“FUCK,” he cursed under his breath. His face masked in anger, jaw clenched tightly, and his hand was still holding the crumpled card.
I got so frightened of his sudden change in mood. He seemed to appear very dark and unapproachable. I was so confused, I started questioning myself who sent those flowers to me, because obviously by now it has been established that the flowers were for me. If not why would he react this way all riled up? A masculine voice from behind us broke the silence, it was Arthur.
“Sir, what do you want me to take care of,” he asked his voice monotone.
Dominic fixed his hard gaze at Arthur,” I want you to throw these trash away out of this building in a dumpster. I don’t care how long it will take for you to find one, but just do it and come back soon we need some things to care of,” he finished those last words in a very menacing way.
I literally shivered making me close my gaping mouth with my palm.
“Yes, Sir,” Arthur replied and walked past me and collected all the flowers roughly from the floor and walked towards the elevator.
As Arthur left us we both stood there in silence. He was just standing there looking at his clenched fist that was holding the crumpled card.
I took small steps towards him and as I got closer to him, I raised my right-hand shakily and touched his right cheek and breathed out his name in almost a whisper,” Dominic”.
He didn’t respond immediately, after what seemed to be forever he finally raised his left hand and took my resting hand away from his cheek and kissed it and finally met my eyes and said,” I am very sorry, you had to see me that way sweetheart, I just lost it. The sins of my past have come following to your doorstep and it’s fucking me up. But don’t worry I will fix this”.
“What are you talking about Dominic and who sent me those flowers,” I asked. Now I was getting more and more agitated by the suspense.
“You don’t need to bother yourself with it, sweetheart, I’ll be taking care of it tonight itself,” he said sounding very lethal his face growing dark again, gone was the flash of softness I saw just a minute ago.
“Dominic I need to know who sent me those flowers. I am also involved here, I need to know,” I demanded.
“I said no Arabella. Enough we will not talk about this anymore,” he retorted angrily.
I stood there staring at him, this is the first time he used that tone towards me. I got so hurt; I pushed passed him, took out the keys from my clutch and unlocked the door. As soon as I entered the living area, I walked straight towards the sofa and sat down.
Closing the door behind him he walked towards me and kneel in front of me taking my hands,” I’m sorry Arabella. I shouldn’t have raised my voice at you nor lose my temper like that.” Saying that he got up and sat beside me and continued speaking,” I am just trying to protect you from my mistakes. If I knew I would be meeting you, I would have never done the things I did.”
I heaved a huge sigh and finally met his eyes. I saw nothing but a pain in those grey-blue eyes, my heart suddenly moved towards him. He frustratingly ran his hands over his hair. So many thoughts were dancing in my mind, confused thoughts. Why is he looking so tormented and just who is this person, why does he want to protect me from him? I needed to know and by any means, I am going to know just who this person is.
Without saying a word I took his hand that was still holding the crumpled card and before I said anything, he loosened his grip on the card. I took it from him opened the wrinkled card carefully; I had to rub it with my palm to smoothen it to read its contents.
It was written in a well-calligraphic handwriting.
“Arabella, you belong on my Bed. You are mine. Nicholas.R."
“What?” that was the only thing that rolled out of my tongue, after reading that degrading message. I knew the first time I met him, I didn’t get a good vibe from him. And now after having read this message, I felt nothing but only disgust for him.
I just sat there in silence, trying to wrap my mind around the contents of the card. Dominic held my hand giving it a gentle squeeze, my eyes slowly moved upwards to meet his.
His grey-blue eyes met mine and finally, words found his way out of his lips,” Nicholas and I have a profound hatred for each other. We were like that since high school; it was always about winning for both of us. And with time it just intensified deeply. Our relationship soured more when he planted a snitch in my company, hacking into my company’s systems and stealing all my ideas. It cost me billions making me come close to bankruptcy.” Saying that he fell into silence, lost in his thoughts, it was as if he was trying to relive that horrible situation in his mind again.
I just sat there silent, wanting him to continue speaking because my mind was blank and right now neither words of comfort nor words of resentment would pass out from my lips.
