The door of the bedroom opened and in walked Theodore, looking relaxed. I was in bed, my back against the headboard, the duvet covering my lower half.
“You didn’t sleep yet? I told you not to wait up for me.” Theodore said as he walked over to the dressing table and plugged his phone.
“I couldn’t sleep,” I lied, “where were you?” I asked in a monotone. The anger bubbling like a volcano about to explode inside me.
“I told you I was meeting someone.” Theodore replied with his back to me.
“Who were you meeting?” I demanded with a hint of annoyance.
“What’s with the interrogation?” Theodore asked with a smile.
I got up from the bed and strode over to where he was standing. “Answer the question, Theodore, who were you with?” I demanded harshly.
Theodore arched his eyebrow. “I was meeting a friend.” Theodore simply stated making the lava of fury reach the verge of exploding.
I was done beating around the bush. “Was that friend by any chance a red headed woman?” I questioned, making his eyes narrow.
“You spied on me?!” Theodore inquired, disbelief lacing his voice.
“I merely checked up on you only to see you cozying up to a red headed skank!” I defended crossing my arms.
“Watch your tone, Hailey.” Theodore warned, and that was enough for the volcano to explode.
“It hadn’t been two weeks since we got married, and you’re already looking for women to spend time with and cheat on me! And here I thought that this forced marriage would mean something more.” I accused, my eyes blazing with unrestrained fury.
“Don’t you dare accuse me and jump to conclusions. I was not cheating on you, hell I would never think about cheating on you!” Theodore explained, his voice rising an octave.
“I am not accusing you, I’m merely telling you what your actions mean. Talking and laughing with that red headed home wrecker, trust me I’ll kill both of you!” My fury was in full swing now.
“I’m telling you nicely, Hailey, watch what you’re saying. Just because you saw me with a woman doesn’t mean I was cheating on you.” It looked like Theodore was having a hard time containing his rage.
“Why were you with her?!” I demanded, desperately wanting the red head to appear so I could stab her with a silver steak.
“I thought you trusted me.” Theodore said.
“That’s not the answer to my question!” I shouted, angry tears pricking my eyes.
“We were just meeting up to catch up on things.” Theodore replied his gray eyes blazing.
“You left me to go and meet up with that skank just so you could catch up on things, did you forget that this was our honeymoon?! A time for us without the whole world bothering us!” I was shouting at the top of my lungs.
“Lower your voice, Hailey, people would hear.” Theodore ordered, but I was too far gone to listen to anything.
“I don’t care! Let them hear, let them hear what a horrible, cheating bastard you are!” I continued shouting.
“For God’s sake woman, I am not cheating on you!” Theodore shouted.
“Yes you are! You’re cheating on me with that bloody b!tch. You’re just like every other man, you make false promises to your wives and then go behind their backs and cozy up with cheap wh!res.” my throat felt dry and scratchy but I didn’t care.
“Hailey, for the last time I am not cheating on you!” Theodore repeated, begging me to believe him.
“Then tell who is she to you, huh? Who is she that you had to leave me in order to go meet her? Who is she that was so important you had to meet her in the middle of our honeymoon?!” I yelled, demanding Theodore to answer every single question.
“She’s my cousin!” Theodore shouted and my heart stopped for a second before it resumed beating. Did I hear it right, his cousin. She was his cousin?!
“What?” I asked stupidly.
“She is my cousin. She was away for sometime, exploring the Middle East. When she heard about my marriage, she flew all the way here just to congratulate me. She wanted to meet you, but I told her the whole family would meet you when we got back to New York, so she left, that is all, Hailey, are you satisfied now?!” His anger was radiating off of him in waves.
“Sh—she’s your cousin?” I questioned to myself. Feeling like a total idiot.
“Yes, Hailey, she’s my cousin.” Theodore reassured me, letting out an audible sigh of frustration.
Guilt stabbed at me like that silver steak I was planning on stabbing the red head with. I looked at Theodore who turned and went to the bathroom. How could you have been so stupid, Hailey, I chastised myself. Jumping to conclusions and accusing your husband, who’s done nothing but shower you with affection since the moment you got married, my love struck side scolded me. Well he should’ve told me who he was meeting and none of this would’ve happened, my snarky self remarked.
Theodore emerged from the bathroom a moment later. Without sparing me a glance he strode over his side of the bed and sat down.
“Theodore, I—” I begun, but he cut me off.
“Save it, Hailey, I don’t want your apologies.” Theodore replied curtly.
“At least hear me out.” I pleaded.
Theodore laughed bitterly, making the guilt double. “Hear you out? Like you heard me out?” He mocked, but I did not let that faze me.
“Please Theodore, you got to see it from my perspective.” I said.
“The only thing I see is your lack of trust in me.” He snapped, making me wince.
“I’m sorry, Theo,” I shuffled over to where he was sitting and perched on the bed next to him.
“It’s okay.” He said half-heartedly, I knew he didn’t mean it.
