Love Stripped

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Chapter 31

“They’re here.” Sidney said as she walked in Angeline’s room where Angeline had been with Kimberly.

Three and a half hours were enough to make her beautiful. Angeline had bought her a beautiful bright gray dress. It had a V cut, not too deep, she didn’t need those types of cuts, since her breasts had gotten bigger due to her pregnancy. Two darker straps held the long dress on her shoulders and crossed on her back. Right below her breasts, the dress became flowy, so the belly was only noticed a little bit.

“You’re really pretty.” Angeline declared proudly.

“Thank you. Shouldn’t we be going?” Kimberly asked, walking out of the bedroom with her silver high heels. “They’re downstairs.” She could hear their voices, only that there was a female voice among Jake’s and Sean’s voices.

Sidney and Angeline noticed Kimberly was trying to hear the female voice talking. “I forgot to warn you, Kimberly. In order for Jake to come, he had to bring the person he was going to have dinner out tonight. I’m sorry, I-”

“Angeline, it’s ok.” Kimberly laughed bitterly, “It’s not like Jake and I have something. We both have to move on with our life.” Kimberly was already imagining bitch 2 all wrapped up around him. So, Jenny was right. They had been going out.

At least, Kimberly thought happily, only one person she didn’t want was there. Thank god Eric had gone out with his friends. She wouldn’t stand seeing him there, like nothing had happened.

“Let’s go, then.”

The three women went downstairs to face the guests. Both Jake and Sean were wearing practically the same, now Heidi had a beautiful dress. It reminded her of the dress Jake had offered her; the color was the same, only that the dress wasn’t that flowly. She envied her. She had no child inside her, so her body was perfect. She could wear short dresses, like the one she had now, while Kimberly had to use the long ones, in order to not show how much weight she had gain during the two months.

“Oh, hello Mrs. Dekker!” Heidi greeted as Angeline walked past her.

“Good evening, Angeline. I see you keep getting younger each day!” Sean said nicely. The right words for a woman who was getting old.

“Oh, Sean, don’t exaggerate.”

“I am not! That beautiful black dress suits you very well.” He said with a provoking way, but at the same time, kidding.

“Jake!” Kimberly heard her sister behind her. She saw her run into Jake’s arms and saw her receiving a welcoming hug.

“Hey Sid.” He said with a calm voice, “How are you?”

“Fine! Oh, I missed you so much!” They were still hugged. Kimberly could only imagine how Sidney was warm in his arms…

“Me too.” They broke the hug and Jake smiled at her. A sweet and caring smile. In a few minutes, Sidney had gain the sweetest smile Kimberly had seen him made, as for her… She hadn’t won anything. Anything. Not even his usual amused smiles.

“Kimberly… I can call you Kimberly, right?” Sean’s voice called her to reality.

“Of course. You can even call me Kim.” She directed her gray eyes to Jake; he hadn’t said a word to her. Right now, he was introducing Heidi to Sidney.

“Nice to meet you.” Heidi said, without any smiles, just like Sidney.

Before answering, her sister looked at her and then back at Heidi, “The pleasure is mine.” Seconds later, she walked away from them.

“Well, shouldn’t we go to the table? The dinner is ready to be served.” Angeline pointed to her back, so that Heidi and Sean could know where to go.

“Of course.” She heard Sean again, “I’ll walk these two beautiful ladies,” He made Kimberly and Angeline grab each arm of him, “And you’ll walk Heidi and that beautiful blond bomb.” He blinked an eye towards Sidney.

“Such a gentleman you are.” Angeline commented while Sean guided them to the dining room. So he had already been there.

“I must agree.” Kimberly felt his gray eyes on her.

“And how lucky I am in having these two perfect Ladies linked with each arm of mine.” He leaned towards Kimberly and whispered, “Luckier than Jake. You’re prettier than her.”

So Sean didn’t like Heidi either. Oh man, Kimberly could already see how much she would like Sean.

When they reached the table, Angeline started saying, “Well, I thought where everyone should sit and I came up with this: I’ll be here,” She pointed at the seat where usually the person who commanded, sat, where she could see everyone. “Jake will be at my right side, Kimberly will sit at my left side. As for Sean, he can join Kimberly, just like Sid. Heidi… you can sit down next to Jake, right in front of Sean.”

