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  • Writer's pictureGina A. Jones

Saving Ash (book #2) Chapter-six




The closet is huge and filled with beautiful clothes that I find myself overwhelmed. I’ve always just been a jeans and T-shirt kind of girl.  And that’s mainly because of my situation. All the money my foster parents received never went to buy me one outfit. I’m looking at a lifetime of fashion. From formal wear to casual. Even the jeans are name brands I could never afford.


When he said dinner was being delivered, did he me more like…pizza, Uber Eats, Chinese…? I guess I should have asked, but I was in the room with the old Ash.


Since we are dinning in, I assume casual will do and pull off a pair of the jeans and match it with a white sleeveless blouse. For shoes, I choose the slingback pumps. And holy crap, they are Louis Vuitton. I have to see what these cost if I’m going to be walking around in them.


Still wrapped in a towel, I head to the en suite and pull out my phone from the pocket of my peasant jeans. I pull up the website for Louis Vuitton and search for the shoes. Oh. My. Word. $999. Are my feet even worthy enough to wear a pair of $999?


After dressing, I take a look at my hair which is still up in the loose knot. I pull out the hair tie, giving my head a shake. Perfect, not too over done, and not exactly styleless.


Now it’s time to put on those shoes. And I should probably practice walking in them.

I take a seat on the settee and place the shoes on my feet. They look elegant as I stretch out my legs and take a look. I stand to walk across the room. They may be expensive, but not very comfortable. What we women will do for such luxuries.


Like sign over my body for a year with a monster.


I do a total 360 while glancing at my reflection in the mirror. I look totally transformed. Not me. And…I like it.


Okay, I guess it’s showtime.


I look at my phone and check the time. I made it—with five minutes to spare. In most cases, it’s good to make the guy wait. But Ash is not your average guy.


I carefully walk to the double doors of my room and open them for this grand moment. I notice how the tile floor looks to be very slick. I just know I’m going to blow it in these shoes.

Here goes nothing.


Beautiful piano music is playing from somewhere inside when I step out into the hall. I follow the melody to a room I hadn’t yet seen.  It’s a piano room. It’s…Ash. He’s playing the piano—very beautifully. His eyes are closed as he sways to the melody and looks lost in a happy place. I see a hint of a smile on his face. It’a a new color. Sunflowers and sunsets are what I see in it. A sky with a soft purple haze.


I want to hold him and be wherever he is right now. Share this happy place with him. But I don’t. I stay at the door and admire his beauty—his talent.


I feel tears beginning to sting the backs of my eyes as I watch him. I lock this image away in my mind and focus on every detail, so that I can draw it later. It’s forever saved, burned into my memory as I lean my head against the doorframe, close my eyes, and just listen.


I’m falling in love with you, Ash—and I don’t even know the real you.


The music stops and it’s like waking from a dream. A dream you want to fall back to sleep and visit again. But you can’t.


I open my eyes and look at the man sitting on the piano bench. He now looks so distant, lost. He’s looking at me, but not seeing me. Like I’m a ghost in this room.


“You play very well. That was beautiful, Ash. What was it?”


“Paper Lantern Sky by Brian Crain.”


“How long have you played?”


He pushes himself away from the piano and stands from the bench. “Long time, something my father wanted for me,” he says, not looking at me and walks over to a bar cart and pours himself a drink. Has he even noticed me—how I look?


“Well, good for him. You’re very talented.”


He takes a drink and then looks at me. I’m trying to comprehend his look—his mood. It’s a cross between melancholy, and lost.


“I suppose I am to say, thank you.”


Okay…


“I hope this outfit will do for dinner. I wasn’t really sure what you had in mind.” I gesture to the clothes.


“It’s fine. You’re not under contract, so you may choose as you wish.”


He’s not going to commit, say I look pretty? Oh, I forgot.  Ash doesn’t do, or say things like that. I need to get this engrained in my head and stop letting my heart think for me.


“Thank you. You also have an eye for fashion. The clothes are gorgeous.”


“You’re welcome, but I can’t take the credit. I have a handler for that as well.”


Of course he does.


He's still wearing the suit he came in. I should have took this into consideration and not worn the jeans. Though they’re probably a few hundred dollar jeans.


“I could go change, if you think it’s still too causal. I see you’re in a suit.”


“I said, it’s fine, Cinder. If you like, I could change. I do keep clothes here.”


“No, it’s okay. I just… Never mind.” No matter what I do or say, I can’t seem to interact with him.


“Are you hungry? Dinner was just brought in.”


“Oh, I can’t wait,” I say, and leave it at that.


He walks toward me and then gestures for me to follow him. He takes us to the doors leading out onto the balcony. A complete table has been set with silver doms on each end.


When did all this happen?


He pulls out a seat for me to sit. Carefully walking over, I take the seat as he helps me in. I get a whiff of his scent when the breeze dances by. It’s all things man—all him.


Ash takes the seat across and pulls off his lid. I follow suite and find what I assume is fish with seasoned vegetables.


“It’s swordfish. I hope you like.”


“I’ve never had it but I’m sure I will. Thank you. Everything is wonderful, Ash.”


He stops and looks at me. Am I not to use his name. That’s only when in contract, right?


“You’re welcome,” he says, and goes back to his dinner.


Ash has wine, and I see that my is sparkling grape juice when I take a sip. No wine for me, I guess. It’s beyond me why alcohol is prohibited to me when this man is capable of some batshit, crazy stuff.


“Dinner is delicious. You have a handler—cook here in the city?” I ask, breaking the silence.


“No, but my handler does.”


Short answers.


We finish dinner, and I get up to clear the table.


“What are you doing?” he asks.


“I’m cleaning up.”


“No. Someone will be here to take care of it.”


I look around. “Is someone here? Have they been here the entire time?”


“No. It’s scheduled. You will not have to do these things.”


“But, Ash. I don’t mind. I would rather clean up after myself. It’s the least I can do—given all that you are doing for me.”


He stands from the table and takes the plates from my hands. “Yes, but those come with…conditions.”


“Your…sex?”


“We haven’t discuss that, yet. And nothing will happen until we…renegotiate.”


“Renegotiate?”


“Yes, I agree to give you something about me in return for what I want. I thought that’s what we agreed on.”


He remembered. “Yes, we did,” I say quietly and I doubt he heard me.


“Tonight, I want to begin…start over. I know it won’t be easy. But I’m willing to try, if you give me a chance.”


Chance? He wants a chance?  Right now, he’s all soft colors and comforting melodies. The song he was playing earlier is now playing in my head. Something about playing the piano—changes him. Could it be the key?


“Yes, Ash. I will give you a chance.”

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angie jones
Mar 07
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

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Brooke
Mar 04
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Ohhhh, I hope Ash behaves and opens up. I so want this to work. 🥰

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dashafehrenbacher
Mar 04
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

I'm glad Ash is trying. I'm sure Cinder is getting whiplash from all his different moods. I know I would. 😊

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shannon Cheripka
Mar 03
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Love that ash is trying to change!!!

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Gina A. Jones
Gina A. Jones
Mar 03
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