We went back home—now if you would look at that, I referred Alex's flat as home— after our lunch at that Korean restaurant and yes we did argue more about the car, I wanted to drive and he wouldn't let me. Telling me he couldn't risk his life with my driving skills, such an insufferable man. I was more important to him, I was a bloody Princess for God's sake.
I was quiet when we drove back home and when we did reach the building I stormed out of his car and waited for him at the lift. I folded my two arms across my chest as I leaned into the wall of the lift, a scowl was likely seen into my face for Alex to smirk like that when he finally came into the lift.
Though his back was on me, I knew that he was still wearing that Godforsaken smirk of his.
When we finally reached our floor, he stepped out first but I raced with him to the door of the flat. I opened it and stormed inside the flat. And that was when I finally noticed that the television was on and someone was sitting on the couch.
I stared at the woman and suddenly I recognized her. What was she doing here? How did she even get inside someone else's apartment?
When she did notice me she rose and I saw the recognition in her eyes. She rose from her seat and curtsied her acknowledgement. "Your Highness." she greeted.
"Princess, ayaw ko ng Chinese ngayon kaya magluto k–" Alex said as he was walking towards the living room but stopped when he noticed I was standing and there was another person in his flat. "Mom? Anong ginagawa mo dito?" he asked.
I turned to him with my mouth opened. His mother? I turned back to the woman and back to Alex. She was Alex's mother? Jesus, did she know what her son had done? If so, was she an accomplice?
"Binibisita ang anak ko. Masama na ba iyon ngayon, Ace?"
Alex sighed. "Mom, I go by Alex not Ace." he told her. And he finally realized I was in the room for he turned to me and I was so sure he wasn't too comfortable with his mother being here. "Mom, this is Arabella, she's staying with me for awhile." he introduced little did he know I knew his mother and so did she.
"Your Highness." she greeted once again.
"Miss Lane." I greeted back. "Are you still working with Cassandra?" I asked her.
"Wait." Alex interrupted before his mother could answer my question. "You know each other?" he asked bewildered to know his mother knew the girl he kidnapped.
"Of course, Ace. Your Highness is one of my important client." Why was she referring to him as Ace and not Alex?
"At hindi man nasagi sa isip mo mom na sabihin sa akin na client mo siya?" Alex asked.
"Ace, you don't have any keen interest with my work."
"That's not true." Alex protested.
"About your question, Your Highness, yes Princess Cassandra is still my model for the line." Juliet didn't bother talking to Alex anymore. "I trust you still don't want to work with us, Your Highness?"
I smiled kindly to her. She was one of the very few designers that I liked, she was sweet and her designs were very beautiful, it fitted a lady of my rank. "A lady of my rank shan't model for all the public to see Miss Lane." I said politely.
I wanted to be some help with her line but of course I needed to think of my rank in the society. I wasn't born to be a model, I was born as a princess.
"Of course, Your Highness."
"Please it's Arabella for now." I told her.
She looked at me confused with what I just said. Of course, I was a very arrogant princess and I never wanted anyone below my ranking to call me by my Christian name. It wouldn't do. I wanted respect. If only I could let Cassandra call me your highness in private that would do but of course, we were family and very closed at age and she was after all a princess too.
"Mom walang nakakaalam na nasa Pilipinas siya kaya..." Alex explained "Alam nila pinsan ko siya kaya do pretend she's your niece while she's on vacation."
"Vacation? Here at the Philippines, Your Highness? Pardon my rudeness but how did you meet my son?" Juliet asked.
"Oh we met at Boracay." I told her, it was the truth anyway but I wouldn't tell her that her son kidnapped me, that just wouldn't do. "I wanted time away from the world and Philippines sounded good at the time."I said. "I didn't know you have a son Miss Lane and it's Arabella please." I smiled politely.
"Then it's Juliet." She smiled. "Ace is my son." she smiled at Alex. "Though right now he is my prodigal son." she smiled once again. Wow. I could see her love for her son.
"Mom." Alex protested. "Anong kailangan mo mom?" he looked at her with some serious look in his face.
