Chapter 53 -Brushing The Trouble Away
Taylor’s eyes roamed around the VIP room in search of Romella. It should not be too hard, he told himself. And if his memory still served him right, then all he had to do was look for the girl with the loudest...
A laugh erupted in the room, echoing throughout the luxurious space, blending with the oozing sound of the music coming from the speakers.
Taylor’s head snapped to his left over to the seat overlooking the crowd below - where he gaze caught sight of an olive skin tanned woman, surrounded by a group of female companions. Her head was slightly tilted back, eyes closed, red lips spread wide above her white teeth with her fingers partial covering her mouth as if trying to muffle the sound. Whatever they were telling her must having being just as amusing as the laugh they earn from it.
Taylor drew in a deep breath, digesting the white bandage dress that she had on before closing his mouth. Dear lord, the net like fabric left nothing for the imagination. He swallowed at the sight then glanced around to find that it wasn’t only him who was having a hard time tearing his eyes away from her.
Yes, Romella was no longer that seventeen years old kid that he remembered. Every inch of her body mocked the memory that he had of her and the only thing different was her hair. She had dyed it red. Fucking red.
A splash of guilt washed over him, tugging at his heart. Kate. She reminded him of Kate and f he was going to get through this night then he was going to have to remind himself that he was hers and hers alone.
A few minutes went by when Taylor finally realised that he hadn’t moved and his eyes were having a damn hard time to look away. Was eight years really that long? He asked himself, silently debating on whether it really was her standing near the rails with a glass of champagne in one hand.
And when her laughter finally siezed, she turned and caught hold of him - her lips spreaded into a smile, broadening as her dark eyes sparkled with delight.
“Taylor!” She shrieked, placing her glass of the table that was infront of her friends before running over to him,wrapping her arms around his neck. But before Taylor could summon the strength or even had time to gather his thoughts long enough for him to acknowledge her presence, she smacked her lips over his.
Fuck! This wasn’t how he saw this playing out.
Kate hadn’t sleep a wink last night. Sitting by the window of Taylor’s bedroom, she watched the sun kissed the moon goodbye as it slowly began to makes its way up - gracing the world with the dawn of a brand new day.
Her coffee mug was at its last steam of air yet she took no notice of it. She had lost count of how many she’d had and yet, she was still determined to stay awake and wait for Taylor to come back to her.
He promised, she thought, and now, as the close strikes closer to six - all hopes slowly began to evaporate.
He had told her what she wanted to hear, she told herself, shaking her head in dissapointment - just for her to move out of his way.
A small sigh left her lips and she got up from the chair and walked out of his room, crossing her way to hers.
Maybe she should just pack, she told herself, pack and go back to her apartment until he decides to show up. Him not coming back must mean something, right?
“Right.” She muttered, pulling out her purple suitcase from the closet and began to stuff her clothes inside. The feeling of not knowing, being left in the dark and him asking her stay here and wait like a nice little pet was slowly suffocating her - driving her insane. And she couldn’t, wouldn’t allow herself to sit one minute and wallow in self-pity.
The packing was done. After breakfast, she thought with a heavy heart, she would call a cab. She didn’t want Ben to go snitching on her again because if Taylor cared at all, then he would have come back and even better - he would come looking for her after he finds out that she’s left.
She pulled out her phone and dialed Brandon’s number. She at least owed he an explanation why she wasn’t going to be in today.
“Hello Kate,” Brandon replied with a hints of irony in his voice.
“Brandon, I’m head you answered. I thought that I would get your voice mail.” She said, letting out a nervous laugh.
“Oh, I’ve been up all night. You okay?” He asked when he heard her sniff.
“I’m -” just say yes. You’re fine. You’re heart is breaking a little bit but fine. “Uh- I’m, I don’t know. Is Taylor there with you?”
“No. He did call last night but that’s the last I’ve heard of him.”
She pinched the bridge of her nose and got up from her bed. “I need a day off today. You think that will be okay? I’m not,” she released a shaky breath, composing herself before she spoke again, ” I’m not feeling too well.”
Brandon chortled a short laugh, “Me and you both, huh?”
Kate frowned at his remarks, “What do you mean?”
