✍️✍️✍️✍️ The Kiss 馃拫馃拫馃拫馃拫 18+ Episode 121 || 122 ||....130 ✍️✍️✍️✍️

{Loving him with all his flaws.}
“This is either really good or really bad” I muttered to Edward after seeing the country whose presentation it was.
“It should be good.” He whispered back.
“This is wow! Exquisite! Amazing!” A judge let out, stood, and examined the platter.
An air horn sounded from Australia’s team and a huge screen dangling above the chefs projected Australia’s platter. You could hear oohs and aahs, gasp, and whoops.
I took more pictures from the themed platters being projected on the giant screen.
I smiled. This is good.
The two emcees (one speaking french and the other English) offered long commentaries on each presentation, making everyone feel connected to the show that goosebumps rise on my skin after the reactions from Australia’s platter. People were screaming their lungs out.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve almost come to the end of this year’s Bocuse d’Or. The award ceremony will keep off after an hour. Enjoy music interlude as we wait for the ceremony to begin. Thank you all!” The emcees said after the presentation.
“Pheew! I can’t believe it’s almost over.” I raised the bottled water I brought to my lips. I need to find Novan, I miss him so much. It’s been a whole five days.
“All too soon. I’m feeling nostalgic already.”
“I’m going to go out.”
“I will come with.”
I nodded.
The giant stadium-like room was bustling with people moving from their seats making it impossible to walk freely.
A hand grabbed my wrist and began to lead me towards the kitchen. Edward didn’t know I wasn’t with him anymore since the place was crowded.
I folded my arms and glared at Betsy and my cousin.
“Why did you bring me here Betsy? I was going somewhere.”
“Yeah I know but why did you tell us that you ain’t gonna come again then finally came?”
“What? I didn’t say that.”
“You did, you told us to leave and that you ain’t coming,” Morgan said.
“I didn’t and I just arrived here in France.
“Yes, Betsy.”
“You texted us, take a look.” Betsy showed me the message she claimed I sent and I sighed. Mum did this. I will call her Amandla the second now or maybe she trained Amandla.
“You know, when we came to your house, your mum was there and she said you went out. We waited for you but after some minutes, we received your message that you won’t be going again. That was what made us leave.”
Why wouldn’t I come? It’s my boyfriend’s event for god sake. I won’t miss it for anything in this world.
“I’m sorry guys. I did send the message. I forgot.” I don’t want them to think anything about my mum. It will be bad if I should say what my mum had to do in order to prevent me from making it here. I can’t change the good opinion they have about her.
“You’ve become really forgetful Mariana. How’s that possible?” Betsy hit my head gently.
“Welcome you two. I’m glad you came for him..for us.” I smiled.
The two of them wore a matching couple’s shirt and Morgan had a bandana tied under his hair while Betsy’s hair was braided. I think they look cute together, they’ve always been despite the age difference.
“We’re just spicing our vacation up with this and it’s fun. I really didn’t know a cooking contest can be so exciting. I liked how all the chefs work with utmost speed and precision. You should see your boyfriend, I can’t believe this. He’s so good, I never knew this is how good he is.” Morgan commented, making me more proud of Novan.
“Yeah me too. Where’s he though?” Betsy began to look around.
I looked around as well.
“He must be around. Let’s go take some snaps. I wanna remember this day.”Morgan grabbed my hand along with Betsy’s to the red carpet.
“Hope I’m looking good enough?” I asked and smoothed my dress.
“Is there any day you don’t look nice?” Morgan said, posing beside me.
“And look who we have here!” A journalist practically yells.
“If you don’t mind, I will ask a few questions, Miss Dominguez.”
“Just two!” I showed my fingers.
“Thanks, what is your relationship with the young chef? Chef Donovan Anderson. He’s the new sensation of Bocuse and every lady is after him, tripping literally. What do you say?”
I didn’t know what to say. Telling them that I’m dating Novan is like telling the whole world. Not that I’m not proud of Novan enough to announce him to the world but I don’t know how he’s going to feel about this. Is he going to be fine with it?
“He’s my personal person,” I answered.
“Like your friend?”
“Yes but a lot more.”
“Oh wow, so there you have it, listeners, all around the world, and viewers watching us live from France, Lyon for the Bocuse D’or finale. Mariana didn’t only come for the fun or for her country but because our young chef is not only her friend but someone who’s dear to her heart and a lot more. Wow! What could that be? She still wasn’t clear but let me ask her another question.” She turned to me again.
“Do you think your personal person is good enough to bring the prestigious trophy home to Australia?”
“He’s capable so I trust that he won’t disappoint.”
“Thank you so much, Miss Marian, I have a lot of questions for you but since I’m limited I can’t ask more than that but I can’t help asking how your experience have been so far in France since it’s your first time at SIRHA hotel for the finale of the world culinary championship. Please say something.” The lady journalist asked, beaming at me.
” Well, from my spectator’s vantage point, I found myself inspired creatively as well as professionally.
I was blown away by the size and scope of the production. I knew the food was going to be top-notch but I didn’t expect the number of people in the stands. It’s really amazing, I feel energized because the Bocuse atmosphere is so unique and for this, I see myself coming here the next two years and of course, with my family.” I answered honestly. Apart from being here to support Novan, I’m glad I had a chance to take in this new experience.
” Did you hear that just her first time in Lyon but she’s enamored to bring her family along next time. Now let’s move to the all-round international judge’s son and our sweetheart. “You’ve grown so much Meghan/ Morgan. Is she your girlfriend?”
“Yeah.” He answered simply and kissed Betsy’s cheeks. She buried her face into his chest shyly that instant. I’m sure she didn’t expect it.
Morgan was asked a few more questions which I zone out of because I was busy looking around. Edward should be looking for me now but where the hell is Novan?
“We got a room here. You wanna have a look?” Betsy asked after we were done taking pictures.
“Yea, sure.” I want to rest my aching feet so badly.
I turned around to leave but I’m stopped by a hand holding on to my arm.
Betsy and Morgan smiled at me and left then I looked up to meet his eyes. I miss being this close to him. Without a word, I crushed into his arms, hugging him tightly. I miss him so much that it hurts.
Once his arms came around me, I felt at home, like he’s home to me. His familiar scent filled my nostrils and the beating of his heart that my ears have grown so much used to.
We parted and without saying a word to another, he took my hand and began to walk me out of the giant room then to an elevator.
He punched the floor and turned to me, all eyes on me and my heart beating rapidly.
“Is this you?” He mumbled and ran his forefinger on the side of my face to my jaw then he lifted my chin up.
I nodded and swallowed. The intensity in his eyes weakens my knees. My hands wrapped around his waist for leverage, pulling him closer. I end up putting my head on his chest.
“I want to look at you.” He whispered and I raised my head.
“What took you so long? It’s been five days Riana, do you know what that means?”
“I’m sorry.”
“Don’t say that. I could’ve done something you know right?”
Before I could answer, the elevator dinged, he looked back before stepping back and holding my hand out.
He opened a door and we got in and shut it behind us.
“Is this your room?” I looked around the expensively decorated room.
“Something like that, just for tonight.” He made me come closer. “Will you spend the night with me or with your friends?”
“How can you ask that? I haven’t seen you in a long time, I want to make up.”
“You sure?” He smirked. “We have forty minutes left.”
I smiled and got on my toes. He was wearing a black shirt over his white Bocuse trousers and his tousled brown hair was looking wild. He took in a sharp breath when my lips touched his, pressing me to him by the small of my back, he kissed me fiercely and passionately.
I melted into his arms and his overwhelming kiss. I’m so relieved and happy after so many days. All the pain I went through to be here dissipated because it was worth it after all. I would be damned if I hadn’t come.
I’m surprised when his palms connected with my back then he grope it through my dress, fondling it. I raised one leg on to his waist, tracing my fingers on his spine. He lifted me off the ground and my back touched the soft bed as he came on top.
“What can we do in forty minutes?” I smirked.
“A lot” he rasped against my lips. I smiled and we resumed kissing.
“Hey man..” the door suddenly opened and an old man peeped his head. “Oh sorry.” He smirked.
“What is it now Conrad?” Novan groaned but didn’t get off me.
“I think you should come down now, everyone is waiting.”
“So soon? Is it time already?”
“You can do this later.” He closed the door and left.
“That is your assistant?”
“Who else could it be? He annoys me as fuck!” He got up and got the long-sleeved white shirt from the closet and put it on. He took the long cap and placed it over his head.
I sat on the bed and took in his appearance with a smile.
“Let’s go?”
“Yeah.” I smoothed my dress again and we walked out.
“Are you not nervous?” I asked.
“Me? I was only nervous when I wasn’t seeing you. I didn’t want to walk back home alone after carrying last.”
“You won’t take last, you’ll see,” I assured him.
” I hope. You weren’t there from the beginning. What took you so long? Your phone was even off and when it was finally on, you won’t talk to me. What happened?”
“I lost my phone.” I lied.
“Really? How? You were at home, did you go somewhere?”
“Then what took you so long to come?”
“Let’s talk later, Novan,” I said when we got to the stadium-like room which is now transformed into a hall with a gigantic podium. All the chefs and their coaches could be seen lining up and the two emcees were busy addressing everyone and giving commentaries. I think we’d be parting from here.
He grabbed me back slowly. “You’re leaving me already?”
“It’s just for a while.”
He sighed and nodded. “You’d sit beside that prick? I told you he loves you.”
“It doesn’t matter. I only love you.”
{Loving him with all his flaws.}
“It doesn’t matter. I only love you.”
“Once the winner is mentioned you’d be by my side okay?” His voice was shaky. He’s nervous, definitely.
“Yeah, I will.”
“Thanks… you think we did well? Did you see everything.”
“I’m not the judges, Novan.” I chuckled. “But I know you’re the best.” I pat his cheeks and turned to leave.
I stopped and turned. “Yes?”
“That looks good on you. You’re beautiful.”
“You told me that before.” I shook my head and walked away.
“Shit! Come back!” I heard him coming after me and I stopped again. How nervous is he?
I looked around and it will be foolish if I were to assume that no one was looking at us. I got on my toes again and cupped his face, my thumb pad rubbed his cheeks and he closed his eyes to the touch.
“You don’t have to be nervous Novan, I’m here,” I whispered.
“Can you forget about everyone and kiss me, please?” He begged.
Oh God. My cheeks turned crimson as I looked around. We’re just close to the stage.
“We should go behind Novan. Everyone is watching, it won’t be appropriate.”
“Okay, fine. Go.” He dropped my hands and stepped back.
“Don’t misunderstand me, can you tell me why?”
“It’s okay, I just wanted to show everyone that I’ve got you and you me but it’s okay.” He didn’t wait for me to say anything before leaving.
I turned to leave and mistakenly bumped into someone. A phone fell from the person and I bent to pick it up. “I’m sorry,” I said and handed the phone over. She’s a woman and a blonde with gray eyes. She doesn’t look too old but can be of the same age as my mum.
“It’s okay.” She smiled friendly but didn’t take the phone from my stretched hands.
Her smile is so familiar but I don’t remember meeting her before.
“You’re Mariana?” She asked.
“Yes, I am.” My face puzzled.
“Nice meeting you dear.” She caressed my cheeks.
“Excuse me? Do you know me somewhere?”
“Who doesn’t know you?” She asked back.
“Well but..
“Don’t worry. I’m Tricia, I’m glad to have met you today. You don’t know how happy it makes me. Really.” She smiled so wide that the corners of her eyes crinkled and took her phone from me finally..
Tricia. Her name rings a bell but I can’t tell where exactly or who I heard her name from.
She pecked my cheeks and left me, standing and thinking about where I heard the name Tricia from.
“Where have you been? I’ve been looking around.” Ed asked when I got back to take a seat.
“With Novan.”
“Oh okay.” He didn’t say anything else and I looked ahead. I couldn’t see Novan among his Co chefs.
The ceremony began and a tribute was given to the late Paul Bocuse, the founder of the Bocuse d’Or. Every single dignitary was mentioned including presidents who came to witness the contest. The dishes of all 24 countries got displayed on the giant screen one after the other and now it was time for the special awards; a prize to be given for the best theme on a plate and platter, then the best commis.
A guest was called and the president of the Bocuse handed him an envelope which he opened slowly to my annoyance.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the best theme on a plate goes to.. FRANCE!”
A brass band strikes a jaunty tune as someone honks an air horn. Applauds rose from the grandstand endlessly as France coach came forward for the prize. They’re the host so they should be happy. I just pray they don’t take all the awards tonight.
“Time for the best theme on a platter. Ladies and gentlemen, we welcome famed Bocuse silver medalist Tricia Salvatore to make the presentation.”
Tricia again?
The blondie walked elegantly to the stage in a sparkling black dress. She’s a chef. Wow.
She smiled at the audience and for a moment, I thought I saw Nervisa. She opened the envelope given to her.
A gentle gasp escaped her lips to the surprise of everyone.
“Ladies and gentlemen, Australia goes away with the best theme on a platter!” She said and you can imagine Ed on my side. The guy was dancing. The steps were horrible and hilarious.
I laughed happily. Oh my God. Novan’s hard work is paying off.
“Oh, my world!” The emcees let out.
“Chef Anderson please come forward?”
The air seemed to have been sucked from my lungs when I saw that woman walk to the stage. I stepped backward. I fucking warn her not to show her miserable face. I hate her, so much.
“Ladies and gentlemen, Australia goes away with the best theme on a platter!”
Considering how hard I worked on the platter, I wasn’t happy. Why should she be the one to call it out?
“Chef Anderson please come forward?”
I hesitated. I don’t want to kill anyone with how angry I’m getting each second that passes.
I walked to the stage and faked a smile to the cameras while I received my prize.
She hugged me forcefully and I tensed up. How dare her?
“Please son. Let me hug you at least. You don’t know how proud I am of you. My dream came through in spite of me not being there for you. Please forgive me for that. I’m really sorry for everything Everett. I saw your girlfriend and I’m so happy that everything you’ve ever wanted is coming to you. I only want the best for you, love…”
“Hush! Shut the fuck up before I throw you off this very stage. How dare you tell me that you wanted the best for me? Did you? Leaving me is wanting the best for me? You’re sick!” I jerked her away but she clung onto me like a fucking limpet.
“Let me go or I will do something that not you but everyone wouldn’t like and what will happen to your reputation? It will be ruined and your idiot of a husband will lose the election. Get your diabolic hands off me before I do something, Tricia Salvatore.” I warned. “The mere sight of you makes me sick. You’re bad luck and you just turned what was supposed to be my joyous moment into sadness and a misfortune..”
She stepped back that instant, shocked.
Thank God. The fucken sight of her makes me nauseous and I feel like puking.
We all smiled fakingly to the camera and I almost burst into real laughter.
I went back stage and the ceremony continued.
I swear I saw Novan tensed when she hugged him. They stayed hugging for some time and I wonder what was transpiring between them.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we call on famous American chef, Thomas Keller to call the best commis.”
Thomas walked to the stage, took the microphone, and opened the envelope.
“Best commis goes to Chef Conrad Garfield from Australia.”
Novan came out and hugged Conrad unexpectedly as well as the other team members. Confetti filled everywhere. This is a second win for Australia and I’m super elated.
