Dinner with Malinov family
‘Anger is nothing more than an outward expression of hurt, fear, and frustration.’
“Dave Fernandez Kingston, my dad’s stepbrother” I gritted out.
“Woah, I could feel hatred in your voice,” Logan said. I kept an expressionless face, suppressing my anger and sadness within me. Dave was sitting a few tables away from us, talking animatedly with few men in suit.
Ever since I could remember, I saw Dave as an enemy to my family. He never kept a civilized conversation with my parents and me. All he did was throwing curses at us or cause trouble to us which involved police sometimes. Dave is the direct descendant of the Kingston family and his parents ‘aka’ my paternal grandparents adopted my dad a year before Dave was born. From what I heard from my mother, Dave was a troublesome kid even when he turned twenty-six, always partying and misuse of family funds, which caused my grandparents to handover Kingston company to my dad and a hotel to Dave.
Under Dave’s ownership, the hotel went in a loss and had to shut down due to some immoral activities. I felt pity for him even though it was his entire fault for this loss. Then after a few years of doing nothing, he started causing disruptions, claiming he wanted to be CEO of Kingston Inc. When my dad suggested a partnership, he didn’t accept as he wanted to merge Kingston Inc. to some other company. My dad protested against it and hence the sibling war started. But my pity soon turned into anger and hatred at his actions. He made my father cry for innumerable times and that’s something I can’t forgive.
“Are you all right, babe?” Logan asked, closely scrutinizing my emotionless face.
“Yes, I’m fine. Why wouldn’t I be?” I said bitterly.
“Uh…Nothing” he shrugged, frowning slightly.
“Let’s go,” I said, pushing my chair back and stood up.
“You’re not going to meet him?” Logan said, getting up as well.
“No. I don’t want to” I started walking, not waiting for Logan as he placed some cash on the table. I had to walk past Dave’s table to the door and when I realized there’s no other way, I cursed softly and kept walking, my eyes focused on the exit door. I managed to walk past the table, but not from Dave’s gaze.
“Uh, Karolia?” his deep voice called out from behind and I froze in my track. Logan was standing beside me, analyzing my reaction. I squeezed my eyes shut before turning around to face my Uncle. His face displayed shock and surprise but quickly masked it. He stood up and stride towards us.
“So you’re not dead” was the first thing he stated without any emotion. Logan stiffened beside me and from my peripheral vision, I could see him clenching his fist.
“Yes, I’m not dead,” I said calmly, even though my insides were burning. I know I shouldn’t expect sweet words from him as it’s never going to happen, but there was this slight hope. Now that hope vanished.
“I knew you were alive when the police couldn’t find your body. Where were you for a year?” He asked.
“Places,” I said, not wanting to start a conversation with him.
“I see,” he said, rubbing his chin in thought. ”Say Karolia, did you kill your parents so that you can elope with this guy?” He asked, eyeing Logan. I scowled at him, feeling the anger bubble through my veins at his comment. How dare he?
“Watch what you’re talking” Logan hissed. I could feel the anger radiating off from his body but I took no notice as my anger was double than his. I took a threatening step forward and stared straight into Dave’s eyes.
“How dare you? I didn’t kill my parents. God, how can you say something like that? Don’t you have any emotions or feelings? Today is their anniversary and here you are, blaming on me for their death.” I said, my teeth grinding.
“I have emotions. Or why do you think I spent my money on building their graves?” he said and I stared at him in shock.
“He was your brother,” I said in disbelief.
“Stepbrother” he corrected. “There’s a difference”
“You-You,” I started, lost for words. The anger I felt cannot be described. It was boiling like an active volcano.
“You know what, you’re wasting my time. Have a good life ahead” he said and turned back, walking away.
I glared at his retreating figure before turning around and exiting the restaurant. I clench and unclench my fist, trying to calm myself down. How can he think something like that? But again what did I expect from him? Words of condolence for the loss of my parents? I bet he was happy when he heard about my parents’ death.
“Are you all right?” Logan asked, catching up with my stride.
“Yes,” I said bitterly. I pressed the elevator button and waited, tapping my feet on the ground impatiently. I just want to be alone for sometime and this place is making me claustrophobic. We all stepped into the elevator, me standing near the metal wall with my arms crossed over my chest. Logan looked concerned, giving me discreet glance.
Logan decided to open his mouth when we stepped into the suite. He caught my arm as I tried to walk away from him.
“Lia, please” he begged, turning me around to face him.
“What’s the matter?” I asked impatiently.
“Talk to me. You’re acting indifferent”
“I’m fine,” I said, wiggling my arm out from his grasp. He grunted.
