Same Old Relationship
After sitting in the car with her CEO in the nerve-wrecking silence, they finally arrived at the apartment complex where the security guard, with an anxious expression, opened the gates by pressing on the red button inside the small guard post. Once they walked through the door of the penthouse, Mark bellowed, “We’re home!” and a few seconds later April’s head pops out from behind the door frame leading to their parlor. Her big emerald eyes took Cherry in, and a big smile spread on her face before she runs up to her best friend to engulf her in a hug.
“Cher! You’re finally here!” But because of their baby bumps, the closest thing to a hug was placing their hands on each other’s shoulders while bouncing up and down in giddiness. April’s wine-colored hair was plaited in two low braids and they swayed up and down, following her body movement.
“Did you have a pleasant trip coming here?” Questioned April to see her friend’s face morph into a wobbly smile, one of her eyebrows twitching, as if her expression didn’t know if it should keep smiling or frown.
“Y-Yeah, it was good.” a lie. A lie that was easily sniffed out by April. Vertical lines appeared between her brows as her eyes subtly narrowed, and she moved her gaze from her nervous friend to the tall figure behind her and her eyes narrowed even more, glaring at Mark who grinned from ear to ear as he spread his arms wide.
“Why are you standing like that?”
“Where’s my hug?”
“I am not sure if you deserve a hug.” Came April’s response as she untangled herself from Cherry’s embrace. She took three big strides before she stood nose to nose- well, more nose to pecs, and she cursed inwardly at her husband’s giant form that forced her to tilt her head back.
Her hips swayed to the side as she trusted her balled hands in them. “As it seems that you did something to my friend.”
“I did nothing to your friend.” Mark said defensively. His eyes flitted to Cherry, and she jolted under the piercing glare. “Right?” Mark pressed her for a positive answer. The inviting smile he previously offered his wife ceased to exist as the smile that he gave Cherry made her muscles clamp up. Alerts of danger went off in her body, telling her to agree with him otherwise things will get ugly.
But before her trembling body could push out a sentence, April cupped Mark’s face with her hands and made him look at her.
“Stop that. Leave Cherry out of this.” April glowered to then look over her shoulder at her friend. “Go and sit on the couch. I will be there in a minute.”
Cherry wasn’t sure if she was hallucinating, but at that moment her friend wore the resemblance of a guardian angle. She silently thanked April and wasted no time in removing her boots and disappearing from their sight.
Seeing her friend scurry away, April focused back on her husband and hissed in a low whisper so that Cherry won’t hear them, “What’s your issue?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Mark’s arms were still wide open, and he wasn’t planning to lower them until he gets a hug from April.
“Why was my friend’s reaction like that?” April hinted at how it seemed like Cherry was contemplating whether she should ever visit them again.
“I don’t know. I was a pretty excellent host, considering how I got a message at work from my wife, who threatened to never kiss me again if I didn’t allow her friend to visit her.”
“Please don’t tell me you were being a petty-douche towards my friend because of it?”
“You didn’t tell me to act like a cavalier, so I acted like myself.” So like a dick, April thought before heaving out a heavy sigh as her head hung low, dejectedly.
“Would it kill you to let me hangout with my friend?”
Mark scoffed. “You’re acting as if I am isolating you from the world.”
At that statement, April’s brow arched, and she folded her arms in front of her chest as she glared at her husband challengingly. “Aren’t you? Or maybe I should ask our good apartment security guard, Robert.”
Looking down at the emerald eyes void of any doubts, Mark’s arms lowered down together with his smug grin and he asked, “How long have you known?” Ever since moving to this place, he was able to convince April to take an early pregnancy leave so that he didn’t need to worry about her exerting herself and appointed the security guard to notify Mark about April’s day. How she was spending her time with whom she was hanging out with and if some annoying pests that need to be eradicated have been snooping around her.
But he made sure to warn the guard to keep a low profile, as April didn’t want him to spy on her anymore. Did that old man somehow got caught by April? Mark questioned himself angrily while planning on how to torment the old guard’s family.
Seeing the stupefied expression on Mark’s face made April roll her eyes. “In the first week that we moved here. I pretty much got you figured out when you asked me to take a pregnancy leave when I wasn’t even one month along. And I am sure that this apartment complex is owned by you.”
She knows about that too? Mark’s eyes broaden from astonishment. One look in those sky-blue eyes that she adored was enough for April to figure out what he was thinking, bringing out a soft chuckle from her.
Uncrossing her arms, she grabbed Mark’s necktie, giving it a tug strong enough to pull Mark closer to her. “Don’t act so surprised. I have known you for a long time.” Too long, she thought. “I know it isn’t easy for you to lose your stalker-ish habits that you had cultivated over the past four plus years-”
A whiny groan from Mark broke April’s speech as he tilted his head back, and April felt how her hand got strung along by his necktie.
“Are we still hammering about this one kitten? How many time must I tell you that I was loving you, not stalking you?”
Letting go of the tie, April patted Mark’s chest, trying to still the giant baby’s whine. “Yes, yes, loving me, sure whatever rows your boat. Anyway, what I was trying to get at is that I didn’t retaliate at you because you kept your promise of not putting camera’s in our house anymore and my phone is bug free, apart from the location tracker, so the least that I could do was tolerate having a person keeping watch over me. But lately you have been trying to keep me away from Cherry and Brandon as much as possible, and I don’t get why.”
