What do you want?
Even though the atmosphere of the Hayes mansion was calm, their expressions as the family sat around the table were anything but peaceful.
Slowly, Madam Jewel set her glass down, then looked up from her plate at everyone else sitting with her.
“Iris, honey… It’s been a while since you have stopped by the mansion… I hope your father is not still mad at Josh.” Madam Jewel said calmly.
“Well,” Iris mumbled, holding back her words.
“If he is, we can try to explain it to him and make amends. But in all honesty, Josh really didn’t know that Elijah was in a gang and had so many men to his name, you know? It wasn’t like Josh knew what he did for a living… He didn’t know he was a thug.”
“The thing is,”
A nervous look crossed Iris’s face as she darted glances around the table and back to her grandmother-in-law, letting out, “My dad is still upset… I tried talking to him, but he wouldn’t listen to anything that has Josh’s name in it.”
There was a brief pause as Iris remembered how disturbed her father had been lately and mumbled, “He also said I should stay away from Elijah and not meddle in you guys’ family matters anymore because I would be better off if I just minded my own business.” Silent settled among them, and shock covered every one of the faces at the table. The other members of the family glanced at each other, not wanting to believe Mr. Fangio would actually tell his daughter to stay away from Elijah, instead of taking revenge like they thought he would do.
‘First Mason and now, Fangio… If we don’t handle this mess soon, our family is going to lose great contacts because of that scumbag!’ Dean thought bitterly, trying to suppress his anger. Slowly, Josh clutched his fork and stabbed at his food, rage rising in him as his jaw started clenching.
He took a deep breath before turning his head to glare at his grandmother when she said, ” This Elijah guy seemed way more complicated and dangerous than we originally thought. Maybe you shouldn’t let your heart rule over your head again, Josh.” Seeing the hate glowing in her grandson’s eyes, Madam Jewel sighed, feeling her own sense of annoyance rise up. “Iris, my dear… Maybe I should speak with your father then since that is the case, and explain the situation with Elijah to him because it looks like Peach’s mind is set on marrying Elijah and we don’t want him to think our family has any good relationship with him,” Dean muttered after several minutes of silence.
“Yes,” Amanda agreed immediately.
Suddenly, Melina dropped her fork on her plate, causing all of the eyes of the family to turn to her as she suddenly blurted out in frustration, “This is ridiculous! I never thought he would take it this far.”
Nobody said a word to her because no one could guess what was happening in her head or what she actually meant by that, so the silence just dragged on after her words
“Hmmm, I don’t think that after everything that has happened… my father would want to talk about it with you guys or about Elijah, so maybe it’s best we gave him time,” Iris mumbled, breaking the silence that had fallen over them, her gaze flickering nervously between Josh’s anger expression and Mrs. Jewel’s nervous face.
The tension only grew thicker after that statement, everyone exchanging glances and keeping quiet to avoid saying something they shouldn’t say, while Mrs. Jewel looked like she was on the verge of losing her patience. Suddenly, Butler Gary walked into the dining room with his hands behind his back, bowing before saying, “Excuse me, Madam Jewel, Elijah, and Peach are here, requesting to meet you with a guy named Matt along with them.” Everyone’s mood became even tenser, especially Madam Jewel, who frowned slightly at the mention of Elijah’s name, like something forbidden had been said.
“Very well,” Madam Jewel sighed reluctantly. “Let them come in,” A dark expression grew on Melina’s face, and even though she felt like Elijah was beneath her standard and worthy of her, she still didn’t want to see him happy with another woman, especially not Peach. “Yes, madam.” Butler Gary replied, before turning around and exiting the room. “What do they want now, hun?!… Showing their faces here like this… Is Peach trying to ruin our mood by dragging that bastard with her?” Josh gritted through his teeth after a brief silence.
Just then, Peach and Elijah walked into the dining room, both wearing matching expressions of calmness on their face as they made their way toward the table with Matt, following closely behind them.
‘Who’s this guy… I mean, he was nowhere to be seen when Elijah was with Melina… So why recently? What is their relationship? How much does he know about Elijah?’ Elmer thought, studying Matt, standing by Elijah. It was clear from everyone’s expression that no one wanted them there, and yet, they all sat quietly, waiting for someone to break the silence first. Thinking about her last interaction with Peach two weeks ago and the embarrassment she felt then, Madam Jewel scowled at the sight of the couple, darting her eyes between Peach and Elijah.
The room was so awfully silent that Peach could hear her own heartbeat, and she eyed Elijah, feeling bad that he only came because of her and wondering what he was thinking. “I didn’t expect that everyone would be here,” Peach whispered, talking more to Elijah than the entire family. “I thought it was just going to be you here today, grand…ma.” “You two should sit,” Madarn Jewel uttered in a stiff tone, ignoring Peach’s comment, pointing at two chairs directly beside Melina and next to Dean.
Not wanting to stay longer in such a toxic atmosphere, Peach eyed Elijah and mumbled,” limm, I just came 10.. we came here because my mother thought it would be decent for us to
“Sit, Peach… No one is going to bite you or whatever,” Madam Jewel interrupted, her voice cold. “So, you guys are free to join us.”
In that instant, Elijah’s cold gaze locked with Madam Jewel’s, causing her to wince and avert her stare as she thought, ‘It was stupid of us to overlook and disregard you when you were married to Melina, but this time around, we will learn from that mistake.’ “Mmm, okay…” Peach mumbled, giving Elijah a sideways glance, before looking away. Slowly, Peach took a deep breath and then calmly moved to sit next to Dean with Elijah, shooting him a worried glance.
But before Peach could pull out the chair, Melina stood from her seat and looked Peach in her eyes, asking calmly, “Can we talk?”
The sudden action caught everyone off guard, including Peach, and yet, her expression remained calm as she studied her cousin’s face.
Looking over Peach’s shoulder, Melina’s eyes rested on Elijah, seeing a mixture of concern and annoyance in his icy gaze.
And Peach turned slightly around to stare at him too, but Melina’s voice made her furrowed her brows when she heard, “As grandmother said, no one is going to bite you, Peach… I just want to talk for a moment, and then you can talk about why you came… After all, we are family before we started bumping heads with each other.” Not for a second did Peach lose her composure as she shot her cousin a glare, and then looked over at the rest of the family, seeing that no one was interfering, and she muttered under her breath, “Fine…”
Watching Peach leave with Melina, a sense of worry washed over Elijah, knowing that these two can’t co-exist in the same space without some sort of conflict between them occurring, and when he locked eyes with Matt, he immediately understood his boss’ eyes movement and what he wanted.
“Excuse me,” Matt mumbled before following Peach and Melina into the hallway but keeping his distance behind them.
Glancing once more at the rest of the family, Elijah noticed that their expression had become even more strained than it already was, but none of them said a word.
No one was calling him names, none of them were acting up, and none of them made any kind of attempt at arguing against him being together with Peach.
It immediately felt strange, and for him, their silence became a warning because the only thing more dangerous than a menace is when the person threatening you goes silent and shows no signs that could lead you to their next move.
But Elijah walked over to the empty seat, pulling it away from the table, sat down, and folded his arms across his chest, refusing to acknowledge the tense atmosphere and staring intently at Madam Jewel
“What do you want?” Peach asked after Melina, refusing to walk any further in the hallway with her cousin, halting in her steps and crossing her arms defensively as she glared at her