Arabella’s ( POV )
The vibration of my cell phone on the bed side table woke me up; the curse of being a light sleeper. Still eyes closed I laced my hand towards the table to get my phone and my spectacles, I slowly opened my eyes put on my spectacles and checked my phone it was a message from Jemi, saying she will be home in an hour or so. She left with the guy from the club from last night, he wanted to take her for a ride in the city. I protested at first giving her a disapproving look but after coming to know that he was Dan’s friend, who is Michael’s boyfriend, I reluctantly let her go thinking she will be home soon anyway, turns out I was wrong she texted me later she will staying over at his place.
I groaned still half sleepy and the massive pounding in my head due to last night’s activity. There was another message too but it was from an unknown number, I checked it and it was written as, ”hey beautiful good morning, Sebastian here, can’t wait to see you over dinner, message me back when you see this, I’ll call you.”
“arrggh Michael, wait till I get my hands on you,“I shouted, I didn’t bother to message him back I mean why would I,I don’t even know him. Since it was already 8 o’clock, I got up and headed to the bathroom to freshen up and start my day.
I wore my favorite over size t shirt the one that Jemi gifted me, since it almost reached my knee I didn’t bother to wear anything underneath except for my underwear and tied my hair in a messy bun and still with my owl spectacle I went towards the kitchen to make breakfast. I took out eggs,bacon, sausages, fresh strawberries,blueberries and the delicious sour dough bread, which I baked yesterday from the refrigerator and headed towards the stove to make my breakfast, I put the coffee in the coffee maker and just as I was cracking the eggs in the bowl the door bell rang.
I was wondering whether it was Jemi, since we were not expecting anyone. I went towards the door to open, I didn’t bother to look through the peep hole and instead I directly opened the door and bowing my head, thinking it was Jemi, I said,” please come in, your majesty.”
" If I knew I would be welcome like this, I would have come here sooner, “said a familiar deep voice, I immediately snap my head up and gasped my eyes widen in shock looking at the person standing at the door,” Dominic, ha..How.” I stuttered.
“May I, “he gestured his hand towards the living room, with a smirk on his face clearly enjoying my bewildered expression. Still shock, I was unable to form words in my mouth, I just nodded like an idiot. He walked inside the living room and I closed the door behind me and leaned on the door with my back for support, I could literally feel my heart beating wildly against my chest and my legs wobbly. His back was faced towards me as he stood there scanning my living room, which had all the necessity the dining area and a small kitchen tugged in the far corner which had a small balcony attached to it, where I grow four pots of herbs, Rosemary, thyme, basil and mint.
I stood rooted leaning on the door, my nerves refusing to calm down. He turned to face me, grey-blue steady eyes scanned my flushed face, raising his left brow,” Have you?”
“Huh wha..What?“I stuttered farrowing my brows in confusion.
“Have you gone bad?“He chuckled tugging his hands into his pant pockets.
Still confused by what he meant, I didn’t reply him back, but when I was saw where his eyes were concentrated at, I blushed profusely, realizing he was talking about the “good girl gone bad” written on my T-shirt. Mortified, I quickly muttered, “excuse me,” and sprinted towards my bedroom. No sooner I closed the door I leaned my back on the door, shutting my eyes tight,“oh shit, oh shit,” I cursed dying of embarrassment, I could feel my cheeks burn.
Taking a deep breathe and releasing it slowly to soot my nerves, I quickly rummaged through my closet for my spaghetti string cotton sky blue maxi and changed into it. Still with my owl spectacle I took another deep breathe to calm my nerves and opened my bedroom door and walked towards the living room to face him, which I would gladly not actually.
He was seated in the sofa,” You look beautiful as always Arabella, and the spectacles just make you look so cute, but the first look was my favorite so far, you shouldn’t have changed on my account,” He smirked as his eyes scanned me from head to toe making me feel really nervous.
Avoiding his gaze I took the chair to his left and sat down, keeping my hands on my lap and cleared my throat as if that would calm my nerves. Finally mastering enough courage I meet his gaze,“What brings you here Dominic and how come you know my place?” There was no confidence in my voice, I was a nervous wreck.
He knows how affected I am by his sudden appearance at my doorstep. And to make it worse his intense unwavering gaze on me is making me more nervous as I kept on tugging my hair on my ears or fiddle with my fingers on my lap. The smirk on his face fixed permanently, he was clearly enjoying this situation. He was an very infuriating man, how I wish I could wipe that smirk out of his face.
