✍️✍️✍️✍️ The Kiss 馃拫馃拫馃拫馃拫 Episode 41 || 42 || 43 || 44 || 45 ✍️✍️✍️✍️

{That changed everything ✓}
“Don’t worry, I’ll make sure she doesn’t try anything funny.”
” Do you guys know each other? ” I asked.
” Yeah, she’s my friend from high school. ”
” Oh. ”
” Yeah.
“Nice meeting you Dylan, I’ll see you around.”
“Can I walk you to your next class? ” He asked shyly.
” Yeah, why not? ” I took the lead and he followed. We chat about random things on our way.
I didn’t tell him much about myself since I believe that everything about me is on social media.
He told me his house wasn’t far from the school and that he live with his parents so he doesn’t bring a car.
We also happen to be studying the same course. He sat next to me through our next two classes and i was glad. We seem to be moving along just perfectly.
The day went by quickly and soon we were walking to my car.
“Why don’t we grab something to eat?” I suggested.
“Oh really?” His beautiful eyes widened.
“Yeah, let’s go.” I got in and he sat beside me.
I brought my phone out and checked if Betsy called. She called three times. I put the phone back into my bag and drove out of the campus. Betsy will be in class now so it won’t be right if I call.
I drove to a famous restaurant which was about 10 metres from school.
I made a reservation on my phone while I drive. I caught Dylan staring at me all through.
“You ain’t gonna die.” I told him and laughed.

” Thank God! I thought I will.”
When we got down, someone came to us and showed us our table.
“Why did we come here? Their food is gonna cost a fortune meanwhile, i can bet my kid sister’s cooking with theirs and they won’t stand a chance. ”
” This is the best place I could think of. You didn’t tell me where we’ll get the food cheap.”
Is not like am going to go anyway. I have enough money to spend on food.
” Well we can go now.”
” Where?”
” Somewhere we can get better food free of charge.”
“Alright, take me there next time. Right now am starving.”
” Okay.”
He insisted on taking what I ordered so we end up eating the same thing. After he was done with his, he started picking fries from my plate.
When I was done eating, we argued on who to pay.
“Look, I know you’re rich but please let me pay for something at least. Maybe the water and drinks. Yeah!” He volunteered.
I agreed. I didn’t want him to feel bad or embarrassed.
“How was the meal?”. I asked once we were in my car going back to the campus.
“It was manageable. Not like I had a choice.” He shrugged.
“I see. Mr manager. You’re right, I saw how you managed yours and included mine. ” I joked.
” Yeah. Like i said, I didn’t have a choice. You were not managing properly and we might incur a loss so I helped. ”
” Interesting, why not be my manager?”
” Your offer will gladly be considered milady.” He bowed slightly.
I chuckled. ” Where should I drop you?”
” Okay.” We are already there.
” Alright see you another time Dylan. It was nice meeting you.”
“My pleasure. I had a great time. I didn’t think you’ll be this nice. Can we be friends please?”
I like him and I think he’ll make a good friend. I’m happier knowing that I found a course mate.
” I’m sorry if am asking too much.” He added.
“Oh come on. I thought we already were?”
“What?” He asked.
” Friends.”
” I’m so lucky. Thanks Mariana. I can’t believe this.” He opened the door and got out hastily as if he thinks am going to change my mind.
I waved him and drove home.
I opened the door and got in. Novan had told me that he broke my door but he was just lying.
I took my shoes off and placed it on it rack then walk to my study and hanged my bag.
I took my phone and sat in the living room. My poor phone was so cracked. I should get another one or tell mum to send another one for me.
Novan told me we’re going to talk but he didn’t tell me where. I should’ve asked him.
I tried to call again but I remembered again that I don’t have his number.
I called Shane and I was glad when he picked.
“What kind of a friend are you?” I accused.
“I’m sorry, I was busy. I’m really sorry.”
” It’s okay. Hope you’re fine?”
” Yes I am. How was your day?”
” It was great. I made a new friend and went out for lunch together. It was so much fun. He’s nice, you should really see him. And he’s cute too. And adorable..”
” Okay okay. That’s enough!”
I brought the phone back from my ear. Did he just shout at me.
“Are you alright?” I asked.
“No ..i mean yes. So tell me this your new friend’s name?” His tone was too serious and curious.
” No I won’t.” I giggled.
“No. Why do you want to know anyway?”
” Thought you said you’ll want us to meet?”
” Yeah. I did. You’ll get to know his name when you meet.”
” Okay, fine!”
The line went dead. I stared at my screen in confusion for sometime before trying his line again but it didn’t go through.
I made a list of the groceries and sent it to the grocery shop. It’s better than going there myself. How long will i be doing this anyway?
I think I should get a handmaid like mum suggested.
I also ordered for a new apple laptop and phone. Then I decided to take a nap before Betsy returns.
I woke up when I heard a loud bang on my door.
I opened the door and Novan stormed in with an angry look.
“You look pissed.” I stated.
“So what now? Have you got yourself a pretty fine boyfriend now?” He asked and shoved me aside, entering the room fully.
What the heck!
Instead of asking what he meant by that, I tried to ask him a similar question.
“Did you break up with Aria before asking me this question? Where is she anyway?”
” Stop talking nonsense! You were all over him on campus today. He’s nice so you think he’s cute?.”
” What are you saying?”
” Don’t act dumb with me Mariana. You even went to have lunch with him.”
” So? Why are you so concerned about it?”
” Because I was busy waiting for you but you didn’t even think of me, you went chilling with some silly dude. I thought you said you wanted us to talk? I kept my word but you didn’t. What should i make of that?”
” Stop shouting Novan! I only had lunch with him. I didn’t murder anyone.”
” Sure.” He chuckled.
” I should be mad with you for lying to me.”
” I said I never lied!.”
” You did.”
” So tell me what lie I told”
” You didn’t tell me you were attending ANU.”
