#RunningWilde Ch. 49 | Love Gun (Part II)
Can't control these wild things
Can't you see you're drowning?
Tryna tame a wild beast, I'm a wild beach
Days of trials and nights of unrest finally forced Ava and Aiden to succumb to slumber, putting them under as if they’d been drugged by the sweet high of uninterrupted dreams, holding them close as they lay entangled in the sky, holding onto each other.
Hours later, a brisk knock on the wall and clearing of a throat jolted Aiden upright. Impulse found him with his hand under the mattress one moment, and his gun in his hand aimed at The Maid the next. His teeth were clenched tightly together, and his bare chest heaved and sank as he emitted harshly audible breaths.
She stiffened and held up her hands, “Mr Michaels?”
He blinked sleep from his eyes and inspected his surroundings with dark scrutiny before he decided that it was safe enough to lower the gun. Instead of slipping it back under the mattress, he put it in his lap. “My apologies,” his tone was gruff, “What is it?”
The Maid lowered her hands but edged slightly back into the entry way, “We’re an hour away from Montego Bay, sir. The captain asked that you and Mrs Michaels get ready to prepare for landing.”
He looked down at Ava, naked and lost to her dreams, next to him. He pulled the duvet higher to cover her body and exhaled slowly. The heavy thudding in his chest gradually softened and slowed.
“I’ll get your breakfast ready.”
“Thank you,” he said more personably, “We’ll be right there.”
The Maid nodded sharply and exited faster than she’d entered.
Aiden dropped his head in his hands and exhaled again, louder this time, “Fucking ‘ell, bruv,” he murmured into his chest. He placed his gun on the bedside table and snuggled back down in the bed. He wrapped his arms around Ava, buried his face in the elegant curve of her neck and breathed her in. His heartbeat returned to normal. He kissed her behind her ear, then her cheek, “Wake up, Ava-Marie.”
She groaned and turned her face into the pillow.
He hummed a slow warm smile and kissed below the clasp of her collar, at nape of her neck, “We’re landing in Mo’ Bay soon. I need to talk you through a few things before we do.”
She arched her brow and peeked at him lazily with one eye, “Already?”
“Yes. Come on,” he got up, pulled back the covers and playfully spanked her still rosy bottom. She opened both eyes and smirked at him. “Meet for breakfast in ten.”
Freshly showered and wrapped in black satin robes, Aiden and Ava took their positions around the dining table, with Aiden at the head and Ava sat on his left, her back straight, fingers locked together and muscles tensed as the Maid silently laid out stacks of pancakes, fruits, syrup, herbal tea and black coffee. It wasn’t until the Maid wheeled her cart out that she finally loosened. She smiled softly at Aiden, “So what did you want to talk to me about?”
He didn’t smile back but held his hand out for her plate, “You need to relax around them,” he said sternly, “The family especially, or at least to appear as if you are. Rigidness shows fear. Relaxed is sure of itself. Relaxed is powerful.”
“People can only intimidate you if you allow them to. In times like that, it is imperative that you remember who you are.”
She dropped her head, “I’m even not sure who that is right now.”
“You are Heaven Michaels.” He said her name in a way that carried a different sort of weight than her original one did. Like it made her a different person altogether. Ava-Marie Lockewood, daughter of a nightclub giant, had the kind of power that could get her invited to the most elite parties and reservations at the finest restaurants. But Heaven Michaels…she was the daughter of a king pin. The wife of a drug lord. Heaven Michaels had stolen a car and burned a man alive.
She sank back in the chair and unlocked her fingers.
“Better. How many pancakes do you want?”
“Are they vegan?” she asked eyeing the steaming pile of thick fluffy golden discs and suddenly realised how hungry she was.
He rolled his eyes “Yes, Ava-Marie.”
He deposited four on her plate, “Next lesson; let your first answer be your only answer. Indecisiveness is not the trait of a leader. You may only change it when the information presented to you is altered. It’s okay to take time to mull things over to be sure of your decisions. But if you must think about what decision to make, take no longer than thirty seconds. Fruit?”
“Blueberries and bananas.”
She watched him spoon the fruit on top of her stack and wished she’d also asked for strawberries but thought better of it for the time being. They would be landing in Jamaica in less than an hour and he was clearly preparing her to step into her official role as his other half. His wife, Heaven Michaels.
‘What would Mrs Michaels do?’, she wondered. In order to achieve the position she truly gunned for, it made sense that she should behave as if she were truly his wife, and not like they were just a just bunch of documents Mighty forged to protect her identity and a bargain bound by lust.
“Tea or coffee?” she reached for his cup.
He arched his brow and the corners of his stern mouth, lifted, “What are you doing?”
“Serving my husband.” She met his bemused gaze, “Tea or coffee?”
She’d never referred to him as her husband before. Aiden watched her for a moment. “Coffee. Black. No sugar.” He went back to her plate, “Syrup?”
“Yes please. I like it_”
“Drizzled all over in a social media worthy fashion. Yes, dear wife,” his eyes flicked up at her from under his lashes and his voice came huskier, “I know what you like.”
She shifted in her seat, her body comparable to the syrup he poured -sticky, sweet and ready to be devoured. She watched him as he expertly arranged it across her plate, the way he’d observed her do back at his safe house the first time they had breakfast together.
“Is it to your liking?”
She took her eyes off him and looked at the plate, her teeth holding her smile from becoming too wide, “You really do pay attention to everything.”
“Yes. I advise you to start doing the same. It’s important that you know how to take care of yourself. I won’t always be with you.”
“Oh? Where will you be?” she poured his coffee.
“Taking care of the side of the business that you shall have no part in,” he said firmly.
She put the cafetière down, “That’s not the deal we made.”
“I said I’d teach you, Ava-Marie, and I will.”
“How will I know if your lessons have taken effect if you don’t allow me to make use of them?”
“The opportunity will arise. You may not be so eager to participate when it does. Until then, I’m not purposely going to put you in harms way.”
“I won’t have you coddling me, Aiden.”
“You won’t have me?” he arched his brow. He leant in closer to her, “You think you’re bad now, yeah?” Brixton was present in his manner and she was unsure how to respond. The lilting stop-start of his South London tongue had a way of making his words more threatening. She edged back in her seat but lifted her chin. He came closer still, his voice low, gruff and ghetto, “Don’t think coz you jacked some old man and set an already dying man on fire, that you’re about this life. If a man like me ran up on you, ready to dun your dance, what are you, miss sheltered rich girl, gonna do about it?”
She clenched her jaw and glared at him.
“That’s the whole point of you teaching me, Aiden!” she snapped back, vaulting herself into his face. “What do you think I made this deal with you for? To sit at home and play housewife?”
He closed his eyes and inhaled heavily through his nose. When he opened his eyes, they were hardened lumps of coal and his pistol was pressed against her temple.
“Do something then!”