Chapter forty eight
Concentration pinned on the egg poach as the knife cuts through the soft texture. I scope the runny egg yolk and the white with the fork and open my mouth to taste it but the bile raises up my throat forbidding me to take anything inside my mouth. I placed the fork on the plate noisily.
"Carino stop playing with your food and eat. I’m losing my patience and if you don’t do as you’re told I’ll have to come, sit next to you and force feed you.” Calm cold words were spoken out from the opposite side of me but I refused to make my eyes meet the vileness.
Doesn’t he know it’s his presence that is making bile rise up my throat forbidding me to swallow anything down? He repulses me.
Ignoring his threat I picked up the fork and pushed the wilted spinach which was served with the poached egg and the toast. I let my mind drift towards my safe place, him.
It’s been two days and I’m beginning to wonder whether he had discovered the note I had placed inside his blazer pocket. It is paramount that he finds it because if he doesn’t then I’ll have to find a way to get the message to him again. I had explained in detail about everything and I thought by now he should be contacting me.
Apart from those several calls, he made the day he left my apartment after that unpleasant confrontation with Richard. He never called me back and also I for obvious reasons didn’t pick up his call that night. I’d explain to him in the letter of how Nicholas has tapped my phone so expecting him to contact me through the phone is out of the question.
Or is it that he is still trying to figure out a way to find a way out of this mess or worse he never discovered my note. But that’s impossible, I know for sure he would check the pockets for his phone and will find the note. I’m sure I’m just being paranoid, maybe I should wait for a day or two and if I don’t hear from him I’ll try again to somehow reach out to him.
“Damn it!” Nicholas bangs his fist on the table causing ripples to form on my black coffee and forks rising up and falling on the plate noisily.
As a reflex, I lift my head up to meet his angry gaze.
“Full attention here when you are in my company. I will not tolerate this insolent behavior from you. I’m warning you for the last time eat it yourself or I’ll do it.” He clenched his jaw so tightly I could see veins popping on his throat.
“I’m not hungry,” I answered defiantly.
“It is 8 o’clock in the morning and no one is ever not hungry at this time. So stop throwing tantrums and eat it. Now!”
“You can’t make me do something I don’t want. And just so you know it’s your presence that has killed my appetite.” Hard eyes meet him, my tone filled with contempt. I will not filter any of the ill feelings I have towards him.
He balls his hand into a fist beside his plate. I can see by the way his jaw tightens, that he is trying to control his anger.
“I’m telling you for the last time eat your breakfast or I’ll make sure Jemima enjoys the last breakfast of her life.” Words were spoken out in conviction, I don’t doubt that he would carry out his threat.
I can risk my life but never my loved ones. I’ll let him win this one for now. Without a word, I shoved the food into my mouth taking big bites. Rest in peace Table manners.
“Did you like the flowers I sent you this morning?” His tone was now mellow.
“Yes, ” I answered monotonously as I take a big gulp of the black coffee and continued eating. The sooner I finish, a chance for me to get the hell out of here.
“It’s just a matter of time and I’ll be able to officially write my name on the flowers I send you.” His voice trails off.
Shoving the last of the spinach, I hurriedly drain down the last coffee and patted my lips with the napkin and faced him, ” I’m done. I’ll take my leave, ” Saying that I stood up adjusting the t-shirt that loosely hanged on my body.
It was Dominic’s, he left it the last time he stayed at my apartment. I needed something that would make me feel at ease being in Nicholas’s presence and deciding to wear Dominic’s shirt along with my skinny jean comforted me.
“Did I say I was done with you?” He takes a sip of the coffee, as his hard stare meets mine.
I heaved a frustrated sigh, closing my eyes and opened to meet his gaze, ” Apart from getting sucked in on your crazy schemes I have a life outside of it. I have a job and I need to get there. So if you’ll excuse me I’ll show myself out.”
“If you call that little rat hole as your workplace then be my guest, Carino. But mark my words once you are mine, once I own you, you needn’t worry about going for work. I’ll make sure to meet all your needs, I’ll take care of everything.”
I snorted at that arrogant comment he made but stopped myself from replying him back, instead, I grabbed my bag and turned to leave but his words stopped me in my tracks.
“Before you leave I have something that would fancy your attention.” He called out.
Turning and facing him.
The corner of his mouth twitched into a cold smirk as he raised the phone to his left ear.
“You can come in now.” He spoke and cut the call and placed the phone on the table making a steeple gesture with his hands.
Richard walked in. Of course, it’s him who else would it be, after all, I came to this restaurant with him. Another part of the grand plan of Nicholas to avoid the detection of Dominic.
