An Untimely Love – Part 11

“What is she doing here?” Anton mumbled more to himself than anyone else in the room.

“I think I can answer that.” Sam teasingly raised his hand, a smile on his face as he looked at a very disturbed Anton.

Alex moved away from the door and left the two men standing there. She grabbed the Tv remote from the table, plopped herself onto the couch and turned on the tele.

Turning to Alex, “I need to talk to Anton about something,” Sam said. “Will just take a bit,” and to Anton he said, “Let’s talk as we head down.” He pushed the door open before Anton could turn him down.

Anton remained standing where he was for a few seconds looking confused. “I’m gonna go,” he said to Alex whose gaze was fixed on whatever movie was showing on the screen. She didn’t bother turning to look at him.

“I will sort out this issue with Cathy completely and you and I will continue this conversation properly after. Alex?”

She finally looked at him. “I don’t think there’s any point An-“

Sam appeared back through the door. “Are you coming or not?”

“There’s still a lot you and I need to talk about.” Anton said sternly, completely ignoring Sam. “I’ll see you tomorrow on camp.”

Anton brushed passed Sam the moment he was done, taking long strides as he walked but only to suddenly stop, turn and confront Sam who was rushing to catch up with him from behind.

“Yoh.” Sam put his arms forward to wade off a confrontation thinking Anton was aiming for a fight. “Let’s use words man, no need for this-“

“What’s your deal?” Anton asked, his very tall frame towering over the pop star and moving in towards him a little too close for comfort.

“I could ask you the same question man,” Sam retorted. “What’s your deal, two girls at once? Don’t you have any shame?”

“I don’t have two women,” Anton said. “I already broke up with Cathy so-“

“Says who?” Cathy unceremoniously chipped in the moment she stepped out of the lift, her eyes a ball of fire as she approached the two gentlemen.

“Cathy, how did-“ Anton started to ask.

Cathy waved her hand to dismiss him. “The important question here is; what are you doing here?” She asked Anton.

A few doors on that floor opened in anger to check out the source of the commotion, faces and voices screaming; take it somewhere else!

“Oh my God it’s Sam! Mum!” A teenage girl screamed in excitement upon spotting Sam who in turn cussed under his breath for allowing himself to be discovered.

Sam quickly turned to Anton. “You and I will talk some other time.” He was already turning to rush back inside before the whole apartment came out. “The both of you better take this outside before it’s too late.” He said, pointing from Anton to Cathy.

“Is that her place?” Cathy asked and tried to push her way passed Anton but he blocked her way, arms stretched out.

Sam quickly opened the door, entered and locked it behind him. “That girl is crazy!” He said to Alex who was still seated in the couch looking absolutely unperturbed by the chaos taking place outside.

“What are you going to do if the paparazzi find out you’re here?” Alex asked the pop star.

Sam walked over to where she was and sat down next to her. “I think it’s already too late to worry about that now.”

Alex stared wide-eyed at him. “Did someone see you?”

“That girl was screaming at the top of her lungs, of course someone saw me.” He answered.

Alex was up on her feet, panic written all over her face. “You should leave before they get here.” She said.

Sam laughed. “Why should I leave?”

Alex raised her brows in puzzlement. “I live alone in this apartment. I don’t have to tell you what type of ridiculous articles will come out if my identity gets out.”

“They’ve already done their speculation on that. Haven’t you seen today’s tabloids?” Sam asked.

“What do you mean?” Alex asked. “Did they write something about us?”

Sam appeared amused by the shock on her face. “Alex, you were my date last night. Of course the tabloids have something to say about that regardless of what was said during interviews. So you haven’t read any paper or checked the net today?”

“No I haven’t.” She answered, silently thinking in retrospect how strange it was that she had not seen a single newspaper in sight at Oliver’s mansion. What could have been written that he didn’t want her to see?

Frantically, Alex reached for her phone and was about to type Sam’s name in the search engine when the trending stories showed up right at the top of the page. “Oh my God this can’t be happening.” She said as she scrolled down the page and discovered numerous pictures of her at last night’s event as well as not so flattering pictures of her from the past that had somehow made their way into the public sphere.

Sam took offense to her reaction and he was quick to voice it. “So this is how it feels to be out rightly rejected by a woman.” He said, a sombre expression on his face. “Is that how much you don’t like me? Wooow-” He hang his head low and ran his hand through his hair.

Sam’s words went straight to Alex’s heart and she couldn’t hide the instant regret. She had only been concerned about her fears concerning Oliver’s reaction and what it would mean for them if speculations about her and Sam spread that she forgot about what such a reaction might mean for the man that had come all the way to see her.

She slowly put her phone down and faced Sam, remorse written all over her face. “I’m very sorry,” she said.

“Those are the top three words I hate hearing from a woman I like.” Sam said.

“Why do you like me Sam?” Alex asked. “I mean, you are YOU! You are a celebrity, the hottest and most trending on the scene right now. Why would someone like you like me?”

Sam laughed. “What’s wrong with me liking you?”

Alex simply threw him a blank look.

“You’re a beautiful girl Alex!” Sam answered her ‘look.’ “You’re easy going, you’re real, funny, when am with you I feel like the rest of my world around me doesn’t matter, it’s just me and you. You are easy to get along with and you have no idea how hard it is for someone like me to feel like that with somebody. I don’t have one specific reason why I like you but all I know is that when am not with you, I want to be with you.”

Alex wasn’t sure what to say and she couldn’t understand why Sam’s words where making her feel restless. More than his words, it was the sincerity in his eyes that shook her already confused heart. Was it because he was an expert at writing and singing love songs that he was able to shake her up like that? She wondered. Only a few minutes ago Anton had said almost the same words but her heart had not been moved in the slightest.

There had been a time in Alex’s life when she would have given anything to hear Anton say that he liked her as more than a friend but she wasn’t sure when that desire had disappeared. Of the many things Anton had done to reject her feelings, the one that stood out the most was the day she discovered that Cathy had already informed him about their past and he had not bothered to talk to her about it. Anton could not have found a better way to let her know just how much she meant to him. Unlike Oliver who had stood by her all through that experience, Anton had been too quick to dismiss her pain.

