🌼ALL THE WRONG PLACES🌼
Julianne woke up in the middle of the night. She could
hear the rain pitter-pattering on the rooftop. It was dark in
the room. She could feel Jin’s arms around her, encaging her
in his warm embrace.
She fidgeted slightly and immediately, she felt him
move beside her.
“Are you okay, Arabella?” he asked.
“You’re a light sleeper.”
“Now, I am,” he said. “If I slept like this seven years
ago, I would have woken up when you were sneaking out of
my apartment. And you wouldn’t have gotten away.”
“And my father would have come for me, making your
life a miserable hell.”
“He wouldn’t do that,”
“Ha! My father is full of shocking revelations,” she
He drew his brows together and then he stared at her
for a long moment, studying her face.
He shook his head. “What does your father do except
She sighed. “Well, we have a wine glass bottle factory.
He also did a whole lot of high profile mergers and deal-
She shrugged. “That’s it.”
He gathered her in his arms again. She rested her
head on his shoulder. “Go back to sleep, ma belle.”
She smiled against his skin. The sound of the rain
outside, coupled with his gentle caresses were lulling her back to sleep. A gentle kiss on her forehead was the last
thing she remembered before she fell asleep again.
When she woke up again, it was already morning. She
was still enclosed in Jin’s embrace. As soon as she moved,
he woke up. He blinked back at her and then he looked at
the window. The sun was already up.
“Good morning,” she whispered.
“Good morning, love.” He leaned forward and kissed
her lips gently.
She kissed him back, wrapping her arms around his
neck. This encouraged him and he deepened the kiss.
She wouldn’t deny it anymore. She was still in love
with him. And she decided she should stop fighting this. She
didn’t know what future awaits them, but she didn’t care
anymore. What mattered was what she felt. And right now,
she felt happy.
He was on top of her the next moment. She could feel
him, hard with desire again. She m0aned when he nuzzled
her neck and his fingers lightly squeezed her bare [email protected]
He nudged her legs apart and she felt his bare length
against her [email protected] center.
He raised a teasing brow at her. “Already ready for
me, my love?”
She pulled him towards her and said, “Oh, shut up and
make love to me.”
He laughed and then positioned himself at her
entrance. “My pleasure, love.”
And in an instant, they were one. He was more gentle
today than last night. He was savoring every second, every
thrust. Last night, he was sucking and biting at her skin
more. Now, he was showering her with kisses.
After a couple of minutes, she was screaming his
name in the throes of pleasure again. And he joined her
so she could rest her head against his shoulder.
“What’s the program today?” he asked.
“I will cook breakfast first,” she replied. “Then I need
to get more sheets.”
He laughed. “I’ll get them for you,” he said. “Since I’m
the one messing them up. Then we need to get flowers for
your garden. And some more stuff for Jared’s bedroom. I
want him to be delighted in his room. All Rubik’s cube-
“I can leave that up to you. You’re the artist,” she
expression turned serious. “I wish I would see his reaction
when he finally comes home to his room.”
She sighed. “I could take a video and send it to you.”
She might have mistaken it but she thought she saw
sadness in his eyes, even when he nodded.
“I’ll go cook now,” she said.
“Okay,” he said. “I’m starving.”
She leaned forward and kissed his lips one last time
and then she put on her robe and went to the bathroom to
She cooked pancakes and ham, then she made
hazelnut coffee. Jin helped her with the dishes even though
she insisted for him not to.
While she was dressing up after taking a hot bath, Jin
came up behind her, nuzzling her neck and tickling her.
She giggled. “Jin! We need to go.”
“This will only take a couple of minutes. I promise,” he
whispered against her skin.
She turned around and faced him. He kissed her lips.
“Jin, come on. We won’t get anything done today if we
keep distracting ourselves.”
“I’ll make it quick!”
She laughed. “No. I don’t want quick,” she protested.
She looked at him naughtily, “I want it long… and very
satisfying.” Then she bit her lower lip.
“fvck!” he cursed. “Now, you’ve made me want it
even more.” He pulled her to him and she felt his arousal.
She leaned forward and gave him a kiss on the lips.
He held her towards him and gave him a searing kiss.
She felt her knees buckle. When the kiss finished, he leaned
his head against hers. “You drive me insane.” He breathed
in the scent of her.
She gave him a gentle push. “I’m a nymph
He pulled her back to him again. “You’re my nymph!
And I will kill any other man who would even come near
“Seriously, you’ll resort to violence?”
“Yes,” he replied without blinking. “You’re worth it.”