“Chef Conrad has been the most humble to work under someone so young despite his age and achievement as a cook. He was cooperative, understanding, and hard-working. There couldn’t have been a better commis we could take than him though all our commis were excellent.” The president of the Bocuse D’or said and a round of applause sounded.
Even if Novan doesn’t take the trophy, this alone is enough.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we now move to the main deal. Who takes the legendary trophy home?” The male emcee shouted.
“This is crazy. I’m so sure we’re taking it this time!” Edward said out loud to my hearing.
“We’re winning huh?” I grinned back at him. He intertwined our hands and raised it up with a loud noise. I cackled like a jackal.
“Once again, we call on 2001 Bocuse gold medalist Henrik Norstr枚m of Sweden to call out the winner of this year’s Bocuse D’or bronze.”
The fans went wild once again as they came forward for their bronze trophy. After so many celebrations, blowing of horns, singing, and dancing, the board got ready to call who the silver medal would go to.
As usual, an important person was called and DENMARK went away with the silver trophy and handsome cash prize.
“And ladies and gentlemen here come the time we will know who takes this year Bocuse D’or gold. The moment we’ve all been waiting for. Without wasting any more second, with all due respect, we call on His Excellency Emmanuel Macron, President of France to do us the honor.”
Everyone got up as the president made his way to the stage in his expensive suit and ever charming smile. He’s young, compared to our president.
He gave a short introductory speech in French which got translated by the English emcee. An envelope was handed to him and he slowly opened it as a mic got positioned for him to talk.
He looked at the audience, smiled, and cleared his throat.
My heart was beating so loudly and I felt my palm wet. If my country wins, a lot of things are going to change. Novan’s life is going to change forever because he’s going to be recognized internationally wherever he goes and maybe my mum might accept him finally. He’s cooking career will hit a top-notch.
Not even a sound could be heard as everyone awaited for the winner to be called.
“Is your heart thumping?” Edward whispered to me. I nodded.
“I feel like I will explode or my heart will rip out.”
He placed his palm on my chest and at this time, I didn’t mind. I also placed mine over his chest and it was equally beating.
“Your heart is drumming Ed.”
“Yeah, I know after this, I will lose you forever. I hope.” He pulled a sad face.
I couldn’t remain seated. I got up with ears wide open, forgetting about Edward’s comment.
“The winner of this year’s Bocuse D’or goes to……” He paused and everyone groaned loudly.
“The winner is…” He paused again.
“Oohhh!” Everyone shouted while Mr. President laughed.
Australia fans lost it completely, me inclusive. Confetti was everywhere…
My tears flowed as I laughed through it. Oh God! Unbelievable!
{Loving him with all his flaws.}
“Did you see that!” I shouted, tapping Paula awake. She’s been sleeping. I hope it’s pregnancy symptoms.
She stared at the screen and a sleepy smile broke onto her face.
“Australia won?”
“Yeah, and you know the chef don’t you?”
“Yeah yeah, Congratulations to them, to him.”
“You’re happy for him?” I asked.
“Why not? I never wished bad for him. I just didn’t want him with my daughter.”
“Will you let them be after this? Has he reached up to your standards?”
“What has that got to do with his victory Pablo? Winning a competition doesn’t change anything. He’s still the evil man’s son. He should try and improve on his behavior then I can say something. His win doesn’t make a difference but his character will and I think that was the only thing I wanted from him. What else do we need? I prefer him poor with a decent background and character to rich and characterless and even that, his father is evil. I’m happy he won but that is not enough for me to entrust my daughter into his careless hands.”
“Whatever you say but I hope this is also a step into proving that he’s worth our daughter regardless. Jude is bad but it doesn’t mean his son will also be like him.”
“Alright, Pablo but please don’t read too much into his victory. It doesn’t count one bit. Jude can use his fondness for my daughter against us anytime so it will be best if they split. We can’t leave any loopholes for him to penetrate.”
“What if Jude doesn’t have our time anymore and has changed?”
“Well then..his son just has to work on his behavior to impress me and also to show that he’s worth it. Already his appearance gave who he is away.”
” Okay, Paula dear. I pray Jude changes his ways and not do anything to harm us again so that our children can have peace of mind. If he does something again, God knows I won’t hesitate to keep my daughter away from his son for good and forever. I won’t care about anything anymore because, at that point, my daughter’s safety will be my topmost priority.”
“I will support you all the way.” She said.
“You’ve always been.” I stared at the screen. This boy doesn’t know what he just achieved by winning the competition. The foundation for his career has already been set. He should start his own restaurant already and I can guarantee that he’d be successful in just a short time.
Winning the competition is such a massive deal.
He’s an international man now.
“See our Mariana.” I woke Paula who has already started dosing again.
“She’s so happy,” I said.
“Yeah who wouldn’t be? He won, you know, it’s a big deal. I must say, I’m a little bit surprised because I didn’t expect him to be in culinary. He looked like a Russian gangster or Italian Mafia.”
“Seriously Paula?. Are you sleep-talking or what?” I laughed.
“Yes, Pablo. Appearance really speaks volumes about us that’s why it’s good to adapt to an appearance everyone is accustomed to and regard as best in the society. I’m not saying getting a tattoo is bad but must it be much? And those piercings? Is it even necessary? Gosh!”
“This is a free world dear wife. People don’t care about appearance anymore as it can be deceptive..”
“I want to sleep Pablo, you’re talking so much don’t you feel sleepy?” She cut me off.
“Yeah, just look at this then we can sleep together.”
She opened her eyes to the screen and made a cringing face when Mariana ran into Novan’s arms, kissing him.
I laughed and covered us with the comforter.
Australia fans lost it completely, me inclusive. Confetti was everywhere…
My tears flowed as I laughed through it. Oh God! Unbelievable!
I turned and crushed into the arms of Edward in a hug. He lifted me off the ground and spun me. I laughed. When he brought me down, I ran off crazily towards the stage.
We won, Novan won, Australia won.
“Ladies and gentlemen! You heard it. Australia won the Bocuse ultimate title this year. Could you believe that? A twenty-one-year college student won this year, he led his team perfectly, wowed the judges and everyone with an amazing platter and the skills he displayed in the kitchen. You all saw that. The risk Australia took was really worth it. Congratulations!”
” Yes, this has never occurred before in all the thirty years of this contest. Today a new record has been set. 21 years? oh my God! Paul Bocuse will be so happy if he was to be alive to witness this day. May his gentle soul rest peacefully.!”
“Congratulations Australia, for winning the gold trophy first time ever!”
The commentary went on and on and my heart kept swelling and swelling.
Seeing nothing but hatred in your son’s eyes for you is definitely the worst punishment a mother could get ever. I’ve committed a lot of mistakes and I wrong my kids in the worst possible way. I was in between a tight spot and leaving them looked like the best thing then. I thought Jude was going to be there for them but he left also.
I know nothing can justify my actions but I’m really sorry. He thinks he’s alone but he never was, I’ve always been around him.
I didn’t feel bad about his harsh words because I deserve it and more. I’m just hurt.
I’m so happy that everything he has always wanted is coming to him. I’m so glad he got the girl of his dreams. A girl he has since loved since he was a child. And now a trophy. I’ve always wanted to win Bocuse D’or but I ended up with a silver and now my son won. He won and for our motherland. He’s a genius. I always knew it. He has set a record no one can break in the next decade to come. He’s just 21 one but won a whole Bocuse. I’m so proud of him, really.
I was worried when the first part he was slacking and not doing anything. He looked lost but after some time, he collected himself and began to work but even that, it wasn’t enough until Mariana showed up. It was quite a sight after that. He was so exciting to watch and I knew there and then how much that girl means to him. He didn’t only win, they won.
I wiped my tears as I watched the jubilation going on.
For a moment everything just went blank and the world slowed despite the chanting and drumming going on. I couldn’t believe my ears until it was repeated again. It felt like a dream but then it was a dream and it was happening live now.
I was okay after we took the best theme on a platter and Conrad the best commis. I didn’t expect that we would be winning and now that it happened, it’s just like an icing on a cake.
I didn’t know if I should fucken laugh, smile, or cry. Crying will be too silly so I just smiled. I know I didn’t do this, she did.
I craned my neck. Everyone was all over me and the confetti was blinding. They’re grateful I’m in a quite amazing mood if not I would’ve punched everyone here for throwing themselves on me. Fine, I hugged Conrad much to my surprise but he deserved it. It doesn’t mean other people can hug me right?
That man despite his annoying ways has been very tolerable and like a father figure to me. I’m so happy he took that award.
I kept craning my neck, looking ahead until I felt that familiar body collide into mine from the back amidst the crowds.
I closed my eyes and smiled. She’s my fucking salvation. I’m at peace when she’s around. She gives me an incredible immense joy without even trying. I’m nothing without her, absolutely nothing. I will die if I should lose her.
The only thing I wanted to do now is to turn to her and kiss her but before that, she took the lead. She beat me to it.
I wrapped my arms around her as I sucked in her sweetness in full pleasure.
We pulled apart, breathless. “You won, baby.”
I smiled. This is the first time she’s calling me that and it makes me so warm inside.
“No babe, we fuckin won!” I whispered back into her ears. This wouldn’t have been if she didn’t come at the last minute.
I kissed her again and joined my colleagues on stage where my eyes remained on her as she looked at me with excess love and admiration in her gorgeous chocolate brown’s.
She blows me a kiss and I fuckin smiled so wide like a fuckin idiot.
I took my cap off and a gold medal was put over my head, adding to the Bocuse medal and making two on my neck.
The president of France held out the trophy to me and I stretched my hand for it with my heart beating. Before I could hold it, he pulled it away.
“Young Man, first tell me how you did it. You left us mesmerized.”
I chuckled. What do I say? I really didn’t do anything. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be here. She’s my rock.
“I was inspired by her..” my hand stopped midway when she wasn’t standing where I left her but instead, fucking Tricia Salvatore stood there to my annoyance. She’s really daring me. And where the fuck is my girl?
“What? Who? Mrs. Salvatore?”
“No sir, she isn’t here. I think I have the talent but the inspiration was there and it was just what I needed. My team together with my coach were all supportive and together we did it.”
“Wow, congratulations young man. You deserve this trophy.” He smiled.
How’s it possible that a president will be so young and handsome? Only Emmanuel Macron.
He finally handed the trophy to me and I had to give it to Conrad and he passed it to the others to have a feel of it after paying homage. Gross. I won’t kiss it again.
“We were right about you. Thanks for not letting us down despite coming at the last minute to get trained.” The coach whispered, hugging me. This oldie, he thinks I don’t know that they only gave it a second thought because Mariana Dominguez put in words for me. She fucken recommended me. I just hope it’s not because of that I won.
What’s with all of them hugging me anyway? Only Mariana gets to hug me, don’t they know that?
The trophy finally came back to me and held it high in contentment. Where’s Riana? This is for her.
I noticed the Tricia woman coming towards my direction so I moved from where I stood, waiting for Novan. She stood at the place and looked around.
“I was inspired by her..” he paused and his hand hung in the air. Anger passed momentarily on his face before he looked away.
Was he about to say I was his inspiration?
“We won Mariana!” Betsy shouted from nowhere and came to hug me.
Yeah, we won. It feels so good to be true.
I put my arms around her shoulders and we looked ahead where Novan and his team raised the trophy upwards. Confetti fell on them and pictures were taken with Presidents and Ministers. They won a cash prize of £20,000 also. Huge huh? It’s all for him and a lot more.
Our flag wave in the air as we sang the national anthem.
“Ladies and gentlemen there you have it. Congratulations to the winning teams and we thank you all for coming. We hope to see you all again next two years here in France, Lyon at the SIRHA hotel.”
It’s over. Finally. It wasn’t easy but we made it.
The chefs lined up again and threw their caps in the air, marking the end of this competition.
I left Betsy when Morgan came and ran to Novan who was being interrogated by a journalist. He gave me the gold trophy which was the statue of Paul Bocuse and rounded his arms around me with a kiss on top of my forehead. He’s being so affectionate.
“It’s for you.” He whispered.
I grinned and examined the gold statue in my hands. It’s heavy.
“How do you feel, Chef Anderson?” The lady journalist asked.
“How do I feel? I feel so fucking good.” He answered and those around laughed.
“Okay. I will say this. It’s a tremendous honor to represent Team Australia at this most prestigious culinary competition in the world. To be able to compete alongside the talent here in Lyon over the last few days has been a highlight of my career and a memory I will treasure forever. Training for the Bocuse d’Or requires an incredible amount of discipline, focus, and dedication; I would not be here without the support of my Commis, Conrad Garfield who is like a father to me and our Head Coach, who are both my teammates and of course my girlfriend, she’s been wonderful and a huge inspiration.” He turned to me as well as the cameras. The paparazzi couldn’t have enough of our pictures.
“I love you. I swear I do.”
I teared up. He hugged me tightly and kissed me afterward.
{Loving him with all his flaws.}
“Is that your new phone?”
“Yeah,” I answered, taking my heels off. We just came upstairs after that mind-blowing kiss in front of everyone.
Not only that, we went for an hour night drive around the town, Betsy and Morgan inclusive but in a different car. The speed was insane. Betsy and I made use of the sunroofs. We got out, screaming our lungs out. She threw a bottle of champagne to me which I caught skillfully. We popped it together and poured it on the road. It was crazy but I enjoyed it plus, we weren’t the only people doing that. A few of the Australian supporters who also came did. We made a stop at the Eiffel tower and the way the tower glowed was quite the sight and a nice way to climax everything.
“You didn’t get an iPhone, why?”
I was eager for a temporary phone just to use so I wasn’t selective. I don’t even know the type I bought.
“Nothing. I’m tired of Apple products anyway.”
“Oh really? Should I get you strawberry products then?”
“If there’s any.” My eyes met the chain on his wrist.
“Why do you have it on?” I pointed to it.
“Because it’s mine. I decide to wear it wherever it pleases me.”
“Why do you put it on then? I know it yours but there should be a reason.”
He raised his wrist to his face, looking at it as if it was the first time.
“It’s my charm. It helped when you were not here. Tell me why you took so long to arrive here? If you needed money you could’ve told me Mariana..”
I laughed. Why would I need money? .. wait. I still owe his father the flight ticket. I should’ve taken money right from my bag to pay him but I forgot and my car? I wish I really had his number.
“What will I need the money for, Novan?”
“Do I know? Maybe for the plane ticket. You know I can give you.”
“Maybe you’ve forgotten who your girlfriend is.”
“I haven’t but what could be your reason for not being here on time? Probably going about to borrow a penny to buy tickets because you won’t set your pride aside to ask me.”
I giggled silently. He actually got it right. I begged his dad to get me a plane ticket.
“You know, you can stop taking your parent’s money for mine. I can take care of you.”
I laughed again while he closed the space between us.
“Don’t you believe that I can take care of you?”
“I know you can, you’ve done it before and you’re still doing it but I prefer we work together to fend for ourselves. Couples support each other and not leave the burden on one person.”
” Couples? So you won’t take your parent’s money again? We’d live as couples and I can be giving you whatever you’d need. I will credit your account every week what do you say?”
“You might as well think of us living together. It will be easy my sweet Everett.” I pulled his cheeks.
