Tyler turned around with an easy smile, but as soon as he saw Nate holding hands with me, corners of his mouth fell down. He fixed it immediately, smile back on his lips, but I knew that he wasn’t happy about me being here as Nate’s plus one. It was a terrible idea for me to come here. I should have stayed home.
“Thanks, Nate! I honestly thought that you wouldn’t show up at all tonight.” They shook hands. Tyler turned slightly at me. “Vera.”
“Hey, Ty. You have a very beautiful place.”
“Do you like it?”
“Is it not obvious?” I smiled at him. This little exchange and I already felt like he and I were in our small bubble. No, it’s not right. I averted my eyes, focusing on the interior. Nate started a conversation with Tyler again. They were talking about their friends from college. I found myself totally zoning out until I felt Nate squeezing my hand. I turned to him and smiled.
“Do you want to go to the bar? Ty says here are some very delicious cocktails or you could drink wine. I am sure that the variety of drinks might surprise you.” Nate’s soft smile helped me relax, but then I saw Tyler studying me with a serious expression on his face. I instantly tensed.
“Yeah, I think the wine will be good.”
“See you later, buddy.” Nate tugged me beside him, leading me away from Tyler. I glanced back at him and regretted it immediately. He was staring at me and I never saw him like that. He was angry and sad at the same time and I could guess, that I was the reason for his bad mood.
We found the bar and stood near it for a few minutes. Nate ordered bourbon for himself and asked me, what I wanted to drink. I hesitated not knowing what to choose. Just then Nate and I heard a high pitched voice, both of us turned around and I immediately recognized this girl. It was Camilla Diaz in a flesh. Damn, she was stunning! Curvaceous body with big boobs, long legs and indecently narrow waist.
“Nate! Oh my God, I wasn’t expecting to see you here.” She threw herself at Nate, wrapping her hands around his neck, pressing herself to him. Nate’s brow furrowed, he tried to push her away, but boy, this girl was clingy. “I missed you so much!” Saying that she pressed her lips to his, trying to push her tongue inside. I felt nauseous.
Nate finally freed himself from Camilla’s embrace, gripping her wrist with his hands. He was pissed off, I could tell, there’s no need to be genius about it. But she was totally oblivious to his mood.
“We need to talk, Camilla. Come with me.” Nate pulled her away from the bar, making a few steps from me. I was in total shock, what should I do? He turned around and looked at me. “Vera, please, I need to deal with it. Wait for me, okay? I will find you in no time. Please?” I only nodded at him with a little smile, trying to show him, that everything was fine.
I turned my attention to the bar and finally made a choice about the cocktail. Vodka and cranberry juice in my hand, I walked straight to the huge windows, staring at the view before my eyes. New York was fabulous, the lights of the city were fascinating to me. I gulped almost the whole drink in one shot. I closed my eyes, it was strong, too much vodka for my liking. I felt a presence behind my back, without even opening my eyes, I knew exactly who it was.
“How long?” Tyler stopped near me, staring at the window. I gulped the remaining drink, avoiding to answer.
“Vera, I am asking you. How long?”
“It doesn’t concern you.” I turned to him and stared at his face. “I shouldn’t have come here. It was a mistake.” I was ready to leave, as his hand landed on my wrist, his grip was tight and almost painful. He strode right in the direction of the stairs to the second floor of the apartment with me in tow. I didn’t say a word, I knew him too well and I didn’t want to make a scene.
When we were at the stairs, I heard my name behind. I glanced over my shoulder and saw stunned Nate, looking at Tyler and me with a surprised look.
“Nate, I will steal your date for a few minutes.” Tyler said through clenched teeth.
“Vera, is everything okay?” Without any attention to Tyler, Nate stared right me in the eyes. “Do you want me to go with you?”
“I am fine, Nate, truly. I will be back soon. Promise.” I smiled at Nate, trying to reassure him and myself in the meantime.
