Clandestine Heart

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Chapter 9

I can give not what men call love, but wilt thou accept not

The worship the heart lifts above and the heavens reject not

The desire o the moth for the star, of the night for the morrow

The devotion to something afar from the sphere of our sorrow?

--Percy Bysshe Shelley


Sleeping tonight eluded Tristan as he could not rest his weary bones and mind. He had lain staring at the high ceiling of his massive bedroom, until as the night thinned into the small hours of the morning.

He threw the covers aside and rose. He paused to pull on a robe to protect his half naked body from the cold and then strode restlessly to the minimalist door that led to a balcony of his room. Pulling them open, he walked out and inhaled the cool, misty air. He stood staring out at the breathing-taking view of Manhattan skyline, the East River and the Queensboro Bridge in waning moonlight. He relived in his mind of what seemed like the hundredth time about this afternoon.

How could he forget the look on her face when she had seen him with Phoenix in the restaurant? She had been shock beyond believe. As if he would have been the last guest she would have served.

He had been in ignorance state this afternoon, as if her tremor had not made any big impact. Despite of it had been all about his own self-preservation, yet to whom he had to lie? Obviously he could not lie to himself as he reminisced every single detail of her look.

This afternoon, Tristan had not altered his sitting position when she had bent to pour his glass of water. Her scent had enveloped him when he had looked at her angelic face intently. His mind suddenly had gone wild when he had been conscious of an overwhelming desire to claim her lips right at that moment. He had wanted to run his hands through that luxuriant hair and buried his face in its fragrance and then kissed her again to give elicited sigh of pleasure from those lovely lips. He had wanted to take her away somewhere no one had interrupted them as he would have liked to remove that ridiculous waitress uniform and to trail kisses down her graceful neck onto the creamy flesh that laid under the clothes.

He remembered vividly when Phoenix had given him an oddly look and though Tristan had kept his face straight he could not have helped to comment his best friend had said to him.

“Why did you stare at her like that?” Phoenix had furrowed.

“What do you mean?” His eyes had pierced Phoenix, disliked being scrutinized so intently.

“Your manner towards Lara.” Phoenix had shaken his head. “What did she do to you?”

“What?”

“It seems that you want to eat her alive.” Phoenix had sighed. “Tell me, has Lara done something that you don’t like? You always a little bit detached towards her all this time.”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about.” He had replied sternly. “Shut the fuck up.”

“How can I? And I really didn’t know what happen, unless you tell me.” Phoenix had ignored Tristan’s suggestion to keep his mouth shut. “You treat her like some kind of enemy or something.”

Tristan had sighed heavily, then rubbed a hand over his forehead as if warding off a wicked migraine. He had realized that he had acted so cruel but he could not have helped to act differently, otherwise he would have done something that could have shocked not only himself but Lara also. “I treat her nicely. Don’t assume anything.” He had expelled another restless breath. “She’s our friend but, not really a friend, you see.”

“Meaning?”

Tristan had shrugged trying to find the reason without putting himself in dilemma. He had lifted his glass of water before he had said. “She’s being tagged along by Abby. I’m not sure what kind of woman she is.” He’d lied and had added with a menacing tone. “What makes you think that she isn’t a good digger?”

“Fuck!” Phoenix had snapped and grated. “Where the hell you got that fucking idea?!”

Tristan had glared “I don’t have any thoughts at all.” He had slammed the glass back onto the table. “All the women I met are like that, what makes you think she’s any different? She’s been leeching around Abby all this time, knowing that she’s engaged to Liam.”

Phoenix had shaken his head again, this time there had been a disbelief look on his face. “Abby has been her friend all this time even before Liam dated her. And I think it’s kinda normal that Abby also wants her in our lives.”

Tristan’s dark eyebrow had risen. His expression he had managed to be saturnine. “Well you never know.”

Phoenix had eyed him with full of sympathy, though, there had been the pique in his voice. “I’m sorry if all the women you met are gold digger and you’ve suspicious mind about all the women. But has Lara really used you, or us in sort of money or anything?”

