Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

 

EPISODE 27

 

I turned and what I saw was Ryan fully dressed in a black three piece suit and I

 

released a sigh of relief.

 

“Holy shit” I exclaimed.

 

“What?” He inquired with a smile of satisfaction all over his face.

 

“You dress so fast” I commented and he giggled.

 

 

“Yes, and the fact that you were actually bold enough to want to see me naked makes me really ashamed” he smiled and I felt embarrassed.

 

“You challenged me okay so I had no choice, don’t act the saint” I defended myself but I still had a little shame washing all over me.

 

“Girl my foot, a girl wouldn’t turn trust me” he muttered.

 

“I’m not going to sit here and watch you insult me” I stood up but walked back when I noticed he had a suit on.

 

“Why the suit? You don’t have to be so formal in Brooks” I tell him.

 

“We are going undercover remember? I’ll act your husband so I just want to come off as the perfect gentleman” he arranged his suit smiling.

 

“Gentleman? You can’t even pass for a man, talk more of a gentleman” I dished out and he arched his brow.

 

“I won’t talk to you, I know you are still mad you didn’t get to see me naked” he teased and walked out of the room laughing. Argh! I hate his guts.

 

I had my bath and changed into a pink flare gown which had a bow at the back, I needed to dress the part of a dutiful wife and this gown seems perfect and British and trust me anything British is formal. I tied my hair in a ponytail and placed a beret at the front.

 

“Perfect” I winked at my reflection in the mirror. I strolled to the dinning room to join them for breakfast so I can take my medicine after. “How do I look” I twirled around.

 

“Beautiful” my grandma commented.

 

“Perfect” Gramps smiled.

 

“That’s what I thought, thanks Gramps” I drew out a chair and sat down, I glanced at Ryan, he was so focused on his breakfast that he couldn’t even spare me a look talk more of a compliment.

 

“Why are you dressed like that, you are going over to Len’s” my grandma questioned.

 

“We need to go undercover so they wouldn’t find out we are snooping around, it could be dangerous” Michael chipped in and that was when I noticed Michael was around, he wore a suit too but his looked more like that of a chauffeur, it’s sure is Halloween season for us, that spooky season is here!

 

“Oh I see, just be careful Aaliyah, you know about your health, it would be…” “Yes grandma, I know” I nervously cut short my grandma and that was when I noticed Ryan glance at me but didn’t say a word. After breakfast, Michael announced that it was time to visit Len’s pawn slash discovery shop, he calls it that; discovery shop and I don’t know why.

 

“Bye grandma, bye gramps” I waved them.

 

“Bye baby, be safe” my grandma shouted and I smirked. Grandmothers right? They are the best.

 

I was surprise to see a limo parked outside as Michael took the driver seat and Ryan and I took the passenger seat. I knew this is an undercover mission but they sure came prepared and truth be told I don’t know the plan.

 

“Harvey!” I exclaimed as I was surprised to see him in the car flashing a smile at me.

 

“Hey cracker doll” he smiled and I missed that smile so much. I miss my best boyfriend, since I married Ryan and stopped coming to school, I haven’t had a real conversation with Harvey and seeing him now, we had some serious catching up to do.

 

“Hi, it’s being ages” I sat by him as Ryan took the seat opposite us.

 

“I know, I’ve missed you” he said and I saw Ryan shoot him an angry glare or was it just me? Maybe it’s me. I think I know what to do.

 

“I’ve missed you too” I hugged him and part of me did all this things just to infuriate Ryan and the other part did it because I really missed Harvey. “How’s Lolo?” Harvey asked as I pulled from the hug.

 

“She is fine, haven’t heard from her in a while, I’m a terrible friend” I put my head down.

 

“No you are not, you are a good friend” Harvey raised my chin up softly with his hands and I glanced at Ryan who just kept glaring at us. “You think so?” I said softly looking into Harvey’s eyes.

 

“Enough!” I heard Ryan voice. Guess it worked, that’s payback! Payback for what actually, I don’t know what’s wrong with me. “What?” Harvey raised his brow.

 

“You guys are disturbing my peace” Ryan huffed and a smile curved on my lips. We remained silent and I kept glancing at Ryan and when our eyes would meet, I’d look away. This happened more than three times before Michael pulled over at Len’s pawn slash discovery shop.

