Dark Love - A Darker Shade

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20

Zee couldn’t get into her room fast enough and she was so exhausted, she found herself going to bed early after taking a pain killer. When she woke up few hours later, she was relieved to find that the ache on her bum was almost gone.

The wall clock told her it was 10:12pm. She had thought the time would be later than that. Her stomach grumbled and she went into the kitchen to find some food. The house was quiet because everyone had gone to bed.

She got some bread, made herself a cup of cold tea and rapidly consumed it in the kitchen. As soon as she was done, Inara’s call came in.

She didn’t feel like talking to Inara right now. She had already seen several missed calls from her. She didn’t want to talk.

After the phone stopped ringing, she rose and found it ringing again. With a sigh, she forced herself to take the call.

“What do you want?” she asked rudely.

“You sound irritated. And what do you mean by what do I want?”

“Why did you have to give me your damn watch?”

“Really?” Inara asked, unbelieving. “I was just trying to make your story believable and you know it.”

Zee took a deep breath. “Look, I’m sorry. I just…maybe I’m looking for who to blame. It’s not your fault.”

“I know the feeling. It’s okay.”

“Thanks and how come you’re still awake?”

“Lemuel is at his home office working on something. Caleb is asleep and I’ve been worried about you.”

“I’m fine.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah.”

“Hmn. No issues even though we were busted?”

Zee did not answer.

“Zee?”

“Why?” Zee asked brokenly.

“Why what?”

“Why didn’t you tell me you still had grudges against me?”

“I don’t like the way you’re sounding. What on earth are you talking about?”

“Inny, did you really forgive me for all the things I did to you?”

“Yes. I forgave you with all my heart. Why?”

“Because…because Michael is sort of like…like Lemuel.”

“What do you mean?”

“To cut a long story short, as soon as you guys left, he practically dragged me back to the meeting room and punished me.”

“What?”

“He spanked me like without mercy. I thought I would die.”

“Jesus.”

“Don’t call the Lord’s name in vain, please.”

“That’s new coming from you.” Inara tried not to laugh.

“That was me trying to lighten the situation.”

“Why would you even attempt that?”

“I guess I’m a fool.”

“Don’t get hysterical, Zee. I’m sorry about what happened. How do you feel now?”

“Better. The pain is barely there.”

“Did he help you with the pain?”

“Help me?”

“Yeah. I mean, Lemuel had some balm he used to help with the pain.”

Zee laughed. “Michael is worse than him, then. He did no such thing. He just managed to hold me for a while before taking me home.”

“I’m sorry, okay? I’ll get you the balm. You should try to avoid him.”

“How? He’s my boyfriend and I can’t avoid him because the game won’t let me.”

“You didn’t give me details of the game, Zee.”

“To be brief, I crashed his wedding by presenting pictures of that cheating bitch, Cassy. Then he was all vengeful and would only forgive me if I agreed to marry him. I was in a tight corner especially as the game forced me to say yes.”

“Zee, this is karma.” Inara found herself saying.

“You’re not making me feel better.”

“I know. I just hope everything works out for you.”

“Thanks. How about Lemuel? Hope the wristwatch thing didn’t cause any uproar?”

“Nopes. He understood I was only trying to help you.”

“Oh well that’s surprising.”

“He’s not as bad as you think, Zee.”

“No problem. I guess I ended up with the worse. I’m paying for my sins.”

“Cheer up, Zee. It might get better.”

“Thanks.”

“Sleep well.”

“Thanks. You too.”

Zee felt better after the call ended. She had been mad at Inara for nothing and she knew it. In all, she was grateful that she had a friend to talk to. She prayed that things would turn out better for her just the way it had turned out for her friend. She just had to be hopeful.

***

Her phone started vibrating and she saw that it was a call from an unknown number. At first she didn’t want to pick it because of the timing but she still took the call. Curiosity could be a powerful thing.

“Hello.”

“I just wanted to be sure I had the right number.”

Zee recognized the voice immediately.

“Cassy?”

Cassy scoffed. “Yeah. Thanks for ruining my wedding.”

“You’re a slut.”

“Thank you, little miss gothic.”

“I don’t have time for this. I’m not Inara.”

“I know. Perhaps that’s why I should up my game this time around.”

“Wow, I can’t wait to play.”

“You think you’re such a badass bitch, right?”

“Whatever you say. What do you want?”

“Good question. You see, I just want to say that you cannot step on the tail of a scorpion and not expect to be stung.”

“I don’t understand parables, so school me, please.”

“I’m not a good teacher.” Cassy responded. “Watch your back, Zee.” She ended the call and Zee found herself a little shaken despite all her show of bravado.

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