Chapter thirty two
Rolling over to my left sleepily expecting to collide with a hard chest instead I was met with an empty space. Frowning I slowly peered my eyes open and noticed I was alone on the bed. I am slowly loving the feel of waking up next to him and not finding him beside me in the morning is beginning to bother me.
My ten minutes of taking a power nap last night while I wait up for him sent me into a deep slumber. I only became semi-conscious when I felt him pulling me towards his chest.
Stifling a yawn I gently rubbed my eyes which displayed only a blurry hazy vision. Just as I was about to get up and put on my spectacles then the bedroom door opened.
I quickly laid down and pulled the cover up to my nose. I am not ready to introduce him to my unkempt hair and the dreaded morning breath.
“Morning sweetheart. I brought you breakfast. Thought it will be nice for you to have breakfast in bed.” He came towards me holding the tray. But all I could see was a blurry figure with Dominic’s voice strode towards me.
Clearing my throat,” Thank you. You didn’t have to.” I didn’t make a move of removing the cover from my face.
He sat down on the bed to my left and placed the tray of food on the bed. The thought of food made my stomach growl but it wasn’t loud enough for him to hear.
“I wanted to do it, sweetheart. Did you sleep well.” He came closer bending his head to kiss me.
Quickly covering my whole face with the cover,” I slept well baby. But I am not ready to introduce you to my morning breath.” I laughed.
“That’s so absurd. It’s a natural thing.” He laughed.
“Could you please pass me my spectacles it’s on the side table near you. I can’t see anything clearly.” My voice muffled by the cover.
He sighed,” Sure. But just let me explain before you jump to any conclusions okay.” He sounded on edge.
“What are you talking about?” I asked confused lifting the cover away from my face sitting up on the bed and run my finger through my hair to settle my unkempt hair.
There was no reply, he just handed me the spectacles. Finally, with the clear vision, I turned to face him,” Oh my goodness! What happened to your face?” I gasped hand flying over my parted lips. He had torn bluish-purple bruised lower lip but it wasn’t so deep as to split it apart and a slightly bluish-purple bruised cheek.
He rubbed his forehead, turning his face away from my shock stare,” Last night Sebastian and I..”
I interrupted him cutting him off mid-sentence,“You guys fought didn’t you?” My voice raising an octave high.
“It is not what you think.” He stated holding my gaze.
Huffing I folded my arms against my chest,” It is exactly what I think. You said you would go talk to him not have fist fights with him. This is all wrong, it is all my fault.” My voice cracked. I was almost in tears, I am breaking years of friendships. And I am selfishly sitting here not having the strength to walk out of his life to make things better between them.
He sighed and put the tray of food which also had a bouquet of pink and white roses on the side table beside him and came inside the cover pulling me closer to him,” Why would you assume that it is your fault huh? Get these negative thoughts out of your head, I don’t like to see you upset like this. Last night we were at an underground fight club run by a mutual friend of ours in Queens. Sebastian was already fighting in the ring when I arrived and I just joined him for a friendly sparring. And just to ease your tension we went to his hotel after to have a drink and parted for the night. We are still thick as thieves.” He finished pulling me on his lap as his back rested on the headboard of the bed.
My shoulders slumped in relief on hearing his explanation,“I’m sorry for assuming the worst. I was just so worried, I really don’t want to come between your friendship. And also I don’t want to lose anyone of you. He is my friend and you,” I paused circling my arms around his neck looking into the depth of his grey-blue eyes.
" You are beginning to become the most important person in my life,” I confessed. This is me indirectly confessing to him that I was falling for him. I want to straightforwardly tell him but for many insecure reasons, I locked it at the back of my mind, telling myself not now.
He smiled widely,” I love the part where you tell me I am on my way to becoming the most important person in your life.” He leaned in to give a peck on my lips. He winced as our lips make contact.
Seeing him wince I trace my finger lightly on his lower lip and the bruised cheek,” This will take some days to heal. Is it hurting so much.”
