The Trap Of Ace Chapter 69
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Across the open field, a black car that I knew really well passed through the empty road. No other sign of vehicle or human was there.
Then a truck sped through the field, going directly to the car.
I tensed. The rate of my heart beat peaked up. I had to stop it.
But when I tried to open my mouth to say something, yell his name, my body didn’t move. A panic set in when I attempted to open my eyes but they didn’t move either.
I watched as the truck neared the car with full speed. It was going to hit it!
A desperation to stop it rolled inside, making me restless. I wanted to move but as if my body got
paralyzed, I couldn’t move even how much I wanted to.
I wanted to scream, thrash to be set from whatever that held me back. I wanted to stop that truck. But all I could do was watch as the truck went ahead and hit the car with a force that it flew across the road, flipping over, a fire immediately set on it.
“Ace!” I shot my eyes open, my vision blurred with tears. “No! No, no! Ace! Please nooo!!” Jolting up, I tried to get up, but a pair of arms held me back as I thrashed into their hold.
I didn’t know where I was, I didn’t see, I didn’t hear. All I could think and see was the accident. The horrible car accident, the same car my Ace was in.
“My Ace needs me! He needs me! Let me go!” I screamed, continuing fighting.
“Rosebud, Rosebud, calm down! I’m here. I’m here with you baby, just calm down!” A voice reached my ears but I couldn’t really concentrate on it.
“Let me go! My Ace needs me! Please…”
“Rosebud, look at me!” Cupping my face, he made me look at him.
“No…” My voice caught at my throat as his stormy grey eyes met mine. They held concern and the same affection they always bore for me there.
Then I realized where I was.
I was in the arms of my Ace.
“Ace…” a whisper left my lips, eyes not moving from his beautiful face.
He nodded, kissing my forehead. “Yes, baby. Your Ace, I’m here with you. I’m fine, and so you’re. Everything is alright now, sweetheart. Calm down. Everything is fine.”
“You… you’re here. You’re here with me. You’re alright.” Touching his face, shoulder and chest to console my heart that he was really there, I let out a sob and wrapped my arms around him.
Taking me in the cocoon of his arms, he held me close, nuzzling his face in my neck.
“I- I thought I lost you! I… I was so scared. I thought you left me. I- I saw the video, I…” Sentences came out uncompleted from my mouth in between my sob. I couldn’t talk without stuttering.
But the tightness of my chest was slowly dissipating as I had him in my arms.
He was safe. Alive. I didn’t lose him.
Clutching him closer to me, I hid my head in his chest. His intoxicating scent filled my nostrils, soothing my chaotic mind. I took some more greedy inhales.
“I’d never leave you, baby. Never ever. I’m here with you. I didn’t go anywhere. You know I can’t leave my Rosebud alone.” Tightening his arms around me, he rubbed his hand over my back gently. His deep voice murmuring at the crook of my neck was like an ice to my burning soul.
With my lips trembling, some more tears fell. I pressed my lips against his chest. “Promise me you’ll never leave me again like that.”
“I promise. I’ll never leave you alone again, Rosebud. I’ll never. I swear to you that.” Determination cut deep into his tone. The way his grip only tightened and his shoulders got stiff, I could tell
everything that happened equally bothered him as much as it did to me.
But I was too tired to think about anything else. Latching onto his words, I closed my eyes and slumped against him, taking a deep breath. It felt like I finally could breath after such a long time.
He was here with me…
I didn’t even want to think of what happened earlier the day. I was exhausted: mentally, physically and emotionally. Now that finally my Ace was in my arms, I wanted to sleep.
“Don’t leave me…” I murmured as my eyelids became heavy.
“I won’t. Sleep, baby. I’ll be right here when you wake up,” I heard his voice murmuring before exhaustion completely engulfed me.
He kept his promise. When I opened my eyes next time, I found myself wrapped around his strong arms while he kept me against his chest. I was on the top of his body while he lied underneath me, completely unbothered by my weight.
When did we get in this position?
His gentle strokes through my hair and possessive grip over my waist had me sigh in content.
Sensing me awake, he looked down at me. “Rosebud?”
The husky and rough texture of his voice sounded pleasing to my ears.
