"Mr. Boron, I wasn't expecting to see you today, is everything okay?" Miller asked the towering man that stormed into his office without knocking, "you em, you should have knocked, I might have been speaking to a client and it will be rude with you barging in like that."
Kane said nothing to the mumbling man and just lowered his height on the sofa, he crossed his leg before looking at the man, "how is that my business?"
"Well, it should be, after all, you are the one who said you don't want anybody knowing you use to come here" he shrugged, "so..."
Kane nodded, "I see. Anyway, that's not a problem anymore."
Miller was surprised, "really? What happened?"
"I won't be coming here anymore."
"Why? Have you gotten together with Oliver?"
"Then, have you gotten over your attraction?"
"There has never been an attraction. I was only suspecting he has attraction for me. It's a two different things, having an attraction to him and he having an attraction to me."
"Yes, I understand" Miller nodded as he forced him to not roll his eyes, "so why won't you be coming here anymore?"
"Because last night, I made a decision."
"Priscilla, are you chanced this afternoon?" Kane twirled on his chair as he spoke to the person on the other side of the call.
"Yes, is there a problem?" Priscilla's voice was heard from the phone.
"No, no problem. I just want to know if you can make out time to have lunch with me this afternoon. I want us to talk about what you brought up last night."
"Oh, I thought you said I should give you three days?"
"Well, I thought hard last night and I came to a decision but it's not something I will tell you over the phone. So let's meet up."
"How about the usual?"
"Okay I will meet you there. What time?"
"In the next hour."
"Alright. See you soon."
"Sure" Kane placed the phone on the desk, after a minute, he picked it back up, he punched in a number and dialed, he waited patiently but nervously as he listened to the dial tone.
Almost at the end of the dial tone, the call was answered by the laziest of voice that seemed to have just gotten out of bed, "hello?"
Kane let out a sigh with his eyes closed, his heart pounded in his chest as he remembered their accidental kiss last night, his lips tinged, asking for more and he just couldn't believe himself. He swallowed and licked his lips, "you are still in bed?"
"Yeah, had a lot to drink last night."
Kane smiled faintly, "let's see tonight okay? I want to tell you something" he had made a decision and he is going to live through it. It's the only option, he sighed. "Maybe you will also tell me about that girl that had you messed up last night" he chuckled.
Olivia sighed on the other side, yeah right, she thought, "sure, maybe you can go speak to her for me and ask her to accept me you know."
"Sure, what are friends for? Where is she?"
"No thank you."
Olivia laughed "I knew you will say that. Say, what do you want to tell me tonight?"
"Let's have dinner together, then I will tell you. Right now, I have something to do. So, talk to you later and yes, get your lazy ass out of bed, it's already 12:15."
"Yeah, yeah, I'm up, I'm up."
Kane could hear ruffling sound and knew he was getting out of bed, he heard him yawn and a sweet smile graced his lips, just why aren't you a woman? he thought but said nothing. He silently hung up the call.
"You know, maybe we can have lunch now, I'm really starving. What do you say? Kane? Hello?" Olivia frowned and looked at her phone only to discover that the call has been disconnected. Strange, Kane never hang up on her like that. Whatever that happen.
She shrugged and place the phone on her vanity, she had returned home early in the morning but still collapsed on her bed immediately she came into her room. She don't think she will be going to work today, the day has already gone half.
She walked into her bathroom to have a long shower before going downstairs to find something to eat. She wondered what Kane could possible want to tell her that he can't say over the phone. She wasn't worried but she wasn't excited either, so she decided to just leave it at that, she will find out in the night after all.
Kane walked into the restaurant and casually found himself a table, he sat not longer than ten minutes before Priscilla walked in. She smiled when their eyes met and closed their distance. Kane stood up and pulled out a chair for her and she thanked him before sitting, "how are you?" He asked.
"I'm good. I must be honest that I wasn't expecting to hear from you so soon" she began.
"I know, but after you brought it up last night, I figured you are right. We really need to talk about our future and where this betrothal thing is taking us."
"Exactly. To be honest, I really want to settle down and even though everyone knows that we are betrothed, I'm still having suitors. So I figured, I better talk to you before rejecting anybody, so that I won't end up rejecting my husband" she chuckled and slightly licked her lips while tucking a lock of her blonde hair behind her ear, her eyes met his "so tell me, where is it with us?"
