21 | Care
I stay immobilized with shock as his cold demeanor slips off slightly and the picture of vulnerability takes its place.
It bemused me severely because he looked so...fragile
I felt my chest feel heavy with unnamed emotions as I stared at him and decide to remain silent. After all, I really had no wish to watch him crumble because I know it will break me to see him like this, knowing that I’m the one who made him visit a part of his memory lane which he desperately wanted to part with.
However, he mistakes my silence as persistence for him to go on and continues with his saying “The whole castle used to be dark and hauntingly scary when I was born. My parents couldn’t leave because my grandpa was sick and wanted to be with his children before he died. I was the firstborn and for some reason, he wanted to mold me in his own sick ways. He used to lock me up in this very room when I was four and I never told my parents a word about my fears.
"Almost a year passed away with grandpa telling me to keep quiet and to embrace my fear of darkness by locking me in my bedroom whilst lying to my parents saying that he sent me out to play with the nanny. One day, my father suspiciously decided to check up on me inside my room and found it shrouded with darkness with the curtains closed and my hands cuffed to the bedpost.
"He was enraged with fury and gave grandpa a piece of his mind. After that incident, grandpa died a few weeks later from a heart attack and transferred all his property to me. After a few years, my mum and dad moved out of France after finding that mum was carrying my younger brother, Ian. I think that was the happiest day of my life” He finishes his tale with a faraway look.
“You were so young...” I trail off saying because I really had nothing to say or no words of comfort to provide him.
I couldn’t even pity him because I knew that was the last thing he needed and also because I couldn’t even relate to him. Sure I had my ups and downs in life but it wasn’t until I was 16. On the other hand, Blaze was just an innocent child when he was corrupted from his joy because of his cruel grandfather.
“I really don’t know what to say because I’ve never been in this type of situation Blaze” I offer him my word of honesty and judging from the look of relief and ease in his expression, I can confidently say that I did the right thing.
“I understand what you’re trying to say Phoebe and I’m glad that you don’t pity me” He looks down with profound sadness as he says the last sentence.
Just like that, I feel my heart breaking at this sight. Seeing him so broken and exposed made me regret prying information about his past.
“How can I pity you, Blaze? You were young. You and I both know that no child deserved the way your grandpa treated you and this isn’t even your own fault” I say genuinely.
I wanted to fake sympathy but I couldn’t because he didn’t deserve that. From the look on his face, I could tell that he was not used to telling people about his past which even made me doubt if Noah even knew about it or not.
“Ok enough about me. I think you should really eat. I particularly didn’t know what you liked so I brought mushroom soup with prawn and chicken fry. I hope you like it” He smiles at me sheepishly as he goes towards the bedside table to fetch the tray holding the food.
I smile widely because I was indeed hungry and also because anything with mushrooms and chicken was my favorite.
“Well, what can I say? I have a huge weakness for anything as long as it contains chicken in any form” I laugh while saying as I stretched out my hands towards the tray.
Relief floods his face as he slides down on the bed and uncovers the lid on top of the dish.
I take the china bowl holding the soup and take a spoonful of soup.
I savor the creamy taste of the soup paired with sautéed mushroom as it fills my taste bud and sighs with delight.
After taking a bite of the tasty fried prawn, I ask him “Where on earth did you get these heavenly meals from at this time of the night?”
“I cooked it myself” He answers and looks away as a faint pink tint covers his cheeks.
I pause eating with the spoon mid-air as his words sink in.
A rush of warmth gushes through me after I realize that Blaze Hunter, CEO of a huge empire took his time and cooked this delicious meal for me!
“You’re a really skilled cook and of course thank you” I mutter and smile at him coyly to which he responds with a proud grin.
I don’t even feel uncomfortable as Blaze watches me eat, instead, I feel like this is something that happens to me every day.
Yeah yeah, getting drowned in ice water hidden inside labyrinths, having both men you have a past with inside your room.
I cringe inwardly at my choice of words and decide to put it in the back of my mind.
After I’m done munching on the last piece of cube chicken, I pat my mouth gently with the linen napkin and look at Blaze to find him holding a dark blue towel with one of my sexiest short black silk nightdress that I packed for this trip.
I blush profusely at this and look down to find myself dressed in a loose black V-neck shirt which I can fully assure you didn’t belong to me.
As soon as I observe that, my eyes widen with alarm and I left the duvet to find myself dressed in nothing other than the black shirt and my black thong.
“Whose shirt is this and also who the hell undressed me?” I demand him whilst dreading his reply.
‘God, please don’t let it be Nate!’ I pray silently.
Blaze frowns at my outburst and replies “To answer your first question, that’s my shirt you’re wearing. Secondly, Sylvia was the one who undressed you because your dress was drenched with water”
I sigh with relief then suddenly a question crosses my mind.
“Blaze, what on earth was that?” I ask him with narrowed eyes.
He stiffens momentarily as he registers my question and replies calmly “What do you mean?”
It was obvious from his expression that he knew exactly what I meant but was feigning nonchalance.
