It had been two weeks since we arrived in Bali and I was in heaven. Not only the place was perfect, but Theodore and I tried our best to be civil with each other—in the verbal sense.
However, Theodore’s constant touching and kissing was proving to be very costly. The butterflies in my stomach were constantly fluttering, my heart pounding continuously at a fast pace in a state of pure bliss. It took everything in me not to let him win, and to give in, but that man was trying his best to beat me in my own game. Not only did he shower me with luxury items, he showered me with his love and kisses as well.
Right now, we were both walking on the beach, basking in the warm, golden rays of the Indonesian sun, the wind gently caressing our skin. Sand coated my feet while Theodore had a secure grip on my hand. It was perfect to say the least.
“How long are we here for, Theodore?” I asked making conversation.
“Why, tired of Bali already?” Theodore asked with a smile.
“No, I was just wondering.”
“We’re here for two more weeks, then we’ll fly back to New York.” Theodore told me.
“Oh.” I felt sad that we would be leaving soon. But I knew sooner or later we would have to go back to reality, as this bubble of tranquility and happiness wouldn’t last forever.
“You have put on sunblock, right?” Theodore questioned, while leading me near the water.
“Yes, why?” I enquired.
“Just don’t want your skin to burn.” He told me. The water felt cold and refreshing, washing of the grains of sands.
“My skin wouldn’t burn, it would just get tanned.” I told him with a chuckle.
“Yeah, but I don’t want your skin to change color either. I like your fair skin, so smooth and perfect.” His words should’ve pleased me, but all they did was transport me back to the time Ian had said those exact same words to me, sending a chill up my spine.
“A little tan won’t hurt. I was even planning on wearing my swimsuit and lying under the sun for a few hours. I wanted to take advantage of the golden star.” I replied. The water was up to our ankles now.
“I don’t want you to get a tan, you’re perfect the way you are. Don’t think about getting a tan.” Theodore stated his opinion.
“It’s my body, Theodore, I can do whatever I want with it.” I replied annoyed at his sudden demand.
Theodore turned me so I was facing him. “I know it’s your body, Hailey, but now you’re my responsibility, this beautiful body is my responsibility, and I like it the way it is, so please don’t change anything about it, sweetheart.” Theodore spoke to me gently, penetrating through the stubborn walls of my mind, making me want to fulfill every single one of his wishes.
“What if I do?” I challenged, wanting to see exactly how far this demand of his went.
“Then, I’ll do everything to change your body back to what it was before.” Theodore replied smoothly.
I raised my eyebrow. “What if I get a tattoo? That’s pretty permanent.” I continued testing him.
“There are ways to remove tattoos, darling, make no mistakes.” Theodore replied tightening his grip on my wrists.
“You’re not going to change anything about yourself, Hailey, am I understood?” Theodore asked. I didn’t answer him, just turned my head to gaze at the view surrounding us.
The beach was littered with couples, wearing swimsuits. Some were casually taking a stroll, like Theodore and I, while others were busy kissing and cuddling. There were men in white shirts and colorful shorts walking around with trays holding fruity drinks. A few men were present with cameras, taking pictures of couples in various poses.
Theodore squeezed my hands making me turn and giving him my full attention. “Tell me you won’t change anything about yourself.” Theodore demanded.
“Okay okay, I won’t, don’t get your boxers in a twist.” I replied.
“Thank you.” Theodore pulled me in his arms and kissed my forehead softly. I didn’t know why, but the words of gratitude from Theodore’s lips left me with a feeling of contentment. And being in his arms made me feel protected and cherished.
A sudden cough broke us out of our embrace. We turned to see a man holding one of those old fashioned camera where the picture came out instantly, smiling softly. I was kind of surprised that those cameras still existed. He was kinda short, with dark brown eyes that glittered with happiness, and dark spiky hair, and thin lips. He was wearing a yellow shirt with purple shorts with a pair of purple flip flops.
“You look beautiful together,” he commented with an Indonesian accent, “would you like me to take a picture of you two?” He asked sweetly.
Theodore tugged me softly, wrapping his arm around my waist. “Yes please.” Theodore told the man who raised his camera and snapped a few pictures of us.
“Now kiss.” He told us, not bothering to remove the camera from his eyes.
Theodore seemed only too happy to oblige. He gently cupped my cheek and took my lips in soft kiss, melting mt heart in the process. Only the clicking of the camera kept me anchored to sanity, otherwise Theodore’s kiss was doing a splendid job of taking me to cloud nine once again.
