The night was thinned when Rainie and Draven headed back to their cottage, holding hands. All of their friends had also returned to their respective rooms after they had ended their evening, spending dinner on the beach.
The fragrance of the ocean was lazy in the cold air. The sky was velvety dark, pierced with twinkling stars and the pale light of harvest moon. A sense of whispering tranquility pervaded the night. The beach maintained its veil of serene as if no one was around, only the illumination from the distance proved that it was not in fact an uninhabited place. Yet as far as this corner of the world was concerned, the only people who existed were the two of them, though that of course if Draven decided to make a conversation, otherwise, Rainie was the only living creature between the two of them. She had received this silence treatment since Chloe had talked about Jason.
What was he thinking? Rainie could not tell. He had been so quite even during dinner. Draven had only spoken few words and that if he had been asked also. For most of the night he only either he’d chewed his meal or had drunken his champagne.
Losing her patient she halted immediately causing him to halt too. “Are you okay?”
The beautiful orbs of his eyes stared at her for a moment before they darted away from her face to the darkness of scenery if front of them. “Yes I’m alright.” He said. “Why?”
“You don’t seem alright to me.”
“What do you mean?” He asked swiftly the piercing gaze was trained on her face.
“You seem so distance suddenly.” She shifted from foot to foot, suddenly feeling nervous. “You’re so quiet during the meal also.”
Draven’s breathing was hard, his chest rising and falling beneath the shirt. His mouth was faintly stern as he released his grip from hers. “Was I?”
Somehow she sensed he was angry, only he was hiding it under the smooth controlled exterior. Though, his voice was calm, without heat, she knew he was angry, or perhaps annoyed.
She did not understand why. And now it seemed that the stillness of the night was more profound and the atmosphere around them was tensing up.
Swallowing hard, she murmured, trying one more time. “Draven, if you change your mind about us tonight, you don’t…”
“Change my mind?” He interposed sharply. The dark gaze was unblinking. “Correct me if I’m wrong, I think it was you who changed the mind about us.”
“Do you think the moment Chloe told about Jason, I didn’t know what you were thinking?”
Rainie stared at him, flushing. “It wasn’t like that. I admit that I was shaken up with the news about their engagement, that’s all.”
“That’s not all, Rainie. And both of us know damn well that you’re a terrible liar.”
“Excuse me?” Rainie was shock to the core hearing the direct accusation and the worst part it was the truth and she hated when he seemed to know her.
“You’re thinking about going back to him, weren’t you?” his tone was grim. “If you have a chance, though how slim, you might go back to him.” He continued when she did not answer him. “You’re so eager to consider that plan in the very first beginning since his engagement party.”
“No!” She snapped, pulling her hair that was being played by the wind away from her face violently. “I wasn’t eager to come back to him back then.”
“But you do now.” He countered flatly. “Because now you see the opportunity.”
“You don’t know what you’re talking about.” She turned away and started to walk again. The salty breeze made her vision became blurrier than already had. The tears were already at the corner of her eyes. She was hurt with his blandness but most of all she was hurt because there was a trace of truth there.
“Seriously, what do you see in him?” He asked, the wind blowing his words. “What does he have to make you love him so blindly?”
She whirled around, roughly washed away her threatened tears. “You know what,” She said pacing back to him who had not even moved from where he stood. “It’s not your business whom I love. Just because we’ve gotten closer for the past two weeks, it doesn’t mean that you know me.” She added once she was standing in front of him. “And obviously you I don’t know you either.”
Fine, it was a lie. She knew him, more than she thought she could be able to know him.
“I know you better than I did last time.” He persisted grimly. “And if you give us a chance, I’m sure it only matters of time.”
The emphasis on the selection of word us, Draven used for the second time made her straighten. A startle rushed into her vein immediately. “Us?”
“Yes.” He responded, his eyes stayed focusing on hers, drawing her to get even closer until they’re only an inch apart. “It takes two to tango, doesn’t it?”
“I don’t know what are you talking about.” She shook her head. “First of all there is no ‘us’ between us and as I recall we both agree that it’s going to be a weekend affair. What I feel and what I’m going to do with Jason, isn’t included in the deal.”
“Is that so?” His face was rigid, slash of color across the hard cheekbones.
Gnawing her lips, she broke their shared gaze. “What do you want?” She asked, her cheeks burning. “I think we made it perfectly clear with our situation. Besides you wouldn’t lose anything with this deal we sealed.”
“No.” He hissed, folding his arms to his wide chest. The muscles were so tensed up and by some means it looked so intimidating. However there was nothing like his eyes as she reflected hers. Never, in all the time she had known him, had he spoken and looked like this even when he had liked to tease her. “You made it perfectly clear. I didn’t. And stop using the word that I wouldn’t lose a thing. Because you don’t know what I lose.”
