It was bad enough that talking to Master made me feel anxious, it didn’t help that every time I leave out of his room. I felt as though I was battling with unfamiliar feelings.
“But I don’t like to share…”
His voice echoed inside my head as if it wanted me to understand what he meant. But I didn’t. What did he mean by that anyway? He was not sharing a thing to anyone.
I must’ve been walking nonchalantly that I never noticed anyone or anything on the pathway.
“Alayna.” I jerked as I heard a call. Madam Lennie was just an inch away, looking at me with the furrowed forehead. She was with a girl on her late twenties; dark hair, round eyes, long eyelashes that looked like an extension, freckles spread from her cheekbones to her pointed nose and almond-shaped lips with red-orange lipstick. “Are you okay?”
“Uh, yes. Yes, of course, Madam Lennie. I’m sorry, I was just uh, trying to think of what to do on my rest day.” If there’s something I was pretty good at since I got here; it was the reasoning. Reasoning, so I could never get caught with my own feelings and wonders.
The old lady nodded, looking unconvinced. “Oliver is waiting for you in your kitchen,”
“I-I got to go, Madam. Sorry.” I said in a hurry then stepped beside her to continue my journey.
“Alayna? Alayna!” I could hear her calling me as I walked as fast as I could. Knowing that the mansion has CCTV on every corner all the more made me nervous. This place had no privacy!
I ran towards my kitchen. Oliver was there waiting for me. He stood up from his seat as soon as he saw me. “Alayna? What’s wrong?” he frowned. God, how I wished that there was CCTV in my kitchen, of course, that’s just a wish. I was glad all these cameras didn’t cover sounds.
“No. I’m okay. I ran because... uh, Madam Lennie said that you’re here. Do you need anything, Sir? I mean, Ollie?”
His left eyebrow raised. “I don’t think you’re running because of me,” he smiled on the side of his lip. He crossed his arms around his chest, “Spill it out.”
I blinked up my eyes the stared at him, “Really... because of you,” I chuckled nervously. I gently smacked his arm. He caught my arm and squeezed it softly.
“Did Brandon said something?”
I puffed, “Uh. Nothing.”
“He said something to you. You won’t run like that with a flushed face,” he grinned, sweetly. “Tell me about it,”
I pulled my hand out of his grip. “He said he doesn’t share, and honestly, I don’t understand what he meant. Well, there’s like, a lot of things I don’t understand about him.”
Oliver stared at me, but seconds later he laughed. He laughed so hard I thought he’d ran out of the air to breathe. I glared at him.
“Ollie!” I shouted.
“I-I’m sorry,” he pressed his lips together between words, “I’m sorry. “Did he? Did he said that?” he grinned.
“What’s so funny about it?”
“What made him say that?”
“No. I think he just doesn’t want me to work with you or as for your help on anything,” I shrugged.
“Aha! So this is about me?” He chuckled. It made me think for a moment. Well, yeah, it was about him—and me? “I don’t know why, but yes, it is funny, Alayna. My cousin seems to like you. Do you want to know what he meant?”
I laughed nervously, “Of course, it doesn’t mean anything.”
He shook his head, making sounds with his tongue, “Then why are you blushing? Of course, what he said meant something. He doesn’t say something out of nothing.”
“Whatever it was, it’s not what you’re thinking.”
He leaned in with his arms on the counter, his hands clasped then stared at me smiling. Is he trying to be cute?
“Why? What am I thinking exactly?” he asked grinning.
“I know what you mean. It’s impossible. Your cousin has too many issues with his life. He’s not going to waste his time for something like that.”
Oliver nodded, “Well, Brandon cut himself to the world and since then he never had a woman in his life. You won’t believe me if I tell you that he was once a womanizer in his school. He was seventeen.”
I rolled my eyes. “Well, bad news, he’s seventeen no more. Gone are those days. He was young, wealthy, no one would expect him to be good, stick to one lad,” I pointed out. “I know this will be an act of again, being too nosy, and there is a little chance that you might tell me, but, err... how did his family die?”
He paused. “Hold on. He told you about his mother and sister?” he asked me unbelievably.
“Hmm…” he looked up as if deciding on whether to tell me or keep it from me. “They are murdered in their own house. They were stabbed to death, and the culprit burned their house down and Brandon was the only one who survived. Almost took his life.”
I gasped in shock, “Oh. My. God. That’s... sad. That’s freaking miserable, Oliver!” At least I now understand what he felt. “My father was murdered too,” I answered, trying to gulp the lump on my throat away.
He sighed, “Oh, I’m so sorry about your father.”
I nodded, “It’s okay. I am too. Is that where he got his scar on his chest?”
“You saw his scar? How—”
“Uh…I’m not the kind to sneak-peek. It’s just that, when I went inside his room, he just came out of the shower. I accidentally saw it. It was a really ugly scar. It’s of course, surprising. He’s a wealthy man, he could easily have it done. I mean, he could undergo plastic surgery or something.”
“The incident gave him trauma. We tried to get him to the hospital, but he freaked out and run. Getting out of the house scares him, facing other people frightens him. He’s afraid the same thing might happen again.”
“I heard his father is still alive. Where is he?”
“He divorced his mother when he was fourteen. Basically, his father abandoned them and married his mistress.”
