Axel (Carolina Reapers 1) - Page 71

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“It does.” I chewed on my lip, a wild, insane plan forming rapidly in my mind.

There was only one way.

One way to show him.

To prove to him how much he meant to me.

“Faith,” I said, gripping her hand. “I need your help.”

“Anything,” she responded immediately, and I loved her even more in that moment.

* * *

The next day, my fingers trembled on my cell as I texted Axel.

Me: The girl I hired to feed the cats while I’m interviewing candidates fell through, could you please go check on them?

Axel: Can’t you ask Harper?

Me: Everyone else is busy.

Me: Please?

Axel: Be there in ten.

I blew out a breath, part relief and part pure terror.

I’d spent the rest of the flight yesterday, and the better part of the night, preparing Faith. Making sure she knew exactly what to do, who to look for, the red flags to note.

Silas would be furious, or he wouldn’t.

I didn’t care.

What I did care about was headed home.

And this was the only shot I had.

Ten minutes later, I heard Axel’s key turn in the lock, and my heart skipped, my stomach twisting with nerves.

This was either the best decision of my life or I was about to make a complete and utter ass of myself.

The front door swung open and shut, Axel’s voice murmuring as he called for Slytherin and Hufflepuff. He abruptly stopped when he found us—me and the cats—in the dining room.

He tilted his head. “Why aren’t you interviewing candidates to run Silas’ charitable foundations? His billions?”

“I sent Faith.”

He cocked a brow at me, surprise coloring his eyes—they looked more green than brown today. He opened his mouth, then quickly shut it. “You obviously can take care of the cats then. I’ll be going.” He spun around, heading toward the door.

“Axel,” I pled, and he paused. “Please. I sent Faith because I wanted to talk to you. I need to talk to you. Have dinner with me?” I motioned to the table behind me set with three silver domed trays.

He raked his fingers through his long hair, contemplating as Slytherin snaked through his ankles.

The blood in my veins seemed to halt as I waited for him to decide my fate. To deem me worthy of hearing me out…or not.

“Okay,” he said, near reluctant as he took a seat, eyeing the silver domes with a curious gaze.

I exhaled, my tight chest loosening a fraction.

I lifted the lids off his plate and mine, revealing one of his favorite dishes from Sweden. I left the third dome in the middle, covered.

“Kanelbulle?” He asked, eyeing the sweet, sticky cinnamon bun that sat in the center of his plate.

“Lukas’ mormor’s recipe,” I said, sinking into my seat. “Lukas assured me it was your favorite. It took me four times to get the dough right. Then two more tries to nail the amount of cardamom.”

“You spoke with Lukas’ mormor?” he asked.

I nodded. “I’ve never had to negotiate so hard in my entire life. It took all but the promise of our firstborn to get the recipe out of her. She lays claim to you as much as she does Lukas.”

“She always has,” he said, and laughed softly, gazing at the sweet roll on his plate. The comforts of his childhood paired with a request, to allow me to be a part of his future. “She’s tough. I’ve always loved that about her. Wait…our?” His eyes widened before dropping to my stomach. “Are you…?”

“No,” I said quickly, clenching my eyes shut at my blunder. His shoulders eased a bit, but I could’ve sworn disappointment flashed in his eyes. “No, I’m sorry. I meant to say my first born.”

He quickly took a bite, his eyes closing as he chewed. “Incredible,” he said, forking another bite before glancing at me. “You said you wanted to talk.”

“Right.” I blinked out of my gaze, mesmerized by the man before me. I sucked in a sharp breath. “I’ve never been good at relinquishing control. You know that. Better than anyone. You know I’m not connected with my family. Not for a long time. I owe it to them—my issues with control—because my childhood wasn’t like yours. I didn’t have a supportive family. I had a dangerously chaotic one. My mother flitted from man to man, and it ensured that she never held down a steady job. Then, she abandoned me to chase down another love. So I lived an uncertain life, where choices were made for me, things I couldn’t stop or change. Until I was old enough to. And that was the day I decided I’d never not be in control again. I’ve built my career, my livelihood on this fierce control I have, this determination to be the best. And yes, I’m damn good at my job. I love it. And when my ex, when he made me choose, I realized it wasn’t a choice at all. He didn’t love me for me. Not really. But he put me in a bad spot. All those old fears of being forced into situations, into choices that weren’t my own, it came rushing back.” I sighed. “And you were there. You saw how I handled that.” I used Hufflepuff plopping on my lap as an excuse not to look at him as I continued.


Tags: Samantha Whiskey Carolina Reapers Romance
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