“You asked me where I was schooling and I told you that you’ll soon know. That’s not a lie. I’m sorry if you took it as one”
” Yeah, you could’ve still told me. Why did you hid it from me? You’ve been around all this time but you didn’t tell me. How could you? Tell me, how did you enjoy it? How did you enjoy seeing me helpless and sulking all day thinking of you and the welfare of Nervisa? You said you don’t have a place to stay right? You said you didn’t lie to me Novan but what should i call that? And how many other lies are there to be told? And what other things are you hiding from me in the name of ‘ you’ll know soon’ ?” I was shouting.
” I didn’t tell you that i was around because I couldn’t approach you after what happened. I was ashamed of myself that’s why I hid away. Do you know how much courage it took me to come here? I wasn’t only ashamed but I felt bad knowing that you are so close to me yet I couldn’t talk to you. It was the worst feeling ever. I even came to this damn school just so I could see you everyday even if we can’t talk. Look, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hide anything from you. And about what I said that I don’t have anywhere to stay, I was only joking. I thought you knew. I only said that so I could stay with you and nothing else.” His voice came out rushed and there was a heavy release of breath after that.
I was shocked by his confession. Novan has never spoken like this to me or in this manner. It felt as if he meant more to what he’s saying or there’s more.
I’m dumbfounded.
I stared into his hazel eyes which was filled with unreadable emotions.
“Was that why…?” I asked when I found my voice.
“You don’t believe me?”
I closed the gap between us, ” I’m sorry. I thought it was a deliberate doing.” I looked up at him.
” I’m also sorry too.” He whispered.
” Does that make me your friend again?”
He took my hand and moved his thumb in circles on it. “Only if you don’t keep any other male friends apart from me.”
I smiled. ” Dylan is nice. ”
” So? I’m also nice.” He placed one of my hand on his shoulders and looked into my eyes.
” Sometimes.” I corrected.
He added the other hand on his shoulders and looked down at me, his eyes searching mine. He was so tall. My hands ached so I moved closer and locked them behind him.
We stood in a intimate close position like couples who were about to dance.
“I can try to be nice all the time then you won’t have keep Dylan.”
“I just saw him today.”
” And you became friends the same day. That was fast Doll face. Too fast. I wonder what will happen tomorrow if you guys meet .” His hands moved to my waist in hesitation.
” Nothing will happen.” I said and moved a step thinking he’ll do so.
“What are you doing?”
“Just to practice some dance steps with you.”
” How’s that going to be possible?” He said and looked away. His cheeks went red.
“Are you blushing?” I asked.
“No.” He stepped away and turn his back to me.
“You’re blushing.” I said and laughed. “You don’t know how to dance?”
” Don’t laugh. It’s not funny.” He warned but ended up laughing as well. “I never learned how to dance. I don’t do those things.”
“Let me teach you then.”
” No way! I’m not learning. I’m going to look ridiculous.”
{That changed everything ✓}
“Oh come on. Just let me teach you. What are friends for?” I insisted and took his hand.
” Okay but don’t blame me if I start stepping on your tiny toes with these boots of mine.” He chuckled and stepped closer to me.
” Then get it off.”
” What! No way.”
” Okay we can still learn some other time. What’s the hurry anyway.” I said and went for a glass of water.
When I came back, he was sitting on the double couch with his legs crossed.
“Why don’t we watch a movie together?” He looked up and asked when I neared him.
“That will be fun but you can go ahead. I’ll join later”
” Why?”
” I need to cook something for Betsy before she comes. She’ll be here any moments from now.” I checked my time and looked at him.
He stared at me in total amusement.
“Are you shitting me? Why would you cook for her? Are you really that humble? Can’t she cook for herself? Why must you do it?”
” Relax dude. Firstly, cooking for Betsy is not a big deal. Secondly, Betsy doesn’t eat outside. She gets allergy when she eat out and also, Betsy doesn’t really know her way around the kitchen. ”
” Still. I don’t think you should be doing that.”
” Why?” I asked and folded my arms on my chest, looking straight at his handsome face.
” You look like a princess which you are. You shouldn’t be doing those things. It doesn’t fit you. ”
My heart swelled at his sweet words.
He got up and strolled towards me.
“You think I’m a princess?” I wanted to confirm what he just said.
” Yes? Aren’t you your dad’s princess? That’s not all. You’re also Novan’s queen or you’ve forgotten huh?” He smiled charmingly, raising his eyebrows.
I blushed and looked away to hide my flaming cheeks. Why does his words have so much effect on me and make me feel somethings inside?
I know for a fact that am my father’s princess, I’ve always been but I didn’t know Novan was going to mention our highschool tittle in our conversation. I’ve even forgotten about that.
“How did you know I was my dad’s princess?” I asked and turned to look at him again.
” Are you really asking that? Well, I will tell you. Most of the meetings that my dad forces me to attend, your dad never fail to call you princess each time he wants to address you.” He countered.
My mouth flew open.
” You’ve been attending meetings with your dad?”
“Yeah, but not anymore. That was when I was below eighteen.”
” Oh I see. So you’ve met my dad before then. Tell me, did you guys talked?”
” Hell no! I never understood what was always discussed so how will I meet him and what are we even gonna talk about? I just sit at a far end and pay the least attention.” He explained with a childish face.
” So have you perhaps seen me before at the meeting?”
” Yes why not? You always talk a lot which always get me wondering how you managed to know so much about bussiness and get me mad at the same time. But I make sure to get my revenge at school for holding everyone up including me with your somehow intelligent questions which gets the elders thinking for hours. I always curse and curse each time you stand to ask a question or make a suggestion. Seriously Mariana.” He grumbled.
Oh wow! So that means his dad works with my dad or what?
“Your dad and mine are business partners?”
“How am I to know that? I never asked. All I know is that he takes me to such bussiness conferences and I happen to see you sometimes.”
” I wish I saw you even if it was just once. You could’ve approached me.” I made a sad face.
