"Good morning Mr Maxfield," She fumbled with her fingers nervously.

"Well, good morning to you, Miss Kennedy. How was your night?" He asked and she forced a smile.

"It was fine,"

"You sure don't look fine. Didn't sleep well?"

"I didn't sleep at all," he raised a brow at her. "But I'm sure you shouldn't bother yourself about it, I'm used to it."

"Not at all. I am concerned about all of my employees because I am a kind man. So, tell me Miss Kennedy, what bothers you so much?" He asked.

"Well, my mom is very ill and I spent all night looking after her," Thea said.

"That's very nice of you, you must have been through a lot in one night. You sure you don't need some time before you begin?"

"No, no, no, I can take care of myself." He nodded in agreement.

"Hope you know your duties as a secretary, Thea, but if you need any help understanding what you must do, ask Fiona over there. She's been here for quite a while or you can come to me if you like." He told her and she chuckled nervously.

Definitely Fiona, she thought.

"Thank you sir,"

"Now I need to know what I have for the day, send in the schedule quickly Miss Kennedy." He ordered in a cold voice before walking away.

"Bi-polar," she muttered to herself before sighing.

"Hey, Thea is it?" Fiona, a Blondie, asked and Thea nodded. "You need any help?"

"Yes, thank you."


"What do you mean? Freya wasn't with anybody," Ashton said to his personal agent.

"I'm not so sure of that sir," Ashton halted and turned to stare at Samuel.

"I would understand very much if you explained it better, Samuel." Ashton said to him.

Samuel looked around to avoid listening ears, then leaned to tell him. "I found out she was having a relationship with the manager of E.U Enterprise. Her friend, Susanne, told me yesterday."

Ashton frowned. "And who is the manager of this company?"

Samuel hesitated, regaining his composure before muttering a name Ashton had heard not too long ago. He shook hands with that man over a contract.

"Set up another meeting with him. Tell him there's something crucial that needs to be discussed."


Ashton closed the door to his home and the lights automatically turned on. He sighed in exhaustion before locking eyes with Claire, who was standing above the stairs.

"Is it true?" He nodded after sometime before continuing his journey up the stairs.

"I'm leaving for Australia tomorrow morning. You may join me if you wish," he said before turning down the corner.

Ashton put down his suitcase. Reaching for his tie, he pulled and unknotted it. Gently he reached for his buttons and unhooking them, he peeled the material away from his body.

He froze when he heard his phone ring. He turned to stare at the phone in curiosity before reaching for it.


"I've done what you asked. The company seemed to be suffering from a lot of losses and the owner didn't hesitate to sell it to me,"

"Let me guess, he couldn't refuse such an offer?" Ashton said.

"It seems so, sir."

Ashton smirked. "Good. I had better prepare for my journey tomorrow then. It's been a long time away from home." He hung up.

Ashton's grip on the phone tightened a bit. Who could it be that didn't hesitate before killing someone from the Ryder's family? His hands slipped into his pockets as he walked to the window to stare into the night.

He didn't think going to Australia would be this soon. He wasn't ready yet.

He didn't think he would ever be ready.


"Mother," Jane mustered a weak smile. "Why are you doing this to me Mom? I told you to always take your medication. Why?"

"I haven't gotten them in a while," Thea's eyes widened.

Why hadn't she noticed?

"W-why didn't you get it? Don't you have enough money to get them, mother? And why didn't you tell me? I would have gotten them for you mom."

"I know and that's why I could't tell you," Jane said to her. "They finished 2 weeks ago, I could manage."

"Manage?! Just look at the state you are in and you are telling me that you could manage? It's cancer, aren't you afraid of leaving me?" Thea stood up in anger and began walking to the door, but before she could reach the door, she halted and turned back wanting to say something.

Jane interrupted. "I am."

"I know what you did for me, Thea." Tears slipped from her eyes. "You risked your happiness for me and I heard you cry over and over again. I didn't want to give you any more reason to worry." Thea looked away to wipe the tears that managed to escape her eyes before meeting her mother's stare once again.

Thea replied, "Ever since father left us, you have been my responsibility and I don't care what length I have to go to make you okay again. I did what I did because it was what I felt was the right thing at that time, so I beg you-" she paused, joining her hands together, pleading with her. "I need you to always take it mom, you're all that I have now and I can't let you go. Promise me?"

Thea breathed, tremulously. "Promise me mother!"

"I want to promise you but I can't. You have to get back with Ashton. Only then will I assure you that I'll be okay."

Thea scoffed. "You-" Her hands dropped in defeat. "You should be worried about your health but you're only concerned about someone that doesn't even exist in my life anymore mom?!"

'Unbelievable' Thea muttered to herself.

"I would have promised you mom, but everything Ash and I had is all gone now. I betrayed him-"

"But you didn't. You know you didn't."

"I made him believe that I did, mom, because it's how it's supposed to be. Ashton doesn't deserve someone like me and I, him. What we had was just a spark of the moment. He won't even remember me anymore." Thea sniffed, composing herself once more before saying. "I'll go get you something to eat Mom, I'll be back in a minute." Thea told her.

Without looking back, she walked past the door, shutting it behind her with a soft click. Jane could still notice her lingering behind the closed door for sometime.

Thea's heels clicked simultaneously and it was the only sound that echoed as she drifted off in thoughts.

"But where are we going?" Their giggles echoed in the empty street as they ran under the rain. 

"Let me show you," He pulled her to himself as he planted himself on the wall of a building nearby, kissing her.

"Ash," she moaned, "we are going to catch a cold." She told him. His lips found hers once fervently and she responded with the same energy. 

"I love you," A smile found his face once more. 

"I knew you couldn't keep it in for too long, then.

"Hey! You are supposed to say it back.

He pressed his lips to hers once more. "You know I love you too," he said to her. "I'm yours, Thea, and you are mine.

"I'm yours Ash," "Hmph!" Her body collided with someone momentarily and she missed her balance. Her breath hitched as she found herself falling to the floor. A pair of hands were able to grab her in time.

"Can't you-"

"I apologise Miss," her eyes locked with hazel ones immediately and she stilled.

She recollected herself immediately and spoke. "I'm sorry too, I didn't see where I was going, I had a lot on my mind. Please forgive me." He only nodded. Releasing her, he went on his way.

Thea's eyes went around searching for someone and when she didn't see anyone, she turned to continue walking.

She hadn't seen Samuel in a long while and today, he acted as if he didn't know her. If Samuel was around, that means Ashton is too right?

She shook her head at the thought, reminding herself that she swore not to think of him any more. She swore not to make her life harder than it already was. She increased her pace immediately, walking out of the building.

Samuel's steps slowly came to a halt. He turned to watch Thea walk through the door. He combed his hair in frustration. Thea was once a friend to him and it took him a lot of courage to walk away from her. But he swore loyalty to one person only,


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