Happily Married [ROMANCE]

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[26]

November 24th 2017

It was past two am in the morning.

Everybody had left. Thank God. Audrey couldn’t remember staying this long at a party since she was back in college. But then again, since the party was at her house there wasn’t really anywhere else for her to escape to.

The night had been difficult for awkward. She had been on constant alert the whole night, avoid not one, but two of the Paynter brothers. It seemed that both Calvin and Kade had made it their mission to stake her out; she had no idea why, but she didn’t dare to stick around and find out.

Audrey had been embarrassed enough, especially since she had realised that she had not been the only one to eavesdrop on Calvin’s private phone call. When she had turned around to get away, she had bumped into Kade, much to her mortification. Audrey didn’t wish to spare another second around either of the brothers so she had pushed her brother-in-law out of the way. She must have caught him off guard because he stepped back and allowed her to pass.

Audrey had spent the whole night sitting on the swing on the back porch, letting the gentle night wind sway her. Surprisingly, no one had come outside to disturb her.

She dared to go back inside only when she noticed that the music had stopped and the overwhelmingly loud chatter of people talking had ceased; downgrading to a light him instead. After a quick scope of the downstairs landing, Audrey had figured that Calvin had either left to go to his lover, or he had gone to bed. Either way, she was free to get rid of the few people remaining and clean up her house without having to worry about the humiliation of having to see him again so soon.

Thankfully, Kade was gone too.

Audrey didn’t need anyone to pity her. She had just about stopped pitying herself, and she didn’t need anyone else to make her feel any worse about how she already felt. No matter how pure or innocent his intentions may possibly be, Audrey refused to pick up any of his calls, choosing to turn off her phone instead.

That was over an hour ago.

Pulling out her phone from the back pocket of her jeans, she applied slight pressure to the button at the side with her thumb. A few seconds passed before she was met with the glaring screen of four missed calls and one text, all from Kade -Calvin’s brother.

As if the night couldn’t get any worse, there were crumbs all over the sofa and by the look of things, multiple shoe prints on the coffee table. That sofa was her bed and that coffee table was her desk, and it had been for a very long time now. So, those two were the first pieces of furniture that she tackled first.

Not wanting to be left to her thoughts, Audrey grabbed her earphones from her bag which was still left carelessly on the ground by the coat rack. She didn’t really care what she was listening to, as long as it kept her mind occupied long enough to clean up.

She could have always slept upstairs in one of the guest rooms and cleaned up in the morning when she was well rested and energised, but she doubted that sleep would come any times soon. Her mind was too jumbled up to relax enough to be able to sleep.

There was also the fact that she had helped herself to two cups of coffee from the kitchen when she thought the coast was clear throughout the remainder of the night. Now that she was alone and not trying to avoid anyone but herself, she realised what a grave mistake it was indeed. Because now, she was wide awake with a lot to think about.

It didn’t take long -or it didn’t feel like it took too long since Audrey had no sense of time as she refused to look at her phone which was deserted upside down on the now sparkly clean coffee table- to clean both the dining and living room.

Though frankly, it seemed like a college party had taken place in her house instead of a party dedicated to celebration their wedding anniversary, with the amount of booze and cigarettes that she had found in various places laying around the house, the bathroom and on the front lawn.

She was too tired to collect all the beer bottles from the lawn, so she decided that the kitchen would be her last stop before bed.

Thankfully, there was no major damage done, but the multiple fingerprints over her oven and her usually squeaky-clean worktop was really bothering her.

When she was finally done, she turned around, ready to head out of the kitchen and to her couch for bed. Taking her earphones out of her ears and placing them down on the coffee table, she picked up her phone. There weren’t any more miscalls which she was thankful about. Plopping down on the couch, she lifted her legs to her chest and rested her head on her knees as she read through the multiple messages that she had gotten throughout the night.

She felt nice, adored, loved as she read all the lovely messages from friends and family. A smile broke out at the number of ‘goodbye’ messages that she had received when people had to leave but couldn’t find her.

It felt nice that some people had actually noticed that’s he wasn’t at her own party.

