A gangster tendency
“Peach, honey, you can’t stay in your room forever!” Miss Grace said, unable to get over the fact that it was two o’clock, but her daughter was still sleeping. Squeezing her eyes shut, Peach rolled back to look up at the ceiling. If only her mother would leave her be and let her be alone, she wouldn’t have to deal with all of this!
“Peach,” Miss Grace said again, a bit louder than before, “you’re not sleeping! I know that!”
A frown crossed Peach’s face, and finally, she got out of bed and stumbled to her room door, throwing it open, and then sighed softly at her mother who stood by the front door. “What all did you not tell me about last night?” Miss Grace asked sternly as Peach walked back into the room. “Mama, not now,” Peach cried, flopping onto her bed and burying her face into her pillow. “We have to do this now, Peach.” Miss Grace repeated as she closed the door behind herself, moving closer to her daughter. “Why did Elijah tell Michael that you are already taken, and warned him that if he stepped foot back into this motel, he would cripple him?”
Immediately, Peach raised her head, sitting upright on the bed, shocked by Miss Grace’s statement, letting out, “He did what?”
“Peach, please tell me you two are not secretly dating behind my back” Miss Grace pleaded, looking down at her daughter with an expression of disappointment. “You know how he feels about marriage.”
“I know, mama.”
“Then why was he so protective over you…”
A look of hesitation, then embarrassment crossed Peach’s face as her lips twitched nervously, averting her eyes around to avoid eye contact with her mother.
“Because I think I do want to marry him…” Peach admitted softly, lowering her gaze towards her lap. Miss Grace looked like someone had just slapped her in the face. For the next few seconds, all she could say was “You are not making any sense.” “Elijah’s mind has changed about marriage, and he’s down with us getting wed.” Peach continued to explain, feeling a little guilty about deceiving her mother by leaving out the part about the divorce option from him. A look of confusion covered Miss Grace’s face as she tried to process what Peach had just said and then she mumbled, “But… But he said….”
“I know. But I guess seeing me get someone else’s attention made him realize something he didn’t feel at the beginning…” Peach lied, feeling terrible for doing so.
“He said that he loves you.” Miss Grace stated softly as she sat down in the chair beside Peach’s bed.
The silence was deafening, until Miss Grace spoke again after a moment of awkwardness,” Prach?”
“Mmhmm?” Peach hummed in response.
“Are you serious? He said that?” Miss Grace questioned, a look of surprise and disbelief evident on her face. Raising her gaze, Peach looked up at her mother and nodded slowly, unable to let the words come out. “No,” Miss Grace whispered, shaking her head, “No, Peach. You are not thinking about marrying Elijah.”
“Mama!” “No Peach… Elijah is not the right man for you!” “Why?! Huh, mama! Why can’t I?!” The tension rose between them again, the air thick as they stared at each other silently, Peach refusing to budge, but Miss Grace wasn’t having any of it. “Peach,” She spoke, sounding a lot sterner than before. “Elijah seemed like a man with a lot of mystery to him, he has a gangster tendency, his money has no source of where he’s getting it, his reputation is stained, and there just seems to be more to him than meets the eyes or portray the identity he has…”
For a moment, Peach didn’t say anything, simply listening to everything her mother said. She felt a slight sting in her chest, knowing that her mother was somewhat right, remembering Elijah’s conversation with Jerome in front of the motel. And yet, she still wanted Elijah, because her mother forgot to add the side of him that made her fall in love with him in the first place. “He cares for me, mama…” Peach muttered, fiddling with her fingers.
“Oh, honey… you are still young Peach, you will find a simple man, who’s not as complicated as Elijah to care for you someday…” Miss Grace reassured, patting Peach’s knee gently.
“Ryan cares about me, so does Matt, and Rookie, even James cares for me… but I am not in love with either of them romantically…”
“You are right, mama. There will be countless men who will care about me in this life… But they are not Elijah… I just don’t know how to explain what I feel for him.”
“Peach, I don’t think that you should.”
