Don’t hate me
Eyeing her son, Madam Jewel gave him a cold stare and then said, “No, that’s all… I hope that you will honor your word and show up because your grandfather at least deserves such reverence from you.”
The dull pain in Peach’s cheek still pissed her off, but she ignored it as the memories of her grandfather flashed before her eyes, and her lips trembled as she tried to cage her emotions and said, “Sure. For my grandfather, I can tolerate coming.”
The sight of Madam Jewel and Dean, the longer they stood in her face made Peach feel incredibly uncomfortable, and she blinked back her tears, averted her gaze, and stared down at the invitation.
“If that is all, I would like to attend to my daughter’s wound,” Miss Grace said in annoyance, her eyes fixed upon Dean as she continued speaking quietly. “You guys can see yourself out.” Unexpectedly, Madam Jewel walked over to Peach, taking her hands in her grips, startling her with the sudden contact that caused her to look at her in surprise. Madam Jewel smiled as she gently squeezed her palms and whispered, “I am so sorry for what your uncle did. please don’t hold it to heart. Right now, as such a devastating time approaches us, your grandfather would want to look from the great beyond and see as altogether, even for just one night.”
Subconsciously, the tears she had been fighting to hold back slowly slid down her cheeks, but she quickly wiped them away and forced a small smile onto her face, nodding lightly to Madam Jewel
Smiling back, Madam Jewel stepped away from Peach, fixing her eyes on Miss Grace, and said, “Forgive my son. I know how much Albert valued his daughter and how his hands were never raised against her. So I understand why her uncle’s discipline was so harsh.”
‘Masking your criticism of my upbringing and my parents with words that hides your true intentions. You’re truly despicable.’ Peach thought to herself, looking at the smile on Madam Jewel’s face.
Nodding politely, Miss Grace refused to utter a word because the emotions in her chest were causing her to choke, knowing that there was no sincerity in those vain words of hers.
“Well, Dean and I will take our leave… We don’t want to take up any more of your valuable time,” Madam Jewel said, staring at Dean for a moment before walking past him. Silently, he looked at Peach, his gaze resting on the deep cut in the corner of her lips and the dried bloodstain on her skin, and then he swallowed nervously.
“Well…” Dean said, meeting her cold and angry expression, unsure how to say goodbye.
Finally, he gave up, turned around, and stalked towards the exit, throwing one final glance over his shoulder, seeing Peaches empty, blank eyes staring back at him before he pushed the door open and walked out. When the door shut, Peach let out a shaky breath, emotions came rushing through her like an
unstoppable storm, and a few seconds later, tears started spilling from her eyes as her bottom lip quivered and she covered her mouth, muffling her crying.
“Peach… honey…” She heard Miss Grace call out worriedly, making her tearful eyes look up at her mother.
“I’m fine, mama… I think I just need space right now… Don’t come to my room, please.” Peach softly pleated, wiping her nose with the back of her hands.
Her worried eyes studied her daughter for a second before Miss Grace nodded, giving her a comforting smile, even though her heart was hurting deeply, and she said, “Alright, sweetheart.”
After forcing a weak smile, Peach turned away from her mother and walked off, fighting to get a grip on her body.
Halfway into the corridor, she stopped at the sight of Elijah coming from the opposite direction, and immediately, Peach bowed her head, clapping her hand over her mouth as she walked toward him.
But as she was about to walk past him, he grabbed her arm, yanked it from her face, and turned her around to face him.
Her eyes widened when she saw the coldness in his eyes. He never looked this furious before, and it almost scared her to the core to see the darkness lurking behind his irises.
“What happened to your face?” Elijah asked, staring at her swollen lip and the dried blood.
“Nothing,” Peach responded, turning her head and trying to avoid his gaze, hoping he would stop questioning her because she didn’t have the energy nor the strength to lie.