“Talk to me, babe. You being silent is scaring me. I know you’re angry and hurt. Talk to me.” he pleaded.
“I don’t want to talk about it, okay. J-Just leave me alone for some time Logan”
“Don’t avoid me, please. I’m worried about you”
Four words. I’m worried about you. Those four words were enough for me to break down. I covered my face with my hands and cried into it. The fact that there are still some people around me who care for me, worry for me made my heartbreak.
“Oh baby,” Logan said gently, closing the space between us. He placed his hands on my waist while I pressed my face on his chest.
“I’m such a cry baby” I sobbed, tired of all my wailing. It’s still a surprise to me my tear glands aren’t dry. Logan cupped my face in his large hands. I closed my eyes as he kissed my tears away.
“I have to agree with what you said. You’re a cry baby” I laughed at his statement. “But…” he trailed off, smiling mischievously. He leaned closer to my ear and whispered, his lips grazing my earlobes.
“But your tear-strain face was the first thing I fell in love with. Do you wanna know why?” he asked huskily, wiping away my tears. I nodded my head, dazed.
“When you cry, your lips look so red that I want to kiss you hard, as it looks right now” My heart! I guess it stopped working. Someone bring me AED.
“Ahem” someone cleared their throat. I jumped away from Logan like a cat’s tail on fire. William smiled innocently at us while Logan groaned, clearly annoyed by the interruption.
“Sorry to interrupt” he smirked. A light blush coated my cheeks. “There’s a parcel for you, Mr. Watson,” he said a big brown box in his hands.
“Ahh,” Logan remarked, taking the box from William’s grasp.
“Thank you, William,” he said gratefully.
“You’re welcome” he smiled. He gave me a head nod before retreating back.
“This is for you,” Logan said, giving me the parcel.
“Yeah, I figured you didn’t pack a dress suitable for the dinner tonight. So I bought this for you” he shrugged his shoulder.
“Thank you, Logan,” I said, standing on my toes and placing a kiss on his cheek. I was upset I forgot to pack a suitable dress, but I never told Logan about it. I was planning to go to the dinner in my normal jeans and top considering I only packed that. It’s so sweet of him he thought about me.
I entered our bedroom and sat on the bed, unwrapping the gift. I took the dress in my hand and stared at in wonder.
“You liked it?” Logan asked, standing against the threshold with his arms crossed.
“Logan, t-this is so lovely” I breathed out. It was a champagne high low off-shoulder tulle dress with pearl and rhinestone detailing. The dress was asymmetrical, short in the front and long in the back.
“Only the best for you”
“Logan!” I called out from the bathroom. When I heard no response, I shouted his name, loudly. “LOGAN!”
A few seconds later, the bathroom door burst open and Logan looked around in alert, his hair disheveled.
“What’s the matter?” he asked me when he realized there’s no danger.
“Were you sleeping?”
“Um, y-yeah.” He said sheepishly, rubbing his hand behind his neck. “You were taking a lot of time to dress up and I got bored” he explained. He was wearing a well-fitted solid blue button-up shirt, sleeves rolled up with brown khaki pants, an expensive watch wrapped around his left wrist. I shook my head, smiling softly.
“Can you help me with my zipper?” I asked, turning around to expose my naked back to him. This stupid zipper got stuck in the middle and I couldn’t pull it up.
“Uh, s-sure,” he said and walked over to me. I tensed slightly as his hot breath hit my neck. I followed his movements with my eyes from the giant mirror, his blue eyes darkened like a storm. I tightened my grip around my hair which I was holding away from my skin. My heart escalated when he ran his cold fingers from my neck, along the spine to the zipper. My breath got heavier and I ducked my head down, closing my eyes. He slowly zipped it up, taking his time. There was a moment of silence, we stare at each other’s reflection in the mirror. He bit his lip, staring at my lips darkly.
“Don’t even think about it” I warned him. “You’ll ruin my makeup” He sighed, feeling rejected. But the longer he stared at my lips, the faster he lost his control.
“Fuck your makeup,” he said and turned me around so fast before crashing his lips onto mine. He clasped both wrists in his hands and pushed me against the counter, devouring my lips hungrily.
We’re definitely going to be late!
The car stopped in front of a two-story grey house. The house isn’t big, but it isn’t small either. Micah’s neighborhood isn’t rich, but the houses lining the streets are cute and looks welcoming, with flower beds decorating the front of the house.
Logan got out first and held his hand out for me. I took his hand and climbed out of the car after I bid goodbye to William. We managed to reach our destination on time, all thanks to William’s driving skill. The evening breeze was nice and I breathed in deeply. I adjusted my dress and ran my hands through my hair, combing it.
