Endless Obsession: Episode 1 - 22 (Season 2)???? : TOPSTER STORIES

Endless Obsession – Episode 35

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Episode 35








“That why she went to your place yesterday?” I ask, barely able to form the words through the pounding in my head.






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“Yes,” Olivia answers, not surprised I know where Poppy is. I can see her own anger reflected in her eyes. “She called me yesterday on the verge of freaking out. She locked herself in her bathroom until Tony and I made it to her.”






Son of a bitch!







Had the cameras still been in her place I would have seen her fear. I could have been there for her. I could have possibly seen the asshole tormenting her.


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I grab my phone from my desk before walking toward the door that Olivia is still standing in front of.






“Move,” I growl.



She doesn’t. Instead, she holds her place, her head tipped back as she looks up at me. “Why? Where are you going?”







I want to physically move her, but I figure Poppy wouldn’t like me manhandling her friend.






I release a frustrated breath and glare at her, but she still doesn’t fu.cking move.






“I’m going to her. Now move, before I do it for you.”







She straightens her spine, worry for her friend pushing back her fear of me. My respect for her grows, but respect or not, I reach out to move her out of my way. No one, and I mean no one, not even Poppy’s closest friend will get in my way of reaching her.




“Wait,” she yells, holding her hands up to ward me off. My gaze turns glacial as I wait for her to say what she needs to say. She has five seconds before this conversation is over.







“She’s safe where she is. Sam, a friend of mine and Tony’s, is an ex-detective. He has connections. We have someone watching the house.” She stops for a minute and flicks her eyes over my shoulder, before bringing them back to me. “We also know you have a man on her.”




I hide my surprise at her knowing about Rex’s men. They know to be inconspicuous. There’s no way he would have been spotted. I also don’t tell her I know who this Sam guy is. I had Rex do a check on him when he pulled up ten minutes after the others did yesterday at Olivia’s place. He found out he was a family friend and is a retired detective. We just didn’t think that had anything to do with his visit. He posed no threat and we thought it was just a friendly visit.


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“Explain,” I grunt.







“Sam saw them when he left yesterday,” she reveals. “He was very good at his job.”






Something else I need to have a word with Rex about.






“I’m still going to her.”







“She doesn’t want to see you,” she says quietly, looking at me with sympathy.






I fu.cking hate sympathy. It’s a waste of time.




“She has no choice. I promised her I wouldn’t let him get to her again and he did. I don’t take my promises lightly and mine was broken. I need her to know this will be taken care of.”







She shakes her head, not backing down. I feel like my teeth are cracking from clenching them so hard.




“Give her time, Mr. Knight.” She lays her hand on my chest and I look down at it. Her touch is in no way meant as sexual, but I still don’t like it. No woman’s hands touch me unless they belong to Poppy. She notices my dislike and drops her hand with a muttered, “Sorry.”






I’m done with this conversation. My need to see Poppy has grown to unstoppable proportions. It’s a need that can’t be ignored, not if I want to keep my sanity. I need to see her for myself, and make sure that she’s okay.







I reach out and pick Olivia up from underneath her arms. She squeals and slaps at my hands as I swing around and set her down behind me. My hand is on the door, yanking it open when her hands grab my shirt from behind.






“Damn it, Asher.” I ignore her tugging and the use of my first name. “You’re going to make her hate you even more than she does right now.”



I stop in my tracks at her words. I raise my hands, entwine my fingers on top of my head and tip my head back. The pain of what she said has my chest expanding, feeling like it’s going to explode.






You’re going to make her hate you more than she already does.







I close my eyes and take several deep breaths. I feel, rather than see Olivia come around until she’s standing in front of me.







“She’ll come around. She loves you.” I drop my hands and look down at her. Her expression has softened. “She’s hurting right now. You betrayed her and took away her independence. She doesn’t trust you, but if you give her time, she’ll realize she’s the happiest when she’s with you. If you push to soon, you’ll lose her forever. Please, just leave her be for right now. Between the


man you have watching her, the man Sam has on her, and me and Tony, she’s safe. Tony’s working from home right now so she’s not in the house alone.”


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I know she’s right. I need to keep my distance, even if it kills me. I can’t lose Poppy, and if that means forcing myself to stay away, then so be it. The struggle will be worth it in the end. My muscles twitch with the need to keep moving toward her, but I restrain myself.