But just what was she supposed to think about the things Sam was telling her?

Sam Daniels had appeared very suddenly in her life and before she could even wrap her head around the fact that she was on friendly terms with one of her idol crushes, here he was telling her he liked her as more than just a friend. Just what is a girl supposed to do when her love-life is in such a state of disarray?

Even though she was sure Oliver was what and who she wanted, Sam Daniel’s had a way of making her heart waver in ways she could not understand.

“Alex?” Sam’s voice forced her out of her riverie.

“I’m sorry Sam.” She said. “I think am still suffering from a hangover.” She lied. “I rarely drink so….”

Sam got up. “Get up,” He grabbed her hand and pulled her up from the couch.

“What are you doing?” Alex asked.

“We are going to some place where you can clear your head.” He said. “C’mon, let’s go.” He was now leading her towards the door.

“No, Sam-“ She tried to protest.

“I’m not asking you to come with me young lady, am taking you there whether you like it or not.” He said decisively.

Alex laughed. “Is this like that place you took me to the first day we met?” She was now willingly following him out of the apartment.

The moment Sam stepped his foot outside the door, camera’s flashed in his face from all angles. Before Alex could take in what was happening, Sam quickly pulled and aligned her back straight against his back so her face could not be captured.

“How did they get in?” Alex asked.

“They were already in.” A slightly bemused Sam said as he looked around the people taking shots of them. “These are not your regular paparazzi,” he chuckled. “They’re your neighbours.”

“What!?” Alex tried to look but Sam kept her face hidden.

“I’m gonna start counting,” He whispered to her. “But you need to cover your face with this first,” he carefully removed his leather jacket and handed it to her. “I am very sure that the kind that gets paid to do this kind of things are waiting hungrily outside.”

“Then let’s just go back in Sam.” Alex suggested.

“Not a chance.” Sam said. “You can’t ever allow these people to dictate how you live your life. C’mon, 1, 2, 3-“

The two of them ran passed the neighbours to the elevator but when it took long to open, Alex instead pulled Sam towards the stairs on the other side. “This way!” She shouted, unconsciously finding herself enjoying the experience. Despite growing up with a family that was constantly in the spotlight, Alex had never before had any reason to hide from the spotlight. She avoided it quite alright but there was never a time when she ran from it to avoid her picture being taken.

“This is fun!” Alex shouted as they approached the bunch of reporters stationed outside her apartment building.

Sam put his arm around her waist and together they fought their way to his vehicle. He let her in first before going round to the driver’s side of his yellow convertible Bentley. He sped off before the paparazzi could get into their vehicles and drive after them.

With Sam’s jacket over her head, Alex stood up from her seat.

“What the hell are you doing?” A very concerned Sam asked.

But Alex was not listening to him. She leaned against the back of her seat, raised her hands in the air and shouted “Huuuha” to the reporters chasing after them on foot. And then she sat back down. “Oh, that was so much fun! I wonder why I’ve never done this before.”

Sam laughed. “You’re crazy you know that.”

“My doctor seems to think so too.” She joked.

Sam laughed. “Buckle up, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.” He accelerated the moment the words fell out of his mouth.
***

Mrs Mathilda Russel was in the kitchen preparing dinner when her daughter Cathy stormed through the house sobbing. She went and dropped herself by her father’s feet in the living room. Benson Russel had been watching a game when he was rudely interrupted by his daughter but rather than dismiss her, he laid the remote control on the side and gave her his full attention.

“Why is my baby girl so upset?” He asked her, getting down from the sofa to sit next to her on the floor. He wrapped his arms around her as she continued crying.

Mathilda appeared through the door with a knife in one hand and a green pepper in other. “What’s wrong with my baby?” She rushed over to them.

The moment Cathy heard her mother’s voice, she removed herself from her father’s embrace and went into her mother’s arms, sobbing even louder.

“I’m going to go upstairs and leave the two of you to talk.” Benson knew when he was not needed.

After sobbing for three more minutes, Cathy finally calmed down and brought her mother up to date with the developments in her love life.

“Is that boy crazy?” Mathilda asked. “Why would he pick that girl over you? And you say she’s now with this Sam guy? What do these men see in her?”

“She hasn’t changed in the slightest from the manipulative brat she was years ago.” Cathy sulked. “She makes people pity her and they end up taking her side.”

“Do you want me to talk to Anton?” Mathilda asked.

Cathy almost jumped from the floor where she was still seated. “No mum!” She shouted. “What sort of person will that make me if I send my mother to sort out my issues with my boyfriend?”

“You said it yourself that he’s made it very clear that he doesn’t want to have anything to do with you anymore.” The mother of one said. “Maybe he needs an adult like me to remind him that whatever he feels for that little nitwit is nothing but pity. There’s no way it can be love. No sane man would pick another girl over my lovely daughter.”

“I just need to find a way to make him see the truth on his on-“ Cathy said thoughtfully.

Mathilda went quite as well as she made calculations in her head. “I think I have an idea!” She said, standing up from the floor, her eyes dancing about excitedly.

Cathy looked at her mother expectantly. “I trust my mother to take care of such things for me.” She laughed and added, “what are you planning mum?”

***

After Alex had left his place, Oliver decided to drown himself in work to keep from thinking about her and his son Anton. There were a lot of things he was capable of as a man but fighting his son over a woman was not one of them. Therefore, if his heart was not willing to support his resolve to keep from thinking of Alex as a woman, then he hoped his fatherly instincts would be enough to guide him in the right direction.

After five hours of working non-stop in his home studio, Oliver gave up working and went upstairs to his room. The first thing he did was turn on the TV before laying down but before he could even get to his bed, he heard Alex’s full names mentioned on the news and he froze in point to watch.

It appears the 29 year old singer has finally found his Muse if the smile on his face is anything to go by. The presenter was saying as a picture of Alex hiding behind Sam outside her apartment appeared on the screen.