“Kayla had a fight with me last night. I haven’t been able to reach her. In fact, I was about to call you to tell you that I wouldn’t be in as well. The irony right?”
A small laugh mixed with tears broke through her lips. She wanted so badly to call him an idiot and to tell him to go look for her but she couldn’t. Not without running the risk of crying and her words coming out as a mix of insult.
“Kate? Are you okay?” The gentle sound of Brandon’s voice undid her.
She choked a sob begging herself to keep the strong front. “Ye- yes.” Her voice croaked.
“You don’t sound fine. What’s wrong? Talk to me.”
Just tell him, the voice inside her head urged. There was nobody around for her to vent to. She literally had no friends at all to cry on to and Brandon, once he knew what she had done he would probably leave her as well.
“Brandon?” She sobbed, “I did something. Something that made Taylor leave and he hasn’t been back yet.”
As the words left her mouth lump formed at her throat causing her to gasp for air. The realisation that she was about to lose everyone that she had grown so fondly of, crippled her inside.
Oh God, why did she have to be so fucking stupid?
“Kate, just calm down and tell me what you did?”
After drawing in a few breath, she sat back down on her bed and began to tell him everything that had happened - from the night of seeing Carla with Taylor in his office to the conversation they just had last night. When she was done, she remained quiet - listening to the soft breathing sound of Brandon on the other line, and when a few minutes went by without him uttering a word to her, she finally gave up and broke the silence.
“I’m sorry Brandon. Im so sorry. I wanted to tell Taylor but things just kept happening and I couldn’t.” She cried out desperately, praying that he would believe her.
“Well this makes alot more sense.” Brandon finally said, “Taylor called last night asking me to tear up the NDA. Look,” he blew out a breath, “Why don’t I come over and we can talk about this, after that I’ll try and figure where the hell that idiot brother of mine is.”
Kate blinked, then her brows touched, “You don’t sound upset. You’re not mad at me?”
Brandon chuckled a laugh, “You haven’t done much. In fact, you barely even did anything that I would call betrayal, and trust me when I say that I believe you. Kate, he leaves you alone in his house. You could have done alot more damage but you didn’t and knowing Taylor, he either trusts you enough to do that or he was testing you. Look, just hang tight, okay?”
Relief washed over her. Through the storm she found a small beaming light of sun ray. Brandon. At least he believed her.
And whether Taylor trusted her or was indeed testing her, either way she felt confident enough because she hadn’t done anything to hurt him or to give him a reason not to believe her.
The only rule she recalled breaking was the one about his home office, when she went inside to hid a box of condoms. But that was for there own benefit, seeing that they keep on have sex without one.
“Okay.” She answered, a low smile gracing at her lips.
“And kate?” Brandon’s voice came again.
“I want you to know that I am angry - but at the both you.” He said in a serious tone.
“Because neither of you had the decency to tell me that you were sexing the hate out of each other.”
“Oh God.” She groan, her cheeks turned as red as her stuffed nose.
“Yeah, that’s what I thought. After all the efforts I’ve put into playing cupid with you two and I don’t even get to enjoy teasing you both.” Brandon relinquished with a faux sound of being hurt.
“Brandon,” Kate smiled, “just get over here, you fucking moron.”
“Yes, Mum. I’m on my way. Oh no, wait - may be I should have said sister-in-law?”
“What!” Her eyes bulged out of its socket, ” Now wait a minute. It’s not --” even like that, she wanted to say but their phones got disconnected.
Kate let out a sigh before dropping her phone on the bed. A smile appeared on her lips as she got up and began to cross her way through the hallway and down the stairs.
Yeah, right. They weren’t even fully in the girlfriend-boyfriend relationship. Well, he did call her his girlfriend, she thought, just not to her face. It was such a Taylor thing to do, what she didn’t want to be known as his girlfriend? Did he ever think of that?
Kate’s feet halted at the final step of the stairs when she heard the sound of cutleries being shuffled around in the kitchen. An intruder. Was the first thought that came to mind. Her eyes squinted suspiciously at the entrance of the kitchen and her hands immediately moved, grabbing the nearest object she could find.
“Are freaking hairbrush?... Really Kate?” She hissed under her breath.
This place was suppose to be secure. It was, she tried to assure herself. Taylor had told her so and for anyone to sneek past Mike the security guard would be a miracle at best. But still, she was alone here and it was too early for Ben to come up. Well, he did normally call up first.
