14 | Remorse
Her eyes widen with alarm as she registers my expression and looks guilty as she tries to form words but ends up stammering.
I stop looking at her when I hear a knock on the door and tilt my head on the left side to look past Ava only to see a maid in her late 40s with a tray in her hand.
I nod my head for her to enter the room and immediately feel guilty for snapping at Ava like that. God, I literally sound confusing even to myself. Sometimes I wonder if anyone faced this mental dilemma like I do every day.
Yes! Every fucking day!
I was literally a step away from a complete psychopath to a severely depressed patient.
Sometimes I felt too much and other times I felt nothing.
Moments like these make me question if I will ever be cured again.
After that death, I shut myself away from others and nothing made me genuinely happy anymore. All those constant small things in life that I once appreciated were gone. I lost a lot of people from my life for being a recluse. Ava and Noah were like my only support and the only people I relied on until I met my doctor of course.
And now after acting like a complete douche to Ava, I feel utterly horrible.
She has been more supportive of me than my parents who were busy the majority of the time.
I cast my eyes down with guilt and glance at the sugar-coated pancakes with berries on the side that were left by the maid for my breakfast.
“Uh-h maybe I should leave” I could hear the disappointment in her voice vividly and rise from my seat and go over to her.
When I’m standing right in front of her, I hesitate to take another step forward but all my doubts vanish when she herself volunteers to break the ice and envelops me in a warm hug.
This is what always draws me to her. We were both different in many ways and yet we always understood each other.
No words were needed or spoken as we were still in the same position with her gently rubbing my back.
“I’m really fine Av, I just didn’t like you interrogating me like that. You know how much I hate it when people accuse me of something I didn’t do” I lie. Tears spring to my eyes as waves of shame engulfs me for lying to her.
Lying to strangers for my safety was one thing, like the way I lied to Jacob but lying to my best friend who witnessed all my ups and downs and supported me through them was another thing. It made me feel like an asshole big time but I knew better not to tell her about Blaze yet.
I hated to have unnecessary drama in my life but unfortunately, God always had other plans for me since I always end up being the main attraction of all soap operas.
Sometimes I even questioned myself, what was so wrong about being with Blaze anyway?
’Oh honey, do you want the whole list? A-He’s your boss, at least throughout the whole duration of your stay. B-He’s Noah’s cousin who detests him. C-He is charmingly too good at seducing you which always brings trouble. D- You don’t want that same old ‘falling for my best friend's brother crap again. You’ve been there, did that, and ruined your life. E- He indirectly called you a prostitute last night. F- For fuck’s sake you DON’T let some men’s hand inside your pants especially after you meet them!’ My subconscious stared at me like I’m dumb and tuts with disapproval.
Which is a sense is true, I was indeed acting dumb. I mean he’s such a powerful man, he literally had the ability to destroy my career with one snap of his fingers. Maybe this is what forbidden affairs felt like. All this thrill and fun was like some drug you can’t stop once you start getting high on it. The thrill and fun just by being in his presence was always a welcoming thought. He was so unpredictable and maybe that was what drew me towards him. Most men in my opinion were too predictable and Blaze was clearly anything but that.
However, this wasn’t an affair. There was no right word to describe this feeling that I had for him. Last night when he held me, I felt a sense of tranquility wash over me like never before. It was scary because deep down I have this feeling that this is not going to end well which is odd because I’ve never really cared about people as long as I got what I wanted.
Yes, I was different, in more ways than one, but definitely not in a cliché sense. I wasn’t sickly sweet like some girls. I know that many of them mean well and are genuine and heaven knows have I tried to be like them. But it just never works, especially when you have been exposed to the dark side of humanity at a young age which is pitch black and bitter with sorrows.
To me, control and maintaining my composure as my weapon in this world. Sometimes I had to lie too because I simply had no choice. I believed that you can’t survive in this world by being all nice and saintly. I have this shot at life for one time, the least I could do was make the best out of it even if it results in me rotting in hell after death. After all, I was anything but innocent. My hands were tainted with cold blood a long time ago to make me the way I am.
“Dang I always knew you guys were bisexual! I’ve been standing here for almost five minutes for you guys to pull away” Noah says as he strides into my suite wearing a teal green button-down with black slacks. His sleeves were rolled up to his elbows reminding me of Blaze for a split second.
“Oh fuck off! Don’t forget that I still have the clip of you kissing Archie at Brandon’s frat house party in the sophomore year” Ava groans out.
Hearing this I whip my head in Noah’s direction and laugh out loud when I see him flushed beet red. It was really amusing to watch him like this because he has been anything but formal since we arrived here.
“That happened one time for fuck’s sake” He mutters in his defense.