“Please Theo, you could’ve told me to you were going to meet your cousin, then I wouldn’t have felt suspicious.” I tried to reason with him, to make him see my perspective.
“No, Hailey, you should’ve trusted me, this is what husband and wife do, they trust each other.”
“Well, you didn’t trust me either, you threw a tantrum when you saw pictures of me with Ian.” I retorted, now slightly angry that he was throwing this topic of trust in my face when he didn’t trust me.
“That was before we got married.” He replied hotly.
“It’s the same thing.” I argued.
“No it isn’t.” Theodore stated, then turned slightly and laid on the bed, with his arm over his eyes, making me feel like a terrible wife.
“Theodore, I said I’m sorry.” I tried again, hoping this time he would relent and forgive me.
“Hailey, can we please discuss this tomorrow, I’m tired and you should get some sleep too, it’s late.” Theodore muttered not removing his arm from his eyes.
“No, we’ll sort this out now, even if it takes all night, but I’m not going to sleep knowing you’re angry at me, God knows I won’t be able to sleep.” I mumbled the last part to myself.
“I’m not angry, Hailey, I’m just disappointed that my wife doesn’t trust me one little bit, and jumps to conclusions without even asking me to clarify my actions.” Theodore told me, disappointment lacing his voice.
“I told you I’m sorry, I made a mistake, it’s just, I never had a boyfriend, so I don’t know what to expect in a relationship, of any sort.” I said feeling pathetic.
“We’re married, Hailey, not in a relationship that can be broken by a few reasons. Marriage is for life, and Hailey, life would be difficult for the both us if we don’t learn to trust.” Theodore explained softly.
“I know, I’m still learning, Theodore, I’m sorry.” I apologized again. Wow I never apologized to Amanda this much.
Theodore grabbed my wrist and gave it a hard tug, causing me to fall on his chest. His arms wrapped around my waist and pulled the rest of my body over his. He gazed me with a soft smile.
“You better learn fast, sweetheart, or else.” He didn’t need to finish that sentence, I knew the marriage would fall apart if we didn’t work on our trust issues. However, hearing him call me sweetheart made me feel better. I didn’t realize how much I missed his endearments until he didn’t use them.
“I will, but you need to give me some time, Theodore.” I told him.
“Take your time, princess, I’ll be here.” He said softly, caressing my cheeks with his fingers.
I dropped my head in his chest, suddenly afraid that he would leave me. “For how long?” I dreaded knowing the answer, but I had to ask—had to know.
“Forever.” That one word eliminated all my worries.
“Promise?” I wanted his promise so bad, I was ready to beg.
“Promise, but you must learn to trust me from now on, okay?” His fingers threaded in my hair.
I raised my head and met his gray eyes. “Does that mean you’re not mad at me anymore.” I inquired.
“No, it does not mean that.” He continued running his fingers through my hair.
“Please, forgive me.” I whined. I had always been big on forgiveness. I couldn’t rest knowing a person hadn’t forgiven me, that’s why I tried my best not to hurt anyone.
“I will, on one condition.” Theodore said.
“Yes, name it, anything.” I replied, eager for his forgiveness.
“Woah there, careful there, baby, I could ask for something you don’t want to give.” He warned with a soft smile.
“Tell me your condition, Theodore.” I demanded impatiently.
“When I’ll take you once I solve that issue, you would keep an open mind regarding my wants and needs.” He told me.
“What kind of wants and needs?” I inquired further.
“You’ll get to know about them when the time comes, for now tell me yes or no.” Theodore answered.
“What if I don’t accept, will you not forgive me?” I asked.
“No, I’ll just state my other condition, if you don’t accept this one.” He calmly replied.
“Okay fine, I accept your condition.” I told him anxious for his forgiveness, not bothering to delve deep in the condition he stated.
“Promise?” Theodore asked.
“Promise.” I told him with a smile.
“Then, my darling wife, I forgive you.” With that Theodore pulled my head down and captured my lips in a tender, loving kiss, which I was only too happy to respond to.
Once we broke apart, I asked a question that was nagging me for the past few minutes. “If I trust you, then you’ll trust me too, right?” I asked him.
Theodore chuckled. “Yes, princess, I’ll put my trust in you as well, but I must warn you, if you break my trust, then it’s next to impossible to get back.” He told me seriously.
“I get it, and it’s the same way with me.” I told him, and he was smart enough to understand the subtext of my statement. Atleast I thought he was.
We fell in a comfortable silence. Theodore kept running his fingers through my brown tresses making me feel drowsy. I wanted to go to sleep but there was one question that kept nagging me. Everytime I was about to jump in the cave of sleep, it would pull me back. Eventually, I gave up and thought about getting it off my conscience.
“Theodore?” I mumbled sleepily.
“Yes, baby?” Theodore mumbled.
“What is the name of your cousin? The one who visited.”
“Stephanie, why?” He questioned.