I thought I’d never be able to hear his voice again…
My heart clenched painfully. Tears burned my eyes at the thought as memories of those ominous incidents flooded back to my mind.
“Rosebud? What happened, baby?” A crease set between his brows as he moved me slightly and sat up, placing me on his lap. “Did you have a nightmare again?”
I shook my head, sniffling. “I just…”
“Listen to me, Rosebud,” cupping my cheeks, he locked our gazes, “I’m here with you, ain’t I? Nothing happened to me, baby. I’m absolutely fine and alive, without a scratch.”
“B-but how? I watched that video. The way that truck hit the car, the severity of it…” I shook my head, closing my eyes. Goosebumps crawled up my arms at the recollection of the sight.
“I know. But I wasn’t in the car, baby. I got out mid way. So unfortunately for them, they couldn’t succeed in their plan.”
My eyes snapped open. “Y-you know who did it? Who was behind the conspiracy?”
A muscle of his jaw ticked. Grey eyes flashed with wrath. “Very well. I’ve known it for a long time now.”
I gasped. Lips parted in shock.
“Y-you knew? You knew Arthur was planning to kill you?” Something inside me burned with fire.
He knew everything? Then why didn’t he do anything about it? Why did he let him do all this shit?
He shook his head, rubbing his hand over my back. As if he was aware of my suddenly dark mood.
“I didn’t know what he was exactly going to do until this morning. I found out about his whole plan after the meeting, when he went to meet Ivanov once the contract was signed,” he said.
“Then why didn’t you do anything about it? Why did you let all this happen?” I asked, perplexed. He shouldn’t have signed the contract and got into his car if he knew Arthur was betraying him. “And what do you mean by the whole plan? How do you know that Arthur went to meet Ivanov?”
Endless questions swirled around my head, but I had no answers.
“You remember we had a board meeting about someone leaking information about our company and working with Antonio?”
“I had a hunch that it was someone from inside, someone very close to us just as you said in the meeting. And after the drug incident, I was sure of it. I knew Liza couldn’t do all that alone. To know that the CCTV camera outside of the Valencian mansion wasn’t working, was possible for only the people from inside the house. Or someone who regularly visited.” His hand ran up and down my leg, making me realize that I was in one of his t-shirts, not in my morning clothes.
He must’ve changed me.
“The staff who worked there were our old and loyal workers. I knew they wouldn’t betray us, but still,
I had a close observation on their activities. And they came out clean. Tess wouldn’t do that to Caleb either. So there left Arthur.” He met my gaze. “I didn’t want to doubt him as he had a huge favor on me by handling my company in my absence years ago. But I had an idea of his running illegal businesses in the UK in his past which I thought he stopped doing after returning to the states. But then I got a call from the police.”
I frowned. “Police?”
He nodded. “Yes. After the drug incident, I had Antonio investigated discreetly. And the man I hired was a police officer too, he was involved in the case. According to their report, the drugs that were found in Caleb’s car were from a drug dealer whose shark client was Antonio. He got them from that man. It was a very expensive kind of drug that only that man supplied to the states through Antonio. It was Antonio’s foolishness to use the same drugs to frame Caleb. And once looked closely into it, the drug dealer was connected to a very small company based in the UK. And guess who was the owner of that company?”
With my eyes wide, I whispered, “Arthur.”
“Yes,” he hissed, lips curling into a sneer. “It was him who actually delivered drugs to Antonio. He just used that man as a way to run his business while still remaining under the shadows.” He gritted his teeth. “The police weren’t supposed to investigate further after getting to know about Antonio’s involvement. But to stop the drug supply in the states, they dug out that man’s history to grab his neck. And when they found out about Arthur, they immediately informed me. But I told them not to take action against that man and Arthur right away as I didn’t want them to get alert.”
“But why did you do that? If they had arrested him earlier then this wouldn’t have happened today. You could get hurt!” My voice rose with each word.
His grip on me tightened, his shoulders went rigid. “So could you. If I had known he was going to go after you even after knowing what I had done to Antonio, I’d have killed him even before he could think about harming you.” There was a storm brewing into his grey orbs that indicated someone’s demise. Arthur’s demise. “You were nowhere near my plan to catch him red handed. But still to be sure you were miles away from him while I executed my plan, I kept the guards outside. But you still left and I had no fucking idea of what danger you were in. If it wasn’t for Duncan…”
Closing his eyes, he took a deep breath as if even the mare thought tortured him.