“Yeah, so what do you say Del darling?” He circled his hands on my waist, drawing me nearer.
“Del huh?” I chuckled at the name I was hardly called by.
“You called me Everett. You have no idea how much I abhor that name.”
“Do you like anything at all Everett?”
“No. Just two people. Nervisa and Del.”
“I see.” I stared into his face. He still has his metals on. He didn’t plug them out and I’m glad he wasn’t judged by them.
“Why don’t we order something? A cake or pizza will do and a bottle of wine or champagne.”
“It’s 11 pm girlfriend. Are you hungry?”
I nodded.
I only took snacks when I went out with Edward.
He stared at me critically and moved back, still looking at me.
He brought his phone out and was still glancing.
“Are you okay? You look like you got sick and you’ve thinned a little. Your eyes have sunk in and they’re dull. Have you not been eating properly? Tell me, what happened? You don’t look yourself. Did anyone trouble you?”
“No, why would you think that?” I turned my back to him.
“Don’t hide from me. Tell me what the matter is. Your mum locked you up didn’t she?”
I choked on my spit that instant.
“Why would you say that?” I asked with hands on my chest as I coughed.
“It’s all over you. I didn’t take notice earlier because I was so happy you came but now I can see it so don’t lie to me. Your mum locked you and took your phone didn’t she?”
“No. Don’t talk like that.”
“Oh please, you don’t lie to me. I know everything. She tried to prevent you from coming so she locked you and took your phone. She hates me that much.”
He got it all.
“Nothing as such happened. You’re thinking too much.”
“What a fool I was. I didn’t think of that if not I wouldn’t have left you behind. Tell me, what else happened, and don’t fuckin dare lie to me.”
Novan doesn’t like my mum as much as my mum also doesn’t like him. I can’t tell him what my mum did for me. Their relationship will never improve if I should do that and Novan will never respect my mum. Already he doesn’t respect her. Telling him this will worsen the situation. It’s pathetic how I’m still protecting my mum despite what she did. She doesn’t deserve it and she’d hear it from me the day I will set foot in Australia.
“Stop trying to cook more lies. I’ve had enough.”
“My mum didn’t do anything Novan. My door jammed and no one was at home then. I remember leaving my phone outside so I couldn’t call anyone..”
“That’s crap. I don’t wanna listen. I said tell me what that woman did to you.” He turned me to him.
God. He’s not having anything I say.
“I said I’m hungry, do something about that first, and stop trying to make me say something that didn’t happen.”
“I’ve already ordered something so tell me.” He closed the gap between us again and cupped my face.
“She did, didn’t she?” He asked calmly.
I blinked my misty eyes as I remembered whatever I had to go through to be here.
“Please don’t hate her.” My tears dropped on my cheeks and he wiped them.
His jaw clenches and unclenches as he gaped at me in seriousness.
“Well, it’s true she did lock me then took my phone and I stayed in my room for two days. Betsy couldn’t come and save me because he texted through my phone to leave, that I won’t be coming again. My grandpa came to my rescue at last and I left the house. Even that, a lot of things happened and I forgot the teddy at home. The flight was so unbearable, Novan, I had to end up at the hospital and I came here once I woke…” He hugged me before I could finish and I cried into his chest.
“I’m sorry. I put you through a lot. I’m sorry. That mum of yours, how dare her. She’d pay for this I promise.” He said through gritted teeth.
“No. Forget about her. I don’t even want to stay in the same house with her anymore. I don’t want to see her, Novan. I can’t believe she caused me so much pain and because of what?”
“She doesn’t like me. I don’t know why her dislike for me was so high right from our first meeting. I know I acted rude to her but is that enough? I don’t think so. She even came to me… forget it. ”
“No, tell me. She came where? To meet you?” I asked eagerly.
“No. Don’t worry..” there’s a knock on the door and he went to get it. After some minutes, Betsy and Morgan came in with a cake and a wine.
What are they doing here again? We just parted.
“Hope we didn’t disturb anything?” Morgan looked on the bed.
I hit his chest. “What are the two of you doing here?”
“To celebrate. At least we can eat a cake together.”
“How can you come here with your boyfriend Betty?” Novan walked back inside.
“It’s Betsy Mr chef.”
“Whatever.” He rolled his eyes.
We walked to the dining area where the cake was placed on the table along with the bottle of wine.
“I’m not cutting that. It’s not some fuckin birthday.” Novan informed.
As for me, my mouth was watering so I couldn’t wait. “Don’t worry, I will cut it on his behalf.” I took the knife.
“I ordered pizza Riana. These two should’ve told us something before barging in on us.”
“Keep quiet Mr. Chef.” Morgan laughed.
Betsy stood by me as I cut the cake. “Hurray!” She shouted.
I took a fraction of it and walked to Novan. He raised his brows.
“Open?” I raised it to his lips and he shook his head.
“Please.” I pleaded.
He rested his hands on my waist and opened up.
“Congratulations to you once again. You don’t know how proud I am of you baby.”
He smiled, pulling me closer to him.
He took the entire piece of the cake and biting my finger in the end. “Ouch.”
He turned to me, blocking the view of Betsy and her boyfriend with his back, and leaned into me then fed the cake to me with his mouth. We shared the last part in a kiss.
He looked at me after that and chuckled.
When he stepped aside, I saw Betsy and Morgan with their hands folded on their chest, looking at us.
“Congratulations dude, but we’re leaving.” Morgan handed him a glass of wine and Betsy gave me another.
“Let’s toast first.” Betsy grinned. “To this new couple and their victory and more victory that is yet to come.” She hit her glass too hard against mine and urged me to drink.
I raised it to my lips but Novan stopped me. “There’s alcohol in it. You can’t drink.”
“But this isn’t a party. We’re in our room so I can drink.” I turned my back and took a sip. It’s sweet but do not be deceived. I can sense the alcohol.
I chug it down and Betsy poured more into my glass.
“What are you doing Betty? Hey, talk to your girlfriend. I don’t want her to get drunk.”
“You should have some too. I know you just want her awake through it.” He chuckled.
“Through what?”
“Nothing. You won. I think you should celebrate. I even wanted for as to club or something tonight…”
“No-no. It’s not happening. I can only get drunk after tomorrow. There’s still one ceremony left which I must attend. We won’t get drunk.”
“Alright boss.” Morgan raised his arms and grabbed Betsy’s hand as they made it out.
“See you, tomorrow girlfriend.”
“Yeah,” I wave her. I took a seat in front of the cake after that.
Novan sat on the table and watched me. He got up and came back with a fork and plate.
“Let me.” He took the knife and cut some onto the plate. “I ordered pizza, do you want to still eat this?”
“Yeah, I will take a little of that too.”
He cut the cake into smaller bits and picked it with the fork to my lips. I opened my mouth and he fed me silently.
“Your mum really shouldn’t have done this. You’re not a kid. Don’t you think she’s going a little too far?”
How do I tell you that your father is the cause of this? You’d only hate him more.
“I’m sure she regrets it by now.”
“That’s not enough. If she was not your mum I would’ve taken legal action against her. She won’t go scot-free.”
I sighed and chewed on the cake.
“I don’t like what she did to you one bit. You forgot the teddy and I can’t imagine how terrible the phobia was. You even have to end in a hospital. The fuck!” He gripped the fork too tightly. He’s probably hatching plans on how to murder my mum without anyone noticing.
“Don’t think about it. It’s passed.”
“How can I not? So tell me how you managed to get a plane. You missed your flight right?”
“Your dad helped me.”
“What?” He dropped the fork.
“You heard me. He came to my rescue when my car stopped in the middle of the road.”
“Then?” He was already up.
“He drove me to the airport and got me a ticket. I’m only here also because of him.”
“Oh please. I would have to repay him.”
“That won’t be necessary..”
“It’s necessary. How’s it even possible that it’s him that has to show up at that moment? I’m sure there’s more to it. That man doesn’t waste any chance to have his way.”
“Will you stop it!” I got up, hitting my palm on the table.
“Let the man be for a moment. Why do you keep reading meaning into everything? I told you I spoke to him and I think he has changed. I just don’t know what is wrong with everyone.”
“Everyone as in?!” He yells.
“Forget it!” I moved away from the table. I can’t believe we’re doing this.
“I want you far away from him. I told you. You should’ve declined his offer and called me.”
“Call you?” I snorted. So that he’d get confused and wouldn’t be able to do anything at all.
“Yes. So you were begging after all. I can’t believe this.” His movements in the room made me dizzy. I think the effect of the alcohol is kicking in.
I moved to sit down on the bed. After today’s stress, from the hospital and all, I’m tired than I know.
“After that, you top it off by letting that prick sit beside you just to annoy me. You think I forgot or what? I just kept my anger at bay because I didn’t want to cause a fuckin scene but I will beat him if I see him tomorrow I swear. You think I’m blind? That I didn’t see anything? That I am a fool? Just because I’m smiling at you doesn’t mean I didn’t take notice of everything. Anytime I’m trying to be good you always find a way to annoy me. You enjoy it don’t you?”
I get it. He was angry and nervous at the same time that’s why he kept his cool. I was wondering why he didn’t blow up like he always does and I thought maybe he has changed but I thought wrong. He was just waiting for the right moment to yell at me.
“I enjoy it? That should be you. You don’t spare a chance to yell at me.”
“If only you’d listen to me when I say something but you always want me to get angry and do something.”
“Who picks a time like this to fight if it is not you. We’re supposed to be celebrating but no, you like to fight me all the time on baseless things. I told you that I love you alone.”
“You only said that to calm me. I didn’t buy it and what I’m saying is not baseless. ”
“Sitting with someone is not a bad thing, Novan.”
“Really? You’re spending time with him laughing and giggling. You enjoyed his company and if it continues it won’t be long and you’d fall in love with him then what will happen to me? You’d say you do not love me anymore..”
“So this is it. You think when we’re together I will fall in love with him? You can’t be serious, Novan. I really thought we’re over this but you’d never change.” Just a while ago he was acting all caring and now he’s turned horrible.
“This isn’t anybody! This is the guy I told you he loves you and that you should stay very far away from him but you chose not to listen. You like him then.” He continues moving about. He only stops when he wants to throw something at me.
“Stop being melodramatic now Novan. We should stop this before this gets out of hand. I miss you, I don’t wanna fight with you. Tell me, don’t you miss me?”
I don’t have any strength to fight him else I would have to end on the corridor tonight or him. Whatever but one of us might end outside when this goes on. We’ve already yelled enough. I give up. It’s pointless trying to win against him. He’d never stop.
“Don’t sweet-talk me! I don’t know what else you did with him.”
“If you don’t stop all this now I will go out there, find Edward, and do whatever you think we must have done..”
“What did you say?”
“You heard me. I’m sure Edward is just next door. I will go to him and I won’t be responsible for what happens next.”
“What..what.. will you do?”
“Anything. Stop being crazy Novan. Did you take something?” I’m sure he did else who goes all gaga on a day like this? Or he took it just to yell at me for sitting with Ed. I really didn’t see this coming. He was acting all cool, nice, and sweet then boom. He’s back to this.
“Don’t talk nonsense! I won’t do that.”
“Then what? I passed through hell just so I could be here. You have no idea how and now you think I would love someone else? I’ve done whatever there’s to be done so far to show you just how much you mean to me and how so mad I am about you but you’re still not convinced. Why the insecurity? Tell me what else I will need to do to show that I ain’t leaving you and that I love you? I’m so tired of this, Novan. It’s draining me and to think that I didn’t expect our day to go this way. Why do you like to ruin things for us?” I was out of breath after talking.
He didn’t say anything else for a moment and when he did speak, I vowed not to say anything again.
“What if you insisted on coming just to prove something? That it’s just some formality and you don’t actually care”
I ignored him completely. He’s mad. Really mad. He can assume whatever he wants.
There’s a knock again and I think it’s the pizza. He glanced at me before moving to the door. He came back with a box of pizza and juice.
I’ve lost my appetite for the pizza but I will manage the juice. It’s my favorite.
He didn’t refuse me when I stretched my hand for it.
He put the pizza beside me but I brushed it away and drank the juice.
“Won’t you take it?”
I shook my head and got up.
I went through my bag and got a pant out. I planned on shopping when I got here so I didn’t pack much. I hope there will be a towel in the washroom for me.
I got into the washroom and let the water run down on me. I came out and I’m relieved when I saw a new towel. I dried myself, put on my panties, and brushed my teeth with the new brush. I wrapped the towel on me and got out. He was still standing where I left him.
“I wanted to take that dress off. Why didn’t you call me to do it?”
He can’t be serious.
I bent to pick something to wear from my bag but there was nothing to wear for the night.
“You can wear my shirt.” He offered.
I got up and went to the closet with his eyes following every movement of mine.
I picked his normal black shirt and slipped it over my head before removing the towel and taking it back to the washroom.
“Are you alright?” He asked when I was walking past him.
“Stop ignoring me.” He grabbed my wrist and yanked me back. I jerked my hand and went to bed. I got on it, covered myself, and closed my eyes. I waited for him to come join but after waiting for what seems like forever, he didn’t come so I had to sleep.
I woke up the next day and looked around. The side of the bed that he was supposed to sleep on looked arranged which means he didn’t sleep on the bed. I looked around and I saw him busy pulling his jeans on.
Is he going somewhere? I heard him telling Morgan that there’s one ceremony to attend this morning. I wanted to ask him but took my phone instead and Googled it.
***The day following the competition, a breakfast is hosted at Chef Paul Bocuse’s infamous Michelin 3-star restaurant in Collonges which includes a ceremony to honor the top three teams by installing a plaque engraved with their names and countries on the front walkway into the restaurant.*** I read.
Oh. So he’s going for breakfast and what is he wearing? Jeans and shirt?
When I looked back at him he was busy putting his boots on then he finally wore his signature shirt. He can’t be serious.
“Novan you can’t wear that,” I said before I can stop myself.
He didn’t mind me either. He walked to the mirror and brushed his hair. I got up and walked to the closet.
“Why can’t I ? And why are you talking to me?” He fired.
I saw a brand new wine-colored suit with the Bocuse barge on it. My eyes settled on the two medals, the trophy and I smiled. He actually won.
“You should wear this instead. It won’t be appropriate to wear your normal clothes. They’re too casual.” I stood behind him.
“Don’t tell me what to do. I saw it before deciding to wear my normal clothes.”
” I know but this is what you must wear. You can’t wear skinny jeans and a shirt?”
“Stop acting like you care. You gave me a cold shoulder yesterday remember?”
“That was because you were being immature. ”
“I see. Then leave me to be.”
“No. I will come with you.”
He looked surprised. “You sure?”
“Yes.” I nodded affirmatively.
“You’ll take the shirt off and wear the suit right?”
“Yeah but you know I don’t know how to dress in it so you have to help me of course.” His cheeks redden in embarrassment.
“Sure. I will get ready while you get your casuals off.” I got into the bathroom and let the water wash over me then came out.
He had taken everything off and was sitting on the bed, waiting for me.
“You’d have to hurry okay?”
“Yeah.” I dried my hair quickly and wore my clothes. I straightened my hair and did a little makeup.
I picked the suit and looked for a nice shirt he can wear under it.