I wonder how he must’ve looked then. Did he wear a tuxedo or just his normal clothings? I wonder how he’d look in a suit.
“Did you wear a suit or just these.” I stared down at his white shirt and ripped jeans.
He stucked his tongue out teasingly.
That means he’s not gonna tell me.
“As I was saying, forget about cooking for Betsy. You’re not gonna do that.”
I thought he forgot about that.
“You don’t have to worry. Cooking for Betsy is really not a problem for me seriously.” I answered.
” But I have a problem with it. ” He crossed his arms over his chest as well and he was standing right in front of me.
” You do?”
“Yea. You’re to be served not to serve some bitch. Forget about cooking for Betsy.”
” You’re mean. Betsy is my friend and I love her a lot. Cooking for her is not gonna take anything from me. Besides, it’s not like I don’t eat some of the food I cook.”
” You can always order if it wasn’t because of her.”
” It’s not like that Novan. I for one hate to eat out. I like my foods home cooked.”
” I see” he smiled.
” Yes.”
” But you’re not going to cook anything.” He said and I felt a tap on my nerve buttons.
He’s really starting to annoy me.
“You should stop me if you can.” I challenged and stormed to the kitchen.
” What are you going to prepare?” He asked behind me when I was washing my hand.
I was stunned. I didn’t expect him to ask me that. I thought he’ll try and pick a fight with me.
“Chicken rice skillet.” I replied and removed chicken breast from the fridge.
He didn’t say anything so I went about my work.
I decide on calling Betsy once the food is done. I’m not really hungry so I will wait till she comes.
I picked the knife to cut the chicken but didn’t see it. I turned and saw Novan with an apron tied around his neck and a knife in hand as he chopped the chicken with a concentrated yet relaxed face.
I stared at him in bewilderment. If I had worn glasses, then I would’ve taken it off just to confirm what I was seeing.
After taking care of the chicken, he rushed back the fridge and picked all the necessary Vegetables for the meal. He chopped them all within a minute just after washing them. My breath hitched in my throat at how fast he was chopping the vegetables. I feared he might chop his fingers but he didn’t.
While It was intriguing to watch him do all that, I was also amazed at how swift he was and the natural flair in how he does the things.
I remember Nervisa once told me something about Novan’s abilities in cooking but I didn’t really take it serious.
He’s a genius and the way he’s handling everything with ease just wowed me. He’s naturally talented.
“Don’t just stand and stare. I’m not doing anything extraordinary. I’m only cooking, everyone does it.” He didn’t look at me as he spoke.
He washed the rice and poured it inside the pot then placed it on the fire.
“I’ll help.” I said and took a pan.
He snatched it from me and glared at me. “You’re not going to touch anything here madam.”
“Why is that?”
“Because you’re a queen and daddy’s princess. And as my queen, I won’t allow you to do this things. It just doesn’t fit.”
” Then the king is allowed huh?”
He smiled and put the chicken in the oven then poured the veggies into the pan before placing it on the fire and adding an amount of oil.
“The king is allowed to do anything for his queen, even if it’s not in his place to do so.”
” How long is the king going to continue doing this? It’s not like he’ll always be available.”
” Where will I be if not beside my queen always? Answer me doll face.”
” Now you’re being dramatic.” I stood beside him and observed what he was doing.
” Don’t you have anything else to do. You should go sit somewhere. I’ll let you know when I’m done.”
“, I don’t have anything to do.”
” Then call your mum.”
” Not now.”
” Then call Betsy or go study.”
” No, I’d rather call Dylan.” Just then a call came in. I rushed to the living room and pick my phone.
Guess who?
“Who’s calling?” He asked when I entered the kitchen.
” It’s Dylan and..”
” Don’t pick.” He cut in.
” Why? You told me to go do something.”
” Yeah but now I want you to give me some water to drink. Look, am sweating all over and I need you to fetch my hankie from my pocket and I also wants you to stand right beside me. See? You weren’t busy but now you are so put the phone down and come closer.” He said hurriedly while adding things to the vegetables as he stir.
“You’re impossible! I wonder if it wasn’t some bitter concoction
you made” I teased.
He wasn’t even sweating like he said.
” You should speak after you’ve had a taste of it. I’ll accept all judgment after that.”
He added the cooked rice to the vegetables and stirred it then got the chicken from the oven adding it then he closed the pan.
He’s done. He waited for five minutes then turned the fire off.
He got his apron off and placed it at where he took it.
I walked to the pan and took the Iid off. The aroma from the pan hit my nostrils and I instantly felt hungry. The food looks incredibly delicious. I can’t wait to have a taste of it.
“Your chicken rice skillet is ready in just 45mins. Now we can watch a movie.”
” Yeah, I can see that but I’m not free until I’ve tasted it. Who knows, I might come back to the kitchen to cook another.”
He shook his head, picked a plate and scooped some of the food into it.
“Have it and tell me how it tastes.”
I took the plate from him and took a spoon.
I stared at him as if to ask for permission before taking it.
He nodded and urged me to eat it.
He stared at me eagerly and waited for me to say something after I took a spoonful.
I almost squealed and display all the reactions that will show just how tasty the food was but I didn’t.
As much as I was enjoying the food, I was also enjoying the anxiety and nervousness lingering on his face as he waited for me to say something.
“Tell me, how was it?” He asked after the second spoon.
I shrugged. “What can I do? It’s not like I have a choice so I’ll manage.” I made a disapproving face.
I remembered what Dylan said earlier when we were returning from the restaurant and laughed internally.
” Oh no! I’m sorry. Look, I’ll make another. You don’t have to worry.” He took the apron back then took my plate from me.
“You don’t have to eat it just to make me feel better.” He said worriedly .
” I’ll replace the ingredients I wasted. I promise.” He walked to the fridge for another chicken.
I walked to the cooking pan and spooned the food onto a plate.
“What are you doing? You don’t have to eat that.”