So, she would be in front of Jake. She would have to face his green eyes the whole dinner if he even looked at her.

When they started to go to their seats, Kimberly passed by Jake and smelled him. Oh, what a bad idea. Shit. She touched his arm, “You’re wearing that perfume your mother bought you.” It wasn’t a question.

“Yes.” Was his only answer.

As she felt something coming up her throat, she turned around and ran to the nearest bathroom. The moment she knelt on the floor, she leaned towards the toilet and felt everything that came out of her mouth. Why the fuck had he used that perfume if he knew it made her throw up??

It tasted so… Yuck.

After a couple of minutes, Kimberly got up and turned around only to see Jake, looking at her with a serious expression that made her almost jump two feet away. “God, you scared me!”

“Are you feeling better?”

“Yes. It’s your fault, you know.”

“Why?” He didn’t move.

“You know that perfume makes me throw up the second I smell it.”

“I’m sorry.” Although he said that in a cold way, his eyes had some kind of special glow. Well, at least he had gone to her to see if she was all right. That was a start. Wait, a start for what? There was no start, only an end. And everything had already ended. “What are you thinking about?”

“Nothing.”

“Don’t lie.” There he was again… Reading her so well.

“I was just thinking about you… I mean, you acted so… cold in the company and now you just came here to see if I was alright.”

“I would have done the same if you threw up on the company. I would want to see if the-”

“Yeah, if the baby was alright, I know. I completely understood that you don’t give a damn about me anymore.” Damn, she shouldn’t have said it. She looked away so he wouldn’t noticed her sad look.

“Why should I care about you?” Yeah, why should he care? She was the one who wanted him to not care about her anymore since he reminded her of things she didn’t want to have in her mind. “You’re the one who broke up with me.”

“I know that, you don’t need to repeat it. I’ve heard that a lot of times. Besides, you didn’t understand what I said.” Shit, shit, shit. Kimberly tried to get past him, but he simply didn’t move.

“Oh really? Then what did you mean?”

“I… Look, shouldn’t you be with your date? Your mother must be waiting for us-”

“You’re running away from the conversation now? Didn’t you want to talk to me alone at the company?”

“Yes, I wanted, but I don’t want it anymore. I wouldn’t know what to say to you, since we wouldn’t have anything to talk about.” What the fuck was he doing? Was he playing her now? She had no patience for games.

Still, he didn’t move. He was too close to her.

“What the fuck are you doing? First you wanted to see me from my back, now you just won’t let me go away from you? Don’t play me, Jake. I know all of your games now.”

“Do you?”

“Yes. I know more about you than your personal assistant.” She had lived with him for 5 months. She had dated him and he had shared his secrets with her. After his mother, Kimberly was the person who knew him better than everyone and she knew it.

“Feeling jealous?” For the first time in a long, long time, a glimpse of an amused smile appeared on his lips.

“No. I don’t have any reason to feel jealous. I’ve moved on, haven’t you?”

“Yes, I moved on, of course, can’t you see that?” He gave a step towards her, making them be very close. Why was he provoking her if he had moved on? Did he enjoy seeing her in pain? “I sold the house we lived, since I didn’t stand being there and have all of those memories of you there. I walked out of my mother’s house, so I wouldn’t face my brother and remember what he did to us. And believe me, not seeing Eric was the reason who made me move on.”

“Oh really? Why is that?”

“Because looking at his face and remember what he did to you… what he did to us… I know he’s part of the reasons to the why you left me. Maybe the main reason. And… not seeing him every day, made me forget, made me moved on.” Jake said it with a smile. He was proud he had moved on. He was happy with his new life. A life she wasn’t part of. “What did you do to forget the moments we spent together?” Was there any sadness??

Nothing. She did nothing because somehow she didn’t want to forget him. “Everything I could. I completely erased you from my mind.”

“Liar.” He made her a full amused smile. “I can’t believe you’re lying to me.”

“I’m not-”

“You’re carrying my child, how can you possible not remember me? How can you possibly have moved on?” Busted.

But she knew how to take care of that question. “Then you can’t possibly have moved on too, since you can’t forget I’m carrying your child.”

