Zachary & Ciara Ch. 05bymspat©
I know it's been a long time coming and I'm sorry you had to wait so long. But for the faithful I present Chapter 5. I hope you'll enjoy and find that the wait was worth it. Those of you who gave up maybe this will cause you to give Zachary and Ciara another chance. Either way enjoy.
"I can't believe that bastard!" Aaron replied after Zach told him, Gideon and Alexander about what happened at his condo between him and Colin.
Zach and his friends were having breakfast at their favorite restaurant where he asked them to meet him so that he could tell them about Colin.
"I wanted to wring his bloody neck," Zach said his anger returning as he thought about his former friend's behavior towards Emilee.
"How is Emilee doing?" Alexander asked.
"She's scared Colin's going to come back and hurt her," Zach replied.
"The poor girl," Gideon said.
"Look whose headed our way," Aaron said looking in the direction of the restaurant's entrance.
They were all surprised to see Colin walk through the entrance. Everyone watched him as he looked around, saw them and made his way over to them.
Colin kept walking towards the table where Zachary was also sitting and knowing that he'd told everyone about his behavior from the previous night of what he knew by now were his former friends were sitting. He thanked God that the four set of angry eyes trained on him didn't have the power to strike him dead or make him burst into flames where he stood because if they did he knew he would be drawing his next breath.
He was hoping that Zach, and the others would allow him the opportunity to explain his behavior towards Emilee, but he didn't put too much faith in that happening, not if Zach had already given them all the gory details of what he'd done. However, he had to try because he wanted to try to keep his friendship with Zach and the others intact.
He didn't see any reason for him and Zach not to become friends again, especially since his marriage to Ciara wasn't real, and he had no romantic feelings towards her.
Colin refused to believe that Zach would hold what happened against him. He was also hoping that some of the others in their group would side with him and help him in gaining Zach's forgiveness if that was what it took after, he told them his side of what happened. But the angry looks he saw in everyone's eyes told him that wasn't going to happen.
"Hello chaps," Colin said smiling as he approached the men. They didn't return his greeting or his smile. They all simply stared at him.
"I'm going to assume from the looks on your faces that Zach has told you all about what happened at his place yesterday evening."
No one answered him they all just continued staring at him.
"Does anyone want to hear my version of what happened?" Colin asked becoming angry that they all believed Zach without waiting to hear his side of things.
"Of course we want to hear your version of what happened." Gideon said. "Why don't you tell us all about how you went over to your friend's house to get his step-daughter to give you winning picks on the horse races?"
They all watched as Colin stammered trying to think of a response to Gideon's accusation.
"How could you do such a thing?" Alexander asked.
"I just wanted Emilee to give me the winner of one race." Colin said. "She did it before; one more time wouldn't have hurt."
"She did it the first time because she didn't know any better." Zach said. "She gave you those winning horses because she wanted to thank you for comforting her mother during our flight to London. You knew what you were asking her to do was wrong, and you tried to take advantage of her."
"Oh come off it," Colin said pulling a chair away from the table next to where Zach and the other were sitting and sitting down, "don't sit here and tell me the four of you wouldn't have made those wagers if Emilee had given you the winning horses instead of me. All of you would've gone back for more if the first picks she gave you had proven to be right just as I did."
"Whether we would've done as you did isn't the issue here," Aaron told him. "The issue is your despicable attempt to use a child who didn't understand the consequences of what she was doing and who was trying to reward you for the kindness you showed her mother."
"I know what I did was wrong." Colin said finally admitting what he'd done. "The only excuse I have for what I did is temporary insanity, I lost my head. It's not every day that one meets someone like Emilee with such an extraordinary ability. I want the opportunity to apologize to her and Ciara for the way I behaved and for frightening, Emilee."
"You're not to go near either Ciara or Emilee." Zach told him the tone of his voice deadly serious. "If you do you'll regret it."
"Why don't you want me to go near them, Zach?" Colin asked the tone of his voice snide, a smirk on his face. "Do you want to be the only one with access to Emilee's ability? Why aren't you willing to share her with the rest of us?"