“I have my ways Arabella, it was no trouble for me to locate where you lived. And as for why I am here, it is simple, I wanted to start my day by seeing you and thought I would take you out for breakfast.“Came his casual reply.
Thinking of how to make up a quick excuse and then sent him away and also not to sound rude in the process,” I am sorry I don’t think I’ll be able to go out. My roommate will be here any moment and besides I was on the process of making breakfast before you came here.”
“I still remember the breakfast you made for us just some few days ago, I won’t mind tasting it again. So what’s it going to be should we have our breakfast here or in a restaurant, because I won’t take no for an answer I am sure you won’t just kick me out without giving me any warm hospitality, after all I took this much trouble to find you after you suddenly disappeared on me, Arabella,” His voice deeper as he pointed out my not so graceful way of saying bye to him in Santorini. I wanted to avert my gaze from his hard penetrating stare but I couldn’t I just sat there holding his gaze with parted lips. And he sat there casually observing me, sizing me up waiting for me to try to get out of the spot I was put in by him.
I knew I was trapped, there was no way out of this so I thought why not just have breakfast out here at my place, and who knows if I’m lucky Jemi might come and I won’t have to be with him alone. Defeated I sighed,“Is it fine with you if we have it here instead?”
“Sure I don’t mind as long as it’s with you,” He smiled.
I gave out a nervous laugh getting up from my seat,” Please make yourself comfortable. Would you like a glass of water or juice?”
“No I am fine thank you. I’ll be your sous chef,” He followed me into the kitchen.
“It’s okay, I’ll manage,” I gave him a small smile and started preparing our breakfast, he was leaning near the balcony door and was silently watching me the whole time. He looked so handsome with his dark navy blue suit. The way he was observing me made me feel so nervous that I was wishing desperately for Jemi to come soon.
I am certain he will eventually would want to talk about us and I can’t deal with it right now. I don’t want to say things I’ll regret just because I am very confused about the situation between us. Once I was done with the eggs, sausages and bacon, I put the bread in the oven to warm it a bit and started dicing the strawberries. I wanted to add some mint in the fruit salad and hence he was standing there near the balcony I thought I would ask him to pluck some mint for me.
Glancing at him,“Could you please pluck some of the mint for me.”
“Is this enough?” He asked placing the handful of mint on the kitchen counter.
“That’s more than enough, thank you.”
“Did you grow those herbs or your roommate?” He was now leaning on the kitchen counter. Watching me as I mix the fruit and the washed mint in the bowl, I squeeze a little bit of lemon to retain the freshness of the berries.
“I grew them, I love gardening so much, back home in Ohio grandpa and I have a small kitchen garden at our backyard.I used to grow all kinds of vegetables. Since it’s impossible out here I manage with those few pots,” I gave a quick glance towards the balcony and walked towards the oven to take out the sour dough bread and sliced them up,“it’s done shall we eat?”
“Sure, it smells delicious,” He took the plates filled with the food to the dining table and I followed him with the fruit bowl and the bread basket.
“Dominic do you want coffee or juice.”
“Coffee would do, thank you.”
“Okay coffee it is,” Pouring two mugs of steaming black coffee, I sat beside him.
" Gardening with grandpa.” He stated taking a sip of the black coffee.“What about your parents?”
“They passed away when I was just six years old, since then grandpa took care of me, he is everything to me.”
Reaching out and giving my hand a gentle squeeze,“I am sorry to hear about it.” His voice was gentle.
“This sour dough bread is really good.” He complimented as he took a large bite.
“Glad you like it, I baked it myself,” I smiled going pink on my cheeks. I was happy he was enjoying the food, he must be used to only Mechillian star gourmet foods but here he was genuinely enjoying my humble food.
He just makes me feel so warm and secure and happy for no reason and happy for little things, even the silence between us is so comforting, I never felt this way with Richard it was all so new with me. And in a way although I know it was a good feeling, I still want space from him to really find out what I really want because my heart still aches from the pain and rejection from Richard and I don’t want to be with anyone just because that person makes me happy.
If I have to be with someone I don’t want it to be a rebound from Richard, I want it to be a relationship based solely on my ultimate feelings for that person not because I am lonely and hurt and I need the person to feel the gap. It would be very unfair to the person, I made a mistake of making an unclear decision with Dominic in Santorini and I won’t get back with him unless I am very clear about how I feel for him, with no confusions and no pain from Richard hanging over my head.