She blinked back at him. She remembered, she once
told him that she wasn’t worth the fight with Patrick
McAllister. She was a nobody now. She had no property to
her name, not even jewelry. All she had was a few
thousands of cash and a priceless son. For her, that was
more than enough. But she knew, it wouldn’t be enough for
a man like Jin Starck.
“Did I say something wrong, ma belle?” he asked,
sensing her change of mood.
She smiled at him weakly and shook her head.
This thing that they had, she should just enjoy it while
it lasted. She deserved a few stolen moments of happiness.
Even if it was with a man she could no longer have because
he was destined to marry someone in the same stature as
he is, and because she no longer existed in the same plane
as he does.
“Shall we go? We have tons of things to do today,”
she said, pulling him towards the door.
He looked like he wanted to ask her again what was
bothering her but she didn’t give him a chance. She walked
ahead of him, tried her best to sound chirpy.
“Do you think we will find Rubik’s cube drawers? And
She turned to him. He nodded, finally deciding to let it
go. “Let’s check Decolure. They always have themed pieces
of furniture there.”
“Expensive,” she said. “A little way above my budget.”
“I’ll get it for Jared,”
She shook her head and raised a brow at him. “No.”
Her voice was firm.
He held his hands in the air in surrender. “Okay fine.
Let’s try Oaks and Pine then.”
She nodded. “Yeah, I think that’s good.”
They drove to Oaks and Pine and looked for bedroom
accessories. They were lucky enough to find a Rubik’s cube
drawer. For curtains, Julianne just decided to use plain
panels in colors of blue, red, yellow and green.
Then they went to the nursery area to get her pots
and flowers for the vertical garden that Jin made.
While the staff were loading up their items in Jin’s car,
he put his arms around her waist and pulled her to him in a
“Happy?” he asked.
“Super,” she replied. “I love decorating spaces.”
“I could tell. And I know you’d be good at it too. So,
what are you doing heading Justin’s corporate strategy team
She giggled. “Because right now, that job pays well
enough for mine and Jared’s needs.”
“But if you had more than enough what would you be
“I’d be a designer and an entrepreneur. I’d put up ‘The
House of Arabella’,” she beamed at the reminder of her
He smiled at her thoughtfully. “It’s not too late to
chase that dream yet, you know.”
She nodded. “I always keep a positive thought. Maybe
The guys finished loading up their stuff and Jin handed
them a tip. Then he took her hand and opened the car’s
passenger door for her. “Where do you want to eat? I’m
craving for more of your cooking but it’s already noon. Let
me take you out to lunch and you can cook dinner later?”
She beamed. “Gladly.”
After lunch, they went back home. Julianne noticed
that there were movers at the house beside hers.
“Someone’s moving in or out?” she wondered out
Jin shrugged. Then he started gathering their stuff out
of his car.
“Can I have the house keys?” he asked.
She took the bunch of keys that Janis gave her. “Here.
One of them is for the main door. The landlord gave me six
keys and two or three duplicates of each.”
He nodded. He took the keys from her and went up to
her main door.
Julianne saw Janis coming down the house next door.
“Janis!” she called.
Janis beamed at her. She looked really happy. Julianne
walked up to her.
“You look positively beaming,” she said.
“Yes, of course. I got lucky. I sold off these houses and
the lot at the back. Imagine the commission money, dear!”
“Yes. Including yours,” Janis said.
“But I just moved in!” Julianne said in shock. “And I’m
Janis laughed. “Don’t panic, my dear,” she said. “You
don’t need to move. It just means we need to sign a new
lease. Everything stays the same but you’ll be leasing from
the new owners.”
“Oh. Sure. And the terms stay the same?”
“Yeah. Don’t worry about it. Hold on to your papers for
now. I’ll come to you when I get the papers here sorted out.”
“Oh, okay. I thought you were going to take my
apartment away! I love it so much already!”
Janis laughed. “No. I won’t. You’ve made me so lucky.
Since you moved in, I’ve more than tripled my commission
earnings. You must be my lucky charm!”
“Well, if I’m your lucky charm, remember not to kick
me out.” Julianne laughed.
Janis stared over at her shoulder. “Oh, dear. I think
your man is waiting for you,” she gave her a wink and
“Yeah. I need to go,” she said. “I’ll see you later.”
She went over to Jin.
“My broker. She sold the house next door. And this
He raised a brow. “And how will that affect your
“She said I’ve got nothing to worry about,” Julianne
replied. “I’ll just need to sign new lease papers.”
“If you need a lawyer to help you on that, let me
“Seriously? Will the lawyers of Starck Corp. be
interested to take on smalltime rent contracts?”
“If I told them to do it, they wouldn’t have a choice,”
he said smugly, taking her hand and kissing her fingers
before pulling her towards the house.