I couldn’t believe my eyes by the time we were through. He looked different and extra hot.
I smiled.
“I look ridiculous don’t I ?” He turned and examined himself in the mirror.
“No, you look hot.”
{Loving him with all his flaws.}
“I look ridiculous don’t I ?” He turned and examined himself in the mirror.
“No, you look hot.”
“You think so?” I stood beside him.
“More than chilies?”
“More than fire ”
“Yeah, if I don’t know how much my girl can flatter but shall we go?”
“Wait a second.” I checked myself once more, turning around and doing it again.
“That is enough.” He grabbed my wrist and matched me out after taking the trophy along.
“Wait Novan.”
“Let’s take a picture before going.”
“With that outdated phone of yours?” He rolled his eyes.
“Then we can use yours.”
“I’m in no moods for pictures. I’m still very angry at you.”
” Between you and I, who’s supposed to be mad at the other?”
“Whatever. I’m not gonna smile into any cameras like a mad man.”
“No. I’m already virtually impaired after last night. I won’t take more pictures.”
“Just one.” I negotiated.
“One.” He agreed.
I took the phone out and surprisingly the camera was clear enough.
I stretched my hand and struggled to take one. I’m on heels but he’s still a bit tall than me. I managed to take one but he wasn’t looking into the camera. His eyes were on me but it was nice anyway. I quickly took another one just when he raised his head. That was also good.
“You said only one.”
“The other one wasn’t clear and even this one.” I lied.
“Put that phone somewhere.” He brought his phone out then wrapped his arm around my waist.
I looked up at him with a smile and he snapped it at that moment. It was cute.
He pulled a silly face and I pulled my tongue out and he snapped that one too. The next one we both smiled into the camera like idiots with the trophy in my hands.
“That’s enough. I will send it to you.”
“Alright, don’t forget.”
He slipped the phone back into his pocket and took the trophy as we made it out.
As if it was announced that we’d be coming down, a lot of people were outside and once we got out they started taking pictures upon pictures.
The other finalist was also there and a limo was waiting outside. It seems they all spend the night here.
We got into the limo and it drove away.
We got to the venue after half an hour and the restaurant was indeed huge and classy. The food was also top-notch. I enjoyed it so much I took more than I was supposed to. The most exciting part was when Novan’s full name was engraved on the front walkway into the Michelin three-star restaurant as the winner of this year’s Bocuse. It was amazing and I felt so happy. This is actually real.
I also met a lot of big men and got a chance to hug President Emmanuel Macron while Novan was pulling faces because he didn’t want to hug anybody and doesn’t want me to also do it.
Fuck! I can’t believe I wore this today.” Novan removed the suit and threw it to the floor once we arrived at the hotel room. I picked it up without a word and folded it into the closet.
“We ain’t staying here. We only stayed here because where I lodged at is not close to here.”
“Then when will we be going?”
“Now. I will help pack your things.”
I chuckled. He can’t pack his own things but he wants to help me. I can picture him shoving everything into my bag all at once.
“No thanks.”
“What? You think I can’t pack things?”
“I didn’t say so.” I picked my bag and began to pack my things inside.
“Alright.” He picked his few shirt out and jeans then threw it on my head.
“What was that for? You’re crazy.”
“You say that a lot.” He chuckled and I found myself smiling while I fold his things on mine. I changed into his shirt and wore blue jeans and the only sneakers I brought with me.
I finished packing and zipped the bag. ” Have you heard from Betsy?.”
“Don’t you have her number?”
I fished my phone out and call her. She picked after the first ring.
“Hey crazy girl, where are you?”
“Going to the beach. Where did you go? I saw the pictures of you two on social media. Donovan couldn’t look any more handsome. I could hit on him.”
“That won’t be a problem. He’s quite a handful anyway. I will just take your sweet Morgan from you.” I glanced at Novan. He was typing on his phone with a serious look. I guess he didn’t even hear me.
Betsy laughed from the other line. “So tell me, how was your first time?”
“Don’t pretend. I know something happened. We brought that alcohol for a reason. Did you guys do it? How was it? Sweet huh? Tell me everything.”
“You’re talking absolute nonsense.”
“Wait. So nothing happened?”
“Nothing.” Novan was being a jerk. We didn’t even sleep in the same bed and I’m yet to know where he slept.
“Lame. You two are no fun. How can you let such a golden opportunity to climax everything goes to waste? What could’ve been better than making him fuck you? It would’ve completed everything..”
“You’re making no sense Betsy. I’m hanging up.” I didn’t even think of that. Novan and I? Taking the bull by the horns? Sex is a huge step. I still think so. I don’t want Novan to yell at me after that. He’d definitely do it. That guy doesn’t think before doing anything.
“Are you there? Don’t tell me you’re planning to seduce him tonight.”
“Another of that and I will end the call, Betsy Brew.”
“Okay okay. So tell me. School will resume this week. When will you two leave France? I will be spending at least a week here though.”
” My mind didn’t go there. I will ask Novan. Have a nice time and protect yourself.”
“Thanks for the advice but tell me. Why did you change your number?”
“Nothing. I will see you when you get back. Did I tell you I got a penthouse and a Rolls-Royce?”
“Huh? Oh my fuckin God. When was that? You didn’t tell me.”
“You told me you won’t be staying with me remember?”
“Fuck that. Take me there once I get back.”
“Sure. I love you…”
“Who’s that?!” Novan barked and snatched the phone from my hands.
“Who’s this? I don’t care. I don’t want her to say that to you again. She can only say it to me got it?..yes fine. So? Get the fuck off the line..”
“Novan!” I took the phone back but the call has already ended.
“If jealousy doesn’t kill you nothing else will Everett Alec Anderson.” I hit the phone against his chest.
“How can you tell her that when I’m here. You didn’t even kiss me today.”
I shook my head and lift the bag.
“Give me that girlfriend.” He took the bag from me and we walked out. He returned and checked the room one last time.
“Novan, when do you want us to go back?”
“It’s all up to you. We can relocate here if you won’t mind.”
“Don’t joke. School will resume this week.”
“We can go tomorrow if that’s what you want. I heard there’s a function to be held for me once we returned so I guess the earlier we go the better. ”
“You’re a celebrity Novan. I’m so proud of you really.”
“You motivated me to do this Riana. I couldn’t have achieved this without you by my side and as an inspiration.” He sounded honest.
I was speechless for a moment before speaking finally.
“Have you said goodbye to Conrad?”
” I met him a while ago but I didn’t say I’d be leaving soon. He brought his family so I think he’d like to stay in the country for a while.”
“Would you like to stay too?”
“No. I’ve been here before and I’ve visited most of the cities.”
“Take me on a tour then.”
“How many days do you want us to take?”
“Two days?”
We got into his hired car and he drove away.
“I will just drop our things then we can go okay?”
“Yes, baby.”
He looked at me, shaking his head and smiling. “My cock twitches each time you call me that babe. Say that again.”
I turned bright red even though I didn’t know that he means by cock. I think he has said it before but it hadn’t occurred to me to ask before.
“What is cock?”
He burst into laughter.
“Don’t laugh at me Novan.”
“No. I’m not.” He smirked. “You really want to know what a cock is?”
There’s something about that smirk of his that makes me wanna take my words back. It’s naughty.
I shook my head slowly.
“Oh come on. ” He laughed and put his hand over mine. Before I knew it he has placed it in front of him.
I gulped. ” What?”
“That is a cock.”
I blushed harder and withdrew my hand from his front.
“You’re naughty.” I looked out of the window and bit my lips. I’m feeling so shy.
“Please don’t be shy?” You asked for it.”
“Shouldn’t I call you that again?”
“Of course you can. I feel so happy and horny at the same time when you call me that. It’s like saying, daddy.”
I gaped at him before looking out of the window. He seems excited. It wasn’t long before my eyes travel back on him.
When I did, he was sucking his lower lip sensually. I felt weird. That is hot and sensual. It’s also been a while since he had his lips on me. I missed it, everything. And he’s looking so good right now. A strand of hair was falling over his forehead and he was now swiping his pierced tongue over his glistening lips as he drives. God. I swallowed. I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. I’m hooked. So hooked.
“It’s illegal to stare at a man like that, Mariana.”
I blinked and looked away having been caught red-handed.
” I was just…erm.. well..”
“You were just erm..errm.. what? I know you were drooling. You’re fuckin feeling me, I know.”
“You wish.”
“Lie all you want. I got you there.”
I’m relieved when he stopped the car after entering a hotel.
He got down, took the bag, and opened my door for me. We walked together inside and took the elevator.
I’m presented with yet another amazing room when he entered. Novan sure knows good things and he always goes for the best.
He dropped the bag and walked towards me leisurely. I moved backward until my back hit the door. He leaned into me and his hand went to my back.
“Novan.. what are you doing..?”
The knob turned. “I want to go out. What did you think?” He smirked.
“Oh.” I stepped aside. What was I even thinking? He just made me look not less than a fool.
“I thought you wanna tour? We won’t be doing it in a room? Only if you want me to tour you…”
“Shut up.” I covered my face as we made it out with him laughing his heart out.
He took me by surprise when he caged me in the elevator and stole my breath away with his heavenly lips. The same lips I was busy daydreaming about. I kissed him back in no time then jumped and wrapped my legs around his waist successfully.
“You know we can go back inside right?” He said against my lips.
I nodded as I was still trying to catch my breath.
{Loving him with all his flaws.}
You sure?” He asked again.
“Double sure,” I spoke.
“Mmm.” He mumbled and his lips found mine again. Lost in the kiss, I didn’t realize when he started walking out of the elevator till I felt my back against our room door and his body flashed against mine while his hands explored me.
“You asked if I haven’t missed you right?” His warm breath hit my wet lips.
“Did you?” I breathed.
“You have no idea.” His mouth moved to my neck and his teeth grazed the delicate skin there. I held onto him tightly as his tongue ring sent an electrical wave through my entire system.
The ringing of his phone startled both of us and I had to curse under my breath when he won’t ignore it.
“Erm…I have to pick. I don’t know who’s calling.” He brought me down to my feet and stepped into the extreme part of the hotel room.
I squinch my red cheeks and drop down on the bed. I looked back and he was whispering and his hand on his sexy waist. Most of his hair falling over his face, making him look incredibly hot. Hmm. This beautiful flawed boyfriend of mine.
I wonder why he won’t take the call in front of me. Is it Aria? Or some other girl? God, what am I thinking?
I resisted the urge to laugh when Mariana cursed at the sound of my phone ringing. Not like I blame her because I was also annoyed. I wouldn’t have bothered if I knew who was calling but I just won an international title so calls like this are expected. I didn’t want to miss any.
“Hello?” I moved from her and answered.
“I want to speak to my daughter.”
I got the phone off my ears and scowled at the screen. It’s Paula, her bitch of a mum. I’m still very angry at her for what she did to Riana. I wish I could arrest her for that.
“Excuse me?”
“You heard me. Don’t make me repeat myself.”
Look at her. I can decide not to take the phone to Mariana. I doubt if she wants to speak to her anyway.
“Oh hello? Where have your manners run off to? Try being a little polite Paula madam.”
“Don’t start this with me, young man. I said give the phone to my daughter.”
“If you’re not ready to talk nicely to me then forget it. Seriously, can you be any rude? Yet you say I’m rude.”
“Donovan or whatever you call yourself. Don’t start this with me.”
“I’m not starting anything. You’re just not ready to talk to your daughter so talk to her on your phone instead and don’t disturb me.” First, she has to interrupt us, and now she couldn’t even talk to me nicely even when she needed me to do something for her.
“Don’t dare hang up on me. Just give her the phone. I know she’s there with you.”
“Don’t waste your time. I’m doing no such thing until you ask me nicely.”
Take that, Paula.
She sighed deeply over the phone and I smiled. Almighty Paula thinks she can get away with everything just because she’s the mother of the universe.
“Could you please give my daughter the phone? I would like to speak to her.”
Serves her right for locking my girlfriend up.
I didn’t talk more and walked to Mariana who was busy staring at the ceiling. I wonder if she has retired from her nosy business. A normal Riana should be eavesdropping on me. Ahh well, maybe it’s just a break. My nosy Parker girlfriend.
“Someone wants to talk to you.”
“Who?” She got up from the bed.
“Look for yourself.”
She took the phone and stared at the screen with a frown.
“It’s my mum, Novan.”
“I know. Talk to her.” I sat beside her and grabbed a fistful of her hair, inhaling it like a psychopath.
“Mum.” She called quietly and exhaled deeply.
“I’m fine. I don’t know, don’t expect me. I really wanna stay far from your mum. I don’t wanna ever see you. Please. Crying won’t solve anything. Do you have any idea how much you hurt me? I don’t even miss you.”
She closed her eyes and I kissed her cheeks. I wonder when her mum will let her be, us be. I’m glad she said she doesn’t wanna see her again. It means she’d be with me even if we go back to Australia. She would be leaving with me then. That sounds so good.
I’m sorry her relationship with her mum went this way, if only Paula will stop panicking. It’s not like I will kill her daughter? I still have not the least clue as to why she wouldn’t want me for her daughter.
“I’m hanging up.” She said and brought the phone down then tapping on the red button amidst her mum’s cry for her not to hung up.
“Don’t pick her call anymore unless you want to speak to her yourself.” She instructed and I had to nod like an obedient boy.
Her mood is already ruined all thanks to Madam Paula.
“Can we go out now? I want some fresh air.”
“Why? Don’t you want to be thrown on the bed again?”
She licked her slightly swollen lips and bit her lips to stop the smile threatening to form on her face. She failed.
“We can do that later, now I just want to look around Paris.”
“Okay, my queen”
The world seemed to be underneath me after I’ve made it successfully to the top of the Eiffel tower, the highest observation deck. You can imagine. It’s amazing but incredibly scary. The crowd below is insane. So insane.
“Ready to look below yet?” Novan asked.
“Not until we’ve had dinner.” I’m not really hungry. I kept taking french snacks throughout the journey to the top, I just wanted to get on this whole experience. I can’t believe there are two restaurants on this tower then a champagne bar and also a lot of fashion stores.
Novan held my waist and we took the lift to the one-MICHELIN-starred restaurant Jules Verne where I watched him converse fluently in French with a waiter. I admire this boy a lot. I think I’m a fan.
My mouth fell open as I took in the breathtaking view over the Champ-de-Mars from where I sat.
“When did you learn to speak such fluent French boyfriend?” I asked when he returned.
Smiling, he bragged. “I’m not a common guy..”
“I can see that so tell me how”
“We learn it. That’s what I did or should I say it’s the language my mum spoke to me since I was a kid?”
“Your mum can speak French?”
“Yeah, she was a chef did I not tell you? She’s a silver holder and in fact, I’ve been here with her before.”
“Interesting. You know, I really will love to see your mum even if it’s just a picture of her, I’m gonna be grateful.”
“Not happening.” He dismissed without looking at me. Our meal came and he began to eat.
I stared at him as he took bite after bite.
“I’m gonna throw you off this tower if you don’t stop staring at me like that.”
“I dare you.”
“Really?” He looked up at me with a cunning smile.
“Don’t be throwing challenges like that babe, you know your boyfriend is a crackhead. He can do anything.”
