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Home, is where the heart is

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Chapter two

RICHARD



Throwing a hand over his eyes, Richard groaned and turned on his stomach. Groaning into the pillow, he opened his eyes and looked at the giant wall clock.

It was few minutes after seven in the morning. He groaned again, this time loudly. He hadn't woken up that late in weeks. Months even.

Actually, he knew why he had woken up late. Simone had kept him up most of the night.

Looking over to the other side of the bed, he found it empty and guessed Simone had left earlier. Richard pushed himself off his bed and quickly wore the shorts he'd stripped off during their heated rump the night before.

He'd been in an on and off relationship with Simone for two years now. It wasn't that he doesn't like her or find her convenient as a potential partner.

The attraction between them had always been great. The sex was even super. His daughters even liked her. Yet, he always hesitated.

She was an actress and had even been married once which obviously didn't work out. They'd met at the launching of a city mall. Things had kicked off between them. It wasn't always smooth between them but he really enjoyed his time with her.

Securing the shorts around his waist, he left the room without bothering to put on a polo or even a t-shirt.

He was out of his room and almost down the stairs when he heard the music coming from the kitchen.

Simone haven't left yet?

Making his way briskly to the kitchen, he found Simone in his shirt which barely covered her butts, swaying to the music and getting a carton of milk from the chest freezer.

"Simone you're still here?" He asked. He almost couldn't hear himself. For a second there, he felt disappointed that she was still in his house.

Swinging around to flash him a big smile, she began to pour into a glass.

"Good morning to you too." Simone handed him a glass and pressed a quick kiss to his cheek. "You thought I was gone, right?"

Deciding not to answer, Richard dropped the glass of milk on the kitchen island and walked over to the freezer to get a bottle of water.

"Well, you don't have to answer that but I made you breakfast." She continued and started to put plates on the island.

"I know it's nothing compared to what Maria serves you for breakfast but this is from me to you."

Richard could hear the excitement in her voice and he couldn't tell why she was. Guzzling down the bottle of water, he threw the plastic in a trash can and finally turned to Simone.

"You didn't have to make breakfast." He said and looked squarely at Simone, not attempting a smile.

"I had to since you haven't found a replacement. Come sit. I made bacon egg muffins." Simone announced and pulled out a sit for him.

Settling himself down on the chair, Simone placed two egg muffins on his plate and drew the untouched cup of milk closer to it.

Richard spared her a glance and looked down at the muffins. It wasn't bad that she had made breakfast for him. Infact, Richard appreciated it, but it was baffling that she didn't know he hated egg muffins even in the two years of their relationship.

Maybe that was why he hesitated everytime he was with her. Their lack of interest in each other's lives and basic essence.

"Egg muffins." He repeated.

Simone nodded and sat on the chair beside his.

Stealing glances from the plate to her, he finally made for the cup and took a sip. He was about reaching for the egg muffins when he heard approaching footsteps.

They both turned towards the sound to see Victoria already standing at the entrance.

Perfect timing.

"Good morning, sir." Victoria greeted and bowed slightly at Simone who gave her a spearing gaze as if she had interrupted something very important.

For once that morning, Richard was really grateful to Victoria for saving him from bacon egg muffins.

Taking the cue as his way of escape, he pushed away from the table and turned to Victoria. "Am I late for my meeting this morning?"

"We still have_"

Shaking his head at her, he stopped her mid-sentence and started walking towards the hallway. "Less than thirty minutes Victoria.''

"You haven't touched the muffins yet, Richard." Simone hollered at him.

"Victoria can have it," he called back and went upstairs to the master bedroom to get dressed for his meeting.

While Richard went to get ready, the two ladies were left alone in the kitchen.

Simone had always seen Victoria as a threat, considering how close she was with Richard and how long she'd worked with him.

Victoria on the other hand, had no interest in Richard but didn't have to correct the impression since she too, doesn't have any likeness for Simone.

Victoria took Richard's vacated seat and reached for a muffin but Simone swatted her hand away, pushing away the plate with a daring glare.

"I didn't make them for you, Ms Secretary!"

