Chapter 14 | Lava Flow
“Is it Theo?” He asked, to my surprise.
“What?” I blinked at him, almost shivering to the warmth that his hands were offering mine in the space between us. He had his hands clasped around mine and his eyes on mine.
“You two seemed uncomfortable with each other last time so I just thought..”
“Yes,” I admitted.
“So this is about him?” The curiosity was seemingly burning in his expression, but I also sensed a little discomfort. Poor Alex. This was his friend after all.
“He was the one who helped me build my client list,” I admitted, with shame in my eyes as I looked away. “He was my first client.”
Alex remained silent, and while I knew he was trying to be supportive and a good listener, the lack of reaction only made me squirm. I needed to know his thoughts about this, but I also needed to get it all out.
“Why didn’t you say anything that first weekend-”
“At his wedding?” I cut him off. “Yes, Alex, I’m sure he’d be thrilled to let his friends and family meet his former whore.”
“Don’t say that,” he warned me, “Don’t call yourself that. You know you’re not just what you do.”
“I was to him,” I sighed heavily as I looked away, anywhere but into his eyes, “Although, there was a time I thought I was more to him.”
“So it wasn’t strictly business between the two of you,” he inferred.
“I don’t think it ever was, not with how he treated me,” I admitted, feeling a lump in my throat, forcing tears to well up in my eyes. “Other than you, he was… the only client I’ve offered the girlfriend experience to.”
“Met his family and friends, yes. That’s why I couldn’t stay at that wedding.”
“Okay.. What’s with the maid outfit?”
“Theo,” I had to take a deep breath to contain my annoyance, “wanted to blackmail me into cleaning his place everyday after work. Today, he made a move on me and I couldn’t take it anymore.”
“Couldn’t he have blackmailed you into sex?” Alex said, deep in thought.
“He wanted me for more than that I think.” I looked up at him in total embarrassment. “He kept saying things like he was upset that you and I are together…”
“Oh…” He sounded uncomfortable. “What happened between the two of you?” I could tell his curiosity was intensifying and I couldn’t decide if that was good or bad. Maybe he wanted to know so that we’d be completely honest with each other as a couple. Or he wanted to know the exact reason he’ll have to leave me for. The muscles under the nape of my neck burned with stress, the tension boiling violently in my veins.
At this point, it was like dangling my heart above a sharp cliff.
Or maybe it’s been there for awhile.
I always knew dating a client would be risky, especially after what happened with the first one. But then again, Alex was different. He’s kind and loving.
Unfortunately, I also thought Theo was different.
“We were…” I hesitated to admit the unspoken, “almost a couple. It was like the fact that he paid me to be around was ignored for the most part. I never really admitted it with him, but our relationship back then surpassed that of pretension. We even lived together.”
When Alex said nothing, I continued wearily.
“There was this one trip we took to the Hamptons, when he had found out that…”
“What? What did he find out?”
My hands grew shaky and I felt sweat pooling in my palms. Thankfully, Alex reached for them, cupping his own around them to comfort me. He offered a gentle smile and nodded for me to continue.
“How could you not tell me that you were pregnant?”
“How long have you known? What good would it be if you kept it from me? Did you think that keeping it away from me would buy you time?”
“Buy me time?” I twisted my eyebrows together, glaring at him. “As in buy me time before it’s too late for an abortion?”
“Well? What else could it be?” He threw his hands in the air and turned away from me.
“Your mother knows,” was all I could simply say. It was the only thing on my mind.
“What?” He snapped his neck and glowered at me with such accusation, I felt my heart break a little. “You told her?”
“No, she found me this morning in the bathroom with morning sickness.”
“Oh god, she must already be planning the wedding. Fuck.” He started pacing around the room and scratching his head with both hands in frustration. “I shouldn’t have mixed you up with my family. It was risky.”
“Right. Because that’s not how it is between us, right?.” My voice was shaky and I felt my strength diminishing by the second. “All of this has just been an act. I’m so stupid…”
“What are you going on about?” His expression was that of annoyance and confusion.
I’m so stupid. All this time, I thought that maybe we could have been more. We sure act like a couple, but of course, he knew exactly what I was and what I do for a living. Someone of his stature from his background couldn’t possibly stoop so low and be with someone like me.
“Where are you going?” He yelled from behind my back as I grabbed my bags. The trip was coming to an end anyway. I’ll call my own car and get my own flight.
“You don’t want this child and you clearly don’t want anything to do with me. Don’t worry, I’ll stay out of your way.” With that, I decidedly stepped out of his life.
“You were going to get an abortion?” Alex’s voice had some obvious strain. He tried to clear his throat, but the sound was heard and the atmosphere was set.
“I thought about it,” I sighed heavily, resting a hand on my now flat stomach, “but I couldn’t get myself to go through with it. I hated to admit it, but I had feelings for Theo and the idea of having his child…” I shook my head. “This would be my child. Not his.”
“Well, then what happened to the child?”
Tears suddenly started to burn through my vision, blurring my sight. I curled up against him, sobbing as I tried to say the words. My jaw was locked and I could barely get the right words out.
“A week after that, he found me walking out of my doctor’s appointment in New York City…”
The streets of New York City were both busy and lonely as I stepped out onto the sidewalk. Suddenly, a pair of very large hands grab me by the shoulders, forcing me to face the one I had been dreading over seeing.
Theo’s hair was strangely disheveled, and there was a thin layer of sweat making his face shine under the blazing sun. Damn. Even in this light he was gorgeous. Will I ever get over him?
Probably not with this kid inside me.
“You went through with it didn’t you?” he shook me with enough force to knock the wind out of me. I couldn’t even get a word out before he started yelling into my face. “Why didn’t you stay? We could have talked about it. We could have moved away and live a quiet life. Or I could have bought a separate house for you to live comfortably with our child!”
I pulled away from him, fire in my eyes. “So that you could tuck me away from your life? Am I your dirty little secret? Too shameful of a relationship to take full responsibility of, huh?”
His face was full of resignation, but in the form of a numbness that I hardly recognized him in. His eyes were blank as he looked at me, and then moments later, he stormed off. I took a deep breath, sighing in relief. It was probably better that he didn’t know. Custody battles would have been a pain, especially if I stated my occupation to the court.
Looking both sides before crossing the street, I took slow careful steps, noticing that I had begun to walk like a pregnant woman. A small smile found its way onto my lips as I rested my hand on my belly, which hasn’t even shown yet.
Turning my head to the sudden sound of tires screeching, I found Theo’s expression of pure madness as he pedaled his sportscar straight at me. I narrowly dodged his killing machine, falling roughly on my side. Crying out in pain, the last thing I could remember was the stream of red running down my thigh.
“Oh my god.” His words came out breathless as he held me in his arms. Alex’s breathing became ragged as the seconds flew by after I told him the truth.
“He doesn’t know? That’s why he’s being such an asshole, right?”
“No, he doesn’t know. It doesn’t matter.”
“Yes, it does,” Alex spoke through his teeth, “He’s done enough wrong.”
“I have to set things right. He’s a son of a bitch and he needs to stop harassing you like this.” He gestured toward my maid outfit.
“Let me go with you, then,” I offered, knowing that at least someone there will have the mind to call the cops if things went sour.
“Okay. But it won’t be pretty.” His warning didn’t scare me, but the look in his eyes made me realize that I should be scared. Scared for Theo.