Sorry for the late update! Also, I will now be uploading Ambrose’s Muse every Friday! Chapters 1 to 18 have been sent to the supporters and also uploaded on Patreon!
“Do you miss me?” Bell whispered on the phone.
Ambrose scoffed and continued to scroll down his phone.
“What kind of a question is this?” Lex grinned, “of course I miss you. Can’t you take a few days off and come to New York?”
“I cannot, I am busy being a muse here. The painter is grumpy,”
Ambrose glowered at her.
“I wish I could come there and do something about it, but I am busy myself,” Lex said,
“Well, I want you to be busy. That ways at least you will miss me less,” Bell said.
“You are such a corny little girl, Bell. God, I wish you were here,”
“I can ask my artist what if he allows me to come there for a few days?”
“No,” Ambrose snapped.
“Was that him?” Lex asked, “wow. He is grumpy.”
“And I don’t want to make him all the grumpier. Bye Smoochy,”
“Bye, little bunny!”
“And say bye to Riccardo as well. I am sure he must be asking about me,”
“A little too much, to be honest.”
Bell giggled and ended the call. She turned to Ambrose and folded her arms across her chest.
“What is the problem here, Mr Vasilakis?”
“You and your fiancé!” Ambrose snapped, “I forbid this!”
“Last time I checked, nothing of this sort was given in the contract,” Bell shot back, “and why are you even getting irritated?”
“It is annoying!”
“I am sure that if it were you instead of Lex, then you wouldn’t find it annoying,”
“Of course, I wouldn’t find it annoying. I just want all of your endearment to be for me,” Ambrose admitted, “I think you and I will be a great couple.”
Bell stared at Ambrose before looking away. It was the truth, despite the significant age difference Bell was getting attracted to Ambrose. His personality was so magnetic and not to mention the beautiful looks. She enjoyed their conversations and his grumpy mood. Why couldn’t Lex be like Ambrose?
No, she couldn’t think like this. Lex was a lovely man, and he was the complete package too. She intended on marrying him. Ambrose was just a distraction, an infatuation. She would be over him. She had to just pass the next two months without falling to his charms.
“I know you like me,” Ambrose said, “don’t deny the truth.”
“I do not like this cocky behaviour; may you should learn a thing or two about humility. It is important.”
“Maybe you could give a nice private lesson on this,” Ambrose winked.
“You are insufferable!” Bell threw a cushion at him.
“Okay! I am sorry,” Ambrose raised his hands in surrender, “but can you do one thing?”
“What is it?” Bell mumbled.
“Just be truthful about your feelings,” Ambrose whispered.
Bell looked into his eyes. They were so earnest. She had grown so closer to this man.
“Ambrose, there is something I feel for you. But I will not break my engagement. What if it is a simple harmless infatuation? What if this attraction goes away? I cannot sacrifice my relationship of two years,”
Ambrose sighed and looked away.
“What you and I have, it is more than infatuation. I know what infatuation is, trust me. My feelings are deeper than that, and I understand what you are saying, but I am not going to stop pursuing you. Maybe, in time, hopefully before our two months are over. You will probably see that we are meant to be,”
“I am sorry, but Lex is my soul-mate,”
“We will see.”
Ambrose picked his suit jacket and got up. He placed a small kiss on the corner of lips, gently caressing her lips with his thumb. They looked into each other’s eyes. Bell felt, at that moment, that maybe they were truly meant to be. It was like they were connecting. It was electric and ethereal.
“You felt that, Bell?” Ambrose whispered, “because I did. And it is not infatuation.”
Ambrose walked out of the house; his driver-cum-bodyguard followed him. Bell got up from the couch and stared at his retreating body. Was Ambrose speaking the truth? She only had to wonder.
One of the associates brought out an over-enthusiastic golden retriever out. The dog was extremely playful, and Bell ran towards it.
“What is his name?” Bell asked coyly.
“Ms Summers, this is Roofus, Mr Vasilakis’ dog,”
“Ambrose has a dog!”
“Yes, the Boss loves his canines. You are yet to meet the guard dogs. They are lethal and ferocious. Roofus here is just a playful boy,”
“Where are you taking Roofus?”
“Just around the estate, he loves to run around,”
“Can I take him?”
The associate agreed all at once. He gave Roofus’ leash to Bell. Bell tugged the dog towards the backyard and unhooked his leash.
Roofus went crazy.
The dog started to run around, chasing a butterfly and a giggle escaped Bell’s lips. Roofus was the happiest dog ever. Bell picked a stick and tried to lure the dog towards here.
It definitely caught Roofus’ attention. The big buffoon came running towards Bell, he jumped, placing his paws on her shoulders and began licking her face. Bell laughed, trying to get Roofus off her.
A loud whistle caught their attention. Roofus immediately ran in the direction. Bell turned around and found Victor standing at the patio. He petted the dog and then turned to her. A smirk appeared on his lips; Bell immediately became guarded. Victor had that kind of gaze akin to an x-ray vision. Bell always felt as if he was looking deep into her.
“Hello, Victor,” Bell curtly greeted him.
