Betrayed to be Loved

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Chapter-23 A Hug

Ethan

It has been almost a month since I married Ari but she is still the same. She stays in our bedroom, either sitting in the balcony with her legs to her chest. Or she stays in bed, I know she hardly takes a bath and eats very little. She passed out thrice due to lack of food, luckily the first time it happened I was in the room and after that I asked the maids especially Mrs. Linda to keep on checking her every half an hour. Mrs. Linda is one of our oldest maids, she was also my personal care taker in my family home and mom insisted on taking her with me when I moved out. She is just like a mother figure in my life, one of the few people who understand me and know me inside out. Mom and dad left the next day after my wedding. I wished if mom was around may be Ari would have got some company. Mom is a busy woman although she assured us to visit soon. She also insisted that I take Ari for honeymoon, but I didn’t find this to be the appropriate time.

I just came back from office and like every other day from the past one month I see Ari sitting quietly in our room. I wish her good evening and as expected she doesn’t answer. I take a look around and notice her lunch still lying on the coffee table, untouched if I may add. But she has taken a bath today, her beautiful hair is left open and she does that only when she washes them. Lately I have been thinking of taking her to a good therapist. It might help her come out of her cocoon and heal.

I take my clothes from my closet and walk into the bathroom for a shower. I still wonder if I did the correct thing by marrying Ari or was it too early…of course you took the right decision, that bast*rd would have exploited her in more ways than one can imagine…my inner voice puts some sense in my tired mind. I am sure Victor would have gone to any extent to use and exploit Ari in order to gain success and money. And for me money, fame or success is nothing when it comes to the love of my life. I am just happy that I realized on time that the sacrifice I made for Ari’s happiness was not worth. I never confessed my feelings to her thinking that she wanted to be with Victor and also loved him. But when I see her broken as if she has lost all hope I wish I could have stopped her from marrying Victor.

Anyway what’s done is done; it was all destined to happen I just don’t know the reason why it all happened. As I walk out of the bathroom in my grey sweatpants and white t shirt my heart breaks at the sight of my once beautiful and innocent angel looking so week and sad. A deep sigh escapes my lips and I head to my study not before telling Ari where she can find me if she wanted something. As usual she didn’t pay any attention. Daisy and Jonathan talk to her almost every day, though they are busy planning the arrival of their baby they never miss caring for Ari. I still don’t know why Ari agreed to marry me, but I know it’s still not the right time to ask her for any reasons. As for Victor I sued him for treachery and nowadays he is cursing his very existence.

***

Mrs. Linda has been after my life to have dinner but I just ignored her saying I am not hungry and have a lot of work. Of course it is a lie, I am hungry but I just can’t eat knowing my wife is hungry. I busy myself in work; lately I have been doing that a lot.

*Knock Knock*

I hear the knock on my door and know who it might be, so I just call out loudly…

“Mrs. Linda for god sake stop bothering me, I don’t want to eat dinner.”

Just then the door opens, I got really frustrated and was about to lash out but got numb when I saw Ari peeking into my room. Her big beautiful eyes looking at me with what seemed like…hope. Coming out of my trance I quickly got up from behind my table and got to her. Ari had already entered the room by now quietly closing the door behind her. She stood there with her eyes lowered to the floor, her fingers fidgeting with each other and feet shuffling…

“Am I disturbing you?” my angel almost whispered and I am sure if I was not standing so close to her I wouldn’t have heard her.

“Not at all, I am glad you came. Please come, have a seat” I walked her towards the couch and she sat there quietly. I also sat beside her, making sure to keep some safe distance between us. God knows how much I want to embrace her but keeping in mind her present condition I am not sure if she will be comfortable with me being so close to her. Ten minutes pass in complete silence, I wait for her to say something but I am glad at least she came out of the bedroom. I think it’s a big step…my chain of thoughts is interrupted when Ari clears her throat. I am already staring at her when she looks at me for a mere second and speaks…

“I..I n..need a hug….c..c..can you please l..let me hug y..you” for a second I was shocked, surprised, elated, excited and damn happy altogether and the next moment I just took her in my embrace. A loud sob escaped her lips and she held on to me tightly. My hold on her was firm and I let her cry…

“Shhh….it’s ok…I’ve got you…”I kissed her head lightly, that was our first kiss. I let Ari pour her heart out and cry as much as she wanted to. After what seemed like ages but was actually around fifteen minutes she stopped crying but didn’t let me go. Who was I to complain? I was the happiest man on planet Earth this moment, my wife…the love of my life…my Ari came to me for comfort and was letting me hold her. I didn’t know how to comfort a person in grief but with Ari in my arms I feel like a whole different person. She pulls back and I loosen my hold, her eyes are still cast down and I wipe her tears. Cupping her face in my big palms I kiss her forehead and that’s when she looks at me. I could clearly see the questions roaming in her eyes and finally she asked me…

“Why did Victor betray me?” I took a deep breath and tried to think of the best answer I could give her without hurting her anymore. But before I could open my mouth to answer, Ari started pouring me with more questions…

“Why do I have to go through all this pain? Why me?”

