I knew he needed control, he craves it like an addiction he cannot kick and I’m the kryptonite in his life, challenging his power, he’s drawn to me because he sees me as something he needs to pull under his spell. That’s all, there is nothing there for him. He has warmth within him, but an impenetrable wall surrounding it.
I had been here only almost four nights I had been constantly up and down because of his forever changing moods. Kissing him in the hallway would have ended everything. It wasn’t a written rule, at least it wasn’t one of his. Being with him would be breaking my own rules, there was no way to come back from that.
I peeled the blue dress off and threw it at the clothes hamper. This wasn’t my world, I had to keep focus. While I yearned to live in the business world, I promised myself to stay away from the glitz and glamor that could follow it. I pulled on pyjamas and climbed into bed, still frustrated and as confused as I had been since the moment I had stepped foot inside this house.
At first sleep came easy, but it was a sleep fraught with dreams I didn’t want to have. Dreams where Dominic and I were in the hallway, dancing, except I couldn’t walk away because his grip on me was too strong. I wanted to break away, being in his atmosphere, even in a dream was more than I could handle, so I fought my conscious until my eyes opened. I sat up and tried to stop hyperventilating.
I looked at the clock, it was 3am. Hopefully the party would be long over because I wasn’t going back to sleep. I pulled a pillow and blanket off the bed and walked down the hallway to the lounge. I was watching something vaguely interesting when the door opened.
“Felicity?” Dominic’s voice called out.
“Uh... yeah sorry did I wake you?” I whispered.
“No.. I uh, I have insomnia, Sometimes I go a while without sleeping.” He said. “I was going to make a hot drink, you want one?”
“Sure, thanks.” I replied, surprised by his admission.
When he disappeared again, I sighed. I couldn’t escape him, given I was living in his house, I guess it was understandable. I just didn’t know how long I could handle it when my body thought so differently to my head whenever he was near.
A few minutes later he returned with two mugs. “So, why are you awake?” He whispered placing one down in front of me on a coaster.
You... because of you...
“I was thinking about the party... about that idiot from college.” I half lied.
“He was an asshole, I mean I know I’m one to talk, but I’d never talk to a woman the way he talked to you.”
“Maybe he was right?” I whispered. “I have no idea what I’m doing with my life. At least he has a job at CoranCorp.”
“Had.” He replied. “Felicity, he’s not worth the thought.”
I nodded, Dominic was right. Thomas was a scum sucking sicko, and thinking of him really did make me feel ill.
“So how long have you had insomnia?” I asked softly, attempting to change the subject, I turned a little to face Dominic who was now sitting beside me. His eyes caught mine and shone under the light of the TV and for a moment he looked like a small innocent boy.
“Since I was 14.” He said finally. “After my family fell apart.”
“I’m sorry.” I said, watching him as things clicked in to place. His need for control... He didn’t want to lose things, in fact he needed to know he wouldn’t.
“Why?” He said as his eyes narrowed. “You didn’t do it.”
“I know, but I know what it’s like to lose control”
Dominic let out a snicker and shook his head. “That’s only the beginning Felicity.”
“I have good shoulders.” I offered. “And I like to listen.”
Dominic smiled. “You’re also frustratingly defiant.”
“It’s what you like about me.” I smiled back.
I bit my lip and looked down surprised and embarrassed I’d said it, I looked down at my hands and tried to remember to breathe, but it was getting difficult. Out of nowhere Dominic’s hand reached for my chin, he lifted it so that I was looking at him again. “It’s one of the many things I like about you.”
He was unapologetic, and as commanding as ever. How was he able to say this stuff without regret?
“You can’t say that.” I said brushing his hand away. “We don’t know anything about each other. You don’t know me... and I’ve only known you a few days. Please, Mr Coran... don’t.”
I stood up and ran from the room like the scared little girl I was, ran from him for the second time in only a few hours. I wasn’t sure what I was running from... I just knew I had to run.
An entire week passed before we really talked again. Every day was the same, I would walk down to breakfast and sit at the table across from a happy molly, but Dominic would say nothing to me.
“Morning Daddy.” She grinned one morning as Dominic walked in at sat down “Can we go to the zoo today?”
Dominic shook his head and poured himself a mug of coffee. “No, I have to go in to the office.” He replied bluntly.
“Oh. Okay Daddy.” She tried her best not to sound upset, but I could see right through it.
Molly looked at the table and waited until Mrs Sampson walked into the dining room with breakfast. “Thank you Amelie.” I said as I took a couple of pancakes. “This looks delicious.”
“You’re welcome Felicity.”
“Molly, maybe we could go shopping today? For swimwear and beach stuff?” I suggest, ignoring the rule about not talking at the table. I felt Dominic look up at me, the first time he’d acknowledged I was even in the room for a week, and all it had taken was me blatantly breaking another of his rules. He looked at Molly and nodded.
“Really? That sounds great!” she beamed.
“Sure, we have got a lot of summer to get through, and I intend on spending some of it in the water” I smiled.
