Chapter twenty two
My eyes peered open slowly as it reciprocated to the change of light in the room, the faint light that peeped through the lavender lace curtain that adorns the single window of my bedroom. Eyes very blurry without my spectacle I laced my hand towards the bedside table to my right and grab the spectacles and put it on.
I could feel Dominic’s tight grip on me. From falling asleep in his arms to waking up in his arms, is so comforting that this is something I could get used to.
Everything about him feels right.
Not wanting to wake him up I slowly undid his hold on me. And left a light feather kiss on his lip, got down from the bed and took out my white spaghetti string short dress from the wardrobe and took out Dominic’s suit bag as well and placed it on the purple couch and went into the bathroom to freshen up.
Once I was done I went out of the bedroom and shut the door softly.
Glancing at my phone, it was just fifteen minutes past six.
Stretching my hands upward lazily I walked towards the door. It was a routine for me since Dominic came into my life. A boutique of Roses is always been delivered at my doorstep every day in the morning. It’s a routine I would never get tired of doing and I welcome it with great relish.
As I opened the door, the lazy smile was wiped from my face into shock. Along with the White Roses and the newspaper, there lies the same flower, the boutique of pink peonies. I didn’t need to wreck my brain to figure it out whom it was from. I quickly picked everything up from the floor and closed the door behind me.
I nervously gave a quick glance towards my bedroom door and walked towards the kitchen. Filled the empty glass vase with water and hurriedly arranged the white roses and once done, I diverted my attention towards the other boutique of flowers. There was a card with the same degrading message, chewing nervously on the upper lip, I thought it best Dominic doesn’t come to know of this. As it is, he is leaving for Sydney, this would rile him up greatly and he has high tendency to cancel his appointments and go after Nicholas. Which I think is unnecessary because I don’t want to give Nicholas the satisfaction that it is affecting us, the silent treatment is better sometimes than barking.
So I thought it best I keep it at Jemi’s room. I know she is going to eat me alive for disturbing her, but desperate time calls for desperate measure. I marched towards her room with the boutique and knocked on her bedroom door, after knocking for the fifth time she finally opened the door. Hair dishevelled and eyes barely open, with a croaky voice,” this better be good.”
“I’m sorry Jemi, please keep this in your room,” and shoved the flowers to her and nervously glanced towards my bedroom.
“Huh,” she said trying her best to open her eyes fully.
“I’ll explain everything later. And please don’t mention about this in front of Dominic.”
“Sure, is that all?” she asked while taking the flowers from me.
“Yes thank you so much.”
“Anytime. I’m diving back to sleep. Will catch up later,” and closed the door.
No sooner Jemi closed the door. Dominic came out of the bedroom all decked up for work. For one moment I completely forgot the reason for my nervous agitation and just admired him. He appeared fresh and very handsome, he was wearing a light grey checkered blazer, with a white shirt underneath where he left the top two buttons undone and matched it with black pants.
He strode towards me and circled his arms around my waist pulled me closer to him and gave a Peck on my lips,” Good morning sweetheart.”
“Good morning,” I said and gave a Peck on his lips. I cling my hands around his neck feeling little nervous not by our closeness but by the earlier episode.
Burring his face on my neck, he planted a kiss on the hollow of my throat. Trailing kisses along the way as he meets my lips and gave me a thorough kiss. And as he released me he said almost in a demanding way,” next time don’t leave me alone on the bed. I want to see you the moment I open my eyes.”
I smiled as he said that. But stiffen a bit when his eyes curiously studied me.
" Sweetheart what’s the matter. Why do you appear all jumpy and nervous?”
“No nothing’s the matter,” I replied very abruptly, making him eye me suspiciously.
“I just spoke to Arthur. Did you find anything other than the roses at the doorstep?” And gave a glance towards the kitchen counter where I kept the white roses.
“No none,” my voice hitched a little, but I tried to act casual by arranging the collar of his shirt, which didn’t need it actually.
“Arthur must have mistaken then,” he replied but not sounding convinced at all.
“Yes, I guess so. Let’s have breakfast, Pancakes?” I asked my voice sounded too cheerful, too fake.
“Sure,” he kissed my forehead and released me.
I walked towards the kitchen and started pouring in the pancake mixture in the frying pan and flip them as it cooked.
“Sweetheart care to explain this?” came his still calm voice from behind.
I had a feeling it was not going to be a pleasant conversation. But before I turned towards him he was already standing next to me and handing me the card that came with the peonies. Oh gosh! It must have slipped when I hurriedly gave the flowers to Jemi. I took the card from him and nervously peered my eyes towards him.
“I...I just didn’t want to spoil your mood and since you will be travelling so I thought it best not to worry you,” my eyes trying hard not to look away from the piercing reprimanding gaze.
“Arabella if it is about Nicholas never hide anything from me. I knew he was going to pull a stunt like this. Arthur, actually told me about this, I just thought you would tell me and not hide it,” his voice hard almost reaching the tone of anger.
