Read Her Charming Secret Online
Authors: Sam Ayers
Aubrey looked down and hugged Fluffy tightly. The poor pup tried to wriggle away, but her grip was too strong. It whined and finally settled in her arms. “You will marry her? You’ll be like Momma and Daddy. And also Ady and Gabe?”
While Jo looked at her in confusion, Aiden understood what she meant. “Yes, just like that. So can you be friends with Jo, for me?”
Aubrey hesitated, but nodded. When Jo moved her hand forward for her to shake it, she gave her a small hug instead. Jo hugged her back and moved away.
Just then, they heard a loud noise from upstairs. Pierre came down with Danielle following him, carrying all their bags. Everyone stood there shocked as they saw Pierre. His hair was BLACK! He grinned widely as he came down with Miss Fuzzlez in his arms.
“Papa, what have you done to your hair?” Adelynn asked in shock.
“You likez mi new colorz?” He grinned. “Now I lookz ze youngz like Aiden!”
Jo looked at Aiden, trying to stifle her laughter, and ran her hand through his hair just to confirm if he looked like his grandfather before poking his arm lightly and pinching his cheeks to see the similarities. Aiden glared at her good-naturedly and let her continue her inspection.
“But where are you going?” Nicholas asked as he came out of his study.
“Wherez, you askz? We arez goingz to ze honiemoonz.” Pierre grinned and his wife groaned.
“I lost count five years ago.” She sighed. The one thing Pierre loved was traveling with his wife on what he called ‘honiemoonz’. Well, that and his cats. And annoying the hell out of Nicholas.
Pierre hugged his daughter and stomped on Nick’s foot, causing him to growl in pain; he simply poked his tongue out at Nick. Then he hugged Aubrey, said goodbye to Aiden and Jo, and finally walked out to hail a cab. Danielle gave them all a hug and told Lynn that she would call later, and then she followed her husband.
After Pierre made his grand exit, Aiden got a phone call from Adele saying the home decor was almost done and that he could check it out. Seeing Aiden leave with Jo, Nicholas decided to take Aubrey and Fluffy to the park, and Lynn wanted to go with them. Aiden drove Jo back to his home; oh wait,
home. Adele opened the door and welcomed them in.
Aiden stepped in before holding his hand out to Jo. “Welcome to our home!”
She grabbed it happily and walked in. There were a few changes that seemed to have made a major difference. A huge bookshelf covered one wall; it was only for Jo, and a desk was incorporated in to design for her to work at. Her writer’s hat sat on it, along with her laptop and a box of her favorite chocolates, a gift from Jacob. As Jo looked around the house with Adele, she explained what she had actually done. Aiden was in his study checking out the latest addition that was placed next to the window. He grinned; a professional astronomical telescope added a certain charm to his study.
“That’s from Mom and Dad,” Adele told him, standing near the door.
“It’s brilliant, Adele!” he whispered as he checked it out. After seeing everything and loving it, Jo and Aiden gave Adele a big hug for helping them out. Gabe was taking Adele out later, so she said goodbye and left happily.
“This is awesome!” Jo squealed in excitement and jumped on Aiden, who caught her and hugged her back. He sat on the couch and pulled her over his lap. She threw her arms around his shoulder, kissing his nose lightly.
“So this is how it feels to be in our own home?”
Aiden raised his eyebrow, not exactly understanding what she meant. She continued, “When I was a baby, Dad left. Mom started behaving a little odd after that; she started keeping me at a distance.” Jo rested her head on Aiden’s chest and he patted her hair lightly. “I reminded her of Dad. Even when she was dying she didn’t let me come near her,” Jo whispered sadly. “Jake did take good care of me, but when I turned fifteen and he started dating, it used to annoy me a lot as all those lunatic girlfriends of his wanted to kick me out. That’s why I decided to go to a boarding school, but I was so alone. No friends and no one to talk to.”
Aiden rubbed her back with the palm of his hand and asked, “Wasn’t Abigail with you at the boarding school?”
“She was. In fact, we were roommates. But she was busy with her own life, with Seth and her own friends. Abby and I became best friends only after leaving high school. I was never truly happy, because I didn’t have a place to call my home. Even when I lived in Abby’s apartment, it felt off. I mean, it was a place to live; a house, not a home.”
She was quiet for a whole minute before saying, “When I met you in Paris, I saw a boy who was just like me. Alone. I don’t know how or when I fell in love, but it just happened.”
Aiden placed a kiss on her brow and said, “Glad it was me back then. I can’t imagine you with someone else.”
“Possessive, much?” Jo grinned, her mood much better, and poked her tongue out at him.
Instead of replying, he pressed his lips to hers gently. He felt like showing her just how precious she was. There was no hurry, no sorrow, nothing. This was just him, and her, and their love. Aiden broke the kiss only to trail small kisses from her ear down to her jaw and her neck. Jo moaned as she felt his warm breath waft over her sensitive skin. She pulled his head up and kissed him passionately, but soon broke the kiss. She gave him a small smile and stood, taking his hand in hers and pulled him to the bedroom.
“Adele said that they made some changes to the bedroom. C’mon, let’s check it out!” she suggested, a twinkle in her eye and a mischievous grin on her face as she pushed him in and locked the door behind her.
Aiden grinned, loving her way of checking the bedroom out. He knew one thing for sure. With Jo, every day was going to be a new adventure, a journey in discovering something new about her – and maybe about himself too.
Every day, for the rest of their lives.