“I can forget it,” Jake attacked right away, “Because I’m not the one carrying him and I have a busy life and most of time I have no time to think about you and the-”

“Then, you admit you completely forgot our baby this whole time?” His words woke up the hate she felt for him. If he had said he had forgotten about her, but hadn’t forgotten about their baby, she would accept it, but this… Son of a bitch.

“I didn’t mean it like-”

“Yes, you did!” She yelled, “How could you… God, I would understand if you had forgotten me, but I wouldn’t expect you to say you can and managed to forget our-”

“You know I-”

“Get out of my way, Jake. Everyone’s waiting for us.” She used the coldest tone on her voice. She just wanted to get away from him.

“No, listen-”

“Let me pass!” She tried to move him, but he didn’t move one inch, until he grabbed her with strong arms and made her stood in front of him. Kimberly was way close to him. “Let me go, Jake… Don’t do this.”

“Don’t do what?” His face was way closer to hers.

“That. Get away from me.“She avoided looking straight at him.

“If you moved on, then it won’t be a problem if I’m this close to you. We both moved on, touching each other will not awake on us some kind of old feeling, right?” How he could catch her so well.

“Jake, let me go!” She yelled. Why wouldn’t he let her go? Why? Why did he have to torture with the feeling of his hands on her body once again?

“Answer me.” He said with the calmest voice he could make. “If you moved on, prove it.”

“You’re out of your mind, Jake… I don’t have to prove anything to you.”

“Yes, you have. In order for me to let you stay in the company, you have to prove me you moved on. I can’t have you there while you still care for me, while you still love me. It would only bother you.” He was fucking crazy. What the fuck did he want from her?

“I swear I moved on, Jake. I don’t love you anymore, I…” He was getting close. What the fuck was he doing? Was he going to kiss her? Was he…?

“Jake?” A masculine voice came from the outside of the bathroom. It was Sean, thank god.

“Yea, we’re here.” He said, letting her go and then, opening the door, “I was just checking on Kimberly, to see if everything was ok with her.” He didn’t need to give Sean any excuse…

“Is she better?”

“Yes.” Jake walked out of the bathroom and walked away. Then, she faced Sean.

“It isn’t normal for Angeline to invite an employee from her company if she has nothing to do with her son. It’s not normal for Jake to stay this long with a person that’s going to work for him…” He paused and then offered her a warm smile, “Then again, you’re beautiful and after all, the mother of his baby.”

Her jaw dropped in surprise. He knew? “How do y-”

“I’m his public relations, Kim. I told you that when I introduced myself to you in the boss’ office a few hours ago. I know everything about this family.”

“How old are you?”

“25 years old.” How could he possible know everything about Jake’s family? “You’re so young, how can you-”

“Angeline, Jake, and his brother have to tell me everything about their life in order for me know what to say about him in public. After all, when Jake doesn’t feel like making an apparition in some public meet, I have to go. Me and his personal assistant, Heidi.” There she had her explanation. “Now, I need to know, is anything going on between you and Jake?”

“No. As he said, he was checking on me.”

“Right.”

“It’s true.”

“I’m not doubting.” Of course he was, but she didn’t care about it. “Shall we get back to the dining room?”

“Of course.” Once again, she linked her arm on his and let him guide her to the dining room, where she found Jake, already sat in front of the place she would sit down, and the others looking at her.

“Are you feeling better, Kim?”

“Yes.” Kimberly answered to Sidney. Somehow her sister had a winning smile on her face. “Shall we have dinner now?”

“Yes, we’ve waited long enough.” Angeline said with her bossy, but nice tone of voice.

Sean led her to her seat and helped her sitting like a true gentleman and then, he sat beside her, between her and her blond sister.

“I’m glad you’re fine now. We were all getting hungry.” Heidi said. But before anyone could notice what she said to Kimberly in such a fake but nice way, she said with a nicer tone, “I really like your dress. It’s beautiful.”

“Thank you. Yours is pretty too.” Pretty? It was beautiful. It was almost like the dress Jake had offered her when he decided to show her he could be a good boyfriend… And he had been perfect…

“Thanks!” She made a huge smile, “Jake offered it to me last week.” It felt like a spear in her heart. Everybody said nothing, waiting for Kimberly’s reply. What could she say? ‘Oh really? He gave me one just like that a few months ago!’ But, she wouldn’t say it. She had moved on, just like she had promised him. She had to get used to the idea of being close to him and not have something with him, while he could hang out with other bitches.