Setting her bag on the island, Victoria raised her chin to meet Simone's hateful gaze. "If you know the first things about him, then you would know that he doesn't like egg muffins."

Victoria leaned closer with a mischievous look plastered on her face. She was certainly having a good time giving Simone that information.

The realization on Simone's face made it all the more exciting for Victoria.

"You didn't know that?" Victoria feigned the surprise look. "How long have you been with him? A year? Two years? And you don't know that?'' she whispered mockingly.

Tactically snatching up a muffin from the plate, Victoria gave the other lady a sly smile and bit into it.

"You're really getting on my nerves," Simone swore at Victoria, becoming very upset.

Chewing softly, Victoria shook her head lightly, then placed the half-bitten egg muffin back on the plate. "That could use a little more seasoning. It's really bland," Victoria said and downed Richard's cup of milk.

Simone looked like she could really burst any minute. "You're really crazy. Really really crazy." Simone fired and stomped out of the kitchen.

"I really hate your secretary!" Simone snarled as she stomped into the walk-in closet, fuming by the closet's door.

Richard was almost done getting dressed, he only needed to pick a watch and knot his tie after buttoning his white shirt.

Standing before the mirror, he buttoned up his crispy white shirt, his back to Simone who was still fuming at the entrance, though he could still see her through the mirror.

"I don't. She's great at her job." Richard noted and it earned him a dark stare from Simone. "Richard, really? She's so nasty to me."

He just shrugged and reached for a black tie that he'd put on top of the glass shelves.

Simone traipsed closer to him, forcing him to turn to her. Snatching the tie from him, she threw it over his neck.

"You could've just told me you don't like egg muffins, instead of passing it off like that."

The egg muffins!

Richard opened his mouth to say something but shut it when nothing came out of it.

"It made me realize we might not really know the basic things about each other," giving him a weak smile she knotted the tie perfectly and drew a manicured finger across his handsome face.

"What is it Richard? You don't like me enough to pop the question?" She asked, her voice coming down to whispers.

Realizing exactly where she was headed, he took a few steps back and grabbed hold of his grey suit jacket.

"I can't do this right now, Simone," shrugging into his jacket and buttoning it.

Simone wasn't going to let him be without an answer, he knew that.

Simone held him by the shoulders, looking intently at him. "I need to know what's up with us..."

Shrugging her hands away, trying not to seem rude though, he picked up a gold watch and strapped it on his wrist.

"Can we talk about this later? Maybe over dinner sometime? I need to go Simone."

Actually, there was no rush. He didn't even need to be at the meeting, but he doesn't intend to let Simone know that, for his own good.

Simone was really upset, but knew Richard wasn't going to let her steer him that way. About that dinner!

"So..." She drawled, pouting at him, "about that dinner? When would that be?" Folding her hands and staring at him.

Richard turned to check himself out in the mirror one last time. Confirming that he looked good and was good to go, he turned to Simone, "why don't you check your schedule and tell me. I'll plan something special." He didn't mean to add that but...

Forcing a smile at her, he knew it was time he left.

"You'll drive home, yes?"

Simone's lips curled in a smile and she leaned close to him. "Don't worry, I'll be gone before you get back." Pressing a wet kiss to his lips, she straightened his tie and bade him goodbye.

Victoria smiled up at him immediately he came downstairs.

"What did I miss, Victoria?" He asked as he handed her his briefcase.

"Taylor called. She couldn't reach you."

His ears piqued at that. Taylor, his eldest daughter had been gone for almost four months for a business training program, somewhere in the far west.

"I still can't understand why she had to go all the way to Merynn for a training program." He muttered more to himself.

Getting himself, he fixed his eyes on Victoria who still had more information to share. "What did she say?"

"Her program's ended so she would be coming home." Victoria's face broke into a big smile.

The information was well received because Richard's face beamed and his eyes lit up.

"By Saturday. That's like in four days, sir."

Nodding, he started for the front door and Victoria followed suit.

"Then you need to get a housekeeper and a cook ASAP!"

His daughter's coming home.

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