The next morning, Aiden woke up with a sore shoulder and shallow scratches down his back. Smiling as he remembered the earlier night, he turned to see Josephine sleeping peacefully. One thing he realized last night was that Jo loved to take control of any situation. Last night hadn’t been an exception. He had also realized that she sleep-talked. She kept saying,
‘Ice cream, Jooo wan’ an ice cream!’
She had repeated it so many times that he had actually used earplugs to get some sleep. He decided to get her some ice cream as soon as she woke up.
Aiden sat up, slowly pushing a pillow in his spot so Jo wouldn’t wake up; he decided to freshen up and get some coffee. When he stepped out, he heard his phone ring. He picked it up to see Alex calling.
“Morning, Al. What’s up?”
“Hi, Aido! Abby and I are going to Niagara Falls; she hasn’t checked out the
Maid of the Mist
yet! Do you guys wanna join us?”
“Dude, not many people like boat rides. Let her know what she is signing up for. And I’ll ask Jo; wait, I think we can join you. See you around eight? Your place?”
“That’s great, Aido! Can’t wait to go and have some fun! It’s been so long; Alex, the party animal, has been tamed,” Alex joked and Aiden could almost picture the grin on his face. Aiden ended the call after saying goodbye.
Jo woke up with a moan as she rubbed her eyes. Aiden covered her bare shoulders with the blanket and hugged her. “Good morning, Sunshine! Sleep well?”
She wrapped her arms around his waist and sighed. “Yeah, last night was awesome! We should do that again soon.” Seeing him shirtless, she gave him a wink. “And I mean
Instead of replying, he tickled her, causing her to giggle and roll over on the bed with him on top of her, still tickling and placing soft kisses on her hand.
When he stopped tickling her, she pushed him away and ran towards the bathroom. She poked her tongue out before closing the door.
After she had freshened up and Aiden finished his third cup of coffee, they left for Alex’s place. Abigail had moved in with Alex almost a month ago. She was really excited and happy for Jo when she announced her engagement. Even though she didn’t show it, the news caused Abby to consider her own relationship and she wondered when or
Alex would ever pop the question and actually ask her to marry him. After a scrumptious breakfast that had Alex moaning in delight about the advantages of girlfriends, and getting hit on the head not just by Abby, but Jo and Aiden as well, they headed to Niagara Falls.
They got their passes for the boat ride and waited for a while. Alex wanted to show Abigail something, so he pulled her towards the other corner. Jo and Aiden were still able to see them. Jo was clicking pictures of the scenery around them, still as fascinated by it as she was the last time they came. Aiden had his arm around her waist from behind; he rested his chin on her shoulder and pointed out the best scenery to capture in a photo. While she was doing it, she saw Abigail from the corner of her eye. Abby punched Alex’s shoulder in mock-anger; it was pretty clear that he was teasing her again. He pulled her to him, and kissed her even as she tried to wiggle away. She hit his chest a few times in retaliation, before she got swept into the kiss and pushed her hands into his hair, tugging him closer. She smiled against his lips as he tried to decrease even the smallest of spaces between them. They stood there for a few minutes kissing, from small chaste kisses to a full passionate snog, when suddenly they heard Jo wolf whistling at them. She had also taken a few pictures of them; she loved the fact that her best friend was so in love.
“Ooh la la!” Jo called in excitement.
“Wow! You’re speaking French. I’m impressed!” Aiden grinned. Jo grinned back at him before taking a shot of him and herself.
Alex and Abigail broke apart, looking sheepish, but he still had his hands around her waist and she stood in his arms and turned to look at her friend. She smiled at Jo, who waved back and turned away to click more pictures. She clicked a few more pictures of Alex and Abby. She knew Abby would thank her later.
Jo turned around and faced Aiden. “Aid, is there an unspoken rule in your family that all kids’ names should start with an ‘A’?”
Aiden chuckled and touched her cold nose. “Not that I know of.”
“Then why are all your names starting with ‘A’? Aiden, Ashton, Adele, Alex and Aubrey?” She placed her finger on her chin and wondered.
Aiden kissed her cheek and replied, “No, there’s no unspoken rule. We can actually change that trend with our kids’ names.”
She jumped in excitement and threw her arms around his shoulder, “Oh yes! I want a boy and I want to name him Gale, if that’s okay with you!”
“Of course, that’s a cool name.” He smirked. “But I want a girl!”
“I haven’t checked out girl names yet. Maybe I can give her mine!”
“Two Jos? No!” Aiden said, surprised. “One Jo is enough!”
“No, not Jo. Rae. My middle name,” she explained.
“Gale and Rae! Cool! What about our other kids?” He raised his eyebrow.
“Wait! How many are you planning to have? No no no! I’m just having two! That’s eighteen months, and four years of babysitting! If you want more,
have them!” Jo looked at him in horror. He laughed at the thought, and once she realized what she said, she laughed too.
“I know! Two is fine, for now. Who knows, you might change your mind later.” He winked at her and pulled her into a big hug.
“Jo, Aiden, let’s go guys! Our ride is here,” Alex called as he walked towards them with Abigail.
“Oh yes! Let this adventure begin!” Jo squealed happily.
“Adventure?” Aiden asked, confused.
“Of course! My whole life with you is going to be an adventure!” She winked and jumped to give Alex a high five as she ran ahead, calling Aiden to her. Aiden smiled and ran to catch up with her and Alex, wondering if every day would be just as happy as this for the rest of his life.