“Don’t be silly. Who wouldn’t eat this meal you’ve prepared? It’s very delicious. I haven’t tasted something like this before, it’s so so..I don’t even know what to say.” I gushed.
” What? What are you saying?”
” Open your mouth.” I instructed and fed him.
“Now tell me how it is yourself. You didn’t even taste what you prepared and you believed what I said.”
” I knew how it will taste like. Just like this. I just thought you didn’t like it so I wanted to use another procedure.”
” There you had it wrong. You’re good. You’ll really make a good chef. I’m impressed. Do you mind working for me?”
I finished the food and placed the plate in the dishwasher.
“I promise to pay good.” I joked and walked into the living room.
“Of course, am at your service madam. Just tell me what else I have to do apart from cooking milady.” He bowed dramatically before joining me in the living room.
” Be my handmaid.” I blurted but I didn’t mean it.
” No problem! I don’t even need the money I just need one thing from you that’s all. ”
” What’s that?”
He came closer to me and leaned in, his minty breath fan my face and caused my skin to tingle. My heart was thrumming with how close we were and when his palms touched my neck and made it way into my hair, my whole body burned. It was as if a fire has been set in me and I wonder why.
My heartbeat increased but not because I was afraid, I knew Novan won’t make any inappropriate move on me. Yes, I trust him that much. My only concern is how my body was reacting so strangely. I looked up at him and my eyes met his smiling lips.
His lip was love-shaped and it was full and so pink and it was glistening as well. His lip is gorgeous, how on Earth did I not notice earlier? They also looked delicious and appealing just like the meal he prepared. It won’t be bad if I taste it right? Who knows, the food will be less sweeter than his lips.
I didn’t realize my lip was moving towards his untill my nose brushed gently against his.
Oh no, what has gotten into me? Why am I thinking of kissing him. Kiss has always been a disgusting act before my eyes so why do I feel like doing it now and with Novan?
I think am sick. Yes, am not feeling well. Else why would I want to kiss? I moved my lips back and looked away from his tempting lip. Something is definitely wrong with me, am sure.
And why’s he not doing anything? Does he also want to kiss me? It won’t be bad though pertaining that I was fantasing it. No no. What am I even saying? Once we kiss, things are not going to be the same anymore, everything will be so awkward and I don’t want that. I value our friendship so much.
He finally pressed his lips on my right cheek, lingering there for a minute before pulling back and stare at me with bright eyes showcasing mischief.
“This is what I want when I become your chef or handmaid or whatever. You’ll have to kiss me like this five times a day; it’s compulsory” he stepped back and pocketed his eyes gleamed, his smile never fading.
” Really?”
{That changed everything ✓}
“Really?” I queird .
“I’ll think..” I trailed off when my doorbell rang.
I think my phone and laptop is here. I jogged to the door and opened it.
I was given the parcel and after checking it, the delivery man left.
I placed them on my glass table and sat.
“I can see you got some new devices.”
“Yeah I did. I broke my phone screen and I just felt like having a new version of my laptop. ” I explained.
” How did your phone break? ”
I frowned slightly, ” You were the course. You left my house in rage and somehow I took my anger on my dear phone. ”
” Oops, I’m sorry. ” He said and unwrapped the laptop.
” It’s okay. ”
I transferred my files including my contact and everything to my new phone then I trashed the broken one. It was an iPhone 8 and the new one is 10. I didn’t see the need to go for latest version because I think they’re the same except that people desire to trend and flex with the latest that’s why majority go for the latest. If not so, then they’re the same.
I tapped on camera and directed the portrait view on Novan. He was busy doing something on the laptop so I took a picture of him; unaware.
The camera was more than clear. I can’t wait to take some pictures with Betsy when she comes.
I glide through my photos and saw the pictures Shane and I took. I stared and stared and zoomed to have even much better view. It was beautiful, we looked good together and I couldn’t stop looking.
I ended up using it as my wallpaper and used Novan’s own as my lock screen.
“Let me see your new phone.” He suddenly requested.
“Just let me see.”
“I won’t until you tell me why.” I grimaced.
” What are you hiding? ” He put the laptop aside and got up.
” What! No. I’m not hiding anything.” I will be embarrassed if he sees that I used his pic for my lock screen.
“Then let me see it.” He stood in front of me and stretched his hand forth.
“Why are you bent on having it now? Sit, I’ll give it later.”
” If persuasion fails…” He trailed off and made to snatch it but my hand moves up. ” force should be applied.” He finished his sentence and moved to my lap.
I moved my two hands higher and he tried to bring them down but I didn’t give him a chance.
“I’ll tickle you if you don’t give the damn phone to me.”
“I won’t you can do whatever you want but I won’t give in. ”
” Oh really? ”
Before I could answer, he began to tickle me and I was trying hard not to respond.
“How long are you going to resist Mariana?” He chuckled and added his other hand.
I couldn’t take it anymore, I burst into laughter but I didn’t give in.
“Sto.. stop..it” I said breathlessly. My stomach was hurting so much from too much laughing.
“Will you give it to me then?”
“Yes I will but get your hands off me first.”
” No. You’ll have to give me the phone first.”
I brought my phone down and was about to give the phone to him when when the front door opened, revealing Betsy.”
” What in the name of God is going on here?”
I looked at Novan, expecting him to roll off from my lap but he seemed to be in a state of oblivion. Realizing that he has no intention of changing our awkward position, I pushed him off and got up.
“Are you guys a thing now or something?” Betsy add with a smirk as she looked at us with raised eyebrows.
“Not like your problem now is it?” Novan commented derogatorily.
I glared at him but he looked away.
“You should know that I wasn’t talking to you before piping in.”
” Wait..what are you guys doing?” I looked between the two of them.
Novan’s face was showing no expression while Betsy’s face held irritation.
“Just talking.” Novan replied breezily.
” Are you guys fighting?” I turned to Betsy.
” No we aren’t. He’s just being an asshole as usual. You shouldn’t pay attention to us.” She smiled and dropped her bag.