Kane sighed and lightly drummed his fingers on the table, "I had a serious thinking last night or maybe you can say that someone brought it on me" he paused "after that, when I got home, my mind was already made up. I came to a decision."
Kane wanted to answer but a waiter walked up to them, demanding to know their order. Kane smiled, "I guess since I asked you out for lunch, I should buy lunch" he chuckled and picked up his menu and choose three dishes straight and a wine.
Priscilla did the same and after the waiter left, she faced Kane again, "so, what did you decide on?"
"We have known each other since childhood. Although we may not be categorized as friends but we do know a handful about each other. The rest to know can be known when we interact a lot."
"What are you saying?"
"I'm saying that I will want us to..." He let out a deep breath "I will want to carry on with the wedding."
Priscilla froze, her eyes locked on him. She really didn't see that coming.
Kane chuckled lightly, "yes, but, that will only be possible if you want it. Our parents decided our fates when we were little. Even though they gave us the right to act otherwise, I know they want us to carry on with their wish. I have decided to do that, it's now left with what you want."
The waiter brought their wine, he corked it and poured half a glass for them each. He turned and left then to check on their orders.
Priscilla picked her glass and gracefully sipped, she placed it back on the table, her eyes locked on the red liquid inside the glass, "when I found out about this engagement, I have already made a decision" she detached her eyes from the liquid and looked at him, "as long as you will want me, I will go with the wedding. It's not like my father will agree to otherwise if you want to marry me. Although he is acting less concerned about the whole matter but that's because you haven't agreed. Since you have now, I think we should tell them and have the mothers carry on with the wedding plans they have always wanted."
Kane was silent, he poked his lips as his thoughts ran wild. After a while, be nodded, "yes, we should tell them."
"Good. So what will it be, are we going to call for a family dinner?"
"I don't see any other way."
"No, let's leave it tomorrow night, I already have plans tonight."
Priscilla nodded and picked up her drink again, she sipped from it as her eyes darted around the whole room.
Kane watched her, he had an inkling of thought that she doesn't look entirely happy with his decision like he had thought. As she placed her drink back on the table, he asked, "Priscilla I want to know, don't you want to marry me?" He raised an eyebrow.
His question got her to look at him sharply, after a few seconds of silence, she looked away from him and answered, "my father already believes that you are the best man for me which is why he arranged for me to marry you so of course, I will do what he wants."
"That's not the answer to my question."
"Whether I want to or not, does it change anything? You on the hand doesn't want to marry me either, so if I'm being honest with you, I will say that I'm really surprise that you want to now."
"Why would you say that?"
"Kane, we have been aware of our engagement since you were twenty and I was fourteen, you have always blatantly refused to marry me which is why I'm really surprise that you suddenly agreed to marry me."
Kane licked his lips, he gulped and picked up his glass for the first time, sipping from it, he placed the glass down in time for the waiter to place their food on the table, he walked away when he was done, "I know you depended on me to cancel the marriage and I'm sorry that I failed you."
Priscilla chuckled, flipping her blonde hair to and fro which got Kane mesmerized. He knew she is a beautiful woman but he can't understand why he is not attracted to her. Anyway, they are about to be married now, he will figure it out. "Kane, I had a huge crush on you doing my teens" she chuckled, her iced blue eyes bored into his hazel ones, "imagine the happiness of a fourteen year old girl when she was told that her crush is her fiancé. I looked forward to our wedding Kane, I dreamt of it even. I picked out name for our kids and always dream about them along with you, having a big happy family. Imagine my heartbreak when you keep throwing it to my face that you will never marry me" she licked her lips, "I'm a prideful woman, I have respect for myself. After I figured out you will never want me as much as I want you, I forced myself to let go. In order to forget you, I left the country to study.
I told myself I will never tell you this but now, I think you really deserve to know. Kane, I got over you, I really did" she smiled "but now I'm going to spend the rest of my life with you, going to have my teenage dreams, I guess I will learn to love you again. You on the other hand, I hope you will try to love me too. Agreeing to marry me is not the only thing, you need to let go of that person who is the reason you suddenly agreed to marry me."
Her last words were like bomb to his ears, he was visibly shocked, "what..how...what are you saying?"
