The long awaited chapter is here :)
As usual thank you to everyone following this story, I truly enjoy writing it and hope you enjoy reading it just as much :)
*And Thank you to the cc creators as well*
As usual thank you to everyone following this story, I truly enjoy writing it and hope you enjoy reading it just as much :)
*And Thank you to the cc creators as well* Theo reached out and gently grabbed her hand, pulling her back up from under the sheets.
"No need to be shy" he teased.
Ava smiled sheepishly.
"Did you sleep well?" she asked, her voice croaking slightly.
He nodded, "You?"
She nodded in reply.
A few seconds passed before she added "Well, I better get dressed"
Then sitting up with the sheets still wrapped around her, she slid off the bed, stepping onto her dress and other discarded clothing items from the night before.
After tossing her clothes in the nearby hamper, she turned to her closet, digging though it for some pj's to wear along with the first comfy slippers she could find. When she turned back around Theo couldn't help but smile to himself. She looked adorable. Ava looked around the room before apologizing for the mess, a statement Theo quickly dismissed.
Nonetheless, she walked around picking up and rearranging things while Theo hopped out of bed and in turn got dressed.
"I'll be downstairs making us breakfast, the bathroom is next door, let me know if you need anything" said Ava and with that she quickly left the room. Theo finished buckling his belt just as the door creaked shut behind her. He had hoped the morning after wouldn't be uncomfortable for either of them but it seemed like it was turning out that way, at least for Ava.
Although they had both had a bit too much to drink, at no point did he get the feeling that sleeping together hadn't been a mutual and much desired decision. He sighed, wondering if she now had regrets, hoping it wasn't the case.
He slipped on his shoes and slowly gazed around the room, taking in his surroundings. Eyeing the bookcase, he walked towards it, scanning the titles while running a finger across the selection.
Candide by Voltaire, The Stranger by Camus, War and Peace by Tolstoy, Beyond Good and Evil by Nietzsche...
*Pretty deep stuff* he thought to himself.
Everything he knew about Ava had been researched from afar, but now standing there in her bedroom and seeing a different side of her left him with a strange yet pleasant feeling.
There was much more to her than her involvement in Joshua's scams and he had known it from the very beginning.
He headed to the bathroom where he splashed his face with cold water before staring at his reflection.
He had barely slept through the night, mostly because he had watched Ava sleep but mainly because everything was weighing heavily on his mind.
He could no longer run away from the fact that he had very real feelings for Ava and that complications were imminent. What surprised him was the fact that he felt well and truly ready to face them. Downstairs, Ava yawned while eyeing the dirty dishes on the counter and wondering how what was meant to be a simple Thanksgiving dinner had strayed so far. She soon heard Theo walking around upstairs so she set about finding something for them to eat. Opening the fridge, she looked inside dejectedly.
*Out of eggs, out of bread, out of bacon, out of fruit...* the list went on.
She reached in and grabbed the milk carton, relieved to find it was still full. Theo soon made his way downstairs and sat waiting quietly at the dining table while watching Ava mess about in the kitchen. As much as he wanted to help, he was starting to have doubts about whether or not his presence was still wanted so he chose to remain silent instead.
"Is cereal ok? I'm out of everything else" came Ava's voice from the kitchen.
"Yes, cereal's fine, thank you" he replied.
A few minutes later, they sat eating with only the intermittent crunching of cereal to break the painful silence. Ava finished first and headed back to the kitchen and Theo joined her soon after, bowl in hand. He quietly walked past her and washed his bowl in the sink before placing it in the rack to dry. Behind him, Ava placed the milk back in the fridge and began clearing the kitchen.
Theo wiped his hands on his pants and sighed. This wasn't how he wanted things to go, the silence was becoming too much for him to bear.
After taking a deep breath, he walked over to Ava, turned her around to face him and placed a firm kiss on her lips while gently pinning her against the fridge.
Ava, at first too shocked to react, slowly closed her eyes and began kissing him back. For that precise moment in time it was as if everything around them stopped. The noise from the traffic outside, the sound of dogs barking, everything slowly faded away leaving just them. She sighed mid-kiss and slumped back further against the fridge, enjoying the feeling of his lips against hers. Memories from the previous night's passion rushed back to both of them and the kiss intensified. He gently held her face, kissing her even harder as she grabbed onto him, pulling him towards her and aching for more. Knowing where things would head once again if they didn't end the kiss, Theo reluctantly pulled away.
