Collab with the fabulous @nessazura
Point of No Return
Monday, August 19;
I couldn't recall the last time I found myself at a fun fair. I couldn't remember if they were a part of my childhood but as I saw the stalls of toys, games and food, I wished it had of been. There were smiling children running around, tugging on the pant leg of their mother or father, begging for a stuffed bear or a ride on the roller coaster. They'd fake a smile and nod, wishing that the day was over already.
I didn't mind the calling out and shouting, the accents mingled with one another. I had travelled to America for a couple days to see James and finally put the deal I'd made with him into action. Actually, the deal "Reynaldo" had made with him.
I noticed James in the distance, his two beautiful daughters standing nearby with their eyes set on a stall just a couple of metres away. Another gentleman with white blond hair spoke to James; they seemed to be in deep conversation but unfortunately I had to interrupt. Surely, they'd continue their important or casual conversation at a later time.
I walked up to the four, blending in with the crowd as I did so. As I became closer, I heard the two girls complaining to James. They wanted the unicorn stuffed toys; manners were being thrown around left, right and centre. They were such angels. I took a left turn at the stall they had been looking at - minutes later, I held two unicorn toys under my arms and turned back toward the girls.
"Here you go, girls" I bent down and handed them the toys, one each. Their faces lit up at the kind and sudden gift and not knowing any better but to accept the presents.
James cleared his throat as I stood straight and was able to look him in the eyes. "Girls, what do you say?" he asked them, his voice entirely different to what I'd ever heard. It was warm, gentle and dare I say - cosy?
"Thank-you" they both chirped before rushing toward the white-blond haired man. He watched me closely and attempting to go unnoticed as he looked me up and down. I winked, knowing it'd make him uncomfortable before focussing my attention on James.
"You didn't do anything to those unicorns, did you?" he questioned me, looking at me then at his two daughters, then back at me.
I scoffed, shocked at the question and unable to hide my surprise. "I would never harm your children or any child, thank-you" I told him firmly, placing a hand on my hip.
James narrowed his eyes at me, eyes still accusing as he finally shrugged, "its always good to be safe than sorry."
I scowled, wanting to say more before he held his palm up to stop me. He shook his head, "not in front of my brother and certainly not my girls" he said and went to them.
"A friend?" Theo questioned, eyebrow raised in a wondering manner. He wasn't a stupid kid, he seemed to know James too well.
He gave Theo a simple smile, simply not denying nor agreeing to his question before crouching in front of the girls. Two identical big eyes staring at James innocently, each arms holding a stuffed unicorn that I had bought them. "Daddy has to go for a short meeting with the unicorn lady, can you be good little girls and play some rides with uncle Theo?"
Their face fell that it broke my poor little heart but they nodded nonetheless before grabbing onto Theo's hand. One of the girls stared at James, "you'll be back?"
James nodded, patting her cheeks affectionately, "as soon as I can."
"And we'll be here until midnight so we can catch the circus too?" the other spoke this time, eyes gleaming in hope that he couldn't do anything but nod at her while patting the head of blonde hair.
"They're adorable" I said to James as I watched the two young girls skip off with their uncle. The man looked over his shoulder before turning a corner and disappearing into what I'd call a 'kid's paradise;' candy, toys and games. Their smiles as they wandered off made me wish I was a child again. I wish I didn't have to worry and stress about the things I did these days.
"Yeah, they are" James replied, he seemed rather blunt and straight forward. "Now, enough about my children, please."
I raised an eyebrow, "I'm sorry if saying 'they're adorable' managed to frustrate you in some way. Young kids have it easy and it's good to see that there are people out there living without any cares in the world" I told him, crossing my arms over my chest. "But y'know, sorry, for observing" I added, running a hand through my hair.
"I didn't mean it-" he began. I could understand; the protective father instincts that would naturally kick in. Especially, when working in a business like this and I could see how I was viewed as a threat.
I would never do that, I'd never involve children or harm them. I wasn't as sick as some people out there in the big, bad world.
"It's fine" I shook my head, flashing a small and quick smile, as if it'd never happened. I wouldn't have forgiven anyone else for such a quick tongue and temper. He was quite lovely though, when he wanted to be, and so incredibly handsome.
Absentmindedly James found himself rubbing the back of his head, drawing out an easy smirk at me. "So, back to the reason why you're here. I would have assumed that we'd have the meeting during the peak of the fair."
I shrugged, nonchalantly eying the surroundings before staring back at James, "I don't like peak hours, too much people."
He raised an eyebrow at my answer, "shall we get straight to the business then?"
"We shall" I nodded, hiding a smile at his surprise. I was one to get straight to business and I did want some time to explore the fun fair myself. I may take my job seriously but the fact, that I was a kid at heart couldn't be shoved aside.
"Lets walk and talk then" James spoke, waiting until I began walking before following beside me. Though we were walking at a regular distance a part, I tried to drag my thoughts away from the scent of his cologne. I was a professional business woman, I didn't need a man.
I didn't need a man; I repeated over and over again. But who was I kidding? My last relationship was 2 years ago and my last fling was 3 months ago.
"Its almost the end of the year, which means that a lot of events are coming up and like the years before we'll need to prepare our contracts" James started, tilting his head to look at me. "Miss Johansson are you still in the States or have you reached the moon?"
I snapped my head up, "I'm sorry did I say that out loud?"
"Excuse me?" James stopped walking, staring at me with a questioning look. I could read the judgement on his face and I hid my embarrassment.