I ran my hand over his chest. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know what was running into your head. I didn’t know about your plan. All I knew was, I needed to stop you from signing the contract. I knew Arthur was going to do something.”
“At least you shouldn’t have gone after him to that floor. Especially when you had no one there to protect you. What were you thinking?”
Duncan must’ve told him what happened out there.
The edge of his voice told me he wanted to snap or yell, but still suppressing his anger not to raise his voice on me. But the fire in his eyes was evident.
“I wasn’t thinking,” I said honestly. “I know it was stupid of me. But I wanted to know who his partner in crime was. If you had told me earlier about your plan then I wouldn’t have done that. But like always, you didn’t feel the need to tell me anything.”
He sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose. “I didn’t know you were aware of his double crossing. I didn’t want to stress you out. I’m sorry. But why didn’t you tell me that you had doubts on him? When did you get to know all this?”
I shrugged. “Well, I didn’t like him from the beginning. There was always something like malice in his eyes whenever he looked at me. And then I saw him with Sierra.”
He cocked his head at the side. “Who?”
I rolled my eyes. Of course the great Achilles Valencian didn’t bother enough to ever know his
“One of you employees. She was Liza’s close friend.” Then I explained everything to him, from seeing Sierra with Arthur in the hotel garden to him threatening me. Well, except the fact that I took Warner’s help. I didn’t want to ruin his mood more than it already was.
He stiffened. Those grey eyes flashed as his nostrils flared. “He threatened you?” His voice came out low, danger laced with each word. Then grabbing my shoulders, he asked, “Did he hurt you? Did he try to do anything…”
I shook my head. “He didn’t hurt me. He just tried to scare me by using your past. And thinking he might have something against you for real, I kept quiet. That’s why I wanted to know everything so desperately so that I could know if he really knew anything. But when you finally disclosed your past to me, I got to know that even though he knew something related to that night, he didn’t have any evidence. And when I decided to tell you everything in the morning, you weren’t there. You already left for the meeting.”
His jaw clenched. “You should’ve told me that earlier, Rosebud.”
I placed my head on his chest. “I was scared to ruin what we had by telling you something against your uncle who was so close to you without any strong proof. Even if we were fighting then, I didn’t want to create more rift between us. I thought you wouldn’t believe me before your uncle.”
He wrapped his arms around me, pulling me closer. “There’s no one in the world I trust more than you. You’re my world, Rosebud. How did you think I wouldn’t believe you?”
“I thought you and him were very close and you trusted him blindly. And when I finally decided to tell you after Liza’s confirmation, his threat stopped me. I just wanted to be sure if he really had something against you before telling you everything. Because I feared that if I would tell you about him, you being you wouldn’t be able to control your rage and confront him about it. And that would lead him to use your past against you if had anything with him. I know it’s stupid. But I didn’t want to take any chance.”
“I’d have killed him for threatening you like that,” he hissed, tone deep.
“That’s why I didn’t tell you. I wanted to sort everything out before taking any steps. If you had told me everything, then all this wouldn’t happen in the first place.” I glanced up at him. “Why did you stop the police to arrest them anyway?”
“Because I wanted to punish them myself first. I wanted to make them believe that they were winning and then watch their own fall with their own eyes, especially when they were at the verge of winning.” Venom dripped from his voice. “Nothing hurts more when you lose the moment when you had all the confidence that you were going to win.”
He played with my hair as I listened to him silently.
“After coming out of the jail, Antonio thought nothing would happen to him again. But he was wrong. I couldn’t let him live peacefully when he tried to hurt my Rosebud. So I destroyed him to pieces this time. This time, no one in the world can save him from his doom,” he said. “And today was Antonio’s turn. I knew he was going to do something after the final signing. And I was just waiting for him to take the step so I could grab him by his neck and catch him red handed, ruining him with his own strategy.”
“You said you knew he was going to meet Ivanov. How? And when did Antonio try to hurt me?