I took my sweet time in the shower, trying my best to keep calm and hoping against hope that Erick would be gone before I was done. Then again, when was fate ever been on my side? If I was lucky enough, he would leave me alone and just loiter around the house, but knowing him, he would try to intrude into my life and get every tiny detail he could then use it against me when the situation demanded.
I finally turned off the water when it turned ice-cold and my hands started to prune. I knew I was avoiding the inevitable, but a girl’s gottatry. Wrapping a towel around me, I got dressed in blue denim jeans and a loose-fitting green shirt. Letting my hair down to dry naturally, I walked out of the bathroom and straight into a warm, muscular wall.
“What’re you doing here?” I asked sharply, pushing him away instantly.
“You were taking too long. I—”
“So I can’t even take a shower peacefully?” I snapped.
“I was worried about you.” He finished his sentence. “So I came to check up.”
The funny thing was, he made it sound believable. I wanted to believe him. I wanted to believe that the guy who hurt me suddenly actually cared about me,but it was just like a lion worrying about its prey before devouring it whole.
Holding on to that thought, I pushed past him and walked out into the living room, hoping that he would follow rather than stay back and invade my privacy even further. “Don’t bother. It’s not like I’m going to die on you.”
It felt right to snap back at him and retaliate, even if it was in tiny portions. However, deep down, there was a part of me that was disappointed at my behaviour. I was not the kind of person who went around snarling at people, no matter what the reason. I just wasn’t built that way. This was exactly why I found myself in the kitchen, measuring two cups of water to pour into a coffee pot and breaking four eggs into a bowl to make an omelette.
Call it guilt if you may, but I would rather call it being a good host.
It was most definitely guilt. Alina was feeling guilty for snapping at me.
No matter how much I wanted to make things okay between us, this wasn’t something I could just come in and say, ‘Hey, Alina. Sorry, I fucked up four years ago. Let’s just forget about the past and move one, shall we? Friends? Hell no! That would sound even more bastardly than the act I had committed. The funny thing was, I never explained my actions to anyone. The Vampire Prince didn’t need to, but somehow, I found myself wishing I could explain every tiny detail to her.
She looked up at me sharply at that instant, as if she could read my mind. She seemed to be a little agitated to see me sitting comfortably in the same place I settled in earlier when she went for her shower. Something told me that she usually wasn’t this late. She must’ve done it on purpose to get rid of me, but I was determined not to let her out of my sight today. I simply wanted to spend a day with her. I had missed her terribly these past four years, no matter how hard people found it to believe. Something told me that if I saw her again, I would want her again too... and not just for her dangerously addictive blood. That was something that I couldn’t let happen again, especially after what I did and what she was going through. Alina was a drug to me, a very dangerous one.
I was sure even she couldn’t deny that there was something between us, something that drew us together like a moth to the flames. Now that I’m back, I wanted to find out the reason for that attraction but most of all, to make her admit it too.
She strode over to the kitchen sink and filled a coffee pot halfway with water. She then set it on the stove and left the water to boil. She then started arranging for breakfast, getting a mug, beating four eggs, and gathering other stuff from the fridge to mix with them. I liked watching her work for she was elegant in her movements, but she never acknowledged my presence even though I knew she was making breakfast for me as well. Call it hospitality, which I was very sure it wasn’t, but she liked doing things for others, even for people she would rather see burning in the sunlight or drowning in holy water. Both of which, by the way, are complete and utter crap.
I let her work in peace as she made breakfast while my eyes constantly moved to her long hair that swayed with her movements. They were so thick and glossy that I wanted to run my fingers through them, tug at the strands, and bring her face close to mine so I could capture her lips for a kiss. Her face was a mask of concentration with her long lashes casting a soft shadow on her cheeks. She had a habit of chewing on her lower lip whenever she was concentrating too hard. I wanted to know how she would feel if I tugged that lip into my mouth to suck and bite down on it.
