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My trainer Niall suggested we try kickboxing today. The boys are busy doing their thing while I put on the gloves. After a quick demonstration, Niall asks me to hit the bag the same way he just did. It starts slow and steady then I’m asked to punch a little harder. Suddenly, the foreign feelings I had yesterday when we had sex make me see red. Punching harder and harder I can’t seem to control myself anymore. Almost as if I have an out-of-body experience, I can see myself doing the movements but I can’t feel a thing. Niall tells me to take it easy but I can’t seem to be able to tone it down. I’m vaguely aware that I’m letting out screams of frustration. Rage envelops me keeping me in this black hole that’s sucking the life out of me. Then his arms are around me and I stop. He picks me up and takes me to the locker room, Cooper can be heard asking a few people to give us privacy before closing the door. My body is shaking while I try to hold onto his shoulders as best as I can.

“Ella? What’s going on?” I sense fear in his tone. “I don’t… I don’t know!” There’s panic in my voice as I tell him the truth. I have no idea why I’m feeling the way I am. Taking deep breaths I try to calm myself down. He has to go to work soon, I can’t take too much of his time. His hands are rubbing my back up and down, his lips by my ear telling me how much he loves me. The tension I experienced earlier is slipping away. “I’m sorry, I’m okay, babe,” Though I just said the words, deep down inside, I’m not sure I am okay. His left hand presses on my cheek bringing me closer so he can nudge my nose with his. I reward him with a small smile probably not the one he was looking for but he doesn’t pressure me for more.

Once we’re all ready to leave the gym, he pulls me into a tight embrace not letting go until I promise to call if I need him. He then turns to my bodyguard asking him to hang with me at the apartment. “He’ll get bored, I’ll be fine!” I try to argue. “Max, I’m your boss and I want you to be with her until I come home. Understood?” His tone makes me cringe. “Yes, sir,” Max’s shoulders straighten up. I roll my eyes. “Sir? Don’t be ridiculous! Ryan, I’ll let him stay with me but please don’t boss him around like that,” I plead with my husband. Without a word, he kisses me, before getting in the car with Cooper.

“Would it be okay if I make a phone call?” Max asks me. We’re sitting on the couch, I’m studying and he’s watching some sports event. “Of course, you can do it here or if you need privacy, go to the guest room,” I smile. He goes to make his phone call. Having him around isn’t too bad after all. He revealed that he spends a lot of time doing photography when he isn’t on duty. We followed each other on Instagram where he posts all his best shots which are beautiful. I’ve always loved taking pictures and finding someone to share the passion with makes me happy.

I fed him dinner since Ryan had to stay on set until around 9 PM. I then serve dinner to Ryan and Cooper after inviting him in. The atmosphere is pleasant with them joking around the table. I had time to bake a cake earlier although Ryan jokes that he wishes I had made a chocolate one instead of vanilla. “If you’re unhappy, you can leave! Cooper and Max seem to enjoy my cake,” I wink at my husband. His strong arms bring me to sit with him, after a glance at the bodyguards, I wrap myself around Ryan. Everyone knows the love we share for each other, my reticence in displaying my affection for my husband disappeared as we’ve all gotten to know one another. A bodyguard not only protects you in dangerous situations but also gets to witness the real you. They know our strengths and weaknesses whether we wanted to expose them or not.

I’m tidying up the kitchen when Ryan walks to me after saying goodnight to the boys. “Max is an amazing photographer, we followed each other on Instagram. I’ll have to show you. You don’t mind, right?” I suddenly worry. Although we talked about his insecurities when it comes to Max and I’s friendship, I still would never want to push his boundaries. “Not at all, Cooper and I follow each other. I was against them being our friends at first but with them being around all the time, knowing so much about our life, building a friendship felt organic, you know? I’ll have to give Max a follow as well,” he kisses my cheek. “I love you so much Ryan,” I hug him.

Still unable to understand what has gotten into me earlier at the gym, I’m relieved to feel better now. I realize I never sent the email to my therapist but I kept it in my draft folder. I leave it there in case I ever need it while hoping I don’t.
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