“Shut up fucker,” chuckled Sebastian as he turned to face us.
“Seb?” Came Arabella’s surprised tone.
“Bella?” Sebastian shifted his gaze towards her to my right. His tone equally surprised as hers.
Noticing the exchange of familiarity between them,” You guys know each other?” Sebastian’s face paled as if he were exposed to a gruesome murder.
“Ye..yes,” Came his stuttered reply and his eyes roamed over her face and down the place where my hand was rested on; her waist. Suddenly every damn thing clicked intensely for me, for him and to her as I realized at the way her body stiffen beside me.
Out of my love and respect for my best friend I threw my hand away from her waist because I don’t want to throw our relationship at his face while he was the one hurting by it. But I did hook my index finger on hers slightly and discreetly just so she knows I am here.
The surprised look now replaced by a look of pain on his face. And me I am lost for words. What do I say in this fucked up situation? Hey, buddy so I guess I am the guy whom she was dating huh? What the fuck!
This was a revelation of a catastrophic situation designed by the cruel side of fate at its finest.
Hurt quickly masked by a low laugh,” I finally meet your girl then Nic, I thought you were just conjuring it up in your mind.” Sebastian joked tugging his hands in his pant pockets. But no one seems to be laughing nor the atmosphere ready to lighten up.
“Seb,” She called out her tone wary. But somehow I feel her voice was soothing down the tense atmosphere.
Sebastian gave a genuinely warm adoring smile at her, something I rarely see him give except to his mother,” It’s alright Bella. Just shocked that’s all, I am glad it was you this ogre best friend of mine was dating.” Casting a brief glance towards me he shifted his focus back to her.
Arabella gave out a breathy laugh at his choice of words to describe me. In other times I would have come back hard and put him down, but today I would just let him insult me if need be beat me up if that would lessen his pain. Because as much as I value our friendship, I am selfish too and I can’t let her go even for him. I would forfeit anything but her.
Noticing that we were all standing this whole time with no one making a move to sit, I decided to led,” Shall we all sit,” I gestured towards the sofas.
Arabella and I sat on the same sofa whilst Sebastian sat opposite us.
The awkward tense atmosphere was back again as we sat facing each other, I was running through my brain to come up with an appropriate topic to talk but failing miserably.
Just when I thought all three of us would drown in this awkward situation. Then Morris makes his appearance with three glasses of red wine and the half-empty bottle of the same wine.
Great! I thought. A glass of wine will surely help us loosen our stiff selves.
Placing it on the center table Morris left after informing us that dinner would be served in half an hour.
I took a huge gulp and so did Sebastian I noticed as his glass was half empty as mine was. He looked everywhere but us. Without even a second thought I finished the last remains of the wine, I reached out to pick up the bottle for a second refill then Sebastian did the same. I took my hand away to let him have it.
“You go first since it was you who first approached it.” He said flatly putting his glass down and leaned back on the sofa.
I silently filled his glass and handed it to him. We exchanged eye contact briefly but both of us devoid of any emotion, I didn’t show mine and him neither.
Taking a sip of the wine, I finally decided to kill this silence once and for all, because it was making my Arabella uncomfortable. And the last thing I want her to feel is nothing but comfortable and happy.
I meet his gaze as I leaned back on the sofa,” You told me you had a meeting scheduled with your executives this week. What happened and why did you rush back to New York.”
He took a huge sip of the wine,” Mother called. So I had to leave everything and come, I reached late last night. Cassandra will be overseeing everything on my behalf.”
“Is everything alright with aunt Caroline?” I asked concerned now at the mention of his mother.
He smiled bitterly,” She is fine. The usual drama Nic.”
I nodded in understanding. Albert Collins father of Sebastian was the sucker for all things happy in the Collins household. I detest that man.
“Do you live nearby Seb,” Arabella finally spoke cupping the glass with both her palms. I noticed she hasn’t taken a sip of the wine.
“I live just a few blocks down the road. You must come and visit my place, remember I still need to impress you with my cooking skills.” Sebastian smirked raising his glass and sipping on it.
She smiled as she finally took a sip of the wine.
Judging by the way they were conversing I feel they knew each other well. I became curious as to how they met first, I never asked Sebastian about how he met his ” supposed girl” which now happens to be Arabella. God! Thinking that out loud in my mind sounds really fucked up.
Quickly diverting my conflicted mind, I directed my question to Sebastian,” How did you guys meet?”
But it was Arabella who answered. She shifted her body facing me,” We met at a club. You remember my friend Micheal right?” I nodded,” well his cousin brother owns the Cloud 9. Long story short we went for a night out and I happen to meet.” She paused turning to face Sebastian and waving her hand towards him and in a teasing tone she finished,” this genius there.”
