My mind is running so fast I’m scared the next time I talk, instead of stuttering, I’ll literally just vomit instead. Like projectile vomit, everything I just ate including the multiple slices of cake Chloe had brought over for me during the prolonged conversation with Theo’s parents.
Alex and Gaia had thoroughly interrogated me and unexpectedly didn’t just choose to tolerate me; but they fell in love with me. I knew this because of Alex’s push on Theo to propose to me!
It’s why the food in my stomach was rolling around so much right now.
Theo has stood up and decided to speak to the few catering assistants whom are cleaning up the mess before they go. He is also congratulating Bryony on her 18th birthday party before she leaves with her family.
I’m left to sit, pondering his words about punishments speeding up certain lessons of submission. How he rubbed it in, scared me. Including but not limited to, how he said this not long after Alex’s pressure on proposing to me.
Clearly, it was a joke.
But what my brain was telling me, was that Theo wouldn’t connect engagement to positivity. His last fiancé fucked him over. As for me; I was barely just becoming his girlfriend! There was no way that the mention of marriage would be appropriate in the slightest at this stage of our… acquaintance.
That’s what it felt like.
“Goodbye, Wren, it was nice meeting you,” I’m startled out of my thoughts as Bryony passes my table with a finger wave, as her arms are piled with presents.
“You too,” I squeak out, reaching forward I pretend like I’m busying needing to hold something and I go to grab the wine bottle in the middle of the table.
I pull it closer to me and I watch Theo’s cousin’s family leave. I then gaze at Theo as he realises they left a small present behind so he picks up the tiny parcel and hurries out to catch them. As he does so he pauses briefly next to my table as I catch his gaze.
My gaze is worried and curious and I’m glad he has stopped so I can question him.
“Is it normal,” I blurt, holding up my hand in the air as if I’m trying to catch something, but I was just trying to be serious by using a hand gesture, “For people to… date their boss? It’s stupid… isn’t it?”
Theo’s eyes darken and I quickly let my hand drop back down onto the table, accidentally banging it a bit too hard so that other people cleaning turn to see what is going on. Theo clutches the package tighter and drops his hand by his side as the playfulness from before seeps out of his gaze, replaced with anger.
“What are you trying to say, Wren?” he asks, with a raised eyebrow, “What did I tell you about overthinking? You no longer have to think. I’m here to do that for you.”
“But, b-but… but what if… what if…” I try to think of how to phrase my words right, however, Theo raises a hand.
“Just a second, doll, I need to run this to Bryony,” he scolds, shutting me down, taking on a dominant tone. His tone is harsher than normal. He turns to walk off just as I think of the right question.
“…what if this is wrong and too fast?” I murmur, expressing a deep fear, “And… b-backwards.”
I believe I’ve said it to myself but just before Theo exits the room he spins on his heel. He passes me his most exasperated look, full of impatience, to show me he heard every word. I gulp, he sees, and then he turns on his heel once more, quickening his pace to catch Bryony before she leaves.
Wren, you idiot, you’re overthinking everything. He was happy, now he’s angry!
“We need to clear this table, miss,” I jump again as I didn’t expect a catering assistant to pop up behind me. I scramble to my feet, for some reason, still holding the bottle of wine.
“Sorry, go ahead,” I give them room and I go for a walk towards the other end of the room.
I assess the mess of this beautiful, glorious mansion, where not long ago everyone had been giving me curious looks about why I was here. Cynthia had been welcome at the start, I can’t help but remember, even if she was not so welcome towards the end.
Her absence was a temporary relief.
Theo’s parents, however… changed something in my brain.
I had just started a job a couple of weeks ago, Theo had just broken up with his fiancé, who was pregnant with Kyros’ baby… still… I admit… potentially Theo’s baby. Theo not long ago said I wasn’t his type, straight out to Kyros when he thought I couldn’t overhear. And then, not long after he gave me a sweet spiel about how he didn’t mean it and how I was special, one in a million.
I tremble a bit as my hand clutches the wine and I look at the bottle with disgust. He had tried to convince me to drink and I told him I didn’t like drinking.
Don’t do it, Wren, I place the bottle on a deserted table.
I had almost been tempted before to give in and try it. For the first time in my life.
But that was changing a part of me I didn’t want to change, something no one had been able to shake before inside me.
It was scary.
To top it off, I was terrified, quite suddenly again, about being nothing more than a rebound. Cynthia’s words were still burned into my brain… didn’t think you were a whore, Wren. You’re not his type, you’re just a rebound. He’ll be done with you in two weeks, I can guarantee it. You’ll bore him to death.