“I also know my boyfriend can’t do without me.”
“That is it then, so you can do anything ?”
“Do I need to say yes?” I smirked.
“I won’t mind you.”
I focused on my food with a pleased smile. I’m glad he gave up before I did. He always holds the upper hand and I had to step back on the way but mostly it’s to avoid the argument from going from bad to worst.
It was almost dark after we had the meal. Most parts of the time were spent discussing just everything lighter. He still doesn’t want me to talk about his parents and I’m respecting that for now. Just for now.
Taking the lift, we arrived at a shop.
“What will we do here Novan?”
“I want us to make this night more meaningful so I got this for you.” He presented a parcel to me. When did he get it?
“Don’t ask any questions, I will be up there waiting for you. Just get dressed.”
“Novan… I.. don’t.. understand what is going on?”
“Please. Just don’t say anything. I will be waiting.” He gave me a quick passionate kiss and scurried away.
I stood in front of the store with the parcel for a moment before getting inside where I unwrapped the puzzle. I laughed when I saw the dress. It was the same white dress he’s been crazy about.
I walked into the changing room and got out of my previous clothes. I wore the dress and the fresh fragrance from it gave it away that it has been washed. Novan is insane. So he really wants to take this dress off of me? Is he not tired of seeing me in it twice already? What’s so special about it?
I found a hairbrush and brushed my hair. I held it in a high pony and applied lipstick, mascara, and eyeliner. I kept all of them in my bag. I did all these since this really means so much to Novan.
After dressing up, I got on the lift with the help of a tour guide and arrived at a bar filled with numerous bottles of champagnes and tables where people sat in twos and threes.
“Here madam ” A waiter directed me to a part of the bar and I walked on that passage till I saw one table with two empty seats. It was the only table and the view from up here is exquisite. The view is so awesome and when I look around, I can see the city of lights. I’m speechless. Like this is the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen.
I’m startled when a pair of hands came around me and I felt kisses being sprayed on my neck.
I turned and wrapped my hands on his neck, giving him my best smile.
“I love this. Everything is so wonderful.”
“Anything for my girl.”
“How sweet.”
“You know me.”
I laughed into his chest and his hands formed around me.
“Let’s have a seat. I got us a bottle of champagne and the view here is awesome and perfect.”
“I will choose the champagne.”
“What? What do you know about french champagnes?”
“I have my phone here ” I showed him my phone then googled the perfect drink to suit this moment. I walked back to the bar and made an order of my preferred champagne, Krug NV Grand Cuve茅. It’s a spendy bottle of wine.
We took our seat and the champagne was brought to our table.
A permanent smile is plastered on his face as he takes off the cork. A pop sound was made and he filled both glasses.
He raised his glass. “This is for accepting and loving me. Then for being a source of encouragement. You could make an honest man out of me, you’re doing it and I’m grateful.”
“I feel uncomfortable when you’re going all sweet on me. This isn’t you.” I clicked my glass against his and took a sip. I took another and let the smooth drink take a peaceful trip down my throat.
“I can see you love it when I’m being a jerk to you.”
“Thanks for letting me know but are you aware there’s alcohol in this champagne?”
“I know. I still believe we’re in the celebration mood of your victory and what is a celebration without a bit of alcohol?”
“So much bravery. I love that.”
“You know me,” I repeated his words and he laughed.
We savored bottle after bottle of champagne as we took in the city of lights at the top of the Eiffel tower, enjoying the moment in each other’s company.
I couldn’t feel my feet again by the time we’re through with another bottle. I’ve even lost count. Novan doesn’t look anywhere near drunk if only he’s not pretending.
“You’re drunk.” He mocked.
“No, what makes you think so?”
“So should I get us another bottle?”
“For take away, yes but not gonna take it here. Right now I think we should go back to the hotel.” I got up slowly, holding the table for support.
My legs wobbled when I got on my feet without the table support.
“Are you okay? I can take you.”
“No. I’m okay. I just have to adjust myself a little.” I moved my steps at a time and soon I could walk.
He chuckled behind me.
We got into the elevator and I’m relieved when after an hour we’re close to his car. I had to laugh at him when after five minutes he still hadn’t found a way to fetch the key out from his pocket. So much for being drunk.
He opened the door finally and I got in while he took the driver’s side.
I kicked my feet out of the heels and rested my head on the head restraint and with a silent prayer of divine protection, he took off.
“I can’t believe you prayed. I’m not really that drunk you know.”
“I saw that. It took you a decade to fetch a common key from just your pocket.”
“You’re exaggerating.”
I looked at him and crossed the center console then curled on his lap. His seat inclined and I relaxed into his arms while he drove.
“Where did you sleep last night, Novan? You didn’t sleep beside me.”
He looked down at me before answering. “In the room. Where else?”
“Why didn’t you sleep with me?”
“I will sleep with you tonight…”
“And other nights?”
“Other nights.” I felt him kiss my hair and I closed my eyes.
{Loving him with all his flaws.}
“Are you sleeping?”
His voice startled me and I opened my eyes slightly. The car is still moving but slowly.
“Kind of. Why do you ask?”
“I want to piss.”
“Oh okay.” I raised myself from him and the car came to a stop.
I moved to my seat while he got out. I looked around and noticed that where he parked the car is just opposite to a club.
I wore my heels and got out of the car.
Taking a good dance won’t be bad and Novan has already found himself a washroom.
I don’t know if Novan is going to be pleased with this but I really want to go inside. I waited for him after counting a hundred then I turned to the road and ready to cross.packings
It was only after crossing I heard Novan yell my name then begin to run to me.
I disappeared into the huge building when Novan barely made it to me. He’s going to freak out and yell at me probably.
The club was crowded and the dancefloor was also packed to top it off, the music blasting through the speakers were foreign. I stood at the bar, tapping my feet and giving a nod to the music which was slowly taking over me. Not bad.
“And what is this? Why are you here?” Novan’s voice is loud over the music as he turned me roughly to him.
“Let’s dance ” I took his hands instead.
“I’m not doing anything, let’s go home.” He grabbed my wrist instead.
“No. I came to dance.” I folded my hands on my chest stubbornly.
“What? Is that where the level of your madness has reached? We were going home.”
“Dance with me or leave.”
He put both hands on his waist and looked around. I followed his eyes and it was then I saw that the bar was filled with people inhaling pipes. Most of them were. I didn’t notice when I got in.
“You know I don’t dance.” He finally tore his gaze away but it only fell on some young guys sitting and smoking away leisurely.
“I think we should go.” I held his arm. We have to leave before Novan is tempted to join in the smoking carnival going on here.
“Why? You wanted to dance.”
“No, I don’t want to anymore.”
“Why? If you think I might be tempted to join these smokers then you’re wrong. I’m not a chain smoker Mariana.”
“I didn’t say so. I’m just concerned and besides, this environment is not good. Anything can happen. We should leave ”
I’m suddenly scared. This place isn’t safe.
He didn’t complain when I took his hand and we walked out. That was so childish of me.
By the time we made it up to the hotel, I’ve sobered up a bit. I kicked my shoe off as usual and dropped my bag. Novan entered and then locked the door.
He pulled his shirt off and jeans and left them in the middle of the room. Novan is into culinary and I’m sure he’s been taught that cleanliness and orderliness are key but I hardly see him portray that except when he’s cooking. His organizing is so poor plus zero packing. What a slob!
I walked to the wardrobe in an attempt to look for something to wear only to feel Novan’s cold hands at my back then slowly, the zip at the back of my dress pulled down, peeling slowly away. His lips found my back, nipping the skin there and biting softly. My eyes closed involuntarily and my breathing changed. My head fell back on his shoulders as the dress got off me completely leaving me in my undergarments. His lips kept working magic and sending sparks to flow uncontrollably inside me. My stomach clenched and I couldn’t resist the moan when his.. well..cock pressed firmly to my back. It was warm and hard and he was only in his boxer briefs. Our warm bodies were close and his lips won’t stop working on my back seductively and teasingly.
I turned and pulled him down by the nape and kissed him harshly. I could taste the champagne on his tongue, a hint of mint, and his overall sweetness. He made a sexy low moan as his hands grabbed my ass cheeks, kneading it gently. My hand went under his arm and I pulled him even closer to me, kissing him with my all. My toes were standing. I couldn’t get enough.
His hands moved to the small of my back then traveled to the back of my bra. He played with it for a moment then unclasped it. I helped him take it off and I smooched my chest into his. We both moaned at the same time at the contact of soft to hard.
I felt his hand move to my sex then he rubbed me there then, he brushed my pant to the side and hit his thumb at my sensitive spot. I moaned into his mouth and pulled my legs apart to create more room for him.
Novan carried me off the ground and onto the bed then came on me, taking charge of the kiss. It was slow and teasing and his hand was still on me while the other fondled my breast. Without warning, he slipped a finger inside me and began to pump slowly.
“Shit, so wet and for me.” He whispered in a sexy tone. It didn’t help matters.
I bit his lips and run my hands crazily in his hair, tugging at his roots.
“Nov..” I moaned as he quickened his pace and added another finger to make it two. That hurt a little but it’s okay.
His lips went back to my neck and he sucked harshly then licked my breast and collarbone, moving lower, his warm breath fanned my hard nipples as he took them inside his mouth and sucked on it. My whole body set ablaze as he continued his torturous sweet assault.
He continues to pump in and out then descended in-between my legs. I groaned at the emptiness when his fingers moved out of me. My eyes found his and I saw hunger and love in them. The lights inside his eyes blazed and it sent tingles all over me.
He holds me by the thighs and part my legs. The next, he hooked his hands on my panties and pulled it off, leaving me stark naked before him. He held my knee up and buried his head between me. I couldn’t keep my moans in as his lips found me and began to work on me like never before. My insides build up.
“Oh, God.” I grabbed the sheet tightly with my eyes shut.
He sucked on me, sending spirals of delicious waves whacking mercilessly inside me. His tongue teased my spot, twirling and sucking before diving into me. God, he’s so good…at this. I feel my legs shaking as his tongue pumps relentlessly inside of me. My grips on the sheet were violent and my nails dug into the mattress.
“Tell me how good this feels.” He blew air over my wetness and I struggled to tell him how good he’s making me feel. He began to say dirty things I’ve never heard before which in turn throws me off the edge as he lapped me. My legs shook harder as I came.
He rose above me and pressed his lips to mine. They taste strange. My breathing is staggered and my chest couldn’t heave any less. He buried his face in my neck and I wrapped my arms around him before moving to his boxers. I moved my waist and his erection hit against my crotch. He moaned and looked at me. The look in his eyes made me weak. I brought my lips back on him and pulled him down on me. That wasn’t enough. I want more. I raised my hips against his hard erection again and it brushed my entrance. I shuddered while he groaned and began to get away but I pulled him back down.
“Don’t go,” I begged.
“I’m not.” He laid back on me but his weight was shifted from me.
Out of instinct and a new set of bravery, my hands snake into his briefs, grabbing him and began to run my hands up and down on him.
“God, what are you doing?” He moaned and bit my shoulder blades.
“I.. I..”
“Please.” He cuts me off but I don’t know what he was begging me for.
My hand wiped the dampness at his tip and he pulsed in my hand and with a frustrated moan.
“What.. do you.. want Riana?” He asked slowly in a shaky voice.
“You,” I say without thinking.
“Yes, Novan.” I raised his head to look at his face. His eyes are dilated and filled with uncertainty.
“Are you sure?”
I nodded. I know I just said yesterday that I’m still not sure if I want to do this with Novan but what’s the point? I love him and he does more. I don’t know what I’ve been waiting for since. I know I won’t be able to love anybody like I do Novan and I don’t see myself with anybody but him. I only want him and I think this step has been long overdue. I’m sure about him and despite our petty fights, I also no there’s no way in hell that he’d leave me. He can’t do without me and so do I.
“Mariana, do you have any idea?”
“Please Novan. I know you also want this.”
He closed his eyes. “Hell, I do but..”
“But nothing. I’m ready.” I moved my hands up and down on him.
” Fuck…are you sure you’re not drunk?” He asked.
“I sobered up. I’m not drunk I swear.”
I reached to pull his boxers from him and he held my hand. My hands continued to run up and down on him.
“Please don’t hold back baby.”
His cock twitched, confirming what he told me this morning.
He looked at me as if to say, ‘ you see?’
“Baby,” I called again intentionally and it did happen again. His lips came on me fiercely, fireworks spark between us as he moved comfortably between my legs. His cock rubbing against me sent me insane.
“Are you really sure about this? If you’re not I’m okay. I can wait for you.”
“I love you,” I said instead.
“I love you more but you know once it’s done, it’s done. We can’t go back you know right?”
“I know and I want to.”
He kissed the bridge of my nose and got up.
Where’s he going now? Haven’t I given him enough conviction? I really want to do this.
He walked to the middle of the room where he left his jeans and picked it up. His hands went into the back pocket and he brought a foil packet out.
A condom? He brought a condom? Where and when did he get it? Did he keep it on him all along but chose to lie to me the other day? Why would he keep a condom?
The thought was becoming too much, slowly killing the vibes and making the fire he set inside me die out so I pushed them away. I don’t want to ruin this moment for us.
He came back and got onto the bed in a sitting position.
“You want this?”
I closed my eyes, tired of repeating myself. “How many times do I have to say this Everett?”
He doesn’t say anything else then tore the packet. My eyes remained glued on the packet. I wanted this but I can’t believe it’s happening.
I don’t know how I wanted my first time to be like because I’ve never thought of it to the extent that I will plan it. These things never crossed my mind and I even vowed to kiss only at forty or thirty. That was childish but still, I never imagined myself doing all this and just at eighteen. Right now, I know I want this and I don’t want to overthink it. All I feel is my love for this handsome tattooed boy and his love for me.
He pulled his boxers off and I resisted the urge to cover my eyes when his full length came into view. My cheeks flushed and I bit my lips. I’m still shy, no doubt and it’s funny I can’t look directly at his cock. It’s my first time so I think with time, I will get used to it.
“I know you wanted to cover your eyes. Go ahead, cover it, and show me how ready and sure you’re about this.” His head falls back in laughter.
He caught me. I eventually covered my face but only to laugh into my palms.
Watch me put it on.” He commanded and I uncovered my face.
He holds the mouth of the condom and positioned it on the tip of his cock then begins to roll it down. He took my hand, staring deep into my eyes and placed it on him. Together, we rolled the condom on his full length and he gasped at the near-contact of my hand on him as his cheeks turned red.
He looked at me again to confirm.
“We’ve held back for far too long Novan.”
“Is that so?”
I bobbed my head. ” Obviously.”
He moved on top of me and parted my legs with his knee then he began to kiss me all over. Sucking on me and igniting new fires. He sucked on my earlobe and leaned further into me. His lips proceeded to kiss my neck, cheeks, nose, eyes then finally to my lips then he repeated the whole process again.
Not able to wait any longer, I pulled him down on me.
“Let’s take it slow babe, slow.” He rasped in between kisses.
“So this is going to hurt but tell me if you want me to stop okay? His voice is filled with concern.
“Alright.” I swallowed. From the stories I heard, they said losing one’s virginity hurts. I hope it won’t hurt too much.
