Chapter three - The hardest decision

Cara's POV

I took the day off and went back home, I couldn't go to work after.

I wasn't in the mood to talk with anyone or even think about anything.

I laid on the bed trying to clear my mind and relax , trying to forget what happened yesterday and today. Trying to forget how he suddenly came back to my life and disturbed my thoughts.

But even with that, I kept on recalling his words from earlier today.

He said he will hurt Alex.

Would he ?

He wouldn't, right?

He can't.

Of course he can't. He won't go that far.

He is not that bad.

Or is he ?

I closed my eyes and covered my face with my hands unable to handle all the thoughts running in my head. I wish i can just go back into ignoring the thought of him.

It was much easier that way.

I let out a frustrated sigh and shot up from my laying position. I should occupy my mind with something else or I am gonna go crazy.

I directly changed into my working jeans overall, pulled my hair into a messy bun and went downstairs to my studio.

It is the only place where I can lose myself. When my brush moves over the material of the canvas, I seem to forget it all.

It's my sacred place, and having a sacred place is an absolute necessity for everyone. It is this specific room where you can go in, at least an hour per day, alone, with no distractions.

The only place where I don't know who my friends are, I don't know what I owe anybody or what they owe me , what messed up obstacles I am facing, it all fades away once my brush is possessively held between my fingers, bringing the images inside my head to life, bringing forth what I am, or sometimes what I can be.

My studio is this one big room at the first floor in our house. Alex arranged it just for me when I moved in.

A smile made its way to my lips as I recalled how he surprised me that day. He said and I quote, " I know how much you like painting, so I changed my precious gym room into this studio.

And probably one day I will lay naked there and you will do some nude paintings for me."

I shook my head. That guy is definitely a thing.

I collected my thoughts together and started painting this exact image I have in mind. I was waiting to start working on it for a long time and I hope it will be in the same way I am imagining. It would be perfect.

I lost count of time as my hand never left the brush and my eyes didn't leave the canvas with some classic music playing in the background giving me the peace i was craving for.

When i felt the presence of someone else, I lifted my eyes to meet Alex's amused one's.

He was laying against the door frame, his hand crossed over his chest, looking at me with this heartwarming smile.

I narrowed my eyes, "You can't creep people by staring at them like this !" I said while fake glaring at him.

He chuckled and uncrossed his arms, "Well you seemed pretty much into what you're doing-" he said and started walking toward me, "So I didn't want to disturb you."

I smiled and stood up, he directly pulled me closer, his arm went around my waist and his lips gave me the sweetest kiss.

I sighed in relief, being in his arms is my other way to find peace.

His other hand went to my hair, he removed the claw clip from my bun making my hair fall around my face.

I looked at him skeptically, "Why you always do that ?" I asked while he just shrugged as he tucked a strand of my hair behind my ear.

"Show me what you were drawing." He said as he tried to steal a look at my paintings.

My eyes widened and I directly pushed him away, "No, you can't see it !"

His smile dropped at my words, "Why ?" He said, his eyes narrowed, "Are you drawing some man's portrait over there or something ?"

I raised an eyebrow at his silly question, "No, it is just a surprise." I said, "You will see it later."

"When can i see it then ?" He asked looking curious.

"On your birthday." I answered with a smile. He furrowed his eyebrows, "But that's like two weeks from now." He said.

I nodded, "It would be finished by then."

His smile came back, both of his hands wrapped around my waist pulling me closer to him again, "Are you drawing my handsome face ?" He said with a bright smile.

I resisted the urge to roll my eyes at his cockiness. I shook my head; he raised an eyebrow in return as if thinking it through.

His smile changed into a smirk, "Or you are drawing some nudes for me ?"

"Oh my god no !" I said and lightly slapped his chest unable to handle his dirty mind.

"Hmm." He said pressing his lips into a thin line, "Or is it-"

I didn't let him continue what he was going to say, I took a hold of his hand and dragged him with me outside the studio. "You're probably just drawing my d*ck." He said with a shrug.

I stopped and glared at him, "You ruin all the innocent images in my head."

He winked, "That's the point."

I shook my head and looked at my phone to check the time, my eyebrows pulled together when i noticed it is still early, i looked back at Alex, "You are home early today."

"Yeah we had nothing to do till four, and you texted me that you didn't go to work so i said i should come home and see my sexy wife." He said and pecked my lips again, "And maybe do more than just seeing." He whispered beside my ear; his hand traveled to my lower back then squeezed my aśs.

I backed away and shook my head.

Always a pervert. He will never change.