“Relax. I’ll be okay.”
“If not, you promise to call me first?”
She took a deep breath. Just now, he sounded like the
perfect boyfriend already. And again, she wondered how
long they could keep up with whatever it is that they have.
She smiled at him weakly. Then she nodded. “Yes, I
He pulled her to him and gave her a hug. “I know,
you’re Julianne Sanders and your family came with money
and power too. But I want you to know that I’m here for you,
okay? You can always count on me. It doesn’t matter which
continent I am in… you call, I’ll come.”
She bit her lips and she fought not to cry. She hugged
him back and wished again that things were just as easy as
he made it sound. That she wasn’t banished. And he wasn’t
supposed to be engaged to some other woman.
Jin worked hard all afternoon on Jared’s room. He told
her not to go to his bedroom first until he was completely
As she was finishing up her meat steak pie, she saw
him coming out down from the room. His white shirt had
splatters of paint as well as his jeans. He was smiling at her
“Can I see?” she asked.
“Let it dry first.”
He went behind her and gave her a hug from behind.
She felt him kiss the base of her neck.
“That looks yummy,” he said.
She cut him a small slice and then she forked a piece
and put it in his mouth.
“Damn!” he cursed softly. “I think I’m bound to grow
fat with you. I love your cooking.”
She poured juice for him and he finished his plate.
She watched him as he ate. He looked boyish and
carefree, like a little boy eating his favorite treat.
“What?” he asked.
She shook her head. “You look happy.”
“I am happy,” he said. “I don’t think I have been this
happy in years.”
She sighed. She understood how he felt. She was very
happy too. But at the back of her mind, there was a
question she dreaded.
How long will this happiness last?
He stood up from his seat and then he kissed her
cheek. “I’ll take a shower first and then we can come up
She watched him walk up the stairs. She could make
out the muscles of his well-sculpted back through his white
shirt. His hair was disheveled. She locked eyes with him, as
he caught her staring at him. He gave her a wink before he
disappeared to the second floor.
She finally breathed freely, now that he wasn’t around
to steal her breath away.
Jin Starck will be the death of me!
He emerged from the bathroom wearing a pair of blue
pajamas and a white shirt. His hair looked w€t and he
smelled of faint aftershave.
“Wanna see it now?” he asked.
“I’ve been waiting for ages!”
He grabbed her hand in his and led her up the stairs
towards Jared’s room. He slowly opened the door. She
gasped when she saw what he’s done. The room was
“Oh my God, Jin!”
He made square sections on the wall and painted
them randomly with different colors of blue, yellow, green,
red, orange and white. Each block was separated from the
other by a black line. It looked like a big Rubik’s cube. He
painted on one side of the wall, a different swirl of colors,
and in the middle of it is a big Rubik’s cube tilted and
twisted on one side. It was really beautiful.
“Oh my God, I will not be able explain this to your
sister,” Julianne breathed. “She knows I cannot paint this
He laughed. “Tell them you hired a painter to work on
this for you.”
“A painter by the name of Jin Starck.”
“Well… you could tell her that if you want,” he said. “I
don’t like keeping secrets from Adrienne. It would be nice if at least, she knew.”
“And if she knew, Justin would kill you, you know that,
“Why? Am I not the sort of guy Justin would want for
you? Don’t I meet his standards?”
“Only because you didn’t have a heart, remember?”
He groaned. “Then I’ll prove myself. If they just give
me a chance.”
She bit her lip as she stared back at his beautiful
He sounded like we have a future together.
She felt him pull her to him. He stood behind her and
wrapped his arms around her waist.
“Do you like it, love?” he asked.
“I love it.”
“Do you think Jared will like it?”
“He’ll be over the moon.”
He kissed the base of her neck, sucking at her skin.
She smiled and turned around to give him a kiss on the lips.
“Thank you,” she said. “I don’t think I would be able to
make it as perfect as this without you.”
“Are you glad I came with you?”
She smiled. “Very.”
He pushed her up against the wall and kissed her
She sighed when he pulled away. “Why?” he asked.
She shook her head. “Tomorrow, we need to go. This…
He shook his head. “It’s never going to end, ma belle,”
he said firmly.
“But our families… I don’t want to hurt them.”
“Weren’t your family pushing you to River Jefferson?”
She blinked back at him. “How… how did you know?”
He shrugged. “I have ears, Arabella. You don’t know
how much I wanted to punch Justin in the face for
introducing him to you.”
She laughed. “They meant well. They thought I should
“If they wanted you to start dating, why not me?”
“Since when do you do dates?”