"Last night meant a lot to me" he began, unsure of how to phrase his thoughts "I don't want you to have any regrets..."
"I don't" whispered Ava.
He smiled, stroking her cheek, "I really like you Ava..."
But he knew that wasn't true, he didn't just like her, he loved her. After over a month of monitoring her and just a few weeks of getting to know her better, he was inexplicably, unabashedly in love with Ava.
She closed her eyes, enjoying the stroke of his hand on her cheek, both of them so lost in the moment that neither of them realized that he had called her by her real name.
When she opened them again he was smiling, looking at her with what could only be described as a feeling of pure love. She felt it in every way possible and her heart began its familiar racing.
"I understand that you need time to think about everything... no rush. You know where to find me when you're done" he continued "Take care"
And with that he turned around and walked away. Ava stood in silence for a few minutes, his words echoing in her mind. She had loved every moment of the previous night and every moment spent with him in general. Not seeing him again wasn't an option. After the night they had spent together, her feelings for him had now intensified and this made things even harder.
She wondered how she could ever be romantically involved with Theo while leading a double life. As soon as Theo got home he headed straight for his computer and pulled up his files on Ava. He paused for a moment before swallowing hard and deleting them, one by one. Uploaded voice recordings, picture evidence, video surveillance, everything went.
It would be easy to explain to Cairo later if need be he decided, blaming it on a computer virus was the obvious solution.
Although he knew that deleting the files was pointless given that Cairo and now Elias also had copies of some of it, it still made him feel better.
He could no longer continue to work for Elias nor remain Cairo's partner if he wanted to be with Ava. It was either one or the other and still on a high from the previous night, Theo had chosen Ava. That night in bed however, he had trouble sleeping once again. After tossing and turning for a few hours he finally sat up to face the voices screaming inside his head.
What was he doing? The lines had become blurred, nothing made sense anymore. Had he really just deleted months of evidence? Was he really considering betraying his best friend for Ava? Did he really think that things between him and Ava even had a remote possibility of working given all the secrets and lies? He soon grew weary from the thoughts tormenting him and fell fast asleep. When he awoke the next morning, it was with greater mental clarity and the choice was easier to make, it would be Ava, it was always going to be Ava. He would find a solution but it wasn't going to be easy. Nothing worth doing was ever easy after all, he reminded himself. A few days passed before Ava finally contacted Theo again. As he had suggested, she had indeed needed time to think things over.
As hours grew into days she had found herself missing him and longing for the comfort of his company once again so she had texted him and they had agreed to meet in a nearby park. As she sat on the swings waiting for him to arrive, her anticipation grew by the second. When Theo arrived, he snuck up behind her and surprised her with a kiss to which she responded warmly.
"I missed you" she managed to say between kisses.
Theo then positioned himself behind her and playfully pushed her on the swings as she squealed in pleasure.
They spent the rest of the afternoon chatting and catching up, enjoying each other's company but dreading the serious conversation that needed to be had. When it came time for them to go their separate ways both were still in good spirits and neither wanted to ruin the moment. As they kissed each other goodbye it was with words unspoken. The decision had been made without a conversation and they spent the next few days in each others company, slowly becoming more accustomed to each other. One evening, as they lay in the grass of Theo's backyard, head to head and eyes closed, Ava realized that for the first time in a long time she was well and truly happy. Although the secrets she was hiding from Theo gnawed at her conscience from time to time, she chose to ignore them. As they sat watching the stars a few hours later, the same thoughts crossed Theo's mind. As days turned into weeks, they grew even closer. Gone were the shy glances and reservedness of a budding romance, replaced instead by bold laughter, teasing and a great sense of familiarity.
It was a struggle for Ava to hide this new part of her life from Joshua and the girls and it wasn't any easier for Theo to hide it from Cairo but they managed to do so.
At the office Ava could no longer focus on Joshua's words, nor could she recall any of her conversations with Max during their dates for she was always lost in thought thinking of Theo and anticipating seeing him again.
They would go out to eat, catch a late movie, or find a quiet spot on the beach to relax... No matter what they did, as long as they were together, both felt a great sense of peace.
One afternoon, they decided to try something different and visit the local zoo.
