Tricia gazed sternly at him. His words stung her. So, he actually viewed her as a good-for-nothing. How dare he? All the troubles were now her fault? She had helped this demon out and even watched his back just to protect him and he feels she’s nothing compared to Purity? Her anger blazed against him. She stood up to leave. “This meeting’s over.”
“What?” Ernest was astonished. He never imagined her reaction to be that way. “Where are you going? We haven’t even had any discussion yet. You can’t leave now.”
“Yes. I can leave whenever I please. Whenever I want to.” She lifted her purse off the table. “And I choose now.”
“Common Tricia,” he stood up, “You don’t have to do this.” Ernest didn’t actually need her help. He could handle the problem on his own. He only needed her to be on his side for her to keep her mouth shut and she also had good connections. He couldn’t waste the chance he got.
Tricia rolled her eyes. “You want to fill my head with insults,” she remarked, sarcastically. “I am really not interested in that. I resent such persons.”
He inhaled deeply and held her hand. “I am sorry. It was just anger. Please, sit.”
Without hesitating, she sat down. “Don’t talk to me that way again.”
He resumed his seat. “It won’t repeat itself. But don talk that way about Melisa, respect her. I have never abused Jeremy, at least not to your face.”
That was going to be difficult for her to accept. But what could she do? “Fine.”
“Who was that guy that bumped into us and fell under the table?”
“No idea,” she replied absent minded.
“Now, lets go straight to business. You say the doctor threatened you? How did you know that Jeremy recovered his memory?”
She dragged in a breath. “I eavesdropped. I heard Jeremy tell him about the surveillance cameras at that country house. He also mentioned that they needed to get the tape and rescue Purity. He doesn’t believe she broke the bottles on his head. He remembers everything.”
“Don’t you get it?” he rhetorically asked. “Jeremy told Allan the truth. They got to the tapes first. If Allan know about the kidnap, definitely Jeremy does too.”
“Allan mentioned to me that he was discharged this morning,” she recalled.
Ernest shook his head in disagreement. “It means he lied to you. Jeremy was either discharged yesterday morning or afternoon. And they sought out the tapes. If they had waited till morning, we’d have them. They are up to something.”
“And he’s using me. Jeremy’s using my feelings as a bait to get me. He’s never going to look at me as before.”
“Worry about that later. They have nothing to hold you. Be yourself and deny their accusations. You can report to your father. But what ever you do, don’t give them a single clue. Don’t even do that with Jeremy, be very careful around him,” he cautioned wisely.
Tricia nodded. She was just going to be herself. Never going to say whatever would arouse suspicions. She wasn’t ready to lose Jeremy and she was going to keep him. She smiled to herself.
“I have to go check on Purity. Good night.”
The fight was almost over; he had achieved his aim. Has he or was he getting there? Purity was all going to be his and as a matter of fact, she belonged only to him. She was a charmer, he was under the influence of her beauty and enchantment. She had not done much, neither had she said much the very day he met her, but her appearance and etiquette enticed him. It clung to him and refused to let go. Those feelings, those emotions, he never forgot. They lived inside of him, they were part of him. Forgetting them, going them up would be like taking away his own will to live. The every essence of his life. She emanates power, confidence, weakness, beauty and much more desirable qualities in a woman. All that propelled him to want to make her his. He wasn’t giving up. He smirked. He was in love.
He drove swiftly, wanting to get to her quickly. She was going to be scared of the dark. Something prevented him from getting to her – a vehicle. It trailed behind him. He had gone round and round in the same exact street. They still remained, following him. He couldn’t see their faces clearly, but he was sure the wanted something from him. He pulled his car over to the side of the road. He brought out his hand gun from the glove compartment and hid it in the inner pocket of his suit. He got down from his vehicle and walked up to them.
She was startled to hear her name. No just the name – the very person who had called her by that name. She looked up at him and gasped. “Jeremy. What are you doing here?”
He smiled and took the seat opposite her. “I saw you and came over.”
“Saw me?” she couldn’t quite get it. She had been sitting all by herself since Ernest left to meet Purity. She had been so engrossed in her thoughts, hatching a plan. A plan that could make Jeremy hers for life. She wasn’t certain yet, but she’d cherish the moments she was going to spend with him. But how long had he been here? Had he seen her with Ernest? She had even lost track of time. “Have you been here for up to an hour?”
Jeremy glanced at his watch. “Um….not really. Let me say ten minutes.” He looked back at her.
“Oh,” Then he had not seen her with Ernest. She heaved a Sig of relief. “What brought you here? I never knew you visit places like this.”
He chuckled. “Purity has been to a place like this.”