"I'll bring tea." I said when I sensed that they needed to talk and I needed to be out of the way for them to talk privately. I walked out of the living room and walked to the kitchen.
"Binisita mo na ba ang dad mo?" I heard Juliet asked.
"Hindi mom. Kamusta si Cassie?" Alex asked.
I prepared the tea while I could still hear them. It wasn't like Alex's flat was big and soundproofed.
"She misses you. Ace, you need to visit your father." Juliet said sternly.
"I don't want to talk to dad okay?" I could hear Alex's frustration. What was wrong with his family especially with his father? I must ask Caleb soon. "Kailan ka pa nakabalik ng Pilipinas mom? At bakit hindi mo ako tinawagan kung nakabalik ka na?" He asked his mother.
I heard Juliet chuckled. "My Ace, I just got back and I wanted to see you first." she said warmly. "How are you my dear?"
"I'm fine mommy." I pressed my hand in my mouth to stop myself from laughing. Did Alex just called his mother mommy? He sounded like he was still a little boy. "Dito ka nalang mag stay ma."
"Ace dalawa lang ang kwarto dito." Juliet said. "Wait don't tell me you're sharing a room with her highness!"
Alex laughed. "Mom, she's just staying here and she's not my type." Why did I suddenly felt a tinge of disappointment? What was wrong with me? "Pwede ako sa sofa matulog mom."
"Wag na. Dun nalang ako sa mansion. You must visit me Ace."
"I don't want to see dad."
I poured the hot water to the the tea pot. "He is still your father no matter what he did Ace."
"He cheated on you mom!"I heard Alex yelled softly as if he was trying not to yell at his mom. "He cheated on you and you want me to forgive him?"
"It was a long time ago Ace." Juliet said."It's all in the past and you need to forgive him."
"No mom. He will never earn my forgiveness. He did not just cheat on you but he was also the reason why you had a miscarriage." Ales voice was soft and tender. "How could I forgive the man who hurt my mother?"
"This is why I dreaded the day you found out about it." Juliet said wanly.
"I can never forgive him mom. I can't even look at him with respect mom. He's not the dad I once knew."Alex said. "He's too controlling mom."
"Damon is always controlling Ace." Juliet said with a light humor in her voice. "I hope someday you will learn to forgive your father Ace."
"I can't mom. I just can't. He hurt you mom and I don't want anybody to hurt you."
"I do love you my Ace."
"I love you too mommy."
And that was my cue to go back with the tea and biscuits. I did walk back to the living room and Alex was just pulling away from his mother's embrace. This was the other Alex, the Alex who loved his mother to death that he can't even forgive his father.
His sense of loyalty to his mother was something remarkable. I admired him for that.
Alex noticed me and helped me with the tray and placed it in the table. He poured his mother a cup of tea and gave it to her. "Princess, come and join us."
I shook my head no. "I'm sleepy." I lied. I didn't want to interrupt them both anymore, I was sure they had some catching up to do. As far as I knew Juliet was in London when I left and that had been a very long time now. "I think I'll rest for a while." I said. "It was lovely seeing you again Juliet. Please do not tell anyone in London that you saw me here." I smiled at Juliet.
I walked towards my room.
"She's a great girl so treat her well Ace." I heard Juliet said before I closed my door. I jumped to my bed and closed my eyes. Now that I was in my bed, I kinda felt the fatigue overcame me and I drifted off to sleep.
I didn't know how long I slept but I felt refreshed. I rose from the bed and walked out of the room, when I reached the living room, they were both gone I decided to go to the kitchen and maybe cook some dinner when I heard their voices down the foyer.
"Hindi ko alam kung anong nangyayari sa buhay mo ngayon Ace pero tandaan mo ah nandito ako para sayo lagi."Juliet said.
"Mom, I'm fine. I can do things by myself."
"Alam ko. You grew up with me." Juliet said proudly. "Hindi ko alam kung anong trabaho Ace kaya nag-aalala ako sayo. I checked your trust at alam kong hindi ka pa naglalabas ng pera, pero Ace walang normal na trabaho na ganyan kalaki ang sahod." she said. "You own this unit and you bought yourself a car."
