Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
Katleen_A_Cooke would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Playing With Fire

By Katleen_A_Cooke All Rights Reserved ©

Other / Romance

~

Do you think I’m a bad person? Then again, how would you know? It’s not like we’ve ever been introduced, have we?

Let me be honest with you; I don’t consider myself to be a bad man. Not even after everything that’s happened.

And what happened, do you ask?

Telling you how this whole thing ended before feeding you all the details would no doubt put me in the villain’s role. I’m not a bad man and that’s all I’m willing to say for now.

Like every tale, mine has a beginning although I can’t put a specific date or time on it. I wouldn’t say it ever started; instead, it more or less grew on me. Like fungus.

No, that’s not the right imagery. I’d rather imagine it developing like a vine, climbing all around me until it smothered me. In other words, Celia’s love suffocated me.

She had been working with us for a little over a year. Nice little Celia, so young, and so pretty, and oh, so shy. I couldn’t say for how long she’d been doing this, but one morning I noticed her stare on me. It elicited shivers to run through my whole body.

Her stare, intense, became impossible to ignore; those eyes on my back were warm, like tiny hands running all over my skin and making it tingle. It was invigorating, glorious, but it had nothing to do with Celia.

It could have been anybody; all I craved was the attention. I had been married for several years and believed no woman would ever look my way again. Not until Celia.

She loved me more than life itself. Not that she ever said it, but I still knew. To keep bathing in her infatuation, I made sure to go and talk to her every day. I believed it was my duty to give her what she secretly wanted.

It didn’t take much more for the twinkle in her eye to shine brighter and her smile to grow wider. Even her skirts shortened while her necklines deepened.

To make sure I wasn’t imagining things, I made a little experiment. I stopped going to Celia’s desk to chat, made sure we didn’t make eye contact in the hallway, and sat as far as possible from her in the cafeteria. I kept this attitude for some time.

As I suspected, the twinkle, the smile, and the sexy clothes gradually disappeared. She reverted to being this quiet little thing she’d always been. I hated to see her suffer so I did the charitable thing and went back to paying attention to her. Like magic, she blossomed again.

Some would say that my actions were childish. I somewhat agree, but I had to be sure. Another way would have been to be blunt and ask her if she wanted me. I may be childish, but I’m not cruel; I didn’t have the heart to be some kind of a tease.

Things went smoothly for a couple of months as I offered myself to star in her not-so-secret love fantasies. Not many know this, but I’d always been a self-sacrificial kind of man.

Blinded by my little office romance, I never saw the beginning of the end coming. Even with my undying attention to her, Celia stopped looking or smiling at me. She must have realized that my little seduction project would never go any further.

I’d never make a move, I wouldn’t declare my love, and I certainly wouldn’t get a divorce. She knew it.

The thought of losing her rejuvenating love terrified me. I couldn’t let her stop loving me or worse, get over me. What other reason would I have to get up in the morning? She was my energy, my drive, my own little Viagra pill… just you go and ask my wife.

I didn’t let the panic overcome me. All it meant was that I’d have to work harder to keep her love alive. I took Celia to lunch that Monday, and every following one. It became our little rendezvous, my clever way to nourish the fire in her belly.

It worked wonders.

Any time the flame seemed to be dwindling, I did my best to make her passion grow red hot again. Sometimes, I’d bring her a gift, a little something to make her believe I thought of her. Other times, I’d invent stories so she’d assume she was my confident and my marriage was in shambles. Keeping her love warm became my raison de vivre.

Until she changed… again.

The twinkle, the smile, and the clothes… they were all there. Except I could tell they weren’t for me anymore. None of my little attentions or heartfelt – yet untrue – stories were getting through to her.

I feared I’d be losing Celia forever when she told me this would be our last Monday lunch date. Had I been discovered? Heavens, no! It happened to be something I could easily deal with.

Learning she had found herself some kind of boyfriend was only surprising for a second. No way a budding relationship would ever win over her long-lasting pining over me. I needed to find the perfect way to make her mine – so to speak – again. And I instantly knew how to do this.

I had a thought for my wife, about how she would never learn how far I’d be willing to go to keep our relationship strong. I wish I could tell her only so she’d understand how much I love her. But it would never happen. Like Celia never knew the real purpose behind my asking her out the next Friday. She looked so adorable, hesitating between her new boyfriend and her deepest desire – that would be me.

Although I’d never been a smooth talker, convincing her to choose me was easy.

Celia made a player out of me.

I called my wife and told her I’d be going out with friends from work. Which was, when you think about it, pretty much the truth. I took Celia out to dinner and treated her to some nice wine, nice food, heartfelt compliments, and a piece of chocolate cake.