She only nodded and then, the food was served.

It felt bitter, she wasn’t hungry. She didn’t belong there. She should have declined the offer and should have gone to the hotel. Expect… she didn’t even know where the goddamn hotel was. Someone had to drive her there tonight…

“What did you do before, Kimberly? I hope you don’t mind me calling you Kimberly since we’re off the company now.” Heidi asked, with a sweet tone.

“No, I don’t mind.” She said, only answering to one thing. She said nothing for moments, but Heidi didn’t get she didn’t want to answer to the first question.

“So, in what did you work before?” She insisted. For the first time she had come back from the bathroom with Jake, she looked at him and exchanged looks. He knew what she was thinking. That was a question she didn’t want to answer nor couldn’t. Her sister was there. The least he could was help her! It was his personal assistant who was asking that.

She pleaded with her eyes, “Kimberly didn’t work before. We’re in the presence of a young woman that came out of college a while ago. My mother knew she had good grades so she thought I should hire her.”

“Oh funny. Just like you.” Heidi commented and Jake looked at her, his eyebrow rose, “I mean… you also came out of college a while ago. You’ve only entered in the work force for a couple of months, too.”

“Oh.”

Another moment in silence, but once again, Heidi broke it, “From where do you know Kimberly, Mrs. Dekker?”

Angeline couldn’t possible say she met her because she had lived with her son. Would she say that? No, she wouldn’t. But Angeline also didn’t seem to like Heidi… She was capable of saying the truth, only to annoy her… No…

The moment Angeline opened her mouth, Kimberly’s voice overpowered hers, “I think that’s between me and Angeline.” Heidi’s jaw dropped a little bit in surprise. Kimberly didn’t know why, she hadn’t said anything abnormal and hadn’t spoke in such a cold way… “What?”

“You’re an employer in Jake’s company; the least you could do is treating Mrs. Dekker respectively.”

Her eyebrow rose. What the hell was she talking about?

“What are you-”

“Heidi, Kimberly knows my mother longer than you.” Jake revealed. “That’s why she called her Angeline.” Oh… so Heidi wanted her to treat Angeline by Mrs. Dekker? That would be so weird! She was used to treat Angeline by Angeline.

“Oh… then you already knew her?”

“Yes.” Jake sifted his position, not feeling comfortable with Heidi’s question. Taking his eyes off Heidi and putting them over Sean, he asked, “How did it go yesterday’s meeting?”

“Very well, they are actually considering signing up a contract with us and…” The moment they started talking about work, it felt like she covered up her ears to not hear them, since she didn’t know what they were talking about. After all, she was a newbie in his company. Only Angeline, Sean, Heidi and Jake talked. They were the only ones who knew everything about the issue they were dealing with. As for her and Sidney, Sean was between them, so they couldn’t talk to each other.

Finally, when the desert was served, the issue became different, “Oh, Jake always was stubborn. Sometimes I couldn’t even handle him. He had the gift of annoying me when I was fine.” Angeline laughed, “He still has that gift.”

“Mom, things about me when I was a baby, no, please.”

“Why not? You were so cute.”

“I bet he always was beautiful.” Heidi said, placing her hand over his. Oh, if she thought no one had noticed it, she was wrong.

“And I bet he can scare the hell out of you when he wants.” Kimberly muttered under her breath.

“Did you say something, Kim?” Sean’s gray eyes were gazing at her.

“No, I-”

“I swear I heard you say something.” He nodded, “I must be imagining things today.” As he said that last sentence, he looked at Jake. Oh, Kimberly knew he had said that because he had found them both alone on the bathroom.

“I think you are.” Jake said with a provocative smile. “Maybe you drank too much wine or something.”

“Yes, maybe I did.” With a fearless look stamped on his face, Sean turned at Kimberly and asked, “Do you need someone to drive you to the hotel?”

“Oh yes!” Kimberly said before Jake had to be the one driving her. After what happened in the bathroom, she didn’t feel like being near him. “I don’t even know where the hotel is. Thank you so much.” She placed her hand over his… and out of the blue, something in Jake’s eyes changed.

Then, she thought. It was better if she left right now. She would have the chance to go to bed earlier since she woke up at 6AM today, besides, her feet were already hurting her, and the heels were killing her. And she was sick of being there, while they talked about nothing she knew.

