3 | The Talk
The cool water feels refreshing against my hands as I keep them under the running water of the sink. As much as I would love to splash cold water over my face, I don’t want to ruin my make-up.
I think I’m still in shock over what happened. As soon as Blaze saw me, I quickly excused myself from Uncle Ryan and bolted towards the powder room. For a moment I considered staying here until the dinner is served but the thought seemed quite ridiculous.
If someone told me three weeks back that I’ll be attending this Gala only to avoid someone else instead of Nate, I would’ve totally laughed my ass off. Now that I’m really in this situation, I don’t even know what to do. If the circumstances were different, I would’ve probably ended up calling Alana to hear her wise words but now, I’m not so sure that I even want to see her face, let alone listening to her voice.
Great! Now I need to find a new therapist because I’m sure as hell not going back to my previous one knowing that Blaze slept with her.
‘Don’t get too ahead of this Phoebe, you might be wrong too’ The rational part of my brain tried to reason with me but I quickly shut her down knowing that I need to stop thinking about them right now.
Just when I’m putting my compact powder inside my purse after retouching my make-up, the door of the washroom bursts opens revealing someone I’d never thought I’ll be seeing again.
Hurrying over to the sink beside me was no one other than Jane Avery aka Nate’s ex-girlfriend.
I watched my face in the mirror turn wary with bewilderment as she washed her face on the sink, almost splitting some of the droplets over me. Her brown eyes were red-rimmed and her red hair was disheveled as if she has been crying for hours. Before she recognizes me, I sprint towards the exit of the washroom unnoticed and release a huge sigh of breath when I’m finally outside.
See? This is exactly why I love dresses with slits. Always comes in handy when you want to make a quick getaway.
I quickly pull out my phone from my purse to text Ava.
Phoebe – You won’t believe who I just saw tonight at the Gala
She responds almost immediately as if she was already on her phone.
Ava – Who? Who?
Phoebe – Jane Avery!
Ava – Holy shit what?! Did she not see you?
Phoebe – Thankfully no, I quickly moved away unnoticed
Ava – I swear your life resembles a soap opera
Phoebe – Trust me, girl, I KNOW! Why do you think she’s here?
Ava – Oh no, I forgot to tell you that she works at Woodward’s merging company, Fiona’s healthcare as their senior manager.
Phoebe – I’m not even going to ask how you know that…
Before I can send her a follow-up text saying that Blaze is here too, a familiar deep velveteen voice halts me in my steps making me look up from my phone screen.
“Phoebe” His voice is like rich silk, warming me on the inside and sending goosebumps rising on the outside.
He looked handsome than ever as he stood in front of me with a lost look in his light cerulean blue eyes. Before I can open my mouth, Alana strides over towards Blaze looking pissed as fuck with her face angled towards her lighted phone screen.
“Can you believe the audacity of that asshole? He literally to-” Her words halt when she sees me standing in front of Blaze and on instinct, my name is out of her mouth, “Phoebe?”
Seeing Alana acknowledging me, Blaze’s eyebrows furrow with confusion, and he points his fingers back and forth between us.
“Wait, you two know each other?” He questions us and my face pales with fear.
Shit! I don’t want him to know that I have a therapist!
Seeing my panicked look, Alana quickly covers up for me and says, “Oh yes of course! She’s a very old mutual friend of mine! We met a few years back at the…umm…Charity ball of some anti-drug foundation!” She exclaims with enthusiasm and sends me a look to agree with her.
“Oh yes! How can I forget?” I laugh nervously and inwardly glow with gratitude towards Alana.
“You know what? I kind of really need to use the powder room. Hey Phoebe, why don’t you come with me” Her heavily accented British voice sounded more like a command than a request as she drags me towards the familiar direction of the washroom which I visited earlier.
For some reason, I don’t protest because I have this gut feeling that there is more to the story than I’m letting on.
By the time we reach inside, Jane is thankfully not here anymore and Alana turns to look at me warily as if analyzing my expression.
I had to admit, she might as well be the most gorgeous woman here today. She looked like the absolute opposite of me. She was wearing a light pink mauve evening gown with a sweetheart neckline that accentuated her ample breasts. The dress hugged her small waist and wide hips which swayed back and forth as she paces inside the small space of the washroom. Her rich almost- black-brown hair was styled in a top chignon bun with a few loose tendrils that framed her delicate features and for a moment I felt extremely jealous. I was never very jealous of her because I knew I can’t ever compete with her and never saw any reason to do that anyway. But after seeing her with Blaze, I think my view of her beauty has wavered slightly.
Finally, she stops pacing and pins me on the spot with her gorgeous onyx eyes which were framed behind long sooty lashes. She catches me off guard when she lets out a small repressed laugh as if she can’t believe what’s happening.
Shit! Did my psychiatric turn into a lunatic or something?
“Please tell me Blaze is the guy you were telling me about the other day?” Her expression turns eager as she asks me this question and not being able to form many words, I nod my head ‘yes’.
Yep, I told her everything about our affair leaving the explicit details and his name of course.
She sighs, shaking her head, and mutters something incoherently like, “Well that makes a lot of sense”.
“I’m sorry I didn’t hear you,” I tell her whilst frowning and she comes closer to me, holding both of my shoulders gently.
