As Peach and Elijah sat in the backseat of the vehicle with Matt behind the steering wheel, the atmosphere was awkward as the two tried not to look at each other.
Even Matt was concerned about how quiet they both were and glanced in the rearview mirror, noticing that Peach‘s lips were puckered together as if she was deep in thought.
With his gaze on the windshield, Elijah‘s index finger slowly rubbed against his bottom lips, and then finally darted his eyes towards Peach.
“A penny for your thoughts,” He quietly remarked, his voice low. With her eyes fixed on the file of her grandfather‘s will, Peach hesitated for a while before deciding to open her mouth and speak, “It‘s nothing.” “It‘s nothing,” Elijah commented as he shifted his gaze to glance at her. She sighed heavily, and stared out the window, her heart sinking, “I don‘t know what to do… There‘s a dilemma, and it has my thoughts spinning. And my mind is telling me something, but my heart is screaming at me not to do it.” Hearing what she said, Elijah frowned slightly and then turned sideways to face her, “What do you mean?” “My grandfather will… What he wants. I..” Peach trailed off, lowering her eyes as she played with her hands. “If I inherit that company then mother and I won‘t have to worry about our next meal or how we would pay the bills… This gift… This burden from grandpa could help my mother and me greatly. But…”
“But you need someone to marry,” Elijah casually blurted out, making Peach turn her head sharply to stare at him, her mouth opened slightly, unsure of what else to say, so she settled for staring straight ahead at the window once again.
The car grew silent as Peach watched the night lights pass by, her thoughts racing and the questions running rampant in her mind like a hurricane. Finally, when she decided that she couldn‘t think anymore, she looked up and gazed at Elijah. “Yeah, marriage is the only thing standing between me and that company, and I…” She paused for a brief moment, taking in a deep breath, “I don‘t want to take this risk and marry the wrong person… It‘s just … A big decision.” “Let me see the will,” Elijah asked softly, holding out his hand. His request left her puzzled for a brief second before she took the folder off her lap and handed him it.
Taking the file, Elijah flipped through the pages, until his eyes found the one he was looking
With careful fingers, he held the paper over his lap and began reading. His brows furrowed as he focused on the contents of the document, and Peach couldn‘t help but notice his facial expression change, almost imperceptibly at times. After several minutes, he closed the file and placed it down beside him on the seat, and she silently waited for an explanation.
Finally, after a few seconds, Elijah looked up and locked eyes with Peach, his expression serious as he spoke, “Marry me then.”
His words left her speechless and she blinked several times before stammering out a reply, “W
Even Matt was startled by Elijali‘s sudden request, and his head whipped around to give his boss a bewildered look for a second before focusing on the free road.
“Marry me, Peach,” Elijal said, luis eyes never leaving hers.
Her jaw dropped, the shock of being offered such a proposal causing a lump in her throat. The silence between them was becoming dealening and she wanted nothing more than to ask him why he was doing this.
“B–but you… you said that you don‘t want to get married to anyone again… you told my mother that recently…” Peach muttered in response, still trying to process this sudden proposal
This was something she wholeheartedly wanted to hear from him. But she wasn‘t sure if she was dreaming or if reality was already playing a joke on her. And yet here he was… offering himself to her without any hesitation.
“Yeah, but there is a loophole in the will,” Elijah responded, reaching out and gently caressing her cheek with his knuckles.
And there it was again. That feeling of butterflies fluttering inside her stomach and the warmth spreading throughout her body and the tingling sensation that came from his touch.
“Oh… But what does that mean?” Peach asked, a slight blush coloring her cheeks.
Pulling his hand away, Elijah‘s expression grew unreadable as he looked away from Peach, stared at the window, and said, “It stated that you need to get married, but there‘s no clause about you staying married.”
‘Oh, boss… You did not just say that.‘ Matt thought, scowling at Elijah‘s words, his face filled with disbelief at what he was hearing.