Molly ate quickly before leaping up. “I’m going to get ready!” She shouted as she ran from the room.
Harvey finished and left, leaving Dominic and I alone.
For once the silence was preferable, I was scared I was going to say something stupid, but out of nowhere Dominic ignored his own rule and began to talk.
“About last week...” he began, his voice was surprisingly soft.
“Dominic, please it was nothing, we were both tired.”
Dominic sighed and out of the corner of my eye I noticed his gaze fall away from me. “Great, agreed.”
“Wonderful.” I replied.
“Use the Amex, and treat yourself today too.” He said after sipping on his coffee. “You really helped me in that meeting last week.”
I frowned and looked down at my plate, I couldn’t help but think the offer was ‘hush money.’ Or ‘Don’t tell anyone I almost had feelings for a minute money.’ He had been soft and caring last week, and even though I had run away it had been nice. Paying me off made me feel cheap.
“I won’t tell anyone.” I replied.
“Huh?” he replied, sounding the least eloquent he had since we’d met.
“You’re telling me to spend up large because you’re afraid I’ll tell people you’re not the ice cold asshole everyone thinks you are.” I looked at him, surprised to find him already looking at me with complete confusion.
“Felicity, I don’t care what people think of me.” He shifted in the seat. “You won me a big client. I want to reward you.”
“I don’t need a reward.” I replied, embarrassed I had misread the situation. “Besides, you already paid for my dress.”
“Yes. You do.” He said. “And I’m glad you don’t think I’m ice cold felicity.”
Dominic left the dining room without giving me another chance to refuse, leaving me sitting alone.
Molly and I went shopping. I ended up buying myself clothes, but I used my own money, Dominic had almost doubled the salary I had been paid at Glow so I had the cash to spare. I knew he’d view not using the Amex as me being defiant again, but I didn’t care.
By the time we got back home it was almost dinner time. Dominic was busy finishing off work when Molly went to bed, so I tucked her in on my own.
“You look so tired Molly.” I smiled brushing the beautiful ringlets off her face.
“I am tired, but I had so much fun.” She yawned. “Promise me we’ll go to the waffle house again?”
“It’s a deal, I’m glad you had a good time, I did too.”
Molly smiled and pulled me in for a hug.
“You know Flick, I don’t remember that much about her, but I hope Mommy was like you.”
“Huh?” I whispered, shocked, my heart fluttered. I meant that much to her?
“You’re so kind, and you make me laugh and you make daddy smile.” She said wistfully. “Please never go.” I held back a ball of emotion in my throat and smiled down at the beautiful little girl who had captured my heart.
“I’ll be here as long as you want me around kiddo.”
I stood up and kissed her on the head. “Go to sleep, I’ll see you tomorrow morning okay.”
“Okay.” She replied sleepily.
I walked out of the room and closed the door behind me, when I turned, I walked straight into Dominic’s chest he grabbed my elbow and walked me away from Molly’s bedroom door then shook his head. “Don’t fill Molly’s head with airy fairy things.”
“What the hell?”
“Making promises you can’t keep? You all leave eventually.” He scathed.
“Dominic.” I pleaded, what the hell was his problem?
“Oh so I’m not Mr Coran anymore? You don’t hate me anymore.”
“I’ve never hated you.”
“You’re not her mother Felicity, you can’t fill the gap of someone who was never really there, who never wanted to be. You’re not part of this family. You’ve been here not even two weeks... and your acting like you’re invincible.” He was angry, so angry. All because I’d told Molly I’d be here for her.
“I’m not.” I croaked
“Don’t mess with my daughters head... you can mess with mine all you like... but not hers.”
“I can’t believe you think so little of me.” I exclaimed before I ran away, my cheeks were hot and I could feel tears lining my eyes. I pushed my bedroom door open and slammed it shut behind me. Sure things had been strained since the night of the party, but they hadn’t been bad. The entire time I had been telling myself my attraction to him was purely physical, that touching him would only open a door to misery.
So why was I more upset that he thought so poorly of me than anything else?
There was a knock at the door, which awakened me from my thoughts. I wiped the tears away furiously and walked over to the door. I took a deep breath and opened it. Dominic stood there, his eyes were wide and scared, but then he took me, his hands cupped my face and he kissed me.
It was primal, fierce, unstoppable and soul consuming. Never in my life had I ever felt more alive because of another person. His tongue grazed mine sending sparks of light through my body like fireworks. His arms folded around my waist and he pulled me in closer until there was no space between us. I was on fire but my body reacted like the room had dived down in temperature. My skin washed over with goose bumps and my nipples became like rocks. He had me, for all intents and purposes... he had won me. He controlled my libido and part of my heart.
“Stop.” I said suddenly pushing him back, awakening to reality. “No.”
Dominic leapt back, his eyes were filled with shock, or maybe regret. Just like it had been, from the moment I had got here, I couldn’t figure him out. He stepped backward and shook his head, then turned and left my room, leaving me standing there dumbfounded.