I heard Alex sighed "Mom, wag kang magalala sa trabaho ko."
"Hindi ba to ilegal Ace? I don't want you involve in something illegal son. You know very well that the Lane and Monte Vista can–"
"Can never cause a scandal, I know mom."
"So it's not illegal?"
"No mom." Alex answered. I didn't know if he was lying or not because how could I know? For all I knew he was lying, he did kidnap me if I may recall. And kidnapping was illegal.
"Okay I believe you." Juliet said. I wondered could my parents be like Alex's mother? Could they also believe the words I tell them? Of course they wouldn't. What was I thinking my parents would never believe me.
They won't even listen to my side.
"Take care Ace and take care of her highness. She's a little bit–" Juliet cut off.
"Stubborn? Obnoxious? Pain in the ass? Bitch?"
Oh I was going to kill Alex when we're finally alone. I was going to strangle him to death.
Juliet laughed. "Don't speak like that about her. She's stubborn yes but just deal with her, she's also kind and sweet Ace, so don't hurt her."
"I would never hurt her mom. She's..."
I walked towards the kitchen not wanting to hear anymore, eavesdropping was rude and I was taught never to do that. Though I wanted to hear more, I couldn't, it would be rude to listen to someone else's business. It wasn't my place.
I admired Alex really. He loved his mother and respected her highly. And Juliet, I liked her, I met her at the Palace when she was showing her designs for my dresses and she was that sweet designer who designed beautifully and fitted my characteristics as the Princess.
And today I met her as a mother. A mother full of tender love for her son. I knew she was a great parent and Alex was lucky to have her as his mother. Though from what I heard earlier I just kinda felt sad for her, being cheated on by her own husband no wonder Alex hated his father.
I would too. A husband should always respect his wife no matter what. He must always desire his wife and no other woman should he desire more.
But I wondered did she stay with her husband after his affair? Were they still together? It did sound like she was going to stay with him in his house. But why would she stay with him after everything?
He cheated on her. He hurt her and somehow trampled on their marriage. How could she stay if ever she was?
I wouldn't. I couldn't. No matter how much I loved that said husband, I wouldn't stay. I wouldn't allow him to have the liberty to hurt me again. No matter what.
I would leave with my head held up high.
"Mom cooked for us but and I joined her but we saved some for you." I turned back to see Alex standing behind me.
"Okay." I said. I looked at the food at the breakfast bar and they looked divine. So I sat on the stool and decided to dig in. "I like your mom, she's one of the best designer for me." I said suddenly.
He looked to me and grinned. He was proud of his mother's work that was given. "Of course she is." he said. "Princess, tha–" he cut of as his phone rang, he took it out of his pocket and stared at the screen for a while and was going to put it back on his pocket when he stared at it once again. When it rang once again, he answered it after one ring. "What's wrong?" he asked with his voice full of concern. "You know she can't hold her liquor and yet you allowed her to drink.... No, I'll go there and pick her up... Goddammit, don't let her out of your sight." he said. "Pag ako dumating diyan at may nangyaring masama sa kanya, I'll kill you myself." he snapped.
Who was he talking to?
He put his phone back to his pocket and looked at me. "Kailangan kong umalis. Kumain ka na. Tatawagan ko si Caleb para masamahan ka dito haggang bukas." he said.
I frowned. "Saan ka pupunta?"
"Kay Trisha. Dito ka lang. At kumain ka, hintayin mo si Caleb ah. I need to go to her now" he said, he turned his back on me and started walking. He sounded so worried about her and he looked so concern, so torn.
And as I was staring at his back while he was walking away, my heart sunk and I didn't know why.
I didn't know why I was actually thinking of calling him back and ask him not to leave, not to go to Trisha. But I couldn't because I didn't know why. Why I was feeling like this.
But I knew one thing, he lied to me earlier. He still loved Trisha, not the friendship kind of love but the kind of love a man loved a woman. I saw it in his eyes.
I knew that kind of love when I saw it and I saw it with him.
And that revelation didn't go well with me.