A faint blush crept across Peach’s cheekbones as she lowered her head, clearly embarrassed by what she was about to ask.
“Yes?” Elijah prompted, sensing her unease.
“Could I work with you?” Peach finally asked timidly. “I mean if you… Umm… after you establish your company…” It grew quiet for a moment until she couldn’t bear it anymore. She lifted her head, and her eyes unintentionally locked with Elijah’s gaze before he focused on the road.
“Just because we are getting a bit close, you think that is a way for you to take advantage of it and use me for your benefit,” Elijah replied coldly, not bothering to hide the irritation and disgust in his voice.
Feeling confused, Peach chuckled Out in surprise, tilting her head to the side, mumbling,” Wait, what?!”
“Don’t act dumb and naive,” Elijah retorted sharply.
“That was uncalled for!”
The tension in the car grew thicker as Peach looked away from Elijah in embarrassment, feeling a little hurt from his harsh tone. “Under what grounds do you think you are qualified to work for me?!” Elijah let out, his tone dripping with sarcasm and anger.
“Maybe if you didn’t act as if I committed such a sin by asking to work with you, you would know that I have a master’s degree in business management and finance.” Peach stated proudly, folding her arms across her chest, not looking at Elijah. “You do?!”
“What?! Did you think I am some dumb woman?! What’s your problem…? My dad never joked about my education…”
When Elijah looked away from the road and focused on Peach, his expression softened and a small smile appeared on his lips.
“Sorry. My bad,” he apologized, glancing at her briefly before he returned his gaze to the road.
Silently, Peach watched Elijah as he drove through the streets of the city.
His facial expressions were unreadable, and it made her wonder if there was a particular reason for his cold attitude.
However, when he suddenly glanced at her, her thought found its way to her lips, and she blurted out, “You weren’t questioning my qualifications, but my sincerity, right?” When Elijah didn’t answer and only kept on driving in silence, Peach frowned, trying to figure
out why he was suddenly behaving like that.
“I am sorry… I should have known… it was silly of me… you are right, we are getting a bit close and I thought… it was stupid of me to think that we were on the same pace. But I guess I am more trusting than you…” Peach murmured, trailing off.
“I never thought of you as a dumb woman,” Elijah replied, keeping his eyes fixed firmly on the road. “But you are right, I am less trusting than you.” When the words left his mouth, Peach felt a sting of disappointment, yet she tried her best to suppress it, and then said, “Forget I said anything. Forget I even brought this up in the first place,” Shrugging his shoulder, Elijah kept his focus on the road, and Peach turned her focus to the window, watching as the scenery outside passed by them quickly.
After a while, Elijah brought his car to a halt in the hospital parking lot, making Peach look back at him shortly before opening the door. She stepped out of the car, waiting patiently for him to come and meet her.
‘She didn’t stomp off mad to be dramatic,’Elijah thought as he exited the car with the suitcase and closed the door behind him.
When Elijah reached her, Peach stole a quick look at him before they both headed into the building, walking over to the desk where a nurse was waiting for them.
“Peach,” Nurse Darling greeted with a warm smile once they stopped in front of her desk,” It’s good that you are here.” “Umm, is Doctor Ben in his office?” Peach asked politely with a shaky smile. “Well… he is… But you should go to your mother’s room first before anything else.
A look of worry crossed both Elijah and Peach’s faces… a sense of raw fear overwhelming Peach as she furrowed her brows tightly in concern.
A hint of reluctance clouded nurse Darling’s expression as she looked over at Elijah, biting her lip and shaking her head lightly, muttering under her breath, “Uhmm… Your cousin… Melina is here. She just arrived a moment ago, and went straight to your mother’s room.” A touch of fury flashed across Peach’s face, and drowning in her anger, she grabbed Elijah’s hand, pulling him away from nurse Darling, leaving a flabbergasted nurse staring after them in shock.
Even though Elijah was surprised, he followed quietly, trying to ignore the tightness of Peach’s grip on his hand. Quickly, Peach stormed down the hallway, heading straight for Miss Grace’s room, and when they got closer, she recognized her cousin’s harsh voice, “Call your daughter now!” “Why are you so mad at her though?” She could hear her mother say, and Peach batched into the room without knocking, glaring at her cousin a few feet away from her. A bitter and sarcastic laugh escaped Melina’s lips as she scoffed, raising her chin slightly and rolling her eyes, looking Peach up and down. “When aunt Patricia called to tell me that you were actually with her, I swear I didn’t believe a
word of it!” She exclaimed bitterly, glaring at Elijah.