He sighed knowing he won't get anything, "Why you didn't go to work though?" He asked and for some reason my heartbeats accelerated.

Something in me didn't want Alex to know about what happened with my father, or with that guy who almost kidnapped me yesterday.

"I was just a little tired, I didn't feel like going." I said with a shrug, "Do you feel better now ?" He asked as he gently ran his hand in my hair, and I nodded.

"I don't even know why you go to work anyway while you're pregnant." He said and shook his head.

"I just love my job." I said, he still looked unsatisfied, "You're pregnant, you should rest, not work, I don't feel comfortable when you are at work, what if something happened to you."

"Don't worry, I am fine." I said with a smile, my hands playing with the collar of his shirt, "Nothing will happen to me."

I lifted my arms and wrapped them around his neck, my eyes looked into his warm brown one's and all of a sudden my father's words flashed again inside my head, I felt a stung in my heart and I awkwardly backed away.

If anything would ever happen to Alex because of me, I would never forgive myself.

What if he kept his threats, what if he tried to hurt him to get me to do what he wants? What if he went that far?

To be honest, I don't actually know him, I don't know what he is capable of doing.

I hated that thought so I directly shook my head hoping it would shake those thoughts away as well.

"Are you hungry ?" I asked, hoping the change in subject will take my mind off those crazy questions.

He nodded, "I am starving."

"I will prepare you something to eat before you have to go again." I said and started to walk toward the kitchen.

"I'll help you." He said and followed me.

I prepared us lunch after, and Alex tried to help me, but seriously, this guy is like a kid when it comes to kitchen stuffs, he almost cut his finger while chopping the vegetables and almost burned the rice.

Next time, I should probably do it all by myself.

"So why you have to go back to work?" I asked as we sat across the table and started eating our meal.

"You know the new hotel we started." He said and I nodded, "Ashton and i have to go and check that everything is going okay, and you know, these kinds of shït."

"Can you drive me to Katherine's when you go." I said, because somehow i was scared to stay home alone. I was scared he may come or something.

"Sure babe." He said and continued eating.

After lunch, I changed my clothes and Alex drove us to Katherine's and Ashton's house.

When we arrived, Alex was parking the car as i went toward the door and rang the bell. Katherine opened the door, holding Chase in her arms, her smile widened at my sight, "Car !"

Gosh I hate when she calls me like that. I shot her a glare. Her smile just widened.

"Come in bïtch." She said and stepped aside as i entered.

Ashton came from behind her and took Chase from her, "Watch your language." He said scolding her, "You're holding a kid in your arms."

Katherine rolled her eyes and looked at me, "I hate when he acts like the mature one." She said just for me to hear.

"I heard that !" He said, she looked at him and smiled innocently, "I know you love me anyway." She said, he sighed and nodded as a response.

Alex came back holding some files in his hands, his smile grew more when he saw little Chase, "Give me my little man." He said as he directly took him from Ashton.

Chase started laughing when Alex buried his face in his stomach and started tickling him.

A smile made its way to my lips. I can't wait to see him holding our kid and playing with him like this. I can't wait to finally have my small own family with him.

"I know you missed uncle Alex." He said and kissed his head, he looked at Katherine, "Sweetheart, can we take him with us ?"

Katherine directly shook her head, "Please, pretty please." Alex whined like a kid.

"No, give me my son." She said and inched closer and took a Chase from him. Alex frowned at her, "You're so mean." He said while she just shrugged.

"Okay now let's go." Ashton said to Alex then looked back at Katherine, "I won't be late." He said and pecked her lips, "Maximum an hour."

Then he started pushing Alex out of the house, "Wait wait, i want to also kiss my wife." Alex glared at Ashton and said.

He walked toward me, "I won't be late." He said mimicking Ashton as he pecked my lips, "Maximum an hour."

I chuckled; he gave me a wink before getting out the house.

"We'll go with my car." He said to Ashton as they walked away.

"No, with my car." Ashton shot back.

"Nah nah, my car, i am driving."

"No , mine , i am the one who is driving."

"I said we are going with min-" and with that we closed the door as they walked away still arguing about which car to take.

"Men and their stupid problems." I said with a sigh.

Katherine shook her head, "Tell me about it."

We entered the living room, i seated myself on the couch, Katherine placed Chase on the mattress where all his toys are then sat beside me.

"Ashton's sister is coming in a while." She said as she looked at me," So before she comes-" she gave me her full concentration, "Tell me, how are you ?"

My eyebrows pulled together, "I am fine." I simply said.

She looked not satisfied with my answer, "No, really, how are you ?" She asked again.

