Chapter one - A knock on the door

Two years ago…

Cara's POV

You know this feeling; this constant nagging at the back of your mind, this sickening at the pit of your stomach, this heavyweight over your chest that makes you sometimes stop and just try to gasp for a breath.

You know; this anxiety, uneasiness, or maybe it is just referred to as --fear.

I don't know, it is just, this feeling--

What is it?

What do they call it?

This trepidation. As if you're waiting for something bad to happen. As if your gut is telling you, it’s giving you pre heads-up.

To prepare yourself maybe, or just to be ready, to have it in you to face what's to come.

I may sound crazy, but even sometimes, I feel as if someone is watching me. It is creepy, I know. The thought alone sends shivers down my spine.

I let out a tired sigh and press my palms over the kitchen's counter.

What the hell Cara?

What is wrong with you?

You're being so dramatic. Damn.

Everything is okay. Not just okay, everything is perfect.

You are married to a man you truly love, a man you're sure loves you back to the same extent, if not more. A man who always tries his best to make you happy. You are pregnant, you're going to have a child. You have the perfect job.

It's all perfect. What makes you worried then?

Maybe this perfection is why, this happiness is just-- too much, it is too good. That it makes me feel it is too good to be true.

This silence, it is not the comfortable one, I think it is what they refer to as the silence before the storm.

And everything in me is saying that this storm is not far away from here. It is coming soon. So soon.

I was pulled out of my thoughts when two arms suddenly wrapped themselves around my waist.

A gasp escaped past my lips, "You scared me!" I snapped at him before taking into a deep breath to calm my heartbeats. "Hmm." He mumbled lowly as he pulled me closer pressing my back against his front, he buried his face in the crook of my neck, his lips brushed gently against my skin, his warmth made me relax for a while as I laid deeper into his embrace.

"Alex." I closed my eyes and said, "Hmm." He muttered again, his warm breath against my neck started to tickle me.

One of his hands slowly traveled from over my baby bump down my thighs and made their way under my nightgown, the warmth of his touch over my skin heated my whole body, all the previous mad thoughts fled out of my mind. "Alex-", it came as a whisper.

"Hmm." He mumbled again as he nuzzled his nose against my neck.

I slowly turned around in his arms to come face to face with him. A smile made its way to my lips, his sleepy eyes and messed up hair made him look even cuter, "You can't talk ?" I asked arching an eyebrow.

His lips lifted up into a beautiful smile and he shook his head. "Shouldn't you be in my bed now ?" He said, his voice still hoarse from sleep.

"I am hungry." I said, he furrowed his eyebrows and looked at me as if I grew another head, "At three in the morning ?" He said.

I shrugged, "Your dear child is hungry." I said, "It's not my fault."

He raised an amused eyebrow, his eyes traveled to my baby bump, he placed his hand over it, "You know I have a faster way to feed you." He said talking with the baby.

"We'll go to the bedroom first." He said ever-so-serious still talking with our baby, "It may look like milk when you first see it but believe me-," he paused and lifted his eyes up and gave me a wink, "- believe me, it's not."

I chuckled and lightly slapped his chest, "What d-", he was about to say something but immediately stopped when suddenly the baby kicked.

His smile dropped and he removed his hand from over my baby bump, his eyes widened a bit, "This still creeps the shīt out of me." He said as he eyed my stomach looking terrified as hell.

I shook my head, "You're crazy." I said then took his hand and placed it there again. He is always like this, whenever the baby kicks, he freaks out.

"Like how, what-" he said again and shook his head as if not believing, "How? As if he or she hears me or something, so they start kicking or moving or -- do whatever they do"

"Because they hear you, you stupid," I said and shook my head. My small baby kicked again, I involuntary smiled while Alex's eyes widened again, "Oh my god, tell him to stop!". He looked horrified.

Crazy man.

As if you're the sane one over here.

True, true-

"Anyways-" Alex said before he surprised me by lifting me off my feet then cradled me in his arms, "No eating for now." He said raising an eyebrow as I fisted my hand in the neck of his T-shirt to steady myself, "I have better plans for you."

He added as he pecked my lips before walking out of the kitchen. I laid my head on his chest hoping that the sound of his heartbeats would sooth some of the ache in my brain. My hand still holding his shirt tightly-- tighter than it should.

What's wrong with me, what am I scared of? I should stop- stop these dark thoughts that are consuming the left sanity in my brain. I should let my heart calm a bit, instead of keeping it pumping this much hard against my ribcage, as if wanting to let free.