“Since seven years ago when I met you,” he replied
“They don’t know that,” she said. “They can’t know
Because they would know that you’re the father of my
son. And I’m not ready for you and the whole world to know
that yet! That would start a whole lot of chaos.
“Jin…” she breathed. “Can we just keep this to
He narrowed his eyes at her. “Why, Arabella?”
“Because it’s still complicated,” she replied.
“Complications will never finish. But why are we
letting that stop us and what we feel for each other?”
“Arabella… please! I want you to remember that I’m
not going away,” he said in a firm voice. “I’ve searched for
you long and hard. Now, that you’re back in my life, I’m
never letting you go.”
“Jin, can you… let me wrap my head around it first?”
He sighed. Then he said, “Okay. I will give you a little
bit of time. We’ll keep this a secret for a while—a very short
while. And then we’ll tell our families…” he paused for a
short while, then he said, “You need to tell Jared.”
“I don’t want to hurt him when this does not end
well,” she whispered.
He cupped her face between his palms and in a gentle
voice he said, “Then let’s make sure it doesn’t end at all, ma
She bit her lip and closed her eyes for a moment.
Can I do this?
Can I really trust him?
Is this what’s best for Jared?
She looked up at him. “Can I think about it first?” She
saw disappointment cross his face. She reached up to touch
his cheek. “I’m not saying no. I’m saying, let me think about
the best way and time to tell everybody about this…
“Okay,” he agreed. “But don’t take too much time,
okay? I don’t know how long I can keep myself from kissing
you or hugging you in front of our family. You’re lucky I don’t
do social media stuff. Otherwise, there would be pictures of
you all over my social pages.”
She laughed. “Why don’t you have social media
He wrinkled his nose. “I’m just not into it. Unless it
was related to business, then I’m all for it. But not for social
“If you were on social media, I would have found you
“Did you even try?” he asked.
She pulled away from him and walked towards his
painting to study it again. Then she took a deep breath and
replied, “I tried to locate you before. Searched the internet
for your name.”
He was silent for a moment, as if he was absorbing
what she just said. Then he asked, “When?”
She shrugged. “A month after I left Paris,” she replied.
She remembered that time. She wanted to find him, so she
could tell him about her pregnancy. He could do whatever
he wanted with the information. She just wanted him to
know. “But you were… traceless. I didn’t know I should have
been looking for Jin Starck. You have a few articles about
you at least. I couldn’t find Jas Mathieu during that time. I
tried again, about a year after. But still I got nothing.”
She felt him stand behind her. He caressed her arms
“I searched for you all over the world—for years. Until
I gave up. And that changed me. Sometimes, even I don’t
know myself anymore.” He leaned his head against hers. “If
you found me then, I would have come for you. No matter
where you were in the world, I would run after you.”
“Maybe time wasn’t right for us then.”
“But it’s right for us now, ma belle,” he whispered. “I
refuse to believe that I would find you now only to lose you
again. Fate wouldn’t be that cruel… even to me.”
She turned around to face him. “What about Vanessa
His eyes widened. “What does she have to do with
“You were supposed to propose to her, remember?”
“You were there. I didn’t propose, did I?”
“Then she has nothing to do with this… with us.”
“You needed her for your business.”
“Yes, that was true. But I never needed her in my
bed,” he said adamantly. “You’re the only one I want in it. So
I’m asking you to trust me. It will only be just you. So…
leave yourself to me. Trust me.”
She knew in her heart that she loved him with every
fiber of her soul. She wanted to be with him. And Jared
deserved to know his father. If she says yes, she finally had
a chance of giving Jared a complete family—just like what
Tears rolled down her cheeks no matter how hard she
tried to stop them. He wiped them away with his fingers and
then he kissed her forehead.
She took a deep breath and then she said, “Okay.”
She looked up at him. “Okay. I will trust you.”
He smiled at her widely and she saw his eyes well up
in tears too. He leaned forward and kissed her lips.
“So it’s official, then?” he asked.
“You’re mine, Arabella,” he whispered.
Her heart pounded loudly inside her ribcage, she was
worried that he could hear it. She had a violent blush on her
face when she looked into his eyes and said, “For as long as
He looked at her for a moment and then he nodded.
“And you will tell River Jefferson to back off, because you’re
She giggled. “I think he already knew that.”
He nodded. “Good.”
He kissed her on the lips and then he bent down and
picked her up off her feet. She shrieked. “Jin, put me down!”
He carried her to her bedroom and laid her on the
bed. He took off his shirt and then he was on top of her,
ravaging her lips with kisses. She gave in to him, hugging
him to her and kissing him with the same intensity as he
was kissing her.
In a minute, their bodies were joined together and
hearts were beating as one.