” You’re soaked so it should help a little.” He said again and I shudder, feeling him brush my opening.
With his lips on my neck, he mashed himself into me slowly. It’s a bizarre feeling. My eyes flew shut and a gasp escaped from my mouth.
“You okay?” He stilled for a moment.
I nodded.
“I’m sorry…can I go on?”
I nodded again and he went further into me. I bit my lips as a pain nibbed inside me and I felt my core stretching to accommodate him. This is awfully painful. I winced when he pressed more further.
“God..oh fuck..” his head fell back and he licked his lips.
“You know I love you right? I love you so much, Mariana.” My tears ran down my cheeks and he kissed them away. He began to repeat his earlier process by kissing me all over then he thrust slowly one last time, filling me completely. God. It hurts.
His movement stilled and he looked undecided.
“Should I stop?” He rasped.
“No.” I managed to say with a shake of my head.
“I can… move?” He breathed, his voice full of pleasure as well as worry.
“Oh fuck…god.” he rolled his hips against me then thrust gently. He kissed me, muting the pain slightly as he moved again then thrust back, his face now buried in the crook of my neck before he lifted it to the ceiling.
I watched in awe as his eyes shut, his sharp jaw clench, hair falling across his beautiful face and his muscles contracting against his inked skin as he moved in and out of me gently. I can tell he’s trying to control himself just for me, to maintain this slow steady pace and I can’t swoon less on him for it. I just love him the more. He brought his face back on mine and joined our foreheads, his breathing was wild, hot, and unstable in my face. He then levels his face on mine and our eyes meet. The emotions I saw in there brings a whole new feeling into me that I can’t pinpoint. I love this boy, I really do and I’m willing to take this pain over and over again just to feel this whole experience again. This deep connection that is forming between us, this overwhelming bond, and this closeness. I looked down at our joined bodies and I knew that with this, we’ve become one. I’m into him and him in me. He loves me as much as I do and he can’t live without me as much I can’t breathe when he’s not there.
His swollen lips came on mine again as he brushed his hand on my face lovingly. The pain has almost dulled, not entirely but better than before. My hands claw at his back and I deepened the kiss, swallowing his moans.
My lips left his and I sucked on the skin below his ear harshly then blew warm air over it.
“That’s it, babe, you’re doing great.” He moaned into my neck and I tug at his hair.
“I love you, baby.” Once I uttered the words I felt that wonderful feeling of his cock twitching then pulsed. It was so amazing and awesome to have him react in me that way that I feel my orgasm building. Time slows, picked up then slowed then moved as he continues to pull in and out of me. With each thrust, I fill a sting.
“God Riana, you’re perfect.” He said in a low moan, emphasizing on the perfect.
“I’m gonna come oh babe.” He bit my neck harshly yet again before meeting my eyes and just like that, I watched him come as his eyes communicated so many unspoken deep words and promises as he tensed and stilled then fell on me, his heart thrumming against my chest. His hair sticks on his sweaty forehead and I had to kiss him there tenderly.
Watching him come and let loose got to be the best sight ever. Something so pure, so true, so meaningful, overwhelming, and deep. The feeling is real, so real and the force it comes with can’t be reckoned with.
He got off me sooner than I wished and I whimpered when he pulled out of me. I felt empty and bereft.
He lays beside me then raising himself on his elbows, he stared into my face with a beautiful enchanting smile. Could he look any more handsome?
He pulled the condom out and placed it back in the rubber and resumed his staring contest on me.
I’m suddenly speechless and I don’t know what to do or say next. I pulled my thighs together to dull the ache in between my legs.
“What?” I attempt to cover my face.
He got my hands away and kissed it.
“How are you feeling? Are you okay.” His face contorted into that of worry.
“I’m okay,” I answered honestly despite the slight pain I’m feeling.
“How was it? Did you like it? Was it what you imagined and expected? Tell me.” He bombarded me with questions.
“Relax Everett. It was great, at least better than I expected or imagined.”
“Really?” His face splits into a smile.
“Yeah. How was it for you? I’m sorry I couldn’t make this worthwhile but I promise I will make up as time goes on and…”
“Stop it, babe. It was amazing and the best feeling I ever experienced. You don’t know how this means to me”
I’m not convinced. Novan has been with experienced girls who actually know how to do this and how to make him feel good. For example Aria. He said they didn’t do anything but I’m yet to believe that.
“You don’t believe me? Don’t doubt me, princess, I never loved anyone than I do you. And I never loved the girls I did it with. What I felt today is not something to be compared to any other meaningless thing I did just for the sake of it. This is real and it’s not the same when you love the person. I love you.” He kissed my face all over.
I giggled as my heart swelled. I felt comforted, relieved, and assured and I’m already fantasizing about the next time.
“What have we done, Novan?” I bit my lips for the umpteenth time tonight.
“We had sex, great sex.” He said bluntly.
I smiled. He just registered it in my mind that I’m no longer a virgin. I lost my virginity to a tattooed boy with piercings in Paris on the fifth floor of a hotel and I won’t change a single thing about it.
“You don’t regret it right?”
His smile brightened even deeper than I’ve ever seen before. It’s a slight change that I’ve never seen before. His eyes were also clear and looked brighter than ever. They were shining and it doesn’t look like the one you get when you’re on the verge of tears. This is different.
“Did it hurt so much?”
“Sort of and now I don’t know how I’m going to get on my feet.” I chuckled.
“I’m sorry.” He apologized.
“No, don’t.” I placed my hands on his lips.
He pulled me to lie on his chest and I cringed when my eyes met the bloody sheets.
“I can’t believe I finally fucked you. God.” He buried his hand in my hair while I brushed my cheeks against his chest. He still smells great despite being sweaty and all…
We did it…yet again but differently. What a great way to crown everything.
“I also can’t believe it, Everett.”
“You’re so beautiful that you make anything such as this name sound good to the ear. It always sounds nice coming from your lips babe.”
I chuckled. “Is it?”
“Oh, Novan.” I looked up at him. “What did we just do?”
{Loving him with all his flaws.}
“Oh, Novan.” I looked up at him. “What did we just do?” I asked again and he shrugged with a selfless grin. “Nothing.”
I kissed the tip of his nose and we stayed in the same position with me lying on his chest and his hands playing in my hair.
“Who did it and didn’t die?” I asked, remembering Nina’s words at the party.
“Are you asking that?” Novan laughed loudly.
“Yeah.” I looked at him and couldn’t help but to kiss his lips.
“Let me see that tattoo again.” He flipped me off him gently and hovered above me.
His hand traced the tattoo close to my abdomen. “This is crazy. You really shouldn’t have done this but it’s nice. Why did you do it?”
“I told you, I felt like doing it.”
“Mmm. And you got our initials, ‘DM’. I think it’s squared and perfect now that we’ve crossed all barriers. I promise to never leave you, babe.” He kissed the inked part of my abdomen and rolled his pierced tongue on it. I shuddered and my toes curled.
I tried not to moan as he continued doing that. Oh, Novan.
“Baby..” I moaned. He sprints from me at that moment.
“Sorry, I got carried away.” He came to lay back beside me and kissed the side of my face.
“So who did it and didn’t die?” I repeated and he laughed again.
“It’s you.”
“Huh? Me?”
“What did I do?”
“Nina saw you the day you got the tattoo but she didn’t know we’re dating. Out of nowhere, she asked if I’d like for my girl to get a tattoo and I said I will kill her. When she saw you with me at the party for the first time, she was surprised that’s why she made that statement.”
Everything makes sense now.
“I didn’t die,” I muttered with a smile.
“But I was very angry. My mind brainstormed things I could do to hurt you. I was really mad. Please don’t get any more tattoos, I don’t like them on you.”
“Why don’t you want me to get a tattoo? You have a lot of them.”
“I thought I told you. If I wanted someone with tattoos then I would’ve dated Nina or any other girl like that. I love you just the way you are and a tattoo on you doesn’t make the least sense.”
I raised my head and kissed his jaw. My eyes moved to his chest and came into contact with the Lion tattoo on his chest.
“What is the meaning of the tattoo on your chest Novan?”
“Are you still thinking about it?” He asked and I nodded.
” I know there’s a story behind that drawing on your chest. A roaring Lion between your chest, a heart at the left side, and some angel aiming at it. There has to be a deeper meaning.” I recounted thoughtfully. I remember saying the same thing to him.
If you ask me, I would say the angel is in the form of a villain who’s after the heart but the lion…what was the use of it? I don’t get it.
” The angel represents anyone who wants us apart and is doing everything to make it happen like we have villains in love stories. The Lion represents our love and how strong it is to withstand any obstacle. No matter how hard they tried, we’d fall but always bounce back more fiercely and with strength. Our love will grow among thongs just like roses and never die.”
“Whoa. That was poetic.”
“It was what you wanted to hear so I fabricated a beautiful lie.”
“What? You were making sense”
“As in? You wouldn’t rest if I don’t say anything. Seriously, I don’t have a meaning but if you want to create one you can. You’re the literature freak and you think there’s symbolism to everything.”
“Your meaning does make sense Novan. It fits perfectly into our love story and what we’re facing. Do you remember you told me that, *Everything will soon fall into place and you’d understand. For now, stop stressing your mind.*? ”
With wide eyes, he gaped at me. “Who are you? I said that long ago and you just replayed it.”
I laughed. That’s just me. It’s impossible for me to forget things quickly. My brain has that ability to capture everything and it just stays there forever. I still don’t know why I forgot my online exam though. I was carried away by Novan I think.
“I’m a genius.” I boasted.
“I can see that.”
“Yeah, so I think everything has finally fallen into place. My parents are against our love especially my mum but that doesn’t move us does it?”
“Not at all.”
I smiled and rested my head back on his chest. We’re still naked and in each other’s arms. My eyes closed and I listened to his heartbeat while his long fingers drew imaginary circles at my back.
We looked up at the same time and all of sudden and when our eyes met, we laughed. I feel giddy and high. I think he does too.
“Did you plan this?” I finally asked. I want to know if he did.
“For us to do this.”
“No. Why do you ask?”
“The condom. Where and when did you get it?”
“I’m a guy Riana. I can’t go out without a condom on me.”
My heart dropped along with my smile and my eyes burned that instant.
“Why..why do you keep it on you?”
“Hey girl, what is going on in that crazy head of yours now?”
I lifted my head off his chest and blinked my teary eyes at him.
“Answer me Novan.”
“I keep it for situations like this. Anything can happen and it’s for protection, don’t be a dumbass.”
“Don’t call me that. I don’t know you keep condoms on you when you clearly told me you do not wish to have sex with me. Who else did you have in mind that will warrant for you to take it along with you? Am I not the only one?”
If he denies it then it means he planned this night. He wanted to do it and was only pretending to be virtuous.
“What was the need to take it along when we never planned to have sex and I’m the only one?” I asked again and he looked flummoxed.
“I..well..that is not the case. Why are you thinking this way?” His words jumbled and he didn’t look at me.
“Novan are you cheating on me? You have another girl you’ve been fucking? Is that why you keep condoms? For her?”
“What nonsense!” He jumped out of the bed. “What the hell is wrong with you?”
He picked his boxer and wore it hastily.
This is not happening. This scenario was what I was dreading. Fight after sex.
“You’re speaking rubbish. Complete nonsense!” He yelled.
“Well then deny it. Who did you keep those condoms for? For other girls or you just got it for me because you planned to take me tonight?”
“Fuck! Stop it will you? Why do you always want to do this with me? We were okay.”
“Just tell me which is which? Was the condom meant for me tonight or some other french girl you got? I get it, while I was suffering just to get to you, you were here having fun is that not it?” I looked at myself and covered my bare body with the stained sheets.
What has my life turned to? I’m in bed naked after losing my virginity to a careless guy and now we’re screaming at each other just after it. Novan has been lying to me all this while. He always had condoms on himself for other girls or it was his mission to sleep with me tonight.
My worst fears just came to life. Right after losing my virginity, we’re fighting. How’s it possible?
“Stop being ridiculous Mariana. I can’t believe you’re doing this with me after everything.” He moved about.
“I just want an explanation, Novan.”
“What explanation? What do you want me to tell you? You left me with no options to choose from.”
“So you can’t tell me anything?” I cried. The pain between my thighs wasn’t helping. Maybe I shouldn’t be doing this with him but how can I forget everything and pretend as if we’re normal.
“You don’t even trust me!” He yelled again.
He can’t even clear my head and set my assumptions wrong or right and he’s yelling that I don’t trust him.
It’s either Novan planned this or he’s cheating on me. That’s just it. It’s up to him to prove me wrong because neither of them is good.
“Okay. It’s okay.” I said and he watched me get up above his shoulders. I give up. I will love to drill him, fight him and yell at him till my throat hurts but I refuse to let my fears come to pass though it seems to be unfolding. I can’t fight with him after we had sex. So I give up. I won’t fight him now. Maybe some other day or I will… break up with him.
My heart skipped. Break up? Since when did it reach that level?
“It’s okay?”
I nodded.
Gathering the sheet with me, I made it into the bathroom.
If Novan truly cared for me as he claims, he’d come and explain things to me and make things right between us. He won’t keep quiet.
I folded the sheets when I got inside and took a bath, cleaning myself and everything else off.
I came out with the sheets and I don’t know why I have to keep it inside our wardrobe. Maybe it’s because I don’t want anybody to see it but I can’t take it along with me too. It’s a hotel property. I don’t care. I might take it along and trash it at home.
Novan already called for fresh sheets and despite everything that just happened and is still happening, I’m amazed to see him putting the new sheets on.
I picked the only nightie I brought which I never wore but Novan’s shirt and put it on.
He eyed me for a moment but didn’t say anything and disappeared into the washroom.
God. I feel like I will pass out at any moment.
I drank some water and got myself into bed.
Minutes later, he joined me and I expected him to cuddle me or say something but he didn’t.
I cried silently with eyes closed. I’m hurting so much. I don’t know why Novan will cheat on me and why he’d plan to have sex with me. I want him to tell me but he’s just silent. Silence means concern right?
I know one of my assumptions is correct but which one? Both of them are bad and it will break me.
“When are we leaving Novan?” I asked with my back still against him.
“Leaving? I thought.. well..okay. I will buy our tickets so we can leave tomorrow at 9 am.”
“O..okay.” I curled and hugged a pillow to myself. I hope things will get okay tomorrow between us.
When I woke up the next day, the light was streaming into our room and I had to grab my phone to check the time. It’s 11 am.
God. The flight. Novan. Did he leave me?
I shot up from the bed and relaxed a little when I saw him still lying beside me but dressed. He had his boots on.
“Good morning.”
“Yeah. Did you sleep well? How are you feeling? Are you okay?” He asked.
“Yeah, why didn’t you wake me? We missed our flight.”
“I didn’t wish to disturb your sleep.”
He could’ve still woke me. All that money has gone to waste.
“I will pay for the next flight.” I offered.
“Why would I allow you to do that?” He got up.
“Then I will pay for mine.”
“No!” He refused blatantly.
“I said I will !” I insisted. He paid for every expense we made yesterday and I didn’t argue with him because I didn’t want him to feel that I want to show off since I’m quite richer than him. I didn’t want him to feel bad or inferior that’s why I always allow him to pay for everything but not this time. I overslept and we have to miss the flight so I should pay for the new expense. He can’t keep doing everythingything when I’m capable.