“She’s still on your mind, huh?” she muttered with a glint of unhappiness in her eyes.
Jeremy brushed that aside. “Why are you here?”
“Um….” she held his gaze, smiling gleefully. “I’m here to celebrate all by myself. You had said nice words to me today. It made me happy. My day was blissful. You didn’t throw me out. I am here to celebrate all that.”
He meant that much to her? “I’m glad I could be here to join you.”
There was an empty glass in front of her. She poured wine from the bottle into it, filling it to the brim. She refilled hers too. They cheered and drank.
“Would you please call me Purity for once?” Tricia requested.
Jeremy coughed immediately. “What?”
“Just look at me the way you look at her, even just tonight. Tell me the nice things you say to her. Please, do it just once.” Her voice was exceedingly subtle. She never left hush gaze. Her eyes were full of warmth and compassion. She expressed what she really felt for him and dropped the subtle hints of anger she felt towards towards him for choosing Purity over her.
“But you are not Purity. It doesn’t make sense calling you that,” Jeremy protested. He was not ready to give up his chance of being with Purity. Not for Tricia. No matter how much she love him, Purity will always come first. No one else.
“Do it for me, please.” Tricia insisted.
Jeremy sighed and rolled his eyes. “Just tell me a pet name you want me to call you,” he blurted out.
Tricia beamed. That’s it!
“Keep your voice down!” Ernest commanded Purity. She was screaming on top of her voice. He had just dealt with a man who had followed him and presently, she was making a lot of noise. How was he going to handle her? He flashed a torch at her direction. “Stop it!” he warned, again.
The feel of rays of light on her face calmed her. She squinted her eyes and threw her face from the face of the torch. She was panting and sweating. She had strained herself by shrieking loudly. “So, its you! You!” she yelled.
Ernest couldn’t get it. Whatever was she talking about? “Where you expecting someone else?”
“d–n you!” she fiercely shot at him. “How can you do this to me? You don’t even have an ounce of decency to tidy this place up and make it much more convenient for me? Do you know how frightened I’ve been? You say you love me and you treat me like trash!” She let the tears freely fall. She couldn’t believe what was happening to her. Ernest really locked her up. There was no food or water for her to drink. She was bundled to a chair like a criminal should be, but she was no criminal. She was simply having feelings for a man. What was going to happen to her? What was he going to do with her? She couldn’t decide or conclude yet. She was stricken with fear and intense hatred for the man standing before her.
Ernest couldn’t stand to see her cry. He allowed the bags he carried fall to the ground and rushed to her. He gently took her in his arms. “I’m so sorry, my love. I’ve been so stupid and reckless. I haven’t taken good care of you. Forgive me, forgive me, my darling.” he comforted her.
Purity rested fully on his back. “Untie me. I’m hurting,” she pleaded, weakly.
“I’ll do just that,” Ernest acquiesced.
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“Yes,” Allan said to his phone as he continued to scribble words on a white file on his table. “Have a great day.” He took the phone off his ear and tapped the red button. That was Darren. He had informed Allan that their plan was working and he should not forget to record any conversation he was going to have with Tricia or her accomplice if he meets with any of them.
Allan did not think he needed that reminder. He was a grown man and not a baby. Besides that, he sure knows how to pull his own stunt. He always knew what to do. The telephone on his desk rang, interrupting his thoughts.
“Doctor, there’s a man here to see you.” the voice of a lady said over the receiver.
“Does he have an appointment?”
There was silence the next seconds that followed.
“No, he doesn’t.” the voice came again. “Sir, he’s a new face and strange.”
Allan smiled to himself.
“I’ve got nothing serious doing and I’m bored. Let him in.”
He put down the receiver, switched on the recorder and composed himself; awaiting the presence of this new and strange face.
Darren quietly watched Jeremy as he furiously gripped the steering wheel and driving very fast. This wasn’t part of the plan but Jeremy had insisted they visit Purity’s office. He had his way. No one could actually control Jeremy. The absence of his fiancee was really driving him crazy. “Drive more slowly. I’m not prepared to die. Drop me off if you want to.”
“What exactly are we going to do there?” Darren questioned.
He sighed. “Anything.” He raked his hair with his right hand. “I remember she left all she had in her office the very day she was abducted. Purity’s very good at keeping secrets and hiding things. She must have something that connects, something that relates. Just anything for her to know she was going to go through something like that.”
“Then she would have alerted you.”
“I just said she did not!”
“What kind of woman does that? She sees danger and keeps her mouth shut?”
“Purity Theodore,” Jeremy solemnly answered.
The door flung open as Allan has expected. A man walked in, confidently. His face was familiar and he had a smirk on.