“You both need to talk, Phoebe. There are so many things you don’t know and before you jump to any conclusions to which I have a feeling that you already have, just hear me out. Blaze and I are just friends. We never even kissed let alone sleeping together. He’s a very good mutual friend of mine. I only accompanied him today because he needed a date and we often have lunch together whenever we both have free time. He is a really good man who-” She stops speaking as if she was about to cross some unknown territory and sighs before continuing again, “Just talk with him. You know that I consider you more than just some patient of mine Pheebs. As a friend, I’m advising you to talk with him”
My mouth opens and closes like a fish as I try to form words and suddenly I start feeling emotional. Without a second thought, I pull Alana into a tight hug which she returns and gently strokes my back.
I wasn’t crying but I sure was craving human contact.
After a while, we both pull apart and she nods her head towards the exit, urging me to go.
Before I reach the door, I turn back to look at her one last time only to find her watching me with a proud expression on her face with her arms folded over her chest.
“Thank you so much, Alana. I truly needed it” She nods at my words without speaking and I exit the place to find the guy whom I know that I’ve fallen head over heels for.
It wasn’t loving but that did not mean that I felt nothing for him.
I truly have no clue how this happened in such a short time but I was certain that my feelings for him weren’t fickle.
I spot him near the far end of the room, talking with a very frail old lady. Even from this far, I could see the woman’s awed expression as he effortlessly talked with confidence and charm. A stop a few meters away from the duo and watch him converse with the lady with silent adoration.
After noticing me, he excuses himself from the old lady and saunters towards me with calculated steps as if he’s nervous.
I was smiling at him softly but on the inside, my nerves were scattered. I felt beyond nervous not knowing what to say.
“Hi,” I say simply and tug a strand of my loose hair behind my ears when he reaches me. He stares unashamedly all over my body and just like that, he sets my entire being on fire. My core starts throbbing with attention instantly and I cringe at myself when I realize that we’re surrounded by a sea of people who are completely unaware of the fact of what was going down on my insides.
“Hey, do you mind if we talk somewhere a bit more private?” He motions his head towards the double doors encasing the balcony and I nod my head in agreement.
He offers me his arm which I take gratefully. As soon as I’m near him, his signature cologne mixed with the fresh smell of his favorite after wash invades my senses, making me feel slightly dizzy as my head starts clouding with lust.
Almost every young females eye me with disdain and Blaze with hunger as we pass them which makes me clutch Blaze’s arm tighter to contain my growing jealously.
The corner of his mouth tugs upward into a smirk at my gesture and I turn beet red with embarrassment.
As soon as we’re inside the vast balcony of the hotel, I watch the twinkling skyline with adoration and gasp when I feel Blaze behind my back. He wasn’t touching me or was not even that close to me yet I felt myself growing wet with each passing second.
“Phoebe…” He trails off and I turn to face him.
The moonlight shining over us, highlighting his high cheekbones and sharp clean-shaved jawline as if God himself took days to carve it to perfection.
“Why did you never show up Blaze?” I ask him after deciding not to beat around the bush.
He closes his eyes as if he’s in pain and when he opens them, they are alight with a thousand strong emotions as he stares at me.
“I didn’t show up because I had no clue that you were leaving” I stare at him dumbfounded after hearing his words and before I can say anything, he holds up his hand to silence me, and like the submissive bitch that I am, I stop.
“Yes I did know that you were leaving on that day but I thought you were going to take the flight that was scheduled at 8 pm. At least that’s what Noah sent me. I wanted to talk to you about us Pheebs and before I could do that, my father called me in the morning and quickly summoned me inside his study to talk about some important deal that was due overseas. I thought that you’d leave at 8 so I didn’t pay much heed to it. I couldn’t even write you a note because I was in such a hurry. I was stuck at the meeting with foreign investors up to 3 pm and by the time it was adjourned, I learned from Andres that you left. I tried calling Noah for your number only to find that the idiot left for Germany”
“You have to be kidding me” I mutter under my breath and for the first time in my life, I wanted to strangle Noah with my bare hands.
“You could’ve texted me that you were leaving. Yes, I was stuck at the meeting with my dad but I could’ve checked my inbox if you texted” He says with hurt lacing his voice and I wince immediately when I realize my own blunder.
Hell! He was indeed right. I kept pining over him all day and yet I couldn’t even send him a damn text
“But I’m glad you didn’t,” He says quietly and I look at him quizzically when I hear him utter those words.
“What do you mean?” I ask him whilst dreading his answer and he moves close to me.
His warm hands cup my cheeks with his breath his hitting my face softly and he locks his Egyptian blue eyes with my forest green ones. I almost stop breathing when I see thousands of emotions dancing in those beautiful orbs.
“The distance made me realize how much you mean to me, Phoebe. I tried to stop your thoughts from invading my head every second but I couldn’t. I really like you Phoebe Carter and I just don’t mean the sex. Being with you makes me feel…happy, something which I haven’t felt in a long time. You bring out the best version of me that I never thought existed after what my grandfather turned me into.
“I know we both have our ugly secrets but I still want this. Whatever this is, I want it. I want you, Phoebe. I want everything that is about you. I wanted to believe that all that we have is an obsession but deep down we both know that it’s not the truth. I don’t care what people say about us Phoebe but if you care then I’ll still support you with your decisions. I’ve thought this over my head over and over again in my head and I know I want you in every way I can have you” He finally finishes his explanation and not once did his gaze flicker away from mine.
All I could see was profound honesty lying in the depths of his blue eyes.
His eyes searched mine for an answer and I lean closer to him slowly.
And just like that, I seal my answer with a kiss.
A/N - What do you all think of this chapter? Let me know your thoughts on the comment section down below!