My apartment stinks. I strip back the covers and sheets on the bed and put them in the wash. I put towels on the couches to dry them up and open the windows to help dry the carpeted areas. Mr. Fox is happily lounging on his couch again, on top of one of the towels.
As I look at the clock, it’s getting closer to 12 and I’m keen to leave the place to get some fresh air... but I was still way too nervous to talk to Theo.
Especially after this morning.
I had woken up, hoping to find him cheery. Instead, he had hardly spoken a word to me. He had said ‘Good morning’ while not even bothering to make eye-contact. When he was going to drive me back, all he did was pick up his keys and glare at me as I stood with Mr. Fox wrapped up in his blanket. Theo’s look was his directive for me to follow when he turned and opened his apartment door, heading for the carpark.
Then the drive back was silent between us and the whole time I felt he was brooding and frustrated. I thought he might have bothered to apologise for slapping my ass the night before but... nope. He didn’t.
So what did I do? I just ignored him back and talked to Mr. Fox reassuringly in the car.
Now I was more than happy to avoid lunch with him.
But I was terrified about cancelling on him.
I had planned to call in sick, but I had a feeling that he’d be angry if I got sick. Which only left me with a couple of other options. I could just say I wasn’t feeling up to it, with the state of my apartment the way it was... or that I just don’t want to go.
I couldn’t leave him hanging too long.
Wing it, Wren.
I pick up my phone and I call him.
“Theo...” I try to answer the phone happily – because he doesn’t even say hello, but I know he has answered.
“Are you coming down soon?” he asks.
“Actually, I’m not feeling well,” I blurt out my first option before I can take it back. Great. Now I’d have to roll with it, “I think I’ve got a virus. I might stay put, if that’s okay with you...”
There is a long pause.
I’m biting my lip far too hard in anticipation for his response.
“Rest up... I’ll grab you some food –” Theo eventually responds suspiciously so I cut him off quickly.
“I’ve got food, boss, but thank you for the thought,” I smile as I talk, while deep down I’m dying. Why the fuck did you have such an attitude when you called him boss, Wren? You don’t need to make this any more difficult than it already is.
“If you want the day off tomorrow, sweet cheeks, you’ll need a medical certificate,” Theo responds just as coldly and hangs up.
“Mr. Fox,” I glance at him, “I fucked up.”
He blinks slowly at me and then rolls over, stretching. I instantly ring Rhea next. I felt myself freaking out and I needed to calm down.
“Hey bae, what’s up?” Rhea answers straight away and I spew out my whole last night and morning to her, “...you’re kidding right? You slept over again? And now you think he knows you’re lying about being sick? Screw him, you don’t have to explain yourself. Do you even have food?”
“Nope,” I answer, “I lied about that too.”
“Problem solved. Come out into the city, get lunch with me!” Rhea is now super excited and so am I.
“Awesome idea! You can help sort out my mind. I’ll get ready now,” I head into my room to find a nice outfit, “I’ll walk down, I’ll see you soon. We’ll go to the usual indian café, yeah?”
“Absolutely, see you soon!” Rhea and I hang up at the same time.
At least going out to lunch with her, would be nowhere near as stressful as going out with Theo.
“You’re telling me, that you actually went on a date with someone you met at the ball?” I gasp, shocked she hasn’t told me sooner.
She smiles cheekily and sips her tea, her eyes sparkling.
“You won’t guess what his name is,” Rhea adds, “Romeo.”
“Really? How romantic,” I giggle like a kid and then our food finally arrives, “So was it a good date?”
“Yeah,” Rhea shrugs, “I could do better though.”
“So, he isn’t up to scratch?” I smirk as I dip my garlic naan into the butter chicken, “I’ll tell you what, Theo is up to scratch in the looks department. But his personality is insane.”
“What do you mean, insane? You always told me he was nice?” Rhea also digs into her food and I nearly choke on mine as I think of him slapping my ass.