“Hand her the present, ” Nicholas let a low chuckle as he said that to Richard and got up from his chair buttoning his blazer and walked towards me.
“Here, ” Richard muttered handing me the daily newspaper. I furrowed my brows in confusion as I took the paper from his hand.
The moment my eyes landed on the paper, my heart squeezed painfully. I adjusted my spectacle pushing it upwards as if that would clear the error that I think is in the picture displayed before me.
It was him, with her hands wrapped around his neck, lips smacked on his. The caption of the article, ”Union of the King and the Duran Empire?” “The New IT couple?”
My brain was commanding me to tear my eyes away from the picture. Commanding me that Dominic would never do something like this to me. He would never hurt me, that I should trust him.
But my eyes were fixed on the couple creating a distrustful story. A story of betrayal and pain.
“Didn’t take him too long to replace you didn’t he?” Nicholas chuckled. His tone condescending.
“And here I was thinking I stole something precious from him. Seems like he isn’t affected by your absence at all. Now I’ll have to find another way to harm him where it hurts, nonetheless, you’re lucky that I love you. I’ll keep you.”
The more he talked the angrier I became. He was talking about me as if I were a commodity.
My heart seems to hurt but my brain is rationalizing that I must trust Dominic. At least give him the benefit of the doubt and not jump into conclusions too fast like I did the last time.
I crushed the paper into a ball and faced him.
“Dominic would never hurt me this way. I’m sure this is another one of your elaborate plans to destroy us. Cecilia is with you, isn’t it?” This woman drives me crazy. She wants Dominic and I’m sure she is working with Nicholas to create a wedge between us. How mediocre!
Nicholas chuckled and held my arms in a tight grip dark eyes boring into me, ” So feisty, so much fire in you.”
“You know Carino I have a beautiful horse, but extremely difficult to tame, just like you. Bought it with a staggering amount but it gives me a lot of trouble. Sometimes I think of shooting it to death but what fun that would be. So I’m keeping it and working on bringing it to full submission, I’m making small progress but progress none the less.” He leans in closer to me and I turn my face the other way. I could feel his hot breath in my ear which made my skin crawl.
I tried pulling my hands from his grip but I couldn’t match his strength.
“This I promise you, Carino, I’ll not only extinguish this fire in you. But I’ll terrorize your whole being in such a way that you will have no other option but to fully submit unto me.” Saying that he releases me.
“Next time don’t underdress like this for our date. Don’t think I didn’t get your tactic at insulting me by being underdressed. Don’t push me, Carino, you’ll be sorry.” He warned through clenched teeth.
“Spencer you may take her home.” He added dismissively toward Richard without losing his eye contact with mine. He held my gaze for a while and walked out of the private room of the restaurant closing the door behind him.
“You never learn do you, Ell, ” Richard shook his head and shoved his hands inside his pant pockets.
“What do you mean,” I asked.
“Even after all the things you went through with me you still are gullible and blinded with all things romance aren’t you.” He chuckled.
“Do you actually believe that Cecilia Duran is working with Nicholas? How delusional and stupid are you? Let me give you a free advice for all times sake. People like Dominic King and Cecilia Duran always end up together, for Dominic you’re just a fling something to keep his bed warm until he marries someone of his own status.”
I snorted, “That’s something you would do and you did actually. So please don’t insult Dominic by associating with such cheap behavior.”
“It’s the truth, Ell. How else do you think dynasties like theirs survive all these many years. They marry amongst them so that they remain in power and the old money is kept intact. Get your head out of the delusional romantic world Ell. The only permanent thing Dominic can give you is keeping you as his mistress that’s it.”
I know I shouldn’t be listening to anything that is coming out of Richard’s mouth, but the seed of doubt that he is trying to plant on me is I’m afraid threatening to take root.
So before he continues to poison my mind and play on my insecurities I decided to put a stop to it.
“Are you done? If you are let’s leave.” My tone flat as I rearrange the bag on my shoulder.
“Not before I confess you my truth about us Ell.”
“I am not interested, Richard.”
“I don’t care, Ell, I’m not doing it for you but I’m doing it for me. I need to get it out of my chest. Just take it as a farewell confession from me.” He points out and takes a seat on the chair.
“I never intended to marry you, you know. I proposed you just to get under the skin of my father. He was so adamant on handing half of the business to that stepbrother of my mine and I wasn’t going to allow that to happen. So I staged that whole marriage thing with you despite his displeasure because he wanted me to marry Nicky. And this tactic worked in my favor.” He paused meeting my gaze.
