KIARA sighed as she adjusted her gown for one last time before she entered the charity event. The dozens of cameras flashing on her with thousands of stupid questions being flung on her irritated her, yet she chose to remain calm.
Her gaze drifted to the piece of diamond resting on her finger, reminding her, again and again, why is she doing this.
Why she has been hiding from her husband all this time. She knew it was dangerous, Damian can snap at any time but she was glad for the time she got away from him.
The time she spent drowning herself in work or usually, alcohol.
It had become her best friend. It helped her forget the void that filled her heart after she lost her family. It helped her forget Zain's smiles and kisses.
It helped her forget what her future might have been.
She didn't realize till now that she has been trying to build sandcastles on the clouds. Trying to achieve something that is completely after her grasp.
She cursed herself for being hopeful. She loathed her own existence. And she waited for the day she will close her eyes to never open them again.
She wasn't strong enough to kill herself, so she chose to live with the guilt. And that was a painful process, it killed her slowly with every passing second.
She tried to distract herself - like she is doing right now.
Charity events have now become an everyday thing for her - she attended one almost every week. She tried to release the feeling of guilt that burdened her heart by doing good to the society - the smiles of the children she helped relating her eyes every time she saw them.
Yet at night, she would find herself surrounded with the darkness that refused to leave her. Tears flowed from her eyes like an endless stream and her body protested it's existence. She would wake up in the morning with blood-red eyes and a mess of hair, get ready for work and when she came back, the process will repeat again.
She still remembers the look of shock that formed on her housekeeper's face when she threw away the number of empty bottles of alcohol from her house.
She sighed as the gates opened and she walked in, a fake smile plastered on her face. Eyes turned towards her, a reaction she had gotten used to and she soon found herself surrounded by men who were trying their best to land a deal with her.
It was all about work, work and work.
She smiled at them as she faked listening to their proposals and nodded when necessary. Nothing interested her anymore, she had plans for her future and it certainly didn't include having such business partners.
She walked away when the auction started and gulped down two glasses of champagne like they were nothing.
The auction started but nothing amused Kiara, she just stared blankly at the ceiling.
"You should at least try to hide the fact that you are bored." a voice startled her from behind.
She turned to find a man standing behind her, with his blonde hair and forest green eyes and wearing a black tux that showed his perfectly sculpted body. If she wasn't married to someone more handsome, she would have surely drooled over him.
"Why hide when you aren't afraid what others might think?" she replies, her attention drifting back to the glass of champagne in her hand.
"Well, that is true. But then there is something called being polite." the man says.
Kiara internally groans. Can't she have a moment alone to herself and her thoughts?
"Politeness is overrated. I will be polite when I need to be. And it has nothing to do with what is going on. Excuse me, who are you?" she says, practically snapping at him.
"And to think you are married to my best friend. I am Antonio Romano, your lovely husband's best friend. I am sure we were introduced at the wedding." he replies.
Kiara couldn't tell him that she didn't have a clue about what went down during her wedding, all the could make out was that next day she woke up with a ring on her finger.
All she knew was that she was now Mrs Lorenzo.
"Well, I am bad with faces, pardon me." Kiara lied through her gritted teeth.
"Damian will surely beg to differ considering how he worships you." Antonio said.
Kiara wanted nothing more to get away from this situation.
"So, care for a dance?" he offers to her after the auction finishes and the mood of the event changes with soft music in the background and couples finding their way to the dance floor.
Kiara was bored and surely needed something to pass her time. She went against her conscious and chose to give the guy a chance.
"Sure." she says taking his hand.
They make way to the middle of the dancefloor. Antonio's hand wrapped around her waist, pulling her closer while hers rested on his shoulder. They swayed slowly to the music, the air around them becoming slightly awkward.
"So, how is married life treating you, dear sister-in-law?" Antonio asks.
"Wonderful, better than I would have ever imagined." she lies, again.
That's what she had mastered in all this time. To lie without blinking an eye. Because that's what her life has become - a lie.
"I knew that Damian will take good care of you. When am I supposed to hear the good news of becoming an uncle, han?" Antonio chuckles out.
The world stops for a moment as realization dawns on her. Of course, they had to talk about a child! A child? She couldn't even handle her own life, she didn't even love her own husband then how is she supposed to have a kid with him?
"Not as of now. I am busy with work." she replies.
"Sure, sure." he replies.
The music continues to play as they dance quietly to it. Funny enough, she had grown comfortable with Antonio and listened to him laughing about all the funny moments he shared with Damian in childhood.
Somehow she felt closer to Damian after knowing about him from some other perspective.
The music stops eventually, and Kiara knew that it is time for her to leave. She couldn't wait to get out of the gown and finally have some sleep.
"It was nice to finally get to know you." Antonio says.
"It was great to know you as well." she replies.
"Should I drop you off to your house?" Antonio asks.
But before Kiara could reply, a voice interrupts her. A voice she had been running away from.
"I am sure she will be fine leaving with me."
Kiara turns to find him standing in all his glory, looking handsome as ever with an aura of authority.