“Nothing, just wondering.” I answered feeling my eyelids droop.
“Okay, go to sleep now.” Theodore mumbled.
“Good night, Theodore.” I closed my eyes.
“Good night, darling.”
I woke up to the rays of sunshine filtering through the glass window of our suite. I stretched like a cat, but froze when I found the bed empty of Theodore. The splashing of water in the bathroom told me Theodore was currently occupied in the shower, reassuring my heart that Theodore was still in the vicinity of our suite.
Flopping back on the pillow, I replayed last night’s events and even though we had a crazy fight we still made up and made progress with our relationship. We had promise to trust each other and even though I had little to no experience with this relationship stuff, I knew enough to know that trust was the basic foundation to build a successful relationship on.
Even though we fought on our honeymoon, for probably the third time I was glad. Fighting in private was better than fighting around your family and friends. I knew that marriage with Theodore would be anything but easy and smooth, I just hope we could make it past all the hurdles; because now I wanted to stay in this marriage with Theodore and make it work. I loved him and had accepted the fact that we were married, and the thought of Theodore not being with me gave me physical pain.
Theodore emerged from the bathroom looking delicious. My stomach growled when I ran my fingers over his bare body that still had water droplets clingling to it. I had the sudden urge to forget my deal with him and jump him on the spot, but Amanda’s smiling face flashed in my mind, effectively stopping me from jumping Theodore and keeping me firmly in bed.
“Good morning, darling, did you sleep well?” Theodore asked while scrubbing his hair with a towel.
“Good morning, and yes I slept really well, thank you, what about you?” I asked, genuinely wanting to know if he slept alright.
“I slept perfectly, because I had my wife in my arms.” He responded smoothly, making my heart flutter in happiness.
“Woah, you’re being extra nice, is everything okay?” I questioned with mirth.
“I’m always extra nice.” He answered making me laugh out loud.
“Yeah right.” I continued laughing.
“Yes, name one time when I wasn’t nice.” Theodore demanded.
“Do you want me to tell you in alphabetical order or chronological order?” I asked, enjoying teasing him.
“Keep teasing me, baby, but rest assured that I will have the last laugh.” Theodore warned with amusement.
“Oh, I’m so scared, somebody save me.” I pretended to be scared.
Theodore strode over to where I was lying in bed and bent his head. His smoldering dark eyes capturing me. “No one can save you from me, princess, not anymore.” He whispered darkly, making my eyes widen.
We continued staring at each other, lost in our own world. Only the growling of my stomach had us breaking our eye contact, and me blushing in embarrassment. Theodore tucked a loose strand of hair behind me ear with a soft smile.
“Get dressed, we’ll have breakfast then I’m going to take you shopping. You should probably buy some gifts for your friends and cousins.” Theodore told me, then got up to put some clothes on.
The morning went by fast. Theodore and I raided the Indonesian shops and bought plenty of gifts for our family and friends. I wanted Amanda to be with me when I was buying colorful jewelry boxes for her, as she would’ve loved to visit Bali. Theodore, himself bought a lot of gifts for all his family and friends, choosing his gifts with extreme care.
After the mini shopping spree we had lunch in one of the best restaurants in Bali. I must say, I was impressed with the Indonesian cuisine. It was a novel experience for my taste buds and one I wished to repeat.
In the evening we had a delicious meal in the dining hall of the hotel, then Theodore suggested we take a stroll on the beach, since it was not too cold. I agreed since I was not feeling tired one bit.
The beach was amazing. Cool, gentle breeze was caressing our skin. The soft sound of waves created an atmosphere of tranquility, making me want to cuddle up with Theodore. The sand was cool beneath our feet, while our steps left indents on the soft surface. When I gazed at our joined footprints a blissful feeling settled in my heart. Yes, we are together, and we’ll get through everything together.
Theodore asked about my parents, which was kind of a difficult subject for me. But I was able to talk to about them easily as it had been a long time since their death. I told Theodore that even though I only got to spend a short time with my parents, they were the best parents anyone could ever have. I told him about all the great memories I had with my mom and dad, not leaving out a single detail. However, I choked up when it came to talking about their sudden demise. Theodore told me that I didn’t have to tell him, but I shook my head and told him how my parents died in a car crash in the highway, when they were returning home from their tenth wedding anniversary. I was staying with my cousin, April, at the time.
After I told Theodore about my parents, he said nothing but pulled in a comforting hug. His arms took away the pain and sorrow of my parents’ death, and made me feel safe. I wanted nothing more in that moment than to stay in Theodore’s arms forever.
As soon as Theodore broke our hug, he immediately bent down and kissed me. Putting all his affection, care, and love in that kiss, he made me the happiest woman alive. I wound my arms around his neck and let him kiss me. I let him take away the pain from my heart and replace with love. Even though he had yet to say the words to me, I felt them clearly in that kiss. And I let him kiss me.
I let him own me.