“Not more than the thought of me not being able to kiss you properly for days. That fucker!” He cursed under him breathe.
I giggled,” That’s a punishment from above for lying to me that you were just going to talk to each other.”
Gripping my waist firmly he flipped me on my back, hands resting on both sides caging me. His knees rested in between my parted legs as his body hovered over me,” You would love that don’t you. Will guess what,” He leaned in whispering in my ear,” There are so many things we can do other than kissing.” He slowly lifted my pajama top and his hands work on giving me nothing but pure pleasure.
I gasped at the sensuous pleasure he was giving me. His tongue traced my lower lip and bit it softly as I moaned with no restraint.
Panting out of breath I gazed at him dizzily,” I am hungry.” Trying to divert his mind towards breakfast and to settle my treacherous body from demanding anything further from him.
“So I’m I.” His voice hoarse. Pupils dilated with lust. This time he lowers his head down to give me pleasure with his tongue.
Holding his head and dragging him up to face me,” I mean real food. You brought breakfast right.” I pointed my chin towards the food letting out a shaky laugh.
He chuckled,” Too bad I was on my way to taste the main course.”
I was rendered speechless, heat burning and consuming my whole body. I could literally feel the hotness in my ears.
Tugging my hair on my ear,” Maybe another time.” He winked pulling my top down and got off from me.
I cleared my throat feeling very conscious. I sat up on the bed not knowing how to behave, I hugged my arms trying to settle my nerves.
“Roses for my love.” He handed me the bouquet of pink and white roses.
“Thank you.” I smiled as I took the roses from him and inhaled its sweet perfume.
“Morris baked his special cheese Croissant.” Dominic placed the tray of food on the bed. The tray was a treat to look at, there was this whole gourmet of food. Croissant perfectly baked to glistening golden brown, colorful bowl of fruits cut up in cubes, a bowl of mixed berries, yogurt, muesli with nuts, milk, grapefruit juice and black coffee.
As we began eating, I asked him casually,“I never got to ask you. Do you cook?”
He chuckled,” I can make a cup of coffee.”
I let out a soft laugh and forked a raspberry and lifted the fork towards him feeding him.
“Good thing you have Morris then. What are your plans today apart from work?” I washed down the cheese Croissant with the grapefruit juice.
“I have a dinner and movie date with my girlfriend in our room.” He casually stated.
Shaking my head,” I heard she will be busy and is going back to her place after work.” I laughed. We sound so silly talking about me as the third person.
“Not a chance of that happening. Sweetheart, I am injured are you going to leave me this way?” He farrowed his brows faking annoyance but fails as his lips tilt at the edges to form a smile.
“Tsk tsk emotionally blackmailing me isn’t going to work baby.”
“Why not it’s not like I am faking the injuries. We couldn’t spend much time together last night. Let me at least make it up to you tonight please.” He pleaded.
“I don’t think I can. I’ll be working late and I might have to go to Queens tomorrow early to meet a witness for my upcoming case.” Chewing on the cheese croissant he fed me. I was adamant about going back to my place. I get irritated if I stayed away from home for too long, not that I don’t like staying with him but I like my own space; me time.
“Sweetheart, best come up with better excuses for not wanting to stay back here. You know I am always available to pick you up and drop you off wherever you want and even if I can’t I can always arrange something or the other for you.” He said as a matter of factly.
“You have answers for everything don’t you.” Shaking my head but I couldn’t suppress the smile that formed on my lips,” Speaking of Queens. What’s with you and Seb’s association with the fight club. It is illegal isn’t.” I raised a brow, if caught they will be in serious problem.
" Yes, it is but what is the fun of walking the straight line always.” He winked taking a sip of the grape juice.
“It is always good to be within the radius of the law.”
“Spoken like a true lawyer.” He chuckled.
I smacked his chest with the back of my hand.
“Aah!” He groaned and winced rubbing his chest.
“So sorry. Did you get hurt there too?” I sighed rubbing his chest gently.