“Why didn’t you remarry after papa died.” “Peach,” Looking at her daughter’s eyes, she couldn’t help but notice that they were sad, filled with tears, her lips trembling slightly as she spoke. “Everyone’s love story is not the same, Peach. Others remarry after losing their partners, others never find love again, and some live through numerous partners before finding the one for them.” Miss Grace said softly, her hand gently resting upon her daughter’s arm. “Well, this is iny love story… I know it will be different froin everyone else’, maybe it will hurt,
maybe it will break me, maybe I will lose myself, but there’s also a possibility that it could turn out beautiful and amazing and make my life better. I don’t know, but I know I want to do this… and Elijah is the best person for me.” Peach said in confidence. Seeing the stubbornness in her daughter’s eyes, Miss Grace frowned and then uttered, “This isn’t only about you guys feeling for each other. Honestly Peach, I prefer if you are deciding to take over your grandfather’s company, you need to be with someone that the Hayes family will approve of.”
“Mama!… How could you say that?!” Peach exclaimed, looking up at her mother with wide eyes, hurt filling her heart. “After everything that they have done… you expect me to get married to please them?!” Unknown tears fell from Peach’s face as she spoke and Miss Grace reached up, wiping away her tears and caressing her hair comfortingly.
“Peach, if you take over your grandfather’s company, you need a man that Madam Jewel loves, so if she gets mad at you, he can be the one to keep you safe.” Miss Grace explained, stroking Peach’s cheek softly. “You need someone that the family likes, someone who doesn’t cause trouble for them, and that will allow you to live in peace with them.”
“Mama..” Peach whispered weakly, closing her eyes and leaning into her mother’s touch.
“It’s going to be hard… I know, but we have to put aside anger and learn to coexist with each other… And maybe this is how your life is meant to happen. Your grandfather knows why he left such a request. So please Peach… This Michael guy seem nice, and madam Jewel was the
“Peach,” “Mama, No!” Frowning, Peach pulled away from her mother and got off the bed, saying in a begging tone,” Don’t mama… Don’t ask me to do this.”
“I just don’t want you to get hurt… I am okay with Elijah and your friendship, but marriage is a huge commitment, Peach… And you can’t be with someone who has problems with the Hayes while you are working with them. They will make you two lives a living hell.” Miss Grace reasoned, her voice soft and almost pleading. “Please, Peach.” “You are being serious!” “Yes, honey. I can’t let you ruin your life this way.” Swallowing down the pain and sadness building inside of her chest, Peach forced a smile as she turned away, grabbed her phone off the nightstand, and said, “Then I’m sorry, mama.”
“Peach, you guys don’t have my blessing!” Miss Grace cried out frantically.
Nodding slowly, Peach held in her cry, turning away from her mother, her hand trembling as she walked over to the door.
“Peach!” Miss Grace called out desperately, watching as she left.
When Peach got into the lobby and saw James, the tears in her eyes immediately worried hiin,
and he numbled, “What’s wrong?”
“Can you please watch over my mama, and make sure that her health is good while I’m gone… I just need some time alone.” Peach begged him, trying to control the tremble in her voice.
Seeing how emotional she was, he thought it best not to ask further questions and just uttered, “Of course, Peach.” Nodding gratefully and thanking him, Peach dashed past him and Rookie, and as she made her way to the door, it opened and Matt along with Ryan suddenly walked through, staring at her with concern in their eyes. “Where are you going?” Ryan asked curiously. “Somewhere that is not here,” Peach responded bluntly, walking past the two men and heading outside.
But she suddenly stopped when she locked eyes with Elijah when he pushed the door open, her heart pounding loudly against her ribs, causing her to quickly look away from him. Then she lowered her head, rushed past him, and rushed outside, only to get her wrist locked in his grip a moment later, causing her to stop walking and look up at him. “What’s wrong,” Elijah asked, frowning slightly as he took in her appearance. She shook her head and tried to pull her wrist free, but he tightened his grip, holding onto it tightly to prevent her from escaping. “I just need air… away from here, or else… or else..” Peach choked out weakly, her breath hitching slightly in a sob. “Okay… I will drive you.” Elijah mumbled, letting her hand slip from his grip before reaching into his pocket, and taking out his keys. “Let’s go.” A couple of minutes later, he was behind the steering wheel and Peach was curled up on the passenger seat, looking out the window, as if lost deep in thought. After driving for a while, Elijah glanced over at her and noticed how pale she had gotten, and a sense of worry started to rise within him.
“Are you okay?” Elijah asked tentatively, keeping his eyes fixed on the road ahead of him. His question was followed by silence and then Peach turned, catching his glance for a second, and then she let out, “Should we get married… like right now?”