However, we here at DN Network are wondering if Sam’s boss Oliver Cooper who happens to be the young lady’s guardian approves of his newly signed singer dating his daughter…if I can call her that. The presenter continued.

Oliver quickly turned off the TV and threw his back onto the bed, his eyes completely shut. no sooner had he shut his eyes than he realized that if he was to get any sleep that night, he needed something stronger to knock him out. And so he opened his eyes, got out of bed and walked downstairs to the kitchen. It was in the kitchen that Anton found him when he came.

“Why am I not surprised that you’re drinking?” Anton said when he came through the door. He grabbed himself a glass and joined his father at the table.

“What are you doing here?” Oliver asked.

Anton finished pouring himself a drink before answering. “What, am I not welcome here anymore?”

Oliver started to get up. “Am not in the mood for a fight with you tonight.” He said.

Anton touched his hand and looked up at him, a pleading expression on his face. “Dad, sit.” He said.

Oliver sat down after a moment’s hesitation. “I haven’t seen that look in your eyes in years.” He said. “What do you want?”

Anton laughed, amazed that he was still so obvious to his father. Was there anything the old man didn’t know about him?

“Sam,” Anton said. “Do something about that guy dad.”

“What do you mean I do something about him?” Oliver asked. “Is this about Alex?”

“I knew you saw the news.” Anton said. “See, I knew you weren’t really in-love with Alex otherwise you would be out there taking her away from that creep.”

Oliver said nothing in return.

“I know he’s famous and all but dad,” Anton continued. “I love that girl and that guy is stealing her from me.”

Oliver finally looked at his son. “Stealing her from you?” He asked.

“Yes,” Anton candidly answered. “He just came from nowhere and he’s confusing her, using his fame to woo her. If you don’t do something about him, I might end up really losing her.”

“How can you lose her when she was never yours?” Oliver asked him. “And why do you even think I would help you in any way?”

“I knew her before he even knew she existed!” Anton snapped. “And you’re gonna help me because your loyalty should be more to me than your employee. Alex always listens to you. If you tell her that he’s no good for her, she won’t give him the time of day. She trusts you very much.”

“So you want me to lie to her just so you can be with her?” Oliver asked bemusedly. “What makes you think that she might come to you if things between her and Sam don’t work out? Have you forgotten that you hurt her feelings and betrayed her not so long ago?” Oliver reminded his son.

“I can make that up to her dad,” Anton promised. “Unless of course there’s some other reason you wouldn’t want me with her….” He was closely examining his father’s face for a reaction.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Oliver asked and quickly downed the remaining whisky in his glass, lowering his gaze to avoid his son’s piercing and searching look.

“You seem so sure that Alex might not consider me even with Sam out of the picture, why’s that?”

Oliver put his glass down. “That’s not what I said.” He said. “Don’t put words in my mouth. I simply asked a question.”

“Do you really think that Alex is in-love with you like that?”Anton asked.

“Did you come all the way here to ask me such questions?” Oliver asked in a no-nonsense tone. “If you have nothing more to talk to me about, am going to bed.” He picked up his bottle of whisky and glass and stood up.

Anton too got up. “I really love her dad.” He said to his father’s retreating figure, forcing Oliver to come to a stop.

“I know that I’ve been ungrateful all my life and that I don’t deserve her.” Anton continued speaking to his father’s back. “You were right when you said that I am selfish, I admit it, I am a selfish bastard but dad, you’re my dad,” He’s voice was cracking in bits as he fought back his tears.

“…you are the only one I have and I am begging you right now to help me.” Anton continued. “I’m begging you, please.”

Hearing the vulnerability in his son’s voice was all Oliver needed to set his feelings straight. No matter how much Alex made his frozen heart come alive every now and then, it was nothing compared to what he stood to lose if he acted on those feelings. Indeed Anton had begged him for a lot of things in his life but never before had he heard such sincerity in his voice.

Suddenly, Oliver felt guilty for even entertaining the idea of Alex and him. Granted, he had not allowed himself to think about her ever since he became aware of her feelings for him but every now and then he had his moments of weakness.

“It’s late now.” Oliver could not bear turn and look at his son. Both guilt and shame forced him to keep looking ahead. “Get some rest and we’ll talk in the day.” and he quickly walked away from his son.

Anton wiped the tears from his eyes, the sight of his father’s hunched back as he walked away breaking him to the core. He knew he was being selfish in asking him such a favour but what was he supposed to do when he was the only person in the world that could help him win back the love of his life?

“I am sorry dad.” Anton said to himself as Oliver disappeared from sight.

“Me too son.” Oliver said to himself, having heard what his son had whispered. “Me too.” He repeated, his eyes burning red and teary as he raised the bottle to his mouth and gulped down its contents until nothing was left. He flung open the door to his bedroom, stepped inside, shut it behind him and turned, only to raise his hand in the air and flung the empty glass in his hand on the floor.

Anton who was still standing where his father had left him heard the sound of glass breaking and rather than go upstairs to check, he turned and slowly walked out of the house, his face heavy with emotion.

When two straight days passed and Alex had not heard from Oliver, she decided to follow him to the only place she knew he wouldn’t be able to get rid of her that easily; his place of work. Earlier that day she had called Morgan to find out Oliver’s schedule and the assistant had told her that he had been on location at the local Coliseum for two straight days shooting scenes for a documentary for his filming company.

The moment class was done, Alex hailed a cab and went straight to where Oliver was filming. She found Morgan in the lobby of the Coliseum heading out with some of the crew members she could recognize from the company.

“He’s out in the garden,” Morgan informed her after exchanging pleasantries. “Said he needed some fresh air. It’s been a rough day.”

“Why, what happened?” Alex asked.

“Some diva tried to go diva on the crew, boss didn’t take it lightly. He sent her packing and we had to find a replacement asap.” Morgan said.

“Is he alone?”

“Yeah, everyone’s already left but he’ll be spending his nights here till Friday.”

“Okay, thanks Morgan.” Alex said and followed the directions he had given her to the garden where Oliver was.

