IN LOVE WITH A SOLDIER
(The clandestine meeting)
Mond stood in front of the villa's french windows watching the scenery outside pass, and reminiscing about his childhood.
The pain from his past was still very much alive. He was haunted by the helpless feelings while his mother, lay alone dying, and wracked with pain.
Back then, he was too young to do more than cry. Now, he could afford to give his mother the best care, but she was gone, and no amount of money could change that.
A muffled ringtone brought Mond back to present, and he reached into his pocket, clicking to accept the call without checking who it was as he brought the cell to his face.
"Mr. Mond, I received confirmation that Mr. Stephen has transferred all his assets out of his name," a man's voice on the other end of the cell stated.
"Who did he transfer them to?" Mond asked coldly. He knew who before he heard the confirmation.
"They were signed over to..." There was a brief pause on the other end before he heard, "Jackson."
Mond was furious; he narrowed his eyes, clenching his cell tightly as he screamed into it, "Where's Stephen right now?"
"He's at his apartment. You should know, it looks like he's bought a ticket and is planning to leave in a couple of days," the voice informed Mond.
Mond didn't acknowledge the person speaking, or thank him; he pressed the button ending the call and walked out of the room.
Within seconds he'd gotten down the stairs and was out of the villa, driving away.
The speed Mond drove at was terrifying. He was at Stephen's apartment in no time and after haphazardly parking against the gate, he got out and stormed into the building.
Stephen heard a knock at the door and stopped packing in his room to see who was there..
Stephen was greeted by a fist to his face as he opened the door. Dazed, he stumbled, "Why..? Why? Why did you do it?" Mond roared, his eyes were ablaze with fury.
Stephen couldn't regain his balance, stumbling he fell backwards.
Mond took a step toward Stephen, grabbed him by the collar, and punched him again.
"Tell me! Why did you do that?" Mond screamed at Stephen hysterically.
Stephen knew he would probably end up dead at Mond's hands if he didn't fight back.
Stephen seized Mond by the arm, twisting it back roughly as he shouted in Mond's face, "I told you before, I am done with all this revenge!"
"But, your actions helped Jackson! The JS Group would have been destroyed soon you hadn't given him money!"
Mond's anger shone clearly on his face as he cried out.
"Even if we destroyed the JS Group, how much do you think Jackson would lose?" asked Stephen.
Mond didn't answer.
Mond's expression dulled and his gripe loosened. Stephen took the opportunity to shove Mond off balance, stand up, and stroll to the living room.
Standing in the middle of the living room, with his back to Mond, Stephen said, "Mond, why don't you let the past go and just move on? Jackson never regarded you as an enemy. Yes, you were wronged many years ago, but, Andrew paid for it, and now, he's dead. Why should we keep living in the past, with pain and hatred instead of living happy lives?"
"No! I will never let go of my revenge! One day, I will KILL Jackson! All the pain I have suffered over the last twenty years? It was HIS fault! I will never forgive him!" replied Mond firmly.
"Are you really going to go up against Jackson and try to kill him?" Stephen asked as he spun around glaring at Mond.
Mond just clenched his mouth shut tight and kept silent.
"After all this time, aren't you tired? You've been living in hatred. Do you think you will be happy if you succeed with you revenge? He is your..." Mond cut Stephen off before he finished.
"That's enough! Don't talk to me about feelings, I have none! I'm cold-blooded, and have been since the day I was born!" screamed Mond.
Stephen didn't know what to say. Mond was an emotional wreck.
"Stephen, I know you transferred all your assets to Jackson. Do you think Jackson will win with your help? Don't you think you might be underestimating me?"
Mond's voice was cold as he asked.
"My intentions weren't to help him. The only goal I had when I decided to transfer my assets to him, was to let go of my revenge and move on," said Stephen exasperated. He had explained all this to Mond before, so, he didn't think he should have to explain it to him again.
Holding back the anger he felt, Mond nodded, "Fine! Fine! You want to live a happy life now? Then, fine, go ahead! But, mark my words, one day, I'll drive Jackson out of this city!"
Having said his piece, Mond turned and left.
Stephen watched Mond's back as he left. He didn't blame Mond for what just happened, he understood Mond's loneliness, and the pain went beyond that of most people. So, no matter what Mond did, Stephen would always forgive him. He just hoped Mond didn't hurt any innocent people. Stephen doubted others would be so forgiving of Mond.
As Mond sped away from the apartment complex he called Cherry.
Cherry picked up after two rings.
"Hello, this is Cherry." Cherry's voice said on the other end.
"You have twenty minutes to get to the riverside, or you can be assured Jackson will die a miserable death!"
After delivering his threat, Mond clicked the button, ending the call and not giving Cherry a chance to respond.