I squeeze my eyes shut and shove my hands into my pockets. My hand meets my phone and I grip it tight. I feel the flimsy plastic flex.







I give Olivia a short nod. “I’ll give her a few more days, but that’s all I can do.” I pin her with my eyes. “If something else happens, all bets are off. I’m trusting you to keep me informed. If she receives any more phone calls, I expect you to call me right away.”






“I will,” she agrees.







I look around the room and notice several pairs of eyes watching the exchange between me and Olivia. I glare at each of them and bark, “Get back to work. And keep your damn mouths shut.” The last thing I need is to have hushed rumors behind my back. I want Poppy back here at work. She doesn’t need to come back with speculative eyes watching her when she does. I’ll fire the lot of them the first time I hear someone talking shit.






They all divert their eyes away and scurry about, leaving the pissed off man behind.






I walk closer to Olivia and bend so we’re on the same level. I let the hurt of not having Poppy show on my face. “Please tell her I love her. I need her to know that.”






She gives me a sad smile. “I will, but I



think she already knows,” she whispers. “She just needs time to get past the hurt.”






“Why are you helping me? I would think you would hate me for hurting her.”







“I’ve only known Pop since she started working here. When she first came, she always had sad eyes, but the last few weeks there’s been a light that wasn’t there before. You do that for her, and I want her happy.” She smirks, then shocks me when she says, “And I’ve known for a while you care for her. You think you hide it, but I see how you watch her. You look at her like she gives you life. What you told me earlier when I asked if you loved her, that’s exactly what I see when I watch you looking at her. She’s the air you breathe and what makes your heart pump. I know she’ll be safe, loved, and cherished with you.”






I look down at my shoes, holding in my pain at hearing Olivia talk. All I want is to love Poppy the way she deserves. I want to hold her at night, protect her from any pain, comfort her when I can’t, laugh with her, watch our babies grow in her belly, shop for furniture, bicker back and forth about stupid things, make up after arguments, and most of all, shower her with so much love she feels smothered.






“Thank you, Olivia.”







“But,” she says, poking me in my chest. I glare down at the finger, feeling that unpleasant feeling again being touched by someone other than Poppy. This time, Olivia ignores my dark look. “You hurt her again, I’ll come after you with



everything I have. I’m a small woman, but I know people who aren’t that would do unspeakable things to you.”







I almost laugh, but the look in her eyes stops me. She looks like she’d try her best to skin me alive right now if I did; however, I can’t hold back my skeptical look.







“What?” she snaps. “You don’t believe me? My fiancé is Italian. You know how Italians are. And mine just happens to love me enough to do anything for me.”







My lips twitch before I can stop them. Before she can reprimand me, I hold my hand up. “I get it, but there’s no need. There’s nothing that could ever make me hurt Poppy again.”






“You better hope you’re right,” she says. I grit my teeth when she pats my chest as she takes a step back. Her grin says she knows what she’s doing. Before I forcefully remove her hand, she gets smart and drops it. “I’ll go let Mr. Ballard know. I’ll call him this afternoon with another appointment.”






She turns on her heel.







“Don’t forget to cancel the rest of my appointments for the day,” I call after her.



“You got it, Asher,” she says and flicks her hand over her shoulder.




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“You still work for me, Miss Banner,” I remind her.







She turns and smirks. “I do, but soon you’ll be family.” With that, she winks and turns back and walks to a set of doors I know Mr. Ballard is behind.







I run my fingers through my hair as I turn back to my office, not sure if being related to that firecracker, even through friendship, is a good or bad thing.







Two hours later, I’m still sitting at my desk, getting absolutely nothing done for the day when there’s another knock on my door. I drop my glasses on my desk and rub my tired eyes.






“Come in,” I call, thinking it’s Olivia again. She’s been quiet since our conversation.






It’s not Olivia, but Eric. He peeks his head in. “You got a minute?”








“Yes,” I say, gesturing for him to come in.







Closing the door behind him, he makes his way to the chair across from my desk.


Taking his seat, he throws an ankle over his knee, leans back and gets comfortable.


I steeple my fingers and wait for him to talk.







“Have you heard from Poppy?” he asks. I straighten in my seat, not liking hearing her name come out of his mouth.






“She’s still sick,” I say vaguely. He still doesn’t know of our involvement, and I’m in no mood to enlighten him of it.