“See I am totally battered. Still, don’t want to stay back tonight.” Holding my hand against his chest, looking at me with a fragile innocent look.
Rolling my eyes,” Fine but only for tonight.”
He smiled and went back to eating his breakfast. The remaining time was spent with me asking him about Seb and their friendship. He told me all about them starting from their childhood. The more he told me tales about them I felt horribly sorry for their mothers, they were two evil imps.
Finally both of us ready for work we walked down to his garage. He insisted on me driving the car he gifted me last night. So I drove the car with him in the passenger seat and Arthur following behind us with his car.
Upon reaching my office I offered Dominic to come inside as well so I could show him my office.
“Good morning Ell. Sir,” Alex greeted us.
“Good morning Alex. Dominic meet our assistant and receptionist the multitasking man Alexander Maxwell.” I smiled.
“Pleasure to meet you, Mr. Dominic.” Alex shook Dominic’s hand. Casting him an admiring gaze, going pink on his cheek.
“Pleasure is all mine Alexander.” Returned Dominic.
" Oh call me Alex.” He giggled blushing further.
I bit my lower lip trying to refrain myself from laughing out loud.
“Is Jemi in?” Casting a brief glance towards her office room.
“No, she hasn’t. Ell, I have rescheduled your meeting with Linda Banks tomorrow at 10 instead of today.” Alex informed still looking flustered.
“Why?” I enquired.
“She had some urgent work to take care of today so she called in early this morning requesting to reschedule the meeting tomorrow instead.”
“I see. Please tell Jemi to come to my office when she arrives okay.” Having instructed Alex. I ushered Dominic into my office room.
“So this is it.” I smiled walking towards the table keeping my handbag.
Tucking his hands into his pant pockets.” I like it.” His eyes roaming around my small office.
“Not much but it will do I guess until Jemi and I will be able to buy our own proper office. Prices of Real estate market in Brooklyn is skyrocketing these days, it is difficult to find something that meets our budget.” I shared my woes leaning on the table facing him.
Looking at me thoughtfully,” I have a proposition for you and trust me it will be very beneficial for you and Jemi.” He walked towards me circling his hands around my waist.
“Okay. What is it?”
“I have few properties out here in Brooklyn, mostly in prime locations. I can easily accommodate you guys in one of my property that way you can save the money you spend on paying rent for this place and eventually buy the place you want.” He offered and held my gaze gauging my reaction.
This was a very tempting offer, if Jemi comes to know of it she would tell me to accept it because things have been slow in our funding for the purchase of new office. I was torn between wanting to accept his offer and at the same time uncomfortable to just accept it because since the very first time we have met he had been so generous towards me and I haven’t given him anything in return. I feel embarrassed to be always the receiver.
“Come on sweetheart, don’t think so hard about it. Just accept my offer please, it’s no big deal.” He shrugged his shoulders casually.
“Can I run by Jemi about it? and if she agrees I’ll let you know.” I knew the answer will be yes. This is just me buying some time to think about it.
“As you wish sweetheart.” He placed a soft kiss on my forehead.
“Thank you so much.” I hugged him resting my head on his chest.
A knock on the door made me pull away from him stepping sideways.
“You asked for me Ell?” Jemi’s head popped through the slightly parted door.
She came in closing the door behind her,” Hi Dominic,” she smiled.
“What happened to your face?” She gave an amused look. Her gaze fixed on Dominic’s face.
“Long story.” I sighed looking sideways at Dominic.
“Don’t tell me you have become a wildcat in the bedroom Ell.” Jemi laughed as I flushed profusely wanting the ground to swallow me whole. She and her unfiltered mouth. Dominic laughed too and I glanced at him with an unhappy lip and he quickly suppressed his laughter.
Clearing my throat,” Babe I think you should leave, aren’t you getting late.” I smiled too sweetly at him. He nodded getting my message.
“Let me know when you are done okay. I’ll come and pick you.” He left a feather kiss on my temple and whispered quickly,” I love wild cats.”
