“Heart-attack,” he held his chest as he crunched down on the floor with a pained expression.
“Xavier…” crossing my arms over my chest I gave him a bored expression and rolled my eyes when he gasped for air.
“It’s a heart attack. Please! Please tell my heart what it wants to hear for the last time,”
“Xavier, stop it already,” I pleaded as I took hold of his arms and made him stand up.
“But I’m having a heart attack!” he withdrew his hand from him and once again continued his act.
“Then remain having a heart attack,” I threw the wet towel on the bed and went to the dressing table to dry my wet hair. Xavier was serious when he said he would force it out of my words and by that he has been trying countless times since the morning to get it from my mouth.
He pushed both Dustin and me away from each other when I was helping him with a dance step.
He was like “She is not your dance teacher. The dancer teacher is there…” he said pointing towards the trainer.
“I love you Angel,” he said as I was blow drying my hair. He wrapped his hands around my waist and kept his chin on my shoulder.
“How many times are you going to say that?” I chuckled remembering it was almost twentieth time he was saying that to me since the morning.
“Until and unless you reciprocate it to me,” I watched him throw the mirror and smiled at him.
“You all are having Lucas bachelorette party today?” I asked as I kept the dryer back and turned around to find him sitting on the bed.
“Hmmm,” he replied as I walked towards bed and took the towel.
“Hm?” a gasp formed out of my mouth when he pulled me to him and made me sit on his lap.
“Xavier?” I looked into his eyes and held him by his shoulder. I was sure my heart was thumping loudly and our close proximity made me feel shy. I smiled at him and tried to get up but he held me by my waist and made me look at him by my chin.
“How long? How long do you plan on torturing me?” he questioned with a whisper at the end. His gaze fell on my lips and before I knew it he gave a peck o my lips catching me off guard. A small smile played on his lips as he stared at me and frozen at my spot I blink at him several times before throwing the towel on the ground and wrapping my arms round his neck.
Pulling him closer I closed my eyes and placed my lips on his and clasped my hand on either side of his head, kissing him slowly and softly. But ended it as quickly as I could and looked back at his eyes. He looked surprised by my act.
Do you get it now Xavier?
How much I love you?
Even though I asked the question in my head, it looked as if he got it because he pulled me impossibly closer before planting his lips on mine. He kissed me and the world seemed to fell off around me. It was slow and soft but soon turned into a passionate one. His hand rested just below my ear, his thumb caressing my cheek. I kissed him with the same intensity and leaned on to him feeling comfortable.
In the end, both of us pulled away gasping for air and resting my forehead on his, I smiled a little when my eyes fell on his swollen one.
“That was the best kiss of my life,” I heard him mutter before he got hold of my hand and placed a kiss on it.
“Bachelorette party?” both Lucas and Xavier asked as I took the bag and walked towards the door.
“Yeah. You are not the only one who is getting married,” I rolled my eyes at Lucas when he scoffed at me.
“Where are you having the party? Tell me.” This time it was Xavier who got hold of the bag in which I had my white dress and tried to pull it away from me.
“Relax Xavier! You are also joining Lucas’ party. So why not just chill in our own atmosphere?” I said as I pulled it back.
“Are you going to a clu-?” he asked and I shook my head no when I saw rage climbing up his face. I smiled at it and flicked him on his forehead. He winced and narrowed his eyes at me. It’s funny how I used to cower away beforehand whenever he had that same expression but now as I love him it looks anything but scary to me. Loving him has made me confident enough to face him.
As we both were forced into this marriage deal, none of us actually had the confidence that we would actually stand this long but as time flew by and I began to know him better, I got to know that marriage actually means standing up ‘to’ and ‘with’ each other. And Xavier is a kind of person who needs a person who stand up with him at every possible time of his life.
“Relax! Relax. No, we are not going to any club just to Em’s friend house,” I told him and he looked relieved when he heard that.
“At least tell me the location. I’ll pick you up,” he offered but I shook my head no.
“Emily said I can spend the night over her place,” I answered and put my shoes on.