“Well, at least you accept I am a genius now,” Sebastian replied pompously which earned a laugh from her.
I’d be lying if I say I didn’t feel a tiny pinch of jealousy of seeing her laugh and get comfortable around my best friend who happens to be in love with her. But I quickly brushed it off.
“You are so full of yourself Seb, I said that merely to tease you. I don’t know how you have handled him thus far Dominic.” Arabella rolled her eyes leaning closer to me but quickly shifted away as if she also didn’t want to throw our relationship at his face. I was so pleased that she cared but pissed at the same time that I can’t hold her.
“I am the one handling him all these years not the other way round. And just so you know I am the best Bella. Sad and unlucky for me that you met this ogre first.” Sebastian laughed but I know those last words were not meant as a joke. This is how he is, even when he is hurting from the inside, no one will ever know because to the outside world he portrays himself as the happy go, lucky person. But I know better.
“Excuse me, Sir, I would like to inform you all that the dinner is served.” Came Morris’s polite voice from behind, making us all shift our attention towards him. Great! right in time to save us from another awkward situation. Maybe it is high time Morris gets another pay raise.
Sebastian was the first to get up and move out of the balcony. I held Arabella’s hand giving it a gentle reassuring squeeze and releasing it I whispered in her ear,” Are you fine.” She nodded and I quickly placed a kiss on her left temple.
The dinner table was filled with only the noise made by the cutleries and nothing else. I glanced towards Arabella’s plate to my right, but just like the wine she had barely touched the beef wellington. I made a mental note on asking Morris to make her a light snack later before she goes to bed.
I engaged Sebastian into talking business which helped immensely in restoring equilibrium in the otherwise vexatious environment. Once the painful dinner was done and the table cleared. We were still sitting in the dining room sipping wine.
Arabella excused herself as she received a call from her client.
I thought I knew what awkward was having being subjected to it for the past few hours. But no this one beats it. I opened my mouth to speak but closed when nothing rolled out. So I instead took a huge gulp of the wine.
Sebastian who was sitting to my left suddenly burst out laughing. He really laughed hard like he just heard the funniest joke. He leaned back in his chair still laughing rubbing his watery eyes with his fingers.
I was dumbfounded. Has he finally lost it? I sat there just looking at my best friend slowly revealing me his crazy side.
Misery has a way of bringing out the unknown characteristic of people.
Finally composing himself, he took his time in drinking the last remnants of his wine,” You know what Nic, you and I have found ourselves in so many fucked up situations. Sometimes of our own doing and other times by our enemies. But amongst all, I think this is the most fucked up situation we have ever found ourselves with and I don’t think anything can beat it.” He heaved a deep sigh ragging his hair with his hand.
I nodded in agreement. He was absolutely right, never ever in my wildest dream have I ever anticipated this situation between us. Revelations are done, awkwardness felt, the pain felt and now what?
But how do we do that?
I know how but the path I am on is not going to lessen his pain. I would truly do anything for him but to let her go won’t be it. I’ll be a hypocrite and just stick with her.
We just sat there in silence lost in our own chain of tormented thoughts. Arabella finally joined us bringing with her the warmth and sanity.
“I think I’ll push off. Thanks for the dinner Nic and Arabella you are welcome anytime to my place. Dinner next weekend at my place?” Sebastian offered. He was looking at both of us as he stood up from the chair.
“Sure we would love to.” Returned Arabella with a smile. I didn’t miss the part where she uses the plurality in accepting Sebastian’s invitation. But that somehow didn’t make me happy, instead, I felt guilty.
I need to talk with Sebastian as soon as possible alone.
As we walked Sebastian to the door. He chuckled turning to face us,” You know Bella as the best friend of this guy.” He pointed his right index finger at me before tugging both his hands in his pant pockets,” Aside from his overbearing ways which will drive you insane most times, I assure you that he is a good man. And Nic as the best friend of this beautiful woman I’ll break every bone in your body if you make her unhappy in any way.” He warned looking at me with a straight face. His facial expression conveying the truth behind his words.
“I’ll remember that,” I stated.
“Well, then goodnight. I’ll see you guys when I see you.” Arabella wished him goodnight which was wholly accepted with the same warm and adoring smile. Giving me a slight nod he walked out of the penthouse.
“Dominic.” Arabella heaved a deep sigh as she turned to face me. Her eyes searching my reaction.