He chuckled seeing my mortified reaction.
Once Dominic left, Jemi and I sat facing opposite to each other discussing as I fill her in on all the happenings of last night and Dominic’s offer as well.
“I feel so bad for Seb and mortified too for him. Actually, I don’t know for whom I should feel bad, all three of you are equally burned by that twisted revelation. But one way I am glad the men have sorted the issue in a civil manner.”
“I know it is a huge relief. Last night was the most uncomfortable situation I have ever faced in my entire existence. And to top that my heart was breaking for Seb, I still feel so guilty. Do you think I should call him or better yet meet him and talk to him about it or wait for him to approach me.” I asked for her suggestion warily. This thought had been clouding my mind since last night.
Clasping her hands on the table,” I think it will be nice if you have a talk with him about it, just text him and ask him if he is free for lunch or something. Better get it over with and Ell stop feeling guilty about it. It is understandable to feel the way you do but really stop yourself from feeling that way. It will slowly eat you up from inside and trust me when I say this, you won’t be able to maintain any kind of relationship with either of them. So please don’t.” Those words of hers instantly made me feel better and less guilty.
" Thank you. Ah, I feel so much better now after talking with you.” I lean my back on the chair in relief.
“No problem Ell. By the way, let’s just bury our pride and shame and accept your King’s offer what say,” She started tapping her fingers on the table as I sat contemplating my answer.
Finally, after weighing all the pros and cons, I agreed to accept Dominic’s offer much to Jemi’s relief. Jemi left for her office and I sucked my self into work sorting out my emails and running through an upcoming case where I will be defending a sex worker who was brutally beaten up by her client knocking the conscious out of her. The first hearing is next week.
Since Jemi had a lunch date with Robin, I decided to just order a take out. I was just about to make a call to order a sandwich then there was a knock on my door.
“Come in,” I called out scrolling my phone to retrieve the phone number to order my food.
“I come in peace bearing gifts.” Said a familiar voice opening and closing the door behind him.
“Seb?” I glanced up. His face was covered by the huge takeout bag he was holding up.
“How badly are you hurt.” I sighed and prepared my self to see the worse.
He slowly put down the takeout bag and away from his face.
My eyes widen in shock. A black eye, a bluish-purple bruised cheek graced his face. And I didn’t miss his other free hand which was heavily bandaged.
“Spoils of war.” He chuckled as he took a seat opposite me putting the food on the table.
“I am not happy at all just so you know.” My lips pressed together in annoyance.
He nodded looking down avoiding my judging eyes,” I understand. But on a lighter note look how he destroyed my handsome face.” He chuckled pointing to his face meeting my gaze.
" I am sorry Seb. Really sorry for everything, I never meant to hurt you.” It was my turn to look away, guilt eating me up from the inside.
Reaching out and giving my hand a gentle squeeze,” Bella don’t apologize like this. You never hurt me, it was just an unfortunate situation that’s all. At least you still have your handsome friend here with you bringing all the possible varieties of dim sums from our place.” He grinned.
I laughed,” How much did you get.”
“Everything on the menu.” He returned smiling and began unwrapping the boxes.
Shaking my head, birds of the same feather flock together I guess. Always the extra with these two.
Since it was too much for just the two of us I offered some of it to Alex. And still there were left overs after.
Seb finally got up to leave after our heavy lunch and exchange of pleasant conversations and making me laugh with all his jokes.
I walked him to his car.
Tugging my hair on my ear and meeting his soft blue eyes,” Seb, I know I can’t give you what you seek. But I just want you to know that I love you in all the truest possible ways a person could love a friend. Thank you for your friendship.” I meant every word I said to him and I hope my confession will in time help to heal his fractured heart. Because I know how difficult it is to love someone and not getting the same in return.
“Thank you, Bella. I love you too maybe not in the same light as you but in time I’ll learn to just love you as a friend. I’ll always be there for you, remember that. I’ll see you around.” He kissed me lightly on my cheek and stepped into his car and drove off.