The feeling of the past that he had for her suddenly flooded back with a vengeance, but he tried his hardest to push away all of those emotions and kept silent not wanting to let his anger get the better of him.
“My mom is sick, so if you are here to cause trouble, leave! She needs rest.” Peach said softly, yet her tone was firm and demanding as her eyes narrowed. “And if you dare come near her or us again, then I will personally sue your ass for harassing my family.” A look of surprise washed over Melina’s face, and then she rolled her eyes, saying, “You are crazy. No one likes you. You are a loser. A freak.” “Are you done?!!” Peach exclaimed angrily as she clenched her jaw, feeling done with her cousin’s nonsense. “Then get the hell out!”
Standing there with a hint of confusion and bewilderment on her face, Melina stared at Peach in disbelief as she took a step forward, her gaze resting on Elijah’s hands in Peach’s grip.
“You like my throw-out… things that I don’t have taste for?” Melina questioned mockingly before sneering. “I guess it must be hard for you to compete with me. Maybe you are jealous, hmmm?”
“Melina, Peach has done nothing to offend you, so why are you picking on her now?” Miss Grace’s soft voice echoed.
Turning to glare at the old woman, Melina clutched her first and lashed out, “Your daughter is a whore! Don’t expect me to be polite to her.”
“Melina!” Miss Grace gasped, covering her mouth with one of her wrinkled hands, tears welling up in her eyes. “She couldn’t wait to pick up the useless garbage that I tossed out of my life. All hands in hand with him! Haha, what a joke! What a bitch!”
“You… you… you should try to ruin my daughter’s reputation. Peach has never done something
“Oh, shut up please, Aunt Grace.”
When Melina turned to face Elijah, Peach’s palm collided with her jaw, leaving a red five fingers bruise print on her skin.
A look of shock and rage covered Melina’s features, and with an angry snarl, she turned towards Peach, raising her hand in preparation to hit her, but Elijah hastily pulled Peach behind him, his tall, broad figure shielding her completely. But that didn’t stop Melina from raising her hand and swinging it, aiming directly for his face, but Elijah caught her wrist.
“What?! You want to hit me for her, huh?! How long have you known Peach… and how many times have you been around her!?” Melina yelled, struggling against his tight grip. “You are delusional, and it’s best if you leave.” Elijah calmly responded, letting go of her hand.
Laughing with tears in her eyes, Melina glared at him and said, “I am not even mad. Honestly, I am glad you found your place with the rest of the garbage!”
Still pissed, Peach tried to leave from behind Elijah, forcing her way, pushing past him, but he
grabbed her by the arm and drew her back behind him, shocked about her wide side.
It’s like he was getting introduced to a whole other person. Not the somewhat sweet girl he met days ago who was sometimes afraid to speak her mind but also terrified of him. Now, he didn’t know what to do with her aggression.
“Stay put!” Elijah said, letting go of Peach’s arm, keeping her behind him. Annoyed, Melina glared at him, meeting his eyes, and let out, “We just got divorced a couple of days ago, and now, you are acting this overprotective of her!! If she’s such a stranger to you, then why are you on her side!!” “This is why I said, you are delusional, Melina. What do you want me to do, let you two fight!? “Elijah calmly uttered, knowing the condition of Miss Grace. “You allowed her to slap me-” “You deserve that… Can you just leave?!” Frowning with a look of hesitation on her face, Melina stood there, watching him carefully, and said, “After years of feeling sorry for your ass, the least you could have done was stay loyal after the divorce… at least for a while to-”
“You think you are any better? After all the shitty things you did to me! Do you think you are that special to take over my thoughts for long? You are nothing more than a spoiled brat who only knows how to use people to satisfy her own ego…” Elijah said firmly.
With a pout, Melina stared at him angrily, her fists balling up as she bit her bottom lip.
After a moment, she glanced at the floor, mumbling, “…You should have crawled into a hole and never show your sorry face in front of me again. But now that you have done this… don’t blame me for playing your game.”
With that, Melina walked past Elijah, and he moved to the side, taking Peach with him, keeping Peach behind him as he watched Melina make her way out of the room, and the door shut behind her.