“I’m worried about her. She hasn’t missed a day since she started working here. She comes in even when she’s sick. Are you sure nothing happened while you two were gone? I’ve tried calling her a couple times, but I just get her voicemail.”







My hackles rise and anger instantly rushes in. This is the first I’m hearing of him calling her. There’s no fu.cking way I’ll let this continue. I was going to wait to tell him about my connection with Poppy after we worked things out, but obviously, that’s not going to work now.






“Why are you calling her?” I ask first, needing to know how deep his feelings are.




He turns his eyes away from me, then shifts in his chair. “Because I’m still interested in her. I never got to take her out—”






“Stop,” I bark and stand from my seat. This shit stops now. I lean my hands on my desk and drop my head, trying to control the rage coursing through me. It’s not his fault. Poppy is… well, Poppy. She’s beautiful, smart, sweet, and has an innocence about her that draws people in. I know I’m not the only man that sees her as such. Although I recognize all this, I still can’t help the possessiveness I feel. I know other men will look, but it won’t be done right underneath my nose by my employee and friend.






Fuck no.







I look up and across my desk into Eric’s eyes. There’s no way he can miss the heat blazing from them. His wide eyes prove that.






“I’ll tell you this once and only once. You need to forget any interest in Poppy that you have. She’s not available to you or any other man.” My fingers dig into the hard wood as I lean further over the desk to emphasize my next words. “Except me.”






Eric looks back at me, shock registering on his face. He drops his leg and straightens in his chair, no longer looking relaxed.







“Shit, Asher, I had no—”







“It doesn’t matter. The only thing that does matter is you backing off her. Poppy is mine.”






“Okay, okay,” he says, palms coming up in a ‘calm down’ gesture. “I get it. You’ll get no interference from me.”






My jaw still tics, but I try to push the anger back. I still don’t like knowing he still may have lingering feelings. Or him looking at her and imaging her in anything other than a professional manner. But there’s nothing I can do about it. I’ll keep an eye on him for a while. If I sense there’s more coming from him, I’ll take care of it.






“How long has this been going on?” He looks at me with interest.





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I take my seat and force my body to relax against the leather.




“I’ve had feelings for her since the beginning, but haven’t made them known to her until Dallas.”




“Wow,” he mutters. “I really had no idea.”







I shrug. My phone pings on my desk and I grab it to check the message.






Rex: That guy Sam just pulled up.







Me: Keep an eye on things. Let me know if something feels off.







As soon as Olivia and I were done with our conversation earlier, I came into my office and phoned Rex to update him on the situation. When I told him the creep somehow slipped past his men, he was livid. After investigating and finding footprints and talking with his men, we found out the guy came from the back of Poppy’s property and scaled her fence. He knew where to avoid Rex’s men. That’s what has us confused. How in the hell does this guy know of my protective measures? He also knew about the cameras and where to avoid them so he wasn’t seen.






“Why did it take you so long to pursue her?” Eric asks curiously, pulling me from my thoughts.



I give him a knowing look. He catches my meaning and nods. “Understandable. I wouldn’t want to start a relationship either if my future was so unstable.”






I stay quiet.






“So, what’s the real reason she hasn’t been in?”







I just stare at him, not answering his question. It’s not his business. Nothing to do with Poppy is.







When I keep my mouth shut, he finally gets it. He slaps the arms of the chair before getting to his feet. “Right. Well, good talk then.”




He takes a step closer to the desk and extends his hand for me to take. “I’m happy for you, Ash. It’ll be nice to finally see you settle down with a woman.”






I reach out and clasp his hand in mine. I may have gripped his a little tighter than necessary, but what can I say? What man wouldn’t want to assert his power over another man that has an interest in his woman?







It’s barely noticeable, but Eric winces, sending satisfaction racing through me. Call me barbaric, and I’ll say fu.ck you.







I release his hand and he flexes it a couple times before stepping back and heading to the door.






“I’m done for the day. If you need me for anything, call my cell.”






He salutes me with a finger to his forehead. “You got it. See you tomorrow.”




Once he leaves, I slide my phone back to me and pull up Poppy’s number. The fight to message her wins over.






Me: I love you, Beautiful.







I hit send and pocket my phone. I don’t expect a reply, but I still need her to know I’m thinking about her.







I grab my jacket and make sure my laptop is shut off before leaving my office. I hope tomorrow will be a more productive day than today was.











Endless Obsession

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