“Having a woman to warm your bed with no string-attached makes you lose something?” She said carefully, forcing to keep it light. “What are you? A virgin?”
“Don’t push your luck too far, young lady.” His voice was steady, expressionless even, but there was a hint in which alerted her to the fact that his annoyance increased. “I’m not really a patient man. To be honest I’m not in the mood to follow this little game with you anymore. I thought that…” Abruptly he stopped.
He waved an edgy hand in the air. “Still, you’re not answering my question.” His body was very still, very in control. “You keep avoiding my questions since I know because it’s the truth isn’t it? What I don’t understand why you’re even bother to come back to him while your brain tells you not to do so? Or have I been wrong so far? I thought every time I heard your denial to consider going back to him, it was the truth.” He added repugnantly. “Tell me, honestly what’s it that he has to have that power over you? Was it because like you said, you didn’t have anyone you could cling on? Or was it simply because you’re used to be around him? Come on, let’s have it for once then you can move on and perhaps if you’re not so dense, you might see around you vividly.”
“What do I think I might see?” She asked him asininely, trying to find logical reason out of the haywire muddle in her brain caused by his speech.
“Fuck!” Draven swore inaudibly but savagely. “How many times should I’ve tell you that you’re an attractive woman who can get any man.” He asked flatly. “Any man.” He repeated emphasizing the last sentences. “And by the way isn’t what. It’s who.”
“Are you trying to joke with the standard enunciation of my language?” Rainie asked, insulted with the way he tried to correct her articulation.
“No.” He simply said.
“Then what do you mean?” She drew her lips together into a thin line. “Are you trying to buzz my ego then by telling me that I can get any man I want?” She retorted. “And FYI, I think I’m aware with my own attractiveness.”
“It’s good if you know your own attractiveness.”
“Don’t make a fun of me.” She warned.
“Do you think I make a fun of you?” His featured hardened again. His eyes narrowed sharply and boldly intimidating. “You’d never change your mind about me, wouldn’t you? You always think negative about me, no matter how hard I try to prove you otherwise, I’d never win.”
Rainie immediately went rigid, her lips practically turned blue listening to the accusation. It was not the accusation made her to be this way, but the element of truth. She did not notice it until now or even she noticed, she ignored it. She had always had bad thoughts towards him.
“Now, since I’m always a bad person in your eyes, what don’t you just tell me what does this Jason have to make you so crazy about him?” He continued, his tone was still controlled but a growlish undertone lay beneath his word.
“You’re probably right that I always have negative thoughts about you.” She admitted. “And I’m sorry that I’ve that and there’s no point to blame you regardless what you do or what you say, because it’s simply who you are. However…” She halted taking a breath. “However, like I said you’ve no right to judge me.” She argued miserably.
“I’m not here to judge you.” He said and Rainie could see that his temper was getting more flare though the way he spoke was still soft and gentle. “I’m here to remind you to stop being hypocrite, telling me one thing and doing another.”
“I’m not a hypocrite!” She was shouting now but Rainie did not care. It was the only way to conceal the emotion inside her. She did not want to see him, that how hurt she was, though the sting of tears threatened to fall, betrayed the beholder. His criticism stung her, no matter how true it was, but still hurt her.
“Yes you are.” He stated flatly in comparison, he was still deadly calm. “And don’t waste both of time to keep arguing about this matter. There’s another important thing that we need to discuss.”
“There’s nothing to discuss.” She said before turning away. His coolness irritated her and she did not know how long it would last to keep her standing tall like this.
But before she could make her escape, he swiftly caught up to her, his hand touching her arm lightly, effectively keeping her leaving. “Oh, I think there are lot things to discuss between us.”
“Like I said, there’s nothing to discuss.” She emphatically replied without turning around.
“Well, I’ve not finished what I want to say and if you do have a prior engagement, I’m sorry to keep your time.” Draven sarcastically told her. “But still we need to talk.”
She jerked her arm free, however his grip tightened. He did not let her go, forcing her to turn around, livid. “You know, you’re violating my human right and my freedom to keep silence!”
“None of us are working in the united nation or as police.” He said. This time there was no anger either from his tone or from the contour of his face. Instead there was amusement written there. “Lest, you feel that I way, I sincerely apologize. And if you don’t want to talk, all you need just listen and I do the talking, how about that?” He offered, moving another step closer. He was close enough to her that she could feel the heat of his body mingling with her own. His breath stirred her hair, creating a sudden headache threatened to erupt.
A beat passed and another. Rainie squeezed her eyes shut temporarily, feeling the blood pounded at her temples as the sensation of his nearness set off the now, familiar traitorous hormones and made her world spinning uncontrollably. She then lifted her eyes and found the pair of beautiful orbit of his was still staring at her.
Giving up she nodded. “Fine.” She said. “Let’s have it.”
Draven slowly released his grip before he cleared his throat. “Can I ask you one question?”