“I loved him with all my heart…then why?” I smiled at her last statement and said…

“I am glad that you don’t love him any more…” she frowned in confusion at me and I continued…

“You said you loved him Ari, you didn’t say you still love him. It’s in the past, and I want you to leave it in the past.” A sad sigh escaped her lips and again there were tears in her eyes when she asked me…

“Have you ever been in love Sir?” I took another deep breath and replied…

“First of all I am Ethan to you, and secondly ‘Yes’. I have been in love with the most beautiful soul on earth and I am still in love with her. I will always love her; she is my angel and my wife. I married you because I love you Ari. I know I should have done something sooner, I know I shouldn’t have let you marry him. But at that time I saw the love in your eyes, the love I always wanted to see for myself. But it was for Victor, I wanted you to be happy. And my mistake was I thought that Bast*rd was worthy of you. I am sorry Ari…” She heard me with her eyes open wide but once I was done speaking she hid her face in her palms and started crying once again. I am on the other hand surprised that I actually said all that. Arabella has this really strange effect on me; otherwise a man like me speaking his heart out is near to impossible. But what am I saying here; of course I am a different person when it comes to my angel. Anyhow I hold Ari’s hands away from her face and wipe her tears once again…

“I hate to see you cry Ari, please…no more crying now. Let’s just leave everything in the past and start a fresh.” Ari nodded her head in agreement and I kissed her forehead again. This was just the third time I kissed her right now and I have a feeling I can keep on kissing her for the rest of my life. Ari lift her right hand and rubbed her thumb under my left eye, if I am not wrong she is tracing my dark circles. Then she says…

“I have never seen you like this before; you never used to have dark circles. I know it’s all because of me, I am sorry to be the trouble maker in your life.” I placed my index finger on her lips, stopping her from speaking any further and said…

“You are not my trouble maker, you are my life saver” I kiss her nose and for the first time since our marriage I saw a shy smile on Ari’s face. I think my heart will just explode out of my chest right now, I am so happy. Arabella came out of the room today, seek comfort from me, let me kiss her, spoke to me and now she just smiled at something I said. I never thought I will feel like a hormonal teenager but the things this girl does to me.

I took her in my arms once again and Ari just put her cheek on my chest, right above my heart. I kept kissing the top of her head; I have never felt so relieved in my life. Suddenly I remember that Ari had not eaten lunch and I am pretty sure she was going to skip dinner as well. I got up and held out my hand for her, she took hold of my hand and looked at me in confusion. I told her that I am taking her down to the dining room for dinner. Instantly she looked down embarrassed and again mumbled an apology saying she knows that I have not been eating properly. I told her I was fine and walked us out towards the dining room.

Not to my surprise Mrs. Linda had the dining table already set and was smiling from ear to ear. I am sure the moment she helped Ari to my study room she came here to set the dinner. I like her confidence, but I guess she has it from experience. I and Ari had dinner quietly, though she didn’t eat much but I was happy at least she ate. Hopefully she will be back to her usual self very soon now. Mrs. Linda made sure Ari ate the dessert. I am not a person to have sweets, but I know how much Ari loves to have them. The chocolate pastry did seem tasty by the moan escaping Ari’s mouth on the first bite. She realized what she did and her cheeks turned red as she blushed so hard. I chuckled lightly and then noticed that all our maids were staring at me with open mouths and wide eyes. Not their fault actually, they have never even seen me smile before forget about chuckling.

Once Ari was done with her meal we walked to our bedroom together, there was some chocolate at the side of her lips which I wiped with my thumb. I don’t know what came on me that the moment Ari went into the bathroom I licked that chocolate. When I say I am not a sweet person I mean it, I don’t remember the last time I even tasted something sugary. But right now I think I can keep licking all the chocolate in the world if it comes from my wife. I laid on the bed waiting for Ari; she joined me on bed after another ten minutes. I wished her goodnight and turned off the bedside lamp. I was dying to hold her in my arms once again but controlled my emotions; the last thing I want is to make Ari uncomfortable around me once again. I can wait for her till eternity, thinking about sometime back how I felt her in my embrace I closed my eyes and fell into a peaceful sleep after a long time.

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