Yes, I was embarrassed in front of a handsome man. Well, that was a first.
I let out a hard breath before looking back at James with a determined look, "I'm sorry what were you saying?"
"Our contracts, events are coming up. One is in few days time" he told me as we started walking again. "The Sexington auction. My sources informed that this year Bass is teaming up with Andrei and Kazimir to bring in new weapons from the Russian factory, a contract is being draft out as we speak."
"Alright, understood" I nodded and bit my bottom lip as I listened intently about the contract being draft as we spoke and Bass teaming up with both Andrei and Kazimir. It was all quite hectic but I had expected it for some time. I guess with Katia and Lyla, they have occupied my mind for a little while.
"Do you understand?" he asked seriously, this time. Before I had a chance to speak, James had already continued with his speaking. I knew a way of shutting him up but their were kids around and I knew better than to do /that/ in public. "I wanted the American and Spanish clan to win the contract."
"So, you need me to go to the auction with you" I stated, nodding, definitely understanding now. I was finally paying 100% attention to the situation and not on James.
"Yes" James paused, glancing away for a moment, "or if Reynaldo would like to fly over. He could accompany me" he added.
"Good luck with that" I told him, raising an eyebrow at his desire to meet Reynaldo, still. "Reynaldo's a stubborn man, you won't get very far with that wishful thinking" I added, pushing my blonde hair behind my ears.
"If he is truly a man" James said, sliding a hand into his pocket before looking at me critically, as if judging. "His voice, its too manly - it seems sometimes that he is hiding more than his identity. The mystery he hides is tiring."
I looked at him; he smiled lightly, stopping in front of a stall offering a game of shooting glass bottles filled with red paint. "A game can only continue for so long - how long has it been with Reynaldo? Months or years, its bound to be ended" he said and paid for the gun. Shooting straight line bottles in swift gesture. "Game over."
"That's the first time today" the stall owner said with a bit of a grin, maybe he wasn't too happy loosing the prized present. "Choose something for your girl."
James stared at him, narrowing his eyes slightly before pointing at a bride of chucky doll, "that one."
The guy gave James a weird look as he reached for the black dressed doll before passing it to him. James thanked him and turned, holding it to me, "as a thank you gift for the unicorns you gave to my girls."
I rolled my eyes, taking it into my arms. "Tiff doll, really?"
"Yes, I mean, however else could I have thanked you" James said politely, tilting his head slightly. "You don't like it?" he questioned.
"No, you're such a gentleman, thank-you" I responded, faking a small smile which was quite close to the real thing. "I'll be sure to keep forever and ever" I added, "so, are we going to play games all day?" I asked.
He was the one that wanted to stay on topic yet he was playing games. He frustrated me, in more ways that one, too.
James shrugged, giving me a glance as he began to walk again. I let out an exasperated sigh, stomping lightly as I followed with the oversize Tiff doll - I must have looked absolutely ridiculous, in all honesty.
"You're not an easy man to understand, Mr. Kennedy" I said in annoyance, finally reaching his side.
James drew out a slight smirk, "Whatever do you mean, Miss Johansson?"
I rolled my eyes, lips forming a scowl. "Are we going to continue this meeting or have we turned this into a games affair instead?"
"Well, if I must point out, you did just almost throw a tantrum" James spoke, the smirk never leaving his lips. I rolled my eyes; as much as he was handsome, he was killing me on the inside with these pauses and 'games.'
I was here for business, I did not travel from Spain to America for nothing.
"If I had thrown a 'tantrum,' I don't think you would have been so relaxed" I pointed out. I had a quick and short temper and he would not have stood a chance if I was angered. Nobody would stand a chance.
"Oh, you say that as if you're some feisty little monster inside there" James said. I paused in my tracks, raising an eyebrow. "What? Did I say something to anger you?" James questioned, almost as if he was being playful but maintaining a cool and calm expression.
"No, just keep talking" I said, taking a moment to breath and not get frustrated. I continued walking alongside him and reminded myself 'think happy thoughts.'
James chuckled as he brought an arm up to check the time, "Mickey says its time for lunch - I promised my girls I'd take them out for some pizza daddy time. Shall we continue this over dinner?"
I stared at him, eyebrow raised before looking at his watch and before I knew it I was laughing. "You have a mickey mouse lego watch," I was almost hysterical now.
James scowled. "Its a one of a kind mickey watch, a present from my daughters so laugh all you want."
I stopped but a chuckle escaped and the smile never left my face. "I'm sorry. But, dinner? You're not planning to-"
He cut me off, taking a palm up. "Dinner at my place and if it makes you feel all weird up, my girls will be there and so is my brother and possibly my sister, Zee - you know her, obviously."
"I know of her" I nodded, wiping the amused smile off my face. Part of me hoped I'd get along with her more than I do with her brother, since I currently wanted to strangle her brother. But violence was never the answer.
No, I wouldn't resort to violence with Mr Kennedy and he was very fortunate that I had decided on his future. I would never let his children experience that. Never.
"Dinner, it is then" I nodded, sliding my sunglasses on.
"I'm glad that we've settled on that decision then" James nodded, smirking slightly. "I'll send you details after lunch, but for now, I don't want to keep my children waiting."
I nodded again, "I hope they enjoy their toys" I said sincerely and smiled. If I didn't get that treatment as a child, there were children out there who did.
But part of me knew that James thought I just wanted to cause trouble for his children and his family image.