“Sean… Would you mind if I asked you to take me to the hotel now?”

“Already?” It was Angeline’s voice.

Kimberly looked at her right side and said, “Oh yes. I’m really tired, Angeline, you know I woke up really early today. Besides, the heels are killing me.”

“Oh… I see.”

Her eyes, once again met Sean’s. “Of course I won’t mind. I wouldn’t refuse to give help to a beautiful pregnant woman.” Kimberly could get used to these treatments.

“Angeline where are my-”

“In your room-”

“In her room?” Heidi was paying full attention to Kimberly’s departure. “She has a room here?”

As Jake took a deep breath and let it out slowly, he said, “My mother means the guest room. She doesn’t have a room here, she’s staying at a hotel.”

That was true. But she knew Angeline was referring to the room she had used as her own while she had stayed here when her memory had been lost. “Do you need any help?” Sean got up at the same time she did.

“No, they’re not heavy.” As she gave him a thanking smile, she left the table and headed upstairs, to the room Angeline had left her things.

On her way, Kimberly wondered how Jake could put up with bitch 2. She’s even worse than Joanne, bitch 1. She knew Joanne liked to know everything Jake was doing with her, but Heidi… she was much more annoying. And as Joanne showed how she hated Kimberly, Heidi pretended to be nice, but underneath… Oh… she looked much worse than Joanne.

After putting the clothes she had worn that day on her bags, Kimberly grabbed the bags and headed downstairs, finding everyone gathered on the main hall. “What are you guys doing?” She asked.

“We’re leaving, too.” Jake answered blankly.

“Oh.” She didn’t care if he was going to leave or not. Kimberly didn’t care if he would now take that woman to his bed or not. She shouldn’t care, so she tried not to care. “Well, I’ll see you tomorrow or on Wednesday, I don’t know, ok Sid?”

Before her sister could give her any type of answer, Heidi asked, “She’s not coming with you?”

“No.” Kimberly answered impatiently. Honestly. How could Jake let her ask those kinds of things? When it was Joanne he would say something roughly and she would shut up. What did this bitch have that he didn’t say anything to contradict her, expect answering without patient or change the theme of the conversation? Great sex? Blackmail?

“Why not? Isn’t she your sister?”

“Yes, and?”

“Then why is she staying-” Heidi was interrupted when they all heard someone opening the door. Since they were all gathered there, it could only mean it was that person.

Eric walked in the hall, looking at his cell, not even noticing there were people around him. It was Angeline who ‘cleared up’ her throat and called him to the real world. His only reaction was to stop and stare at everyone.

As for Kimberly’s and Jake’s reaction… They exchanged looks; looks that only the both of them could decipher; looks that she hadn’t gotten for a long time since they had… broken up.

“Hello Eric.” Sean tried to ease the atmosphere. He knew everything, so he knew that Eric’s presence there wasn’t the most welcome.

It took him a few moments to answer, “I’m sorry. I thought you all had already gone away.” He waited. For what? For Kimberly or Jake say something? Jake surely wasn’t going to say anything to his brother and Kimberly couldn’t still look at his face, let alone saying something.

It was Angeline who broke the silence, “They were just leaving.”

“Ok.” Eric walked past Heidi, Jake, Angeline, Sean and Sidney and for moments, Kimberly thought he was going to stop right in front of her, but he only slowed down a little bit. Like if he was going to say something, but then, regretted.

When he disappeared on the stairs, once again Sean tried to ease everything, “Well, shouldn’t we go?” He extended his hands so that Kimberly could give him her things.

Sean walked to the entrance and said, “It was a lovely dinner, Angeline.”

“Thank you, my dear. Your company always makes them more exciting.” Kimberly had never seen Angeline answer in this kind of way. She surely loved Sean.

It was Kimberly turn to say goodbye, “Thanks for inviting me, Angeline.”

“Oh, don’t say that.” She was offered with a gentle smile, “I intend to invite you a lot of times after this one.” Of course she did. She would want to be with her grandson and Kimberly could already tell that that place was going to be the center of Jake’s meetings to see their son.

“I think I wouldn’t expect less from you. Well, thanks for everything.” After handing up a smile to Angeline, Kimberly turned at her sister and said, “Call me if you need anything.”