“Not money, perhaps. Though what about hanging out with us, going to places here and there? As you mentioned just now that you want to invite her to go our holiday.” Tristan had said sardonically. He had known that he should have stopped this. Because every word he had said and lied had sliced his heart.

“Rosalie loves her. And when another woman likes another woman to become friends, there’s no wrong about it.” Phoenix had stated as-a-matter-of-fact. “Is that why you’re so angry with me just now? Treating her like a friend?”

No. He had immersed. I just don’t like you to hug her like that.

“Can we just drop this, okay?” Tristan had made a slight gesture with his hand. “I don’t like to talk about her.”

Phoenix had blinked then he’d relented. “Fine but at least you should try to treat her a bit friendlier. She’s just lost her mother, she only has Abby and us as her friends. I think it’s a high time for you also to treat her like friends, the way you treat Abby and Rosalie.”

Well, that will be the hardest thing to do, he had told himself. With Abby and Rosalie, He never had any romantically involved feeling. He had not loved them. But with Lara had been different thing. She had confused him. Treating Abby and Rosalie would have been and always been easy for him as he never had a rush feeling to kiss them passionately, tumbled them in his bed and made love with them. He had never had a desire to lock them away from the world as he had wanted so badly to do it with Lara. And now Phoenix had asked him to treat her like other their girls-friends?!

“Fine.” Tristan had nodded, pretending to agree what his friend’s suggestion. “I’ll do it.”

And now as he was staring blankly at the dark sky, the regret he had said to phoenix deeper. He should not have lied to him. But he had had no choice but lied.

He had been displaying the man with no heart, in the past he had no need to pretend as he always been the kind of man that prone to reality. He never believed in romance love story about him being a knight in shinning armour trying to save a damsel in distress. Not even when Georgia had betrayed him. Only when Lara had walked into his life, she had made him to feel like being a hero when he had saved her from her evil two-timed boy friend.

His mask slipped and an expression of anguish contorted his face.

What had he done to her and himself? Why did not he just surrender to this feeling and let her in his life? Perhaps both of them after realized that they were not meant to be, then they could relinquish this feeling, free from it. But what could he offer? He might only put through her in hell just because his abrupt selfishness while he could only offer her nothing but misery. But would it be just a misery? Perhaps he could give her more security? Would she satisfy? He knew that she would, but what about him? He was afraid of commitment after what Georgia and his experienced he had seen in his parents’ marriage lives.

Another reality struck him. It was about Blake. It seemed he liked her, cared enough for her to be her protector. He felt as if thousands of knives jabbed in his heart, the thought of Blake being her savior. Sooner or later, Blake could win her heart with his kind attention.

The wound in his heart chilled and the freezing cold wind seemed to spread rapidly through his entire body despite his warm robe.

Would she love Blake the way she had professed her feeling towards him? Would she look Blake’s eyes lovingly the way she had used to look at his? What if she was over him and finally she succeeded to move on and forgot her love that she’d once told him?

Tristan shut his eyes, thinking all those questions whirling on his mind.

He supposed and should be happy if Blake could replace him. But how could he be grateful when just imagined this things already made his heart burned with jealousy?

He clutched the railing of his the tempered glass of his opulent balcony tightly, trying to control his sudden simmering temper. He was angry. He was angry for being such an idiot. He could not blame the fate since he was the one who created his own fate. Anxiety and fear were the emotions that had never been associated with him, surfaced in his dark eyes.

Perhaps he should just make another move. Just like on Phoenix’s birthday. Although the rejection he had received back then, he had known that he should have tried harder.

Yes, he must be the one who make the move and just see where this feeling would let him and her. Just a give it a try.

Yet, what if she did not want to try this time? Was he just another selfish bastard that toy her feeling? First he had pushed her away and now he was going to pursue her?

Feeling unbearably frustrated with his jumbling and perplexing mind, he straightened up from the railing before he returned to go inside, stripped off his tee-shirt and fell to his massive bed.

Only he could not close his eyes for another half another and when he finally he could sleep, it was Lara’s face filled in his dream.

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