I don't want these stupid illusions to ruin the beautiful life I have. I was never the pessimistic type of person, but I don't know what's wrong with me these days.

I zoned back in when I felt Alex laying me down on the bed, he started to back away, but I fisted my hand tighter over his shirt and pulled him closer, "Come here."

A smirk crept its way across his lips, "Oh believe me cupcakes, I am not the only one who is going to come."

I let out a sigh, "Why you take everything in a dirty way ?" I said raising an eyebrow.

"Because I have a dirty mind." He said with a shrug, " And right now,-" he paused before taking my bottom lip in his teeth, he tugged on it before releasing it, "You're running inside it-" , his hand slide along my body, spinning down to the fabric of my gown, "-Naked."

Without giving him time, I pulled him from his shirt, drawing him closer till his lips connected with mine again. I want him to divert my mind somewhere else, I want him to make the stupid thoughts in my head vanish.

His free hand ran up my arm slowly, the calloused feeling heated my body like nothing else. Our lips slid together, tasting, and moving in a perfect sync, I started to lose it and let go. I moaned in his lips when his thumb brushed against my breast through my nightgown teasing me more.

Breathlessly, he pulled away, he opened his eyes and focused them on mine, I took in a deep breath and licked my lips, my hand still holding his shirt as if afraid to let go.

With our faces so close, "You won't leave me, right ?" I suddenly asked. My question came out of blue, it definitely startled him, his eyebrows pulled together, "What do you mean ?"

"You know what I mean," I said as I dropped my gaze down. He placed his hand under my chin and lifted it up, he shot me a glare, "You crazy, why would I ever leave ?"

"It is just-"I started to say but couldn't find an explanation to my question. What should I tell him; that I am hallucinating that he would just leave me, or afraid that something bad is going to happen, that I am having these stupid dreams and this feeling that someone is always watching me.

What am I supposed to say?

"Cara look-", he said grabbing my attention, "I would never leave, okay? I want you to remove that thought from your mind."

"I love you." He said, his tone serious, and it is so rare for Alex to be serious. "And I don't think I can live without you, so why would I leave ?"

I swallowed past the lump in my throat and nodded. I am just overreacting toward everything and being extra emotional.

Damn you pregnancy hormones.

I hate being like this. Get a grip on yourself you girl.

I tried with all my power to kick all these dark thoughts away, I cleared my throat, "Okay I want you out of your clothes, because now-," I said as I pulled him closer giving him a challenging look,"-you're running in my mind naked."

He chuckled and shook his head, "Oh you woman-" he said as he kissed the corner of my lips, "You gonna be the death of me one day."

"I prefer not to," I said raising my eyebrow. He shook his head, "If my death is going to be in your hands." He said, the heart-melting smile still over his lips, "-then I don't care."

For some reason, I lost control over my heartbeats, "Don't say that !" I said sternly. "Alex-"

He placed his finger over my lips shushing me, "How about less talk, and more sex." He muttered before claiming my lips taking control completely.


Next morning

"I don't feel like doing anything today," Alex said as I laid down and placed my head in his lap, he gently ran his hand through my hair. His eyes focused on me.

"Except you." He added, "I'd do you."

His smirk grew bigger, "I'd do you all day long."

"I even had planed a very good schedule for us today." He said with a confident smile.

I let out a sigh, "What did you plan ?"

Ahem. Let's see Alex's creativity.

"Okay, we'll start by making out." He said ever-so-serious counting on his fingers, "Then we'll have sex."

I nodded ushering him to continue, "We'll cuddle for a while, then we'll talk-"

"Oh no wait, skip the talking part- We'll just have sex again." He directly corrected himself, "After that, we'll go and eat, then come back to bed and have sex again."

"Actually we can even skip the eating part." He pursed his lips, "Because I know what I am having for lunch."

And his smirk is back, "Then we'll watch a movie, and when it finishes we'll just apparently have sex again."

"Oh wait, but we'll probably have sex during the movie so, it won't matter-" he said and looked as if thinking it through, he shook his head, "Anyways, then we-"

I directly placed my hand over his mouth shutting him, I didn't understand what he said after, his voice came muffled because of my hand.

He probably just said, we'll have sex again.

"As tempting as your schedule is-"I said mockingly, "But you seem to forget that Katherine and Ashton are coming for lunch today."

His eyes widened," Fum !" He said against my hand, he removed it from over his mouth, "Fūck !" He said again.

"Why they're coming?" He asked. I shot him a glare, "Because you invited them." I said in a matter-of-a-fact tone.