“Welcome,” Allan said in the most polite way he could, “Please make yourself comfortable.”
The young man nodded and immediately occupied a vacant chair which was on the opposite side of the doctor. He looked the doctor in the eye. He was very observant. This doctor had decided to pay an unexpected visit so much believed in himself. It must be part of his personality that he radiated – an aura of confidence. “Good day, doctor,” he greeted with an expressionless tone.
Dr. Allan smiled in return. His voice was all he needed to confirm who he really was.
“What can I do for you, Mr . . . ?”
“Let’s leave the introduction out of this,” he bluntly answered.
Allan did not see that coming, he was going to be very careful with this guy. He was really smart, he couldn’t underestimate him; especially after seeing how he handled Darren the previous night. “Alright, sir. What help can I offer?”
He pressed his palm against his face. “I’m seriously ill. Been ill for the past nine years.”
A frown creased Allan’s handsome face, “Have you been treating it?”
“Could it really be treated?” he shot at him.
“I guess so,” Allan honestly replied. He was confused as well. Where was this man driving at? He wasn’t going to be so easy as Tricia. “The symptoms?”
He cleared his throat. “My heart begins racing for no good reason. It did that the very day I caught a glimpse of her. It hasn’t stopped racing for her. I always get nervous around her, but I try to keep my cool.” He paused, gazing at the doctor. “Shall I proceed?”
“Please, do,” Allan urged him. His interest had been aroused.
“I searched for her nine years. I finally got to find her. But she was to be given way to another man. My heart lurched, it couldn’t bear to take it. It couldn’t bear to see the woman it beats for given away.” He paused again, allowing the words to sink into the doctor’s head. “What exactly could be my problem?”
Allan chuckled. He needed no sorcerer to tell him that the gentleman seated before him was Ernest, Ernest Turner. The cousin of his dear friend – Jeremy. “Your story is a captivating one indeed. I am not specialized in psychology, but I can offer some assistance.”
Ernest smiled widely. “I do need that.”
“You say for over nine years, you couldn’t let go of her?”
“Not me, my heart,” he corrected.
“Oh, your heart. Does the woman in question have the same feelings as your heart does?” Allan asked.
“I do not think so. She chose a different man. She is confused. Incapable of loving any man.”
“Is she happy with this man?”
“I mentioned that she’s incapable of loving.”
“Does it mean she can’t be happy with whoever she choose to be with?”
“That’s the problem,” Ernest quickly remarked. “She’s making a poor decision. She can’t be with any other man. I am the only one that can make her happy and feel secure.” Now, he was going to hit the nail on the head. “The other man whom her parents are forcing her to marry isn’t worthy of her. He shouldn’t even be given the opportunity to see her or get close.”
This man must be definitely crazy, Allan thought. The fact that he’s in love as he claims he is doesn’t mean he should badmouth Jeremy. He wished to cut his tongue off so he couldn’t utter any other word. He couldn’t, he just had to keep his calm. “Did the woman agree to this?”
“Nope. I concluded.”
Allan quietly did some calculations in his head. He sighed deeply. “I think I’ve gotten a diagnosis for your ‘strange’ illness.” He tapped his pen on his mohagony desk. “You are completely besotted with this woman. That is why you seem to be making conclusions for her. Only she should do that. Under that love you say you have, its mixed with anger and hatred; for she chose a different man over you. Its not complete love. You are a love-lorn. To relieve yourself of that pain, you do crazy things. What do you think?”
“Good day, Mr. Broderick,” a young lady seated behind a desk greeted Jeremy as he and Darren stepped into the Theodore’s Enterprise. She had a cheerful smile on her face.
Jeremy walked up to her. “Very well, sir,” she replied, still smiling.
“I believe Miss Purity Theodore isn’t on seat,” said Jeremy, getting to the point.
“That’s right,” she concurred. “Its getting up to four days, presently. We have neither heard from her nor seen her. Her papa says she’s okay and he’s taking care of things now,” she explained further.
“Please, do not let Mr. Aaron Theodore know I was here.”
She nodded, willing to obey Jeremy. He was attractive to her and she never stopped smiling.
Jeremy smiled back at her, for the first time. “I want to go up to Purity’s office. Need to get some things. Are her things still in order?”
“They should be. No one goes up there without her consent. Just Heather is permitted.”
“Thank you for the information.” Jeremy turned to Darren. “Lets go.”
