23: Collet

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'Bad dreams are scary'

"We are your family and we would never hurt you in any way, shape, or form, that's all you need to know," Wesley asserts trying to step closer to me only for me to take yet another step back.

"I trusted you," I mumble lowly, doubts and insecurities filling my head.

"And you still can," Wesley assures, but I shake my head negatively.

"I want to go home," I tell them firmly, finding no source of security in the estranged walls of this mansion anymore.

"Baby just let us explain," Wesley reasons, but I shake my head negatively, my arms wrapped around myself as a form of comfort.

"Olivia take a minute to breathe first," Enrique says, his tone gentle but posture still eerily calm.

"The tightness in your chest," he points out without me having to say a word. "That's anxiety, you need to just calm down," he continues, making no attempts to get closer to me--much to my relief.

"Just takes some deep breathes with me, okay?" He instructs and even though I hold the very thought of them with a lot of distaste right now, I nod and do as he says. 

So I mirror his breathing for a few minutes before he slowly instructs me to sit down and does the same in front of me. We continue this breathing pattern for a few more minutes before I can finally feel my chest loosen, letting me calm down. 

"Feeling better?" He asks and I give him a firm affirmative nod. "Have you ever had anxiety this bad before?" He inquires once I'm fully calm. I shrug, causing him to hold back a sigh.

Did I have anxiety before? Sure

Was it ever this bad? I've never been held at gunpoint before so, no.

"Are we alright to talk now?" He asks me slowly. I shake my head, "I want to go home," I repeat.

"Alright, that can be arranged. But I must put it into perspective that until your mum is back from her appointment we cannot leave you in the house alone," he replies, and I nod slowly.

"I'll stay," I mumble under my breath.

'I don't even know how mum would react to any of this, does she know what kind of business these guys do?'

"This is the work you guys do?" I muster up the courage to ask. There is a moment of silence before they nod affirmatively.

"A part of it, yes," Enrique clarifies.

"So you lied when you said, you guys run an investment firm?" I accuse.

"No," he refutes the allegation and I frown.

"That didn't look like an investment deal gone wrong," I remark. They exchange a quick glance with each other before Wesley sighs.

"There are different aspects to our dealing, Liv, and you just happened to run in on one bad one. Had we been informed of coming today this exchange wouldn't have taken place here, to begin with," Wesley explains, there is evident desperacy in his eyes as he looks to me to understand his perspective.

"I thought mum told you I was coming," I mutter under my breath.

"There must have been some miscommunication between us. But regardless you shouldn't have had to go through that, and I promise you won't ever have to again," he assures. He at some point in this conversation took a seat on the ground beside Enrique and in front of me.

"He said he wanted protection from the 'Ashford Clan', what is that?" I ask tentatively, picking at the skin around my nails subconsciously.

I observe as the two of them share yet another glance, their jaws now clenched and their demeanor changing ever so slightly towards a darker and more unforgiving side.

"He meant the Ashford security firm," Enrique replies smoothly. "By Clan, he meant the group of highly skilled professionals that works for our family-owned security firm, it's a close-knit group hence the name," he adds. I nod slowly trying to process what he's saying.

It made sense, but not enough sense to put my mind at ease. 'But what else could it be?' I ask myself and come up empty-handed.

"So do all of you always have a gun on you then?" I question curiously.

"When tending to business mostly," Wesley replies.

"Every time you were around me you had it on you?"

I frown the fact that a deadly weapon was always in such proximity to me makes me uneasy, especially taking into consideration the event of today and the fact that according to mum I saw someone get shot when I was three and I still can't remember any of it.

"We did," Wesley nods solemnly. 'Why did I never notice?'

"Would you prefer we don't?" Enrique inquires and I nod almost immediately. "Then we won't," he assures me, I say nothing.

"So all this was just a bad business deal?" I clarify, still hesitant to completely believe their story.

"It was," Enrique nods affirmatively.

"Okay," I reply.


I don't know when or how I fell asleep, the last thing I remember is having a movie night with Wesley while Enrique finished work and we waited for mum and Ryan to come back.

But I'm snapped out of my sleeping trance by the feeling of dread and the familiar touch of cold metal against my skin.

With my eyes now wide open and void of sleep, I scan the pitch-black room for any signs of intrusion while tapping my hand on the nightstand trying to find the lamp switch. Flicking the lights back on I realize that I was just having a bad dream.

There isn't anyone in my room and the windows are latched shut, I deduce along with the fact that I'm still at the mansion. I rub my eyes before finding a clock and groan at the time. It's two in the morning. I need sleep.

But each time I close my eyes, I snap them right back open thinking that the man--Mr. Álvares--has me at gunpoint again.

Throwing the covers off of me, I decide to do something I wouldn't even have considered a few weeks ago. I wrap my arms around myself and tiptoeing across the cold floor, I leave my room and make my way toward another.

Prying that the door is unlocked, I sigh in relief when I feel the knob turn all the way before unlocking the door, the cold metal of the knob causing goosebumps to rise on my arm.

Mustering up my courage and with the desperate hope that I'm not crossing any unspoken boundaries, I crawl into the bed beside Kayden, trying my best not to wake him.

But as I've come to realize today Kayden Ashford is a light-ass sleeper. As soon as I set foot into his room he was awake, and once he deduces that the intruder is me his arms immediately wrap around my waist pulling me closer to him, which I don't resist.

"Bad dream?" He mumbles, sleep more than evident in his voice.

"Yeah," I whisper back knowing he wouldn't be able to see me nod. "Can I stay, if you don't mind?" I ask timidly prying that he doesn't say no.

"Sure," he mumbles before placing a firm kiss on the top of my head and drifting right back to sleep.

"Good night, Kay," I whisper to his sleeping form before letting myself drift off to sleep as well.

"Night, Alien," I hear him mutter as I slip into oblivion, knowing I'm safe in his arms.

Author's Note:

You guys asked for a double update and I love you so here's another update!

Hope you enjoy

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