"I said i am fine." I said again. She shot me a glare in return.

Damn her. How does she know I am not fine?

"Seriously now Cara, what happened?" She asked, "With your father i mean." She added hesitantly.

I swallowed hard; I didn't know what to say. I also don't want her to know about what happened. I don't know why I don't want anyone to know.

Is it that a small part of me is scared I may oblige to my father's request? That I may do what he asked me to. So, I don't want anyone to know about it.


No Cara. What the hell?

Never. You will never do that. No matter what.

I looked back at Katherine, who looked worried and concerned, "You can tell me anything, you know that." She added and placed her hand over mine.

I nodded and forced a smile, "It's nothing really, you know he just came to my house, ruined my mood and left." I didn't want to say more, "It's not a big deal."

I cleared my throat and smiled again, "Let's not talk about him." I said and shook my head.

She smiled and nodded, "As you want." She said, "But you know that i am always here for you, right ?"

My smile widened at her words. This stupid girl always makes me feel stupid things in my heart.

We sat there for couple of minutes and talked about random things, then Ashton's sister came and joined us as well.

After a while, Chase started crying, Katherine went upstairs to get him to sleep. I opened my phone to check the time, a weird feeling rose in my stomach when I noticed it have been almost three hours since Alex left.

He said one hour maximum. Right?

Is there something wrong? Oh my god, did anything happen ?

My heart started racing as many thoughts crossed my mind. I directly dialed Alex number hoping that all these thoughts are just an illusion, and everything is okay.

He didn't answer immediately making me even more worried.

"Hey babe !" When I heard his voice, I found myself breathing again. I closed my eyes feeling sudden relief wash over me.

"Alex, where are you ?" I directly asked.

"I am- uh.." he stuttered, my eyebrows pulled together as i heard weird noises beside him.

"Alex." I said again.

"Uh look it's nothing, so- don't worry." He said, and me starting to get worried again is a complete understatement. And the noises beside him were just increasing, and I understood nothing.

"Alex, where are you ?" I asked again trying to make my voice stay calm as I started pacing the living room.

"I am in the hospital." He said, my eyes directly widened, "But don't worry, we're okay, it's nothing."

"What happened ?" I directly asked, my hold tightened over the phone.

"I told you it's nothing." He said trying to assure me but that just made my anxiousness grew more. "Don't worry."

"You know saying that actually gets me more worried." I said, I closed my eyes and took a breath. "What happened ? Please tell me."

"When we were coming back, the brake of the car wasn't working, so i made the car collide with the near tree to make it stop." He said, with every word my eyes widened more.

I gasped, "Oh my god, are you okay? Is Ashton okay ?" I said as panic coursed inside my veins.

"Yes yes, i am and he is, i told you don't worry." He directly said, "Which hospital ?" I directly asked.

"We're coming back in few minutes, there is no need for you to come."

"Alex which hospital, just answer me !" I added as i felt a single tear slid down my cheek. I directly wiped it away, "Cupcakes i am fine, do-"

"Please just tell me which hospital." I added, my voice weak. I couldn't handle it. I have to see him now. Even if i heard his voice. I have to make sure.

I feel like my heart is about to burst out of my chest.

He didn't argue further and told me which hospital. I directly hanged up and took my purse from the couch.

I turned around to see Katherine and Zoe walking down the stairs. When Katherine looked at me, she probably noticed that there is something not right, "What's wrong ?" She asked as she walked closer.

I swallowed past the lump in my throat, "We have to go." I just said, i looked at Zoe behind her , "Are you staying here ?" I asked her and she nodded.

"Can you stay with Chase ?",Her eyebrows pulled together but she nodded anyway, "Yeah sure, but why?"

I looked back at Katherine who looked like she didn't understood anything, "Come wear your coat, quickly, we have to go." And with that i started walking. She followed me and placed her hand over my shoulder stopping me.

"Go where ?" She asked, "What's wrong, you are scaring me."

"Alex and Ashton had an accident, we are going to the hospital now." The moment the words left my mouth, i regretted saying them.

Oh my god, I should've not told her like this.

Especially not this thing.

Her eyes widened, "No no they're okay, don't worry, i just talked with Alex." I directly said trying to calm her.

A tear escaped her eye, she brought her hand to her mouth, "Oh my god !" She said, her voice a mere whisper.

"They're fine." I added and stepped closer and placed my hand over her arm. I am trying to sooth her when I need someone to sooth me as well.

But I can keep it inside, I can let it eat me from inside and act strong-pretend to be strong. But Katherine can't, she has been through a lot, she won't handle it.