“A little heads up. This family can get... a bit crazy, especially the daughter” I warned Logan as we walked to the front door, his palm pressed against my back.
“Why would you think that?” He asked, bemused. I knocked on the door and waited.
“You’ll see”. The door was pulled open and gorgeous women greeted us. She had caramel skin and long blonde hair, which was falling loosely down her back.
“Hello there, handsome,” She said flirtatiously, her eyes solely focused only on Logan. I mentally rolled my eyes at her. She was wearing a tight dress, her bust nearly popping out of her dress. Did she do a boob job? Because the last time I saw her, her boobs were smaller than mine.
“Hello, Lindsey,” I said, smiling sweetly at her. Her eyes reluctantly left from my boyfriend’s face and fell on me.
“Oh hello Karolia,” she said and hugged me. She then hugged Logan, taking him by surprise. His wide eyes met mine and awkwardly patted her back.
“I am Lindsey” she purred, pulling back from the hug, her green eyes raking Logan from head to toe.
“Logan Watson,” he said. I saw Lindsey sighing dreamily at his husky voice. No luck girl! HE’S MINE!
“Come in” she opened the door widely and let us in. “Dad, they’re here” she yelled out. Let me give a brief explanation of Lindsey.
Lindsey is a year younger than me. Even though she was a junior, her name was quite famous around the school, especially around boys. She got the looks, the figure and an attitude higher than Mt. Everest. She was named ‘School Slut’ by most of the students in my school. Every high school has a group of popular kids, who loves to impose their dictatorship on others. Lindsey was one of them!
Micah descended down the steps wearing a dark blue checkered suit, looking handsome as usual in his forties. Micah’s wife died because of a brain tumor, fifteen years ago. From then on, Micah was the one who took care of his children, with the help of his housemaid, Susan.
“Karolia” he exclaimed happily, enveloping me in his embrace.
“Thank you for inviting us”
“You’re always welcome here. Susan is preparing your favorite dish. I hope Lasagne is still your favorite?”
“Yes, it is,” I said happily. Micah and Logan shook their hands, giving each other a head nod.
“Good to see you again”
“Same here, sir,” Logan said, his voice powerful and confident.
“I’m going to meet Susan” I announced and left the room, huffing when I saw Lindsey still gawking Logan, but decided to ignore her. Logan knows where to draw the line in these such cases and I don’t doubt him for that. But Lindsey... she’s another case.
I walked down the familiar rooms, deja vu running through me. Whenever Mom and Dad went for a vacation or for a business trip, I stayed with Micah’s family. Susan and I would spend hours talking about various things, and sometimes cooking. I walked into the kitchen and saw a petite woman whisking something in a bowl, her hair pulled back in a tight bun.
“Susan” I smiled widely, startling the old woman. Her face widened with her broad smile upon seeing me, dropping the whisk onto the bowl.
“Karolia chèrie, Good to see you,” Susan said, pulling me into a hug.
“You look ètourdissant, absolutely stunning” she exclaimed, holding me at an arm’s length.
“Thank you, Susan” I smiled at her. She hasn’t changed much in a year, except a few wrinkles here and there on her face.
“I’m sorry for your loss,” she said sadly. My chest tightened, my smile faltering a bit. “But why did you run away? You could have stayed here” she said and I looked down, distressingly.
“I had no choice” I mumbled quietly.
“Oh, darling,” she said, taking my hand in hers. “Past is past. Tell me about the present. Micah said you have a boyfriend. Is that true?” She smirked at me.
“Yeah, his name is Logan,” I said shyly, tucking a strand of my hair behind my ear.
“Details! I need details” she said happily. I blushed faintly. Sometimes Susan acted like a teenage girl, swooning whenever she saw a handsome guy passing by and flirting whenever she got a chance.
I left the kitchen finally, leaving Susan to finish her work. I gave her the details she needed as she threatened me with a knife. I shook my head, smiling. I missed her a lot! Suddenly I bumped into a hard chest, a small ‘oomph’ leaving my mouth. A pair of hands fell on my shoulders, preventing me from falling.
“I’m so sorry” I apologized. My gaze met with a pair of hazel eyes, my mouth parting slightly.
“Vincent,” I said, taking a step back. His gaze roamed down my body shamelessly, his eyes darkening slightly. He was wearing a dark grey t-shirt and black jeans, his arms and neck fully covered with tattoos. He was tall, taller than Logan by probably by an inch. His face was covered with beard, making him look more attractive and dangerous. Vincent is Micah’s eldest son and he is 20 years old.
