Clandestine Heart

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Chapter 15

Silence in love bewrays more woe than words, though ne’er so witty;

A beggar that is dumb, you know, may challenge double pity.

--Sir Walter Raleigh


Astonishment filled the air around Tristan, pumped in his vein, as the silence continued between them from the time when Lara had told him about the choice of loving him.

It was completely, undeniably true.

Finally after a long stillness, he muttered. “I didn’t know that concept but I can take that.”

Lara felt her stomach dissolve, as she stared at him. “Yes, so that’s why, like I said, I can’t answer on Blake’s behalf.”

His eyes swept down over her. “I understand.”

Lara dragged her eyes away, making herself to gulp her drink in one shot. She really needed to finish this drink fast so she could run away from his presence.

She should not have done this. She should not have taken the offer. She really should not have let herself to sit down with a man who had done things to her insides out.

She placed the flute down to the counter and stood up. “It’s very late now. I’ve to go.”

She spun around, however before she could make her escape, Tristan sneaked out his hand and circled his fingers around her elbow, effectively stopping her.

“Lara, there’s a lot of things that we need to talk.”

“About what?” She turned to him, her face convulsed and her voice was low.

“About you and Blake.” His voice was as low as hers.

“Excuse me?” She gaped for a moment before she drew a sharp ragged breath and began to speak. “I told you, I don’t know about what he…”

“I know that.” He interrupted. “What I need to know is your feeling.”

Lara startled to hear his words. She was not competent of understanding his question. “Why do you need to know my feeling?”

His eyes flashed darkly. “Just tell me, do you have feeling towards him?”

Lara pulled her arm away and Tristan let her. “Do you mean what I had for you before? Seriously, Tris…”

“Fuck!” He cursed under his breath, frustration was building up inside him like an active volcano. “Just tell me, Lara. Do you have any slight feeling towards Blake?”

She stared at him shuddering. It took several valuable seconds for he to comprehend his question. Suddenly she felt a prickle of awareness rushed into hers. Her visage began to change. “Tristan, if you want to know…” She paused for a moment to gain composure. “I don’t have the feeling towards Blake. Because I know the complication I’ve created before when I did that with you.”

“What you did to me?” He asked sternly.

Lara closed her eyes briefly before she fluttered them open. “Well, yes.” She said. “I mean, we began to be so awkward…And I know you felt uncomfortable, I felt uncomfortable and also our friends. I don’t want things happen like that with Blake. So you don’t have to worry about it.”

“That’s all? That’s the reason why don’t want any feeling towards Blake?”

“Tristan, It’s been difficult to get over you, and now I finally managed to do that, do you think I’d go into the same pit of mistake?” She claimed with stricken dishonesty.

“So you finally get over me, huh?”

Lara wanted so much to deny. But she needed to stick with her repudiation, otherwise it would make everything harder and far worse than before. All she did was only to nod jerkily, compressed her lips and then dropped her head to hide the truth.

“What if I tell you that I don’t like that you finally get over me?” He asked in the same measured tones. He reached for her hands and held her listless fingers in his firm grasp. His eyes were intently staring at her. “What if I tell you that I might have a change of heart?”

“Tristan, what do you mean?” She asked, dumbfounded. She could not take it in. Lara heard what he had said yet somehow the words were all jumbling in her mind and she couldn’t make any sense of them.

Tristan caught her gaze and locked them with another of his long intense looks. His iridescent orbs scrutiny rested on her gaze. “I mean that, now I want you.” He had said it. Underneath the low murmur of his voice, emotions rushed similar a flood-tide in him.

Lara’s breath almost stopped in her throat. She was simply astounded and petrified hearing his…Words. Then her eyes fell. His assertion and the way he was holding both of her hands seemed so surreal.

Oh, she had dreamt for so many times that he had admitted that he had at least liked her and looked into her eyes with such tenderness. So many until she could not remember when the fantasy had invaded her life nights and days then when it really came true, she was terrified that it was just her other hallucination, same like his kiss three days ago.

“Lara…” He called her name on a swift breath, freezing her into immobility. His eyes that seemed penetrating into her soul. She sensed her heart hammered and her pulse raced. She was incapable to say something.

“Lara?” He called her name again.

Reluctantly Lara lifted her gaze, the dark fathomless eyes were so compelling sight to see. “Why are you doing this to me?” She asked barely audible. “ Do you know what you’re doing to me? She demanded emotionally, shaking like a leaf, she took a step away from the message that was blazing in his touch.