"Don't lie to me." She said and shook her head, more tears started falling.

"I am not, i swear, let's go now, you can talk with Ashton on the phone and check." I said. She sniffled and pulled her phone and dialed his number.

She got more relieved when she heard it from him that he is okay. So, we directly went to the hospital after.

Once arrived, we went to the emergency section. I searched around and when my eyes saw Alex, I didn't know how I managed to run toward him with my shaky legs.

I directly crashed between his arms and hugged him tight, he hugged me back and chuckled, "I told you I am fine."

I backed away and looked at him, there was a small scar above his eyebrow, i traced my hand lightly over it.

"You're sure you're okay ?" I asked again as I took a look at him from up to down.

He nodded and smiled. His hand went toward my cheek and with his thumb he wiped the single tear that escaped without my notice.

I don't want to, but if I have to then I will hurt them. Starting from your dear husband.

It is him. Of course, it is. He did this.

At the thought that what happened to them is because of my father-because of me, my hand tightened over Alex's hand and I couldn't control my tears anymore.

"Cupcakes come on don't cry please !" Alex said once he noticed my tears, he tried to wipe them again, "Everything is okay."

It is not. If he did this, then he will do more. He can do more.

"You know i also love coming to a hospital." He said then gave me a wink, "There is always hot nurses over here."

I lightly slapped his chest making him chuckle , "Come on baby girl don't cry." He said again and kissed my forehead.

I sniffled then turned my head to search for Katherine. I totally forgot about her when i saw Alex.

She was in Ashton's embrace, sobbing lowly. Ashton looked at Alex and shot him a glare, "I hate you." He said, "I told you not to tell them !"

"What ! I couldn't lie." Alex said.

Katherine pulled away from Ashton's embrace, she suddenly hit his chest, "Don't scare me like this again !" She snapped at him, her tears still falling.

He smiled and nodded, "Okay i am sorry."

Her eyes flicked toward Alex, "Alex , are you okay as well ?" She said and pulled away from Ashton and started walking toward us.

Alex's eyes widened and he directly stepped away, she furrowed her eyebrows as he walked away scared from her.

"What ?" She said as she took a step forward. "You're going to hit me i know, because i was the one driving." Alex said and took a step backward.

She shot him a glare and shook her head, "I just want to see if you're okay !" She said innocently.

He looked at her warily and stopped moving backward. Once she was close to him, she directly hit his chest, "Be more careful next time !" She snapped.

"I knew you would hit me !" Alex whined and tried to duck away.

"You scared us !" She added and tried to hit him again.

Alex backed away , "Come take your wife !" He said to Ashton.

I shook my head and smiled. My phone buzzed in my pocket, i took it out to see a message from him- my dear father.

I felt my hold tighten over the phone. Anger, i felt real anger and hatred from the inside.

It said : This time things went well, but I can't promise about the next time.

Hope that was enough to change your mind.

I have to talk with him, stop him. I have to make him understand that I won't leave away with him. I can't do that.

I looked back at them to see Alex still trying to get away from Katherine and Ashton trying to hold his wife back.

I walked few meters away from them, so they won't hear me as i dialed his number.

"Did you change your mind ?" He directly said.

"What the hell is wrong with you ?" I snapped, "They would've get more hurt because of you !"

"That's the point." He simply said.

I gritted my teeth trying to keep my anger at bay. This man sure knows how to push my buttons.

"What do you want !" I snapped.

"I want you to leave with me." He simply answered. How can he be so calm? He almost killed someone.

"No.", i said and shook my head, "I am not leaving with you." I stressed on each word.

"And I won't stop till you say yes." He added, "This time I went easy, next time I won't."

I won't lie and say I am not scared. Because I am. I am terrified of what he is capable of.

"I am not gonna stop with your husband only." He added, "If you don't accept i am also gonna go for your sweet friend, her name is Katherine, right ?"

My eyes widened, he won't do that, he can't.

What the hell is wrong with him ?

My eyes went back toward them, Alex was laughing and so was Katherine and Ashton.

"Or maybe her husband." He added, "Or that little kid they have."

"You're sick." I said feeling disgusted that i am the daughter of this same man.

"I just hate it when I don't get what i want."

"You won't get it." I said, "I am not leaving. No matter what."

I hanged up after that feeling my heart no longer beating. This man is my father. Why he is doing this to me ?

Why he wants to ruin my life ? Wasn't abandoning me enough already? What else he wants ?

It is either leave them or stay and see them get hurt.

But I can't. I can't do any.

They're my family, how can i leave them. How can i leave my own kid.