I sighed looking away from him and flipped the pancake,” I know I shouldn’t have lied to you..” Stopping in mid-sentence I placed the pancake on the plate and poured the mixture into the pan.
“Yes, you shouldn’t have especially when it comes to him. Arabella, he is a dangerous man, taking him lightly will be the biggest mistake we will make,” he retorted and handed me the plate with the pancakes as I placed the cooked pancakes on it.
Putting off the stove and facing him,” I know Dominic. But I just don’t want you to sink into his level by arguing with him its no point. He is clearly a man with no moral and nothing we do or say is going to matter to him.”
I picked up the plate filled with pancakes and walked towards the dining area with Dominic following behind with the cutleries. He was silently setting the plates on the table, clearly looking very pissed.
“I am sorry okay,” I cling my hands around his neck and kissed him on his lips, which he didn’t respond but as I still pursued to deepen the kiss. He growled and lifted me up and made me sit on the dining table, spreading my legs apart and stood in between pulling me closer to him and kissed me hungrily. I kissed him back earnestly but my mind was also filled with the thought of Jemi, walking on us in this compromising position.
Releasing me he said in an amused tone, his grey-blue eyes had a hint of a mischievous spark,” Since when did you learn to distract me this way sweetheart.”
I blushed profusely grinning at him,” Well I have to calm that raging anger of yours right. And besides, I don’t want you to get all riled up because of that man. Babe, please let him do what he wants, let’s just ignore him and not let him spoil our day.”
Lacing the strand of hair away from my face and tugging it on my right ear,” I don’t know Arabella. I don’t want to leave for Sydney knowing he is stalking you. I don’t understand why you are so adamant on stopping me from settling things with him,” he sounded pissed again.
“I understand your concern, Dominic. But do you honestly think he would stop, after you reprimanded him?” I asked my lips pressed into thin lines.
“No. But at least it would give me the satisfaction of telling him off face to face and it is obvious I am going to make him pay if he continues this way,” his jaw clenched tightly in anger.
“Just let it go, Dominic. Okay, let’s make a deal how about I never hide anything about him from now onwards and you continue ignoring him. Ah ah, I am not done yet,” placing my right index finger on his lips as he started to protest,” but you are free to make Arthur, keep an eye on him 24/7 if you want to. Deal? Are you fine with this?” I asked removing my finger from his lips.
" Sweetheart you know I love you and I would never deny you of anything. But this I cannot do.”
" Fine then if that is what you want. I have nothing to say anymore regarding this topic, it is not like you would listen to me anyway,” I couldn’t help the feeling of dejection in my tone. I really didn’t want him to confront Nicholas. I was scared he would end up doing something bad like the last time and I can’t bear to see him in that kind of unpleasant situation.
I pushed him lightly away from me, as I got down from the table and walked towards the kitchen but he held me from the back circling his arms around me. He kissed my left temple,” I’ll do as you say, sweetheart,” He assured and turned me to face him,” But if he crosses the line, I won’t stay quiet. Is it good enough for now?” he asked as he gave me a short sweet kiss on my lip.
I nodded feeling so relieved, I hugged him my hands circling his waist and resting my head on his chest,” Thank you, babe.”
“Anything for you sweetheart,” he said wrapping his arms around me and kissing the top of my head.
I smiled and tilt my head to meet his gaze,” shall we eat, I’m starving,” I said scrunching my nose.
Chuckling he said lowering his head down,” sure sweetheart,” and gave a peck on my lips.
As we settled down to eat. The doorbell rang, I got up to open the door but Dominic stopped me by holding my hand that was rested on the table.
“I’ll get it, sweetheart. You continue eating,” he poured the maple syrup on my pancakes.
I smiled at his gesture,” thank you, babe,” and dig into the pancakes.
I was a bit anxious as I got up to open the door. I hope that bastard is not pulling another stunt again. I swear I’ll beat the daylights out of him, he better stay away from my woman.
Temper threatening to rise, I quickly distracted myself by opening the door.
A middle age woman was standing outside as I opened the door. By her appearance, I was sure it was the Indian neighbour/friend whom Arabella mentioned once to me.
“Hi, is Jemi and Ell home?” she asked.
“Yes, they are. Please come in,” I opened the door wider to let her pass through.
“Ell, good morning. I am so sorry to disturb you this early,” she said apologetically as she walked towards the dining area.
I closed the door and walked towards them.
" No worries Radnika, please take a seat and join us for breakfast,” Arabella smiled warmly. That heart-stopping smile of hers.
“Thanks, Ell, but I just had breakfast myself,” she smiled and sat opposite to Arabella.
I took mine next to Arabella.
“Radnika, this is Dominic and Dominic meet my friend and neighbour Radnika,” Arabella introduced us.
“Pleasure to meet you Radnika.” I extended my right-hand towards her.
Shaking my hand,” pleasure to meet you too Dominic,” she smiled.
Once we released our hands. She diverted her attention towards Arabella.
