Please, say it.
Calmly, Elijah looked over his shoulder at Peach, meeting her eyes, which immediately looked troubled by his glance, and then he smiled slightly, not wanting her mind to run wild.
Then when a small grin appeared on her face, he looked back at Ryan and said, “Honestly, this had been my thoughts from the first time I set my sight on that lawyer. He seemed way too shaken and uncertain about what he was saying or doing that night.”
“But why would the Hayeses want to fake a will just to give Peach a part of the properties after years of gatekeeping them for so long and getting away with it?” Ryan inquired, his brows furrowed in confusion.
For a second Elijah just stood there in silence, deep in thought, and then he sighed, mumbling, “From what I saw yesterday between them and Peach, I will say control. A wild wolf is better managed in the pack, but if it becomes a rogue, the pack must be wary. And the Hayes family has a history of controlling everything and everyone, except her.”
“Makes sense… give her a reason to obey, and she will.” Ryan agreed, nodding slightly.
“But she didn‘t… And they didn‘t hesitate to cast her aside like before.”
“So there is more!”
Grabbing the bridge of his nose, Elijah exhaled deeply and then dropped his hand, letting out, ‘Yes, there is more… more to Peach with the Hayeses… the lawyer said yesterday night, ‘Take Peach and run.”
“It was a warning…” Ryan mumbled, a sudden realization striking him.
“Exactly! The lawyer knows more than he‘s letting on…”
“So, what now?”
“It‘s clear he wanted to talk yesterday night, but I didn‘t create a trustful atmosphere between us. So, I am going to meet him face to face tomorrow. Hopefully, we can settle it with smooth talk rather than rough words… or acts.”
Subconsciously, Ryan looked back and immediately met Peach‘s eyes, and out of nervousness, he did a little wave to her with an awkward smile.
“They are talking about me, ain‘t they?” Peach whispered to Matt as she waved back at Ryan with a grin.
“Nooo… Not at all. It‘s about… Umm…” Matt stuttered out.
‘Yes! work stuff!”
“How very convincing.”
When Ryan focused on his eyes, Elijah allowed the silence to drag on for a second before saying, “Can you and Rookie help me investigate the board of directors of Investistic Co, and the entire company in general…?”
“Well, I was going to advise you on that because what I heard today from the investors wasn‘t good…” Ryan replied slowly, thinking over his words.
“Rookie and I are on it.”
The friendly tone Elijah used made Ryan feel a little lighter and he smiled wider at him, letting out.” Ummm, okay, boss.”
Watching as Elijah and Ryan finally turned to walk back to them, Peach drew a deep breath and murnbled beneath her breath, “It was just a conversation about work stuff…
When Elijah and Ryan reached her, she looked over at Ryan and then Matt and said, “Before you two leave, I want to say, ‘Thank you for helping to save the company, and for taking care of my mom… I do appreciate you two, and James, plus Rookie.”
Matt smiled down at her and then eyed Elijah before saying, “Don‘t worry. No need for thanks. We‘ll always have you two backs.”
“Yeah, always,” Ryan added softly.
For a moment, Peach watched Matt and Ryan walked over to their car, and then she looked up at Elijah, noticing the sky, and mumbled, “There‘s a storm coming,”
“Yeah, it is coming,” Elijah mumbled, and she felt a slight sense of worry because he wasn‘t watching the clouds like she was
At five o’clock Peach and Elijah walked into the restaurant of the hotel, dressed in casual wear, and took a seat next to the transparent glass wall.
“It‘s here,” Peach whispered, drawn by the view outside.
“What is?” Elijah asked as he took his attention off the menu.
Looking to where she stared, he smiled softly at the drop of rain rolling down the glass, and then glanced back up at Peach.
The was a long pause as Elijah let their eyes meet, and then he broke eye contact with her to look at something outside of the window instead.
“What was your grandfather like?” Elijah asked calmly, watching Peach from the corner of his eye. “We never really talked much about your experiences with the Hayeses… Was he different from the rest?”
The question was not random, and she knew it, that much was certain, but she rested back in her seat and crossed her arms over her chest before replying, “He was a businessman… he loved me dearly, and my mother was well recognized and taken care of as one of the daughters–in–law of the family. Well, with my dad, my grandfather really didn‘t intervene with Jewel‘s actions towards him, and just said, ‘Be a man, Albert…!”
When she paused, Elijah could see tears beginning to form in the corner of her eyes, but she quickly blinked them away, refusing to break eye contact with a shaky smile.
“He was tough on all his children though. All of them had to work to gain his favor. A hard–working man and I thought he was too old–fashioned and tough as steel to understand that words can break a man too, especially when he used to tell him, ‘Grow some backbone, son!”
Those words hit Elijah harder than he wanted to admit, but Peach kept smiling, her hands gripping the fabric of her dress tightly.
“But… umm… Well, around the time he got sick and was hospitalized, my mother and I went to visit him, and I ran ahead of her, so fast because I already knew his room, and she called after me, but all I wanted was to see my grandpa… I wasn‘t used to that tough nail being weak and sickly…” Peach trailed off, looking down at her hands.
A weak laugh escaped her lips as she sniffed, almost as though she was trying to make the memory leas painful, and she continued speaking “And then when I got close to his room I heard a shout from my grandiather that I have never heard before Rage war so aggressive and frightening that I stopped running and covered my ears tightly.”
When Peach paused, Elijah could see it in her eyes that her brain was trying to protect her from remembering whatever was said or happened next
Suddenly the waiter approached them with a friendly smile and said, “Hello there! How may I take your orders?”
Looking over at Peach, Elijah could see that she was in no mood to order, so he gave a calm stare back at the waiter and said, “creamy shrimp and crab bisque soup with a side order of fries, spicy ribs, and sweet tea along with water.”
“Is that all?” The waiter asked politely, smiling.
When Elijah nodded, the waiter eyed Peach hesitantly for a second before walking off, and then Elijah reached over the table, grabbed her hand, and squeezed it, mumbling, “Hey… It‘s fine. You don‘t have to remember this… Okay?”
Slowly, Peach nodded and then gave him a halfhearted smile as she wiped at her cheeks with the palms of her hands, sniffling again.
The rest of their meal went by in silence, and Elijah couldn‘t help feeling concerned about her well–being, so even after finishing his food, he remained silent until they left the restaurant and headed back to the suite.
When they walked inside the bedroom, Elijah eyed her for a while as he unbuttoned his shirt, but she still had a sad expression and she refused to look his way.
‘Those ribs were so freaking delicious, I might just call James to tease him about him stepping up his game.” Elijah blurted out with a laugh, pulling his shirt off his shoulders.
When he spotted a smile forming on Peach‘s face, Elijah grinned proudly as he rested his shirt on the chair arm and approached her.
The moment he took her hands in his, Peach raised her gaze, seeing the raw concern in his, and then she swallowed down her fear, mumbling, “He said, ‘I want them all out of my damn sight! I don‘t want to see any of them. Do not let them in here if they show up! Do you hear me! Kick them all out if they insist on seeing me!” ‘
Silently, Elijah watched her eyes, not knowing if he should ask or not, but at last, he said nothing, holding back his words to spare her any more torture.
“Say it,” Peach whispered, studying his face closely as she smiled softly.
Raising a brow, Elijah tried to downplay his curiosity and asked in a playful tone, “Say what?”
“What your mind wants you to say,” Peach said quietly, squeezing his hands. “Please, say it.”
Taking a breath, Elijah closed his eyes and opened them again, looking at her intently as he asked, “Who do you think your grandfather was saying those words about?“