"I did?" He said knitting his eyebrows. I nodded, "Last week, when we were at their house, remember, you said next Sunday they should come for lunch ?"

He looked as if trying to remember, "I really did ?" He asked.

I let out a bored sigh, "Whether you did or not, they're coming to lunch in few hours so we better get our asses out of this bed now."

"No you go, but leave your aśs here." He said as he removed the hair that fell over my face away, "Sometimes I feel you love my aśs more than you love me." I said with a raised eyebrow.

He shrugged, I shot him a glare, "No, no, I love you and all, that aśs sure is a bonus."

I chuckled at his words. I lifted up from my lying position, I pressed my hand against his thigh as I inched closer, "I love you too and all-"I started, my hand traveled to his -Ahem- Alex junior- I slowly moved my hand against it from over the material of his sweatpants, "But that little boy sure is a bonus."

I gave him a wink before getting out of the bed and making my way out of the room. I heard him groan, "Oh come back here !" He said before I heard his footsteps behind me. "HOLD ON, IT'S NOT LITTLE !"

I chuckled as I ran away from him but he soon caught me. His hand came around my waist an pulled me toward him, pinning me against his chest, "Don't run like this !" He said sternly, his eyes glaring at me, "You may trip and you're pregnant-- so be careful !"

I nodded, "Okay daddy." I said mockingly. That made him drop the serious face and break into the brightest smile,"Oh cupcakes-" he said as he tucked my hair behind my ear, "-tonight you'll be screaming this word."

I shook my head but couldn't help the smile that made its way to my lips, "And if you were a good boy today, then we may work according to your so-good schedule later."

That made his smile grow wider. I don't think I'll ever get bored of this smile. I thought.

After taking a shower --alone, sure alone or I would've been there up till now. Anyways, after that, I started to prepare lunch while Alex sneaked out of the kitchen to watch some game over the TV.

That piece of shīt, he just went so he won't have to help me. I know. That's a minus one for him.

Get that mister.

As I was chopping the vegetables, I heard the bell ringing, it's definitely Kat and Ashton.

"Alex !" I called his name so he can open. But no response came. The bell rang again. I let out a sigh and dried my hands with the small towel before walking toward the door.

I opened it, a smile made its way to my lips as I saw Katherine and Ashton, with little Chase in Ashton's arms.

Oh my baby, I so missed this little bundle of joy.

"Hey !" I said, "Come in, it's so cold outside."

Katherine gave me a quick hug before entering. "Where is your husband ?" She asked and I shrugged. I turned toward Ashton and directly took Chase from his arms, "I missed you so much baby boy." I said as I left kisses all over his face while he started giggling in return as we made our way to the living room.

I didn't process how suddenly Chase was taken away from my arms, "Don't carry heavy things !"

And here comes my husband.

"Hey! My boy is not heavy." Katherine shot back as if he just insulted her son.

"Hello to you too sweetheart." Alex said, holding Chase in one arm, he threw his arm around her shoulder and pulled her closer to him, "You know, I missed you, it's been long since I last saw you."

Katherine shook her head, "Alex you saw me two days ago."

Ashton looked bored, he let out a sigh before sitting on the couch. I let out a sigh as well. I really don't understand these two.

Chase pulled Alex's hair making him wince. "Damn you're strong like your mother." He said as he freed his hair from Chase's tight grip.

Ashton scoffed making Katherine glare at him. He returned the glare and looked away. I couldn't help but wonder, what's wrong with them.

"Come on little man, say Alex." Alex said before sitting down with Chase still in his arms, "Come on say it, ALEX." He added, stressing at each letter of his name.

"Babbabaa-" Chase muttered something like that. Alex huffed, "No, no, ALEX."

"Babaaba-" Chase mumbled again with a smile. Alex let out a sigh, "You're so stupid." He said then looked at Ashton, "No wonder he's your son."

Katherine chuckled and nodded. She looked at Ashton and rolled her eyes.


I tugged on her arm, "Come help me in the kitchen." I said dragging her with me.

"Spit it out," I said once we stepped into the kitchen.

"What ?" She said with furrowed eyebrows. God, she is so stupid.

"What's wrong with you two?" I asked as I went and continued preparing the salad, "Trouble in paradise?" I asked teasingly.

She let out a sigh, "We fought before we came." She said then came and stood beside me, "Give me I'll finish the salad, you go finish something else."

"Why? What happened ?" I asked as I gave her the knife and went to check the oven.

"He was being a jerk as usual." She said with a shrug. "Today's morning we were having breakfast outside and we saw Caleb there, so when I saw him I hugged him, like a normal friendly hug-" her tone became more furious, "And when we went back home he went all crazy about that."