To my relief, he continues speaking,” So I did what was necessary that time, he still doesn’t know that I know he was the one who created that problem for me. I made sure he didn’t. I played a very dirty game, I decided to hit him hard near home. I started dating his sister just to get under his nerve, she was very hurt, she didn’t take it well when I decided to end the relationship. She tried to harm herself. I...It was five years ago.”
My mind went numb hearing his cruel revelations. How is it possible that a man who swore he loves me with all his heart and I felt nothing but only joy, can be this heartless too if Crossed. Since I just continued to sit there in silence, staring at him in shock, he continued speaking.
“I know you would hate me so much after hearing this. But Arabella it was a fucked up decision I made and I would regret it for the rest of my life. Realizing how horrible my actions were although too late, I reached out to her for forgiveness. Her big heart forgave me after two long years. She is married now, having a stable family life.”
Having said that he hung his head down, he was looking very broken and defeated. I wanted to comfort him, tell him it is Okay. But I know it would be me lying not only to him but to myself too. Because it was not okay, his revelations cut my heart deep. How could he do that, how can he? That was all that was spiraling through my mind.
The air felt so thick suddenly, I wanted to be alone to process everything. So I got up but his hands held mine, stopping me from moving. Our eyes locked together, each pleading for each other but for different reasons. Me to get away from him and him to stop me from leaving.
I finally found my voice and I said almost pleading,” Please Dominic, I want to be alone for some time.”
He let go of my hand and just nodded. His gaze never leaving me for once, I looked away quickly and made my way towards the balcony. Once I was out, I gripped the iron reeling of the balcony tightly. Shutting my eyes, I sucked in a deep breath and released it slowly.
My head started reasoning out his actions. It was his dark past, Arabella, you cannot judge him for that. He at least accepts his mistakes, she even forgave him. If you want him in your life you must embrace both his dark side as well as the good side.
But what if he hurts me, what if he betrays me and leaves me broken like her? Can I trust him? The man who declared his love for me, the man who would do anything just to keep me and also the same man who would act so cruel and hurt anyone who crosses him.
My thoughts were so conflicted. I wanted to embrace both his dark and his good side, my heart wants him so much. But my mind tells me to be cautious to break away when it’s still young. Letting him in completely and accepting him as he is, was all I want to do. But I was scared it would consume me and this time, I would never find myself again because I lost it once and he was the one who found it for me.
Heaving a deep sigh, I found my self-staring up straight towards the dark sky. I was searching for answers as if a light would break through the darkness and give me the answers.
Everything is over I thought the moment she got up and walked out the room towards the balcony. I saw the disappointment and hurt in her eyes.
This was the reason why I was hell-bent on not revealing the card to her. A coward move I know, but I desperately wanted to shell her from my dark past. I never questioned my actions nor regret it except for that one time with Alia. But with Arabella, I try my best to present the best version of myself. She brings out the best in me and stops me from making me turn dark and make bad decisions.
I love her so much and right now I feel my whole world is crumbling down before me. I cannot lose her. If only I could go back and undo the things I have done I would have. This has to end, I need to finish this with Nicholas once and for all, I will not let him use her as a pawn to get to me.
I fished out the phone from my blazer pocket and called Nicholas.
“Did I get up from the wrong side of the bed or is it just an illusion. Do what do I owe this pleasure Dominic,” answered Nicholas in his usual pompous tone.
“Just shut up Nicholas and listen carefully. STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM ARABELLA,” I retorted emphasizing each word through clenched teeth.
“Not going to happen, Amigo,” he chuckles.
“Your problem is with me. Deal with me instead, leave her out of this.”
“That’s the problem with you, Dominic. You think everything is only about you, will guess what this time it’s not about you. I like her so much and I will not rest till I get a taste of her.” he laughed menacingly.
Temper flared up inside me the moment he uttered those filthy words from his mouth,” this time I will go all out no limits no hesitations. I will destroy you,” I said as a matter-of-fact.
“Tsk tsk amigo, settle down that famous temper of yours. Let her decide whose bed she wants to grace, yours or mine.”
