I believe my acting skills were off the charts because I was not asleep and Theo, with his keen eye for detail, wasn’t able to work that out. I had only twitched when his hand inspected my bruised hip. Other than my closed eyes, I was totally conscious with a warm bundle right up next to my head.
Mr. Fox helped keep me calm while I lay in complete and utter silent distress.
I could hear Theo cleaning my apartment and the two things he muttered to himself.
He whispered, “What am I going to do with you, Wren?” as he had touched my bruise.
That was hard enough to keep still to.
But just now? From the kitchen, he muttered, “Sorry, sweet cheeks, you’re not getting away that easy.”
I work out that he had just read my text about me quitting when I hear him plop his mobile phone onto the bench a moment later.
I decide to peep through my eyes, just to see what he was doing now.
So I peel them open...
...and my heart stops.
He is simply staring right at me as he leans both palms on the counter, observing me. He doesn’t even flinch when he sees me ‘awaken’ for the first time after my nap.
I expect him to say something but he doesn’t even smile.
“I thought this nightmare was over,” I growl under my breath, pretending to be shocked as I reach back and I rotate Mr. Fox off my pile of hair so I can sit up. In the process of moving my hurt wrist throbs with pain and I clutch it quickly to my chest. I wince, feeling both exhausted and sick to my stomach that I had to deal with him following me home to my apartment. Now, I see, he flinches himself as if feeling my own pain. He looks worried for a moment, before that look is replaced by anger, “I told you I quit,” I murmur, hugging my knees to my chest with my uninjured arm. Theo’s eyes zone in on my hurt form, he still hasn’t said a word. I can tell he is brooding over my injuries, “I don’t want you here,” I continue, although I can’t bring myself to look at him when I say this. For some reason, especially after having the adrenaline wear off, I felt deflated. My heart and stomach both clenched at the thought of having to be strong right now, “Please, leave.”
“Did I say you could leave my apartment?” Theo asks and my eyes dart up now, as I look at him in disbelief.
“This isn’t what we agreed to,” Theo snaps, “I admit, I fucked up. You had every right to be angry but I didn’t want you to leave.”
“You have no right to use the Dominant act now, what the fuck?” I glare at him from my position on the couch and watch as he just glares back at me as he grabs the kettle and fills it up, popping it back on it’s base to boil.
“I’m going to prove to you that I have every right, sweet cheeks,” he smiles at my shocked eyes as I know he is going to make me tea.
“I don’t know why you’re so utterly determined to take care of someone who isn’t your type!” I get to my feet, anger bubbling back through my veins, reawakening my fury.
I storm my way around the counter. I go for the kettle to flick off the power button, but he simply side steps into my path and grabs my arms, avoiding my injured area.
“Let me prove it,” he growls, looking distressed, “Please, Wren. I want to show you just how much you mean to me,” I look down, hurt at these words when I think of the conversation I had over-heard, “I didn’t mean what I said to Kyros, you saw my brother. He’s an asshole. I was simply speaking to him in asshole terms that he’d understand. Look, I know that’s not an excuse, but you wouldn’t have been so upset if you had listened to me in the first place and stayed in my bedroom.”
“You’re wrong,” I mutter, still avoiding his gaze, “This would have all been avoided if you just let me be. If you didn’t invite me over, if you just kept it professional from the beginning –”
I suck in a breath and my heart skips a beat on it’s own, ignoring logic as he takes a hand from my arm and grabs my chin. He forces me to look up and meet his eyes.
“Look at me and say that again,” Theo orders this, not lightly, either.
“I m-meant what I said –”
“You and I both know you didn’t, otherwise you’d have looked me right in the eye. Even now, you’re allowing me to take control–”
“Shut up!” I glare at him, jerking away from him, “Stop talking to me like we’re in that type of relationship. It’s over, whatever we had – I don’t want you if you don’t truly want me.”
The kettle finishes boiling as Theo looks at me in exasperation and he simply turns around, his whole body tense as he grabs a cup from the cupboard above. He starts pouring me tea.
My stupid heart warms at him trying so hard to please me.
He’s desperate to keep you, Wren, my mind whispers evilly through my brain, giving me a glimmer of hope in my heart.
I was so confused. I hated him so much and at the same time, I wanted him to stay – but I couldn’t say it.
“We’re fixing this right now,” he growls, “My role is to take care of you, I failed. What can I do to fix it?”
This makes me think of the very reason this all fucked up in the first place.
“Why is she still in your life?” I yell this at him, even shocking myself. Without meaning to, I sounded like an extremely jealous girlfriend. If that’s what I even was to him...?
Theo glances at me, a light bulb moment making his eyes flash.
He just realised it too.
My face goes really red – like a beetroot red.
I feel like crying but even now, I’m too shocked to start. I just stare at him in embarrassment.
I watch as Theo leans back on the counter with the prepared cup of tea. He assesses me, up and down – a huge un-contained smirk spreading across his lips as he hands me the tea slowly.
So smooth, so graceful, compared to my hunched, pained, red faced stance... huh.
I reach out a trembling hand and he quickly holds the tea out of reach.