"I would've gone crazy as well," I said with a shrug. "If I was you I would've kicked Caleb in the balls not hug him."

How much I still hate him. That jerk hurt Alex. He hurt Katherine as well. This girl is no nice, she directly forgives people.

"Hey! I know what Caleb did before was wrong, but he regretted it, and-", she said, "-he kind of saved my life in the hospital, remember how he donated his blood to me."

"Oh shut up! He just donated his blood." I said waving her off, "He didn't cut his dīck for you."

"Okay you and Ashton go fūck yourselves, it was just a small innocent hug." She said with an annoyed tone as she angrily cut the vegetables.

"Watch to cut your fingers," I said. She just let out a frustrated breath as a response.

I shrugged and went back continuing my preparation. Alex entered after a short while, "When the food is going to be finished ?" He asked as he took a cucumber piece from the ones Katherine is chopping and ate it, "I am starving."

I directly checked the chicken in the oven, "Just a few minutes and it will be ready."

"Good." He mumbled as he took another piece of cucumber in his mouth making Katherine slap his hand away.

"Sweetheart, listen to this joke." He said looking at Katherine, "What's long, hard and has cum in it ?"

Katherine's eyes widened and so did mine, this man has no manners. She threw the piece of cucumber at him but he caught it with his hand and placed it in his mouth, "What? It is a cucumber." He said ever-so-innocently.

"But I like the way you think." He added with a wink before leaving the kitchen.

"I wonder why you love him." She said. I nodded, "Sometimes, I wonder that too." I said.

We finished preparing the food and had our lunch. And I feel my head will explode now because of these two.

Katherine was being such a bîtch to Ashton, and he in his turn was being such a jerk and they kept on arguing the whole time. And that lame excuse of a human I call a husband kept on talking as well.

What's my fault to have these crazy people in my life?

I don't know. I really don't.

After lunch, I dragged Katherine with me to my bedroom away from Ashton so she can shut the hell up.

"Are you okay ?" She suddenly asked as we sat down on my bed.

"Hell no." I said rolling my eyes, "You and your dear husband made me lose my mind."

"No, seriously now, are you okay?" She added as she eyed me as if trying to figure something.

I cleared my throat, "Yeah I am okay."

"Why you're asking ?" I added pulling a cool act.

"What's wrong ?" She said not planning on giving up till she makes me spit everything out. "Did Alex do something ?"

She narrowed her eyes, "Because if he did, I am gonna kick his sweet balls like I did before." She added, "Believe me, I still get that talent."

I chuckled, I shook my head, "It's nothing."

"Look, I know there is something wrong, you look somehow different, you're zoning out a lot, even you're smile is kind of forced and that's for sure is not because Ashton and I are fighting, so just spit it out." She said sternly and I knew I had no chance but tell her.

This girl knows me so well.

"I don't know." I said, my gaze dropped down, "I am not comfortable.. like I feel there is something, I don't know how to explain it, but this feeling is driving me insane."

She knitted her eyebrows and inched closer, "What do you mean ?"

I shook my head, "I don't know what to say." I sighed, "Also, I feel like someone is watching me."

Her eyes widened, "What ?"

"Who would watch you ? " she added, "I don't know." I said, "But for the last week, whenever I go I always see this exact same car - besides my work, besides the mall, even beside the company when I go to check on Alex."

"I even saw it follow me when I was driving, and when I stopped, it stopped, when I took a different route, it took the same route as well."

At my words, her eyes widened more, "Oh my god! Did you tell Alex ?"

"No." I shook my head, " I don't want him to worry, maybe it's nothing."

"What if it is something ?" She said, "Cara if these people are watching you then god knows why.. you don't know what they may do when you're alone."

She had a point. That's probably why I am so scared.

"Tell Alex." She added and I nodded, "And be careful."

"Yeah, I will," I said. I will tell Alex, and I will try to observe more, and if I see the same car again, this time I am going to take its number or something.

Our conversation got interrupted by a knock on the bedroom door. Ashton opened the door after and entered.

He shot Katherine a glare then looked back at me, " Tell your friend, Alex and I are going out, should I take Chase with me ?"

I almost laughed at how he is using me as a messenger. Katherine looked at me, "Tell him it is cold outside, so no."

"Tell her we're not going to be late. Maximum an hour." He added looking at me.

"Tell him I said no, which means no, doesn't he understand that, should I repeat it again ?" Katherine said and I couldn't help but chuckle.