“Okay, I got your pictures.” The man said, breaking us from our tender lip lock. He came over to us and handed Theodore a small stack of photos.
“I wish you stay happy and together forever, and have hundreds of cute, fat babies.” He told us with a wide smile.
“Thank you, these pictures our amazing.” Theodore told him and took out a bunch of Indonesian currency from the pocket of his shorts. He tried to give the money to the man, but the man stepped back while shaking his head.
“No no, I don’t need so much money, my fee is very little, sir.” The man told us.
“Please, keep it, I insist.” Theodore tried to give the money but that man looked adamant.
“No sir, I can’t, it’s not right, my fee is very little, sir.” He repeated.
“Consider it a gift for taking such amazing pictures.” Theodore argued.
“Oh okay,” the man stepped forward and took the money from Theodore. He looked pleased to have so much money is his hands.
“Thank you, sir, I would take my family out and buy them new clothes with this money, and also toys for my children.” The man said with pure happiness. He stuffed the money deeply in his pocket, then turned and wandered off.
I gazed at Theodore with new found respect. I always thought that he would be your average, arrogant rich man, who considered the poor beneath him. But witnessing him actually giving money to him, made me see him in a new light. Although, his actions a few seconds did not bode well for my heart who fell a little more after witnessing him display such kind behavior.
“What are you looking at, princess?” Theodore asked and begun leading me back to the hotel.
“I didn’t know you could be so kind, Theodore.” I told him honestly.
“There are a lot of things you don’t know about me, darling.” Theodore replied with a small smile.
“But I want to get to know you more.” I told him. And it was true, I wanted to know every single thing about Theodore. What made him happy? What made him tick? What did he like to eat? His favorite shows. Everything tiny thing that made Theodore...well Theodore.
“And I you, baby.” He kissed the back of my hand affectionately. We were now at the entrance of the hotel.
“But don’t worry, we have our whole lives ahead of us to get to know each other, in all aspects.” He told me, and I sensed his words had a double meaning.
We strode over the elevator hand in hand. I didn’t want to admit it, but I really enjoyed spending time with Theodore. He was so sweet, although I found his don’t-change-your-body demand a tad ridiculous, but it was something I agreed with to some extent, that was why I gave in without an argument.
As soon as we entered our suite, I asked Theodore to show me the pictures that the man with the camera took of us just a while ago. He handed over the pictures to me then went to take a shower, but not before asking me if I would like to join him. Yeah right, like I would forget our deal.
I sat down on one of the love seats and carefully went through each photograph. Since the camera was old fashioned, the pictures weren’t of high quality. Nonetheless, the photographs were amazing. Theodore looked sexy standing under the sun. I didn’t look too bad either, considering the fact that the wind had messed up my hair.
When I came across the pictures of us kissing, I blushed, but at the same time my heart skipped a beat at seeing Theodore holding me as I was the most precious thing to him. He held me so tenderly, that if someone saw these pictures they would literally believe that we were a couple in love. But were we really in love?
After everything that had happened, I knew without a doubt that I was in love with Theodore, but did he feel the same way? Marrying someone didn’t mean you loved that person. To Theodore, I might just be someone he wanted to own, to show the world that he had conquered yet another female. And that thought did not sit well with me. I did not want to be a toy to Theodore—an object he could own or display for the world to see. No! I was not going to be a toy for Theodore’s amusement.
I stood up and stormed in the bedroom. Theodore had just finished dressing, his white shirt fitting him like a glove. He looked at me and gave me a smile. A smile which I was getting to see more and more as time passed. A smile that told me exactly how happy he was.
“I’m not a toy, and you can’t use me like one, I won’t let you.” I blurted out without thinking my words through. Smooth, Hailey, very smooth.
Theodore’s eyebrows furrowed in confusion. “What are you talking about, sweetheart?”
“You heard me, I would not be a toy, and would not be used like an object.” I continued blurting whatever my mind conjured up. The filter was probably not working.
“You’re my wife not a toy, why would I use you like an object?” Theodore questioned as if it was silly of me to come up with such a notion.
“Isn’t that why you married me, so you could own me like some object?” I raised my voice.
Theodore came over to where I was standing and locked his eyes with mine. The gray of his eyes so deep, I felt there was no end. While his eyes searched mine, looking for God knows what, I felt as if he could pull out my deepest secrets and feelings with just those eyes.