“Karolia” he gave me a head nod, his face devoid of a smile. I smiled back slightly, feeling uneasy around him. Vincent and Lindsey are completely polar. While Lindsey was chatty, Vincent was silent. Vincent has a mysterious aura around him, attracting a lot of women. But these siblings had something in common, both were Heartbreakers, toying with other’s feelings.
“Good to have you back,” he said.
“Same,” I said. “Um...I should head back” I mumbled, feeling uncomfortable under his lustful gaze.
“Yeah,” he said and stepped aside, giving me the way.
“You’re not coming?” I asked him, realizing he’s going in the opposite direction.
“I’ll back in few minutes. See you at the table” he said and left. I shrugged my shoulder and continued my way to the living room. My hands clenched tightly when I saw Lindsey sitting very close to Logan, her hand on his thigh. My eyes narrowed when Logan continued talking to Micah, not acknowledging her wandering hands on his body.
“Uh, Lindsey?” I called out from the doorway. She looked at me, annoyed might I add.
“Susan wants to talk to you.” I lied. She raised her eyebrow, not believing me.
“She said it’s something urgent”.
“Fine,” she said and stood up, rather reluctantly. I stepped aside and gave her the way as she walks past me. I sat next to Logan, anger boiling in my nerves.
“You look tense, what’s the matter?” Logan whispered in my ear as Micah kept on talking about the changes happening around the business world.
“You looked pretty comfortable in Lindsey’s presence,” I said, rolling my eyes. Logan let out a sigh, nodding his head unconsciously at whatever Micah was talking about.
“Lia, she was annoying me like hell” he whispered tightly.
“Well, it didn’t look like it with her hands all over your body” I hissed.
“I tried to stop her, but that woman wasn’t getting any hint. And I didn’t want to be rude while her father was sitting next to us” he hissed back when Micah wasn’t looking. I crossed my hands over my chest and scowled, angry at Lindsey. That girl needs to back off!
“Dinner’s ready” Susan called out after fifteen minutes and I was so happy to leave this room. Logan and Micah kept on talking about the business world, like the net gross product and some bullshit. To me, it was so boring. Maybe it’s something only businessmen understood.
I took the left seat beside Logan, Lindsey sitting next to him on the right much to my dismay, while Micah sat at the opposite side, Vincent sitting beside him. There were plates of tortellini, lasagne and chicken cacciatore (Susan’s special recipe) spread out on the table along with arancini and breadsticks and mozzarella sticks. Just the aroma of these foods has my stomach growling in hunger. We started to pile food onto my plate after thanking Susan for her effort.
Conversation flows in the surrounding about this about my past year living in New York, what all happened in Worcester after I was gone. But most of the time I got distracted by Lindsey’s attempt to flirt with Logan, leaning over him to grab the salt shaker, practically shoving her chest into his face.
“Oh Logan, try this one, it’s so tasty,” Lindsey said, holding a piece of breadstick dipped in a sauce in front of Logan’s face. I gritted my teeth silently and gripped my spoon tightly. The fact that she’s doing all these insensitive activities in front of me and her family doesn’t bother her at all makes me angrier. Micah ignores her attempts as if he’s used to her behavior. Maybe he’s.
“I’m fine, thank you,” Logan said politely. Damn! This man can be polite even when he’s annoyed. It’s clear Logan is irritated and he placed his hand on my thigh, calming me down. Halfway through the dinner, his hands started moving up my thigh sensually, erupting tingles all over my body. I placed my hand on top of his, squeezing hard silently pleading him to stop his torture. He stopped his deed but soon started as soon as I lifted my hand, smirking slightly. I know he’s purposely doing this, knowing he would get a reaction from me.
I sighed heavily and tried to pay no attention to it thinking he would stop if I ignore him, and concentrated on my food. But it’s easier said than done. The butterflies in my stomach and tingles were disrupting my ability to think straight. Two can play that game! Finally tired by his game, I dug my heel onto his shoe, hard. He jumped slightly at the pain and then relaxed. I kept a blank face and replied to Micah’s question, my heel pressing harder on his foot. Logan started to squirm silently. Well, I’ve to admit, he’s really good at maintaining a neutral expression even when he’s in pain.
“Logan, are you all right?” Lindsey asked sweetly, her voice concerned. We all turned to look at Logan whose ears look red and he was clenching his fork tightly.
“What happened baby?” I asked, giving him an innocent expression. I finally lifted my heel from his shoe, putting an end to his pain. He cleared his throat loudly twice before speaking.