Audrey had reached for the blanket and wrapped it around herself when a knock on the door sounded. She froze, her eyes trained on the front door now.

It was past three am, and she sure as hell wasn’t expecting any guests at this time of night.

There was another knock, following by a ring on the door bell.

Audrey gulped.

After she heard the next knock, she stood up, the blanket still wrapped around her shoulders. She bit her lip anxiously, as she walked up to the door quietly. Her heart beat increased as the knocking continued.

Peering through the peephole, her eyebrows furrowed in confusion.

Opening the door, she stared at the man on the other side. He stood at the door step with his hair messy almost as he had just gotten out of bed, either that or he had to walk through the wind. It was actually kind of crazy. He stood in his PJ’s which consisted of plain black tracksuit bottoms and a tight fitting white t-shirt. Her eyes lingered on the over-flowing garbage bag that he held in his hand, the other hand already raised, almost as if he was about to knock on the door again. Judging by the view she could get over his shoulder, he had been cleaning the lawn.

“Calvin?” She called, her eyes hesitantly drawing away from the lawn to him. “What are you doing outside?”

Calvin didn’t say anything at first. Returning his hand to his side, he raised it again, but this time to brush away the hair from his forehead. Audrey waited for his response, but froze in his spot when his hand attached itself to her blanket, tugging at it.

Her grip tightened on it, but when she saw the look in his eyes, she loosened it, waiting to see what he was going to do. Her lips pulled down into a frown as she both watched and felt him pull up the blanket higher on her shoulder, crossing it tighter so that she wouldn’t get cold.

She had expected him to take the blanket away from her, but he had done the opposite. He was really confusing her.

He took his hand back. “I was cleaning the lawn.”

Her eyebrows furrowed again. “At this time of night?” She asked, surprised.

He nodded. “I couldn’t sleep.” He admitted honestly. “And when I came down for a glass of water, I saw you cleaning the kitchen. I thought I might as well help out.”

Audrey nodded her head. She must have not heard him because she had her earphones in.

Silence passed between them, none of them saying anything. Audrey held on tighter to the blanket when it threatened to drop to the ground. When she finally drew her eyes from the ground, she looked up. Calvin was looking at her, almost as if he was lost in some sort of daze, some sort of dream.

His eyes were trained on her as she stood in front of him. Clearing her throat, almost as if she was trying to clear away the awkwardness that was the situation that they were in, Audrey offered him a small smile. “We should get back inside.” She suggested quietly, but he still didn’t move.

When she turned around, heading back inside, she felt a hand grab her arm through the thick blanket that was wrapped around her. A startled yelp escaped her lips as she was pulled back into a cold, hard chest. The blanket wrapped around her legs as she was turned around and before she knew it, the next yelp that escaped her lips was swallowed by his lips on hers.

Audrey’s eyes widened as she felt the pressure of Calvin’s lips on hers.

She couldn’t tear her eyes away from his closed eyes and relaxed face as he softly moved his lips against hers even though she wasn’t doing anything. She just stood frozen in his arms, not knowing what to do with herself.

A part of her wanted to respond, to wrap her arms around his neck and pull him down and deepen the kiss, but she restrained herself. She didn’t move, not when his nose bumped against hers as he tilted his face in attempt to deepen the kiss, and definitely not when he gently nipped at her bottom lip in attempt to get her to open her mouth.

It was only when she felt his hands on her shoulder, pushing her blanket to the ground was when she seemed to take back control of her body.

She forcibly pulled away from him, putting her hand on his cheek to stop him when his face started descending towards hers again.

Her lips tingled.

That kiss, it didn’t feel right. Even though she loved Calvin, she didn’t want that kiss.

It was a mistake, and she wasn’t going to stand around and wait for him to tell her that. He had hurt her enough already, and she wasn’t going to allow him to do it anymore.

Gulping down the lump in her throat, she spared Calvin one last look before she pushed away from him. Snatching up her phone from the coffee table, she ran up the stairs to get away from him.

Too bad he lived in the same house.

-

Layla Knight

11.09.17

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