A Million Times

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9.0 | S O L I V A G A N T

Our words and minds so often don’t align.

E F F E C T E D. His face became pale as a ghost. If not for his shallow breaths he appeared dead. Who is this girl and what kind of power she holds over him to have this effect on him?

I stood there simply watching this man gather himself in a matter of minutes. The sunshine coming from the windows hit his face and his eyes reminded me of a hunting tiger.

“Have you ever seen the life drain out of a man?”

His voice turned soft like a cold caress over my skin. I froze and stared at him with wide eyes. It’s hard to decipher if he’s serious or just messing with me. He closed the space between us and captured my jaw in his hand with one finger pressing against my lips.

“I take that as a No. Do you want to watch it?”

My body was shivering and right now I don’t know what I was scared about anymore. My thoughts turned into mush and the sound of my beating heart echoed loudly in my ears.

“Don’t ever talk about her again and don’t ever speak to Lion Collins again.”

He replaced his finger with his lips and captured them in a furious kiss. I resisted but my body was dancing to a different tune. He pulled me against him and cupped my arse.

“You are perfect.”

With that said, he pulled away, stared at me until I looked away and was out of the door before I could say anything else to him.

Slowly, my legs gave out and I sat down on the floor with my back against the wall staring at the door. I think this is the first time I’m starting to believe all those rumours. My body may not agree but my mind knows how dangerous he is. I’ve been dancing with the devil all along. I need to stay away from him.


The conversation stops when I reach the dinner table. In school, I was unable to concentrate on any of my classes and I just wanted to curl up in my bed and sleep. I wished today never happened and it was all a dream.

My mother and father looked at me as I dragged the IKEA chair away from the table. They studied my movements as I settled and Heather, our housekeeper, served me. I hate that my stepfather behaves like he is the richest man on the planet. He is never satisfied and wants to live the most luxurious life out there. My mother is addicted to this lifestyle too because of him.

“Spit it out already.”
I rolled my eyes at my mother who looked as if I have confessed the murder.

“You don’t talk like that in this house, Natasha.”
I nodded along and resumed eating healthy vegetables while my stomach craved for some cheeseburgers.

“Don’t blame her. I know she’s dealing with a lot right now. I know Theodore and you were quite good friends and it’s very unfortunate what happened to him. Your mother and I had a conversation with his brother Lion and he’s dealing with a lot too. In a time like this, I think you both should share your pain and emotions. Maybe you will deal with everything better if you get to know someone who feels the same. I arranged dinner plans for you two tomorrow night. I hope you won’t disappoint me.”
My stepfather finally took a breath and I just looked at him shocked to my core. How could this man be so insufferable and inhumane?

I looked at my mother looking completely oblivious to the rant he just rambled on about.

“My answer to all that is no. I’m not playing a pawn to your games anymore.”
I kept my voice low but firm and this time nothing is going to change my mind.

“Deal with your daughter and make her understand what is demanded of her.”
My mother glared at me and stopped me from saying anything further to that excuse of a man.

“I’ll talk to her after dinner.”
My mother rubbed her hand against his arm and the scowl on his face turned to a semi-smile. The discussions far from over but Dane knew my mother would get to me like she always does.

After dinner, my mother dragged me back to my room and closed the door behind.

“Why do you always make it a point to defy us at every point? The only thing we are asking is to befriend the Collin guy. What is so wrong with that? He is a decent guy. I’m not telling you to marry him.”
My mother starts arranging my messy desk. A bottle of ink spills as she moves it because I forgot to close the cap. She made a face and then tried to wipe it clean with some papers but it left a mark on the clean wood. So she did the next best thing she does. She covered it up by placing a pen holder in the place of the spot. A satisfied smile flashed over her face.

What she couldn’t get rid of, she covers it up with something pretty!

“I don’t want to be his friend, Mom. He is older than me and we have nothing in common. I didn’t even know Theodore that well to share the pain of losing him. You can’t force me to befriend someone so that dearest stepdad could get a gold star in licking Mayor’s ass.”
Stinging pain on my cheek was the only reply she gave me. My hand covered the skin she just abused. The steel in my eyes started melting and tears overwhelmed them.

“You are the reason I have to live some horrible days in my life. Now, I have the best life here and you are not going to ruin that for me. Do you understand me? You are having dinner with him tomorrow even if I have to personally escort you.”
The door closed behind her with a bang and the room rattled with the after-effects. I let the tears fall down my face and hugged my pillow. The tears soon turn into sobs I’ve been holding back and I fell asleep imagining blue eyes looking over me.

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