Fire and Flames

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XLIV. Surprises

(I’m posting this chapter because many of you said that the ending wasn’t that clear and you guys wanted to know about Gabriel 😉)

Athena

This was the best New Years eve celebration I’ve ever had. The whole night we were roaming around the city sight seeing, it was epic. I never enjoyed this much in my life, Zephyr was such a nice travel partner, I never saw him this interested to travel not even while we were in Barcelona.

After a tiering yet fun filled journey he dropped me back home around four am and I straight away passed out on the bed and woke up in the noon. Ruby still hadn’t reached home so I send her a message asking her whereabouts. I’m pretty sure she’s with Danny.

I took a long warm bath and changed into an oversized T and knee high fuzzy socks, believe me It’s very cosy. Since it’s Lunch time, I decided on making Classic lasagna and garden salad.

I spread the meat sauce evenly on the thin lasagna sheet and arranged it in the casserole dish before popping it into the oven. I turned towards the island to prepare the salad when I heard the door bell go off.

I think Ruby’s here!

I wiped my hand on the kitchen towel before ambling towards the door and unlocked it. I opened the door ready to give Ruby an earful but stopped half way when I saw Gabriel standing there with a bright smile.

“Gabriel?” I asked in shock.

He raised an eyebrow “Were you expecting someone else?”

“Umm...I thought it was my bestie. I didn’t expect you to visit me but How’d you know my apartment number?”

“I asked the security” he shrugged before smirking at me “Aren’t you going to invite me inside?”

I slapped my forehead in embarrassment “I’m so sorry, come inside!” I moved away so he could walk in. He shot me a grin as he stepped inside and I closed the door before facing him, I squeaked when I bumped into his chest. Ouch my nose! I heard him laugh when I rubbed my aching nose. “What are you made off marble or titanium?” I mocked.

I heard his throaty laugh again, making my stomach twist. No..no I should be feeling like this!

“Happy New year Athena!” he wished me wrapping his huge arms around me making me freeze in my place. I awkwardly placed my hands around him. My heart was racing uncontrollably, mostly because of fear. I shouldn’t get so comfortable around him, Zephyr might not like it.

“Happy New Year Gabe!” I patted his back and pulled away. I slowly stepped back making a safe distance between us, he didn’t seem to mind it as he continued to smile. Man, he’s such a nice guy!

“I’ve got something for you” That’s when I noticed a brown carry bag in his hand.

“Aw! That’s so nice of you but you didn’t have to!” I felt guilty now that I don’t have anything for him. I watched his blue eyes glimmer in amusement “I wanted to so I bought it. If you don’t want it I’ll throw it away ”

“wait, No! I’ll take it” I replied quickly.

“Good !” He smiled patting my head making me blush.

I took the bag and walked over to the sofa and he followed suit. Opening the bag I saw a box covered in gift wrap. I took it out and removed the wrapper, a gasp left my mouth when I noticed what was inside.

“You got me a diary” I said in awe, staring at the brown leather covered diary. I haven’t written a diary since high school, it has always been a hobby of mine but as I grew up I never got enough time to write.

“Thought it’ll be useful, A new year, a new beginning hope this year brings lots of memories and you can write it in this.” I was touched by his thoughtfulness.

“Thank you so much Gabe!” I smiled brightly at him. We held our gaze for a moment when I heard an alarm go off bring my attention.

“I guess Lasagna ready, why don’t you join me for lunch?” I offered him as I stood up from the sofa. He nodded his “I’d love too!”

“Then get ready to taste my awesome cooking!” I flipped my hair earning a chuckle from him.

*****

Gabriel left a few minutes ago and I was seated in the living room flicking through channels to find something interesting to watch. It was fun talking to Gabriel, he’s going back to London tonight so he decide to meet me before he left. To be honest, I’ll miss him but he said he’ll return soon for a new project he’ll be doing here.

I glanced at the clock, it was 14:34 and Ruby wasn’t here yet. I started getting worried about her, I’ve sent her messages but she didn’t see any of it. I think I should call danny.

Taking my phone, I dialed his number before bringing it up to my ear. I heard the call ring for few moments before it was picked “Hey Athi!” it was Ruby’s voice and she sounded perfectly alright.

“RUBY! How dare you not return my calls or texts I was worried sick about you.” Okay, that was a bit exaggerated.

“Calm down Athi! My phone’s screen broke when It accidently slipped from my hand and I completely forgot to inform you. I’m so sorryyy!”

I pinched the bridge of my nose as I heaved a sigh “It’s alright anyways where are you?”

“I’m on the way, Danny is driving me back.”

“Okay then, see ya!”

“Bye Athi!!”

I cut the call and leaned my head back onto the sofa. My wandered towards Zephyrs contact still saved as The devil, my thumb hovered above it. Should I message him? what if he’s busy? Nah! He’ll make time for me.

I pressed his contact, the last message I sent was regarding work.

Me: Hey!

what else should I type? I miss you, I really wanna see you? Nope that’s too cheesy!

I waited for few minutes but he still didn’t read it. My lips puckered into a pout, I think he’s busy. I switched my attention back to the TV screen which was showing ‘Mom’. I watched it for like hardly five minutes, my eyes kept on wandering towards the phone screen to see whether I have any message. But I saw none!

“Arrgh! Damn it zephyr it won’t hurt you if you reply!” I grumbled like a kid as I folded my arms over my chest.