Tristan ran a hand through his hair. He hadn’t expected this to be easy. He had hurt her with rejection, who on earth any woman would have believed that he’d changed?

He shook his head. “I don’t know.” He admitted. “I just thought if I didn’t tell, that would be too late.”

Her face was stark and stretched. Her throat tightened with emotion.

The memory cut through her, at the back of her mind she’d heard his voice as she had replayed it often; his voice rejecting her feeling that ha shattered her like a hammer taken to a precious vase.

All these years he had not known the impact of his rejection. It had felt as if a knife were being plunged into her side, slowly and with exquisite intent to hurt her.

Though she had not really blamed him. It had been herself to blame and his cold, selfish crude attitude towards her, had given her more reason to keep her moving on.

It’d been effective. Effective enough to make her capable of functioning, especially now when the situation of her life.

But now…Why now?

She lifted her chin, Tristan was looking at her intently, something flashed in his, but Lara chose to ignore.

“You’re right.” She replied in tight, shuddering spurts of words. “It’s too late.” She moved further away from him.

For a moment he was still, quite still. Then without conscious volition on his part, his hand once again reached her wrist. “Why is too late?”

Her eyes were haunted as their eyes collided.

Oh, God how could I tell him the real reason?

“The situation isn’t in my favor, now.” She said, her voice was a thread of breath. “I have…” She swallowed. “I mean, I can’t.”

“You can’t?” Tristan asked in confusion. A frown increasingly formed in his forehead. “What do you mean that you can’t?”

She bit her lips. “I can’t tell you either.” She was forcing the words out.

His eyes narrowed. Something in her face was pinched suddenly though he could not decipher behind that beautiful face. “Ah, so this is what do you want to do now? You want me to feel how I rejected you before?”

Lara closed her briefly hoping to gain the last straw of her strength to tell him another lie. “Yes.” She said in small voice. Her eyes would not meet his.

Tristan let go her hand, forsaking it as if suddenly it were a hot coal. His jaw tightened.

“Unfortunately,” He said, clipping out each word, harshly and arrogantly. “You’re not successful.”

Lara forced herself for not crying. It was successful, according to her. She managed to make him to be cold and distance towards her again. She could have withstood his contempt or anger nevertheless not the tender quality to the endearment he had displayed for the past months.

“I guess not.” She said finally.

He gave a curt nod. “Good then, now, I’ve to excuse myself.” He lifted his broad shoulders and then straightened before he took his step to walk away, leaving her behind.

Damn her! Damn her.

He was angry. Fury blitzed in him. Blind volatile fury of black rage behind his mind, obliterating everything. He knew it was irrational and deranged but he could not help not to feel it. She had denied him what he wanted. He wanted her and yet…

“Tristan…”

He abruptly stalled, head whipping around. He saw that Lara was approaching her and he was standing still.

“I also can’t accept this gift.” She then unclasped the bracelet that had been hiding under the sleeve of her sleeping gown and lifted it up on her hand.

“What do you think I’m going to do that?” He gritted in a fierce undertone. He did not take bracelet that was shining under the moonlight.

“Well, I don’t…” Lara spluttered. “I don’t know but I can’t accept it. It’s too much for me.”

At her words, he assessed her and the bracelet with eyes that would have chilled the hell fire, aggression emanating from every dangerously inch of his body. “You can throw or sell it away. I don’t give a fuck. Just don’t give it back to me.” His voice as he spoke was brisk, expressionless. “I’ve to go back to Amelina, she’s waiting for me.” He added in crush finality before walked away, went inside the living room and disappeared from her sight.

Lara’s tenuous control crumpled and fell apart the instant he had left her alone. She stared blandly through the window. Her pale face was visibly under the silver line.

She was standing still. The wine, the magic of the evening and most of all his confession had drained out of her, emptying out of her like a bucket of water pour down.

She’d anticipated the result would have been like this because of her fabrication. Yet the hurt was the same. She felt it in her mind the savage insolence of his voice, feeling his absolute repudiation of her, dropping her hands as if it were disgusting rotten food.

Oh, when he had said that Amelina had been waiting for him…

Why did he always viciously hurt her with his words?

She felt tears prick in the back of her eyes and blinked, angry with herself.

Enough Lara, enough… it’s for the best.

With that determination she retreated to her room and just wanted to forget everything about tonight. No matter how magical it had been.

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