A cold day in hell
With the sunlight beaming on his face, Elijah stood outside the motel, hands in his pocket, eyes on the sky
His head was still swimming from all that had happened recently, his mind still reeling with the fact that he was getting married again, and it kind of wared him just a little bit
So deep in thought, he didn’t hear the door open and didn’t connect with reality until Peach hugged him from the back, wrapping her arms around his waist and resting her head flat on his back
“Hey,” she said softly, and he could feel the smile formning on her lips even without furning around to look at her “What are you doing out here?” “Thinking.” Elijah answered truthfully, his voice barely above a whisper as well.
“How much of what Madam Jewel said did you hear yesterday before walking in ***
Silence followed after his answer as her heart frowned at the thought that he might have been hurt by all the awful words Madam Jewel had pwed.
“Elijah, you don’l.” Peach trailed off, uncertain worse to go from there, ter brow furrowed as she tried to find the right words.” __you know you can talk to me about anything right **
There was a brief pause and then the vibration of his phone in his pocket interrupted their conversation, causing Elijah to sigh and pull out his phone And when he saw Bryan Check’s name, he drew a deep breath and then answered the call.” What’s up?
“Can you join me for lunch?” Bryan’s voice sounded almost hopeful, but there was also a nervous edge to it. “I got an update, so can you rrjeet me to talk about it. **
“I can,” Elijah replied after a moment of hesitation
“Great! We can meet up at ‘Hotel Del Rey’… I spent my night here, so I am waiting for you.”
“Sure. I am on my way.” Hearing those words, Peach’s hands pulled away from his waist and fell to her side as she just stood there, remembering rule one
When Elijah turned around to meet her eyes, a faint smile graced his features when he noticed her staring intently at him.
“I know that I can talk to you about anything.” Elijah repeated, his thumb brushing against her knuckles, “but I can’t promise to always do so.”
Her gaze lowered and she looked down at their connected hands, and mumbled, “That’s fine I knew what I was signing up for when I accepted your offer
It took Elijah a minute to process what she had said, but he uttered no word, cupped her cheeks, and leaned down to press a soft kiss to her forehead “It’s just lunch with a guy friend at Hotel Del Rey,” Elijah suddenly mumbled against her skil
“I will be back soon, okay?” Her eyes froze at his words, not really expecting him to explain himself, after all, he made the rules, and a part of her grew slightly hopeful that he might be trusting her just a bit. Then she slowly nodded, smiling brightly up at him as she said, “Okay.” At two o’clock, Elijah arrived at the front desk of ‘Hotel Del Rey,’ with Matt, and the moment the receptionist saw him, unlike the last time, she recognized his importance and smiled when he uttered, “Is Mr. Checks in? I have an appointment with him.” “It must be a cold day in hell that I would meet you at such a fancy hotel. What are you doing here, Elijah?” A deep voice with a defiant tone echoed. Snapping his brows together, Elijah hesitated to turn, feeling a sense of annoyance sweep through him. When Matt locked eyes with Mason, his eyes darkened and his face contorted into a snarl, wondering who this man was that dared speak down to his boss. Sighing, Elijah finally turned to face Mason, taking in his expensive designer suit, perfectly styled hair, and cocky smirk. “I don’t think our path has crossed before, so why are you speaking so informally to me?” Elijah asked, keeping his voice low as he strived to stay calm.
“You are Dean’s former son-in-law, right?” Mason asked, mockingly tilting his head. “The one who sponged off his daughter until she divorced you, and now, has made quite a problem for the Hayes, even though you are way below their class and status. Did I get that right?” A comfortable crossed the receptionist’s face, remembering the last incident, but Mason had been a long-term member of the club, and because of his closeness with Bryan she didn’t want to meddle in his business.
Not caring for interaction with Mason, Elijah turned back to the receptionist and calmly uttered, “Can you call his room and tell him that I am here?”
“Sure thing, Mr. Darius!” She gave them a warm smile before picking up the phone. “Who are you here to meet up with, huh?” Mason asked, getting annoyed that Elijah was ignoring him like his presence was nothing more than a nuisance. “You seem pretty close with… what’s her name… right, ‘Peach!’ at the ceremony the other day, and the shit you said to Dean’s daughter that night… What are you depending on crossing a man like Dean, Huh?” When Elijah didn’t answer, he got a bit pissed off, grabbed Elijah by the shoulder, and let out, “Hey, I am taking to.”
The rest of his words got stuck in his throat when Matt grabbed his wrist, twisting it slightly and pushing him away from Elijah. “Hmmm, Mr. Check, I think you need to come down to the lobby… like right now.” The receptionist mumbled on the phone, freezing in her place. Slightly losing his balance, Mason stumbled back, holding onto the back of the chair behind him, trying to regain control of his composure. “Who the fuck do you think you are to touch me?” Mason demanded, stepping forward in rage. “Oh, so you don’t like being touched by a stranger… Hmm, then maybe you should keep your
paws off people you don’t know.” Matt taunted, raising a single eyebrow. Frustrated, Mason lunged forward, attempting to grab Matt from the collar of his shirt, but Elijah intervened, grabbing Mason’s other wrist and twirling him around, banging his torso flat against the counter, pressing him down.
“How hard is it for you to take simple instructions,” Elijah demanded, “and do as told?”
Gritting his teeth together, Mason struggled for a moment or two before saying, “You’ll pay greatly if you don’t let me go, right this instant!!” Without replying, Elijah rested his palm against Mason’s head, pressing it again on the wooden surface, and he finally mumbled, “My patience is very thin for people like you, Manson… very little!” “Elijah?” Bryan’s voice broke through the tense silence that had settled over the area, and both Matt and Elijah quickly snapped their heads towards him, watching the look of confusion on his face.
Drawing a deep breath to calm himself, Elijah released Mason from his grip and stepped back, his expression smoothing itself out into something neutral. When Mason finally lifted his head from the counter, he glanced between the three men standing in front of him and said, “Check, you know this… this piece of crap that isn’t worth your time!”
A frown itched his face as he glared at Elijah and then stared back at Bryan when he added,” What could you possibly see in this scumbag anyway? This asshole just put his hands on me… he should be thrown out of this hotel… And maybe, from now on, you should watch who you are hiring…” “Mason,” Bryan called out, annoyance laced in his voice, “enough, okay? Also, my membership with our club is revoked, and I don’t think I would be investing in your project for the manufacturing center anymore.” Furrowing his brows at Bryan, Mason shook his head and let out, “But that is bullshit!! I came here so we can talk about the next step for this project, and eighty-eight percent of the kickoff for this to happen depends on you!” “Well, I don’t think I want to fund your company any longer, alright?” Bryan snapped back at him, and Elijah watched as a small vein protruded on Mason’s forehead. “You should leave.”
“It’s not fair!” “It’s my money, Mason… you should leave.” Frowning, Mason watched Bryan look over at Elijah and utter, “Please come with me this way.
“Who the hell is he to you, Checks?!” Mason screamed at Bryan, still glaring daggers at Elijah. “Why are you choosing the Hayes’ useless ex-son-in-law over me?! What value does he have for you to make a decision like this over me?!” 1 “Mr. Mason, I will advise you to stop shouting because you are disturbing others.” The receptionist warned, glancing at him. “And it’s best if you leave.” “Where the heck did I go wrong?” Mason muttered, letting out a groan. “This sucks! I mean seriously. He’s a nobody. Why are you siding with him instead of me, Bryan?”
A sense of worry and desperation crossed his face as he watched Elijah and Matt leave with Bryan, and he hurriedly pulled out his phone and stroked through his contact, stopping at,” Dean.”