“Don’t worry, Kim. Have a goodnight.” Sidney winked her eye and then Kimberly turned to leave.

“Aren’t you going to say goodbye to Jake? After all he’s your boss.” God! Not even Joanne was this… Grr!

With a dry tone, Kimberly said, “Goodbye, Mr. Dekker. I’ll see tomorrow.” She prayed not.

After turning her back at them, Sean opened the door for her and led the way to his car. While she got in it, he placed her things on the back of his car and then got in.

It was an interesting ride, only 10 minutes till the hotel, but nevertheless, very entertaining. “If you weren’t Jake’s ex girlfriend, I would definitely ask you out.” He said as he stopped the car in front of the hotel.

Kimberly didn’t laugh, “Because I’m his ex girlfriend, you are not allowed to ask me out? It’s not like I have a sign on my head saying you can’t invite me out because I’m your boss’ ex girlfriend-”

“And also because you’re pregnant with his child.”

“And what does that matter? We’re not dating; we don’t love each other anymore, why-”

“Are you sure?” Sean asked, and this time he had no gentle smile for her.

“I’m sure of what?” She raised her eyebrow. What was he talking about?

“You don’t love each other.”

“Of course I’m sure.” Didn’t he have eyes on his face or his gray eyes couldn’t sight anything? “Haven’t you seen the way he and Heidi act towards each other?’”

He smirked, “Of course. Heidi tries to get his attention focused on her and apparently, Jake just seems interesting in-”

“I don’t care.” She interrupted him. Kimberly didn’t want him to say Jake just wanted her to screw her. It was enough for her about Jake’s and Heidi’s relation.

“You try to not care.” Who did he think he was to tell her those kinds of things?

“You don’t know me so you can’t possible tell if I’m lying or not.”

“Really? There are certain types of woman that I can read very well and you’re-”

“Not one of them.” Once again, Kimberly interrupted him. Please, he had only met her today, had already asked her out and now, was saying he could read her? “The only person that could read me perfectly, without any flaws, was Jake. And now, he can’t even do that.”

“Why not?”

Kimberly didn’t answer. Because then he would know she still cared for him. He would be sure she hadn’t moved on like she had said.

“Look, we’ll talk tomorrow. I’m tired and I need to get these heels off my feet. Thanks for the ride.” Without one more word, Kimberly walked out of the car, went to get her bags and without saying goodbye, she walked in the hotel. After all, Sean wasn’t that nice. When they were alone he was much harder to deal with.

The hotel was 5 Star . Or the company was very generous when it came to newbies or Jake just wanted the mother of his child to be good. The mother of his child, not her. There was a difference there. A difference she hated.

After checking in (the reservation had been made in Angeline Dekker’s name), Kimberly went to her room. It was on the tenth floor and it was really good. It wasn’t like the one she had been with Jake, but it was still good, after all, it was a 5 stars’ hotel.

She let go of her things right there and the first thing she made was to take off those heels. God, it felt good. She walked without the heels to the bathroom. Take off that dress, take a bath and then go to bed, were the three things Kimberly most wanted now.

It had been an exhausting day. A surprise, actually. Since yesterday to now. Angeline going to her house, offering a job… Seeing Jake for the first time in two months… Being introduced to the woman who warmed his bed now… Knowing Sean had been a surprise, he wasn’t that a gentleman, taking advantage of their moments alone…

There was something that still bothered Kimberly. Why hadn’t Jake told Heidi the truth? After all, she was his personal assistant. She was having sex with him; the least he could do was admitting Kimberly was his ex girlfriend and that he was the father of the baby… Did he have any reasons to hide that from Heidi?

Kimberly lay down on the bed and covered her body with a sheet before closing her eyes. Since her belly had grown up, she could sleep with her back turned up, a position she loved to fell asleep.

Which reminded her of the baby again. Next week was the appointment Kimberly had for the baby. She wondered if Jake was going to appear. He had to appear, she was waiting for him to go with her. Last time, Kimberly refused to know the sex of the baby. Apparently, there was this new exam that a mother could know the sex of the baby at 8th week, but it was around 400 dollars and Kimberly wanted Jake to be present. She wanted to hold his hand the moment the doctor said the sex of the baby. She would want to look at him, see him smiling and starting babbling about names…

Kimberly even dreamed about it, only to be awakened by an annoying alarm clock. It was 8AM and she had to be at the company around 9AM. She slowly got up, feeling really cold.