I was clearly a talented virgin to be called a whore, but the rest of her words were… soul destroying.
Even upstairs, being in their bedroom. Recently finished. Didn’t help. That room, his family, this house, the job… none of it was started with me but with another. I couldn’t shake it.
Someone who was the polar-opposite of myself.
I just didn’t belong here.
Everything I had been introduced to thus far was first started with the first woman he ever proposed to and wanted to spend the rest of his life with; Cynthia. A bitch? I didn’t doubt that. But he chose her first. And now the baby? Was he certain, 100%, that it was a fake document? It would be genius of Cynthia to think of a plan like that but what if out of all her scheming… that was an actual truth?
And I admit. Now, suddenly… I was doubting Theo again. Because everything, frankly, was overwhelming.
I find myself walking to the garden and fetching my phone out of my pocket.
This garden, well… this garden was beautiful. Roses, white, red and purple, scattered amongst beautifully manicured grass and a maze of decorative paving for the curious nature lover to walk over.
I find myself wandering to the fountain, huge with two sculpted, perfect figures. One man, one woman, in a naked dance. I smile to myself, it was so original and the water flowed out of their clasped hands.
It was gorgeous.
My eyes wander down to the engraving at the bottom and I see…
‘T & C’!
It takes my mind a moment to play catch up and when it does, my heart stops beating. My hand forgets how to be a hand, and my phone literally slips out of my grasp, heading straight for the water. I do one heck of a jerk forward, like a malfunctioning robot, but I manage to snatch it… millimetres before it plops into the water and drowns itself.
Wow, Wren, wow… perhaps your worrying isn’t just based on overthinking.
“Oh, fuck,” I hiss, as suddenly my doubts are reaffirmed reading the initials on the sculpture a second, third and forth time.
Before I know it, my fingers a dialling a familiar number… a Taxi home.
Run, Wren, get some space. Before you end up losing your virginity in the worst way possible.
I was terrified, I barely speak calmly as I order in a taxi to this address. When I’m done, I put my phone back into my pocket.
What the fuck was I doing here?
I walk slowly back inside, my defences raised.
There was no way that Theo loved me. There was no way that I could mean something this quickly to him. This was all so backwards to how a relationship should start on a healthy note.
There was a reason Theo reached out to me, just after his fiancé cheated on him.
Revenge? I was sure he had some parts of him, secretly satisfied that he had another woman on his arm as Cynthia had his brother, Kyros.
What man, dedicated their life to one sort of woman… broke up… and then instantly became attached to another woman who is the literal polar-opposite of their dream fairy tale sex goddess.
In all honesty, what started all these fears in the first place… was Alex, Theo’s father. When he joked about engagement it suddenly brought home to me, real damn fast, that this relationship I was in, wasn’t about fun and games and taking it slow.
Theo wasn’t the average Australian male.
He was highly affluent in business, money and white collar families. Reputation was everything to that sort of person. Theo joked about not keeping me waiting too long and then about being bankrupt after Alex pressured him into marrying me. Funny? Perhaps. But perhaps it was something else entirely.
I was a fool.
And if I wasn’t careful and I was an idiot to stay here the night, to get punished, into learning to be Theo’s submissive? How was I to know that wasn’t his sick way of getting back at Cynthia and women in general.
What if he wanted to punish me, to make himself feel better?
What if, this whole time, it wasn’t a real interest in me?
What if this whole time, I was just a funny girl to laugh at, a fool’s bed to lie in, a funny friend for company and soon a potential submissive to beat up on?
Once I’m back inside, I wait for Theo to appear and a few mins later, he walks back in to have a pretty eyed catering assistant rushing up to him to ask him a few questions.
I get to my feet from the seat I’ve just taken, eyes narrowed as I watch the exchange.
I watch him critically, deciding his all too easy smirk was so bloody attractive… he could have anyone just with that smile.
Why he’d want me? I couldn’t be sure of so quickly.
A challenge, was his past description.
At the time, I tried hard to take that as a compliment but now I was starting to see it as an insult.
Love was never meant to be a challenge, it was meant to be easy.
I sure as hell fell easily head over bloody heels in love with him! And I would never say to my friends behind his back that he wasn’t my type, not in a million years!
“We won’t be long now, sir,” the girl smiles sweetly and steps back as I approach. Theo nods and then faces me with raised brows like he wants to speak.