“You bake,cook,love gardening, star gazing, reading and a crazy fan of Eden Hazard and what more? I am excited to know more about you,” He smiled at me. The plates were empty, we were now sipping our coffee.
I smiled holding his gaze which were looking at me adoringly and somehow it didn’t make me feel nervous like I was before,“There is nothing much to know about me, I’m a boring person.” I crinkled my nose.
“I doubt it, ” He paused as he reached out to give my hand a gentle squeeze,” Nothing about you is boring Arabella.” It was said with so much of assurance. I felt a warm tingling sensation at the pit of my stomach.
“I think I’ll clean up the dishes.” I quickly pulled my hand away and stood up.
“I’ll do the dishes, since you cooked,“he offered taking off his blazer and before he could uncuff his cufflinks I stopped him,“Please Dominic don’t I’ll do it I just have to put it in the dish washer, if you want you can help me take these dishes to the kitchen.” Picking up the plates I walked towards the kitchen.
“Not fair Arabella, you are spoiling me, if you continue like this I’ll become very lazy and dependent on you.Not that I mind though, as long as I get to be with you,” He was speaking as if there would be meetings like this between us in the future. Suddenly my agitated nerves came back. This was the kind of conversation I was trying to avoid and here he was casually talking about it. I didn’t answer him back, I just placed the dirty dishes in the dish washer and instead asked him if he wants more coffee, to which he declined and walk towards the sofa and sat on it.
Dominic knew exactly what Arabella was doing, she was trying her best to avoid discussing about them ,their relationship and damn right he would allow her to ignore talking about them. This morning while he left his penthouse, he walked out with the determination and excitement of having her back in his life and in his arms, he knew it would be a challenge to make her agree but even if she doesn’t agree he was going to make sure that she knows he was not going anywhere and that she belong with him.
She sat down on the chair to his left looking nervous and oh so adorable with a hint of rosy color on her cheeks, he makes her blush and he like that. Looking into her emerald green eyes that made him go weak in the knees which he never ever felt in his entire existence. He said, “I’ll be taking you out for dinner tonight be ready by 7 okay baby.”
It wasn’t a request but an order that’s what Arabella felt, and it was becoming impossible for her to not to avoid talking about them their so called relationship, they were still facing and looking at each other.
She finally mastered the courage to talk to him about them since she realize it was no use delaying the talk, and decided to be just straightforward with him, “I am sorry Dominic, but I won’t be coming for dinner and I think we should stop seeing each other, I..I am sorry “she stuttered looking away now she was really nervous her heart began beating wildly, because of how cold his stare became when she said those words, he was angry.
Unbuttoning his blazer button, he stood up hands resting on his hips, standing close to her his huge physic towering over her, he looked down at her,“Come again Arabella, I didn’t get what you said.”
Not having courage to look up at him, she nervously fiddled with her hands on her lap and said in a low voice, “I said we shouldn’t see each other again, I don’t want to see you,” Arabella knows she didn’t mean what she said but then again she was scared to face the possibility of getting hurt by him and this is something she would do anything to protect herself from, once was enough. She was scared of trusting a man again and giving into again.
He frustratingly ran his finger through his hair and gently hold her and make her stand and tilted her chin up to make her face him, “don’t be like this baby, I am crazy about you and I want you in my life.” His tone almost pleading.
She shifted her gaze from him and tried to untangle his hold but she couldn’t he was holding her tightly pulling her towards him crashing her in his hard chest, she had to put her hands on his chest to avoid melting in his arms, it was so difficult to see reason when he was this close to her, not meeting his eyes she said,” I am sorry Dominic please understand, I am very confused right now I just went through some stuffs and I just want to be alone, I am so sorry that I lead you on, I regret doing that,” feeling his hands loosen up she pulled herself away from him and walked towards the empty space near the door.
“Like I said I am not going anywhere, you are mine Arabella and I don’t regret anything about us and you shouldn’t either,“he said walking towards her.
She sighed,” I’m sorry Dominic but I can’t do this, please understand.”
“I am ready to understand baby, but just don’t cut me out of your life.” He sounded desperate.
“You don’t get it Dominic, I want to be alone.”
He nodded in understanding.“Fine. You need space and time you want to be alone for a while huh? I’ll respect that. Take as much time as you need. But I am not going anywhere I’ll be waiting for you, I told you when we were in Santorini that I want you and I mean it Arabella I’m not going anywhere.”