A robe was on the couch, so Kimberly quickly reached it and put it over her. God, it has cooled during the night. She had to get used to this: winter coming and the fact that she had to wake up early every day again.

When she was going to pick up some clothes, someone knocked on the door. Who could it possibly be at that hour? Housekeeping? After making a ponytail, Kimberly walked towards the door and opened.

“Good morning.”

Shit.

“What are you doing here?”

With no smile at all, Jake walked in the room with coffee on his hands. “I came top pick you up. My mother told me didn’t have a car, so she asked me yesterday if I could come and bring you with me to the company.”

Please, Jake… he could do so much better than that. He saw her asking If Sean could drive her to the hotel, so everyone knew she didn’t have a car to go to the company.

“I see, your mother’s an angel.” She closed the door.

“Yes, she is.” He looked at her from the tip of her toes to her head.

“You know, I thought you were a better liar.” Kimberly walked past him, feeling his eyes on her back, “Your mother didn’t ask you to come here. You knew I would need a ride to go to the company. What makes me wonder is that you know I only have to be there at 9AM and I could call a cab to drive me there.”

She heard him laughing and turned around, only to find his eyes with a bright green, “You think I want to be alone with you?”

“That’s what you make me think.”

He gave two steps towards her, “You’re wrong there, Kimmy.”

It was like she had frozen. Kimmy. He had called her Kimmy. She hadn’t heard that name in… over two months… “You… You called me-”

“Kimmy, yes.” His amused smile was making fun of her, “Don’t think it’s because the feeling I had for you just appeared out of nowhere. Remember that at first I only called you that because it amused me to see the impact the name caused in you when said by me.” There was he again… Playing her.

“I see you haven’t lost your touch.” Anger seemed to brush her skin. Kimberly walked in the bathroom and washed her face. She could think well now that she had already washed her face with cold water. It make her truly woke up.

“What do you mean?” Jake asked as he saw her walking out of the bathroom.

“You haven’t lost that special touch, I mean, you keep playing games with me.”

“I am not playing any games.”

“Oh really? Explain me why you truly came here.” Kimberly reached her bag and started picking out the clothes she would wear today. Since it was a little bit cooler than the usual, Kimberly decided to wear a jacket. “Because I know you too well to know that you didn’t come here only to give me a ride.”

“Maybe I was referring to some other kind of ride.”

Kimberly’s gray eyes narrowed, “Those games don’t work on me anymore, Jake.”

“I think they never worked.” He let out a deep breath. She wasn’t expecting him to say that.

“Why would you say that?”

“You made me fall for you, Kimmy. That’s why they never worked.” He talked with a rather tired voice. That was a revelation; Kimberly thought he had played her the whole time till he actually said he liked her. “But that was not what we were talking about, right?”

“Right.”

“Well, I really had a reason to come here.” A reason? Kimberly nodded and let him keep going, “Before I went home yesterday, Sid talked to me in private.” Not again, she hated when Sid and Jake talked in private: good thing wasn’t going to come from there…

“And? What did she say this time?”

“She talked about an exam your doctor told you to do.”

“What exam?” Couldn’t Sid keep her mouth shut?

“You know what I’m talking about. Why didn’t you told me before? Why didn’t you tell me we could already know the sex of the baby?” Because, maybe, she didn’t want to seem like a poor woman who didn’t have the money to do an exam that would tell her the sex of the baby?! And because she wanted to do it with him? Because maybe Kimberly wanted to share that joy with him?

“Because…” Kimberly sat on her bed and Jake did the same, “It was too expensive for me. I couldn’t spend money I didn’t have-”

“You could have called!”

“Why? So you could make fun of how poor I was? Because then you could probably say you couldn’t come? I want to know if the baby is a boy or a girl with you by my side, Jake! You’re the father!” Just so that she wouldn’t be so close to him, Kimberly got up and looked straight at him.

“I know! But you would have to tell me you wanted to do the exam first! Do you think I mind spending money on the baby? It’s my baby too, Kimberly! He deserves everything! The best!” Since he was getting out of control, Kimberly saw him getting up and taking a deep breath, “You should have told me.”