"Kane, like you said, although we may not be categorized as friends, we do know a handful of each other. I know you Kane, you never go back on your words. If you are agreeing to marry me now, it only means one thing, you want to use me to forget someone. I'm okay at being used, I just hope it won't be forever."
Kane said nothing again, he picked up his cutlery and began eating silently.
Priscilla stared at him for some time before repeating his action.
They had a quite meal then and after agreeing to announce to their family about their compliance in the engagement over dinner the next day, they both said goodbye and went their separate ways.
As arranged, Kane met up with Olivia at their usual spot. When he got there, Oliver was already waiting for him. He stood at the doorstep and watched the blonde man who was casually flipping the menu, his heart ached but he waved it away. They were never met to be and since he has already decided to marry Priscilla, he will get over him soon. Real soon.
What is he even getting over? He is not attracted to him for crying out loud. He just...care a lot about him, like a friend, nothing more.
As if his denials suddenly gave him strength, he walked over to the blonde man in quick strides.
Olivia looked up when she sensed his presence, she flashed him a smile and placed the menu she had been scrutinizing on the table, "hey dude, I almost thought you won't be coming."
Kane pulled out a chair and sat down, he signalled for the waiter before looking at him, "have I ever stood you up?"
"If I haven't before, why should I know?" The waiter approached and he ordered for something strong, he really don't know the reason.
"Bad day at the office?"
"Why do you ask?"
"Your order. It's unusual."
"Nothing, I just really need to drink."
"Then should we go to a pub? I'm not really hungry. I was at home today and Evelyn wanted to kill me with food."
"It's good you have someone who wants to kill you with food since you can't even cook" he grinned.
Olivia clutched her heart dramatically as she feigned hurt, "you just trampled on my ego."
"Then go learn how to cook."
"I have been attending lessons."
"Really, since when and how come I heard nothing about it?"
"Come on, I have been practicing with Evelyn and I shouldn't tell you that, you are not my girlfriend."
Kane's heart hurts at that but he didn't let it show, he is right after all, he is not his girlfriend because he is not a woman, indeed "you talk like you have one" he rolled his eyes "that reminds me, who is the girl you talked about."
"You don't know her."
"I didn't know you are a lovelorn."
Olivia rolled her eyes, "don't fool yourself."
"Really? What's that about last night then, what's that you said" he pretended to ponder "ah yes, you said, why are you with her, why are you not with me? And that led me to thinking if she is a lesbian?"
Olivia bit her lips, damn, how could she say that to him? Although she was pretty drunk last night and she tends to have voiced out her heartaches. Now she has to fix this, "she really wasn't initially until she showed up" she pretended to be angry, "I just don't know how it was possible, how did she bend a straight girl? It's still has me confuse."
Just the way you bending me has me confuse, Kane thought, "maybe she wasn't really that straight and need someone to help her understand that" damn what is he saying? Is he indirectly saying he wasn't really straight and needed him to help him understand?
Of course not! He denied immediately. But all, he didn't let Oliver notice.
"Well, if that's the case, I guess I have no say anymore" she heaved a sigh, pretending to give up.
Their drink arrived and since Olivia said she wasn't really hungry, they didn't order for anything else. "Yea that reminds me, what do you want to talk to me about?" The smell of the alcoholic content in the drink almost made her purge and she turned to the water who was still near and ordered, "get me sparking water would you?"
"Yes sir" the waiter nodded and left.
"Why don't you want this anymore?" Kane pointed at the bottle of wine.
"Dude, I drank a lot last night. The alcohol is still in my system. I can't have more."
As if suddenly remembering, Kane nodded, "that's understandable" he picked his drink and sipped from it.
"What do you want to tell me about?"
"Oh. That's true, em...well, I met up with Priscilla today. We had lunch together."
"Oh, that's good" she nodded, her sparkling water was quick at arriving and she smiled. She picked it up to quench her taste and threw a question to Kane before sipping the water, "that's not what you want to tell me is it?"
Kane shook his head slowly, "no. I want to tell you that I have decided to marry her."
Olivia spat out the sparkling water in her mouth in shock, she sat staring at Kane with her mouth open. Her heart breaking into a thousand pieces. Getting hold of herself, she closed her mouth before opening it again to apologize to Kane, "I'm sorry about that, I was just shocked."
