Chapter 9

I walked in through the door and into Ash's apartment. I knew she was in the kitchen cause I heard the sound of the cooker go on.


"In here!" She called right back so I hurried to meet her. I can't wait to tell her how my day unfolded. The talk with Hunter, and the plan.

I sat on a stool by the counter and passed myself an apple from the fruit bowl. "You got off work early" Ash said as she sprinkled a little oil in the pan just to grease it up.

"Yeah...the girl taking the shift from me came earlier" I took a large bite from the Apple.

"So what's up?"

"Hunter knows I'm Elaine"

I  wish I hadn't said that with her standing next to the cooker. She turned around quickly and that made her tip the pan off her hand and to the floor. I bit on my bottom lip.

"Say again!" She half yell.

I repeated myself the same time Ash shoved veggies in front of me. "Slice em" she said and I picked the chopping board.

"How'd he find out?"

"According to him, he's a curious person. He found out on his own"

"He's been snooping around!" Ash gasp. Well, I won't want to call it that but...ok.

"He offered to help me....I don't know why" I started cutting the vegetables into bits.

Ash scoffed and then chuckled. "You've been around Hunter for two weeks to know damn well that he'd do anything for you" she clicked her tongue making me roll my eyes.

"What's that mean? He's just helping me get Autumn back" I say. Ash shake her head.

"You clueless girl" she picked the pan and set it back on the fire before snatching the already cut veggies and putting them in the pan. Who even taught her how to cook. I never knew she could. She always loved takeout.

"I guess he was bound to find out any way. I ask him way too many question. They all must have left clues"

"Or you wanted him to know" Ash smiled.

"No!" I hiss. She's being extra annoying this evening. She raised her hands in defence.

"Ok how is he helping you? Sneaking you into the mansion?" She chuckled. I rubbed behind my head. Here it comes.

"We're moving in together" I say out loud and Ash drops the pan for the second time making me roll my eyes.

"Shit! So your eloping without telling me first?!"

I threw a handful of cut vegetables at her and she dodged it with the wooden spoon in her hand.

"Hell no!'s all part of the plan" I knew that would've been her reaction. Even when Hunter brought it up during dinner, it sounded hilarious. But as he explained further, I gave in to the plan.

"So what if you two live together? What's the plan there?" Ash finally ask.

"We're moving into the mansion next to the Rivera"

"Will you stop this we shit?" She grimace and I laugh. That from someone who literally told me Hunter likes me and was all giggly about it.

"Wow...mansion huh? Who's going to pay for that?" She asked. Her eyes narrowed at me.

"Him. I don't know why he'd do that...." I start saying but Ash roll her eyes cutting me off. Ok ok...I get it. Maybe, he likes me but I don't have the time for that. I have bigger things to focus on.

"You sure your ok with that?" Ash ask me. She took the last veggies and turned them into the pan stirring with her wooden stick.

"I don't have a choice Ash" I fold my arms. "I've been clueless for weeks and then he comes with a plan that sounds interesting and fulfilling" I shrug. Ash nodded in understanding.

"So when are you moving?"

"Tomorrow. Their charity ball is this weekend. I need to get acquainted with them before then"

"How acquainted?" Ash frown. She wasn't so sure about this. I can tell.

"Get to know them as fellow rich neighbours. If I'm lucky, I'll get an official invitation from them" I grin but Ash huffs. "The Riveras love rich people" I say more to myself. This has got to be the only way close to them.

"I see"

"And why must Hunter be with you?" She asked dropping the pan from the fire

That question, I knew she'd ask but I didn't think she'd remember. She raised her brows for me to answer.

"We're going to be like newly weds" I say with a little frown.

"What!" Ash yelled. This time, I was happy the pan was already off the fire and safely on the wooden counter.

"I'll be his wife. But it's only a pretence and you know that. " I said. Ash rubbed her fingers against the bridge of her nose. Her lips formed an 'o' shape.

"Did you even think his through?"

"I did. This is the only way Ash. Please support me. I don't know what I'd do if my best friend doesn't support me" I winced, Tears threatening to spill. I think I'm close to my period. I've been getting so emotional lately. And seriously it's annoying but I'm happy the tears is softening the look on Ash's face.

"Elaine. I support you. I just don't want you getting hurt" she opened her arms and I almost rush into them but I go slowly. I hugged her tight. What would I without her? "This shit your about to do is risky. If they recognise you, that could be the end"

"I know" I huff into her shoulder. "I have to try"

"Great. Then I'm behind you with every step you take" we pulled apart and she was smiling. Her fingers wiped my tear stained cheek.

"Thanks Ash. Your the best"

"I know. Now when is the groom coming. I need you out of my hair" she hoots.

"You little..."

"I'm kidding girl....I always want you here" she said and we both chuckle.

"He said he was going to stock the house with groceries before picking me up"

Ash's eyes shine with humor. "This is some serious shit going on here"

"It's sweet of him don't you think" I smirk and Ash threw a table rag at me.

"If you ask me, I'll say Hunter's been planning this thing since he met you" ash unties her Apron and hang it on the hook.

"Whatever you say Ash. Whatever you say" I said.

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