The Marriage Deal

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Chapter 5 Part II

“Maybe there is more truth in how you feel than in what actually happens.”

SIsterhood of Travelling Pants

“No, don’t budge. We are giving them a good deal. If they want to look elsewhere then it’ll be their loss and Demetri knows that too,” Michael said.

“Okay, Sir. I just hope that you are right,” James, his P.A replied.

“Yes, I am sure. Now keep me updated and let me know if I need to intervene to convince him.”

“Of course. I’ll keep you updated, Sir.”

Michael flipped his phone and exited the balcony, eager to pick up the kissing session with Violet. He caught her exiting the room in a hurry when he turned around. He sighed, shaking his head from side to side wondering what made her so skittish. He understood that she was shy and reserved but her behaviour towards him left him really confused. She blew hot and cold randomly.

When he entered the bathroom, he was greeted with the scent of apples and cassis though there were no products lying around. He shook his head and switched on the shower turning the tap towards cold water when his mind started replaying the morning’s events and the pliant way in which her body melted against his.

He grimaced at his thoughts. He was turning into a sap. At this rate, he would lose his man card in a few minutes. Disgusted with his thoughts, he switched off the shower and stepped out heading towards the closet to change.

As he was walking down the stairs, he noticed that someone had opened up the windows and curtains. He narrowed his eyes at the intrusion guessing that the changes were made by Violet because Ruth knew that he didn’t like to let the light in. Annoyed with Violet, he headed towards the kitchen where he could hear Ruth talking.

He caught the tail end of the conversation when he entered and Violet’s concentration with the pancakes. When she turned around to look at him, he forgot his annoyance. Her checking him out was doing strange things to his insides and the blush that rose in her cheeks when he acknowledged her staring fascinated him. He hardly knew any woman who blushed in this day and age.

He had known Ruth since he was a little boy and knew that she was trying to figure out the dynamics between Violet and him. He knew that all the observations and suspicions would be reported to his grandmother. He was not stupid. His grandmother could be a snob when she wanted to be but she always maintained good relations with people. He ate his breakfast quietly as Ruth quizzed Violet about her background in the most obvious manner. He turned to look at Violet, ready to come to her rescue when the need arose but it seemed that she really didn’t care about anything except her pancakes. He looked on amused as she asked for more strawberries and squirted a generous amount of chocolate syrup on top of them.

However, the amusement fled when she rolled the strawberries in the syrup and brought it towards her mouth. When she bit into one, he was no longer thinking of the action as childish. She licked her lips with her eyes closed and sighed in content. When all the blood rushed towards his nether regions, he was almost tempted to roll his eyes. Never had he become aroused so hard and fast.

The blissful smile on her face slowly faded when she noticed his stare. The awareness crackled between them as she shifted almost subconsciously to face him. She nibbled on her lower lip, making him almost groan out loud. He raised his thumb to rub the excess chocolate from the corner of her lip and licked his own finger. Her breath hitched and his control snapped.

In one smooth move, he had pulled her out from the bar stool and towards him. She came willingly and fused her lips with his. He was surprised by her response but he recovered quickly and took control of the kiss, tilting her head for better access. When she pulled on his hair, he felt the beginnings of his control slipping. He didn’t understand why such a simple movement would be so erotic and he didn’t have the power to focus on it now. He got up and pushed her more forcefully against the counter, wanting to feel the length of her body against his in all ways possible. Her taste, her scent, her soft delicious curves were driving him crazy but he liked this craziness.

She pulled away after a few seconds to take in air he assumed, but he continued his assault. He nibbled on her ear, blew on it and licked it, dropping open mouthed kisses along the length of her jaw. She moaned low in her throat and slipped her hand underneath the collar of his t-shirt. He vaguely cursed himself for wearing a t-shirt and not a shirt. He pulled her more firmly against him nestling her against his erection thinking of only providing relief but he realised his mistake a split second later when she stilled.

He lifted his head from the crook of her neck where he was trying to make another hickey, and looked up at her. She looked as if she had just been ravished. Her eyes had darkened, her lips looked red and swollen and the colour was high in her cheeks. She dropped her eyes and stared instead at something on his shoulder.

He was unsure about how to react after the kiss. For the first time, he was left speechless and breathless, he thought somewhat alarmed at the rapid turn of events. He shifted back a little but didn’t let her go.

“I….Uh….We don’t have to do anything that you don’t want to. We can hold it off till you are comfortable.”

“I don’t…I mean..I don’t know,” she cut herself off mid-sentence and raised wide eyes to look at him. “Ruth! What if she saw? Oh God!” She dropped her head on his shoulder to hide her mortification. The gesture somehow stirred him and made him feel warm.

“It’s okay. I don’t think she saw.” And if she did, it would be reported straight to my grandmother and no one else, but he didn’t say that. He figured that some things were better kept a secret.

“Sure?”

“I think so,” he nodded in response.

She sighed and shrugged accepting that that was the best thing she was going to get. She tried to step back but stopped when she realised that the counter would prevent that movement. He reluctantly stepped back when she looked at him shyly. He wished he could keep touching her. At least some part of her. When he realised the trail of his thoughts, he tried to ruthlessly push aside the feeling. He succeeded. Barely.

She slipped out from him gracefully and started walking away.

“Where are you going?” He asked in a confused manner.

“I have to umm….get my books from my apartment. I left all of them there.”

“Then why are you going up?”

“To get my keys and wallet?” She replied, as if not too sure about the answer.

“Oh okay. I’ll wait in the car then.”

“The car?”

“Yeah.”

“Why?”

“To accompany you of course.”

“I can manage on my own,” she raised her chin defiantly.

