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Curiosity Brought More Wounds Than Answers Part 2

The bloodlust that Brandon felt towards the people who were set in filling Cherry’s mind with doubt about him elevated, but as fleeting the words escaped his lips, he was quick to shake his head and exasperate. No, she won’t like that, he thought. He couldn’t kill the people that his wife cared about that would just cause the suspicion in her mind to grow even more.

Removing his hand from Cherry’s forehead, he brought it to his face and stroked his chin as he wore a thoughtful expression. He could hire someone to do the dirty work for him, he mulled. Leveling his eyes down to gaze at his wife’s peaceful sleeping expression, he decided that it would be for the best to leave this matter for another time and that it was more important to ease his wife’s mind.

“Sweet dreams, my love.”

The next morning, Cherry’s tired eyes fluttered open from the tingling feeling on her cheek. She groaned as she felt like shit and had to gather every ounce of energy to pry her eyes open. With narrowed eyes, she gazes at the shadowy figure next to her, sitting on the edge of the bed. When her eyes finally adjusted to the brightly lit room, the dark, hazy figure slowly morphed into her husband.

“Good morning, sleepyhead.” Brandon said with a smile on his face, his hands smoothing down the errant hair strands on top of Cherry’s head, only for them to spring free again the moment he retracts his hand. “Had a good night’s sleep?”

“I feel like somebody dragged my body over the pavement and that my head kept going over debris.” She responded with grogginess as she grabbed her head, that now felt a ton heavier as she slowly sat up.

Brandon hummed with a grin. “Yeah, those bags under your eyes are about to reach the ground.” The twinge of humor in his voice flew over Cherry’s head as she whipped her head to the side to glower at him. Whose fault does he think it is that her mind has been in a constant turmoil!? If it wasn’t for his perfectly styled hair, she would have yanked at each individual hair strand so that he would know her pain.

“I would appreciate it if you would leave my hair alone.” Brandon said, earning a surprised expression from his wife. How did he know what she was thinking?

“You’re wondering how I knew what you were thinking?” Brandon chuckled when he saw Cherry flinging her hands towards her mouth to cover it, as if it would silence the voice in her head. Can he read minds!?

“No, I can’t read minds. You’re just easy to read. You should do something about that.” Raising his hands, he pulled the hands that were covering Cherry’s mouth down before planting a slow kiss on her lips. The nerves in her body that may have been asleep at that moment were now fully awake and, with no words of encouragement, she kissed him back. Remembering how they were supposed to be in each other’s embrace last night, but because of her temperament that got the best out of her, she went to bed alone- wait, did she? The last thing she remembered was watching a K-Drama before closing her eyes.

Lost in her thoughts, she didn’t note the warm, inviting lips disconnecting from hers and the sweet eyes that reminded her of dark toffee focused on her. “I’m sorry about last night.” Brandon uttered against her lips, sending a small shiver down her legs. It was a good thing that she was still in bed, otherwise her jelly legs would have buckled under her and have her plummet to the ground, she thought.

Truth to be told, she was prepared to give her husband the silent treatment until he folded and confessed to her what he was hiding, but instead she found herself puffing up her cheeks as she felt the vexation in herself diminishing away. “You’re being sneaky.” How could she stay angry when he looks at her like an abandoned puppy?

The corner of Brandon’s lips curled up, grinning rakishly at his sulking wife. “I thought that you already knew that.” Using one of his index fingers, he probed the side of her cheek, pushing the air out of her mouth like a deflated balloon. “Are you still mad at me?” He asked, his unshakable eyes holding down hers and Cherry turned her head away, diverting her gaze as she grumbled under her breath out of pettiness,

“… A little.”

“Not for any longer because today I am going to show you my workplace.”

“… What?” Cherry’s eyes widened and snapped back to look at Brandon, gauging his face for any lies, but it only held seriousness. Brandon fished something out of the inside of his suit and placed it in Cherry’s hand. Her brown eyes dilated at the sight of Brandon’s business card holding the address and logo of the company that he was working for.