“Uh, ah... other hand, sweet cheeks...” he says this quietly – and so lovingly – it makes me blush even harder. He didn’t want me foolishly grabbing it with my injured hand and wrist.
I reach out with my safe hand and he passes me the tea.
I hold it close as he continues to just oversee me.
“You’re jealous and it’s adorable,” he mutters under his breath, to himself mostly as he keeps taking in my red cheeks.
I didn’t even know what to say, I was still embarrassed for yelling about Cynthia.
“I didn’t mean to yell – ”
“Yes, you did,” Theo smirks again, “It’s okay, Wren. I can promise you now, I’m fully... fully done with her. You’re my soul interest. There’s something about you that makes Cynthia incomparable. Believe it or not... you make me nervous, Wren,” Theo seems embarrassed admitting this and it makes my eyes widen.
“Oh, am I... th–that scary?” I ask, laughing nervously as I take a sip of the tea he prepared.
“What I mean is, Cynthia is like a one in ten. Common, easily found, easy to handle,” he murmurs this.
“And I suppose I’m more interesting than common?” I ask, pitifully hopeful.
“Wren,” Theo pauses, really looking at me, making me feel exposed, “You’re one in a million.”
“O-oh – I, um... yeah,” what the fuck was that, Wren?
Damn you, Theo, you fucking – argh!
My heart wasn’t meant to melt!
But he had said it so genuinely.
One in a million.
Apparently he melted my brain as well.
Theo shakes his head, pursing his lips.
“I’m sorry, Wren,” he smiles, tilting his head, “I’m not letting you go.”
“You just find me intriguing. I’m nothing special. Perhaps you’re just blinded by my stuttering... you’re confusing your intrigue in my blunders and awkwardness for infatuation?” I try to joke but I don’t expect him to look so alarmed by my words.
He is instantly offended.
“Don’t ever say that again, sweet cheeks,” he growls and takes a moment to assess me more thoroughly. He thinks about how to explain... and then it all comes pouring out, “Your mind is so quick, your mouth can’t keep up. Your heart is so fragile – I have to treat it like the world’s most precious jewel. I’m not playing you, sweet cheeks, you’re not just one in a million. You’re the only one who can make my heart stop just by looking into your innocent, big, blue, beautiful eyes.”
That was sweet, Wren, real sweet.
And I had not been able to breathe through any of it.
“I-If you continue... I think I’m going to pass out,” I admit, because I was literally starting to feel light-headed at his words.
“Mmmmm... only you, Wren,” he blinks slowly at me, smirking as he comes forward, putting a strong arm around my waist. He is extremely gentle at my bruised hip, “Come on, you should rest up on the couch while I make you some ice packs for your bruises... Don’t. Complain. I don’t want to have to spank you, you’re already hurt enough.”
Theo helps me back onto the couch and I revel in how much he cares. His humour makes me happy too.
Not only that but I am still breathless by his words he used before. Especially after the words I overheard at his apartment had literally shattered my heart. I had felt worthless.
Now, somehow, he had fixed it.
I felt cherished... and still extremely embarrassed.
He thought his heart stopped when he looked into my eyes?
My heart stopped every time he was in the bloody room.
I smile to myself as I sip my tea, I didn’t want to be played. I wanted to be cherished always, not sometimes.
Heheh... you know you have to test him to his limits now, Wren. Words are fine, actions are more powerful. You better find a way to make sure he isn’t just running off smart and sweet words to you...
Ok, brain? Don’t get negative on me here.
Theo has returned to the kitchen and he is wrapping up a packet of frozen peas in a tea-towel.
“What are you smiling about, sweet cheeks?” he asks, feeling smug with himself for calming me down, obviously.
I just shrug.
“Nothing,” I sip my tea.
If only he knew. I hadn’t sacrificed my whole life not dating, to just end up with someone who used me. My innocence was kept in check for my secret, most important desire and which I had forever held most dearly to my heart.
I wanted to find my very own prince charming.
I wanted to give all my firsts to the love of my life.
My heart thought Theo was possibly that fairy tale waiting to happen... but today’s events had really shaken me up; I thought my prince charming could never fuck up. I wanted someone who didn’t doubt their interest in me and loved me for me.
Reality check; the world was never that simple and neither was love.
Theo said I made him nervous; I had to realise love scared some people.
Especially those who had been hurt by love. Just like those memes ‘when someone tries to hurt your feelings but you’ve been dead inside for years so you just laugh’.
It use to depress me that people would give up on love after being hurt once. Now I understood why people shunned the idea of falling for someone.
It was terrifying, it left you open and so vulnerable.
I had been careful enough to try and pick and choose very carefully. I had thought Theo worthy – but he almost fucked it up today. That being said, Theo had run after me and he had fixed it. I just had to make sure I wasn’t fooling myself – I didn’t want to end up broken hearted and dead inside.
I end up frowning into my cup.
I couldn’t deny it.
Falling in love was scary. It was powerful. Some said it drove people insane.
I just prayed Theo and I didn’t end up a complete disaster. We were so utterly different but drawn together by the weirdest electricity, the strangest pull.
And I could only hope that it would last.