Giving her a smile, I wrapped my hands around her waist,” Everything will be fine okay. We need to just give him some time to adjust to us being together. He will come around.” I tried my best to sound convincing hoping she would not see through my uncertainty.
“I never knew you guys were best friends. It never came up in my conversations with him nor did you mentioned him, except that one time when you were going to introduce me to him at Sandra Coban’s charity ball. But we both know how that turned out.” She sighed looking down. There was so much of apprehension laced in her tone.
“I just hope I don’t ruin the friendship.” She mumbled against my chest as she leaned on me.
Kissing the top of her head,” You won’t sweetheart. Get those negative thoughts out of your head. Sebastian and I have faced worst situations, this is nothing compared to the things we have faced. We are more brothers than friends and trust me this is not going to ruin our friendship.” I assured her.
Releasing my hands from her waist, I held her hand,” Come I’ll show you to the bedroom. It has been a long day you need to rest.” She nodded making me take her hand and lead us to my bedroom.
Upon reaching my room I lead her straight to my walk-in closet.
" I told Morris to clear out some space for you to keep your clothes. It’s not much but I think it will be fine for now. You can instruct him tomorrow as to how much space you will be needing and he will make the arrangements.” I pointed towards the direction where Morris had cleared some space just as I had instructed him to do.
Her eyes roamed towards the direction I pointed and she turned to face me,” Thank you, baby. But you didn’t have to, I would be here only tonight.” She smiled.
“Who said you are going to be here only tonight.” I walked slowly towards her caging her as her back hit the island dresser where I keep my watches and ties.
“Every weekend you are to be locked here in my penthouse and who knows seeing how I am losing my mind over you. I might just make you permanently move in with me.” I confessed my truth with full of promise. In time I will convince her to move in with me, but not yet.
Bending my head slightly down I kissed her lips, sucking on her lower lip that made her open her mouth slightly giving me excess to devour every inch of her mouth. No matter how much I kiss her it is never enough, she is the essence of my survival, my needs and I am never full for her, I want her greedily, she leaves me each time wanting for more.
I am always so horny around her, right now all I want is to make sweet love to her. It’s been too many weeks since I got a taste of her and I have been having blue balls and it is not a good feeling.
Not breaking the kiss I slowly raised my hand and gently began to cup her breast, which earned a soft moan from her. This made me instantly hard, wanting to take her right here right now. But I had to stop because she was not ready and I have to be somewhere very important.
Parting our lips, both of us panting,“I love you.” I whispered kissing her forehead.
Holding her emerald green eyes,“Sweetheart is it okay if I go out for some time? It won’t be for long.”
“You want to go meet Seb right?” She asked brushing the hair away from my forehead.
“Yes. I just need to make sure he is alright and I want to have a heart to heart talk with him.” I explained.
She nodded in understanding,” Take your time, you don’t have to cut your visit short because of me. And Dominic from my part the only explanation I have is I consider him only as a good friend. I care for him deeply but as a friend nothing less and nothing more. I hope you understand that.”
“Of course I do sweetheart. I admit I am very possessive of you, I get unreasonably jealous if I see you in the company of men. But Sebastian is an exception. I will never soil your relationship with him by doubting your friendship.” I assured her.
“Thank you, Dominic.” She smiled.
I returned her smile,” I better leave then. The sooner I leave the sooner I’ll be able to get back to you.”
“Okay. I’ll wait up for you. Maybe I’ll catch up on some reading or watch Netflix.” She returned as we walked towards the bedroom.
“Do whatever pleases you, sweetheart. If you want you can use the theatre room.” I offered as we sat on the bed.
“No its okay. I’ll just stay here in your room.”
“Our room Arabella.” I corrected her as I made her sit on my lap.
“What say we continue what we were doing earlier once I come back?” I whispered sucking her earlobe.
She let out a shaky laugh, this made me smirk because I like the way I affect her body.
“You need to behave Dominic.” She giggled looking at me.
“I don’t want to.” I kissed the tip of her nose.
Shaking her head,” You are overbearing Dominic. But my overbearing. Now go.” She ordered as she got down from my lap.
“Okay, ma’am. I’ll see you soon. If you need anything just ask Morris.” She muttered an okay against my lips as I gave a peck on her lips.
I instructed Morris to make a light snack for Arabella before I pushed off from my place to the location where I knew he will be. The only place he goes to, to let out his frustrations.
I always try my best to lessen the pain he carries in his heart. But this time I am the reason for his pain. And I have no idea how to lessen it because taking his pain away means letting her go.
And I don’t have that big of a heart to just let her go so I can heal his pain. I just cannot.
Because how can one let go of one’s soul.