“Xavier…” I sighed as I looked at him and smiled when he stopped in the middle and stared at me.
“Fine,” he muttered and pulled my head to him and placed a kiss on my forehead before letting me go. I smiled at him and picking my bags up I walked out of the house and towards the car to Em’s house.
“Oh my god you look so beautiful,” Dustin looked dreamily at me when Em was done putting make up on me.
“And I thought it’s my wedding…” I heard Em and looked up at her.
“Well…who told you to make me so beautiful with your makeup skills?” I asked as I stood up from the chair and looked into the mirror. I was wearing a strappy white sheath dress which ended right above my knee. The dress had lacey hem and I pulled the dress down feeling conscious.
“I can’’t help it. Your face is just umm irresistibly gorgeous. I tried my best not make you look this gorgeous though…” she rolled the makeup brush between her finger and looked up.
“Oh c’mon,” I punched her on her arm and that made her giggle.
“C’mon let’s go now…” Dustin sang and picking up his car keys he ran out of the house without us.
“Why did you ask him to join us? He looks more excited than us,” I chuckled at his behaviour.
“Well…he invited himself on his own. When I told him about our party this morning he kind of looked starey eyes and lunged at me practically begging me to let him be with us. I told him to join Lucas’ party but he was keen. He said he had no interest upon their kind of party,” Em said as I locked her home and both of us walked towards the car.
“He is gay right?” she asked and I nodded at her.
“What is this going on?” my voice trembled at the end when I looked at the strippers stripping off their clothes from their body swaying seductively while Em’s friends and even Dustin looked excited throwing notes on them.
“I do-don’t know,” I heard Em’s trembling voice and looked at her.
Apparently, Dustin and Em’s friend thought it was a good idea to call strippers at the last moment because they felt bored and that is how they ended up calling the strippers without our consents.
“I want to go back home now,” she said and I took few steps back when one of the stripper made his way towards Em.
“For the bride,” he tore his shirt off his body giving both of us a heart attack. We screamed in shock and Em pushed me before her not wanting to look at the show. The music played loudly in the room and I got hold of her arm trying to move her before me.
“And here is for this gorgeous lady,” another stripper came out of nowhere before me and tore his shirt showing me his six pack abs as he swayed seductively and moved closer to us. My eyes fell on the third and the last one who had his pants off him as he grinded against one of the girl with Dustin filming in a camera.
The stripper got hold of my arms and turned me around pressing himself on my back. I could feel his crotch on my butt and that made me yelp in surprise. The other one took hold of Emily’s hand and made her strip his pants off him. Emily had a dredful expression as she stared at me but then she had a shock expression and I realised why she had that directed towards me.
The stripper behind was moving his up and down on my torso before moving up and before I knew it his hands were on my boobs and before I could scream I felt his hands gone from my body.
“Fucker!” the girls screamed and I looked back to find the stripper down on the ground holding his cheek.
I looked up to find none other than Xavier himself as he lunged forward and grabbed him by his shoulder before throwing punches on his face.
“Oh my god1 Xavier…”
Not only Xavier but Lucas was also present with throwing punches on the one who was teasing Emily.
“Xavier stop!” I tried to stop him and got hold of his hands stopping him from beating the stripper.
“How fucking dare you?” he was now seething in anger as he raised his hand to punch the already frightened stripper but thankfully he stopped when I held him from his back and pulled him up with me. His hands automatically encircled around mine as he glared down at the stripper.
“Who fucking invited them?” his rage filled voice boomed in the against the music and I watched as the girl who actually invited them hiding behind the third stripper.
“Lucas stop! Stop!” I heard Em’s frightened voice and looked her way to find Lucas beating the stripper senseless.
“Luc-“ I tried to stop him but was picked up by Xavier as he put me on his shoulder and walked out of the place with me hanging upside down on his shoulder.
“Put me down Xavier!”
Throw my dangling position I watched as he made his way out of the house and finally put me down near his car.
“What in the world are you doing here?” I asked as I held my spinning head and adjusted the dress before looking at him.
