“Choose your words carefully, ” I warned as I rested my hand on the arm of the chair she was sitting on.
She huffed and crossed her arms against her chest.
“Don’t make me do things we’ll both regret. I’m warning for the last time are you or are you not with Nicholas Ramirez, ” Anger, deep seething anger erupting inside me as I glared at her.
She smirked meeting my angry gaze and lifted up her hand she traces my necktie with her fingers, ” I’ll never regret anything you do to me, Dom. Maybe you can take me right here, ” She looked around before meeting my gaze.
“Remember how you took me right against the window of the hotel we stayed? That was hot as fuck Dom,” She smiled pulling her bottom lip between her teeth seductively.
Pulling myself away from her I pinched the bridge of my nose as I cringe at the memory.
It was what I wanted at that time but now I’d be a fool to want that.
I thought I could easily pull out the information from her when I left my office towards the location where she was having her photo shoot, information as provided by her PA. But I don’t think she would blur it out.
Turning to face her as she sat there still smiling coyly at me.
“Be careful of what you wish for Cecilia, ” I smirked as I rested my hands on my waist, “I don’t think you would want me to tell Gavril Kozlov that you terminated something that belongs to him.”
I let out a cold low chuckle as I saw her face go pale and sat down comfortably on the sofa folding my legs. Eyes wide in horror, mouth parted slightly she stays that way as if speech has left her mouth. Only silence graced her makeup room.
“Come on Ceci don’t go silent on me, ” I taunted her calling by the name she wants me to.
She blinked her eyes repeatedly as if she couldn’t believe I knew this secret of hers. She clenched her fists into a ball and shut her eyes.
“Do I get the truth?” I asked as I satisfyingly inhaled and exhaled a breathe.
Her eyes snapped open, still mirroring the terror from early on, she swallowed hard and opened her mouth to speak but it comes out so soft I had to lean forward resting my elbows on my knees making a low steeple gesture with my fingers.
“What? Say that louder. I didn’t quite catch you.” I said still taunting her.
“Hah.how did you find out,” she strutted. Voice still soft but audible.
“You’ve forgotten who I truly am dear Ceci.” I shook my head giving her a disappointed look as I leaned back on the sofa.
“He..he can’t find out Dom. Please, ” She pleaded, almost on the verge of breaking down. But I felt no remorse for it, I’m beyond pass the niceties.
“It’s been a long time since I met him. We were good friends since high school you know. He owes me a lot of favors and me him. You know how their friendships work, its always one favor for another. Maybe this piece of information I have will be my chance to repay him back_”
“NO, ” She shrieks getting up from her seat.
“No?” I casually echoed her word raising a brow.
“Please.” She pleaded again, lips quivering.
“Then tell me what I asked. Only the truth.” I demanded between clenched teeth, cold eyes boring into her.
She nodded and sat down on the chair.
“A month back Nicholas came to me seeking my cooperation in creating problems between you and that woman, ” she spat but quickly rephrase as I glared at her, ” girlfriend I mean.”
“He knows how much you mean to me. His cousin Rosa is my best friend so maybe he might have known about us from her_”
“Get to the point.” I dismissively returned cutting her off. I’m in no mood to hear her essay on how people are aware of her feelings for me.
“I’m not working with him, I told him I don’t need his help to get rid of your girlfriend and have you to myself. I can do it on my own.” She returned matter-of-factly.
“That’s interesting but I’m not buying it. Good luck with facing Gavril, I’m sure he won’t be pleased that you terminated his heir.” I stood up from the sofa.
She rushed towards me grabbing my hand, ” Dom, please I’m telling the truth. I had my assistant take the picture of us outside your hotel that night and sent it to that tabloid paper. I did that once I learned from your staffs that you were alone that night.” She rambled on desperately. The pressure of her hand on mine increasing.
“Please, ” Tears were now streaming down her cheeks as she pleaded with me.
I grab her hand that was on mine and roughly pushed it away, ” Where is the attitude you had early on Ceci. Don’t want to taunt me anymore. Why the pleading now. I’m sure Gavril would forgive you after all you guys were lovers.”
Her eyes widen in terror shaking her head vigorously, ” He won’t. He will get me killed, you know how his world works. He will never take this betrayal well. It was a mistake, I was drawn to the excitement his world offered which was so naive of me. But once I realized it wasn’t for me, I broke off with him and he was fine with it because he wasn’t looking for anything serious. I thought I was done with him but then after some few weeks, I came to know I was two weeks pregnant I had to do something about it. So I did what was best for me Dom.” She wiped her face of the tears.
I looked at her in disgust at the way she talked about the issue. I understand her fear towards Gavril, hell even me I am careful about how I maintain my relationship with him even though we were childhood friends.
Born into the Kozlov family one of the oldest mafia family ruling the whole of Russia and now under Gavril Kozlov, the empire has become more powerful, their influence spread all over the world. So I know why Cecilia would fear him. Fling or not I know my friend would never take this betrayal from her well.