“Argh – blergh... okay, I need to slow down. Heheh, don’t laugh at me! He um... he... has his moods. They’re so scary. I think... nah, don’t worry about it.”
“What? You can’t not explain, after leaving it at that,” she leans in closer and I purse my lips.
“I think he likes me,” I blurt out, just getting it out there.
“Really?” Rhea asks, “Legitimately? He is your boss, Wren. You don’t want to read into anything too much.”
“That’s true. But I think he does. I just... I know he does,” as I say the words aloud, it makes it more real.
“Well, girl, you only need to ask two questions. Does he make you happy and is he good enough for someone as amazing as you?” I blush at her words.
“Thanks,” I giggle again, “I think he is good enough. I just don’t want to get hurt and I need to get to know him better, first.”
“You have your answer then,” Rhea seems content she’s helped sort me out.
“Ok, thanks Rhiii!” I grin and proceed to question her more about Romeo. She is tight-lipped though, I assume it could be something but she doesn’t want to make a big deal out of it yet. Once we are done catching up, I feel a lot better.
I’m able to walk back to my apartment feeling better about everything. I think about how at least tomorrow I can face Theo without too much anxiety. I’d just fake a bit of a cough to prove I was sick but not too sick.
I’m getting closer to home, wrapped up nice and snug in a blue denim jacket, white scarf, black leggings and boots. For once I actually look nice and I can’t help but think it was a shame Theo couldn’t see me actually looking half decent outside of work-clothes.
And then I hear something.
My stomach does a little flip.
I’ve turned the last corner to my apartment block and work, when I hear a familiar car exhaust... coming up from behind me.
I glance over my shoulder and come to a halt when a silver Vanquish comes rolling up beside me. The windows are tinted but I see, as the window is rolled down automatically... I see Theo in the driver’s seat.
“Hey,” I smile, trying to sound casual but it comes out guilty too. I stuff my hands in my pockets before I nervously start waving them around if I go into a spiel about why I was outside.
Theo is leaning over the middle of the seat, glancing me up and down in my outfit.
“Where were you off too, a date, sweet cheeks?” Theo asks dryly, and I try not to automatically burst out laughing.
I might have been guilty but at least I didn’t sound half as jealous as he did at this moment.
“I was actually just going for a walk, I hate being holed up when I’m sick,” I shrug and smile again, my lips almost trembling because I want him to believe me.
“Maybe that’s because you’re not sick, Wren?” Theo glances at the road ahead of him and then back at me, “Get in.”
Before I even know it, I’m leaning down and opening the car door, sliding into the seat.
Gosh, Wren, why do you jump when he says jump? You know you can say no, right?
I glance at him after I’ve buckled up. I’m starting to feel nervous now that he is looking like he’s gaining back some control. He was looking very satisfied that I jumped in.
“I am sick, I swear,” I say, foolishly.
“I know, sweety, I know,” Theo starts driving and I’m confused when he doesn’t pull into the apartment’s car park.
“Uh... um,” I look out the window as we pass it by, “Are you kidnapping me?”
“Are you nervous, Wren?” Theo asks and I swivel to glare at him.
“I was just insinuating that you missed the turn into the carpark,” I point out, feeling panicked because now after all that effort at trying to avoid him today, he was taking me somewhere.
“I just got back from an errand, I’m finished early today. So I’m taking you out,” Theo explains.
“Like a... date?” I’ve squeaked it out before I can breathe and think twice.
“I don’t date,” Theo’s answer is smooth and easy, making me feel uncomfortable. I go quiet.
“Okay, um,” I mutter to myself, confused as I wring my hands in front of me.
“You know why, Wren,” Theo states, and I feel him staring at me. I look up and shake my head.
“I don’t have girlfriends... you know this,” I know what Theo is referring to but I can’t help but make fun of him.
“You like men?” I ask, smirking to myself. Oh, Wren, you do realise Ana asked Christian that?
“...very funny,” I glance at Theo as he says this and he doesn’t look impressed.