“You… I can’t believe this,” he huffed at me as he crossed his arms around his chest and narrowed his eyes at me.
“You were having fun with that stripper?” he questioned in an accusing tone which made me gasp at him.
“Of course not Xavier. What are you even saying? I didn’t even have any idea how they showed up!” I threw my arms in the air and huffed back at him scowling at his accusation.
“Of course! I called them…” sarcasm clear in his voice.
“And how did get here?” I asked remembering the fact that I never really told him the place where I was going.
“Apparently I came here because I saw that Dusty boy posting pictures of the” he air quoted the word “Bachelorette party” before furrowing his eyebrows and squinting his eyes at me “in the social media.”
“If I had known you were inviting him and as well as the strippers… I wouldn’t have allowed you in the first place,” he kept his point and this time I was the one who squinted my eyes at him.
“Look! First thing… I didn’t call him but he invited himself of his own. Second thing… I didn’t call nor had any idea about the strippers and third… stop putting allegations on me. You sound like my mom now,” I air quoted the word ‘mom’ and glared at him.
“You allowed him to touch you,” he gritted out.
“No, I didn’t!” I retorted.
“So he forced himself on you? That punk!” he took a menacing step towards the house but I stopped him by getting in front of him stopping him.
“Stop! It was really wrong of you to hit him. They all are only doing their job. Try to understand,” I tried to make him understand but to no avail he put effort to at least listen to my pleas as he tried to move me out of his way.
“But he touched my woman,”
“Fine! Fine!” taking in deep breaths I withdrew my hands from him and surrendered it in the air.
“Let’s end this here. I don’t want to fight with you right now. Forgive me okay? I should’ve known that it was coming. My mistake. Let’s go somewhere,” I tried my best to avert his mind but he had his mindset.
“We are going back home!” he got hold of my arm and pulled me with him towards the car.
“Wait! What about Lucas and Em?” I asked as I looked back towards the house.
“He came here with his own car. In fact he reached here faster than me because…”he opened the passenger seat door for me and made me get in “He knew the place and I didn’t. Thanks to someone…” he raised his eyebrows at me and put my seat belt on me.
“Um Xavier?” I spoke up for the first time as he drove us back home.
“Xavier?” I sing song when he didn’t respond. One of his hand on the gear while the other one on the steering wheel. He had an unreadable expression on his face as he drove us silently.
“Come to look at it, your two days is going to be in…” I read the time from the car’s dashboard “in thirty minutes. It looks like you failed this time…” I had a smug expression on my face.
“Don’t you want to hear it?” I asked pressuring him when he didn’t respond.
He heaved a sigh and looked at me for a moment before looking back at the road.
“No, I don’t want to hear it,” he said and I gave him a confused look.
“What?” I heard myself muttering.
“It seems you don’t really have any feelings for me and after today’s incident I have decided,” exhaling out he kept both of his hands on the wheel while I sat on the edge of the seat enthusiastically wanting to know about his sudden change in decision.
“You have decided…?” I urged him to continue.
“I have decided that we should file for a divorce” he said casually and as if it meant nothing to him honked at the vehicles looking anything but remorse for the words that he used.
“What?” I asked feeling as if the world fell before me. Shocked to the core, I felt the nervousness and anxiety gliding up my body. It felt as if someone threw a bucket filled with ice water on me.
“What are yo- you saying?” I asked and found my voice coming as a whisper in the end.
“Hmm. I have done a lot of thinking on it and I have decided we should go for the divorce. Look Angela I know this is hard for you but I’ll find a way to keep this before our parents okay? You don’t need to worry about my dad and yours. I’ll handle them. I’ll just make an excuse before them that I had an affair and you found out. Yes, this is a good excuse to get a div-“
“Xavier! Are you out of your mind? Do you even know what you’re saying?” I held his hand and shook it desperately. The corners of my eyes stinging.