Kane who was already dabbing at his face with a napkin said, "it's fine. I understand."
"So em, when did you get to this decision?" She fought to keep her breaking voice steady.
"Oh. I see. I assumed you have talked to her?"
"Yes, it's what we talked about this afternoon. I asked her to lunch to tell her about my interest in the marriage."
"But dude, you said you will never marry her" she grabbed onto her last hope, "what made you change your mind?"
"You see, she talked to me last night and it came to my understanding that I was tying her down too by not deciding whether the wedding is going on or will be canceled and I figured, I'm not getting any younger so why don't I marry her? It's not like I will be meeting a new girl tomorrow and falling in love."
Olivia nodded, there goes her last hope. She can't believe this, Kane is getting married, her worst nightmare is coming true, "have you told your parents?"
"We agreed to tell them tomorrow over dinner."
"That's...good" she forced a smile "congratulations friend, I'm so happy for you."
Kane watched him, although he said his happy for him, why does it look like it's not from his heart? He could see the hurt in his eyes, is his eyes deceiving him again? No, it's not possible.
He just needs to tell this to himself, Oliver is not attracted to him and he is not attracted to Oliver. They are best friends who cares a lot about each other. Yes, that's what they are, nothing more, nothing less. Now he just needs to focus all his attention on Priscilla and he will be in love with her in no time, he smiled at his thought. That's right, in no time, "thank you. You will be my best man, you already know that."
"Yeah, of course. Who else is gonna be that if not me?" She fought to hide her feeling "so em, when is the wedding going to be?"
"I don't know. That is for Priscilla and my mother to decide. I'm good with any."
"So in a few months, you will be out of market" she laughed but it didn't reach her heart but no matter what, she mustn't give herself away. Kane must never know that his happiest news is her saddest news. She has to act normal, no one must suspect a thing.
"Yeah" Kane nodded with a light chuckle "perhaps you should really give in to my sis, that way we can have our wedding on the same day."
"No, thank you. I'm not interested" she really wants to go home and bowl her eyes out but she can't think of any excuse to give to Kane. Not knowing what else to do, she picked his glass of wine and drank from it.
Kane was surprised, "what are you doing?"
"I suddenly have the urge to drink" she laughed without humor "what, you can't share your drink with me?"
"No, not that. Is just...I'm surprise you are suddenly drinking. I mean, you were the one that said a while ago that you can't have more alcohol in your system."
"I know, but I change my mind. Dude, you are getting married soon, we should celebrate. You know what? I say we go to a nice pub and celebrate your coming marriage. You may have been engaged since you were six but you only acknowledged it today which means that you got engaged today so let's go celebrate your engagement. Your treat" she stood up as she finished talking and Kane could do nothing but agree.
They paid for the drink and left for their favourite bar in each of their cars.
At the end, Olivia was drunk that she couldn't drive, Kane wasn't sober either but he was better than her so he took her home, she will go for her car the next day.
When Olivia got home, she got down from the car and said goodbye to Kane, he offered to take her inside but she refused. "I can handle myself" she said to him, then turned and went inside.
Kane watched him from his car until he staggered into the house before sighing and droving off. He kept singing in his heart, he only cares about him, that doesn't mean he is attracted to him. Jeez, he can't be attracted to a man okay.
Fuck, it's all that doctor Miller's fault. He was the one that put it in his head that he is attracted to him. It's a good thing he has stopped seeing him before he will make him do something he would end up regretting.
Oh but the feel of Oliver's lips last night, so soft and delicate, the sent of him that always covers his nostrils whenever he is around. How soft his body is whenever they hug. Damn, how can a man has such body? Although he has met a lot of slender men but Oliver was not only slender, he is attractive as well and he hates it.
And what he hates more is his urge to kiss him again, passionately this time.
Fuck you Kane, you are getting married and here you are thinking of kissing your best friend.
Your best friend, who is not only your best friend but a man. A man!
He shook his head, father help him, if not, he might not only visit a therapist but might register himself to a mental hospital because he would go crazy with all these thinking.
He had gotten to his building at that time, he parked his car in the underground parking lot and walked into the building. He entered the elevator and pressed the button for the last floor which is his penthouse. He is going to drink more inside, if not, he won't sleep well tonight.