Although they could hardly keep their hands off each other long enough to focus on the animals... After walking around for a few hours they decided to stop for refreshments at the zoo's cafe. Ava had been having so much fun that she had completely forgotten about her worries. They had walked around the zoo, arm in arm, excitedly taking pictures and laughing and for a while she had forgotten about Joshua and the whole scheme.
Now reality was slowly sinking back in as she realized that their happiness was only temporary. When Joshua finished making the final transactions she would be forced to leave Miami with them, leaving everything behind, including Theo.
Her eyes began to water and she quickly wiped tears away before Theo noticed anything. Her heart felt heavy with all the things she wanted to tell him but couldn't. She cleared her throat and opened her mouth, unsure of what to say but knowing she had to get some of it off her chest.
"I-" she began, heart racing "I... have somewhat of a past... I've done some things I'm not proud of... I want to be open and honest with you because it's been eating me up inside..." Theo listened while staring off into the distance, his heart racing as well as he realized she was about to confess everything.
"I'm not ready to tell you yet, but I just want you to know. I'm not perfect, I've made mistakes and they may come back to haunt me one day and I just... don't want to hurt you" finished Ava.
He waited for her to continue but she didn't. He glanced over at her and that sad look he so hated seeing on her face was once again there.
Pushing his chair back as he stood up he walked over to her and pulled her up, holding her close "I would accept anything about you" he told her reassuringly "I love you"
It was the first time he had said those words to her and the surprise on her face was clearly visible. Then she gently stroked his face before whispering "I love you too" as they kissed.
They spent the rest of the day back at Theo's place watching movies. It wasn't long before Ava, weary from walking around all morning, fell asleep in Theo's arms. Theo looked down at Ava lying between his legs, her head resting on his chest, and smiled. He could feel each warm and gentle breath she took and she looked so peaceful he was afraid to make even the slightest movement for fear of waking her up.
So he sat there, looking down lovingly at her, her head lifting slightly along with his chest which each breath he took. She felt so fragile in his arms that he felt a strong need to hold her closer and protect her. He knew things wouldn't always be as they were in that moment, the truth was going to come out soon and there was a strong possibility he would lose her forever.
The thought of not having a future with Ava filled him with a great sense of sadness which he struggled to fight off. He wasn't one to believe in soul-mates but if there ever was 'the one' for him, he knew Ava was it. He had often looked at her, as he was doing now and seen the mother of his future children, the woman he would grow old with and share a life laced with beautiful memories.
They stayed like that for a while before Theo's legs began to go numb so he managed to maneuver his way out, gently sliding a small pillow under Ava's head as a replacement.
After walking off the numbness, he sat down and watched her sleep. As his head continued filling with thoughts he couldn't shake off the feeling that something bad was about to happen...
Cairo paced around the room, glancing at his watch every once in a while.
*30 minutes left* he thought to himself. He finally grew tired of walking in circles and sat down, staring blankly at the files on his desk. Tonight was going to be an important night, he needed to break into Joshua's apartment for the last bit of evidence he needed in order to link him to his secret offshore account, after that it was game over. His thoughts crossed to Theo and he quickly grew bitter. He had been avoiding his calls for weeks and he knew it was all because of Ava.
Why Theo had allowed himself to get so distracted was beyond him. Of the two of them, Theo was usually the one who took the tasks at hand more seriously.
He was worried about how Elias Golding would react if he ever found out about Theo and Ava and although he had every intention of confronting Theo about it eventually, it was the least of his worries lately.
He had been focusing obsessively on the case at the expense of sleep and with the occasional drink to get him by.
He stared longingly at the unopened bottle on his desk before prying his eyes away.
*No time for that tonight*
As he did every Friday, Joshua would be returning to his apartment to change into more comfortable attire before heading out to a bar down town.
Cairo would be taking advantage of his absence to break into his apartment and quickly find the necessary files before his return. He already knew Joshua didn't keep them at the office for he had already checked there. Half an hour later he got into his car and drove to Joshua's apartment complex.
Joshua stood out on the balcony breathing in deeply and taking in the crisp night air. Being prone to migraines, he could always tell when one was about to hit so he had downed some pain killers after work and rushed home. He had decided that his usual Friday night out would have to be canceled and replaced with plenty of fresh air and some rest to combat the effects of the imminent migraine. As he closed his eyes to take another deep breath before opening them again, he saw a car slowly pulling up into the apartment parking lot.