“Heather isn’t in….” the receptionist blurted out, it was too late. Mr. Broderick and his friend already headed to the elevator. “If I had the opportunity to be engaged to this man, I’d marry him immediately. I’m not going to give it a second thought. He’s so handsome; he’s voice is soothing and he’s rich,” she dreamily thought out loud. “I don’t know why Miss Theodore is delaying?” she concluded with a slight frown on her face and focused on her work.
“Did you notice that young lady undressing you with her beautiful eyes?” Darren asked his friend.
“Did something like that happen?” Jeremy threw at him.
Darren laughed. “You’re so into her that you don’t even notice when other women are wanting your attention.”
Jeremy coughed. His only response to Darren’s taunt. “We are here,” he informed Darren as they got to a huge door. He reached for the done knob and turned it.
The door responded and opened silently. They walked in and were greeted by an empty office. The small room was clean and smelt nice as it always did, but Heather was missing. Where could she be? Or had she relocated till Purity returns? He couldn’t tell.
“Her secretary’s not in. This office belongs to her.” Jeremy closed the door behind him.
“Aren’t you glad?”
“No. She was going to give us information. I’m sure she know about Ernest visits here and what they talked about.” He took a deep breath, “Let’s go in and see what we can find.”
Ernest smiled at the doctor’s thoughtful diagnosis. He might be right. He must have gotten it. But he couldn’t agree with that. He would not accept the fact that he was unhappy without Melisa’s love. He had gotten her and she was gonna love him back. More than anything she felt for his cousin. The doctor had judged Jim perfectly. That was not what hear. “I don’t think you have the right diagnosis. I would take my leave now.” He stood up.
“Its always difficult and might seem impossible for a patient to accept his illness especially when it is really bad. But in time, you’ll come to terms with that. Why don’t you just let her go? Love can’t be forced.”
“I am waiting patiently and I’ll keep waiting.” Ernest insisted he was right.
The doctor shook his head. “Then what would she be doing? Waiting to love you back?” Allan chuckled. “Make her happy. Let her go. That’s when you’d be acting in love. Give her what she really wants, her desire.”
Ernest wasn’t going to let those words have any impact on him. He wasn’t going to get emotional. He was not going to think about it. Having Melisa was what he wanted, and whatever he did, he was doing for love. “It was nice seeing you,” he replied, concluding. He had to go.
“Its only going to be nice if you heed my advice,” Allan responded, unambiguously.
He turned his back to him and shuffled to the door. On getting to it, he paused. “Tricia, the daughter of Sept. Cayson came crying to me. What exactly did you accuse her of?”
That’s the reason he came visiting, Allan thought. If they were going to try anything, they were too late. “I can’t remember.”
“Nice try,” Ernest said, a smile on his lips. “Be careful what you say to her. You might wanna swallow your words. Good bye.”
He was too fast. He left before giving Allan any opportunity to make a sound.
Allan smiled mischievously, tapping a pen on his desk. He paused for a few minutes, seriously meditating on what he had just discussed with Ernest. He shook his head pitiably and pressed a red button on his recorder.
“Where is the secretary of Purity Theodore?” Jeremy asked, hastily.
The young lady raised her head in hearing that voice speak to her again. She considered him more s#xy as he hurriedly spoke. She never failed to flash him her best smile. “She’s not in,” she quickly sent him a look of apology, “I couldn’t tell you before you left my presence. I’m sorry.”
“Why isn’t she at work?” he demanded. Just as he would, if it were his company.
“Um, she’s on vacation.”
“What? Does she has to do that?” That was totally the wrong time she chose. Not when her boss was missing. This wasn’t good news.
“Miss Theodore approved of it. It was her proposal and she consented. You know it-”
“When is this vacation going to be over?”
The miss frowned at Jeremy’s rude interruption. She didn’t like that. “I think two months.”
“d–n it!” he exclaimed. “Lemme have her contact, now.”
She sighed. I guess he isn’t a patient person, she thought silently.
“I hope its to your delight.”
She looked around her surrounding once more. It was tidy. Been tidied up by the man who had forcefully taken her away from her life. The floor was neat. The windows were cleaned. No trace of spiders nor their webs anymore. The entire room gleamed. A small comfortable bed was put in place for her to rest and get a good sleep. He had even provided food, water and beverages. But most of all, he had untied her and brought clothes, toothbrush and other feminine items. Should she be grateful or not? The room was tiny, it couldn’t compare to her little palace at her papa’s mansion. “Its not exactly what would be my taste or quality. But what can I say? Its far more better than its old state. I’d have to adjust.”
Ernest smiled. “You don’t have to worry. I’m taking you out of here, soon.”
She scowled. “And where will you be taking me to?” She let her weight drop on the only available chair.
“Its a surprise.”
“Its a surprise,” she muttered.
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