“I’ll be back,” I force on a smile, “Just need to run to the toilet,” I quickly skid past to make it seem I’m in a real rush to have that number two.
He lets me pass without a word; and I can already tell he’s pissed off.
Which was fine with me.
Because I wasn’t planning on going to the toilet, obviously.
I bypass the corridor completely and head straight outside for the street.
As I stand on the curb, I look back at his Vanquish, his mansion… and I scoff.
This wasn’t a romance novel.
I’d be a fool to think it was.
Alright Wren, get home, have a bath, pat Mr. Fox and do some yoga. And you have to send Theo a text. Send him something once you’ve left so he knows you’re gone.
I wait patiently and a few mins later a taxi pops up, I hop in, give the address and relax back into the front passenger seat.
I was feeling numb as I barely held back the rest of my emotions.
I open my phone, licking my dry lips as I decide on what to text Theo. A few options go through my mind as I type out each text.
Prove I’m not a rebound.
I mean it this time, I quit.
Nope. My heart wouldn’t let me text that. Delete.
I think we should slow down.
Better. But not right just yet.
You’re my boss.
Ok. I finally get a better idea.
I think we should slow down. You’re my boss. You’ve just ended a long term relationship with someone that MAY have your baby. I don’t want to run away, Theo, and I love my job, but I need some space. I’m not quitting, but please give me some time to think. I got a taxi to take me home.
Argh, too long! And too nice. Delete.
Hmmm… maybe if I just wrote out my exact thoughts, just once, just to see how it feels…
You’ve just ended a long-term relationship, you’re my boss and I’d rather slow whatever we have right the fuck down before I get hurt. What if you take my virginity and I end up just a rebound at the end of the day? That’d suck balls, wouldn’t it? I’d like to –
I watch the blue bubble of text slowly drift across the digital screen.
My heart sinks into my stomach as the message is suddenly stuck in the never-can-be deleted world of the internet.
“Fuck,” I whisper as I read over my message, again and again and again.
My finger had pressed send and now my cheeks were so red they were almost burning.
Oh my god!
The ending was terrible!
I had been half way through writing ‘I’d like to take a few steps back’
Instead, it read, ‘That’d suck balls, wouldn’t it? I’d like to’
I quickly remedy, my fingers in a whirl, autocorrect interferes multiple times so I have to start over five times before correctly typing out ‘I’d like to take a few steps back***’
I breathe a sigh of relief as I read it carefully before my finger hovers over ‘send’.
And then a black flash crushes what calm I have left…
…and the whole screen shuts off.
“Oh, no!” I glance at the taxi driver in a panic and he just bobs his head to the music, pretending to ignore my current mental breakdown.
My phone had a low percentage and I hadn’t kept track.
It died on me.
At the worst possible time.
I feel like laughing and crying hysterically all the way back to my apartment.
Because now I couldn’t change what was said.
I need space and I’d also like to suck your balls, Theo, mmhmm, that’s totally what I meant, crazy cat lady right here, not just blurting out thoughts but now also blurting out my dirtiest secret kinky fantasies! my subconscious repeats itself over and over in mental self-harm that I can’t help but continue to torture myself with as my brain can’t stop thinking.
I then replay in my head all his different types of inevitable reactions.
Shock…. shock?… perhaps a more intense shock?… perhaps a less intense shock?
None the less, shock.
I was sure of it.
I barely keep back my tears of embarrassment for the rest of the taxi ride.
When I’m finally dropped off back home outside the workplace, I find myself walking in a daze into the lobby and towards the elevator.
What was I going to bloody do now?
I’d have to talk it out with Mr. Fox.
Hopefully he could make me feel marginally better about being the gold medallist for ‘most awkward fails’. I was pretty sure I could land a spot in the Guinness book of world records.
I can see my page now, forming in my mind.
‘Girl breaks world record for blurting out very awkward words, thoughts and phrases, quoted on being marginally more awkward than a person with touretts. Cringe factor for overseers to her antics; 11 out of 10.’ Text included from her personal life, after extremely attractive boss that was about to sleep with her, triggers her awkward-fails talent. Wren’s Virgin Feet quickly changed the tides of her future, forever, setting in stone, her inevitable course for crazy-cat lady stardom, with this one game-ender-line to her text: ’That’d suck balls, wouldn’t it? I’d like to!’
I can’t stop thinking about it.
All the way up to my apartment as I type in my code with trembling fingers into the lock…