She spotted him from a distant. It wasn’t that he was wearing the sweater she had gotten him last Christmas that she could recognize him from afar but it was his back and the way he was standing, it was a familiar sight, one she could use to identify him even in her sleep.

When she got closer to him, she tip-toed towards him and covered his eyes with her hands from behind whispering, “guess who?”

Oliver grabbed both her hands and lifted them from his eyes. “I know it’s you Alex,” he said. “I first bought you that fragrance on your 13th birthday and you haven’t changed it since.”

“Dammit,” she said and moved to stand next to him. “You know too much about me Oliver. I don’t think I can ever hide from you.”

“There’s no place you would go where I wouldn’t find you. I know all your hiding places.”

“I also wouldn’t go anywhere I know you wouldn’t be able to find me.” Alex said.

Oliver turned to look at her. “What brings you here?” He asked.

Alex chuckled. “Aren’t you gonna ask how I knew you were here?”

“We both know where Morgan’s loyalty first lies.” Oliver said. “I should think about firing that guy tomorrow.”

Alex laughed. “You haven’t fired him because he’s good at his job. You are a very hard man to please Oliver, I know that all too well.”

“You still haven’t told me what you’re doing here.” He said. “Is this visit concerning your articles with Sam?”

“Ah, you saw those…I figured you did,” she added in a low tone. “Is that why you haven’t called to check up on me in the past two days?”

“I’ve been busy, as you can see.” He answered. “Besides, there’ve been times when the two of us haven’t spoken for weeks. What’s changed now? It’s only been two days.”

“What’s changed now is that you know how I feel about you so it would be nice if you didn’t deliberately forget about my existence.”

“Who said I forgot about your existence?” Oliver asked. You are the hottest trending topic right now so whether I like it or not I am made aware of your existence. How’s Sam doing?”

“Why are you asking me about Sam?” Alex asked. “You’re his boss, shouldn’t you know how your latest star is doing on a daily basis?”

“I think right now you’re the one that’s closer to him than I am. And besides, I haven’t seen him today since I haven’t been to the studio.”

“What do you mean closer to me?” Alex asked. “You of all people should know that you can’t believe stuff that appears in the papers. Sam and I are just friends.”

“Does he think the same thing too?”

Alex hesitated in her response.

“You see,” Oliver said. “You know very well that the tabloids have grounds for speculation, and if you weren’t interested in him like that, you wouldn’t be leading him on the way you’ve been doing.”

“Leading him on?” Alex looked shocked. “Why would you say that I’ve been leading him on?”

“Do you like him?”

“Of course I like him, you’ve always known that! He’s Sam Daniels for pete’s sake!”

“You know I don’t mean it like that. I mean, do you like him as a man? I’m sure he’s already made his feelings known, so what’s your response?”

Alex moved to stand in front of him. “Why are you curious about that?” She asked, closely searching his face. “Should I take this enquiry as you being jealous?” She was now smiling; flattered by the thought of Oliver expressing his feelings even if it was in such form.

“I just want you to think carefully before you choose who you wanna spend the rest of your life with.” Oliver said. “I had a chat with Anton and I know for a fact that he’s genuinely in-love with you. Yes he made a mistake but-”

“Wait,” Alex raised her hand to stop him from talking further. “Are you telling me that we are having this conversation because of Anton?”

“Not necessarily because of Anton,” Oliver said, careful not to offend her any further. “I am mostly concerned about your welfare. I know it can’t be an easy decision choosing between your best friend and an award winning pop star….”

Tears suddenly rolled down Alex’s cheeks, every word from Oliver’s lips sent pangs of pain through her heart. It was hard to hide the disappointment she was feeling.

“Alex-“ Oliver tried to place his hand on her shoulder upon seeing her tears but she shoved his hand away.

“Don’t!” She shouted.

“What did I say?” Oliver asked.

Alex glared at him from her tear-filled eyes. “What did you say?” She said. “Do you think my love troubles have anything to do with either Anton or Sam? Why are you pushing me to other men when you know very well how I feel about you? Don’t I mean anything to you?” She cried.

Oliver tried to put his hands on her shoulders again but she pushed him off again.

“Aren’t you the least bit jealous!?” She asked. “Even a tiny bit?”

“What do you want me to say Alex?” Oliver snapped. “I am trying my best here to do the right thing for you, and for Anton-“

“The right thing?” She asked. “What about your own feelings? Can’t you at least tell me how you feel?”

“My feelings are irrelevant at this point Lexy.”

“Not to me they aren’t!”

“Alex-“

“Just forget it,” Alex said resignedly. “What was I even thinking coming here?” She turned and started walking away.

“Alex wait!” Oliver ran after her but Alex refused to stop. Instead, she started running, one hand holding on to her bag and the other wiping away her tears.

Oliver managed to catch up to her before she could reach the back wall of the building. He grabbed her by her shoulders and forced her to turn around and face him.

“Alex!” He shouted over her sobs.

“If you are that desperate to get me out of your life then I’ll leave.” Alex said in between sobs. “I will leave this place and you will never hear from me again. Is that what you want?”

“Don’t be absurd,” Oliver said. “You are not going to do something that stupid. You are a rational girl and soon you will see that-“

“I don’t wanna listen to this anymore,” she tried to remove his hold on her shoulders but his grip was too firm for her. “Let me go Oliver.” She cried in desperation.

“I don’t want you to leave like this.” He said.

“Then what do you want me to do?” she asked.

“Do you think that if I could get you to do what I wanted you to do that we would be having this conversation?” Oliver asked.

Alex appeared confused, not sure how to interpret his words.

“At my age I don’t get to do what I want.” Oliver explained. “I have to do the right thing and in this case the right thing is not to find myself in a situation where I have to fight my own son over a woman…and this is no ordinary woman, it’s you Alex.”

“What are you trying to tell me?” Alex lifted her head to look up at him, her eyes fixed on his eyes. “Am I hearing you right?”

Oliver sighed heavily, one hand moving to rub his eyes in distress. “I am begging you Alex, help me, help me so that I don’t have to choose between you or Anton, please.” His voice was almost a whisper, his desperation echoing from every part of his body.