I Know she’s lying. There’s something definitely going on between these two. I’ll drill her later.
Novan let out a low whistle and snatched my phone from my hand. I let him.
I looked at him and mouthed, “Happy?”
“Very much.” He mouthed back.
My eyes dropped to her bag then to what she wore. It was an expensive Versace dress accompanied by a matching designer bag and sneakers. Her beautiful strawberry blonde hair was neatly French braid. She was wearing a make up and she looked beautiful and different.
“You look pretty.” I whispered to her.
She made a cheeky grin and mouthed “I’m hungry.”
“Here’s your phone, am leaving.” He handed me the phone and I dropped it in the couch.
“Okay, take care.” I pulled Betsy along to the kitchen. I’m eager to see her reaction after tasting the meal.
I looked over my shoulders to see Novan still standing at where we left him. I thought he said he was leaving.
I arched a brow questioningly and he shrugged.
I’m curious to know why he hasn’t left.
“You know Betsy, there’s food in the kitchen, help yourself to it and I’ll be back in a jiffy.”
” Alright.”
” Why are you still here?” I asked when i got back to Novan.
“You haven’t given me an answer yet have you?”
“An answer?” I tried to remember what he could be talking about.
” The kiss.” He muttered. “It’s five times daily.”
He showed me his fingers.
” Are we at the pharmacy? You sound like a pharmacist giving a dosage.”
” Well, it could be my medicine. So what do you say?”he asked leisurely.
” Are you serious about this?”
” Oh yes I am. I’m not smiling am I?”
” Okay then why don’t you brief me on this deal?” I asked.
” Yeah why not? I’ll cook your dinner everyday then..no..I can’t be your handmaid. Those are for girls and Betsy can do that better. But I can drive you wherever you want to go any day and anytime and in return you’ll only have to kiss me just five times daily.”
” Wow. That’s great but unfortunately, I’m not interested. I can do all that you’re offering.” I declined.
” So? Don’t you wanna taste similar meals of what I prepared earlier everyday? Don’t you want to watch me cook like you did now? Tell me, was it not fun?”
I can’t believe Novan is trying to convince me to agree to what he’s proposing.
“And won’t you like a whole me to drive you around town?” He added boastfully.
” Well…” I held him in suspense as I thought about the decision I was about to make.
“Well what?” He asked.
“Okay.” I said. Kissing him on the cheek is really not a problem.
“Okay what?” He asked again. “Mind you, you can’t go back on your words once you accept.” He prompt but I’ve already made my decision.
“I agree.” I replied and sighed deeply.
He grinned, muttering a yes in-between his gritted teeth.
“You just made the best decision ever and now everything begins from here. I’ve already cooked so come here and pay me ASAP.” He stood akimbo and tapped his feet on the polished floor.
” What? Now?”
” Yes milady.” He wore a victorious smirk.
I wonder what else Novan has in store for me.
“Did you plan this? Was it your plan to cook something nice and get me to complement and wish to have more then use it against me?”
” What? No. I’m not that cheap. I got the idea when you said you want to employ me and since I won’t need the money, i chose another payment medium of my choice. Tell me what crime I committed. ”
” Fine. Just come over here. ” I motioned him closer.
When he was closer, I realized that I can’t reach him unless I stand on my toes.
“Bend over.” I instructed.
He only straightened keeping his head higher than ever.
” And what now? Let get this over with quickly. Do not waste my time.” I said impatiently
” If we’re doing this, don’t you think we have to do it properly, doll face?.”
” i know you’re doing this on purpose Novan.”
” Thank God you know.”
I stood on my toes and wound my arm around his neck and pull him closer.
“Shortcake. I never knew you’re this short.” He teased causing me to pause.
” Go ahead shortcake.”
In a row, I planted my lips on his left cheek five times and pulled back.
“There you have it, now go. Goodnight and see you tomorrow.”
“Why does it look like you’re kicking me out? Don’t worry, I was leaving anyway because I can’t wait for tomorrow to come.”
” Just go.”
” Yes, I am.”
I walked him to the door and opened it for him.
” Goodnight Doll face. Remember that you’ll have to kiss me anytime and anywhere. It won’t happen behind closed doors like this okay? And please, you should take your time when paying me next time. There’s no enjoyment….”
I shut the door in his face and heard his fading laughter as I walked to the dining room to meet Betsy.
“I can bet on my life that you didn’t cook the food so tell me who did? ” Betsy asked again and joined me on the bed.
She kept repeating the same thing after she finished eating and I’ve been ignoring till I was done with my duties and now retiring to bed.
“You should tell me why you hid such information about Novan from me Betsy? ”
” It wasn’t in my place to. He’s your friend so I thought he should do that. I just didn’t want to cause problems between you two. Besides he made me promise not to tell you because he wanted to tell you himself that’s why ”
” Alright so tell me something, was he the guy at the party? He looked like that hooded guy. ” I asked curiously.
” Yeah he was, i found out later from Nina. I wished I had allowed you to kiss him then he wouldn’t have been a stranger.”
I threw a pillow at her. ” Why did you get so angry at me and left? I searched the whole campus looking for you”
” I wasn’t angry?”
” Then why didn’t you come for breakfast like you always do?”
” I thought you were angry and that you won’t prepare it that’s why I didn’t bother coming.”
” What of after you received it?”
” Received what Mariana?” She asked with a clueless face.
” Wait… didn’t you receive anything from Novan? I sent him your breakfast.”
” No I didn’t. Did you?”
” Oh my God!” I should’ve known Novan won’t take it to her.
My phone beeped from the nightstand and I took it.
“I did Betsy, I wonder why he didn’t bring it.”
It was a message from Novan. I don’t remember storing his number so how did he do it? Oh I get it. He did it when he took my phone.
My cheeks went rosy when I read the first line.
“You made feel special by using my pic. I’m honored. I’m sorry for eating Betsy’s breakfast though. I was hungry as well.”
” What are you reading that’s making you blush so much.”