“So that was it! That’s why he’s wearing a mask,” I clapped my palms soundly, “he has burn scars on his face.”
“That was another story, Alayna. And I didn’t know what happened to his face.”
Oh. “Hey, what are you doing here anyway? Do you need anything?” I asked, trying to change the subject. I didn’t want to hear anything anymore. I felt a lump on my chest. Suddenly, I felt ill and melancholy. How could someone do that to him? How could a human kill another human?
“Did you tell Brandon that you are going out this weekend?”
“Yes, I did and I told him that you are giving me a tour.”
Oliver nodded, “Good. I just have to tell Lennie to handle everything this weekend.”
“Yeah, great. Thanks, Ollie.”
“Alayna, I think it would be better if Brandon won’t know a thing about the tour. I think the guy likes you,” he said then winked.
“Why do people in this house keep on saying that?”
“Because it’s obvious.” Oliver stepped forward then gently squeezed my shoulders, “You can freely enter his room, he made you his personal chef when he doesn’t really need one because I’m already here. You know about his scar. He told you about his family. He likes you, Alayna. There’s no doubt about that. He’s jealous of me because he thought you like me, which is not true because I know that you like him too!” He grinned sweetly. “You can be his cure, Alayna. He’s not just a cousin to me, but a brother.”
“Am I obvious?”
“Yes, it’s painted all over your face,”
I paused. Damn. “Ugh! You see, Ollie, I’ve only known him for a few days. How is that even possible? The last thing I fell for someone; it didn’t take me this fast.”
“Does it take a lifetime to like someone? Listen, you could take it slowly. He needs to come out. It’s not healthy for him to stay in his room forever. Tell him to come out and let the experts cure his scar.”
“Ollie, I don’t think I can do that.”
“You can. You already did that once, remember? You made him come out of his room. One step at a time.”
“Uh,” I looked over my shoulder. “I think you should let go of me now, because he might be watching us, and it’s not good for him to see how close we are, don’t you think?”
Oliver chuckled then released me, “I don’t really know why he suspected me of liking you. He knows that I’m friendly, even with other females in this house, except for Lennie of course.”
I chuckled. “I think so too, but then again, you should treat everyone fairly, even Madam Lennie,” I teased.
He chuckled. “This is a secret and promise me that you won’t tell anyone.”
“What is it?” I whispered.
“I’m engaged. I didn’t tell Brandon, but I will eventually.”
My mouth parted, “You are? That’s why you want me to get close to him. So you can leave him when you get married.” I clicked my tongue, “Greedy,”
He let out a soft breath, “I can’t stay here my whole life Alayna. I have a life too.”
“I won’t stay here for too long. I only have 2 years.”
“Two years is a very long time, a lot could happen, you know. Like, both of you being in a relationship or something simple like that.” He teased, I felt my cheeks getting hot with redness. “I have to go. I’ll see you at lunch. I’m cooking something special. You can give some to Brandon later.”
“Sure. I have nothing to do anymore, so... I’ll just check with the Master if he’s done with his food.”
“Remember what I told you. I think you should ask him.”
“Ask him about what he meant by what he said.” He winked at me. “Wait,” he stopped, “I need a trigger.” Ollie leaned forward then he pressed a kiss on the forehead.
“Hey! What was that for?” I wiped away his kiss from my forehead. I glared at him.
Oliver grinned and looked at the CCTV. “Now what are you going to do?”
I knocked on his door three times for the first time. It was kind of weird thing for me to do since he already permitted me to come in and out of his room whenever I want.
“Master? I came to get the plates.”
He did not answer. I was being stupid. Of course, he’s not going to open the door for me. I came inside. I found the master lying on the couch with a book on top of his chest. He’s wearing a gray tank top and sweatpants. I think he fell asleep. Poor man, even when he sleeps, he has his mask on.
“Master?” I whispered, “Master...” leaned down and whispered in his ear.
He moaned. He frowned as he slowly opened his eyes, “Alayna,” he whispered. The master sat up and squeezed his eyes. “How long have you been here?” he said, huskily.
“I just got in. I’m just going to get the plates to clean them. I’m so sorry if I wake you up.”
“Oh, it’s okay,” he answered, “It’s on the table.”
I guess he was reading his book all along and didn’t see Oliver kissed my forehead. Good. He might get mad at me again.
“Uh, I’m going to get it.”
I was about to walk to the table when he grabbed my hand and pulled me closer to him. He dragged me to his side which made me sit on the couch. His hand still wrapped around my arm. I gasped in surprise. My back, pressing against his chest. I could feel his breath on the back of my head. I didn’t notice that my arms are resting on his lap and I couldn’t move a muscle. My hands were close to his center. I couldn’t take my hands off knowing that I was too close to touch them.
“I can make an exception,” he whispered to my ear which made me jolt. Electricity flowed from my head to my core. “Don’t move.”
“W-what exception?” I gulped.
“Exception to take the shit out of you for flirting with Oliver.”
“I am not flirting with Oliver. We’re just talking.”
“Is that why he kissed you? I told you I don’t share.”
“What was that supposed to mean?”
“I want you. Now that I’m certain, at least, ” he uttered in my ear.
I let out a sharp sigh. “Let me go, please. Master, this is wrong.”
“Feels so right to me.”