"You two have serious issues," I said mockingly looking between them.

I saw Ashton's jaw tighten as he looked at Katherine, "When you're going to stop acting like a bitch ?"

Oh, i see world war three is about to be declared here.

"When you stop being such a jerk." Katherine stood up and crossed her arms over her chest.

"Well, I am not going to stop." He said.

"Then neither would i." Katherine shot back.

I swear to god I heard him growl before he suddenly stepped closer and harshly grasped Katherine's wrist and pulled her toward him pinning her against his chest.

Oh, this shīt is getting real.

Should I just sneak out or what?

"What do you want me to do?" He snapped angrily, "You want to hug him, okay then hug him."

"I won't say anything." He added, "But that would hurt me as hell because you know how much I hate him, and you know that he fūcking--" he paused, his jaw ticked, "-he loves you."

"I know the hug means nothing to you, but for sure it means a lot to him." He added, "But do whatever you want. I won't say anything from now on."

Katherine kept silent, she probably realized her mistake. Ashton let go of her then stepped away and walked out of the room angrily.

She let out a sigh and ran her hand through her hair before looking back at me, "Why in hell you're smiling ?" She asked.

I chuckled, "I just remembered how you guys before had much more serious issues and problems than just," I said making quotation marks with my fingers "You hugged someone."

She looked as if she is recalling it. She nodded her head. She knows I am right, they had way more serious problems and that didn't break them, and this is nothing compared to before.

"You're right." She said as she pressed her palm against her forehead, "Oh god, I feel so bad."

"Okay then go after your husband." I said as I pushed her away. "Go, go."

She directly walked away after him. I smiled. True they're all crazy, and stupid. But they're all my family. Alex, Katherine, little Chase and even Ashton, we are not blood-related, but that doesn't matter. I still love them more than anything, and as long as they're okay-- I think I am.

Ashton and Alex left to get some work-related files. And for sure they left after the big making out session between Ashton and Katherine.

Yeah, they're probably not fighting anymore.

After that, Katherine and I sat and talked about many things, she insisted that i should tell Alex about this car who's watching me and for sure i will. I need this creepy feeling at the pit of my stomach to disappear.

As we were talking, Chase got sleepy and he started crying, so Katherine took him upstairs to try and get him to sleep.

I started flipping through the channels on the TV trying to find something to watch when suddenly my phone started ringing, I took it from my side to see Alex calling me.

My eyebrows furrowed, Didn't he go like half an hour ago?

I pressed the answer button and placed it against my ear, "Hello."

"Hey cupcakes, where is Katherine ?" He asked, "She is trying to get Chase to sleep." I said, "Why?"

"Ashton was calling her to know where she placed the French-deal file, we can't find it, but she wasn't answering." He said, "Go and ask her."

"Okay hold on," I said as I stood up and started to make my way up.

I suddenly stopped walking when I heard a knock on the door. I furrowed my eyebrows, who would knock, there is a bell to ring!

"Wait a minute, someone is knocking on the door." I said to Alex on the phone, "Okay." He replied.

I walked toward it, when I reached, I placed my hand over the door's knob and --opened it.

Little did I know-- opening this door now would insanely change my life. Would ruin, kill and would take away everything good in my life. Would just assure my previous dark thoughts.

My eyes widened and for some reason, I took a step backward.

His eyes met mine knocking off all the left oxygen in my lungs.

My heart, I was no longer in control of its beating. My mind-- forget about my mind, because I definitely stopped thinking.

His lips lifted into a smile at my sight.

His smile. Same as before.

Time did change him. It made him older. But for sure, I can't forget this face. After all these years, I still remember-- how can I forget those eyes.

I felt my hand starting to shake at my side. My eyes prickled with unshed tears.

Why is he here?

Why now?

Many questions roamed my head, I struggled in taking a normal breath but still, I couldn't even utter a single word.

"Cara ?" I heard Alex say through the phone but I was too busy with the war happening inside me to reply. The voices in my head overpowered everything else.

'You know that I love you right.'

'I just have to go for a while. '

The voices didn't stop, they kept on repeating ripping me more from the inside.

'I'll be back little princess.'

After all these years, now he decided to come back.

"Aren't you going to say anything, little princess." He was the first to talk, the smile still on his lips.

His voice. Oh god, same voice.

Same voice I am hearing from the inside. Same voice my mind held onto with all its power for the past years.

The same voice that broke me.

I felt the phone starting to slip out of my hand as I whispered the only word my mouth couldn't utter for the last twenty years.

"Dad !"

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