“I see we are not afraid anymore, I miss the squeaky little mouse,” Victor taunted.
“I always see you loitering around the house, don’t you have some work to do?”
“I can say the same about you,”
“Technically this house is my workplace, you see I am bound by a contract to be here, to be Ambrose’s Muse,”
“I cannot wait for these two months to be over. Just six weeks more for that!”
“Trust me, I am counting the days too. I am getting sick of seeing your face every day.”
That riled Victor. He walked to her, standing right in front of her. Bell whimpered and lowered her eyes. Victor bent to her ear.
“Now, if you want to leave this place safely with all your organs and limbs intact, then I suggest you watch your tongue. No one will be able to save you from me, Bell. I will kill you and throw you in a ditch, and no one will find you. No one will be able to recognise you.”
Bell gulped and stepped away from him. She blinked her tears away. Even Roofus had stopped being so excited. He sat, looking morose.
“I will t-tell Ambrose about this,” Bell whispered.
“Think twice before tattling,” Victor warned.
“I am not g-going to tolerate this behaviour!”
Bell looked at him with her defiant stance and narrowed eyes.
“I will complain to Ambrose about your rude behaviour, I will make sure that you get punished.”
“You dare not, Bell! You will not like what I will do to you,” Victor warned.
“Something says that you will not like what Ambrose will do to you,” Bell shot back.
“I said shut up,”
“I will not,”
“I said, shut up!”
“I will not, what are you going to do….”
Bell’s sentence came to a full stop when Victor smashed his lips against hers. Her body froze, he moved his lips against hers, but she didn’t even twitch. What was Victor doing? She couldn’t do this to her… she was engaged!
That thought made Bell push him away. Her eyes were wide with horror and her body pulsing with shock.
“Why did you do that?” Bell cried.
Victor looked at her, he too was shocked. Maybe he wasn’t anticipating his own reaction. He wiped his lips with his thumb, turned around and walked into the mansion. Bell stood there, still reeling and absorbing. She dragged her jelly-like legs to the patio chair and sat down.
Why did Victor kiss her?
How could an ugly fight lead to a kiss?
Bell closed her eyes, reliving the moment. Victor had conveyed his anger and frustration through that kiss. It was so passionate. It was the kind of kiss she craved Lex to give her, but that prude wasn’t doing anything! What if this continued into their marriage?
Bell shuddered. She didn’t want to have her hymen intact for the rest of her life.
But that wasn’t what troubled her.
Did she feel anything about Victor?
No, she definitely didn’t. It was a perfect kiss, but Bell didn’t feel anything. Her heart rate didn’t increase, there were no flutters. Her abdomen muscles didn’t get all twisty and nor did she feel any emotions.
It was sad because Victor was an excellent kisser.
Bell spent the entire afternoon in the backyard, playing with Roofus, napping in the patio and getting bored. Was this how her life would turn to be if she decided to be with Ambrose? She couldn’t fathom living like this. She already missed ballet.
Maybe she could join a class here or perhaps work.
She will, of course, have to ask Ambrose about it. Technically he was her employee at the moment, and according to the contract his permission was required. And knowing Mr Grumpy, he was going to say no.
What could Bell do to get Ambrose to say yes?
“You didn’t have to do this,” Ambrose said.
“I wasn’t doing anything productive, and I thought maybe I should make some dinner for you,”
A beautiful chicken dish and some mash, that was all it took to get a smile on Ambrose’s lips.
“Well, surely there can be something that you can do, I don’t want you cooking and cleaning. You are my guest and guests don’t work,” Ambrose said and took a bite of the chicken, “but I have to say, I really like this. I could get used to this.”
“Don’t you see? She wants something from you,” Victor scoffed and shoved his face with mash, glowering at her the same time.
“What do you want, Bell?” Ambrose held her delicate hand in his and placed a small kiss. He had a gentle smile on his face.
“Ambrose, I want to work,”
And the smile dropped.
“Why do you want to work? Is the pay less….”
“No, it is not about the pay. I just get bored, sitting here all day. I want to do something productive.”
“I don’t understand,”
“I am getting bored. I have nothing to do over here. You come late in the night, paint and leave and all I have to do is lie around. I am a ballerina, Ambrose. I am used to an active lifestyle,”
“Bell, I don’t know what to…”
“Just let me have a job, I promise it will not hinder with your painting schedule. If it does, then I will leave the job. But please!”
“Alright, but an associate of mine is going to be with you at all times.”
“Deal! Oh my god! Thank you so much! You have no idea how happy this makes me!” Bell hugged Ambrose.
“I am not going to be her bodyguard,” Victor said, still stuffing his face.
“I reckon you like Bell’s cooking?” Ambrose asked.
Bell sat down and served herself some food. She stared at Victor, anticipating his answer despite the kiss in the morning.
“It is alright. Although I like my mashed potatoes with peas and chives and bit more texture. This is too smooth and creamy for my taste. Also, it could use a little more salt.”
Ambrose glowered at Victor.
“This is very good, Victor. You are used to eating shitty food, and that is not my problem. I fucking hate peas in my mash.”
Bell smiled at Ambrose.