I won’t act on this information I have because I know Gavril would get her killed without a second thought. But I need to use this to frighten her into telling me the truth.
“I swear Dom, I am not with Nicholas. I want you, Dom, I hate to see you with her but I’ll have you on my own terms not acting as someone’s bait. I have my pride.” She tried to compose herself meeting my eyes determinedly but her voice seemed rather unsteady, like as if she were having trouble to breathe.
Not a word left my mouth as I stood to assess the situation. I know she is telling the truth now. But what’s the guarantee she wouldn’t sight with him in the future.
“I didn’t tell you about this encounter with Nicholas because I knew if he succeeds on his motives it would make my job easier to have you. And I don’t regret it. But please Dom, I don’t deserve to face the wrath of Gavril for these minor setbacks you are having with your girlfriend_”
“MINOR SETBACKS?” She flinches taking a step back as I roared in anger glaring at her in deep hatred. Each revelation including all the things I uncovered today was starting to blacken my heart. It’s like I won’t be at peace until I crumble everyone that has hurt my Arabella, for the trauma she must have faced. For the tears, she must have shed.
“I..I’m sorry, ” she mumbled looking down.
“You think all this is funny don’t you, ” I grabbed her arm, ” Look into my eyes when I speak to you.” She slowly lifts her head and meets my gaze.
“Never ever think of causing any stress to my Arabella. Gavril would be nothing compared to me if I lose her, don’t fuck with me, Cecilia. This is your last warning.” I shook her and released my hand from her arm.
She wraps her arms around her as if she were comforting herself. I can see that my angry demeanor had rattled her deeply.
“For now I’ll take your words that you aren’t with Nicholas but mark my words if you try to come in between me and my woman I’ll crumble your world. Good luck handling both me and Gavril.” I warned her and walked towards the door to get the fuck away from her and go meet my Arabella.
“I won’t Dom, ” she says stopping me in my tracks but I didn’t bother to turn to face her instead I gave my back to her as she continued to speak.
“The message is all clear that she is all you want Dom. But just as you want her it is the same with me too. I want you and nothing can diminish the feelings I have for you not even you. I’ll back away for now but if ever in life I come to know that she is not in your life then I won’t stop myself from pursuing you.”
“Trust me I’m never letting her go nor will she ever be able to get rid of me from her life because nothing can ever replace her,” I stated every word in conviction. This was my truth and I’ll always nurture it and never go astray from it.
I heard a sniff as I walked out of the room and closed the door behind me. I didn’t bother to check up on her because all I want to do was to get to my office and hold Arabella in my arms.
Having subjected to the feeling of losing her these past few days has shaken my foundation to the core. I’m so used to having control in everything I do and not knowing what to do, so clueless and helpless is something I never want to go through again. But I know when it comes to Arabella I come undone, these past days have only certified that.
As soon as I parked the car outside my office I ran out handing the car key to the valet and headed towards the elevator taking long strikes.
“Sir Miss Dickens and Mr.Collins are waiting for you inside your office,” Janis called out walking towards me as soon as I step out of the private elevator and walked towards my office.
I acknowledged her message with a nod and walked towards my office. No sooner I swing the door open and closed it I walked towards her and without a word, I took her into my arms as she stood to face the clear glass window.
“Are you alright, ” I asked her meeting her gaze and kissed her forehead.
“I’m fine, ” she whispered. I breathe a sigh of relief on hearing her sweet voice and having her in my arms. Just to make sure I hugged her again but she seemed stiff, she didn’t hug me back.
But I brushed it aside, maybe she is just too overwhelmed with everything that has happened. I decided to leave everything and take her home.
“Nic, ” Sebastian called out from behind. In my rush to hold her in my arms, I completely forgot about the presence of my best friend.
Securely intertwining my hand with hers I turned to face him.
“Did the meeting go well?” He asked getting up from the chair he was sitting on.
“Good. I’ll take my leave. You guys need to catch up and Nic don’t bother yourself with Ramirez for today, I’ll handle it.” He assures meeting my gaze but gives a worried glance towards Arabella.
“Thank you, Sebastian. We will move out too.” I declared, ” Come on Sweetheart lets go home.” She barely whispered an okay. Damn it what is wrong with her and why is Sebastian acting weird too.
The whole ride from my office to the penthouse she didn’t say a word. Which left me guessing, what did I do wrong, I’m in trouble?
I dismissed Morris for the night as soon as we reached and we headed upstairs to our bedroom in silence.
As she continued to sit there on the bed in silence, I thought enough is enough. I’m done with the silent treatment from her.
“What is wrong sweetheart. Why won’t you talk to me?” I went towards her parting her legs and kneeling in between her parted legs I cupped her face.
“Nothing is wrong, ” She replied with a frown.
There we have it, that golden word, ” nothing is wrong” which means nothing is right and I’m in trouble.