When Olivia entered the house, Grace was surprised to see her drunk, she was gone before she returned from the office and she was hoping to speak to her when she returns and now seeing her drunk again really ached her heart, "why is it that since last night, you have just been drinking to get drunk?"
"I'm not drunk" she denied and staggered to the staircase, she nearly slumped but she grabbed hold of the rails to steady herself.
Grace signed and turned to Evelyn who just returned after closing the door, "come help me take her up."
"Yes ma'am" she proceeded to Olivia who was now sitting on a step.
"I'm fine, don't worry about me. I just need to steady my feet, that's all."
"We will have a long talk when you are sober young woman, I can't have you always returning home drunk. What do you want Mirabelle to think of me, that not only did I let her daughter impersonate her late brother but to also become a drunkard? I don't think so."
"Aunt Grace, really I'm fine. I didn't drink much anyway" Olivia who now has her head resting on the stair rails mumbled.
Grace watched her for a while before heaving a deep breath, she gently approached her, she placed her hand on her shoulder and gently squeezed it, "sweetheart, there is nothing wrong with being in love you know."
That got Olivia to look up at her, "what are you talking about aunt?"
"You know what I'm talking about" she squatted beside her, "I'm sure Oliver would understand. You and I both know he wouldn't want you doing this, behaving like him and denying yourself what you really want. You have impersonate him enough, honey it's nearly four months now, is it not enough? You have deceived Kane for nearly four month, when are you planning to show him the real you or are you going to be a man to him forever?"
Olivia sighed and shut her eyes, "aunt, I'm just afraid of losing Oliver forever. Acting like him always makes me feel like he is around me. I fear that once I drop my act, he will be gone for good."
"But honey that's not possible, he is your twin. You mustn't impersonate him to feel him, he lives in you, in your heart" she pointed at her chest "you two shares a strong bond that not even death can cut, you just believe that. He is always with you, wherever you may be, he is always in you. Being him is not the only way to feel him around."
"I know. I just..." She paused and licked her lips, "acting like him makes me feel safe, alive."
"But now, you are no longer that happy."
"Why would you say that?" Olivia furrowed her brows.
"Because now you have someone else you don't want to lose, someone else you want to keep around but you being like Oliver won't let you have him and you know that. You just have to come clean honey."
"I don't know. I don't even stand a chance anymore."
"Why would you say that?"
"He is getting married."
"What?" Grace was shocked "since when?"
Olivia looked at her like she had gone nuts, "who else?" Due to talking with Grace, she was slowly sobering up since she wasn't that drunk.
"Priscilla? But I thought he said he was never going to marry her."
"Apparently he changed his mind."
"Oh honey, I'm so sorry."
"Don't aunt, I never stood a chance with him anyway, not when he sees me like a man."
"And whose fault is that?" Grace accused.
Olivia buried her head in her palms, she let out a deep breath, "I don't think we were ever meant to be together."
"Why do you say that?"
"Aunt look at me, to him I'm a man and his best friend but to me?" She paused with a sigh "he is way more than that. I never expected to fall for him aunt, I thought ..."
"Yeah, I know. You thought you are immune to his charms" Grace rolled her eyes "why don't you go up and sleep. Take another day off from work tomorrow, we will talk more when I return and try not to get drunk again."
Olivia chuckled lightly, "I'm not a drunkard aunt" she grabbed onto the rails and stood up "goodnight aunt. Goodnight Evelyn" she took one step at a time as she climbed up.
"Goodnight dear" Grace said while staring at her back "try not to think too much okay?"
Grace turned to Evelyn when Olivia was out of sight, "I knew this would happen."
"Maybe she has learnt her lesson that it's not good for a woman to behave like a man."
Grace nodded, "you are right. Maybe this will make her understand that it's not good to be a tomboy, be it whatever reason she has. But her own case is different, we both know she is not a tomboy and the outside world don't even see her like that."
"Yes, they see her as a man because no one knows she is a woman."
Grace shook her head with a sigh, "Malcolm will kill me if he finds out."
Evelyn chuckled, "you are his beloved sister, he will understand."
"I sure hope so. Goodnight Evelyn."
The two women went to their respective rooms while Grace prayed silently in her heart that Olivia should wake up and fight for her man. She strongly believes that Kane will fall for her if he knows she is a woman. But that's the thing, if he knows. If.
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