“I mean it you Fucker stay the hell away from her. You haven’t seen...”
A soft voice from behind stopped me in mid-sentence. I turned towards that comforting voice.
“Please Dominic. Keep the phone,” she pleaded looking so exhausted and I was the reason for it and I hate myself so much now.
I shifted my focus towards the phone,” this is not over,” and cut the call before that bastard said anything.
I walked towards her and without a second thought pulled her into my arms, hugging her tightly. Relieved washed over me as she hugged me back and rested her head on my chest. We stayed that way just holding each other.
She finally lifted her head and gazed up at me,” Dominic, I want you to stop whatever this is going on between you and him. It’s time to let go.”
“I can’t Arabella. Knowing his intentions towards you,” I said looking down at her.
She pulled herself away from me folding her arms against her chest as she speaks,” Do you think he will stop? You hurt him he will return the same. It will just go on and on and it’s not right Dominic. I don’t want you to get yourself consumed by this hatred for him. Please baby you need to stop.”
“But Arabella, you don’t know him. The games he plays, he will not rest till he gets you. And try as much as I can, I can’t lose you, sweetheart,” I pulled her into my arms.
“You won’t lose me, Dominic. Yes, I admit I was very shocked by your revelations but I decided I should not judge you by your past mistakes. I want you in life and no one is ever going to come between us. Let Nicholas try whatever he wants, he is just going to fail, because you know why?” She asked cupping my face with both her palms,” Because you belong with me, just like I with me. I know I haven’t said the things you want to hear but believe me, this is where I want to be, in your arms. I feel happy with you, happy did you get that? Do you trust me?” Her tone determined.
“Of course I trust you sweetheart.But Nicholas needs to be taken care of; I need to meet him before tomorrow. Please let me settle this with him.” I reasoned. I have to meet that fucker before I leave for Sydney.
“If you truly love me, Dominic, you would let this go. Let him do what he wants, he will eventually tire out.”
“But sweetheart,” I tried reasoning with her again. I desperately want to convince her to settle this with Nicholas, even though I know I cannot protest with her anymore. I find it so difficult to say no to her.
“No buts Dominic. Unlock and give me your phone,” she held her palm towards me.
Confused I unlocked and gave her my phone. I saw her pressing a button and held the phone to her ear and walked towards the sofa and sat down, I joined her and sat next to her.
“Arthur, its Arabella here. Could you please go back to Dominic’s place and wait just a second okay” she said and glanced towards me,” Whom should I tell to pack your clothes?”
“My butler Morris,” I replied but confused as to what she was up to.
She went back to speaking with Arthur,” Please tell Morris to pack Dominic’s clothes, one to sleep in and the other for tomorrow’s work. No that’s all Arthur, thank you.”
She hung up the call and grinned at me,” I am keeping you here as hostage tonight, there will be no hunting of Spanish man.”
“Oh, really or are you just finding an excuse to seduce me to bed sweetheart,” I teased pulling her into my lap and smirked as she blushed deeply. Biting her lower lip I captured her mouth and kissed her passionately.
We parted to catch a breathe both of us were panting a little out of breath but I still couldn’t get enough of her; I pulled her closer towards me for more. This time I dominated her completely, I explored every inch of her mouth.
We were lost in the moment just gazing at each other and for a moment there I truly felt she loved me back. She rested her head on my chest,” I am so happy with you Dominic, just remember that. You complete me.” came her confession and at that moment it didn’t matter whether she loved me back. I was satisfied to just hear she was happy with me in spite of my wronged past.
“Thank you, sweetheart, for looking past my past and accepting me into your life. I promise I will work every day to be worthy of you. I love you,” I assured her kissing her forehead.
For Arabella, Dominic was all she wanted and she is fully ready to embrace his dark side as well as the good side of him. Because to her, no human being is perfect and mistakes are made by everyone and Dominic is no less. His wealth makes him unapproachable and very powerful, not one to be crossed with. But she knows behind that tough exterior is someone who loves her so much and she would do anything to prevent that heart that holds so much love for her from turning cold and dark.