My hand involuntary went toward my baby bump. I can't do that. I can't take this baby away from Alex, and in the same time I can't leave him or her and go.

What should i do ?

He said he will hurt them, and he actually did and something in me is saying that he would do it again.

I have to think about this. I have to find a way, a third option. I don't know what, but i will. And till then, i should be careful. They should be careful.

We went home after and i still said nothing about what's actually going on. I won't say anything to anyone till i find a solution to this, find a way to get us all out of this safe.

I couldn't even sleep as my mind was busy thinking it all.

My body tensed when Alex's hand suddenly went around my waist as he snuggled deeper toward me, "Why you're still awake ?" He muttered lowly with his sleepy voice.

I turned my head toward him, one of his eyes opened the other closed, "Don't go to work tomorrow." I said.

I am so scared of what my father can do. At least, If he stayed here with me it would be better. I think.

"Why?" He asked as he tried to open both of his eyes.

"Just stay with me." I said as i tried to think of an excuse, "We can also go shopping for the baby." I said.

He smiled weakly and nodded, "Okay, I won't go."

Sudden relief washed over me, and my smile came back. He kissed the corner of my lips, "Now go back to sleep." He said.

I nodded and tried to drift to sleep, but that for sure won't happen anytime soon.


Next morning

"Oh, damn I think I forgot my phone upstairs in the bedroom." I said as I checked my purse and didn't see my phone.

"I will go get it; you get inside the car." Alex said before entering the house again.

I tried to open the car, but it was locked, "But the keys are with you." I muttered to myself as i stood and waited for Alex to come back.

My heart knocked it up a notch as suddenly someone came from behind and placed his hand over my mouth. My eyes widened as i felt something press against my back.

"Don't move." He muttered lowly beside my ear. His voice wasn't that strange to my ears. I recognized him as same guy who almost kidnapped me the other day.

I tried to scream but his hand pressed harder against my mouth blocking my voice to come out. He pressed the gun further against my back making me wince. "I said don't move." He said stressing at each word.

I stood paralyzed unable to do anything. My eyes widened more when i saw more guys, they came out of nowhere and walked toward the house. There is like six of them, or maybe seven.

Blood rushed fast in my veins as realization dawned on me. They're here for Alex.

I struggled to get away from this guy's hold, but he was much stronger than i am. I bit the inside of his palm; he winced and removed his hand. I took it as my chance to get away, but he soon caught me and took hold of both of my wrists and pinned them behind my back.

When i saw Alex coming out, my fear doubled and I didn't care that the man holding me had a gun, I didn't care what he may do to me, I just cared about him, and I am sure they're here to hurt him.

My inside shook with fear as Alex's eyes met mine. His eyes widened as he noticed what's happening, the phone dropped from his hand as he tried to run toward me.

But that didn't happen, because the other guys blocked his way. Two of them held him back while the others started hitting him hard.

My tears started falling and i kept on trying to run away toward him, "No , no ! Leave him !" I sobbed as I struggled to get away.

"Please leave him." I said again, my voice breaking. Alex tried to fight back but he couldn't, they were all just against him.

The guy held my chin roughly, "This is what happens when you don't listen to orders, little girl." He said.

"You know you can stop this." He added but I wasn't really listening, "Just say yes."

My heart was breaking, and every hit felt as if directed toward me. They kicked him really hard, he closed his eyes, he is in pain. They're hurting him.

"Leave him !" I sobbed again but no one was listening to me.

I was no longer in control of myself when i saw one of them pulling a knife from his pocket , he opened up the blade and didn't waste a second as he inched closer toward Alex.

"NO !" I wailed, I screamed, I didn't know what i did, but all for nothing, he stabbed him with knife, and it felt as if he hit my heart with it.

The ache I was feeling was agonizing.

He didn't stop there as he twisted the knife making him suffer more. Alex closed his eyes, i heard his groan in pain. The man didn't stop there as he twisted the knife again in his flesh.

"No no no, please- leave him- I beg you." I said again, I begged again, I was slowly breaking down. I can feel his pain. I can feel it. If it wasn't for the man holding me, I would've collapsed on the ground long ago.

"He was ordered to kill him." The guy behind me said, "Unless you change your mind."

"Say yes and end all of this." He added.

My tears kept their flow. Anything but this. Anything is better.

"Yes." The word left my mouth as a mere whisper. "I will do anything he wants."

The guy pulled the knife away making Alex collapse in the arms of those holding him back. I broke down sobbing loudly, "I will do it." I just wanted him to stop. Stop hurting my man. I will do anything to keep him safe. And there is no other option.

"I will leave with him."

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