“Yes, like always I’m thinking about you. Look, if I do this than no one will accuse you o anything and you can walk out of this loveless marriage for good. I’ve realised just because I love you…I can’t keep you to myself forcefully and come to think of it you too had to go through so many things in your life. Starting from forced into this marriage to suffering my temperaments and what not. It hurts me to see the one that I love suffering so mu-“
“Stop the car!”
“I said stop the damn car,” I said as I looked out of the window. He pulled up in the deserted road and before he knew it I was out of the car slamming the door shut angrily.
“What are you doing? Get in!” he was already before me on the road trying to put me back inside the car.
“I won’t!” I pulled my hands out of his grip and turned around when tears trickled down my face and sorrowfully I wiped them off my face using the back of my hand.
“Angela,” he turned me around back to face him. It was a chilly night. Few vehicles went past our car and I looked up towards the sky trying to hide my emotions. The moon shone brightly above us but then the even if it looked peaceful it was anything but peaceful to me as the silence of the night made me hear everything that came out of his mouth clearly.
“I know this is going to be a tough decision for both us but I- I can’t see you like this anymore. I feel at some point you must be feeling suffocated. Hence, I have decide-“
“Who are to decide everything of your own?” finally I snapped as I got hold of his collar and pulled him closer and looked straight into his eyes.
“Why are you the only one who gets to choose every time?” I snapped feeling the tears rolling down my face. Furious by him I shoved him backward. The car’s light falling on him and I looked at him feeling rage boiling up inside me.
“You are the person in this in this world who has the power to make me like this. Look at me! Just look at me what you have made me,” I cried yelling at him and gestured him to look at me.
“Whenever I think of doing something you go for the opposite. Why are you always like this? And who gave you the permission to rule my life? And what sufferings? Sufferings! Sufferings! Sufferings! What do you know about sufferings? Do you really think the time when I was forced into this marriage, the time when you treated me so badly, the time where I was humiliated before everyone, the time where had that plane crash, the time when I was nearly raped is equal to the pain that I am feeling right now? Do you? Do you think like that Mr. Xavier Knights?” angrily I shoved him hard on his chest catching him off guard.
“Angela…” he took hold of my hand and placed a hand just below my ear, caressing my cheek with his thumb he spoke up “I understand how you might be feeling right now. But I really think you just need some space from me and look that’s why I have already brought the divorce paper,” he went back to the car and took something out before coming back to me “Here, it’s the divorce paper. I had already applied for it and I’ve already signed it. Just your sign is left to en-“ a slap was heard on the deserted road.
Lights fell on Xavier’s turned face as vehicles rode past us. I had a stinging sensation on my palm due to the force which I applied to slap him. His eyes were wide probably in shock while mine mirrored his expression and the rage that boiled inside me few seconds ago diminished as I lowered my hand down with my eyes stuck on the paper that he was holding.
“You…just why did you have to turn like this just when I was about confess my feelings to you?” I voice of void of an emotions.
“Just when I started to like you, you had to be like this,” I muttered and felt his hands on my arm.
“Look. Angela you don’t have to lie to me anymore you can be free no-“ he whispered softly but I pushed him back and glared at him.
“Lie? Do you think I am mad? I am lying to you standing in the middle of this deserted road? I said I like you hell I fell in love with you long before you could ever imagine. I fell in love with you the first time I saw you standing at the altar. Do you understand? And I believe it was why I started dreaming to have a beautiful life with a stranger like you but then my hopes were crushed mercilessly when you treated me like some garbage. You hated me and that made me weary of my own feelings. But then you had to change and when I had decided to stay away from you…you barged into my life forcefully and made me love you even more. Why did you do that if we…we” I snatched the paper from him and shoved it on his chest “we were to end up like this? Why did you waste your time and efforts making me fall for you when you had to walk out of my life. Fine! Get out! I have had enough now!” I broke down before him and fell on my knees on the ground sobbing and weeping.
“Angela!” he tried to touch me but I pryed my hands away from him.
“Don’t touch me!” I snapped at him.
While I sat down on the ground sobbing and cursing my life for treating me the way, he crunched down before me and stared at me while I sobbed.