Feeling frustrated and angry, she said rather harshly, “I know I shouldn’t have lead you on when I was not sure about what I felt and I am sorry, don’t say you will wait for me don’t let me hold you down, I am sure you will find someone better, “the thought of seeing him with someone else didn’t set well on her but she had to let him go, her feelings were all over the place and she desperately needed to settle herself first before she let someone into her life and she was not sure how long it was going to take her.
She back peddled hitting her back on the wall as he walked towards in anger. He trapped her by caging her with both his hands not leaving her any room to escape,“what do you mean by someone better. I said I want you and that’s it, you said you would give us a chance and when I woke up the next day I got a message from you saying it was just a onetime thing, do you take me as a joke Arabella,” he was so close now his lips were almost touching hers.
She was sweating and her face was flushed. Looking away from his penetrating gaze she whispered,” please Dominic.”
“I know you want me too Arabella I don’t why you are not giving us a chance.” He sighed.
Boldly meeting his gaze,“I clearly told it was just for a week no strings attached why are you so adamant on rekindling that relationship,” she said raising her voice, to make him more angry and hopefully leave,“Is it friendship you want? I am so ready for it” she said sardonically.
That did it she has angered him beyond what was needed but he tried to calm himself knowing full well if he lose it, it would push her further away, he walked away from her looking at her and in a frustrated tone he argued, “friendship? Arabella. Do you think I have been driving myself crazy just so I could ask you to be my friend?“No sooner he said those words he pulled her in his arms roughly and captured her mouth giving her a long lingering and punishing Kiss.
Once he released her,“Arabella I am not done here, I want you and you know in what way I want you. I’ll have you, you belong to me,” he said his expression no longer harsh but was looking at her with his hauntingly grey-blue steady eyes with so much adoration, he was caressing her roughly bruised kissed lips with his thumb. “This is not over,“he kissed her forehead and turned his back, opened the door and left closing the door behind him leaving her dumbfounded.
He really didn’t want to leave her but he had meeting at 11 with some investors from Germany and he was already running late and also he thought better give her some space for now. At least he told her what he had to tell her, she belong to him and that was it, as he was walking towards the elevator a woman with a blond pixie cut stepped out of the elevator and smirked at him playfully,“fancy seeing you here handsome.”
He raised an eyebrow,“do I know you?”
She chuckled,” I am the roommate.”
“Well hello there I am Dominic,” he said extending his right hand towards her.
“Yea I know, you are the hot topic with us this days,“she smirked shaking his hand which earned an amused look from Dominic.
“I am Jemima by the way, you can call me Jemi.”
Releasing his hand he said,“Well Jemi it was a pleasure meeting you, I want to catch up but I am running late for a meeting, we should surely catch up some other time, hopefully soon? Provided I get to convince your friend to come back to me soon, she is quite stubborn, but I am very determined too and I always get what I want.” He finished.
“I don’t doubt that, don’t worry she will come around just give her some time. But remember I’ll be watching you, if you hurt her you will have to face me, let’s get that settled,“she said giving him a sly smile.
“I will remember that but yes just to assure you I give you free rein to watch out for her and harm me if I cause any distress to her.”
“Fair enough.” She returned.
“I’ll take my leave then.Good day.” He smiled and walked towards the elevator.
“It was a bad one.” Came Jemi’s rushed confession.
He turned to face her confusion masked over his face,“Come again? What was a bad one?”
“Her breakup with her ex fiancé, it broke her completely and not only that it was years of nonstop heart break, she was the giver and he was the taker. If you really want her then you have to make her feel wanted and save and feel loved, I know you are attracted to her, you want her but I’m not sure you are in love with her. Its okay there is no rushing in that but please don’t get involve with her if you have to just go away after leading her on. She is my family and I want her to be happy.”
“I honestly don’t know if I am in love with her but what I do know is she is the first thing that comes to my mind when I get up in the morning and the last before I fall asleep. Ever since I met her I can’t function properly without her. I’ll take care of her Jemi.” He assured her. There was nothing but sincerity in his tone.
“Thanks for your honesty, I’ll see you around then bye,” she said and walked towards her apartment.
As the elevator took him down he was deep in his thoughts about her, the kiss he shared with her earlier and the revelations about her by Jemi. Stepping out from the building he walked towards his black sleek sedan manufactured by his car manufacturing company the Kings motors and drove towards his office.