16 - Reflections And Realizations
Shine has fallen for James.
And every moment she spent with him only solidified that realization but she can't.
She won't let herself completely lose all reason in that love.
Not for her.
There was nothing left for her to lose, nothing left for her to protect.
But for him.
Ever since she realized how she felt for him, she had been reflecting on what to do. Her feelings complicated what was supposed to be a simple deal.
They will not treat each other as a private nurse and a patient but as friends then they will complete the items in her list.
It was that simple.
After that, whatever happened to her, she would leave without hesitations and he would live his life without regrets.
This little thing called "feelings" complicated that simple deal and now as she watched him gently massage her leg that she complained for numbness earlier, she reached a decision.
"So, what are we doing today?" He asked as he looked up at her face with his charming smile.
"What?" Shine asked with a slight frown.
"The list. What are we doing today? It's been three weeks since we baked a cake together."
"You've also been ignoring me for three weeks." He thought.
Her silent treatment and lackluster conversation has been very obvious since that day.
James had been worried but was not sure how to ask her what was wrong.
"We're not doing that anymore." She answered coldly as she pretended to preoccupy herself with her phone.
"Huh? Why? Shine, do you feel any discomfort that you didn't tell me about? Did I do something wrong?"
She sighed and tried to keep a straight face when she looked at him. "It's nothing. I just don't think it's a good idea anymore. James, I think it's best that we go back to what we're supposed to be. I'm your patient and you are my private nurse."
Confusion washed over him at what he heard. He immediately moved closer to her and held her hand. "Why? Is there a problem? Tell me. I can help."
Shine pulled her hand back and glared at him. "Stop! Just stop, okay? Stop being nice to me! Stop being sweet! Just leave me alone!"
"Why? Shine, I don't understand."
"I don't have to explain myself to you. You're just my glorified nanny." She said defiantly. And as soon as she said the words, she regretted her impulsiveness.
He was taken aback by her statement. He bit his lip and stared at her with an expression that broke her heart. It was a mix of hurt and anger that he tried so hard to hold back.
"And here I thought we were at least friends. That in the three months we spent together, I at least deserve an ounce of respect and credit more than being called your glorified nanny." He said behind clenched teeth, his voice thick with pain which cut through her heart.
James then stared at her intently, challenging her to gaze back at him. He moved his truculent face closer to hers as he asked in a stern voice.
"Tell me, Shine. After all we've been through, in the time we shared, with the memories we made together, did you ever feel in your heart that I was a real friend to you?"
She did not have to answer, the pain and yearning he saw in her eyes as tears started to flow from them told him everything he needed to hear. He just needed a confirmation.
"Or you can't treat me just as a friend anymore?" He whispered.
She tried to open her trembling lips to speak but a sob broke out instead. As the sob escaped her lips, she scooped his face up in her shaky hands and kissed him.
She kissed him and his heart leaped out of his chest then soared to the clouds. James has loved Shine for a while now but had to keep it inside because of the deal he made with her.
He slowly slipped an arm around her waist and pulled her closer as his other hand gently caressed her hair while they shared their first kiss, slowly and adoringly.
"I love you, Shine. Just let me love you, okay?" James breathed softly with a smile on her lips.
She nodded her head and whispered. "I love you too, James."
With their hearts full and ready to burst with the love they felt for each other, and now finally recognized, they shared another kiss, free from all the care in the world. Nothing else mattered at that moment, not the deal, not the list, not any of their worries, not her condition, just LOVE.
"I trust you understand that you're fired." She giggled.
"Actually, Miss Malden, consider this my resignation." He grinned as he leaned in for another passionate kiss.
The clip was of him sitting on a stool with her leg on his lap while he massaged the muscles on her foot.
“You know what? I realized something.” Shine said from behind the camera.
He looked up at her and smiled with his charming dimple showing.
“My boyfriend's massage feels way more satisfying than my nurse's.” She giggled.
He grinned. “Really? I know something that will satisfy you more.”
He set her foot down and put the camera away. The video continued on with a white picture of the wall on the screen and the sound of lips smacking, soft moans and sighs in the background.