“I married you because I want to spend the rest of my life with you by my side. Yes, I want to own you, I wouldn’t lie to you about that, Hailey; but there’s more than just wanting to own you. I want to make you laugh, buy things for you, spend time with you, wipe away your tears, kiss you, hold you, wake up next to you, sleep with you, and so much more, Hailey.” He told me sincerely. I searched his eyes, looking for any signs of fabrication, but I found none.
“You could’ve proposed me with those words, I would’ve said yes.” I told him, not lying about that fact that those words were truly romantic.
Theodore laughed making me chuckle. “Stop the negative thoughts from invading your mind, sweetheart. I don’t want anything else to come between us, there is already the issue with your best friend that I have yet to solve.” Theodore said.
“Yeah, how’s that going for you?” I enquired, curious as to whether Theodore had found a solution or not.
“It’s in progress, but it’s very torturous. Maybe you could show me a little mercy and let me taste you.” Theodore told me while lying on the bed. His eyes never leaving me.
“Not happening, Mister. You fix the problem, and only then will you be allowed to have me.” I told him firmly.
Theodore squeezed his eyes shut as if looking me caused him physical pain. “You’ll be the death of me, princess.” Theodore muttered softly, but I swiftly caught it.
And you’ll be mine, I thought with a shake of my head.
At night, we were in our suite watching a movie when Theodore’s cell phone rang. He got up and walked out of the room to attend the call. His sudden departure made me wonder exactly who was on the phone that he had to leave me and talk to them.
Theodore came back after 10 minutes. “Hailey, I’m sorry, sweetheart, I have to go, there is someone important I have to meet, you finish watching the movie and go to sleep okay, don’t wait up for me.” Theodore pecked my cheek and left the room.
Now I was not only confused but suspicious as well. Who was so important that Theodore had to meet them without me? And on our honeymoon of all times. He could’ve asked me to come, but he didn’t. I mean, Theodore never left like this. He told me that this was our time, our honeymoon. Then who did he have to meet that he forgot that we were on our honeymoon?
A wife should trust her husband, but I was only in the early stages of trusting Theodore. I got up and quickly changed into a green sundress and a pair of yellow flip flops. I left the suite and casually made my way downstairs.
I entered the dining hall and swept my gaze over the impeccable dining tables. It was kind of quiet now, since it was late. There were only a few tables that were occupied with couples having the last meal of their day. When I found no signs of Theodore or the mystery visitor I decided to check the hotel’s bar.
Thankfully, the bar was not far from the dining hall. I entered the bar area and immediately found Theodore. He was sitting on one of the bar seats in front of the counter. My heart sank when I spotted someone sitting on the seat next to him. Both of them had their heads ducked pretty close to each other. The visitor was wearing a black trench coat, which I found to be weird since it was pretty warm here. A black hat covered the visitor’s head making it impossible for me to tell whether it was a male of female.
Staying in one spot was proving to be difficult as every cell in my body was urging me creep up behind them and listen to what they were talking about. But I stayed put. I knew I would get in major trouble if I was discovered.
Theodore said something to the visitor in a low voice—impossible for me to hear from a distance, and the next thing I knew, the visitor raised a hand and took off the hat. Long, red tresses fell free as the owner ran a pale, feminine hand through them. My heart cracked in disbelief at seeing Theodore talking to a woman. So she was the one who Theodore left in the middle of the night for. She was the one who was so important that Theodore couldn’t wait to meet. She was the one for whom Theodore told me not to wait for him. She was the one who Theodore wanted to spend time with instead of me.
I couldn’t make out her features as her back was to me. All I knew was she was pale with red hair. I only saw an earing dangling from her earlobe when the light caught it at a certain angle, making it sparkle.
Betrayal tore through me like a poisonous arrow, burning my soul. I couldn’t believe my eyes as they witnessed the cold, harsh reality. My husband was right there sitting next to a red headed woman talking about God knows what. And I couldn’t even go up amd there and slap her. Well I could, I just chose not to.
Theodore said something causing the red head to throw her head back laugh, while I have the worst temptation to claw her eyes out. Yes, I would be most satisfied when my nails would sink in that pale skin and draw out streams of blood. Wow, Theodore was really changing me. Before this, I wouldn’t have even thought about hurting a fly, and now here I was imaginging all sorts of scenarios that would result in the light leaving the red head’s eyes.
They both continued talking, but I had enough. I would demand to know about this woman and Theodore would tell me. I was not going to rest until he did. With that thought, I turned on my heels and walked out of the bar and up to our suite.