” It’s Novan, he’s telling me that he’s sorry for eating your breakfast.”
” Was that the only thing?”
” Yeah. That’s the only thing you should know”
” oh I see. Since when did we start hiding things from one another?”
” I’m not hiding anything Betsy. I just got a message from Novan , I don’t know what else you’re expecting.”
” Something like,” she knelt on the bed, facing me. ‘I can’t hide it anymore Mariana, I’m madly in love with you.’ ” She mimicked Novan’s voice.
I aimed a pillow at her head, ” I now know who among you is really mad. You’re mad Betsy, very mad for having those thoughts.”
” I accept that am mad today but I know tomorrow you’re going to agree with me. ”
” You should stop spewing gibberish Betsy. ”
” Alright but tell me when you want to fall in love and who you’ll like to fall in love with. ”
” According to my mum, falling in love happens naturally. One does not decide it. ”
” So then tell me who exactly you picture to fall in love with or personality. ”
” I never thought of that so please stop asking. ” I covered myself with the duvet and muttered a goodnight.
” Don’t sleep yet Mariana. We are not done talking.” She whined and shake me.
I ignored her and after some minutes, she sighed and laid down beside me.
“I’m sorry Mariana.” She muttered and kissed me goodnight.
I wonder what she was apologizing for but I didn’t have time to brood over it as my thoughts are occupied with the question she asked me.
“Tell me exactly who you picture to fall in love with or what personality? ”
That was the question she asked. Something I never thought about before but now I see myself doing that.
I never thought of particular personality to fall in love with except for my dad who i think is the best man ever but now I have another idea.
The only thing I picture now in case I will ever fall in love is a certain personality.
And so I slept with thoughts of: tattoos, piercings, charming smile, handsome face and a talented chef.
{That changed everything ✓}
I woke up and slowly looked at the clock while I stretched.
I sprang to my feet after seeing that i only have 30 minutes to get ready for class.
Why did I woke up so late? I thought I set an alarm so what happened?
I looked to my side and saw Betsy sleeping peacefully without a care. She’s the culprit; she turned my alarm off just so she could have a peaceful sleep.
But why didn’t I woke up at the first ring?
I got out of the bed and tossed the pillow on her face “Get up lazy bones”
I hurried up when I realized that I have to make breakfast for us too.
I came back after showering and still met Betsy sleeping.
“Wake up Betsy. Am sure you don’t wanna be late for class. ”
I walked to my closet and selected Calvin Klein set of underwear. I picked a blue jean trouser with a tank hoodie top then went for my Gucci bag and shoe.
I held my hair in a high pony which left my face in view then applied pomade. After wearing the clothes I selected, I applied a little makeup.
Feeling pleased at how I looked in the mirror, I grabbed my new phone from the nightstand and took a picture while standing in front of the mirror.
I forwarded it to mum and dad, adding a good morning.
Betsy was still sleeping so I went to the window and slide the curtains aside, allowing the sunlight to stream in.
“What is that Mariana?” She covered her face, groaning and whining.
” Get your ass out of my bed!” I shouted and stormed to the kitchen.
Betsy ran pass me to the kitchen.
So she can wake up.
She made me late and when I woke her up the only thing she could think of is food.
She’ll get blessed with a big disappointment after seeing that i prepared nothing so I won’t stop her.
I walked in only to see her stuffing bacon and scrambled eggs into her mouth and topping it with a hot Expresso.
Betsy possibly couldn’t have made that so who did or she ordered while I was still sleeping?.
“Where did you get that Betsy? Did you order for it?”
” I just got up.” She stated.
Her answer was enough for me to know that she didn’t prepare or order it.
Then who?
“Why? didn’t you make it? Did you get some cook?” She asked and looked at me with her morning face.
“I don’t know who did Betsy.” I diverted my gaze to the food in front of her. ” I think you should stop eating it.”
“Stop talking nonsense! You should taste this food and then you’ll know that there’s no way a poisoned food could be this delicious.”
” You shouldn’t make a joke out of anything Betsy. You met food in the kitchen and it’s not like I prepared it but here you are busy consuming it.” I was worried.
I went to my study and stuff my bag with the needed books then took my phone.
I was already 5 minutes late. I walked back into the room and grabbed a cap.
I checked my inbox as I walked to bid Betsy goodbye.
Mum and dad replied but I wasn’t ready to check yet. I was eager to open the one from Novan.
“Perks of employing me; how was breakfast?”
My eyes widened in surprise. My mood lit, a nice feeling taking over.
But how did he get in? I don’t remember giving him my key and the last time when he made his first appearance. How did he get get in? I would have to ask him later .
I read the second one which says;
Your ride awaits you, doll face.
It was sent 20 minutes ago.
*I’m waiting* I received it ten minutes ago.
“Where are you?” 5 minutes ago.
“If you don’t step out this minute I’m coming to drag your ass out.” I received it just 2 minutes ago.
” That’s it! I’m coming.” He texted now and I hurried to the kitchen and gulped my coffee down.
I said goodbye to Betsy in a haste and rushed to the door. My heart was drumming as I neared the door.
“Are you seriously not waiting for me?” Betsy asked.
“That’s what it looks like.” I shouted back.
” Oh I see. Thanks anyway, I have the whole house for myself which means I’m gonna wear anything nice from your drawer. I can’t wait to play dress up.” She shouted from the bedroom.
” You won’t do that Betsy.” I turned to walk back Into the room but the door opened and soon, Novan was dragging me out.
“Hey take your time.” I cautioned.
“I’ve already done enough of that. You fucking kept me waiting.” He growled, opening the door of his car for me.
I settled in and he closed it before rounding it to his seat.
“Sleepy pretty head.” He poked my head to the side before putting the key into ignition and driving out of my driveway.
“Why did you wake up so late? Did you had a long dream about me?” He smirked and turned onto the road that led to our school.
Did I dream about him?
No. I don’t think so. I only thought of him, his looks.
