“Pika!” I yell from upstairs when I see my friend sitting in the living room, looking out at the ocean.
His head turns towards me, and I carefully run down the stairs and throw myself into his arms. He catches me on a humph and gives me a squeeze before pulling away and removing his hands from me.
“How are you?” I smile, happy to see him.
“Good.” He smiles back then looks me over, his eyes settling on my round stomach for a moment. “You look happy,” he says as his eyes meet mine again.
“So happy,” I whisper, and he nods as his face softens.
I turn my head to look at Kai and smile, putting a hand on my hip, giving him a mock glare. “You didn’t tell me Pika was coming home.”
“It slipped me. Can I please see you in my office for a moment?” he asks, and I notice the agitation in his voice as he speaks.
“Um…” I look at Pika then back at Kai, wondering why the guys are acting so strange. “Sure,” I tell him then turn and give Pika another hug, whispering that I’m glad he’s back before pulling away, but not without noticing the embrace is not shared and his hands stay at his sides. Before Kai came home all those months ago, I would often lean on Pika, so the distance he’s putting between us is slightly unsettling.
“Myla,” Kai growls.
I nod then head towards his office, wondering what the hell happened. He’s standing in his doorway when I get there, and all I can do is pray that something bad hasn’t happened. Things have been quiet lately, and I would like them to stay like that. As soon as I cross the threshold, he closes the door behind me and begins pacing back and forth.
“Is everything okay?” I whisper, sitting down in his chair and watching him.
“Do not touch Pika again.”
Of all the things I thought he might want to talk to me about, this was never one of them. I study his face and notice that his jaw is tight and there is a slight tick in his right cheek—the tick he gets when he is pissed off.
“Can I ask you why?” I question softly, leaning back in the chair.
“Because I don’t like it.”
“No, Myla. All I need you to say is that you won’t touch him again.”
“You act as if I tried to make out with him,” I mutter.
“You threw yourself at him,” he snarls, ripping a hand through his hair, his gaze going out the window.
“I missed him. He’s my friend,” I say softly, watching him.
He prowls towards me until his face is inches from mine. “Do not do it again. Got it?”
I lean back, struck by his words and the intensity in his voice. “Do not tell me what to do, and do not ever get in my face like that again.” I go to stand and his hands go to either side of the chair, caging me in, forcing me to stay seated.
“You do it again, Myla, and I will send him away. And this time, it will be for good.” His tone is so deadly that a chill slides down my spine.
I have never, not once, been afraid of Kai, but this guy in front of me right now is not the man I fell in love with. This guy is someone completely different—someone who I don’t like very much. I want to ask him what happened and why he’s acting like this, but instead, I nod and swallow the hurt down so that I can get away from him.
“I won’t do it again,” I whisper.
His position in front of me doesn’t change, and he searches my face for a moment then leans in. When I see his intention, I turn my head just in time for his mouth to miss mine and his lips touch my cheek.
“Myla,” he says softly, and that softness only helps to piss me off further.
“I don’t feel well. I think I need to go lie down,” I say, looking back into his eyes. Concern transforms his features and guilt settles in my gut, but I don’t let that stop me.
“Let me help you to bed.” He stands to his full height but doesn’t step back.
“No. I’ll be fine.” I drag my eyes from him and use the wheels of the chair to scoot back enough to stand. I walk around him and pause when my hand touches the knob.
I turn my body around and straighten my shoulders, knowing that, if I just leave right now with the things he just said ringing in my ears, I won’t be able to even look at him or myself in the mirror.
“I don’t know what happened or why you’re acting the way you are, but let me make one thing clear so this doesn’t happen again.” I inhale a deep breath, letting it out slowly, making sure the words are well defined in my head before I spew them out. “I’m not one of your men. I’m not someone you can boss around and tell what to do. I’m your wife by choice, and like all choices in life, they can always be changed. So if you ever talk to me like that again, we will be talking through a lawyer when you’re done.”
I turn, open the door, and step out, shutting it behind me before taking off to our room. As soon as I reach our door, I notice that Aye is standing in the hall. I give him a wave, walk into the room, close the door behind me, and lean my head back against the wood as tears begin to slide down my cheeks. I know that jealousy was fueling his emotions, but I just don’t understand why.
Then his words filter into my mind. He said that he would send Pika away for good this time, meaning he had sent him away before. I had never even thought about Pika—or Aye, for that matter—in a sexual way. Kai had consumed my every thought from the moment I’d met him, and he’d continued to do so.
I step away from the door and begin pulling my clothes off as I step towards the bed. My reflection in the mirror over the dresser catches my attention, and I pause, looking at myself. My hand goes to my stomach and I lay my palm over our son, whispering a silent prayer that his dad and I can find a way to work things out.
I feel a flutter and press my hand closer to my stomach, trying to feel it again. I have never felt him move before, and a smile spreads across my lips when there’s another flutter, this one stronger than the last. I go to the bed and lie down on my back, placing my hands on my stomach and smiling again when there’s another movement. It feels like butterflies are dancing in my stomach, and I can imagine my tiny baby boy rolling and doing flips.
“Why are you smiling?”
“The baby’s moving.” I smile then press my lips together when I realize I have just spoken to Kai when, only moments before, I had plans to give him the silent treatment for a few days at least.