If Colin that statement would bring some of the men sitting at the table over to his side, he was gravely mistaken.
"I'm going to give you three seconds to get up from this table and walk out of here under your own power." Zach told him. "And I think you should know that you've already used up two of them."
"I'm not afraid of you," Colin told Zach. "Perhaps you've forgotten that I grew up in the streets and slums of London, the toughest slums this city has. I used wealthy boys like you as punching bags to train for the real fights I had to endure on almost a daily basis to survive those slums, so if you think you can take me go ahead and take your best shot."
Zach was about to reach across the table and grab Colin around the neck and choke the smirk he wore on his off when Alexander stopped him by placing a hand on his shoulder.
"Let me deal with our friend." he told Zach his eyes trained on Colin. "Let's take this outside Colin. We don't want to ruin the other patrons' meals by coming to fists to cuffs in front of them do we?"
"Anywhere to settle this will be fine with me," Colin said easing his chair back and standing.
"Thank you," Alex said throwing his arm around Colin's shoulders and walking out of the restaurant with him, as if they were still friends.
"How do you want to do this?" Colin asked once they were outside the restaurant shrugging Alex's arm off his shoulders and standing in a fighter's stance.
"I didn't come out here to fight you." Alex told him. "I wanted us to come out here to discuss the situation like gentlemen."
"I don't th..."
Alex cut off whatever Colin was about to say by bringing his right leg up to give Colin a roundhouse kick to his face sending his six feet, two-inch frame crashing to the ground. When Colin tried to stand Alex kicked him in the face causing blood to come gushing from his nose.
"You ass!" Colin screamed pulling out a handkerchief from inside his jacket pocket, placing it onto his nose, tilting his head back to try and stop the flow of blood.
"As I said before I came out here to discuss the situation like gentlemen," Alex said, "but I realized that we were one gentleman short."
"You'll get the message and do as Zachary said, and you'll stay away from Emilee and Ciara," Alex told him. "And one more thing you'll do well to remember is that we wealthy boys as you called us might not spend too much time fighting on the streets, but we love gyms and are able to pay for self-defense classes from some of the best fighters in the world. And we have to luxury of spending as much time as we wish to take those classes, because unlike you a nine to fiver who has to worry about such pesky things as paying rent and buying food we don't have such trivial worries."
"This isn't over," Colin yelled as Alexander turned and walked away from him leaving him lying on the ground.
"I know that." Alex said turning back around to face Colin. "Zach doesn't know or realize what a sick little coward you really are."
"What're you talking about?" Colin asked.
"Your gambling habit," Alexander replied.
"I don't have a gambling habit," Colin told Alexander his tone letting his former friend know that he'd insulted him.
"You keep telling yourself that." Alexander said his voice filled with anger and disgust. "But I know the signs; I saw them in my brother when he became involved in gambling. I saw him become so involved that he begged money from everyone he knew from my father to our cook to either pay off a debt or to try and score the big win, the one that would set him up for life. My brother and I were the sons of one of the richest men in the U.K. He was already set for life. There was no reason for him to start gambling. He allowed it to ruin his life. He lost his entire inheritance, and then too ashamed to face the mess he made of his life he committed suicide."
"I'm not your brother," Colin said. "I'm not weak like him."
"Famous last words," Alex replied as he turned once again to go back into the restaurant. "You just remember to stay away from Ciara and Emilee." ****************
"Is my son home," Emily Collins asked Ciara as she haughtily walked passed her into Zach's condo after Ciara opened the door.
"No," Ciara replied as her eyes rolled up towards the ceiling. "Zachary isn't here."
"Good," Mrs. Collins replied taking a seat on the living room couch and making herself comfortable. "I didn't come here to see him, I came to see you."
Ciara didn't say anything in response to Zach's mother's declaration because her visit wasn't an unexpected one.
Emily reached into her purse and pulled out an envelope.
"This," she said holding it up and showing it to Ciara, "contains the results of a private investigator that I had do background checks on you and your daughter."
"And?" Ciara replied.