Without another word, Tyler and I climbed the stairs. He opened the door on my left and pulled me here, finally letting go of my hand. I stood still, massaging my wrist, while he closed the door and stood before me with crossed arms.
“You won’t leave this room until you will tell me the truth. How long?”
“I told you this before, it’s not your business. I won’t answer this.”
“Okay... I will try another way. Do you really don’t want me because of Nate?”
“It’s ridiculous!” I laughed in amusement. “Tyler, do you hear yourself? This guy, who’s waiting for me downstairs, wants a relationship with me. You never offered me something more than just casual fuck. I was your toy all time long!”
“How the heck do you know that? You didn’t give a damn about my wishes or thoughts!”
“Are you kidding me? You told me over the phone some time ago, that you never, never in your life didn’t think about me and you together!”
“Fucking hell! I wanted to be with you back in high school! But you told me your bullshit, about us being only friends!”
“I don’t fucking believe it! You’re telling me that it’s my fault? You hurt me, Ty! Have you forgotten about it? Of course, I was on defense with you! But as soon as I let my guards down, you found your way to my heart and my bed. I told you this once, I was ready to give you everything, but you threw it away, like some useless garbage!”
“What are you talking about?” Tyler was beyond pissed, but so was I.
“Don’t make me say it out loud!”
“Please, do tell me, because now, I don’t have any idea what it was about!”
“I was talking about Daya and your sudden decision to marry her. You used me to forget about her and as soon as she beckoned you, you followed her without even thinking about me! But you know what? Thank you! Thank you, truly! Because now I look at you and don’t feel anything! You’re just a memory for me. The ghost which started to fade away! These four years without seeing you did me good. Like really good!” I fell silent, waiting for his comeback. I was sure it was coming.
“You’re delusional. What we had... It can’t fade away. I was under your skin, my kisses, my presence near you, even my words. You know me, the real me, just like I know you. You just forgot, what it means to be with me.”
“Nah, you’re wrong. I remember it too well. I just don’t care.”
“I don’t believe you.” Tyler made a step closer to me. “You’re telling me, that you don’t have any feelings for me? What if I kiss you?”
“Nothing happens. I don’t care about you. Not anymore.”
“Forgive me, but it’s bullshit, Vera...” Stepping closer to me, he invaded my personal space. His hands landed on my waist, pulling me to him. Tyler hugged me tight and plunged his gaze to me. My heart was going insane. I felt nervous, everything was too familiar. I knew what he was going to do, I should have pushed him away, but I was too weak for that. I was afraid to admit, that I wanted it.
Tyler pressed his lips to mine, kissing me. I tried to resist him, it was the right thing to do. I stood with my eyes wide open, without blinking, while I felt butterflies forming in my stomach. I missed the taste of his lips, the feeling of his hands on my body. I was afraid to admit, that I wanted badly to answer to this kiss, I wanted to lean to his embrace, to melt from his touch. But I couldn’t. He was dangerous for me. He was like a drug for me. I was addicted to this man, but I shouldn’t let my guard down. Not this time. The pain he caused me in the past was too much for my heart.
He opened his eyes and looked at me. His brow furrowed, he instantly understood that I didn’t even close my eyes for a second.
“Fuck! I don’t believe it. No!”
“Let me go, Ty. You wanted to prove me wrong, but in the meantime, it was you, who was delusional. I don’t have any feelings for you. You’re my past.” All that he needed to do, was to press his hand to my heart or to my pulse and he will instantly know, that I was a liar. My feelings for him were buried deep down in me, but they were here, no matter what. I loved him. Realization of it hit me hard, leaving me speechless.
Tyler moved aside, giving me space, which I desperately needed. I walked to the door and opened it. All of my movements were slow like I was in a dream. I fixed my hair and dress. As I made the first step on the stairs I heard the sound of glass breaking. I wanted to go back, to comfort him, but I shouldn’t. If I wanted to protect my heart, I should have moved on.
Nate was standing near the stairs, with glass in his hand, staring at the distance. He heard my steps and our eyes locked.
“Nate, can we go home?”