April waited for Mark to answer her to hear him grunt as he evaded his eyes to the side, away from the penetrating forest green eyes that tried to unravel how his mind worked. Pink dusted his cheeks as he felt embarrassed to have his actions caught by his adorable wife.
Ever since having confirmed that bloody player’s identity as a murderer, Mark was apprehensive of having April go over to her friend’s place. He tried to bring up excuses to keep her in their house as to lessen her interactions with Brandon. But he couldn’t tell his kitten that knowing that she would immediately confront Brandon about it, getting herself in trouble all over again only to protect her so-called best friend.
April’s soft, attractive voice grabbed Mark’s attention, his eyes shifting back to look at her. He exasperated as he run his fingers through his thick black locks. He needs to lie to her for her own good.
“You’re pregnant.” He stated and watched how the cute brows of his wife came together in confusion.
“You’re going to be a mother soon.”
“And you a father. Where are you going with this?”
“They say when women give birth that they are totally devoted to their child to the point where they can even neglect their husbands. Having you hang out with your friends will only minimize the time that I have with you, and I didn’t want that.” Mark mumbled in a low grumble. Partially, what he said was a lie to divert his kitten from any suspicions, but it was also the truth. If he had the power, he would wipe away the population to have April all for himself.
To his half-fibbed confession, April blinked dubiously. “So you basically did it because you wanted to monopolize me?” She inquired incredulously.
The tip of Mark’s ears glowed red before he ushered in a low voice freighted with chagrin, “Yes...”
The silence surrounding them was loud. Mark wondered whether he sounded too childish until he heard a soft giggle coming from April, the volume of it increasing by the second, but not loud enough to alert her best friend. Her giggles were like beams of sun rays warming up his heart, causing his own lips to curl up.
“Was what I said that funny?”
April shook her head. Chuckling out a “No.” before wrapping her arms around Mark’s neck, making him lean forward while she rose herself up on her toes, surprising him with a gentle kiss on the lips. “It was cute.” She whispered against his lips.
There was a beat of silence coming from Mark as his wife’s unprecedented action frazzled his tiny stony heart and he stared at her with a bated breath before slapping himself mentally to regain himself from his frozen state. A lopsided grin played on his lips while his hands snaked around April’s waist. His hold was not too tight to make the baby in the belly uncomfortable, but tight enough to keep his wife from running away.
“If you think that’s cute, should I lock you up for real?”
“Don’t go too far.” She gave him a threatening look. “Back to what we were talking about. If you ever feel like that, then just tell me. I will try to spoil you just like what I did now.”
To the offer of his kitten, Mark hummed pleasingly, surprised. To think that his little white lie would benefit him this much.
“So stop trying to keep me away from my friends.” April felt like her sanity was waning because of the lack of outside interaction. At first she enjoyed the company of her female neighbors, but it quickly became laborious hearing their constant gossips of other people’s life while she sat there awkwardly sipping on some tea.
Seeing the pleading look in his kitten’s eyes, Mark let out a resigning sigh as he brushed back his hair. “Fine.” He was going to think of a different way to keep her safe from Brandon.
“Also, apologize to Cherry.”
Mark nodded. “Lead the way.” and unwrapped his hands from April’s waist to have her walk to the parlor while walking closely behind her, viewing how the plaited red braids of his kitten swayed in the air.
Hearing the approaching footsteps, Cherry was ready to greet her best friend, but her expression froze and her words got stuck in her throat when she saw Mark standing behind April. She cast a weary glance at the man.
“Cher,” April starts, clearing her throat as she nudged Mark’s side with her elbow. “Mark wants to tell you something.”
“I’m sorry if I had offended you.” Mark said in a monotone voice. Both girls couldn’t find a drop of sincerity in Mark’s voice. April scrunched her nose displeased, pursing her lips in a thin line as she glowered at her husband while Cherry felt a shiver running down her spine receiving the smile of her CEO that was like frost on a windowpane.
“That’s alright Mr. Moore.” Cherry tittered, begging in her mind for the man to leave already.
Mark shifted his mellowed gaze to April and ushered in a tender voice. “I will take my leave, then. See you later.”
April hummed with a small smile, taking a mental note to teach Mark on how to properly apologize to someone. “See you later.” And not even a second later, their lips got locked with each other. April thought it would only be a peck so she let it happen, only to let out a startled yelp on the intrusion of Mark’s tongue in her mouth and his hand grabbing her nape, deepening further the kiss. Her head was slowly dipping back along with her back that was forming into an arch, with Mark’s hand resting against her back. Clutching his collar with her hands, she moaned against his mouth when he nibbled her tongue and realized that this man wasn’t planning on stopping the abuse on her lips.
Using one of her trembling hands that was clutching at his suit for dear life, she continuously smacked against his chest. Feeling the tickling sensation on his chest, Mark opened his playful eyes to stare directly at the disgruntled ones of his wife. No verbal words exchanged between the two, but their eyes still spoke in volume. It said, “You said that you would spoil me.” and “Yeah, but not like this in front of my friend!” and “Why? Is it too much?” and “Too much!”
Then, giving one last tug at her bottom lip, Mark finally let her go and with a peck on her forehead and left for work, leaving April behind with redness on her face where even a tomato would fail in comparison.