“You’re right, but-”

“No buts. And I would never make fun of you nor would miss the appointment where I would know the sex of our baby…”

“I know… it’s just that… also…” She turned around. She had to say it. “It was hard for me to call you, to talk to you, to see you there at my front door… maybe that was why I didn’t tell you either.” Done, she had said it and she had showed her weakness.

“You’re admitting you haven’t moved on?” In his voice seemed to be surprised.

“No!” She turned around immediately, “It was just that seeing you there would make me remember-”

“There you come again with that talk. I don’t even want to hear you finishing that sentence.” He stepped back, fearing something, “Anyways, I came to say that I scheduled an appointment on this clinic that makes that exam, next week. I’ll go with you this time.”

Her jaw dropped. That was fast. How could he have scheduled the exam between yesterday and today? He came out of his mother’s house at night and it was still early today, “How did you-”

“I made some phone calls when I came home.”

Good time to throw the bait, “So Heidi heard you calling to some doctor about some exam for a pregnant woman?”

“No.” He said indifferently, “She wasn’t around to hear it, last night.”Last night. Damn, it hurt.

“Oh…” She seemed lost in her own room. “I ah… should get ready to go.”

“I’ll wait outside.” Wow, that was nothing like him.

“It’s ok. I’ll change in the bathroom.” In a matter of seconds, Kimberly went to the bathroom with her clothes and closed the door behind her.

Now, she was sure. Kimberly was sure Heidi had been sleeping with him, what he said… he just wanted her to know for sure. She didn’t expect it to hurt this much. When tears started to fell from her eyes, she sat on the toilet. How could she possibly imagine that woman’s hands on his body? It made her threw up the second she imagined him… over her… making love with her… kissing her and her body…

It tasted so bad…

“Kimberly? Are you ok? Can I open the door?”

She didn’t answer. God, she hadn’t eaten anything, how could she even throw up? Maybe… the disgust she felt when she imagined Jake and Heidi having sex, made her threw up…

“Kimberly!” The moment she was going to answer, Jake opened the door and faced her.

Kimberly quickly turned around and cleaned her mouth and her face, “You didn’t need to come in, I was fine-”

He stared at her for some moments, “Are you crying?”

“No, I am not crying!”

“Then why are those tears falling from your eyes?”

“Because the shit I threw up tasted bad!”

“You never cried when you threw up.”

“Well, now I do!” She yelled with hate.

Stupid. Idiot. Dumb. She hated him, but mostly… she hated herself. If she hadn’t left him, she could be with him now. If she had handled the memories in her head while being with him, she could have him now and not that bitch.

Kimberly hated herself more than ever. Why?

Since she had gotten here, since she had seen him for the first, she practically hadn’t remembered anything. Anything. She learned to not have those thoughts in her mind with time. Time she could have spent with Jake.

Now, it was too damn late. He had moved on and had gotten a sex toy he enjoyed a lot.

“Get out of the bathroom, Jake. Let me get dressed, please.”

“You’re not ok. Maybe you should stay he-”

“No.” She cut him. “I don’t want to miss work just because I threw up.” Just because now, she knew they would never get back.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes. Now, get out.”

“Ok…” With uncertainty in his eyes, Jake left the bathroom and closed the door behind him.

With hate for herself, Kimberly exchanged clothes, washed her face, made her hair and when she walked out of the bathroom, she fund Jake watching something in his wallet. “I’m ready.”

When he finally noticed she was there, he quickly closed his walled and put it on his trousers’ pockets. “Oh, yeah.” Something in his eyes wasn’t right. What had he been looking at? “Shall we go?”

“It’s my turn to ask: are you ok? You look like you’ve seen something wrong…”

“No.” Coldness returned to him. “I was just checking something on my wallet. Shall we go now?”

“Sure…” Of course they should. It was her work and she had to handle it now. She had to handle seeing him with that fucking bitch that at night would enjoy him, while Kimberly was suffering since she had broken up with Jake.

And Kimberly knew… it was her fucking fault, because she had been too weak to try to forget those memories with Jake by her side, with Jake’s help, with his love, with his caresses… proclaiming that having him by her side wouldn’t work due to what happened.

How she was wrong.

Having him by her side… was all she needed to be happy.

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