Then I kissed her.

I hadn’t thought of doing it, but it was a card I’d been keeping up my sleeve in case it didn’t go as well as planned. It went famously, but I still kissed her, making her love sparkle bright again. I myself came back to life.

I knew she enjoyed the evening, but the boyfriend’s shadow still hovered over us. He had to disappear… completely. Which meant I’d have to use the last card, the one I hoped would never be needed.

I made love to her.

If I wanted to bring back the fire, I couldn’t have expected the blaze that resulted from our one and only night. I had unleashed a monster. The love she’d been keeping buried was set free. Not only for me, but for the whole world to see.

Shit!

It wouldn’t take long for my wife to learn about my sacrifice to her. And Celia herself would no doubt be the one to tell her. I couldn’t let this happen. Which explains why I told Celia we were over and that it actually never started. She didn’t accept that.

She threw my words and gifts back at me. I reminded her we were friends.

She reminded me of the kiss. I said I made a mistake.

She spoke of our night together. I blamed the alcohol.

She cried. I left.


Now, about the ending of my story, about what happened. To be honest, nobody really knows what happened. All I can say for sure is that Celia died soon after our last conversation.

We were told she had a car accident.

Not everyone believed it. And when I say this, I’m mostly referring to myself. I don’t believe it.

Sure, the roads were icy and the night was dark. Celia could have been tired, or drunk, or distracted. But deep in my heart, I know the truth; Celia killed herself.

I’m not one to brag, but I’m convinced this was her ultimate gift to me.

One for which I’ll forever be grateful.


Now that I told you the whole story, let me ask you this again.

Do you think I’m a bad person?

Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Katleen_A_Cooke
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

jessiealexandrap: Truly loving the novel, each chapter presents itself greater than the one beforehand. I truly love the novel and give definate question to why it's not published of yet. The novel truly deserves great attention and all should read the beautiful story.

softprose: Honestly, this book already has me on my toes, I can't wait to buy the physical copy! It is like a fresh breath of air when reading this. I've already fallen in love with all of the characters! This will be one of those books I'll read over and over again without getting bored of it.

Hudson: Your story was fantastic Erin! The Rising Sun was one of the first stories I read on Inkitt, and I have to say I don't regret the three to four days I spent pouring through the story.Probably the biggest strength I see in your writing is your characterisation of Eliana, Oriens, and the rest of th...

CurlyRed: I read this entire book in just under 4 hours I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! i found myself emotionally attached to the characters and making personal connections that i had never experienced before while reading a book! I was constantly wanting to read more, every chapter left me on a cliff hanger tha...

Jordan Young: *ALERT FOR POSSIBLE SPOILERS* Where to start? I don't know how to sum up this review, this story was absolutely sensational. Brilliant. Flawless. I loved every single bit of this story, it is truly amazing. I read this story in fifteen hours, it is magnificent. I loved everything about it, the p...

DarkSorceressofLight: This was an amazing read. Coming into this, I wasn't sure what to expect, but you wove the story and world so elegantly together that I was hooked immediately. The characters were relatable and had amazing development, even the minor ones. This story deserves all the great reviews and readership....

sarahsweet898123: I loved the story ... its was fascinating. ... cant put it down.... the way it was written....was so beautiful. .. the details. .. especially the characters. ..I loved them so much ... Garrick and mairi... every time there was some kind of attraction. ... just cant help it .... no words to express

Jacklyn Reynolds: As a mother of an Autistic child, I know how hard it can be. I love how beautiful you made everything. That's all I can say. I need to grab a tissue.

Alkira Joan: Great story, I found it hard to read especially the dialogue. You just need to fix up some spelling errors and the gramma .I enjoyed this book. was a little hard to get though.,.,..,.,.,,..,.,.,, , , , ,.,, , , , , , , ,., , ,.,,,,,

More Recommendations

Pilleip: It is one of the most unique stories I have recently read. Kind of a mix of vampires and Dan Brown. Hours of first class entertsinment. A must read. I hope it will get a sequel and that jappens soon.

Jean Tryon: As a beta, I found this story outstanding!! Plot, grammar, phraseology, etc Rachel gives us it all. She takes the story into the future from where due South ends. She is an exacting and thoughtful author.

vanellesapp: It was so amazing to read this book each part was entertaining.It is that kind of love every body will like to have.I will have like the explanation on how they did it the first time to be more explicit but apart from that it is perfect

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral stories!
King's Lament

FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"

The Cyneweard

Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral story!
Spectra

Ro-Ange Olson: "Loved it and couldn't put it down. I really hope there is a sequel. Well written and the plot really moves forward."