“Ell I wanted to please borrow some white sugar if you have it. I send Rajesh to get it, but that dearest husband of mine got brown sugar instead of white. And I am running out of time, I invited my friends over for lunch. I needed it to make Kheer.” she breathlessly finished the whole sentence.
“Kheer? Oh wow. I have around 200g or more I think. Wait let me check,” saying that she stood up and left for the kitchen with Radnika following behind her.
I took a sip of the black coffee and check my phone. It was my schedules sent by Janis. As I mindlessly scroll down my email. I didn’t miss to hear the hush conversation between them.
" So who is he. Your boyfriend?” asked Radnika in a low hush tone but not so low for me not to hear it.
“Yes, he is.” Arabella giggled.
My heart just exploded with joy hearing her giggle like that talking about me.
“Ooh, he is very handsome. Better hook him fast into marriage before someone else hooks him.” she giggled.
“Hush Radnika, he will hear you,” said Arabella in a hushed tone.
I just smiled hearing their conversation. My eyes locked on the screen of the phone but my concentration no longer on the email.
" I’ll give you some after I am done making the kheer, Ell,” said Radnika as they came towards the dining area.
“Thank you Radnika, that would be great.”
“Dominic it was a pleasure meeting you. Maybe next time will have a proper meeting?” she gave me a sly knowing smile.
“Sure Radnika. And it was a pleasure meeting you as well,” I returned her smile.
Once Arabella walked her out of the door she settled down and sat next to me.
“I wonder what is the headline today,” she said as she unfolded the rolled newspaper.
“Oh my goodness!” She gasped her eyes widening.
“What’s wrong sweetheart.”
“This is what is wrong Dominic, someone saw us last night together,” she said putting down the paper on the table and pointing towards an article, that had our picture us entering John’s antique shop. My face was visible but Arabella’s was hidden by the door only her hand was visible as I was holding it.
“Thank goodness my face is not visible. Let me read out the article.” She said and pushed her spectacle upward with her right finger. I found it so cute, I couldn’t resist my self, I lend in and gave her a Peck on her lips.
She smiled at me and began reading the article out loud,”Did our eligible bachelor King meet his Queen at Brooklyn? Or is it just one of his many long lists of women, perhaps a new accessory for the month or is it a week?”
The alarm rang in my mind telling me to stop her from reading further because the more she reads it. She sounded furious. I quickly took the newspaper from her.
" Sweetheart, that’s enough. Don’t waste your time reading garbage,”
She pressed her lip into thin lines and eyed me furrowing her brows.
Shit!!! Trouble alert.
" I don’t think it is all garbage, Dominic. Why do I get the feeling that most of it is true?” she looked really pissed.
I just gave out a nervous laugh,” Well sweetheart you know how it is. The press is just always interested with my personal life. I admit my past affairs were..” I cleared my throat. Why do I feel so hot and suffocated suddenly? Morris shouldn’t have packed this blazer for me.
“Yes please continue,” she said now folding her hands on her chest, which made her cleavage appear more visible than before. I couldn’t help but stare it.
Concentrate!! I mentally scolded my self. Damn it!! She manages to give me a hard on even when she is angry.
I flashed my most innocent smile at her and pulled her chair closer to me and said,” Sweetheart, I swear it was all before I met you. And it was always casual just sex that’s all. You know I love you,” I began kissing her everywhere. On her cheek, forehead and lips. Hoping she would stop asking me about my past escapades with other women.
But I was so wrong she gently pushed me away from and said,” I know what you are doing Dominic. Don’t distract me. Tell me how many women did you sleep with.”
“What? Sweetheart come on it’s not fair. I never ask you about your past boyfriends. And I don’t care how many you dated, although I do feel jealous that they got to know you first then me.” I said caressing her back.
“You can ask me about my past Dominic. I have no problem. If you must know you are my second boyfriend after Richard.”
“Don’t mention his name, Arabella.” I retorted angrily. That fucker ex of her always riles me up, no actually any men riles me up. I can’t bear to see her have any deep connection with any men other than me.
“Come on Dominic, you seriously can’t be getting angry at me for mentioning his name. He is my past and his name is bound to come up when we talk about my past.” she rolled her eyes.
“I am not angry at you sweetheart. I was just jealous and you know I dislike him for the way he hurt you.”
" I know. Hm, we are deviating from the main topic. So tell me how many women did you sleep with 5?”
I coughed as she asked me that. I was completely got off guard. I did not see that coming.
" What. Is it more? 10? 15?” the more she increased the number the more her voice raised an octave. Her face flushing in anger.
Damn it!! I am trapped. I honestly lost count of how many, women I slept with. But I was sure it was more than she was counting. It’s a long list if I include the ones from high school.
"I am waiting for your answer Dominic,” she said eyeing me squarely with determination.
I just rubbed the back of my neck nervously. I am gone for. If only I knew I was going to meet her I would have maintained a lifestyle that of a Hermit.
“Dominic,” she called out my name raising her left eyebrow. Looking so adorable.
Damn it!!! I am stuck. Why is Jemi sleeping this long?