"I believe you know what's in the report," Mrs. Collins said wondering why Ciara was so calm. "I'm here to give you and your daughter the opportunity to return to the states without me revealing the contents of the envelope to my son."
"I'm not leaving my husband," Ciara said calling Zach her husband just to see his mother cringe.
"I understand why you might be hesitant to leave." Mrs. Collins said. "You're in desperate of the money my son promised you to stay married to him. You need it to help your daughter recuperate from the accident that put her in the wheelchair. I'm willing to pay Emilee's medical bills and make sure she gets the physical therapy she needs if you and she will go back to the states within the next forty-eight hours."
"I'm not leaving my husband," Ciara said.
"My son isn't actually your husband," Mrs. Collins said.
"Your son and I are married," Ciara replied. "That makes me his wife and him my husband."
"Your marriage to Zach isn't a real marriage," Mrs. Collins said. "Zach only married to you to secure his one hundred million pound inheritance and you only married him because it would benefit you and your Emilee."
'One hundred million pounds,' Ciara thought to herself managing to only lift an eyebrow at what she'd just learned. She knew that she, and Zach was getting married to satisfy the conditions his father made in his will to get his inheritance, but she didn't know it was that much.
"Even though this marriage isn't an actual marriage Zach won't like what he reads in this report," Mrs. Collins said. "When he finds out that you've neglected to tell him certain things before marrying him, he's going to be very upset with you, things that could embarrass him, our family and our public image. I'm offering you a way out that would allow you to get out of this situation that won't embarrass either you or Zachary and help you financially. If you care about your daughter you should at least consider what I'm offering you."
"I'm not leaving Zachary," Ciara told his mother for the third time. "Now if you've said everything you came here to say I would appreciate you leaving before Emilee wakes up from her nap."
Ciara went over and opened the door to the condo letting her mother-in-law know that she was serious in her desire for her to leave.
"You're going to regret this," Mrs. Collins said standing and making her way towards the door. "I'm going to tell my son about the investigation and show him the contents of this envelope. I'm giving you one more chance to change your mind."
"Do what you must, Mrs. Collins," Ciara told her holding the door waiting for Zach's mother to leave. ****************
Two hours later Emily Collins was taking a lift up to her son's office the envelope she showed Ciara clutched tightly in her hand. She knew that Zach would probably be angry with her when she told him about the background check she did on Ciara and Emilee, but she was confident that he would forgive her once he read what she discovered about Ciara.
"Good afternoon Mrs. Collins," Zach's secretary said as his mother approached her desk.
"Good afternoon, Clara," Mrs. Collins replied. "Is my son available?"
"Let me check," Clara replied picking up the phone and buzzing Zach's office.
"Yes, Clara," Zach replied answering the phone.
"Mrs. Collins is here to see you," Clara told him.
"My wife is here?" Zach asked excited at the prospect of Ciara and Emilee coming to see him.
"No, sir," Clara said sorry she hadn't made herself clearer. "It's your mother."
"Oh." Zach replied his voice sounding less cheerful. "Send her in."
Zach moved from behind his desk and went over to open the door so that he could greet his mother. They hadn't spoken to each other since he returned to London with his wife and step-daughter. He opened the door steeling his nerves, preparing for the argument he knew that he was going to have with his mother.
"Hello mother," Zach said bending down and greeting his mother with his usual kiss on the cheek when she stopped in front of him, leading her over to the couch that sat on the wall across from his desk.
"Hello Zachary," his mother replied as she sat down on the couch. "I came by because I need to speak to you about something very important."
"And what is that mother?" Zach asked returning to his seat behind his desk.
"I've done something that I know you're going to find very upsetting," his mother said, "but I hope you understand that I was looking out for your best interest."
"What have you done mother?" Zach asked his voice becoming tense.
"I had your wife and step-daughter investigated," Mrs. Collins said holding the envelope she was holding out for Zach to take. "And I found out something that I'm sure she didn't see fit to tell you before you married her."
"You had no right to do that mother," Zachary said pushing his chair back from behind his desk and standing.