“Really? I can take care of you.” He said in a gentle tone.
It’s a lie. I gave him my heart but what does he keep doing with it? He doesn’t take care of it even though it’s the main thing I entrusted.
He’s not taking care of me the way I want him to. He never did.
“I know,” I said and walked into the washroom. I brushed my teeth and took another bath. Memories from last night occupied my mind and I found myself crying under the shower. Can’t he see that I’m hurting?
I came out after the short bath with a towel around me and went for my clothes. He wasn’t in the bedroom so I dropped the towel from my body in front of the mirror. A gasp exited my mouth when my eyes hit my image. My eyes were red and swollen from crying in the bath. Despite that, I was glowing entirely and there is this change I can’t put my finger on but I look different. Maybe if I wasn’t sad, it would’ve been clear. I also feel good and relaxed which I’m sure is the effect of the sex we had. My mind went back to when Novan was above me, entering me slowly and I had to put my legs together tightly. My stomach clenched and I exhaled deeply. What am I doing? I can’t reminisce about what happened after everything. I tried not to think about it when my eyes met the red marks littered all over me but I failed. I found myself reeling back into last night. The most important night of my life and picture Novan on me, kissing me and going slowly then muttering sweet words to me. God. I opened my eyes. Now I know why people love sex so much. I’ve really been missing out a lot. We could have done this long time ago. God. I should be sued for thinking this way. Novan hurt me. Embarrassment at the highest level washed over me when I saw Novan’s image through the mirror. He was standing not far from the door, his lower lip sucked into his mouth as he stared at me.
I threw the towel around me, gathering my clothes, I rushed into the bathroom where I changed into black jeans and a blue hoodie crop.
I came out and sat in front of the mirror to brush my hair. I didn’t bother putting any makeup on so I got up.
“What Novan?” My heart leaped in hope, hope that he’s about to tell me something.
“I brought breakfast.”
Just like that, my hope crashed in front of me, under my feet.
“Oh,” I muttered and went to the eating area.
He sat adjacent to me and we ate in silence.
“Our flight will be up in an hour so if you’re ready we can go.” He said after we’ve finished eating.
“I will just pack the things so we can go.”
“I already did.”
“Oh,” I said again and walked to the wardrobe. Indeed he has packed our clothes into two bags. One for me and one for him I guess. I took my phone and stuffed it into my pocket.
I reached for my bag and he eyed me yet again then picked the two of them.
We walked out with me following behind and foolishly admiring how he was walking leisurely and majestically like a model with the two bags without stress.
The elevator ride was awkward and I only breathed when we got outside.
“Are you okay?” He asked again when we got into the car.
“Yes. You?”
“I’m okay.” He answered.
It’s a tie then. We’re both fine. How nice.
My head fell against the window as he took off and into the streets. Tired of the awkwardness, I turned on the radio to listen to music. Harry styles’s ‘falling’ filled the small space in the car that instant and Novan turned his head to take a look at me probably because of the lyrics of the song.
*Forget what I said
It’s not what I meant
And I can’t take it back
I can’t unpack the baggage you left
You said you cared
And you missed me too
And I’m well aware I write too many songs about you
And the coffee’s out
At the Beachwood Cafe
And it kills me ’cause I know we’ve run out of things we can say…
We got to the airport and after going through all the checkpoints, we’re ready to leave France. Looking around us, I’m surprised to see the paparazzi and some of the judges and Matthew Bocuse, the son of the late Paul Bocuse. Novan walked to them and they hugged him gently.
Oh, I see. They came to see him off. I stood by him as he conversed with everyone in French. I smiled at them and exchanged a few words with them. I’m awed when I saw Tricia Salvatore among them.
“Sweetheart, you’re leaving already? Take care and don’t stop loving my so…I mean Everett.” She said when she hugged me. I wondered how she knew Novan’s name. I looked at Novan only to see a mighty frown sitting on his face. He looked annoyed. Why?
Tricia slipped a card into my hands once Novan looked away then she stepped back. I put the card into my pocket discreetly. I wish to know the relationship Novan shared with this woman and why she cared about his happiness and had to tell me not to stop loving him. Could it be that she’s his It can’t be.
It was finally over and I looked around one last time before following Novan into the plane. I went to the seat he chose since I had no choice and he sat beside the seat next to me.
When the plane was about to take off, looked at him, and met his eyes. My heart has already begun to raise and I began to hyperventilate. He placed his phone down and motioned for me to get on him. I obliged and got into his lap. This is how helpless I am. Somehow, I found myself depending on him.
I felt comforted in his arms and my building anxiety dissipated gradually.
I shivered when the plane took off and he raised my chin, enclosing his lips on mine. I kissed him back slowly, he also took it slowly as his hand moved at my back to soothe my nerves. I know we’re not in good terms but I allowed myself to enjoy the kiss and I can tell he was also enjoying it when he moaned silently into my mouth. From help to pleasure.
We kissed for a long time and didn’t mind when those around us began whispering. “Eww, and gross.”
We didn’t exchange any words but I remained on him until evening where we ate dinner.
I went back on him after eating and visiting the washroom with him. In his arms was where I slept until we arrived in Australia. Whooping 19 hours journey.
He must be so tired.
Once again, I’m amazed when a whole crowd was waiting at the airport to welcome him or us. There were drumming and singing of our anthem. Most of the college students, our chancellor, and big chefs, owners of big restaurants were assembled waiting to welcome him and show their love.
Novan is sure going to sign some important documents today. As usual, he faked smiles and shook hands with the big men who came along with the crowd. Cameras were everywhere.
I smiled at the amount of love and support he’s receiving. He deserves it and I’m still proud of him.
He brought the trophy out and you can imagine the uncontrolled noises everyone made. I’m not even shining again like I used to. The whole airport was full and everyone wanted to see him. To see the 21 years boy who beat all the oldies and experienced chefs to come as the top winner. We delayed at the airport for almost three hours. When we finally left, we were not alone, Nina, Ronnie, and Courtney took the backseat while Evan and her girlfriend followed behind. That’s not all. There was a convoy behind us. It caused traffic as well as informed everyone that the young chef is in town, back to his country.
“The fuck man, how did you become so popular?!” Nina kept yelling and Novan just smiled. The convoy has disappeared but I’m sure his car is being awaited at the main road.
“Where would you go? Will you come with me?” He asked calmly.
“Drop me at the penthouse.”
“Why? You’d be alone and it’s far from home.”
“You don’t need to worry. I just need to do something. I will call my driver to pick me once I’m done.”
He didn’t say anything until he pulled over in front of my penthouse.
“Guys a minute.” He said and got down.
I smiled at our passengers and got down.
Novan took my bag and walked ahead of me.
“Novan I can manage.” I protested. I don’t want him to get inside with me.
“I don’t like this Mariana.” He complained but didn’t stop.
We got into the elevator and arrived in my room. Dropping the bag, he turned to me and I stepped back. His eyebrows raised for a moment.
“Will you be okay all alone here? I can stay or take you to my place.”
“No thanks.” I looked down at my shoes and sighed.
“Okay, take care and call me if anything.”
I nodded and he moved closer to me yet again. I stepped back.
“Stop running away from me Riana.”
Why wouldn’t I? He’s not willing to tell me anything and he’s trying to behave as if nothing happened. How cruel.
His lips barely touched mine when I moved away. He sighed and stepped out. Once the door was closed and I was backing it, my tears let loose.
Novan has not been fair to me.
{Loving him with all his flaws.}
I managed to move away from the door then stripped. I took my new phone and stared at it. I feel like talking to someone but who?
Betsy should be busy having fun and I don’t want to disturb or get her worried.
I thought of Dylan and Lenna but they’re just friends and barely know anything about me. What can we talk about? Until now, I never shared my relationship stuff with anyone except for Betsy but that too, I don’t tell her much. I made sure I don’t get deep with it. It’s our issue and I don’t want a third party involvement especially with how the fights keep coming. Making up and breaking. Breaking and making up. That’s all it has been for us. If I should share, they’ll say we’re crazy. But then, that’s the truth. Novan is crazier than even I am. We’re crazy.
I can’t call my mum. She’s the last person I will think of calling in situations like this. She should’ve been the right person for me to call but she’s not in favor of this relationship in the first place. Again, this will add to her one thousand reasons why Novan is not good for me. As sad as it is, I’m beginning to believe that after what we’ve been going through. I love novan and I know he loves me too but I doubt if that is enough. Forget about all that, she’ll freak out if she gets to know that we’ve already had sex.
I decided to call Edward. Novan will be mad if he finds out but I don’t care about that at the moment. I need to know what to do with him because he’s killing me softly with all this. At least Edward knows him and how he can be.
After the third ring, he picked. He didn’t know the number so I had to say it’s me before.
“Hey there Belle, I saw you two on the TV at the airport. You’re welcome. I came yesterday and right now I’m with someone. I think we should talk later if there’s not anything.”
“You’re with someone? Who?”
“I’m trying to get myself a girl okay. She’s around. I will let you know if it works.”
My heart sank and I don’t know why but I don’t like the idea that he’s getting a girlfriend. Why?
“Edward I wanted to see you.” My voice was begging.
“Where did you put your boyfriend? I don’t want him to come out like a hungry lion that has just been freed to pounce on me. He likes doing that.”
I shut my eyes.
“He won’t come,” I answered and exhaled. It feels like another pain has been added to the one Novan caused me.
I feel weird.
“But I can’t come right now, where are you by the way?”
Instead of answering, I ended the call and dropped the phone. I don’t like the way I’m feeling.
I went for a towel and tied it around my body then walked out to make a cup of coffee. I will remember to do some grocery shopping. I barely have any food in here.
After taking the coffee, I was still hungry so I got food ordered from McDonald’s.
I called my brother to pass time while I wait for my food. Thirty minutes into the call, the food arrived and I talked while eating it. Such a bad habit. I managed to call almost everyone before retiring to bed. I stared at the ceiling and thought of calling Novan or not.
I still don’t know why he wouldn’t call me. What did I do?
Maybe I’m just thinking too much. Novan didn’t actually bring a condom because he planned for us to do it. Maybe he has always kept it and I didn’t know. And he isn’t cheating on me with anyone. Yes, that is just it. I won’t think into this anymore and I think it was stupid to bring it up. Yes.
But. I still deserve an explanation and for that, I won’t call. He can’t keep doing this to me. We had sex for goodness sake, the least he could do is to explain everything to me than keeping mute.
I woke up feeling sick all over and alone. After taking a bath and ordering something, I thought of school. I decided to be on campus tomorrow since school has already resumed.
I’m perplexed when I realize that I have totally forgotten that I need to plan and make arrangements for the new semester and the classes I will take. I haven’t done anything at all.
God. I need to call Dylan or Lenna. We’re doing the same thing so they will have an idea. I don’t even know where my classes will be held on campus and I haven’t even gotten a parking pass. I haven’t done anything and yet I’ve been so much engrossed in adult issues. This is my life. I have to build a future for myself other than the ones my parents have already put in place. I’ve really been careless ever since I started dating Novan. For him, he doesn’t seem to have any problem. I see it that way. I wonder what he’s doing now though.
I called for a taxi to take me back home to fetch my laptop then my car keys. The few things I have home that I will be needing in school.
While in the car, I called Dylan who hopefully got me updated on everything but I still need to think of the classes I will take. He said he’s taking yoga also but I prefer to go with basketball or a dancing class or singing any will do but I still need to prepare for my main classes.
After two hours, I was home. Marion ran after me that instant while I was taking the stairs.
“Hey, sis?”
I hugged him but it was rushed.
“I’d like to tell you something now sis..”
“Marion, we’ll talk later okay? I will be here the weekends and I will be all yours. Right now I need to prepare for my first day on campus okay?” I haven’t even selected the type of dresses I will wear but that should be my least worries.
“Okay.” He looked sad and walked out without saying anything to me. I wish I was home yesterday. I bit my tongue in regret. I did this because of mum but it affected my innocent brother. It’s really been a while since I spent time with him or talked to him other than yesterday night. I feel terrible right now.
I picked my things and my bag as well as the teddy. They were a little much so I called for help from the servants.
Coming down the stairs, I saw my grannies. I hugged them quickly with kisses and rushed off. My mum and dad were not around as usual. Mum just missed an important moment to see me. Anyway, I will be back on the coming weekend to confront her properly for what she did to me. How could she?
“Mariana!” I heard her yell.
Whoa! I thought she wasn’t around.
“I need to go mum.”
“I know but it won’t be needed.”
I ignored her and left. Getting into my car and driving off. I only stopped when I needed gas.
I also need to get updated on the orphanage home. It’s been a while I communicated with the caretakers over there. The last time I saw them was during Christmas. That’s a long time huh?
I made a stop at a store and shop for toiletries before leaving
Wherever Novan is, I pray he gets to me soon. Life without him is not pretty.
It was late when I got back and I have to order food too.
I sit my planner down when I got inside and began to copy my schedule. It is always good to have things planned ahead. I do that always but I flopped this time around.
I’m glad I made friends with Dylan and he’s close to school. I won’t have to worry much.
I plugged in my laptop and on it. I logged into my college site and waited for it to load. Okay.
So everything came but there were no courses available for me to register for. Why?
I just got this laptop, it can’t be faulty. I restarted it then logged back into the sight but still. I think there’s a problem. I will find out about it tomorrow on campus.
Closing the laptop, I laid on the bed. Not able to pass another minute, I dialed Novan’s number. I couldn’t…i placed the phone back down.
What if we don’t make up?
I panicked.
But he could’ve given me an explanation or told me something. What was the need of keeping quiet? We’ve always talked our problems out. Why not this time? Is this time so different?
What went wrong? What happened to us?
I only asked a question. A question he could’ve answered but he didn’t.
Just because I ignored him a little, he’s also giving it back to me in ten folds. That is very bad of him. If he still doesn’t wanna speak to me then so be it.
I was even the one ignoring at first but now he’s turned the tables, making me feel like the bad guy here.
“Hey, you two.”
“Look who’s here? Our new celebrity’s girl.” I hugged Lenna then to Dylan. I called to meet them this morning at the school cafe.
“How has life been treating you?
“Fair.” I smiled.
I ordered my coffee and sat down. “Do any of you have classes today?”
“Nope, Monday.”
“Do you have it?” Lenna asked, munching on her doughnut.
I shook my head. I still don’t know if it’s my system at fault or the school so I came to verify from the administration.
“Actually guys, I can’t see my courses. Like it’s blank. Nothing was there for me to register.” I sighed softly.
“It might mean you’re no longer registered in this school…”
“Shut up.” Lenna hit his hand. “Don’t mind him, I think it can only mean that you changed your courses or something.”
That’s stupid. How can I change my course? I love it.
“Guys, I’m gonna have to check from the administration. Will get back to you soon.” I smiled and pulled my cap over my head.
An hour later, I came back from the administration, my tears streaming uncontrollably. I’m not the violent type but right now I feel like I could kill somebody. How dare them.
Why do they keep doing this to me? Is it a crime to come from a rich family? And mum, she thinks she has the money and so she can throw it around and get her work done. How can they change my course and without my notice? The hell!