In that moment Alex didn’t need to hear Oliver say the words she was dying to hear. He had already said them to her the best way he could and somehow managed to turn the tables and bring the ball back into her court.

Suddenly gripped by the cruel reality of her love, Alex could no longer contain the pain, and down she fell to the ground sobbing uncontrollably.

Oliver had anticipated her getting broken over the reality surrounding their love but watching her break right in front of him made him question every decision he had ever made in his life. Why would something that felt so right in his heart bring so much pain?

Getting down on his knees, Oliver reached for her and wrapped his arms around her as she cried her heart out.

After a few minutes of comforting her on the paved ground, Oliver was helping Alex to her feet when he heard the click of a camera first and then saw a flash across his face. He looked up ahead and locked eyes with a plump middle-aged man with a camera in hand.

“Dammit!” Oliver cussed out loud.

“What’s wrong?” Alex was now on her feet but Oliver’s hands where still on her waist. This time around she heard the camera click and turned in the direction Oliver was looking and got a glimpse of a man running away.

“God dammit!” Oliver repeated, his hands dropping from her waist and rolling into fist balls.

“Do you think he heard our conversation?” Alex asked.

“I’ll be dammed if he didn’t record the whole thing!” Oliver said. “I’ll get Morgan on it.” He took out his phone from his pocket and speed-dialled his PA.

“DC, Coliseum, flash lights ASAP.” Oliver informed his PA. DC was short for Damage Control used between the Business mogul used with his Personal Assistant Morgan, something that mostly came into activation after one of Anton’s escapades except this time around, he was the one that needed rescuing from potential bad publicity.

An Untimely Love – Part 10

When Alex opened her eyes the next morning, she found Oliver sitting beside her like a man carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders.

“Oliver….” She tried to sit up but ringing head had her clutching the sides in pain. The Hangover effects were fully activated.

“Are you going to keep calling me that?” Oliver asked whilst helping her sit properly as she continued wincing in pain. “Here,” he handed her some aspirin first that were ready in hand and then a glass of water from the bedside table. “For the hangover,” he added.

Alex gulped down the meds and handed him back the glass of water. “Thanks,” she said. “And yes, I will keep calling you Oliver and not Mr C from now on…until you get used to it and stop looking at me like a child.”

Oliver got up. “I don’t know if it makes me a bad person but, I was desperately wishing you  would wake up with amnesia this morning.”

Alex laughed. “It never happens when you need it to.” She said. “I know that better than anyone.”

“Freshen up and come downstairs for lunch. The table is already set. I’ll be waiting-“

“Wait,” Alex stopped him. “Lunch not breakfast?”

“Look over there,” Oliver pointed to the wall clock in front of them.

Alex gasped when she saw the time. “Is that really the time!?” She started searching for her phone to confirm.

“It’s over there,” Oliver pointed to the bedside table on her right. “It kept ringing and ringing until it went off so I thought I should charge it for you-“

“Who was calling?” Alex picked it up and turned it on.

“Who else,” Oliver said with a grim expression on his face. “Sam called about eight times before he finally called me and Anton called a couple of times.”

“Sam called you?” Her eyes were about to burst out of their sockets. “What did he say?”

“Are you that excited to hear from him?” Oliver asked.

No it’s not that!” Alex answered a little too quickly. “I am just wondering why he would call you….”

“He knows you’re at my house.”

“Oh, yeah.”

“Good.” He turned to leave.

“But why didn’t you answer my phone when you knew who it was and why he was calling?” Alex asked as she waited for the phone to fully come on.

“I didn’t think it was proper for me to answer your phone that early in the morning.” He answered.

A smile of satisfaction crept at the corners of Alex’s face. “You know that’s not something a father would worry about right?”

“Here we go again.” Oliver said. “Get up and come downstairs.” And he left the room quickly.

“I’m gonna make you fall for me till you can’t help it Mr.” Alex said to herself after Oliver and got out of bed.

The moment her phone came on, a call came through from Sam.

“Finally!” Sam exclaimed the moment she answered. “Are you okay? I’ve been trying to-“

“I just woke up Sam.” Alex said. “I’m okay, just a terrible hangover. I don’t drink that much…I don’t know what happened last night.”

“Can I see you today?” He asked.

“Aaah, today?” She asked.

“Yes, is that okay?”

“Ah…yes, sure. Of course it’s okay.” A million question where running through Alex’s mind as she answered. She couldn’t help wondering why Sam sounded desperate to see her or why he was so worried about her welfare. At first she took his care and concern as a celebrity paying fan service to a fan he liked and when he asked her out to the red carpeted event, she thought it was just him trying to batter himself up to the ‘almost’ daughter of his boss in order to be in good books with him.

However, there was something in the tone of his voice that gave Alex pause.

Could it be…no, it can’t be. That’s impossible. She quickly brushed off the ridiculous thoughts. Why would he? Why would a multi-award winning pop star be interested in her like that? He was surrounded by thousands and thousands of beautiful women every day and she had seen his starring ladies in his music videos, she was not anything close to them.

“Alex, are you there?” Sam’s voice jolted her back to reality.

Alex blinked profusely. “Yes, am here…sorry about that. What did you just say?”

“I was asking where I will find you?” Sam said. “I called Mr Cooper earlier and he said you where still at his place. Will you be there the whole day?”

“No, no, I’ll be going back to my apartment soon. You can come there. I’ll send you my address.” For some reason, she did not want Oliver knowing about Sam’s visit. That would only give him enough reason to push her away.

“Okay, cool. I’ll wait.” Sam said. “See you soon Alex.”

“See you.” She said and quickly cut the line.
On the other side of town, Anton was forced out of bed by thunderous and earth shuttering banging on his door. He could tell who was on the other side of it without asking because he had switched off his phone trying to ignore her calls.

he slowly dragged himself down the stairs.

“Why is your phone off!?” Cathy hissed the moment the door was opened for her. She flew right past him in a huff.

“I was trying to get some rest.” A half-awake Anton answered as he slowly walked back to his bed.

“Where are you going?” Cathy asked.

