C15 Coffee Poison
Chapter-15: Coffee Poison
Zaiden was taken aback at my question. I knew that it was an unexpected question, but I had to ask to be clear, because he was acting differently and so was I in some matters. What was going on with us? If he wasn’t my friend, then what were we?
Somewhere in my heart, I wanted him to answer what was going on in his heart. Also, I didn’t want him to answer because I was afraid of hearing it.
Sucking in a deep breath, Zaiden leaned closer to me, his arms still blocking me from both sides as his chest rubbed against my back. He said, “We are just two different people, working together with the same motive, which is to work for the welfare of the company.”
Feeling deja vu at the approximate closeness, I managed to get out of his cage and pushed a few strands of my ginger hair behind my ear before facing him. “You could’ve said that normally instead of creating suspense,” I mumbled.
“Then where would be the fun which I am now getting just by seeing your reaction?” he commented with a smile and fixed his collar before taking back a seat on his chair.
After the stunt he pulled, my heart was still beating fast enough to make me forget about making coffee.
I sat back on the chair in front of him and completed making the final report at last. In between, he wanted to ask me more questions, but my glare shut him up.
After submitting my report to Zaiden, he dropped me home, however all this time, I felt like someone was keeping an eye on me. I didn’t know why, I just felt like it.
A new day in the office, and it started with me going to Zaiden’s cabin. The new coffee machine in my cabin had some issues. Looks like coffee machines hate my cabin, otherwise, how could a brand new machine have problems when I have used it only for a few days?
I knocked on the door once I stood in front of the cabin.
“Come in,” Zaiden said and I got inside. He glanced at me from head to toe before arching an eyebrow. “What brings you here? Are you too free that you are visiting my cabin now?”
I rolled my eyes. “I need a cup of coffee, which I can drink in peace. The cafeteria is packed up with people as they are working due to their deadlines,” I told him.
He leaned on his hair comfortably. “What’s wrong with your coffee machine?”
I sighed, letting out, “It has some issues. I even called Liam to help me and he said that he would call someone to fix it.”
Zaiden clenched his jaw, which I wondered why. “You called Liam.” The way he said it, I was confused whether it was a question or a statement. So I simply nodded my head, and he continued, “I will buy a new one then. Let your intern know that he doesn’t have to fix it for you.”
“But I don’t need a new o—” I was interrupted by him.
“I won’t take no for an answer, Aria.”
“Fine,” I grumbled, knowing it was pointless to argue with him. I marched towards the coffee machine, which was on the corner. I saw it being slightly different than how it was last night. There was a drop of black liquid on the polished white counter.
It was quite unusual because Zaiden was the type of person who would keep every single thing in its place. Even if it was displaced a little, he would fix it.
Then why was the coffee machine not in its usual position, that too with a coffee drop on the counter? Maybe he didn’t drink coffee today after the cleaners cleaned his cabin.
I turned on the coffee machine, not wanting to get lost in different thoughts.
“Aria, make one for me too,” Zaiden told me, and I hummed in response.
I poured a cup of coffee for Zaiden first and gave it to him. “Here you go, Boss,” I mumbled, which made him narrow his eyes in my direction. I liked watching his reaction every time I called him Boss.
He put his cup down on the desk and continued typing on his laptop. Once I was done filling up my mug, I was about to leave his cabin without a word.
“You can have it here,” Zaiden spoke up suddenly without removing his eyes from the screen.
“Just relax for a bit, will you? You worked overtime last night,” he told me.
I couldn't help but wonder whether he was concerned about me or not. “Who was it that gave me the overtime punishment?” I put a hand on my hip and narrowed my eyes at him.
“It's also me who pays you well for the overtime,” he retorted.
I sighed. I didn't want to waste my energy arguing with him right now. I needed to have at least a sip of coffee first to regain the strength to fight with Zaiden. But before that, another question arrived in my head.
“Hey, do you let anyone else make coffee from your coffee machine other than me?” I inquired.
“No, why do you ask?”
I waved my hand in dismissal and leaned against the counter. “It's just that the coffee machine was in a different position than usual,” I said casually and was about to take a sip of the coffee.
I didn't notice the sound of his fast typing stop. Just as my lips were about to touch the edge of the mug, Zaiden caught my wrist and threw away the mug, making the hot coffee spill all over the floor.
I gasped. “Hey, Zaiden, what was that f—” I was cut off as Zaiden pulled me into a tight hug, catching me completely off-guard.
“Thank goodness,” I heard him breathe out in relief.
I wasn't sure why he was hugging me, but I felt the need to rub his back in circles in a way to assure him, because I could feel his heart beating really fast. However, it felt nice to be in his arms.
After a minute had passed and he still didn't let go, I asked, “What's wrong?”
“Aria, someone tampered with my coffee machine.” My eyes widened in fear as I heard him mumble. “There is probably poison in the coffee machine.”
Oh, my God, I was just about to drink that coffee— No, Zaiden would have drunk that too.
I pulled apart from the hug and placed a hand on his cheek. “You didn't drink that coffee, right?” I asked urgently.
Zaiden smiled softly and placed his hand over mine, giving it a light squeeze. “No, I didn't.”
I released a sigh, feeling relieved. I could have never forgiven myself if something happened to Zaiden because of the coffee I made, even though it wasn't me who mixed the poison. Yet, the person who was behind all of it needed to be exposed as soon as possible.
First the shooter, now the poison in the coffee. How long until one of their plans became successful?
“Who do you think it was?” I asked.
“I might have a clue, but you don't have to worry,” he assured me.
My lips evolved in a big smile as I said proudly, “I know because Zaiden will protect me just like he did right now.”
“I think I will need to hire a food-taster for you,” he said with a serious face, even though I knew he wasn't serious about it.
“You are joking, right?” I laughed.
I was really happy that Zaiden saved me just now. It was assuring to have him beside me. It made me less scared about knowing secrets and more motivated to protect his secrets all to myself.