The sound of a phone going off near me snapped me out of my trance. Alina rounded the counter and reached for the phone on the table beside the couches. I watched as a faint smile touched her lips when she answered with a ‘hello.’ I didn’t know who the person was on the other end, but it was definitely male.
“Yeah, Dad’s still not well. I don’t know if.... Yes, I’m ok. Don’t worry, I won’t. Tomorrow? I’ll see if I can. Ok, ok! I’ll go. Yeah, promise. Okay, bye!” She hung up and sighed as her brows wrinkled in thought.
“Didn’t know you had a boyfriend,” I said stiffly. I didn’t know why, but the idea of her being intimate with someone else made my blood boil. She was mine.
“This doesn’t concern yo—”
“The hell it doesn’t! You’re my fiancée! We’re getting married in a month for Hades’ sake! Who was he?” I snapped at her, losing my temper for the first time in a long while. I regretted it as soon as I did when I saw the old fear returning to her eyes although she tried her hardest to cover it up with a glare.
“I’ll find out anyway if you don’t tell me, and I’m sure you won’t like the alternative.” I threatened.
“That was my boss, Ryan Paul, and before you ask about what he is to me, we’re close friends,” she said with a sigh while pinching the bridge of her nose.
“How close?” I asked despite knowing that I was crossing a line.
“Dear God, Erick!” Alina snapped, throwing her arms in the air. “You think you can just waltz back into my life all of a sudden and take over like I belong to you! You think I have forgotten what you did to me four years ago? No, Erick. I will never forget, and I will never forgive you for that. You took away from me something I should’ve given to you of my own free will. So you, of all people, have no right to tell me what to do. What are you going to do if I don’t tell you how closeme and Ryan are, huh? Kill me? Go right ahead! See if I care!” She was panting by the time she finished. Her chest heaved as she struggled to get air into her lungs. Her eyes were wild, and small droplets of sweat covered her forehead and neck even though the air conditioner was on. I had never seen her this mad before, and dare I say this, she looked hot.
I sighed. “Look, I don’t know why I said that, okay? What happened cannot be undone, but we have a chance to change our future. We are getting married soon, so the best we can do is at least try to be civil with each other.” I tried to reason with her, but she just shook her head. I could see that she was on the verge of crying. Her eyes watered as she hugged her arms around her midsection.
“Just, just leave... please.” She begged and turned away from me. “I can’t do this right now.”
But I couldn’t. I couldn’t leave her like this once again. I didn’t know what came over me, but I took slow steps towards Alina until I was standing right behind her. Her scent was strong like freshly bloomed wild roses. I felt my mouth water as I remembered exactly how sweet she had tasted. I wrenched back my hunger with brutal force, knowing this could screw up everything once again, and this time, we would’ve been done for good.
I lifted my hands and after some hesitation, placed them on her shoulders. A sudden current swept through my body and made my hands tingle. I felt her shudder as well. This connection felt weird but incredibly right, like I had been waiting for this for a long time. She stayed turned away from me, but she didn’t shake my hands off. This gave me a little more confidence as I slowly turned her face towards me. Her eyes were downcast, but I could see the tears ready to fall. I lifted my hand and brushed under her eyes to remove them.
When her emerald green eyes locked onto mine, it was as if we were both in a trance. I leaned down towards her, my hands cupping her face. She lowered her eyelids and raised her face ever so slightly. I finally closed the distance and brushed my lips against her lightly. Heat exploded in my mind and body, and my every nerve was on fire. It made us jolt back from each other as realisation set in.
We both stood stunned away from each other. Alina didn’t meet my eyes and looked furious with herself. Even I didn’t understand what had just happened. So I did the only thing I could at that moment, I left. Once again, I left her standing there, hopeless and in pain. I didn’t even turn back to see if she looked up. I didn’t want to see the tears I knew would be falling freely from her eyes. I left the apartment to the smell of burning food and broken hearts.