“Not now, though. I will bring you there after working hours, so that I can give you a full tour without being disturbed.” Brandon explained to the bewildered Cherry. She parted her lips hesitantly and asked,

“Are you for real? You’re not pulling my leg?”

Brandon raised his hand and tentatively pushed a hair strand behind her ear. “Yes.”

“B-But why?” More than elated, she was bridled with confusion. Brandon was so against telling her anything about his work life, but now he wants to show her around his workplace as if it was some amusement park?

“I realized that I was being an unreasonable jack-ass and that I have placed you in an awkward position with your friends and colleagues. Furthermore, I don’t want to see you sad anymore.”

Cherry eyed at him for a second before asking again, “Are you sure?”

“Then do you want me to keep it a secret from you forever? I wouldn’t mind honestly-” Brandon was about to stand up and leave but before his butt could lift off the bed Cherry, with a flustered expression, latched her hands on to his arm, keeping him seated next to her.

“No! I mean- I just wanted to make sure that you won’t take back what you just said.” Her warm eyes were darting everywhere, refusing to settle themselves on her husband’s face as slight embarrassment mixed with excitement was creeping on her face, trying to keep her composure but completely failed.

The look in Brandon’s eyes became remorseful to see his wife be this happy about something so simple. If his occupation was anything close to normal, he wouldn’t have needed to result in tricking his wife with his fake occupation. His heart warred with guilt for having to lie to his wife again. But if this can help prevent the wedge between him and her from growing anymore, then so be it.

But next to guilt, he couldn’t contain the adoration that was filling his body at how adorable Cherry was, her lips pouting the staggering words out with a crimson flush across her face. She was like a chipmunk.

Brandon’s lips curled in a gentle smile. “Good.” and when he saw that Cherry wanted to get out of the bed to prepare herself for work, he placed a hand against her shoulder and gently pushed her back down in bed. “Oh, you can stay longer in bed. I’ve already called your work to call you in sick.”

Cherry’s eyes went round hearing that. “Why!?” Her voice jumped an octave higher, and it had Brandon thinking even more that she resembled a chipmunk. But she would filet him if he ever told her that.

“Because you need it. I wasn’t joking about those panda eyes of yours. Also, our child might need it.” He shifted his eyes to the ever-growing bump of Cherry, placing his hand tentatively on it and giving it a few rubs. “I need you both to be healthy, to be happy.” Well, more like he just only needed Cherry. The baby is just some needless baggage that he was willing to carry for his wife’s happiness. But he knew that using the baby in his explanation would calm Cherry down.

And as expected, Cherry’s lips, that were parted and ready to berate him before, were now shut and he saw how her delicate features scrunched up as she mulled over something before releasing a reluctant sigh.

“Fine, but let me see you off at the door.”

“That’s fine by me.” Brandon said as he leaned in, planting a kiss on his chipmunk’s forehead, soothing the wrinkles marring it away.

By the time that Cherry was done with taking a shower and dressing up, Brandon was already standing at the door opening, one of his foot already over the threshold and his arms spread wide. Cherry took it as a sign and waltzed straight in to his arms to be enveloped in an embrace. She circled her own arms around his torso as her face buried in his chest.

“Call me if anything happens.” Brandon said, firming his hold on his wife, basking himself in her enrapturing scent.

Cherry chuckled. “Whatever could happen to me in my own house?”

Brandon loosened his arms around Cherry’s waist to have a better look at her face. “I don’t take any chances when it comes to you. Call me if you notice anything suspicious- hell, call me even if you see a spider on the staircase and you’re paralyzed with fear, but you need to go to the toilet urgently.”

“That’s oddly specific.” commented Cherry with a lopsided grin on her face, earning an eye-roll from Brandon.

“I’m serious Cherry.”