“Tell me what’s bothering you.” I kissed her frown on her lips. Fucking shit, just the taste of her plump lips on mine is making me go hard, what a fucked up timing.
She heaved a deep sigh and met my gaze, ” Why do Cecilia seem to be with you everytime I’m not with you? And also I left a note inside your blazer pocket explaining everything but_”
“Wait a minute what note are you talking about, ” I eyed her in confusion.
“I left a note inside your blazer pocket that day you came to my apartment and we had that confrontation.” She explains frustration taking charge of her speech.
Suddenly something clicked on me. Fucking shit! That note. When the realization hit me, guilt instantly filled me.
“I’m so sorry sweetheart I was too caught up in the thought of losing you that I wasn’t being attentive. I’m sorry.”
She nodded as if she were saying she understands but I was wrong.
“More like being caught up with Cecilia you mean, seems like you guys are the new IT couple, well congrats, ” her tone dripping in sarcasm, for a second she didn’t sound like herself.
Huh? What the fuck.
I stood up taking a step back from her treading my fingers through my hair.
“Sweetheart you got it all wrong. It was a set up by her, I was on the rooftop and she came to me_”
“Isn’t the rooftop a private area, ” she interrupted me looking up and meeting my gaze.
“Yes, it is but she came up somehow. This whole thing was a setup, the kiss, everything. She orchestrated the whole situation.”
“Wow! so she kissed you and you just allowed that to happen too. I’m sorry but your meeting with her always ends up with you being kissed by her.” She huffs and stands up from the bed.
“It was just a peck, I really didn’t know she was doing that when she hugged m_”
“Just a peck? You sound disappointed, maybe next time get a full-blown kiss with tongue involved.” She lashed out fury taking over her. I have never seen her this mad.
“It was a mistake and it will never happen again.” My words coming out in measured control. I’m trying my best not to lose my cool but it was getting difficult.
I love her to death but she can also be the biggest pain in my ass.
She chuckled, ” That’s what you told me last time. You know what Dominic do something be done with the sexual tension between you two, just leave me out of it. I have had enough with people doing things behind my back, giving me hope and the gullible me trusting people foolishly and getting played and betrayed left and right. No more.” She choked out the words, tears streaming down her cheeks. Her eyes held so much confusion and pain.
I rubbed my face in frustration, racking my fingers through my hair. I’m exhausted, lost for words. I don’t know how to handle this, right now she is not ready to listen to anything I’m saying.
Maybe I should just let her talk out whatever is bothering her and when she cools off I can talk to her.
“Lost for words?” She wiped the tears from her face with the back of her hand. I took a step to walk towards her but she stopped me by raising a palm towards me.
She stood holding my eyes in distrust and for the first time, it hurt so bad. What really happened these couple of days that I am no longer welcomed towards her with those eyes full of love, hope and above all that blind trust.
“You know what I’ll leave you to your thoughts. I need to go home, ” She mutters grabbing her handbag from the bed.
“This is your home, Arabella, you are not going anywhere until we talk this out,” I demanded. My voice harder than I intend to.
She stood there regarding me in silence. Her lips are straight line pressed together. She finally heaved a deep sigh and put down her handbag on the bed which was a relief because that shows at least she is ready to listen.
“Why won’t you trust me?” I asked.
“I did, but these couple of days has changed that, meeting Aliyah, the article on the paper, the lies. It’s like I’m stuck in a revolving door and I continue to spin according to people’s needs and I keep letting them do it.” She whispered out the last words eyes downcast, she hugs herself by wrapping her arms around her.
“Did you even ask sorry to her for the pain you caused.” Painful eyes regard me.
“No, I didn’t, ” I replied pinching my kneaded brows together.
“It was a horrible mistake_” I began but was cut off.
“I’m I going to be your next horrible mistake?” Her voice frantic and fear evident in her eyes as she questions me.
“No, ” I glared at her in shock, ” why the fuck would you say that.” I walked closer to her and grabbed both her arms.
“What is wrong with you Arabella. Do you really think I would hurt you that way?” I asked in desperation. My heart squeezed tightly in pain.
“I don’t know Dominic. I’m no longer sure of anything.” She looks away.
I let out a low laugh and released my hands from her arms.
“I love you Arabella that’s the only explanation I can give you because you have assumed everything on your own and you won’t even give me the benefit of the doubt about all these situations.” I turned to walk out of the room no longer having the strength to face that distrustful eyes but stopped in my tracks by her words.
“Maybe we should take a break.” She tells me.
“You can take if you want but I won’t. I didn’t step into this relationship to take a break. And you want to know why I didn’t ask sorry from her because I was fucking consumed by the thoughts of wanting to get you away from that fucker.” I almost yelled those words through clenched teeth and walked out of the room slamming the door behind her.
Damn it! I yelled punching the wall as I stomp down the stairs and walked towards the balcony.