He raised an eyebrow at her tone and said, “I would prefer not to provide fodder to the media about my new marriage already in shambles as my wife exits the house alone and rushes to her apartment within 24 hours.” He kept his tone mild but only a fool would not understand the rebuke.

She stiffened at his words and opened her mouth to say something but closed it and nodded her head instead. She turned around and hurried out giving him a nice view of her behind.

Wow! He really was behaving like a randy teenager! He wouldn’t be surprised if he actually used any of his old tricks to impress her. He shook his head at his stupidity and decided to head towards his car.

He was just at the door when she came running down the stairs and almost crashed into him. He steadied her before she could land on her face.

“Woah! What’s the hurry?” He asked with his hands still on her waist.

“I am just really excited! I’ll finally get all my books here!” She looked almost giddy with excitement.

“It’s just been a day,” he said giving her a bored look.

She laughed with delight, then patted his cheek and rushed towards the door calling out, “You won’t understand.”

He looked on amused, debating about calling her nerdy or quirky.

She was jittery with excitement in the car. She reached out to switch on the radio but hardly paid attention to the songs. When he reached the building, she waited impatiently for him to exit the car. He looked on amused as he took extra long to park his car and exit it leisurely. She narrowed her eyes at his antics and looked on mutinously. He laughed and dragged her against him to drop a quick peck on her lips.

“It’s fun to rile you up,” he said with a smile while still encircling her in his arms.

“Fun for you,” she pouted.

He laughed again and slipped his hand to hold hers as she started walking. He suddenly realised with a jolt that he felt happy. Relaxed and happy, he amended with a wry smile because how often did that happen?

She opened the door with one smooth click, pushing back the door to let him in. He had never been invited to her apartment. He suspected that Violet wanted to keep their lives as separate as she could before the marriage. Things like inviting each other home or at the office would somehow make it real and final and she wanted to avoid that for as long as she could. He knew that she was looking for excuses and ways to get out till the last moment. He wasn’t Einstein but, he certainly was no fool.

He had a brief idea about the sort of apartment she would maintain but he was taken aback by the homely and lived in air it exuded. There were wide windows with gauzy curtains that let sunlight stream in and brighten the room. Photographs arranged artfully covered one wall completely. When he peered closer, he saw a recurring theme. Sera, Chloe, George and Nathan had the most ones. There were a few in which Violet was posing with her brother but he didn’t recognize the other man.

“That was arranged by Chloe. I have no sense of design when it comes to all this,” Violet said softly.

“These are beautiful,” he said quietly.

“Most are clicked by my best friend. Here,” she pointed at the guy that Michael didn’t recognise. “This is Ethan. He is travelling right now.”

“Oh,” he said. Was it okay to be annoyed with a photograph? Especially one in which his wife was laughing while another guy was holding on to her waist? He nodded his head and stepped back.

“So where is Chloe? I don’t see her around.”

“She must have stepped out to get groceries or something.” She tucked her hair behind her ear and silently led him towards her room.

There were more paintings here rather than photographs. There were several landscapes and a few portraits. A large portrait hung above the bed in which a girl with a small smile was reading a book. On closer inspection, he suddenly realised that it was Violet.

“Is that..?”

“Yeah, Ethan gave it to me on my 21st birthday.”

“So he is a photographer and a painter?” He asked with some irritation.

“Studies suggest that if you are a good painter, you are automatically a good photographer. It’s because you have good observation skills as both involve roughly the same set of skills-”

“I get it,” he said curtly, cutting her off mid sentence.

“Oh..Umm..so should we start packing?” She asked in a small voice.

He was so taken in by the portrait that it had completely slipped his mind to look around. Now that he did, he realised that her room was smaller, cosier and messier than the hall. Books covered almost every free space. There was a tall bookshelf which had more books than it could hold. There were six piles of books beside it that were almost waist high. There were a few photographs on her bedside table. One with her family, one with Sera and Chloe, one with Nathan and one with Ethan. The last one annoyed him to no limits.

The walls were a pale cream colour. He could see a small handprint and crayon colours in quite a few places, guessing them to be Nathan’s. The room had a huge window and the curtains were a pale blue. A desk dominated another part of the room covered with papers and other stationery items. His lips quirked up in amusement; his wife was definitely nerdy.

“You want to pack everything?’’

“Of course! I’ll be back in a minute.”

He tried to fit how he would accommodate her things in his house and decided that the room beside his study would be the best. He started removing the various paintings from the wall and stacking them up on one side of the room. She came back with boxes piled so high that she couldn’t see what was in front of her.

He saw it happen in his mind before it actually happened. She tripped on the upturned corner of the carpet, dropped the boxes on Michael’s shoulder and went sprawling on Michael. In a desperate attempt to steady her, he caught hold of a fistful of her top. The force exerted on the thin material made it tear first in a slit and then through her back. He toppled on the bed with her on top of him and out of breath, his fist still entangled in the material of her top.

Her eyes had widened and her hair had come loose. He realised that in the position that they were in, he would just have to move his head a bit to kiss the top of her breasts. He licked his lips to ensure that he wasn’t salivating. He could feel the smooth skin of her back where his hand was resting and he was sorely tempted to explore more; to run his finger along her waistline to see just how soft it was. He wanted to splay his hand on her back to see how much of it was covered by his hand. She shifted awkwardly, making Michael groan out load because her pelvis was aligned perfectly with his. She stilled at the sound and tried to get up but Michael had had enough. He knocked her hand off so that she fell on him again and swiftly flipped her so that she was on her back and swooped in to kiss her.

“Am I at the right matinee show?” Chloe asked calmly as she stood in the doorway filing her nails.

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