 

“We are here” I annouced and was about to step down when Ryan stopped me.

 

“You stay here with Harvey, I’d go inside” he instructed.

 

“Huh? Why did I dress like this if I wouldn’t be part of the fun?” I pointed to my clothes which took me years to pull off, okay I exaggerated but at least it took me hours. Fine you win, minutes but at least I deserve to be part of the fun. “You just stay here I’d go inside” he said and I groaned.

 

“Why? I could be of help, I know Len like the back of my palm” i flared up.

 

 

“It could be dangerous, I need you to be safe, just listen to me this one time” he explained but I wasn’t having any of it.

 

“Since when did you start being protective of me?” I wondered.

 

“Since I married you, I married you to protect you remember?” He yelled.

 

“But he might not help you but if he sees me he might- scratch that he would help” I said lowly.

 

“Money can make anyone talk so don’t worry” he scoffed.

 

“There you go again, you are your sister always with the ‘when you’ve got money shit works’ slogan money isn’t everything” I tell him.

 

“And when did I say that? Look you’d stay here and be safe” he touched my shoulders.

 

“And you? Who would keep you safe?” I asked really concerned.

 

“Michael is coming with me and perhaps if I get caught or if anything happens to me, it wouldn’t make a difference because I’d soon die, I’ve got cancer so stay here and stop arguing with me” he yelled angrily and I stayed quiet. “Why am I here” Harvey finally said a word.

 

“To keep her safe” Ryan faced him and walked out closing the door.

 

“Seriously? No fun? And I wore my Fendi prints” he shrugged.

 

“Guess we are both stuck in the limousine” I rolled my eyes and sighed. ***

 

Ryan

 

Girls could be very difficult, I don’t know why I’m even worried about her, she is such a pin in my ass.

 

“You brought the note?” Michael cuts in on my thoughts.

 

“Yes, I did” I slipped it out and we both walked into the pawn shop.

 

“Good day and welcome to Len’s pawn slash discovery shop” A young guy who must be in his early thirties welcomed us.

 

“We are here to see Len” I placed my hand on the counter.

 

“Why?” The guy asked.

 

“We have a very important matter to discuss that involves money” Michael said and the guy looked at us with crossed eyes.

 

“Well he is right here, I’m Len” he bowed like he just ended a presentation. “Good, we have a business to discuss then, I’m Bryce and this is Mace Bruce my boss” Michael introduced and Len nods.

 

“What I can do for you” Len asked and I put the note on the table.

 

“We want it decoded before noon” I said and he smiled.

 

“Hmm, this is going to cost you a lot” Len smiled.

 

 

“Whatever it cost, just be fast” I tell him and he smiled taking the note to his inner chamber. We waited for a while as I looked at the shop over and over again. “I’m back” Len announced and I’m shocked because he was fast.

 

“Good so what have we got?” Michael or Bryce asked him.

 

“Well, it’s a map” he said.

 

“A map?” I curved my brow.

 

“Yes and whatever this leads to must be very important because it contains code and encryptions done by a very talented geographer and historian” he explained. “Okay, have you decoded it?” Michael asked.

 

“Yes, yes, I have and as a very talented decipher like me, I made it extra easy for you” he handed the note over with a new note along with it.

 

“Wow, it’s super easy” I said with humor in my voice because it’s not, it’s confusing and really tiring with all the pointers and roads.

 

“Yes and whatever that is, it’s here in brooks so happy finding” Len said and I sighed.

 

“Thanks, so how much would this cost?” I asked.

 

“It’s free, say hi to Aaliyah for me Ryan Pierce” Len winked and I was shocked, I exchanged looks with Michael.

 

“How did you know my name” I asked slowly.

 

“Well, it’s easy, your fine suit” he said and I arched my brow.

 

“Kidding, my father is the talented geographer and historian that did this map and encrypted it.” He explained.

 

“That does not explain how you knew his name” Michael chipped in.

 

“Yes I know, your mom came to my father years ago to help her make a map that someday would lead her son to something very important, I was a teenager then but I still remember that scared look on her face when she came here and few weeks later, I heard she was dead and my father knew whatever was in that map could be very dangerous so he destroyed the extra copy he made” Len explained with sadness in his eyes.