“Ah...” I nod, for no particular reason and I glance out the window, “I like to stay warm when I’m sick.”
Well that wasn’t random, wasn’t it, Wren? Idiot!
“You can quit lying about being sick, Wren. Why were you avoiding our lunch?” Theo asks, directly.
“I just wasn’t feeling up to it today,” I mutter.
“I read you far better than you think I do, sweet cheeks...”
“I have my period,” I blurt out, “I like to avoid people when that happens. I get angry over nothing.”
Ah yes, the perfect excuse suddenly comes to me!
Theo smirks as if knowingly.
“You’re not angry, your body just wants something it’s never had,” Theo’s words are making my eyebrows furrow.
“Ha... w-what do you mean?” I’m confused.
“You need to get fucked, sweet cheeks, hard,” Theo just says it.
I’m blushing a bright pink in about the two seconds it takes for my brain to register what he actually just said.
I’m suddenly very, very flustered.
“I want – I need to... what?” I gasp out, “You, um, can you please, t-take me home? No, oh shit, not like that. I didn’t mean to take me home and change that. I’m sorry, I’m nervous. I d-didn’t expect you to say that.”
“I would have said it sooner but you’re the type to take things slow, am I right, sweet cheeks?” Theo is unfazed by my rambling; in fact, he seems amused by it.
“Why do you think I’m like that?” I ask, wishing I had somewhere to run to. But nope, I was locked down on this seat, no-where to escape to.
He actually said... he actually said you need to get fucked, hard.
No shit, Wren... now, play it cool. No matter what. Just pretend you’re good friends who casually talk about this sort of stuff.
“Why did you get in the car?” Theo asks, slowing down and reversing into a park along a strip of shops.
“You’re my boss, I have to do what you say,” I respond, happy with my answer, “So, where are you taking me?” I look out at the line of shops, this was a chance to change the tone of the conversation, “Food?” I ask. I’m suddenly very eager for him to finish parking. My feet were prepared to bolt as soon as I opened this car door. It wasn’t like I could just run off down the street for no reason, but the thought of freedom from the small space of the car, calms me. Slightly.
“We’re going shopping,” Theo finishes parking and takes off his seat belt, “Any objections, Wren?”
“I don’t think you’d take any notice if I had any objections, Theo,” it’s the first thing I say that isn’t jumbled and actually makes sense.
I want to jump out but I sneak a glance at Theo first.
He just smirks, but he doesn’t answer as he gets out.
You need to work out why he doesn’t always answer you, Wren.
I don’t know, maybe because he is a Dominant?
He certainly gains a lot of control over your feelings when he doesn’t answer you. He doesn’t even feel a need to answer you. Probably because he knows it makes you flustered and he likes you like that.
Okay, mind, shut up, shut up, I don’t need to over think right now.
While I’m doing so, Theo has come around and opened the door for me.
I nervously stand up out of the car and I nod at Theo in thanks.
I’m taking in all of the expensive clothes shops, all fancy – certainly not what I was use to.
Before I can prepare myself after Theo closes the door, he suddenly grabs my hand. He tugs me along with him.
I look down at his hand holding mine, gulping. He is holding it firmly and I find myself gripping it back with the same amount of force.
Oh shut it, Wren, you know you’re only squeezing it back tightly because you don’t want him to feel you tremble.
True, but that was the least of my worries.
I didn’t know how long this shopping trip would take, but no matter what, I had to find a way to get through it.
Without embarrassing myself too much.
Haha! Good luck, Wren, you in-denial idiot, you know exactly how this shopping trip is going to go down. If you want any chance at making this any less of a disaster – think before you speak. Breathe. You got this.
Despite all my thoughts, I’m consistently amazed how my self-talk fails to help me time and time again.
It’s like I lose half my brain around him.
They say love makes you crazy.
My heart beats faster in my chest when I suddenly realise...
...maybe I was falling for Theo.