Rainie’s eyes grew wider, surprised. “You said you do the talking!” She snapped under her breath. He showed his devilishly charming smile again and the tense moment between them gradually vanished. It seemed for Rainie it was for eternity since the last time she saw his smile again instead only a few hours ago. But oh, she loved to see him smile like this again.
“Come on, Rain.” He implored persuasively. “Just answer my question then I promise you, I won’t break any human rights law anymore.”
Rainie pursed her lips. Within few this space of time, she had gained knowledge Draven was a formidable opponent. He could easily get what he wanted especially when he did it suavely like this. No wonder, she thought as she looked at him still smiling at her, that he was a successful businessman. Everybody could easily be charmed with his smile.
And she knew too well, that she would lose eventually. “Fine.” She said curtly. “Since you already broke the law, what do you want to ask?”
This time a grin curved across his mouth, then he leaned forward, bringing his lips within a centimeter of her. Her pulse raised and anticipation pooled in her veins, warring her good sense that tried to keep steady. “I’d better make a use of it since you already gave me a permission.”
Rainie’s defense to keep her face stern, failed miserably. His smile was contagious. Either she wanted or not, she followed his suit. “What do you want to ask?”
His grin gradually disappeared into seriousness but the warmth lingered. “Can you tell me honestly, if you still have a feeling, even though only slightly towards him?”
Rainie immediately did not reply. She averted her gaze to the rumbling sea. Gentle breeze brought in a salty spray and gently played her hair. She knew Draven was still waiting for her answer patiently but she didn’t know how to tell him.
How could she know when she didn’t even know where to stand? Nevertheless telling him the truth was the best thing to do.
“The truth, I really don’t know what to tell you.” Her voice was barely above a weak whisper. “Perhaps you’re right when you called me a hypocrite.”
“I know what you said is true.” She said without looking into his eyes. “I’m a total hypocrite or shall I call myself indecisive also?” She asked without expecting an answer or a denial. Draven should know about it. He’d once called her that. “I’m so confused with the situation. You know by now, I used to love Jason and I’ve planned my life to be with him and thought everything was perfect. And when it happened, it happened so fast that I don’t have time to digest everything in one moment.” She gave a sad laughter. “For a second my already-made life which I built on my own crumbled into pieces because of this situation. And as you know also, I’ve been in that situation long time ago and I don’t want to feel it that way anymore. I couldn’t let it go.”
“You did let go the last time when you lost your parents.” He said in a gruff whisper. His hand rested on her shoulder with the tender quality endearment.
Rainie exhaled a wistful sigh, totally aware of his touch. “Losing my parents was inevitable, it was caused by fate. But losing Jason, was a different matter. I drove him away.”
“Fuck.” Draven swore savagely again though still in the low tone. “It was his choice and everything falls with reason. It wasn’t your fault to drive him away. Perhaps it was a good thing, because you see him who he’s now, you should know that? Or are you blind to see those facts?”
She shook her head evenly. “No, I’m not, but I still couldn’t control the fear of losing someone.”
Draven drew her into her arms and held her close against the strong shield of his body, his voice soft above her head as he spoke. “Being afraid of losing someone is a natural feeling, but if even though you already know the bad quality of the person, but if you still keep pursuing was obsessive, Rain. And I don’t want you to be obsessed with something so unworthy like him. You deserve a better person, Rain. Every man would be charmed by you with your wittiness, if you really want to try, you know.”
In spite the blues she had, she could not help to smile as she moved herself away. “Well, things in me it’s too complicated for me to try to lure a guy into my mayhem.”
Draven cocked his head, and a teasing smile flirted at the side of his mouth. “You already did.” He said. “And it was highly successful.”
Rainie shook her head in denial. “Come on, you know the term and condition between us. And I literally told you why I want you to be with me and you’re willing to fulfill that.”
“What do you mean?”
“You know there’s no string-attached between us.” She started to narrate. “We truly understand why I wanted being with you this weekend. So, alluring you into my mayhem wasn’t really a highly acclaimed successful. It’d be a different story if the guy doesn’t know the situation.”
“If I’m a guy who doesn’t know your situation, I might still fall of your charm.”
Rainie smiled. “That’s so sweet. But like I said, you don’t have to boost my ego. I don’t have what every woman has in this world, as you said it, ‘charm’. And even if I have, it’s too complicated for me to deal with a man having relationship right this moment.”
“Gosh, Rain, you really have an acute disease with self-esteem.” He commented almost harsh in her ears, thought it was spoken as soft as feather. “Let me say it one more time. You underestimate your ability to impress everyone. You’re an amazing woman. You astound me. Constantly, do you know that? And before you protest, let me uncomplicated it for you.”
“What?” She could barely get the word past her throat.
“I told you there’s one guy who’s attracted to you. And that I person is me, what say you?”