“I’m going back to bed.” He answered without stopping.

“Are you kidding me?”

“hm,” Anton answered half-heartedly, not even sure what exactly he was saying. He just didn’t want to bother opening his mouth any further lest he lost his sleep.

“It’s 3pm now, haven’t you slept enough?” Cathy was behind him.

Anton threw himself back into bed and pulled a cover on top of himself.

“What’s this supposed to mean?” Cathy continued backing from the side of the side. “I came all the way here to see you and this is what I get?”

No response came from Anton.

“Tony!?” Cathy yelled and pulled the cover off of him.

Anton came awake in frustration. Why would he even think he would get some sleep with her in the room? “I appreciate you coming all the way to see me but please Cathy, let me get some sleep, please.”

“How can you sleep so soundingly after sending me such a text message?” Cathy asked. “How do you expect me to act after I receive a message like that from my boyfriend?”

“I only said we need to talk.” Anton said. “What’s wrong with that?”

Cathy scoffed. “Are you being for real?” She asked. “Don’t you understand the meaning of those words? You can’t send me a message like that at 3 in the morning and expect me not to worry. That’s unfair. I couldn’t get any sleep from the moment I received that text. What’s worse is you even switched off your phone after sending it. What is it you want us to talk about that you couldn’t wait till morning to send a text?”

“Do you really want us to talk about this now?” Anton rubbed sleep from his eyes. He was now fully awake. Reality had come banging on his door and now he had to answer the call. He knew it wasn’t going to be easy.

“You should have thought about that before sending me that kind of text at 3.” Cathy sulked.

“Okay,” Anton said as he got out of bed. “Can I at least take a shower first?”

“No,” Cathy said. “I will die from a heart attack waiting for you to finish. Just tell me what is it you want us to talk about so we can get it out of the way.”

“Then let’s go into the living room.” Anton started moving in that direction but Cathy dropped herself onto the bed in protest.

“No, we will talk right here.” She said determinedly. “Since when do we move to the living room to chat?”

“Fine.” Anton said and turned. “Let’s break up.” He blurted the words out.

Cathy broke out in cachinnation, holding on to her stomach as she tried to bring her breath under control.

“What’s so funny?” Anton asked.

“You are funny!” She said, her face suddenly grim and straight. “I knew you were a son of a bitch when we started dating but this right here is bitcheology on another level. What did you just say to me? Break up?” She laughed again.

“You are the one who wanted to talk about this but it’s very clear you’re not ready.” He turned and walked out of the bedroom, taking the stairs down but Cathy was right behind him.

“It’s never going to happen!” She shouted from behind him.

“It’s happening!” Anton shouted back without stopping.

“You think you can just end things just because you feel like it?” Cathy asked as she rushed after him. Anton surprised her by suddenly coming to a stop and turning to look at her. She bumped right into his chest.

“Ouch!” She screamed, rubbing her forehead with her hand.

“I am sorry for doing this to you but that’s just how it is.” Anton said scathingly.

“Is this because of that girl Alex?” Cathy asked whilst rubbing her forehead.

Anton didn’t respond.

“It is her.” Cathy stated conclusively. “What did I tell you about that girl? And you said what, she is just a friend?”

“Yes she was just a friend…that was the truth then because I didn’t know my feelings for her where deep. I only realized recently-“

“Please save me the drama Tony.” Cathy spat. “No man has ever dumped me before and I won’t accept to be dumped by you. It just won’t happen. You and I are still dating until I decide it’s over. You hear me Anton Cooper?” And she violently brushed passed him.

“I will have your stuff delivered to your parent’s tomorrow!” Anton called after her but Cathy did not stop and neither did she respond.

The moment Cathy was out the door, Anton ran back upstairs and called Alex. She answered after the third ring.

“Tony?” She said.

“Lexy where are you?” He asked.

“At the mansion.” She answered.

“Are you planning on staying there the whole day?”

“No.” It was the second time she was being asked that question that day.

“Okay, am coming to pick you up. Wait for me there.”

“Tony, no.” She quickly said before he could cut the line, her eyes on Oliver who was sitting on the other end of the table.

“What, did my dad offer to take you?” Anton asked. “You can just tell him that am coming. I’m sure he had better things to do than to be dropping off my best friend. You’re my responsibility, not his.”

“Tony, are you okay?” Alex asked. “Where’s all this coming from? Your dad isn’t taking me home, Baron the driver is.”

“Oh, okay, that’s cool. I’ll see you at your place then. Send me your coordinates.”

She was about to turn him down when her eyes instinctively settled on Oliver again. he was not even trying to hide the fact that he was listening to the conversation. Alex was in a momentary state of confusion; if she told Anton not to come, she would have to explain why…and she didn’t want Oliver knowing who she would be meeting later on. And if she said yes, Oliver might get other ideas.

“I have plans Anton.” Alex finally managed. “I have ah…my research, remember? Can I see you tomorrow instead?”

“No, it can’t wait Lexy. It will just be for a bit, won’t take long I promise. Send me the location.” He cut the line before she could protest.

“Anton!” Alex checked her phone and sighed in disappointment. “What’s wrong with him?” She said to the phone, and looking up at Oliver she added; “He’s acting weird. I bet he had a fight with his girlfriend and wants to us use me to vent. He’ll never change that one.”

“Just see him,” Oliver said. “He might surprise you.”

“Do you know something I don’t?”

“What time is Sam coming over?”

“At 4.”

“I see.” Oliver said.

It was only when she saw his reaction to her response that she realised the blunder she had just committed. He had tricked her.

“That’s not cool Oliver!” Alex said.

Oliver laughed. “I would say the same thing about lying.”

“Touché.” Alex said and got up from the table.

Oliver stood up as well. “So you and Sam,” he started.

“We are just friends!” She quipped. “Just a cool celeb hanging out with a fan.” She didn’t understand why her heart was beating so fast all of a sudden. She was desperately searching for what to say. The last thing she needed was giving Oliver licence to shove her straight into the arms of another man.

“Like you and me?” Oliver asked.