Eyes glistening and eyebrows raising, Peach stared at Elijah in disbelief as she choked on her word, “Oh!”
“Marrying me is a proposal… You get the company out of it right now and also don‘t have to worry about wedding the wrong person… You can be with me until you find the one for you, and when that time comes, I will gladly sign the divorce papers.” Elijah stated, leaning back into his seat, his gaze lingering on Peach. Squeezing his face in annoyance, Matt grip the steering wheel and shook his head slightly as he mouthed silently, “Boss, you are making this even worse.” “I see,” Peach whispered in an unamused tone, placing her palms on her thighs and closing her eyes, inhaling deeply.
A dull ache settled in her chest at his words, and she tried not to think too much of her feelings because then she would have to acknowledge how they truly affected her. “And is that all you have to offer?” She questioned, opening her eyes and turning her head to look at Elijah.
One look at her and he could tell that she was irritated and hurt as she tried to mask it with a small smile, as though she didn‘t care.
But even though he knew that that wasn‘t what Peach wanted to hear, he knew that he couldn‘t give her what she needed. Not after everything he had been through, and he didn‘t want to think of this as anything else but a deal to help her and himself get what they wanted, by playing Madam Jewel at her own game. “It‘s a contract marriage, Peach… Of course, there‘s more to it. But if you are interested in my offer, then we can talk about it further.” Elijah calmly replied, his voice laced with seriousness as he stared straight into the eye. For the longest second, there was complete silence, and then, a slight hint of uncertainty crept onto Peach‘s features. Her eyebrows scrunched together as a frown appeared on her face and then she let out a sigh.
“You want me to use you…? But what‘s in this for you, Elijah?” Peach questioned in a soft tone, averting her gaze.
Suddenly, Matt stepped on the brake, and the two drew their attention off each other and stared at the motel.
The door immediately opened and Miss Grace rushed out with James, Ryan, and Rookie following her shortly.
“Honey, are you fine?!” Miss Grace asked as she watched her daughter get down from the car.
Forcing a weak smile on her face, Peach walked over to her mother, dropped into her arms, and hugged her tightly, resting her chin on her shoulder as she whispered, “I‘m fine, mama. Why are you up so late? You know the situation with your health.” Ignoring her daughter‘s words, Miss Grace took her time studying Peach‘s face to see if there was any bruise or anything out of the ordinary. Elijah got out of the car and approached Miss Grace and when their gazes locked, she smiled, saying softly, “Thank you for keeping your promise and bringing her home untouched.” Nodding, he gave her a faint smile before walking passed the mother and daughter, and Peach‘s gaze followed him until he disappeared through the doorway. “How did it go… were they mean to you? Did they allow you to pay your respect to your grandfather? What was said to you? Who all were there?!” Miss Grace asked nervously, a look of worry never leaving her face, even though she could see that her daughter was fine. A sigh escaped Peach’s lips, and she turned to face Miss Grace, mumbling, “Let‘s go inside, mama. I will tell you everything that happened later.”
When Peach and Miss Grace headed inside, Matt was about to follow when Ryan suddenly grabbed him by the neck playfully and dragged him backward. “How did the death ceremony go?” Ryan asked, giving him a naughty grin. Before Matt could move his lips to speak, Rookie cut him off and asked, “Are all the Hayes, except Peach and Miss Grace, annoying, rude, and entitled asses?!” Just as Matt was about to say something, Jame jumped into the conversation, saying, “What was it like?! How did they treat our boss? Did they hit him??”
Drawing a deep breath, Matt held the air in his lung for a couple of seconds and then exhaled heavily. His eyes narrowed as he glared at the three before replying, “Our boss might just get married again… and to Peach.”
“What?” Rookie and James exclaimed simultaneously in shocked voices.
A mischievous smirk settled on Ryan‘s lips as he met Matt‘s eyes and said, “Well, you owe me 5k. I will like that in cash please.”
Read nexxt chapter 64