Painful aspect is that my plans have been ruined and my dreams of becoming an author one day have been shattered right before me to dust.
Novan and I can’t complete the same year again and Betsy too. I will be slacking one year. How?
“Hello, Missy?”
I ignored the annoying voice.
“Her Majesty.”
If she calls me that again I’m gonna scratch her face and claw her eyes out. She shouldn’t dare me.
She was still following.
“Quinn, why are you crying.”
I halted my steps and turned to her.
“We’re no longer friends Aria, you have no right to call me Quinn you hear me?” That name was for our friendship but she betrayed it. She wanted to take my place.
“I’m sorry.”
I gaped at her and wiped my tears. She’s apologizing to me?
I turned on my heels. I was almost close to my car.
“Why are you crying, Quinn?”
“Why do you fuckin care? Stop following me or I will harm you.” I almost yelled.
“I said I’m sorry.”
“Okay. So what?”
“Well.. erm…I thought..”
She continued to stutter and I looked around uneasily.
Even Aria is going to complete college before me if my parents truly did this to me.
“What do you want Aria!”
“I thought I could get some money from you. I swear I will pay back..”
I stared at her unbelievably.
“Look, I need it okay and you’re the only one I can come to. Whatever I did in the past, forget about it. We once had a friendship, remember that, and forget what I’ve become now. You won’t blame me.”
“You chose this path Aria. I never did you any wrong. You were not a friend to me instead a sister but you betrayed me and our friendship all because of what? Money and properties.” I fished the money I withdrew from the bank on my way to campus which I planned to do some shopping with into her hand.
“Even that, you still made it a habit to taunt me any chance you get,” I muttered. I don’t regret hitting her at the party.
“Thanks.” She grinned, examining the bundle I just dropped in her hands. She could have more than that but she’s full of greediness. She’s stupid to have done that to me but I’m more glad that she showed her true colors on time.
“Don’t take me for a fool because of this. I know you haven’t changed. I gave you because you needed it and you know I’m not stingy.” I can’t refuse to help her based on what she did to me.
“I know.” She whispered.
I rolled my eyes and rushed to my car. It even pisses me off that she had something doing with Novan. They did something before which he’s not being clear about. Not like I want to hear the details.
I got into my car and drove off. With how I’m driving, I hope I don’t meet with an accident and I pray I meet my parents at home. Even if they’re not at home, I will find them.
After an hour and a half instead of two, I reached home. I jumped out of my car and stormed inside.
“MUM!” I yelled from downstairs.
I ran past my grannies towards my parent’s room. I know they don’t have a hand in this.
“Mum!” I barged into their room and there she was. She looked startled for a moment before relaxing. It’s as if she was expecting this.
“What was that for? Which of you changed my course!” I yelled that I have to cough.
“Don’t shout at me Mariana.”
“I will. Just answer me!”
“I did okay. I changed it! What are you going to do about that?”
“For what reason will you do that!?”
“You’d not study business administration online anymore. You’d do that in school and your English will be done online..”
“Who are you to make that decision for me? Who exactly are you?” I balled my fist beside me, eyes blazing.
“I’m your mother Mariana. I have that right.”
“No, you don’t. Don’t Tell me nonsense and don’t dare exercise your right on me. You lost that the day you turned me into an animal. I almost died from my phobia and yet you didn’t do anything to rectify it. You continue jeopardizing the relationship we shared. Where’s my mum? This isn’t her. Tell me, what did you do to my mum?” My nails dug into my scalp and I began to move about just like how Novan does. Great. His attitudes have started rubbing on me.
Mum stood calmly and stared at me, unperturbed.
That look alone irks me and it’s sending me insanely irate.
“I can’t sit around and watch you ruin your life, Mariana. I did this for your own good. I saw how less serious you’re about your life lately. I’m not surprised by your reaction because I expected this…”…
“Wait, you said I will ruin my life? I have an excellent GPA and I’m doing well with online schooling. I never failed any of my papers and you’re saying what? You’re the one ruining me mother. Do you realize what you did? Now I will have to start college all over again. I’m going to be behind my peers and you’re happy and proud of yourself about it. What are you doing to me?”
After Novan, I have to deal with my mother. I haven’t even solved my relationship issues and now this one.
“What will I be doing at home the entire time? Singing or clapping for you for the amazing work you did?.”
“Will you calm down? Always have it in mind that I can never wish bad for you. This semester will be spent at work because you’ve been appointed as the new managing director of the business. I don’t own MD remember?It’s time you start being responsible and eliminate any distraction.”
My mouth dropped.
“What did you say?”
“You heard it. We gave you the freedom to do anything and you took advantage of that. You didn’t want to do English remember? Now that you’d be taking over and almost everything has been willed into your name, you’d have to be serious about it and your life.”
“I get it. This is because of Novan right? You want to keep me busy is that not so?”
She didn’t answer me.
How smart and cunning. This is her new way of keeping me away from Novan. She wants to occupy me with work but she’s forgotten that I’m not a machine.
How can I manage a whole empire?
“Well guess what, to hell with all of this. I do not accept to start working now and you can do your worst…”
I turned sharply to dad who just entered and I rushed into his arms.
“Dad, did you see what mum did? How can she finally willed everything to me? I can’t start working? This isn’t how we planned it. I was supposed to graduate and she also changed my course to business. ” I complained.
“I’m sorry princess.”
I pulled away from him. “What? You also know about this?” I looked between them.
“Dad, you planned this with mum?”
“This was bound to happen, dear. You needed to start working. Your..well..we just pushed it forward.”
“Really?” I stared at my parents in disbelief. My dad doesn’t realize that mum is just using him to achieve her goal.
“I’m not doing anything. You two are trying to control me and it fuckin annoying. You can all go and burn in hell but one thing is for sure, I’m not going to dance to your tunes.” I tried to brush past dad but he pulled me back gently.
“Nobody is controlling you Mariana. You know this was bound to happen and you promised us. You were supposed to start this long ago remember? Don’t go back on your words now. It’s not like you’ll be stuck in the office all day, I’m here, your mum too”
“But dad…”
{Loving him with all his flaws.}
“But Dad..”
“Don’t say anything. It’s not like you’re really going to do something. For now, you’d just be coached. You already know a lot and you’re intelligent and you won’t be the first person to be doing this at eighteen. But we transferred a greater part of everything to you. Show us how responsible you are.”
I wish Aria had really taken my place.
“I hate both of you!” I spit and run out.
“There will be a general board meeting on Monday and you’d be ushered into office. That’s not all, there will be a business function here tomorrow evening. Be here, don’t disappoint us.” Dad said after me.
I wanted to raise my hand up at him but that will be insulting.
I ran down the stairs at full speed. Perhaps this was what Marion wanted to tell me. Mum knew my presence at the school won’t do anything that’s why she said it won’t be needed.
I got back into my car and threw my head on the steering wheel, creating a loud piercing noise.
Where do I even go? Who do I go to? Betsy is not around.
And Novan? I’ve refused to call him.
Out of anger, I drove out of the house with no location in my mind until I got to Novan’s neighborhood. I don’t know if I should take a branch at his junction.
It’s sad how I don’t have anyone to turn to if it’s not Betsy. I could spend time with Toby or Victoria but it will mean I have to be in the same house with my parents. I don’t want to.
So I drove down Novan’s lane and stopped in front of his house.
After everything, his place is not the best place for me to be but who else do I have apart from him? I don’t want to go to Edward. I’m even annoyed with him for telling me that he’s getting himself a girlfriend and I still don’t know why. That’s not all, he’s in partnership with my parents.
I picked my phone to call him and that was when I saw the countless missed calls I got from him.
Relieved, I called him back and he picked immediately.
“No..Novan.” my voice cracked and I bit my lips. I don’t wanna cry.
“Are you alright? Where are you? I’ve been looking for you since morning and you wouldn’t pick my call. Look, I’m sorry okay? I’m willing to tell you everything.”
“I’m in front of your house.” My voice betrayed me. Seconds passed and I was crying.
“My house? I’m on campus right now but stay there, I’m coming.”
“No. I will come there. Wait for me at my house.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes.” I turned and left. I wish I could take a plane. I can’t keep driving to and fro.
“What happened. Are you crying?”
“Sort of.” I bit my lips to mute my loud sobs.
“Who troubled you?”
“My parents.”
“What did they do? stop. Talk to me about it when you get here.”
I nodded even though he wouldn’t see it.
I feel him sigh and I could picture him running his hands through his hair.
“I love you, I will be waiting.”
I couldn’t have sped anymore than this. Any minute that passes feel like hours. My hands also ached from all the driving I did today. I don’t remember driving this much ever.
After what seemed like ages, I spotted my junction. Another five minutes and I was in front of the penthouse where Novan also stood against his car, waiting for me. I stopped the car and rushed out.
He turned and took quick steps towards me.
My problems seem to have disappeared for a moment when I crushed into his arms and they came around me.
When I looked up at him, I burst into fresh tears.
“Let’s get inside.”
I nodded but remained hooked on him until we got into the elevator then to my room.
I sat on the bed and blew my nose into my dress then wiped it. I’m embarrassed when I look at him but he doesn’t look disgusted like I thought.
He sat beside me and pulled me to him. I fought against it because I didn’t want my dress to touch him.
“Come on.”
“You don’t mind?”
He shook his head so I leaned into him, rubbing my nose against his shirt to clear the remaining slimy substance.
“Tell me.” He cupped my face and pecked my lips.
.“My parents changed my course Novan.” I burst Into fresh tears. I can’t believe I will be late in my education.
“Why would they do that?”
“Because mum thinks I’m not being serious about my life. She said I should do business instead but that will be next year.”
His jaw clenched and he got up.
“It means I will be completing before you. It also means we’d be separated. What will you be doing in the house?”
“Work. They transferred a greater part of everything to my name. How can I manage the family business at this age?”
I can’t believe this. This woman has finally pulled her shots. Mariana will be away from me most of the time because she’d be occupied with work.
I looked at her crying form and I don’t know if she knows that her parent’s motive is to separate us. Should I tell her?
“You know, I think my mum did this on purpose. She still doesn’t want me with you”
“Exactly!” Thank God she knows. I went back to sit beside her.
“So what do we do? Are you upset about the transfer?”
“Not much. I hate that they have to change my course for me. I can try to manage work with school but why must they change my course? I don’t think it was necessary.” She wailed into her palm.
I’m helpless right now. I don’t know what to do. While I’m at school, she’d be stuck in the office with Edward I’m sure. And they’ll begin to form a bond and what? she’ll come and tell me one fine sunny day when I’m busy daydreaming about her at school that she’s sorry and that we can’t be anymore. I swear, I will fuckin kill that bastard and his entire family. And her parents won’t be spared.
Mariana can’t leave me no matter what. I know I’m bad for her but she can’t leave me. Not ever.
“It’s okay. You don’t have to do it if you don’t want to. They can’t kill you.”
“But I gave them my word.”
See. This is what she keeps doing. When I told her one time at her house that I didn’t bring condom along, she asked why I didn’t and when we finally decided to fuck and I brought a condom out, she asked why I brought it along and that I conspired to fuck her. The fuck.
This girl doesn’t know what she wants. That’s it.
One minute she was crying about her parent’s decision and now that I said she doesn’t have to comply she’s saying something else. So why cry when you’d eventually listen to them?
I’m madder that she’s considering everything. Nothing is working in my favor now and I feel like turning this fine penthouse upside down.
Maybe I should devise her mom’s antics and poison her mind against them. I could convince her not to do anything they say. I know I will succeed. She loves me.
“So you’d drop out of school and go work?”
She looked up at me.” I will come back to school. I’m not dropping out.”
What difference does it make?
She’s dropping out of school to work when she’s not even pregnant. Only pregnant teenage girls do that I know of.
I wish I didn’t tell him anything. He looked like someone who has lost something. I can tell he’s not happy just like me.
“I can go and talk to your parents.” He finally said and I burst into laughter.
“Don’t laugh. I’m really serious. I can feel you slowly slipping away. We can move out of here you know.”
“As in run?”
“Yeah, we can go to England or the USA. Anywhere far from here. I will get a job and we’d be happy.”
I wanted to laugh again but he wasn’t even smiling.
“Are you trying to say you’d marry me?” I regretted the words once they came out.
His eyes narrowed on me.” We don’t have to get married to stay together. ”
“So don’t you want us to ever get married?”
“We’re not discussing marriage. We’re talking about you dropping out to work. I might as well get you pregnant to make it perfect.” He rolled his eyes.
“Stop saying that.” I looked down at my hand. Our first ended so badly and now he’s saying something about getting me pregnant. I don’t ever want to get pregnant. How will I handle it?
“So you’ll start working?”
“Something like that and there’s a function at home tomorrow and on Monday I will be meeting the board.”
He sighed and held his head. “You know I really can’t believe it. You won’t have time for me anymore and what am I supposed to be doing the entire time?”
“We will figure something out. Dad said I’m not really going to work. At least not now. I will be coached.”
“Whatever, I wished you were not brilliant. Nobody will entrust his entire life sweat on an uneducated, stupid typical dumbo.” He grumbled.
I moved to sit on his laps and he made a disgusted face.
“Pull that dress off first.”
“I thought you didn’t mind.”
“You were crying, I didn’t want you to feel bad.”
“Really?” I got down and pulled the dress over my head.
I ignored the way his eyes ran down on me.
“That’s more like it. Now come.” He opened his arms.
I turned to my wardrobe to take another dress or shirt.
“I wasn’t really disgusted you know.” He said quietly after I put on a shirt and came to sit beside him.
“I know. You just wanted me in less clothing but you haven’t told me about the condom.”
“You still have that in mind?
“You never told me anything and you wanted to tell me when I called.”
“I’ve always had a condom on me okay. It’s not because I will be fuckin anyone. I just keep it and you know I will never cheat on you. Why would I when I have you?”
My heart flutters at his honest confession. I thought he was cheating on me.
“I didn’t think you would carry it since we haven’t started.. well..doing it and you also said you don’t want us to do it now.”
“I said it but anything can happen and we wouldn’t be able to hold back. That’s why I kept it. If I had not, you’d be disappointed.”
“And for the fuckin you aspect..” he turned to me and held my chin up.
“Have you forgotten when I prompted you that I won’t hold back anymore the day I snuck into your room in the middle of the night with your brother’s help?”
I remembered and shook my head.
“So then what? I told you that and you expected me not to carry a condom on me? How clueless are you?”
The intensity in his eyes made me look elsewhere.
“I even said I wanna take that dress off of you. What did you think? What exactly?” he said undertone, his voice thick and dark.
“So you have a condom now?” I swallowed and met his eyes, biting my lips. We were close, so close.
“Yeah, wanna experiment?” His breath fanned my face.
I pushed him back. “Why didn’t you tell me this before? You kept quiet and made me assume the worst.”
“You didn’t trust me. You thought I will plan to have sex with you then also I’m cheating? How can you think that of me? You were also being childish and annoying. I didn’t see a reason why I should explain myself to you”
“Really? What if we couldn’t get back together?” I held his face between my hands.
“We will.”
Yeah. somehow we will always find our way back to each other. We always will.