My eyes dart to his face as I stared openly without blinking. I love his spiky hairstyle, and it was falling on his face. My hands itched to brush it back for him.
I gulped when I looked at his lips;
His bottom lip was tugged into his mouth as he focused on the road.
“You’re staring.” He muttered, bringing his bottom lip from his mouth and swiping his tongue ring on his bottom lips.
That simple act looks sensual and somehow appealing. I couldn’t get my mind off his lips.
He looked at me and my face heated up.
“Are you admiring me? I know right, I’m that cute.” He smirked and focused on the road.
The funny thing about this change that is taking over my body is I can’t find my voice to speak. I was just staring at him dumbly even though there was so much I’d love to say to him.
I finally moved my eyes to my laps, then roll the window down. I admired the busy streets of Canberra, Australia’s capital.
The sun was shining so brightly that i suddenly lost all enthusiasm to go to school.
Who will like to go to school in summer when you can stay relaxed at the beach or at home?
“I miss Mariana.”
I whipped my head in Novan’s direction wondering why he said that.
“What did you say?”
“I said I’ve missed you.”
I rolled my eyes along with the window and looked at him.
“I’m here. With you and you’re saying you miss me are you serious?”
” What I mean is that you’re not talking and asking questions like you used to. I missed that and to me, those traits are what make you Mariana. I miss that, you’re just boring now and you’re strang.” He looked at me and back to the road. ” You were scrutinizing me like some rat you want to experiment on. I wonder if you’ve suddenly switched courses.” He rolled his eyes.
I chuckled.
” Thanks for the breakfast. I wasn’t expecting it.”
“You shouldn’t say thank you to me. Show it.” He winked and my heart skipped.
” You’re naughty.” I palmed my red cheeks.
” Oh am I ?” He turned to me and smiled while his eyes roamed on me and I felt my body tingling under his eyes.
“Will you kiss me now.” His voice was impatient.
I shifted close to him and brushed my lips softly on his awaiting cheeks. I pulled back and stared at where I kissed and it was tinted pinkish. He’s blushing.
I made to kiss him again but he pulled back.
“Let’s go?” It came out as a question.
With a puzzled look, I asked him where.
“Don’t you wanna go to school anymore?” He asked and I was forced to look outside and then realized that we were already on campus.
That was fast.
I got mix feelings as I thought of not seeing him until I close from school and today happen to be loaded. I mean my time table. It won’t be closing until 3pm.
That sucks.
Within a second, he was in front of me and holding the door for me to get out.
I picked my bag slowly and got out. The sun hit my face so I pulled my shade on together with my cap.
I stood in front of him and not knowing what to say or do. I really don’t want to go to school anymore and besides I’m so late.
“Have a nice dad.” I whispered and dragged my feet on the ground towards my lecture hall.
“Listen, you don’t have to go if you don’t want to. You’re late anyway.”
I turned around. Just what I wanted.
I wanted someone to tell me not to and he did.
With swift long strides, I was in front of him again and grinning foolishly.
I can’t believe myself.
“And what is this?” He pointed between us.
He was wearing a black hoodie just like mine. Such a sweet coincidence.
“So?” I asked.
“Get in, I’ll drive you back.”
My mind went to home. I don’t wanna go home, it’s going to be boring.
” I don’t wanna go home now.” I said.
“Who said I wanted to? I can’t leave you all alone at home now can I ?” He opened the door for me and I got in.
” So where are you taking me?” I asked when he came to sit.
” Somewhere fun.”
I can’t believe I’m ditching my class to spend time with Novan. Something I would never think of doing until now. As mush as the thought of spending time with Novan excites me, it terrifies me as well.
I mean how could I?
I looked at him and prepared to ask him a question.
{That changed everything ✓}
“How did you get in? I mean inside my house?”
“With keys. Betsy’s own to be precise. She was careless enough to drop it much to my advantage.”
” Okay.”
Silence fell in the car as I thought of something to talk about.
“Since when have you been attending ANU?”
He arched his eyebrows, “Since you started.”
“Oh I see… You were so close and yet I didn’t know” I said quietly.
” Yes, just like Eliza Kate said;
You are the Novan that I seeked
You were close to me yet I did not know
The love that I seeked for many years Was right beside me Yet I couldn’t feel it
When I close my eyes
I see you coming to me my girl
I didn’t know that it was our hearts speaking
To each other When the breeze of love (Of love)
Flow you to me my girl (My Angel) I thought it was an everlasting love But it hurts me to see you gooooo ”
He sang loudly that I have to close my ears.
“What is wrong with you? You’re crazy.” I said as giggles bubbled out of my mouth because he wouldn’t stop singing.
“I never knew you sing those songs.” I laughed.
“I also never knew you could sound like that. ”
” It just happened and besides that’s how it looks like. I personally hate you for doing that to me. You should’ve seen how I missed you.”
” Yeah, I was also miserable.” He said in a sad tone and grimaced sadly but I know he’s making jest of what I said.
“I could see that.”
“So what do you intend to do after college?” He asked as we drove into the street.
“I’m planning to work in a publishing firm.” I answered.
” I didn’t expect that. I thought you’ll take over your family business.”
“It’s also among. Taking over my parents business looks more like an obligation or responsibility whereas working at a publishing firm has always been my dream; it is something that I want and I’m passionate about it.”
” How are you going to do that? You’ll be stressed out”
” Yeah, you’re right but I’ll manage. I believe my parents will help me out and I hope that I’m not going to be too loaded. Worry not, I got it”
I smiled to show that I’m capable which I am but deep down I could feel my future responsibilities weighing me down. I hope it’s not gonna interfere in my personal life..
I looked at Novan when I felt his eyes on me. He looked away and began to sing a line from Neyo’s independent but this time his voice sounded just like Neyo and I liked it.
” Her favorite thing to say: “Don’t worry. I got it.”