“Yes, no!” Alex fumbled.

Oliver laughed.

“I am in-love with you as a man, not as a celebrity or anything,” Alex explained. “And I like Sam, only as a celebrity. Of course he’s a cool gentleman but I don’t like-like him like that.”

“Perhaps you should.” Oliver said as he helped her carry some dishes to the sink. “I think he really likes you.”

“That’s impossible!” She said. “He doesn’t even know me that well.”

“Isn’t that why he’s trying to get to know you better now?” Oliver asked. “Give him a chance.”

“I knew you would do this.” She said.

“Do what?”

“Push me off to another guy.” She placed the plates into the sink and stood on the side to give him space to put his down.

“Alex,” Oliver said as he laid the plates in the sink.

“I don’t want to hear it.” Alex closed her ears. “Whatever you think is going to happen isn’t going to happen. I’m not going to change my mind and fall for some young stud or whatever. I’m gonna keep bothering you until you come to terms with the fact that I am a woman just like the ones you look at out there. I’m leaving now.” She walked over to the kitchen table, grabbed her bag and stormed out of the kitchen.

“Dear Lord.” Oliver said to himself, his hand placed over his forehead as he sighed like a helpless defeated man.

 
A surprise awaited Alex when Baron dropped her off outside her apartment. She  found Anton waiting for her outside her apartment building, something she had not expected to happen considering she had forgotten to send him her address.

“How-“ She started to ask as she got out of the vehicle.

“I had a feeling you might not want to see me so I asked Cassey to give me your address.” He approached her by the car and took her bag from her.

Alex walked over to the driver’s side and Baron closed the door he had just opened ready to get the door for her but she had steped out before he could even set his foot outside the car. He rolled down the window instead.

“Miss Saunders.” The sixty-five year old said expectantly.

“Thank you Baron for bringing me home. Drive back safely.” Alex said.
“Thank you Miss.” Baron said, a smile on his face.

“Are you going to pretend that you didn’t see me Baron?” Oliver appeared next to Alex.

“Of course not Mr Anton.” The grey-haired man answered. “How are you?”

“I’m great old man.” Anton chirpily answered. “Pass my love to the old lady. Tell her that I terribly miss her pudding.”

The three of them laughed.They were all well-aware of Mrs Baron’s great skills in the kitchen. she always prepared something for the Cooper’s during the Christmas holidays.

“She will love hearing that that old fox!” Baron said. “Take care of yourselves you two.”

“Thanks Baron,” Alex said. “Take care too.”

Baron rolled up the window and drove off.

“What is so urgent that you had to see me right away?” Alex asked as she led the way into her apartment building.

“Can’t a guy visit his best friend whenever he likes?” Anton asked.

“Not you,” Alex said. “Well, at least not the new Anton you’ve become. I’m guessing that there’s trouble in paradise right?”

“You could say that.” Anton admitted.

Alex stopped walking and turned to look at him. “What did you do?”

Anton laughed. “Why do you assume am the one who did something?”

“Ah, because I know you.”

“Let’s get to your place first, I’ll explain.”

They took the lift and stopped on the forth floor. Alex’s apartment was the third on the left. She unlocked the door, stepped aside to let him through and followed him right behind.

“Wow,” Anton said as he did a quick take of the house from where he was standing. “It’s as exactly as I imagined it would be; beautiful and neat.”

There was a blue two seater couch and a yellow one well placed in her tiny living room and everything was well decorated and coordinated it gave the room an air of expensive taste.

Alex went straight to sit down on the blue couch. “Sit,” She offered Anton the other sofa.

“Aren’t you even going to offer me anything to drink?” Anton complained before he sat down.

“I told you I have work to do so I don’t want you to get all comfortable here. What’s up?”

he looked disappointed. he knew she might not be excited to see him but he realized too soon that knowing something and experiencing it where two different things. He was not used to being brushed off so quickly and easily by Alex. Was that how much their relationship had strained over the past weeks?

What have I done to us Alex? Anton asked himself as he looked at her.

“You sound cold, and dismissive.” He complained

“No I don’t.” Alex said.

“You do.” He insisted. “And I don’t blame you. I’ve been such a jerk over the past weeks. I don’t blame you for hating me the way you do.”

“I don’t hate you Tony.”

“Your mouth is saying something but your eyes are telling me something else. We might have drifted apart Lexy but I still know you.”

Alex sat up, one leg crossed over the other. “What do you want me to say Tony?” She asked him. “Or what did you expect; that we would still be cool after everything that’s happened? You turned your back on me when I needed you the most and you trusted a stranger over me. You didn’t even give me the benefit of a doubt. How do you think that made me feel?”

“I know, I know!” He ferociously brushed his hand through his hair. “That’s why am here, to apologise.”

“Why today of all days?” Alex asked.

Anton looked puzzled. “What do you mean why today?”

“I know you,” she said. “Something must have happened for you to think about coming to see me and apologize. Did you guys have a fight?”

“I broke up with her earlier today.” He blurted out.

“You did what?”

“I broke up with her,” he repeated. “We just couldn’t work out. I realized a little too late that I was not in-love with her….and that I…ah…you know, that I was… in-love, with someone else.”

“Dear Lord Tony, already!?” Alex shouted. “Who is the stupid girl this time? Gosh, I thought you finally matured…even if it was with someone like Cathy but c’mon, another girl? So soon? Who the hell is she?”

“It’s you.” Anton muttered.

“You? Who’s you? Is she, ooooh….” Her mouth was hanging open as realization sunk in.

“See….” Anton stated, his eyes fixed on her. “It’s not just some silly random girl.”

“Is this because you saw me with someone last night?” Alex asked once she recovered from the shock. “I know you’ve always hated the guys I’ve crushed on since we were young but c’mon Tony, we are not kids anymore.”

Anton got up from where he was and went to kneel in front of her. Alex flinched when she thought he was going to touch her but Anton rested his hand on the sofa, very close to her.

Looking her in the eyes he asked; “Why is it so hard for you to believe that I am in-love with you?”

“Wait, you’re serious?” She asked. She knew that look in his eyes very well.