“Yes of course! Tell us about it!” She says sarcastically and puts her index finger on her chin pretending to think and continues “If I remember correctly, you were something like ‘Oh Arch give it to me. Oh Arch swirl that to-’”
“Ew Christ! I’m gonna puke my guts out and I didn’t even have breakfast” I scrunch my face hearing Ava mimicking Noah.
“What are you gonna puke out anyway? You did not even have dinner last night” Noah shrugs and looks at me pointedly.
I freeze as soon as the words leave his mouth and immediately rack my brain for a good excuse to put these two off my back.
“Nothing really, let’s just say someone in the name of Emily soured my mood and of course Nate with his red-haired date” I wave my hand trying to appear casual and a thought pops in my head. I decided to test the waters a bit more and say “But no worries, your cousin was there to make things funny. He cut her off when she started to introduce herself and later on talked to me about the upcoming project”
I watch cautiously as Noah’s face breaks down into confusion.
“Really? That’s odd. I know Blaze isn’t particularly fond of the Woodwards because of their so-called royal attitude as if they fucking own everything. But I didn’t know that he disliked her so much to go as far as to cut her off. He even talked to you! Heck, he doesn’t even ask me about how I’m doing with the project and everything. But still, it sounds so odd because I saw Emily with Blaze this morning. Even though he appeared professional, I noticed that Emily kept touching him in the hand now and then” He finishes saying.
Ava rolls her eyes and mutters “Typical Emily” under her breath.
Just like some switch flicked on, my mind starts filling with rage. I wasn’t even going to deny that I was jealous. Blaze and I might’ve been nothing but it still angered me that Emily was using her stupid old tactics and all of a sudden I feel sad thinking what if Blaze likes her more than me. No matter how highly I act and insult Emily, at least she wasn’t the one making out with a stranger as soon as she arrived here.
“Ok guys. I’m really hungry and I really need some energy for the day. The gala is only a week away. We need to finish this as soon as we can” I say in a desperate attempt to steer away from the current topic and succeed in doing so as Ava starts blabbing about some worker not doing his job properly.
“Oh, I almost forgot to tell you” Noah turns from Ava to look at me as I chew on my last piece of pancake and he continues “None of us are allowed to go out today for a long time except for a few working crew. The weather is exceptionally bad today and there is also a possibility of the storm”
On cue, I look outside the window and see the sky crowded with black clouds whereas just an hour back I couldn’t even keep my eyes closed due to the harsh sunlight.
“You have to be kidding me!” Ava exclaims “What the hell are we supposed to do then?! I still have to check on the food items and what not’s and of course the parting gift not to mention flower setting an-”
“Oh calm down first. We are still allowed to go out for a few minutes and there is always the phone. You can talk with the local florist on call too Ava” He cuts her off and says in a gentle tone as if he’s speaking to a toddler.
Jeez, these men really like to cut other people during their talk. Must run down in the family genes.
I clean my hands using the napkin on the table and ask Noah “Well, what am I supposed to do then?”
“You, my love simply take a day off. My assistant told me that you have been working your ass off over the last two days and besides you do look tired”
I frown as a momentary thought enters my head about Noah keeping a watch on me. Did he think I was unhinged or something? As much as unsettling the thought was, I pushed it past my head.
“Well, I still have to do something at least. I can’t just sit around twiddling my thumbs in this room all day”
Noah ponders over my response for a moment and says “Why don’t you visit the library located on the seventh floor. I know how much you love reading crime thrillers. That place is literally booming with it and every genre is available over there too” He suggested.
“Ok then. I’ll head over there in a few seconds” I nod my head.
“Great! I’ll tell Gerard to show yo-” I raise my palm in horror and tell him to stop.
“No, I don’t like that man at all. I’ll head there myself besides he already showed me around the castle” I say.
“Ok. In that case, be careful and try not to get lost” He speaks with concern pooling in his eyes and I feel a flood of warmth rush over me. I really was glad to have people like Noah and Ava in my life. Despite my aloofness and frequent rude behavior, they never gave up on me and always stayed by my side.
After a few minutes, they both turn to leave and I follow them outside on their way out. We all head to our separate ways after reaching the bank of elevators on the far left side of the wing. There were two in three in totals. Ava and Noah entered the first one and left to go to go back to their work and I hopped inside the second one and pressed level seven as the smoky mirror walls closed in front of me. I lean my head back on the wall and stare at my reflection. I did not change from the attire that I chose to wear this morning because it did not look too formal and over the top.
I thumbed the ends of the thin bow thread on my neckline when the doors opened to reveal the polished black marble floors.
A/N - Not gonna lie but this chapter was indeed boring. I'll try my best to make up for it in the next chapter!