If this happened with anyone else, I would not have probed further about the trap inside the labyrinth because it wasn’t my business but unfortunately since it happened with me, this was indeed my business!
I mean for fuck’s sake, I almost drowned today because of whatever that it was.
“You and I both know what we’re talking about Blaze!” I state angrily.
He finally faces me and his look sends a chill down my spine. Gone was his warm gentle look, now it was filled with arctic coldness.
Despite his thunderous look, I stood my ground and tried my best to not let his cold look frighten me.
“There is nothing to know. Besides you were just at the wrong place at the wrong time” He speaks with a great fury which makes my anger increase tenfold.
′You were at the wrong place at the wrong time...′
I was absolutely fucking sick of hearing this same sentence over and over again which did nothing other than reminding me that God indeed hated me.
“Are you serious? For fuck’s sake Blaze I almost died!” I shout at the end to which he flinches.
Dread and remorse fill his Egyptian blue eyes as he understands my anger.
“Go and have a warm shower, you need it” He whispers and throws the towel and my dress on the edge of the bed gently.
He strides away towards the enormous paneled windows and stares outside at the pouring rain impassively.
I glower at his back in disbelief and harshly pull the duvet away from me and grab the towel and my dress on my way to the black door in front of me.
The cold air hits my bare thighs as I saunter off toward the bathroom and hear a sharp inhale of air behind me as I feel the burning gaze of Blaze’s eyes on my back that was exposed to his eyes.
The shirt barely covered my butt because of my tall 5′7 frame and judging from its size, this t-shirt might’ve belonged to Blaze when he was young.
But none of that mattered because I was too angry at the whole situation. I close my eyes in frustration and growing annoyance as I reach the polished black tiled bathroom.
For a brief moment, I stand there in awe at the lavish modern setting.
It was truly a utilitarian’s fantasy hub and an interior designer’s wet dream.
The décor was simple yet elegant and chic.
The whole bathroom was covered with black smoked tiles which vaguely reflected my form. It was dark in here but the thin white LED lights lining the sleek mirror cast a glow in the darkness. The bathroom was a contrast of black and white. Black ceramic basin bowls and a smooth glossy boat shaped bathtub paired with a white brush holder and towels dominated the place. I inch towards the sink and watch my face in all its pale glory.
My skin looked white as a ghost and my eyes were slightly swollen and red-rimmed around the edges. I didn’t look sick but I sure did look fragile like some porcelain doll.
Shaking my head at today’s event, I wash my face with warm water and see a bit of color returning to my cheeks
as the warmth of the water kicks in.
I grip the hem of the t-shirt and slip it off me in one motion and slide my underwear down my knees and stand fully naked underneath the soft lights.
My skin looked white as the snow and the bruises from Blaze’s recent night has faded to the point where I almost thought they were gone. I force the images of him between my legs as the warmth of the memories makes my core drench with lust.
I slide the glass doors of the shower stall to enter and turn on the shower and soon jets of warm water spray over my skin and trickle down from my hair to my entire body. As the blistering water coats my skin I wonder at the irony.
A few minutes ago I was doused in cold water and now I’m encased inside blistering warm water. What a turn of events!
I stand there for a while, basking in the warmth of the water as steam fogs the glass and shields my naked body inside.
I place my hands on the cold black tiles as I savor the heat of the water and become so absorbed at the warmth of it that I almost don’t notice another figure sliding inside the shower.
Anxiety kicks in for a fleeting second until the smell of a familiar aftershave fills my nostrils and calm me instantly.
I feel the fingertips of Blaze’s hands hold my hips firmly and he kisses the side of my head gently and softly murmurs “I’m sorry”
Not knowing what to say, I lean my head back on his chest with my eyes closed as he presses his back on my wet frame and pulls me further in his embrace by wrapping his arms around my torso.
“I’m sorry this happened to you. If only you had any clue how much it hurt me seeing you like that today, you would understand my guilt. I want to tell you Phoebe but I don’t want to because it’s not my place to tell” He continued saying.
I release a huge sigh because I had no more energy in me to pry further.
This was a reality.
Both of us wanted to tell each other so many things but a force held us back and I still couldn’t decipher it. We both knew that we were being selfish.
He wanted to know about my past and yet didn’t want to reveal his own secrets and I was no different than him.
I knew that we were fatal for each other yet we couldn’t stay away from each other either way. There was a deep connection that linked us together but we were both stubborn to fully acknowledge it.
It hasn’t even been a week of us knowing each other but with the way things escalated between us, it felt like months have passed on.
I knew that after the event we have to part ways in one way or another. I was already dreading the thought.
Since when did someone become so important to me?
I was selfish in more ways than one but for once I wanted to be a normal girl who did not have a plethora of reasons holding her away from the man she was growing feelings for.
Diminishing all thoughts away, I intertwine my fingers with Blaze and decide to cherish this moment as long as it lasts.
A/N - I was so confused while writing this and started to feel bad for Phoebe. What do you think about Blaze and Phoebe's relationship so far? Let me know!