Placing his hand under her chin, Elijah lifted her head and forced Peach to meet his furious eyes which were now staring at her in concern. “What happened to your face, Peach?… Was it Jewel or Dean?!” Elijah demanded, anger lashing inside him.
A look of hesitation flitted across Peach’s face and after a moment, she answered reluctantly,” I’m fine. Can we not talk about this anymore, Elijah?”
His brows furrowed together when he saw the obvious discomfort in her voice, and yet, he said no words, but his intense gaze told her that he wasn’t satisfied with her answer.
“Please, Elijah… Not now.” Peach begged, her eyes pleading.
“It was Dean, wasn’t it?!” Elijah uttered, knowing from the bruise she sustained it had to be a manly force
Even though Peach didn’t answer, her eyes betrayed her and the truth dawned on Elijah.
With the truth came a wave of anger that consumed every last trace of reason inside him. His eyes narrowed dangerously, his lips tightly pursed, and his nostrils flared slightly as he pulled Peach closer to him, wrapping his arms around her.
The comfort that came through his touch and the warmth of his embrace instantly calmed her down as she wrapped her arms around him and hugged him back while feeling safe and secure.
Grabbing his shirt tightly as she buried her face in his chest, she breathed in his familiar masculine scent and whispered, “I hate this… I hate this life… I hate the way they look down on me, I hate how much mustering up courage I have to do to live like this…”
Hugging her tighter, Elijah caressed her hair softly, and then Peach softly said, “I hate them, Elijah. I despise them with every fiber of my being. Why does their presence make me feel like I can’t breathe properly?”
Without saying a word, he allowed her to vent her frustrations and not interrupt her, and instead, he kept caressing her hair softly.
Raising his gaze, he locked eyes with Miss Grace a few distances away from them, looking at her daughter with pity in her eyes and her hand clapped over her mouth. ‘Remember what you said here today, and don’t hate me when I start to tear apart the Hayes family and bring them down.’ Elijah silently vowed in his mind, as he closed his eyes and tightened his hold around her.
The moment the silver car came to a stop in the Hayes mansion and Madam Jewel stepped down with her son, she threw Dean a cold glance before walking towards the mansion.
Knowing that she was infuriated, he sighed heavily and followed close behind. After entering the mansion, Madam Jewel stopped in the living room, waited for him to enter, and then lashed out, “What was that, Dean?!” “Mother, I… I am sorry for losing myself!” Dean admitted helplessly, feeling the urge to bow his head in shame.
She glanced sideways at him, narrowing her eyes as anger rose within her, and she blurted out, “We want Peach to trust us… Not to hate us and find a reason to go against us!” “What can she do to us with the states she’s in, Mother? It’s not like she knows the truth!!” Dean argued furiously.
“Just because a cub is still young doesn’t mean it is not going to grow into something dangerous, and the more we push her, the more she’ll resent us! We cannot afford that!! We are already too far!!” Madam Jewel insisted, her eyes darkening in fury.
Angered that his mother was lashing at him over Peach, Dean scoffed, mumbling, “If the cub is such a threat, then why don’t we hunt it down and end it before it grows into a lioness.”
A frown settled itself between Madam Jewel’s brows and, taking one long stride towards her son, she hissed, “You know the death of Peach could mean we lose everything… All of this will be gone! Why are you acting stupid today! Don’t you think it would have been my first choice if such a high risk wasn’t attached to it?!”
Remembering what his mother meant, Dean’s expression changed drastically from his angry one and became more sympathetic, lowering his head. “I’m sorry for letting my anger blind me.”
“Don’t let pride be your downfall, son. We have to be smart about this. Right now, Peach is helpless and weak, and the sooner we can get her under our control, the better! That goes for Quonine involved. If we let her slip by our fingers, the consequences won’t be pretty!”
As Dean moved his lips to speak, his phone suddenly rang loudly, breaking the quiet atmosphere.
Hastily pulling the phone from his pocket, he frowned at Vlad’s name and accepted the call, placing the device against his ear, saying coldly, “What is it?”.