"I did it to protect you." his mother declared. "I did it because you married a stranger, with not only a child but an injured child, then you brought them here and presented them to me as your new family. You did this without knowing anything about the woman, without any regard to how her becoming a member of this family might affect me or you. I know you only did to claim the inheritance your father left you, and because you didn't want to have to marry Abigail, a woman who would've made a much better wife for you than Ciara and would've been the perfect addition to our family. She would've spared us the possible shame that the woman you did marry might bring upon us if what learned about her gets out."
"What did the private investigator find out about Ciara?" Zach asked his mother.
"He didn't find anything criminal about her," Mrs. Collins replied her voice holding a hint of disappointment at that announcement. "It appears that Ciara was a law abiding citizen. The information the investigator discovered was about the little girl she's calling her daughter. It appears that the little girl isn't her daughter but her niece."
Mrs. Collins paused to gauge her son's reaction to what she'd just said. There was no reaction he simply stared at her.
"Ciara adopted the girl after her mother, Cara, who was Ciara's twin and a drug addict, died of a drug overdose after giving birth to Emilee," Mrs. Collins said sitting back waiting once again for her son's reaction to what she'd just revealed to him.
"Is that it mother?" Zach asked his tone nonchalant and calm.
"Isn't that enough?" his mother asked not understanding her son's attitude. "Ciara lied to you. She let you believe that she was Emilee's natural mother. She should have told you, she adopted the child, and that Emilee's mother was her sister before you married her."
"Ciara is Emilee's mother, whether she gave birth to her, or she adopted her," Zach said. "They have a loving mother-daughter relationship."
"How can you say that?" his mother asked. "It's obvious that she's ashamed of the girl and the circumstances of the child's birth. If she wasn't she would've told you the truth before she agreed to marry you."
"She did tell me."
"What?" his mother replied.
Zach covered his moth with his hand to hide the smile that appeared on his face at the shocked look on his mother's face.
"You knew that Emilee is actually Ciara's niece?"
"Yes, I did," Zach replied taking his seat behind his desk. "Ciara told me all about Emilee, her sister and the circumstances of Emilee's birth before we were married."
"That explains her reaction when I confronted her with what I knew earlier today," his mother said to stunned to stop the word from slipping pass her lips.
"What do you mean when you confronted her earlier?" Zach asked.
"I went by your condo to see Ciara before coming here to see you," his mother replied knowing that she had no choice but to tell her son the truth after she'd given herself away. "I told her I wouldn't tell you what my investigator found out about Emilee if she flew back to the states and quietly divorced you."
"What did Ciara say?"
"She said that she wasn't going to leave you," his mother replied. "I offered to pay Emilee's medical bills and her physical therapy and she still refused to leave."
Zach couldn't stop the smile that slowly spread across face upon hearing Ciara's response to his mother's threat. He knew that she probably responded the way she had because she had already told him about Emilee, but the fact that she decided to stay even after his mother offered to pay her filled him with pride.
"Why didn't you tell me about the child?" his mother asked bringing him out of his thoughts.
"It was none of your business mother," Zach replied. "Ciara told me because she expected someone to investigate her background and she didn't want me to be blindsided if they found out about Emilee. Even though adoption records are sealed and not a part of the public information records. She didn't trust that someone with money would allow that to stop them."
Zach and his mother turned towards the sound of the voice of the person calling his name as the door to his office flew open. They saw Abigail charging into his office, his secretary right behind her.
"I'm sorry Mr. Collins," Clara said. "I tried to stop her."
"I would've called, Zach," Abigail said making her way towards Zach's desk, "but what I have to tell you is too important for me to say over the phone."
"Hello, Abigail," Zach replied. "I'll handle it from here Clara."
"Alright Mr. Collins," Clara replied as she backed out of Zach's office and closed the door.
"Hello Abigail." Abigail almost jumped out of her skin surprised to hear someone else calling her name.
"Hello, Mrs. Collins," she replied surprised to see but glad to see Zach's mother sitting on the couch in his office. "I didn't see you sitting there."
"That's obvious my dear," Mrs. Collins replied.
"What do you have to tell me?" Zach asked Abigail.