“Having fun watching me break down?” I muttered but audible enough to hear it.
“Not really!” he said and as I looked back at him he had a blissful expression on his face.
With his finger under my chin he made me look at him and then curling the few strands of hair behind my ear he spoke up “You look like a mess,” he commented which made me scoff at him.
“A beautiful mess indeed,” he completed.
“I believe you are educated enough to read the papers that you are holding,” he said and I tossed the paper at him.
“I don’t want to read it. Give it to me tomorrow. I’ll sign on it tomorrow…for sure” I said as I felt tears threatening to fall off my eyes hence, diverting my head to the other direction I let it fall off.
“Really?” I heard him chuckle.
“C’mon read it for me,” he said as he kept the paper back on my lap.
“Do you not get it? I don’t want to read it no-“
“Wait!” I stopped in the middle when my eyes fell on the papers.
“It’s not a divorce paper,” I said as I hurriedly picked it up and read it only to find that it was not a divorce paper but an agreement paper. Agreement of a property.
“What is this Xavier?” I asked looking hell as confused only to find him looking at his wrist watch.
“And my two days time is over. I won. I told you …I get..” he looked at me with a smug expression “what I want,”
My mouth were wide open in shock and as my mind registered what he just said I realised I was tricked and he played me like a pro and tricked me into confession.
“So…So we are not going for a divorce?” I asked little feeling little doubtful watching his sardonic wit.
“Of course not! You know me very well Angel. Between us… I would be the last person to even think about getting a divorce hell even thinking of living separately.” As his words registered in my mind for the umpteenth time I broke down. I broke down before him sobbing like a child and choked up on my own breath before slapping him on his chest when he reached his hands forward to touch my face “Don’t touch me. You are so mean. God! You are so mean,”
“I’m so sorry Angela but lately you have been acting so stubbornly. It was the only reason why I chose this way. Forgive me,” he said and pulled me into a hug.
“Wait! So wha-what if I didn’t confess it today? What would you have done?” I asked as I hiccupped a little.
“Then I guess…I would’ve actually filed for a di-“
“I’ll slap you so hard that you will forget your own name Mr. Xavier Knights,” I threatened but surprisingly it made him chuckle.
“Kidding! I would’ve tried harder. I’m not from the one to back out” he kissed my temple and pulled me up.
“So… you fell in love with at the first sight? So, it was a love at first sight for you? I knew it. No wonder women swoon over me. I believe I have a god gifted looks n-“
“Shut up!” I screamed clasping my hands on my ear.
Why did I confess that part to him?
Now he would never stop teasing me about it!
“And do you think I should try in Hollywoods? I bet you don’t have any doubt about my acting skills after this performance?” prying my hands away from my ear he forced me to listen to his stupid jokes.
“Oh just shut up!” I laughed as I pulled the door open and got in closing it after me.
“You can’t ignore me now! We have our whole life to talk about this. I am not going to let you get the hooks so easily. You have kept me waited for so long and have tortured me a lot. It my turn now. You just wait and watch,” he said as clasped his seatbelts on and drove off.
I looked out of the window. I felt as if a huge burden fell off my shoulder. After confessing him I felt light and refreshed.
“The great almighty Angela Knights fell in love with her husband the handsome and witty Xavier Knights just before the wedding. What can I say?” he tittered talking to himself “I’m irresistible,” his proud compliments made me chuckle at him and before I knew it I found my hand on his thigh.
He stopped talking immediately and sat stiffly in seat.
“I-“ leaning closer to him I whispered into his ear “I don’t want to go home today. There is an amazing place that I know is nearby. Should we-“ I placed my other hand on his chest roaming it all over feeling his body under my hand, liking what I was feeling unless he got hold of my hand and squeezed it before holding it firmly.
“Or better we should go to our own house, here in Chicago,” he said and I looked at him with confusion.
He looked at me and with his eyes gestured towards the paper in my lap.
“Oh!” I said and leaned closer to him keeping my head on his shoulder.
“Finally,” I heard him muttering exhaling out a deep breath.