Ashton tends to do things this way too. I hung my head low at the sudden, intrusive thought about him while my nose wrinkled in discomfort.
Marcus did not notice my minute reaction. He merely grinned. “It’s not a waste. See, we’re using it now, aren’t we?”
We took a spin around the house. It didn’t look like we need to buy or replace anything, but the kitchen looked quite empty. Perhaps Marcus, assuming that I was not much of a cook, did not bother too much with the layout.
“Is there anything missing?” He said, changing the house key and fingerprint code to mine.
I nodded in response. “Since you’re free tonight, why don’t we cook at home? I can give Macy and Jackson a call later, invite them to join in. I should let them know I’m safe anyway. Ever since I left, it’s like I’ve been cut off from the outside world.”
Marcus nodded. He did not look too good, but I paid little mind to that.
We left the residence together and headed to the supermarket. There, we stocked up on basic cooking necessities, including rice, cooking oil, sugar, and salt. Marcus turned to me with a look of surprise. “You can cook?”
It was so embarrassing to have that question thrown at me. Impatiently, I rebutted, “Don’t underestimate me, alright? What makes you think I can’t cook?”
I picked a few seasonings and added bluntly, “Just you wait, I’ll show you what I’m capable of tonight!”
Laughter escaped him. He raised a hand, patted me on the head, and said, “Alright then. I’ll wait!”
I lifted my head and smiled at him. My eyes fell upon an item on the shelf behind him, so I asked for a favor, “Marcus, can you help me get that seasoning bag? I can’t reach it!”
He did not respond. Instead, he just stared at a target behind me, looking rather solemn. I froze, faintly wary of an icy glare that seemed to be directed at me.
Out of instinctive reaction, I was about to whip my head around, but Marcus pulled me into his arms and buried me into his embrace.
When he spoke, it was in a stern tone, “It’s getting late. Let’s head back!”
I was stunned, but before I could figure out what was going on, someone forcibly grabbed hold of my wrist and pulled me out of Marcus’ embrace.
I was shell-shocked when my eyes took in Ashton’s face, filled with depth, eagerness, and delight interwoven in a complicated mess. In short, the emotions reflected in his eyes were an impetuous, messy lot. The thoughts in my head crashed to a halt as though my brain had been struck by a lightning bolt.
I was at a loss of what to do. My body stiffened, my heart began to ache, and the dense pain began to spread. Fear and bewilderment engulfed me.
I felt my hands and body tremble. In a moment, I broke off eye contact and stopped looking at him while my heart suffocated from the pain.
I was not ready to face him yet. I was not ready to tell him what happened to the baby. I was not ready to give him any sort of explanation at all.
“Scarlett, why are you…” A woman’s dainty voice suddenly rang, and it fell heavily on my ears.
My eyes darted to Rebecca, whose belly had already begun to show. She was standing next to a shopping cart stacked with lots of baby supplies fit for baby girls.
I suddenly recalled Ashton picking out these items before. They were more or less the same things.
Rebecca, Cameron… Staring at Rebecca with a pair of reddened eyes, I was on the brink of emotional collapse. In that instant, I lost control. I shoved Ashton’s arm away with all my might.
And then I launched myself almost frantically at Rebecca. No one expected I would turn out like that.
Rebecca stepped back in shock. I did not give her time to respond at all. The next thing I knew, I tore at her delicately styled hair, yelling in a frenzy, “Rebecca, a life for a life! I won’t let you and Cameron escape!”
“Ah… she’s gone mad! Scarlett, you mad woman! Ash, save me!” Rebecca, scared out of her wits, kept screaming. The scene descended into chaos.
Someone tackled me from behind. They had me tightly secured in their arms. A low, gruff voice rang in my ear, “Scarlett, it’s me! I’m Ashton! I’m your husband!”
Almost instantly, I felt my strength dwindling, my eyes still maddening red. I broke myself free from his arms with what little strength I had left.
Marcus held onto me. I squeezed his hands tightly, my voice hoarse and painful, “Marcus, take me away from here!”
I really did not want to stay here a minute more. I feared I would not be able to control myself and engage in another fight with Rebecca.
I was even more afraid of seeing Ashton protecting her and much more afraid of seeing them being intimate with each other.
“Alright, let’s go home!” Marcus complied. He carried me in his arms and headed towards the exit.
Random shoppers kept looking our way. Ashton, hot on our heels, eventually blocked Marcus’ path, his voice deep, chilly, and terrifying, as he ordered, “Let her go!”
Marcus sneered, looking rather grim. “Do you think she will go with you?”
Ashton’s eyes flitted to me, and his pupils shrank. Then, he shouted, “Scarlett, come back to me!”
I clung onto Marcus like my life depended on him, my eyes now red and swollen. I begged him, “Take me away, take me away from here!”
Marcus nodded. Then he turned to Ashton, lips pursed, and pronounced one word at a time, “Ashton, you’ll hound her to death if you keep pushing it!”
Ashton pursed his lips, and I could vaguely see in his dark eyes that he was crumbling bit by bit. For a long while, he had his eyes fixed on me before he slowly spat out a few words, “Fine! Go!”
Without Ashton on our trail, I was finally able to breathe a sigh of relief. Marcus carried me into the car and brought me straight back to Central Park residence.