“It’s nothing. Something got stuck in my throat” he lied smoothly, giving us a reassurance look. I smiled at him sweetly in which he returned his deadly glare when everyone returned back to their food.
After dinner, I excused myself and left the room in search of a washroom. I found one and quickly did my business. I restyled my hair and applied lipstick on my lips. On the way, I ran into Vincent, again. I smiled at him and walked past him. But he caught my arm, leaving me surprised.
“Yes?” I asked. His gaze roamed down my body, his eyes lustful. I shuddered slightly.
“You look beautiful in this dress. You always looked pretty”, he complimented huskily. My heart started to drum quickly, feeling uneasy under his scrutinizing gaze. He was looking at me like a predator watching its prey.
“Um, thank you,” I said nervously. “I-I need to go,” I said, wiggling my arm out from his grip.
“Why so rush, sweetheart?” he asked, backing me to the nearest wall. He placed his arm on either side of my neck and leaned in.
“Vincent, back off. I have a boyfriend” I gritted out, clutching my dress tightly.
“Logan Watson huh? He’s a lucky man to have you” he said smirking. “Heard he doesn’t like to share his property with others. So bad” he said disappointedly. My jaws clenched and I gritted my teeth.
“Step back” I growled at him. He looked taken aback by my confidence. Karolia he knew was a shy fearful girl, but that person is no longer there in this world.
“Wow, your new life really changed you”
“Changed for better,” I said.
“I still remember the taste of your lips when we kissed before”
“We were in elementary school at that time Vincent. Moreover, it was a dare” I hissed.
“But you enjoyed it. Don’t deny it. You had that dreamy look for a week whenever you saw me” He smirked.
“I don’t have feelings for you anymore, Vincent. Now back off before I shout for help” I threatened. He smirks widened but stepped back, motioning me to go. I let out a breath and took small steps forward, my legs wobbling slightly. I had a crush on Vincent when we were in elementary school, but at that time he was a sweetheart, always helping others. But when we reached high school, he changed a lot because of his circle of friends, getting tattoos, playing dangerous pranks and sometimes even consuming drugs.
But before I could exit the room, Vincent’s voice drifted over to me. “Enjoy your time to the maximum with your boyfriend before it’s too late”
I frowned, not getting the inner meaning of his comment, but shrugged it off. I calmed myself down, counting to 20 before entering the living room, where Logan and Micah were watching a football match, Lindsey nowhere in sight.
We bid our goodbye and thanked Micah for inviting us for the dinner. The time showed 11.30 pm and today’s event was taking a toll on me. I hugged Susan, promising her to keep in touch and bid my farewell to Lindsey.
I slept the entire ride, my body tired and head aching. Even when we reached the hotel, I was not in a condition to walk steadily without falling flat on the ground. So Logan volunteered and lifted me up in his arms and carried me into our suite, William, and Hank following us closely.
Logan placed me on the bed and took off my heels, rubbing my sore feet for a while. He then helped me in changing my dress and removed my makeup with the makeup cleaner. He looked so concentrated while removing my makeup, scared he will do something wrong. He looked so cute and yummy!
Wait! He’s not a dessert! Bad bad girl!
I dressed into one of Logan’s old shirt, which I stole from him months back.
“Thank you Logan” I whispered. We were laying on the bed in the dark, staring at each other, our legs and hands tangled under the sheets. He tucked a strand of hair behind my ear and pecked my lips.
“Thanks for what?”
“For everything”. He kissed the tip of my nose and eyes. We stayed in that position, gazing at each other, expressing our love for each other through our eyes.
“Happy birthday, princess,” he said after some time, pressing a lingering kiss on my forehead. I looked at the clock and it showed 00.01.
I smiled, snuggling close to his chest. 19! I turned 19 today. Logan gripped my chin in his hand and we looked at each other under the moonlight, lost in each other’s gaze, dreaming of a future with each other. Finally breaking our gaze, he dipped his head down and kissed me for a long time, leaving me breathless and dazed.
“I love you”
“I love you too”
“I need complete information about Scarlet Miller and Logan Watson by tomorrow. You understand me?”
“Y-Yes sir,” he bowed his head and left the room hurriedly.
I sat on my big leather swivel recliner and stared at the Karolia’s smiling photo that was posted on the wall.
“This time you can’t escape from me, Miss Kingston. It’s time for your destiny” I snarled. I took a small arrow from the table and threw it at the photo.
Dun! Dun! Dun! *DRUM ROLL*
So...What do you guys think? Any guess about our villain? Things are gonna get more and more interesting in upcoming chapters. Tears will be shed, lives will be threatened and hearts will be broken and guns will be pointed!
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