Cherry sat in her office stunned, by Mond's call. After a long time, she was still trying to regain her composure, thinking about what Mond had said, she realized he wasn't joking. If she didn't meet him, he would undoubtedly hurt Jackson.
Cherry grabbed her coat and bag as she rushed out of the office.
Cherry drove to the riverside and saw Mond standing next to a car.
Cherry parked, got out of her car and walked up to Mond.
"What's all this about?" asked Cherry while she looked at Mond in the eyes.
"Do you get the credit for Stephen helping? Or does Jackson?" Mond asked Cherry as he glared at her.
"What do you want Mond?" asked Cherry impatiently. She wasn't comfortable talking to Mond ever, and didn't trust him after what he did to the JS Group.
"Leave Jackson, as quickly as you can, or you will die with him!" threatened Mond.
Cherry didn't hesitate as she uttered, "No way! He is my husband! I will never leave him!"
"Do you want to see him die? Do you want to die with him? How about your baby boy? Do you want him to die?" demanded Mond.
"What are you planning? Don't you dare hurt Joe!" shouted Cherry terrified at Mond's insinuation to bring harm to Joe. She would never let anyone hurt her son!
"Cherry, this is the last time I'm going to warn you. I don't want to hurt you, so you'd better take your son and leave Jackson soon. Maybe, you can go with Stephen, he is leaving." suggested Mond.
"Mond, what do you mean?" Cherry wondered what Mond was going to do.
"I only want revenge on Jackson. It's the only thing I ever wanted," Mond paused, looking at the landscape nearby, not making eye contact with Cherry, and then continued, "Although, there was a time I wanted to kill you too. I no longer want to hurt you. Stay out of my way while I seek my revenge for what he did to me, and I'll allow you to safely leave with your son."
Cherry shook her head, "No! I won't abandon Jackson!"
"Do you want to die with him?" Mond gave Cherry a murderous look.
"Your threats don't matter, if we have to die, at least we'll be together!" said Cherry sternly.
Mond laughed maniacally, "Aren't you such a perfect couple! I won't give up on my plans, even if Stephen has given up. I'll tell you something else, even if I don't lay a hand on you, Sally won't let you off the hook. You do realize, she is crazier than me, right? Not even I know what she intends to do to you."
Listening to the rage in Mond's voice and his deranged thoughts, made Cherry think that should speak in a calm, even timber.
She breathed in deeply and calmed herself before she looked at Mond, "Mond, I hope you and Jackson can find time to sit down and have a peaceful conversation. I don't know what happened between the two of you, but, Jackson doesn't hate you. Why do you despise him? Can't you two discuss things and come up with a resolution together?"
"No, there's no reconciliation for the two of us. There's only room for one of us in this world." Mond said firmly.
"Mond, you can tell me what you require, and if he refuses your demands, I will negotiate with Jackson. Just stop competing against the JS Group? Selina is the Executive President of the JS Group, and you're causing trouble for her." Cherry said, still hoping to persuade Mond, but when she caught his expression, Cherry knew that wasn't possible. He was determined to make trouble for the JS Group.
"Cherry, do you think I was born yesterday? Do you think I am that gullible? Everyone knows Jackson is the true owner of the JS Group, and that he hired Selina to manage it. She isn't accomplished enough to be the owner of the JS Group," said Mond.
Cherry was anxious as she stood there listening to Mond, but she didn't dare to tell him that Selina was the true owner of JS to Mond. She was afraid it would cause more chaos later if she told him what she knew.
When Cherry didn't respond, Mond went on, "The JS Group is in big trouble already, even though I only took a small move against it. Do you think it would go out of business if I do more?"
"Mond, will you stop please? I don't want Selina or Jackson in trouble," said Cherry.
Mond disregarded Cherry's pleading, "Cherry, I came to warn you, to leave the city with your son now, or, I can't promise not to harm you next time."
Mond was wavering. Stephen was leaving, and Sally wouldn't follow orders anymore, so what he did next, would be directed at Jackson. He didn't care what happened to his life now, but he didn't want to hurt Cherry. Now, he had to admit he was in love with Cherry, just like Stephen had. Mond even changed his plans because of her.
Cherry firmly shook her head reiterating, "No! I won't leave him!"
"Okay! I don't know what I'll do, but it will be bad." Mond turned and got into his car, and left without another word to Cherry.
Cherry felt a knot growing in the pit of her stomach when she watched Mond leaving, but, she didn't know what Mond was really after.
Mond sped along at break neck speed. One hand on the wheel, one on his phone.
"Hello, Mr. Mond."
"It's time! Come do what we discussed, and take everything I want." Mond said slowly into the phone.