He immediately recognized it as the car that had been following him around for weeks and his instincts quickly kicked in. Cairo glanced down at his watch one more time, Joshua would be leaving any minute now. He smiled.
*In a few hours this case will finally be closed*
He reached out and turned on the radio, lowering the volume before humming along to a song.
Joshua, having raced down stairs now cautiously walked over to the car before reaching out and knocking on the window.
Cairo jumped in his seat and the blood drained from his face when he turned around and saw Joshua's icy eyes glaring down at him.
He quickly looked away and reached out to turn the key in the ignition but by then it was too late, Joshua had flung the car door open. In one move, he reached out and dragged Cairo out of the car before pinning him down on the ground.
"Who are you!?" he yelled.
Cairo, struggling and amazed at how strong Joshua's grip was remained silent.
"I said who are you! Answer me! Who do you work for?"
"Let me go. I don't know what you're talking about, you have me confused with someone else" Cairo finally managed to say.
"Nonsense. I know you've been following me around for weeks, so for the last time who do you work for?! Give me a name!"
Cairo's eyes widened as Joshua's grip grew even tighter.
Joshua slowly began to release his grip as he waited for Cairo to speak.
"Elias Golding... hired me to investigate you"
"Elias Golding?" asked Joshua, but more to himself, the name definitely rung a bell "What state?"
"Arizona" replied Cairo.
Joshua finally completely released his grip and stood up. He backed away slowly as everything sunk in.
*But that was from 2 years ago. How did he find us?* he thought to himself.
His mind was racing and he could feel his migraine starting.
Cairo took the opportunity to sit up, scooting away while rubbing his neck. Joshua stared absentmindedly at him while planning his next move. He knew he didn't have much time left, as soon as Cairo was out of sight he would surely contact Elias. There wasn't even enough time to contact the girls and get a plan together. The cops would be at his apartment in no time. He needed to quickly pack, grab the evidence and run. Surely enough as soon as Joshua turned around and ran back inside Cairo jumped into his car and sped off. After driving a few blocks he found an empty parking lot and scrambled out of the car. He quickly dialed Theo's number, his panic growing with each ring.
Theo glanced down at his phone and stood up.
He normally would have ignored it but something told him it was important so he answered while quickly glancing over at Ava to make sure the ringtone hadn't woken her up. "Hello? Theo? Man... I messed up. I really messed up!"
"What's going on?" asked Theo, walking over to the kitchen.
"Joshua, he- he caught me. He knew I had been following him around, he had me pinned to the ground. I told him about Elias, I told him everything"
Theo stopped in his tracks "Joshua knows?" he asked before quickly lowering his voice "How the? Did you contact Elias yet? Ava had stirred in her sleep when Theo's phone rang but hearing Theo mention the names Joshua and Elias had made her eyes shoot open.
Theo listened as Cairo continued, he was too shocked to move, a million thoughts raced through his mind at once. Would Joshua be contacting the other girls and Ava to let them know or just leave town on his own? What were they going to do now, how could they possibly tell Elias that they had screwed things up?
He quickly glanced over at Ava again, she wasn't moving. So he lowered his voice as he walked over to the next room "Relax, we'll find a solution. I'll go over to Ava's side of the street and see if Joshua stops by. I'll follow them" he said, attempting to calm down a frantic Cairo.
Ava's eyes widened upon hearing her name and her heart which was already beating fast began racing even faster and she felt a lump in her throat. She continued to lay perfectly still as beads of sweat formed on her forehead.
Inside she was screaming in panic. Theo was a cop! He had been monitoring them the whole time. How could she have been so stupid? It was all over for them. She needed to get out of there as fast as possible- were all thoughts that raced through her mind.
As soon as Theo left the room she quickly stood up, temporarily freezing in her tracks as she calculated her next move. She listened intently, it sounded like Theo's voice was coming from the bathroom now which meant the entry way would be clear. So she made a run for it... However as soon as she turned the corner she nearly ran into him standing by the front door. She cried out in a mixture of surprise and panic. Theo, phone still in hand, turned to face Ava. Their eyes met and it was written all over her face. She knew. "I have to go, I'll call you back" he slowly said before hanging up Ava gasped and took a step back, her hands covering her mouth. She was shaking uncontrollably. Theo looked at her sadly, the moment of truth had finally arrived.
No Angels Here- Chapter 8
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