just happened to love the color, red.

"Yes! Go Jordan, go! You can do it!" Tess yelled out beside me. She was also on my team, for the first time in our life. Where Tobias, Warner were encouraging a different one. And Caleb just watched all of it silently.

"Which one are you betting for?" I almost screamed over the loud cheerings.

"None! Because I know who is gonna win," he shouted back, beside Tess.

"Really? Which one?" I ducked away from Tess's elbow. She was leaping with cheerings.

"Jordan. He is a winner," he replied.

"How do you know? It can be a different one this time."

His brown eyes locked with me. "I know because my cousin never loses. And that-" he pointed towards the horse that was now slightly ahead of the Cage. Even a white one now was giving them competition, "-is Achilles's horse. He always bets on Jardan."

My lips parted in surprise. Ace's horse? That means, he was here?

My nerve pulsed, eyes looking around. He was nowhere in the auditorium. But the owner of the horses, the bettors never sat at the auditorium with ordinary people. Then my gaze lifted up.

And there he was. High in the V.I.P section, shielded by glass, he stood even higher with his proud chest and powerful broad shoulders with hands in pockets. Some other suited people stood behind him, watching the race to unfold. I couldn't see where his eyes were as he wore sunglasses.

His name thoroughly did justice to his personality.

I shook my head and fisted my hands.

Get to your senses, Em!

I didn't know he was gonna be here. Otherwise I wouldn't have come. Now I didn't like that red horse at all. I'd rather support the white one as it now passed the black one, Cage.

My sister continued to dance. Now I understood why she was on Jordan's side.

"For a moment I thought Cage would surpass Jordan. Damn, he was good," commented Warner, while Tobias munched on Popcorns.

That brat! He definitely knew Ace was gonna present here, but he didn't even think of informing me. Noticing my glare, he raised a brow. To avoid Warner's overhearing, I pointed to his phone.

'He is here. And you didn't care to inform me!'

He looked up at me, frowning and then went to typing.

Tobias: 'Who?'

Me: 'Don't be so saint now! I'm talking about Ace.'

Tobias: 'Oh, but I thought you already knew. After all it's a very common thing to attend the race of his own place.'

My eyes widened. Wait, what? Castelo Track was his? How come? I thought his every company or property's name started with Valencian.

Me: 'He owns it? And why Castelo?'

Tobias: 'Yes. And it's his mother's last name.'

Oh! I didn't know much about his family other than him and Caleb, whom his family adopted at the age of eleven when his parents passed away in a car crash. And they grew up together since then. I had only visited their home a few times. And most of the time his parents were missing.

When I looked back up, he wasn't there anymore. My eyes then glanced at the track. Cage took the place of Jordan now. Explained why my sister had gone so quiet all of a sudden.

Huh! The great Mr. Valencian couldn't handle his loss and ran away.

Rolling my eyes, I stood up from my seat. The race was almost near the end but my stomach had the other plan. Excusing myself, I climbed up the stairs and headed towards the washroom.

"Look, who is here!" A group of rugged looking guys whistled as I passed them just outside the washroom area. "Fucking hell, look at those legs, man!"

I gritted my teeth, glaring daggers at them. But I tried to control myself and not give them any attention.

"What's your name, babydoll? I've two bundles of cash in my pocket right now, interested?" They laughed.

That's it!

As I turned to them, an arm wrapped around my shoulders and turned me around.

"Em, don't pay attention to them. They're dangerous. So just avoid them."

"Avoid them? Did you hear what nonsense they were spitting out? Let me just go and teach them a lesson." I wiggled out of Warner's hold and tried to go back to them but he dragged me away.

They whistled and cracked jokes on us until we were out of the side, outside of the ladies' washroom area.

"Em, please. If you go and say something, it will be worse. They were four and we were just two. So, please, don't make a scene here," he talked logic in my head. "So just go inside and come back down. And enjoy yourself, alright?"

I sighed. Maybe he was right. Nodding my head, I went inside and to take a phone call, he went away. Men weren't allowed inside anyway.

Finishing my business, I washed my hands and brushed my waves with my fingers a little. They went wild with the wind.

Once satisfied with my hair, I grabbed my cap from the counter and exited the washroom. And when I turned...

A yelp left my mouth as a figure towered over me out of nowhere.

I gasped.

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