And everything she got best believe she bought it
She gon’ steal my heart ain’t no doubt about it
Girl, you’re everything I need,
Said you’re everything I need”
” I can see you have a habit of making music out of everything I say.”
” What can I do? You always sound like those boring songs.”
” Boring songs? It seems to me that you like them.”
” I don’t. I have better taste than that.”
” Alright, so what’s your plan after school and what are you studying anyway? ” I asked and batted my lashes.
He looked at me as if to say something but stopped and eyed me.
“Uh uh. I’m not gonna tell. Why do you want to know anyway? ”
” But I told you mine. ”
” That’s you. I don’t like sharing stuffs like that. I’m sorry. ” He said and opened the car.
Where did he bring me?
I opened my door and once I stepped out, warm breeze hit my face . I took in the beautiful natural environment. Everywhere was filled with tall trees and flowers.
There was a gate a few feet from where he parked the car which was guarded by securities.
“Where are we?” I inquired still looking around.
” Somewhere far from town. Come I’ll show you around. ”
He took the opposite direction away from the securities. After a minute, we were walking down a gravel road.
We came across two paths; one on our right and the other on our left.
The path has a row of tall beautiful plants grown at the edges.
“Is this a maze?”
“You guess right.”
“Then there’s a possibility that we’ll get lost if we don’t get a guide. ”
“,No babe, it’s going to be fun. Now let’s go. ” He grabbed my wrists and we walked through the path on our right.
“Why does it look like we’re sneaking into the maze?” I asked suspiciously.
” It’s always fun that way.” He replied as we navigate our way inside the maze.
” Have you been here before?”
“Yes, I come here a lot.” He grinned.
” Alone?”
” No. With Nervisa when she recovered. It has always been her dream to run in a maze.” His smile widening and his eyes twinkled when he mentioned his sister.
“So where’s she? Is she staying with you now?”
“No, she’s in school. Boarding to be precise but I visit as often as I can. ” He said and took a narrow path.
” Can you take me along when you’re going to visit? ”
” Yeah, I will. ” He replied and I hooked my my arm around his.
We appeared in the middle of the maze which had a swing and a number of lover’s seat.
I stared at the swing longingly and wished to sit on it but I was scared. I still remembered how I fell from it once my dad took me to the park.
“Come, I’ll help you sit on it.”
“No. What if I fall?” The metallic swing was high from the ground which means i won’t make it without anyone’s help.
“I’m here, you won’t fall.”
“Okay.” I walked to it and he held it for me to jump on it.
After three attempts of jumping, I finally succeeded on climbing onto it.
I settled on it properly and he asked if I was ready.
“Wow!” I exclaimed when I saw the entire view of the maze.
“Beautiful huh?”
“Yeah the best view I’ve ever seen. ”
” So can I push you now? ”
” Yeah but slowly. ”
I held onto the swing tightly then moved my legs forward without spreading them.
He pushed me forward slowly but it felt like he used his entire strength as I found myself almost flying in the air.
When I returned, he pushed me hard. I squealed loudly as I saw myself at the end of the maze then to the exit then back to the entrance then the exit. I was moving in all directions.
I shouted when he pushed me much harder. It was fun but scary as hell. Panic rushed through my body when I went up into the sky the bounced back and went again. Tears pulled at the corner of my eyes from excess shouting.
“Tell me Riana, are the men coming?”
“Which men?” I shouted and looked around. And there I saw it, two security men rushed into the maze.
“Yes Novan. They’re coming!” I panicked.
I really don’t want to get myself in trouble.
“And here comes the main fun.” He said in excitement.
When I returned, he held the swing and said the dumbest and murderous thing i ever heard.
“Jump now!”
“What? Are you mad? I’d die if I jump.”
“No you won’t, just trust me. ”
” Why should I trust you Novan. ”
” Stop arguing and do as I say before those men get to us. I’m sure you don’t want to be arrested. ”
I looked down at the height below me and shook my head vigorously. ” I can’t.”
“Come on, I’ll catch you. Just jump, I promise nothing will happen to you. ” There was something about the way he sound that make me want to trust him.
“Okay.” I inhaled and exhaled before jumping with eyes closed.
When I opened my eyes, I was at Novan’s back and he was running through the maze easily with the men hot on our tail.
Is this what he does with Nervisa all the time?
He was running really fast and I was enjoying the piggyback ride but I want to run as well. I don’t want him to get tired.
“I want to run as well so please get me down. I pleaded and he got me down.
He laces our fingers together as we began to run.
“You’ll have to run faster Riana. They might catch up with us and that will be the end.”
I nodded and increased my pace.
“Stop right there you two!” Someone shouted close to us. Novan broke a branch of a tree then threw it behind us.
We continued to run until we heard a loud thud.
We turned to see the man sprawled on the floor and groaning.
Novan and i high-fived out of nowhere snd burst into laughter.
We were clearly enjoying what was happening around us despite how tired and out of breath we were from the running.
All the men that came after us suffered the same fate and we had a great time laughing over it before continuing.
“That was really fun Novan, I can’t believe those men.” I said breathlessly with my hands on my knees in exhaustion.
We had made it successfully out of the maze and was now in front of his car all panting.
I haven’t done such childish thing in a while now.
“Let’s go. Your next class will commence soon.” He said out of the blue and got up from where he sat on the ground.
“What? Class?”
“Yes madam. It’s time.” He pointed to his wristwatch.
Huh? I thought we’ll be spending the entire day together. How stupid of me.
“But I’m hungry.” I pouted and sat inside the car.
” We’ll eat something on our way.” He said and started the car.
I brought my phone out from my bag and saw ten missed calls. Five from my mum, two from Betsy then three from unknown.
I was putting the phone back when my mum’s call came through.
I looked around and remembered what Marion said that my parents have assigned secret bodyguards. I hope they haven’t reported that I didn’t go to one of my classes today.
I picked the call in hesitation as I prayed fervently that it should be something else apart from my absence in school mum want to discuss with me.
“Hello..mum?” I whispered undertone.