She swallowed on a dry throat, her drumming against her chest as she silently tiptoed her way to the kitchen. The smell of freshly brewed coffee made her frown and the sizzling sound of -- she took in a lung full of air, bacon?? She frowned… yes, delicious turkey bacon and it made her mouth water.
Wait. She stopped, allowing her hands to fall at her side. Why would anyone break in just to cook bacon and brew coffe--...
“Taylor.” His name ripped from her lips in a breathless whisper, praying that she was right before peeving her head in the doorway. The angle where she stood didn’t allow her a full view of the kitchen.
Screw it, she thought. She still had the brush and she had a very good aim. If that wasn’t Taylor in the kitchen, somebody was going to be leaving here without a pair of balls.
After gathering whatever brave front she could, Kate entered past the arc doorway and froze - a hand flew to her chest and her mouth clasped shut swallowing down her very long list of profanities. Relief washed over her at the perfect sight that stood a few feet away from her.
He was leaning against the counter with his back turned to her, busy typing away on his phone. She released a breath that she wasn’t even aware she was holding on to and allowed her eyes to have a feast full of his muscular bare back.
He was here, and freshly showered too - his tousled damp hair was a dead give away.
“You’re home.” She said causing him to jerk around, startled, as if unaware that she had been standing here for a while.
“Jesus!” He hissed, “I thought that you were still sleeping.” He told her, placing his phone down on the counter.
“I didn’t.” She replied, moving over to counter that separated them. “God, Taylor, I thought that you were an intruder.”
Blue eyes held hers, brows pulled together as he lowered his gaze to her hand. “Were you planning on brushing him to death?”
Her eyes followed his. Right, the hairbrush.
“No,” she shook, smiling as she loosened her grip around the plastic handle. “It was the closest thing I could grab.”
Something pulled at her heart when he grinned back at her before shaking his head. Nobody deserved to look this good in the morning, especially him, when she was still abit upset that he didn’t come home last night.
“Of course it was.” He grinned, “I did tell you that this is one of the safest place, right? Nobody gets past Mike.” He said then grabbed the spatula that he had placed on the chopping board.
“I know,” Kate answered, pulling out a stool, watching the muscles in his back dance as he took turns removing and placing another batch of bacon in the pan. “It’s just - you didn’t come back last night and I just called Brandon and he said-”
“You called Brandon?” He interjected, confusion marred at his thick brows.
“What? - Yes, I was worried and --” this was hopeless. All she wanted to know was if he was alright and why he only came back now. “Where were you Taylor?”
Taylor tensed and through her observant eyes, Kate noted the side of his jaw flex. Something was right - didn’t feel right and she could sense it.
Her lips felt dry as she licked on them. “Taylor?”
Taylor’s fingers tightened around the spatula. He had been dreading this. Dreading to have break her heart. His gaze shifted to the side and caught a glimpse of the knife that he had just been using to chop onions for her omelet.
Maybe it wasn’t the best setting to tell her about Romella shoving her tongue down his throat. Kate was unpredictable when she was angry - his wall still had a yellowish green stain from the bag she threw at him the previous night. And now telling her about Romella? All he could think about was safety first, then he would sort out how to break the news to her.
He slowly turned, face just as serious as he tone of voice. “Kate, I think we should talk. There’s something I need to tell you and - ” He paused.
Her heart thumped painfully against her chest. This wasn’t good. Her fingers trembled as she removed her hands from the countertop, clenching them firmly into two balls at her sides.
Nothing good ever came out of that infamous phrase. ‘We should talk’ - oh god, was he planning a goodbye breakfast for her before sending her on her way? Thinking that atleast her stomach was full even if her heart was torn to shit?
Don’t you dare fucking cry, she chanted inwardly, batting her eyelashes feverishly, removing any signs of tears that threatened to form.
“How about we do it the living room? I’ll bring your coffee.” He said.
Coffee? Why did he think that she would need coffee?
Her mind was already forming so many scenarios about what he wanted to tell her and doubted that she was going to be able to swallow anything. But yes, coffee.
“Alright.” She said, unable to add anything more to it.
She got up and made her way to the living room.