 

“So we are on right track, where is your father, I’d love to ask him some questions” I beamed with smile.

 

“He is dead, heart attack” Len said sadly.

 

“We are so sorry” Michael sympathised.

 

“No worries and tell Aaliyah I’m sorry I missed her wedding” he said and I dipped my hands into my pocket.

 

“I’m sure she wouldn’t mind and take this for your troubles” I offered him money.

 

 

“Oh no need for that, this is my wedding gift to you guys” he pushed the money back to me.

 

“Thank you and this is my gift to you, let’s just say for the info” I raised my brow.

 

“Fine, thanks and can you do me a favour?” He asked.

 

“Shoot” I tell him.

 

“Take care of Aaliyah, she is a very special young lady and I’ve always said I’d marry her but you beat me to it” he laughed and I gave off a fake smile.

 

“Please promise me you’d keep her safe and away from all this because whatever you are after is very dangerous, it killed your mother, I wouldn’t want that to happen to Aaliyah” he said and I nod, truthfully I agree but Aaliyah is so stubborn, she wouldn’t listen.

 

“I promise and you be safe too” I smiled and bade him goodbye before stepping back into the car.

 

“You got what you wanted?” Aaliyah asked.

 

“Yes and I met Len, he is such a nice young man but he wanted to marry you” I smirked.

 

“What?” Aaliyah raised her brow.

 

“Never mind” I cleared my throat.

 

“So what’s next?” Harvey asked.

 

“Next? We follow the map” I announced.

 

“Map?” Aaliyah inquired.

 

“Yes, the encrypted note is a map” I explained and they nod. We drove in silence as Aaliyah giggled with Harvey and it kind of infuriated me. I don’t know what’s wrong with me nowadays I get mad whenever I see Aaliyah with any other guy and what Len said earlier made me feel very lucky to have been the one to marry her. Wait? Do I feel something for her or it’s just my heart trying to heal after my breakup with Tasha?

 

“Special young Lady” I muttered as I watch her have a very funny conversation with Harvey, I know it’s funny because she was laughing all through. Michael pulled over at Aaliyah’s grandparents house.

 

“Why are we back here? I thought we were following the mystery map” Aaliyah inquired.

 

“We will do that tomorrow” I said.

 

“Okay, Harvey be prepared to meet my grandparents” she tugged her hands under his.

 

“No I’m sure Harvey is going to have his hands full returning this limousine” I interrupted.

 

 

“What? I thought you said you are going to use it through out the operation” Harvey asked.

 

“I thought so too but I want a Mercedes Benz so you’ve to change it, see you bright and early with a Mercedes tomorrow and with that said Aaliyah let’s go” I dragged her by her arms out if the car.

 

“Ouch! That hurts” Aaliyah winced in pain as her grandma watched with a puzzled look and I quickly let go of her arm.

 

“I’m sorry” I said loudly so her grandma would hear.

 

“Its noon, I need a nap” Michael walked pass us as Harvey waved me goodbye before driving off.

 

“Won’t you join us for lunch?” Grandma Esthy asked Michael.

 

“I’m tired, just save me a plate. Thank you” he went into the guest room as Aaliyah and I went to the dinning, I went to have a quick shower as Aaliyah helped her grandma in the kitchen.

 

“Hope he isn’t abusing you?” Grandma asked Aaliyah as I tip toed closer so I’d hear what they were saying, I hid behind the kitchen door. “No he isn’t, why would you think so grandma?” She asked.

 

“Just the way he grabbed your hands earlier and I noticed you guys are not friendly with each other at all” grandma esthy explained.

 

“No grandma, we are fine and I’ve never been happier. Ryan is the best thing that came into my life” she tells her grandma as a smile curved on her face. I felt a tingling in my heart as she spoke and I just noticed her smile, it’s magical, she had the biggest and most beautiful smile in the world. Snap out of it Ryan! “Hey Ryan” Aaliyah said holding her chopped lettuce.

 

“Hi honey” I acted because I noticed the look on her grandma’s face.

 

“Mind if I steal my wife away so she would show me around” I said and I didn’t

 

why I even thought of that.

 

“Sure!” Grandma accepted.

 

“Where are we going?” Aaliyah asked.