“It was either the full ownership of the company to me or I marry you and lose the opportunity of merging the company with Reed’s enterprise by marrying Nicky. My father caught on and provided me with what I wanted. You see you were just a bait I used to get to where I wanted Ell. No doubt I was attracted to you when we first dated but my intention was never to marry you. You were just someone I wanted to date not marry.”
Humiliation slowly sipping into me as he continues to confess and pain, this pain in my heart beginning to suffocate me. I was finding it difficult to breathe.
How can a human hurt another so much? And why I’m I foolishly entertaining this.
“Now you must be thinking why I’m suddenly having the epiphany to confess all these things. It’s all because I pity you, Ell. You are right in the position where you were all those six years when you were with me. The only difference is you were ignorant that time because I was able to play you like a puppet for my needs but this time at least I’m here educating you on how things go in the world of the rich and powerful. Stop making a fool out of yourself and break off with Dominic before you end up getting hurt again.” He casually speaks out as he types on his phone and me I couldn’t help the tears that seem to roll down my cheek uncontrollably.
I’m I making a mistake again with Dominic? He said he loves me, he won’t do that right? But Richard did tell me how much he loved me and how much I meant to him. Which were all lies, a pertain.
I had to take out my spectacle as it was fogged up by the tears. My vision was unclear with or without the spectacle, just like how I am feeling right now. All unclear.
I wiped the specs with the t-shirt and without a word, I walked out of the room and walked down the stairs towards the exit passing through rows and rows of tables gathering people from all walks of life.
The crashed paper still on my hand. Even thought the seed of doubt clinging on to me tightly, pain numbing me. I decided to first handle the bigger problem that is in front of me in the form of Nicholas. Wiping the last tear that rolls down my cheek I catch a cab.
I kept pacing back and forth with frustration in my office room. It’s been two days and I seem to have hit a dead end with my Arabella and that fucker ex of hers, especially him. He seems to be on the clear yet one thing that keeps bothering me is why is he still engaged with his fiance if he and Arabella were getting back together.
Just what kind of game are you playing at Spencer?
“What the fuck is this Nic. Explain, ” Sebastian steps inside my office room closing the door with a bang as he walks towards me and tosses the paper at me. I catch it and open it.
My nostrils flared in anger at the content on the paper. It was me with Cecilia with her lips on mine right outside my hotel the other night. That fucking peck she gave me before she left, a peck I didn’t even know she was giving me until she did it. It was quick.
I’m fucked! I know it’s farfetched but I just hope Arabella haven’t seen this. I need to explain to her that it’s another misunderstanding. Fuck the way the journalist printed it with the bold headings and all, it was like as if Cecilia and I had something going on between us.
“Nic please don’t tell me you are playing Bella. Not her Nic, she loves you. This is going to hurt her.” Sebastian’s tone hard, I didn’t mistake the anger behind it.
“This is a big misunderstanding Sebastian. I have things I need to tell you and I need your help.” I got straight to the truth my voice held depression as I flank the paper on the table and sat down on my chair.
“What is it Nic.” The anger in his tone hasn’t died down but concerned edged in his facial expression as he took a seat opposite me.
I traced my fingers through my hair heaving a deep sigh and filled him on everything that had happened between me and Arabella. And also the episode with Cecilia at my hotel . No sooner I was done. Sebastian didn’t take a second to voice out his opinion.
“He is playing you Nic, I’m sure he is blackmailing Bella into this. We need to find out what it is Asap. That fucker!” Sebastian growled balling his hand into a fist that was rested on the table.
The conversation gets interrupted by the ringing of his phone which he picks it up.
“What is it, Cassandra.” His tone held irritation but his demeanor quickly turns to seriousness as he listens on what his PA had to say.
“Did he say who it was from?”
“Bella?” His eyes lock with mine as he utters Arabella’s name which catches my full attention.
“Bring it out here to King enterprise right now.” Saying that he cuts the call.
“What is it?” I asked.
“It seems a guy from the Brooklyn homeless shelter came with a letter addressed to me by Bella. Seems it is confidential.”
“What?” I leaned my body forward. Why would Arabella contact Sebastian, what is going on.
“I guess will know when Cassandra comes with the letter.” He returned. His facial expression as confused and agitated at the same time as I am.
“Will tell her to get here fast then,” I growled. I couldn’t contain the anxiety and anger consuming my body.
“Relax Nic, she is on her way.” Sebastian calmly tells me but that angers me more.
“How can I relax huh. Who knows in what kind of trouble she must be in. And why didn’t she contact me.” The last words were spoken more to myself than him. I stood up from the chair and began pacing impatiently.
I fished out the phone from my pocket and dialed her number but she won’t pick up. Damn it! She just won’t pick up my call.
Sebastian sat there on the chair without a word as I pace back and forth losing my sanity.