Cherry placed her hand on his cheek, caressing it. “I know, but you worry too much.” Nudging herself off the ground by standing on the tips of her toes, she covered Brandon’s mouth with hers, hoping that it would quail the worries plaguing her husband’s mind, and it did. Brandon’s body became less tense and when their lips parted from each other, she could find a goofy smile on his face.

“I like it when you take the initiative.” The back of his throat rumbled like a cat purring with delight.

Cherry hummed. Her hands went to tie around his collar, that was somehow always gnarled and fixed it. “And I like it when you go to work already.”

Brandon chuckled and ushered a quick ‘I love you’ before closing the door behind him, making his way to his car and speeding off down the road. After the sound of the car engine dwindled into a whisper, Cherry turned away from the door to get herself ready for when Brandon comes to pick her up, but at that exact moment rapid sounds came from the door giving Cherry a fright.

She placed her hand on her chest, that was heaving up and down at a fast pace. The tremor of her erratic heart had her breathing heavily to calm it down. The knocking on the door didn’t relent and Cherry shot a sharp glare at it before stomping towards and flinging the door open, ready to curse the person out that almost gave her a heart attack.

“Who the fu-!”

But the profanities had to be saved for another time, as the person standing behind the door had Cherry swallowing back her words. Her eyes were wide from shock and confusion as she stared at the black tinted sunglasses that belonged to Mr. Colburn. The man smiled condescendingly down at Cherry, pushing the sunglasses on top of his head revealing his eyes that were blue like the vast sky. Next to the twinkle of mischievous, something dark roamed in them that made the muscles in Cherry’s body tense up.

“... Mr. Colburn, to what do I owe this visit?” Came the careful question of Cherry, offering him a wobbly smile but what she truly wanted to ask was how the hell he knew where they lived and then she remembered he was her husband’s colleague so it wouldn’t be so strange for him to know where they lived. “If you’re looking for my husband, then he just left.” She pointed in the direction where Brandon drove off, but the man only kept staring at her with his signature smile.

“I’m not here for Brandon. I’m here for you, Ms. Graywood, and please call me Dean.”

She arched her eyebrow, keeping a wary eye on the old man. “May I ask why, Mr. Colburn?” She made sure to emphasize his name, letting him know she wasn’t comfortable in dropping the honorifics between them, causing the smile on the old man’s face to widen and the wrinkles around his eyes to deepen.

“No, need to be so cautious of me. I’m here to bring you to your husband’s workplace as we discussed last night, remember?”

“I don’t remember consenting that I would go with you, nor that it was going to be today.” She remarked as she folded her arms in front of her chest.

“I figured it was going to be hard for you to agree with anything with a watch dog breathing down your neck.”

Cherry’s eyes narrowed at the words meant to degrade her husband. “Thank you for your concern, but you can go back since my husband has told me that he will take me to the workplace himself.”

This had the old man’s lips visibly morph into an “O” shape as his brows leveled to his hairline. “Is that so?” The shock was palpable in Dean’s raspy voice, as he thought Brandon would rather bite his tongue off than ever utter a word of truth to his wife. Granted, as saying the truth was a death sentence to Brandon’s marriage and a one-way ticket to jail.

“It is, here.” Cherry handed Mr. Colburn the business card that she had received from Brandon. “He even gave me his business card-”

“HA!” While Cherry was talking Dean’s eyes were wandering over the card as he wore a pensive expression, his eyebrows crashed against each other but seconds later they relaxed and the corner of his lips twitched into a curl before a bubble of laughter escaped his mouth, cutting off Cherry’s talk in the middle.

The pearls of laughter didn’t show any signs of decreasing, as the volume of it only kept increasing where Cherry was sure that even her neighbors could hear it.

She frowned disapprovingly at Mr. Colburn whose upper body folded double, his arms clutching his stomach for dear life as hitches formed in his sides. She didn’t get what was so funny and had the urge to just slam the door in the old man’s face.

“He never ceases to humor me.” Dean said between chuckles, unshed tears clouding his eyes as he finally stood straight again. Holding the card next to his face, he said, “This is fake.”

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