As if the universe read my mind I the phone ding displaying a notification, I immediately clicked it my lips curled up into a wide grin, I probably looked like a psycho.

The Devil: Missing me already Ma Cherie😉

I blushed looking at his message, my heart was fluttering even without seeing him. That’s the kind of affect he had on me. Man! I’m so lovesick!

Me: eh! maybe 2% 🙄

I texted back biting my lip as I controlled breaking into a smile.

The Devil: 😞I’m hurt Ma Cherie! I thought you loved me 😒

Of course I love you idiot but I’ll never say that.

Me: Ha! don’t keep such high hopes you’ll be disappointed 😏

I didn’t get a reply for few minutes. Did I make him angry?

Damn! Why do I have to mess up everything?

My phone screen lit up showing his call. He’s calling me!

Oh no! I’m not ready to hear his voice! What should I do?

The phone continued to ring, I rubbed my palm and did few breathing exercise to keep my composure. With jittery fingers I pressed answer before bringing it up my ear.

“Hello!” I whispered, my heart rate elevated as I sat tight to hear his voice.

“Athena!” His husky voice sent chills down my spine. Oh My poor heart! I swallowed inaudibly, I didn’t realize how much I loved his voice until now. “Sorry I didn’t see your message, I was stuck in a meeting”

“Who work’s on New Year” I said in disbelief, of course him, you can’t separate work from him. He’s such a workaholic!

“It was unofficial but now my time belongs to you Ma Cherie” he stated in his rich velvety voice.

“Since when did you started flirting?” I asked cocking an eyebrow as I hugged one of my plush blue pillow.

“I always flirt, you should pay attention to me sometimes Athena.”

“Tsk, If yelling and showing your dictatorship is considered flirting, then Yeah I’ve see enough of it.” I say rolling my eyes.

There was a pregnant silence in the other line. My brows creased as I asked “Zephyr? Are you there?”

“Um..yeah! I had to talk to someone.” His voice sounded stressed and low all of a sudden.

“oh” I muttered, not knowing what else to say.

“Are you free?”

“Umm...ya, Why?”

“Be ready by three I have a surprise for you.”

“Not again! My level of patience is null!” I whined. I really hated surprises because if someone said there’s a surprise it’ll make me restless till I find it out. If it’s a surprise you better not tell it’s a surprise.

“Then get used to receiving surprises from me from now onwards”

I bit my tongue from squealing, I can’t believe it’s the same man who hated going out and is now giving me surprises.

“What should I wear?” I asked expectantly.

“I’d prefer nothing but then I’ll save it for later.” I can hear the smugness in his voice, I bet he might be smirking right now. I hid my face into the pillow, my face was beet red. This is the first time he ever said such thing.

“You’re such a perv!” I mumbled sternly but the embarrassment was clear as daylight in my voice. He probably liked to make me flustered as I heard a throaty laugh in the other end, my stomach immediately twisted and butterflies erupted all at once. Oh God! This man is gonna be the death of me.

He quickly sobered up before answering “Wear something comfortable and warm, let your hair out and don’t forget that dark shade of lip stick. You look stunning with it.”

“Whoa, Never thought the great King would observe me.” I mocked playfully although my heart was already a melted puddle.

“Babe, you have no idea how I look at you.” He stated in a deep voice which was laced with many emotions. Wait, did he just call me babe? I might just pass out any moment.

I bit my lip blushing profusely.

“Stop torturing that lip, only I can do that.” He grumbled.

“H.how did you know that?” Is he watching me? I looked around horror.

I heard his throaty chuckle again “It was an easy guess, I know how I affect you Ma Cherie.” he replied cockily.

My lips formed a thin line as I narrowed my eyes. “I’m hanging up bye!” I didn’t wait for his reply and cut the call before leaning my head back into the headrest and placed my hand on my chest, feeling the fast thumping beneath my palm.

What are you doing to me Zephyr?

***

I heard the dangling of keys and the door lock shifting making me glance towards it. I think Ruby’s here.

The door opened and Ruby’s blonde head emerged. Her brown eyes skimmed over the room before meeting mine. Her lips turned into a bright smile as she stepped in, closing the door behind.

My eyes wandered over her clothes it wasn’t what she wore last night. She was now dressed in an oversized grey hoodie and black sweatpants which was also large. My lips curled in a mischievous smirk as a naughty thought crossed my mind about what might’ve happened.

I sat in my place watching her walk over to me beside plopping herself beside me with a tired sigh.

“I bet last night was fun” I commented, biting the inside of my cheeks to not burst into laughter when I saw her crimson face.

“Ye..yeah It was but I don’t remember most of it as I got drunk” her voice was slightly shaky, she was rubbing her palms a habit of hers when she’s lying or flustered.

I leaned on my elbow, as I cocked an eyebrow at her “And?” I pressed.

“And there’s nothing more” she muttered hurriedly as she glared playfully at me.

I grinned widely and took my “I can always ask Danny!” I suggested, showing my phone.

Her mouth hung open while her eyes went wide like saucers “You won’t!”

“C’mon, I’m curious to know what might’ve happened.” I wigged my eyebrows.

“I know whatever you’re thinking did not happen.” she stressed the last part sternly making me pout “aww why?” to which she glared at me but the small shy smile on her lips and the red tinge on her face was telling she’s very embarrassed.

“Argh! Athi I’ll kill you.” She scolded picking up a pillow which dodged quickly and stuck my tongue out laughing at her flustered self.

******


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