“Of course am serious.” He said.

Alex suddenly stood up, almost sending Anton to the ground if not for the fact he used his hands to keep steady.

With her back turned to him, Anton first heard her chuckling, and then the chuckles slowly turned to laughter.

“You’re laughing?” Anton asked as he lifted himself up.

Alex stopped laughing after a few seconds and turned to face him. “You’re in-love with me?” She asked, pressing her finger over her chest.

Anton took a few steps towards her but she stretched out her hand. “Stop right there.” She said. “Don’t come any closer. Let’s talk from here and there.” She pointed to where he had stopped, about three more steps left between them. “Why do you think you’re in-love with me?”

“Why?” Anton asked, confused by the question.

“Yes why.” She answered. “You said you never considered me a woman, that I would always be your best buddy. You were even disgusted by the idea of us together! And now you are telling me that…that…look, I can’t even say the words.”

Anton tried to close the distance between them again but Alex’s hand quickly went up again. She didn’t want him coming closer to her. Not now. She didn’t want to see the sincerity in his eyes because it might shake her resolve. How many times had she longed to hear those words from his mouth and they never came? Why was life testing her in such a cruel manner? A father and his son…why was her life so complicated? It was like a twisted plot from a sick and perverted writer with a lot of time on his hands. How could this be real?

Or perhaps…. She looked up him, eyes wide open.

“Did your father ask you to do this?” Alex asked Anton.

“My father?” He asked. “What has my father got to do with this?”

She was about to say out loud the crazy thoughts running through her mind when she stopped herself. She had not yet told Anton about her feelings for Oliver. And this isn’t the right time to bring that up, she concluded.

“Nothing,” she lied, having surmised from the surprise look he had on his face that Oliver had nothing to do with his sudden confession. “I just thought that maybe…because I told him some stuff some time back that he still thought I still had feelings for you.”

“You told my dad you liked me?” Anton asked, both hope and trepidation glowing from his eyes.

“It was a long time ago Tony and things have changed since.” She said.

“You mean change as in…you being in-love with him?” Anton asked.

Alex’s jaw dropped to the floor. “What do you mean him?” She could barely hear her own voice from over the sound of her heart beating fast and loudly.

“I mean my dad.” Anton answered. “Why didn’t you tell me that-“

“How? Who told you-“ there were tears in her eyes as she started to ask the question. What if her fears were true? What if Oliver had told Anton about her feelings to get him to force her out of what he thought were delusions?

“Relax,” Anton said, reading the fear from all over her face. “I didn’t hear it from dad, not directly pe se…I just happened to overhear your conversation with him last night.”

“Wait,” Alex said. “Is that why you’re here telling me this?”

“What do you mean and why are you looking at me like that?”

“Do you think that telling me that you have feelings for me will change the way I feel for Oliver?”

“Are you serious about this?” Anton could not handle the seriousness on her face and in her tone of voice. “You’re even calling him by his first name. When did all this happen? He’s my father for Pete’s sake Alex! He has also been like a father to you.”

“I know that!” Alex cried, a part of her was embarrassed and ashamed to stand there and tell her best friend that she was in-love with his father. How did she expect him to handle such a thing when she herself could barely come to terms with it?

“If you know that then you know what you should do.” Anton said. “Forget about him and start looking at me again. And I am not saying this for some twisted reason you might think. I happen to genuinely love you, with or without my dad in the picture.”

“I am sorry Tony.” Alex cried. “I didn’t mean for this to happen…it just happened. I know it doesn’t make sense but I really love your dad.”

“He’s fifty Alex!” Anton yelled.

“He’s forty-“

“I don’t care he’s still old and you might think you love him but you don’t. What you feel for him is just gratitude because he’s always been there for you. Think about it Lexy, please.”

“There’s nothing to think about Tony. I am in-love with him and it’s not gonna change.”

“Do you have any idea the type of scandal that will blow over when something like this gets out?”

“Scandals are always there whether we do something crazy or not.” Alex said.

“Okay,” Anton said. “Let’s say that you do actually love my dad, do you think that he would let anything happen between you two…especially that he knows my feelings for you?”

Alex turned hurt eyes at him. “You told him?” She asked.

“I had to.” He admitted. “I couldn’t just keep quite after listening to you two talk. I’m not gonna lose you to him or anyone else out there Alex. I know I don’t deserve you but am begging you to give me a chance. We can even pretend that this whole thing with my father didn’t happen.

“We can start all over again, you and me, forever. I don’t know why it took this long but I really can’t see myself with any other woman but you. I love you Alex.” He was standing right in front of her now. “Just think about it, please.”

Alex was slowly shaking her head. “I’m sorry T-“

There was a knock on the door. They both turned towards the door.

“Are you expecting anyone?” Anton asked.

“No, I mean, yes.” She looked at the wall clock ahead. “How did he get into the building?” She asked as she went to answer the door.

“Who is it?” Anton asked from behind her.

“Not sure, but I think it’s-“ She opened the door and there on the other side Sam stood, a huge smile on his face which quickly faded when he saw Anton appear behind Alex.

“You?” Anton said in disappointment. “What is he doing here?” He asked Alex.

“What sort of question is that?” Alex said as she pushed him aside to leave room for Sam to pass. “Come in,” she said.

Sam entered. “I thought the two of you don’t live together anymore.” He had not taken his eyes off of Anton from the moment his eyes set on him but he lowered his gaze slightly to look at Alex as he awaited her response.

“No we don’t-“ Alex had started to answer.

“I don’t think it’s any of your business who she lives with.” Anton retorted.

Sam turned his attention back to Anton, a clear disdainful look on his face when he said; “Shouldn’t you be out there with your girlfriend? She looked like she could sure use some help getting into the building. She’s acting like a mad-“

“What do you mean help getting into the building?” Alex asked.

Anton appeared at a loss for words.

“I left her fighting with the intercom downstairs.” Sam candidly informed them.

Alex turned to Anton, an accusing look on her face. “Cathy’s here?”

“Cathy is here.” Sam excitedly answered on his behalf.