 

“You tell me” I smiled.

 

***

 

Aaliyah

 

Is Ryan asking me out on a date? I don’t think so, right?

 

“Allow me to change into something comfortable” I tell him and he nods.

 

I ran into my room and changed into a mini skirt and a knitted cozy top with a white sneakers.

 

“I’m ready to go” I announced and the looks in his eyes were unexplainable.

 

“Sure” he held my hands. Okay, that’s new but very nice.

 

“Have fun” my grandma shouted after us but we were no longer in sight.

 

We walked for a few minutes and I could tell he was tired, he hasn’t went for his chemo in days and I was worried.

 

“Let’s take a taxi” I suggested but he declined.

 

“I read somewhere that exercise is good for cancer patient” he ignored my suggestion.

 

“It only makes you more weak and since you haven’t went for your chemo in days, it could be dangerous” I explained and he shrugged.

 

“According to my GPS, the restaurant isn’t that far from here so don’t worry, I’m taking my drugs so I’m fine” he smiled

 

“I don’t need a GPS to know that it’s not that far, same way I don’t need a doctor to tell that you are not okay” I shrugged.

 

“I’m fine” he said almost breathless as he slowly slumped to the floor. “Ryan, Ryan, Ryan” I called out supporting his head with my hands. “Help” I screamed and he started laughing

 

“You care about me that much” he mocked and I angrily left him on the floor and walked back home.

 

“Hey” he called after me but I didn’t answer, I was mad that he would pull such a stunt knowing fully well that I was worried. I ignored him till I got home. “Came back so soon?” My grandma asked. “Yes, hope you saved lunch for me?” I asked.

 

“We are just starting so join us, where is Ryan?” She asked.

 

“Dead or maybe pretending to be” I blurted out angrily.

 

“Oh dear, what happened?” My grandma asked.

 

“Nothing” I chewed on my food.

 

“Leave her be Esthy” gramps added.

 

“Thanks gramps” I said and saw Ryan walk in looking tired.

 

“I’d be in the room” he announced and my grandma gave him a nod. After lunch, I chatted with my grandma but made sure we avoided the Ryan talk. Soon it was dark and I helped my grandma prepare dinner and we all had dinner but I didn’t talk with Ryan and Michael noticed the tension between us but I didn’t care. After dinner, I went out to the balcony to get some air when Ryan joined me outside. “Are you still mad?” He asked softly.

 

“I’m not just don’t…” Before I could finish my words, I felt Ryan face close to mine and I could feel his breath on my face and that tingling in my heart came back

 

 

again, this time my heartbeat rate was faster and I glanced at his lips, they were inviting.

 

“Should I kiss you?” He asked as he teases my lips with his.

 

“No” I replied but my lips wanted it badly truthfully I wanted it too.

 

“Fine” he takes his face away and I released a sigh. That was close, what’s Ryan up to? Creeping up on me like that.

 

“I’m sorry for pulling that stunt, it must have scared you” he apologized and I nod.

 

“Don’t just do that again” I scolded.

 

“Fine, I’d be finding a place tomorrow to stay” he said and I flinched.

 

“Why? Isn’t here accommodating enough.” I tell him.

 

“It is just that it could take weeks before i find what I’m looking for and I want to keep you and your family out of danger that is why I’ve decided you are going back to Paris to concentrate on your studies” he tells me.

 

“Decided? You have no right to decide, I’m not complaining okay?” I yelled.

 

“I know but I have to keep you safe” he scoffed.

 

“Keep me safe? Why is it suddenly your duty to keep me safe?” I flinched.

 

“Because- because” he stopped his words.

 

“Because what?” I yelled and before I knew it he took my lips in his and he kissed me so passionately that I wanted time to stop so this moment would never end because it was magical. As he kissed me, parting my lips with his tongue and deepening the kiss as each second pass by, I was breathless and grasping for air but I didn’t want to let him go because he was good, too good…

 

“Ryan” I heard his name as we quickly broke the kiss and who I saw was the last person I wanted to see at this moment.

 

“Tasha!” Ryan exclaimed. This bitch just ruined my perfect moment.

 

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TBC

 

MARRIED AND STILL SINGLE

 

[Broken vows]

 

by berlie

 

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