COPYRIGHT © 2018 Miu
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, mechanical, electronical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the Author.
This novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and events are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
All pictures and multimedia used are not the author’s work and doesn’t claim any legal rights.
MATURE CONTENT and VULGAR words not suited for young readers below eighteen (18) years old.
Angel, who was rejoicing in Eric’s arms, jumped away from his embrace. Her infatuated face turned to shock and happiness in an instant at the sight of the newly arrived man.
“Aldrick, you’re here? I thought you’d come much later in the afternoon?”
Aldrick, who saw Angel in the arms of a man just seconds ago, still hadn’t recovered. After a long paused, he glared at Eric and asked, “What’s going on? Who’s he? What’s he doing here inside your room?”
Aldrick questioned one after another while his tone was constrained, laced with anger and jealousy.
Angel went to Aldrick’s side to soothe him and introduced Eric.
“Aldrick, this is Eric. Remember I told you that Fey needed an assistant? He’s the new assistant the company hired.”
Aldrick didn’t budge one bit, sizing Eric up and down. And when he saw he was not a threat, the image of Angel and him hugging disappeared in his mind. There is no way that Angel will fall for a man like that. He must be flirting with her.
At the thought, his face darkened as he glared at Eric. “What is the company thinking? Why did they send a man? I’ll talk to HR right now!”
Angel panicked, yet her voice was the epitome of calmness. Intimately lacing her hand on Aldrick’s arm, she said, “Aldrick, what you saw just now, it was me who lost footing. And if it wasn’t for Eric, I might have suffered an injury. And besides, it was right for the company to hire a male assistant since I have things to carry around which girls have difficulty in lifting.”
At the mention of injury, Aldrick’s handsome face turned soft while gazing at Angel full of unconcealed worry. He cupped her face and raised her head, checking her swollen cheek, bandaged with an ice pack. His face darkened while he cursed through the gap of his teeth.
“That bitch! How dare she lay a hand on you. I’ll definitely make her life a living hell. I don’t care if she’s a woman. She had gone too far! She needs to be taught a lesson.”
In the past, Angel felt nothing when Aldrick cupped her cheeks and played the intimate couple. But now . . . she sneaked a peek at Eric, who was still the champion of paralyzed face while he watched them in silence.
At the side, though appearing like a figurine on display, immobile and emotionless, Eric’s mind, however, was in a complete mess! But at the mention of Evangeline’s name, a ripple disturbed the chaos in his thoughts, and his lifeless face turned dark. His dull eyes stared at Aldrick thick with threat.
Not noticing the threat on Eric’s gaze, Aldrick’s focus was on Angel’s face while the latter’s heart suffered a drought when she saw those subtle changes on Eric’s expression at just the mention of Evangeline’s name.
Angel cried out, “Aldrick, Evangeline is my cousin. Please, be more understanding of what she’s going through. It’s only reasonable if she hates me.”
Aldrick frowned, sneering. “Angel, you’re too kind. That’s why she could bully you to this extent. If Fey didn’t call me about what happened, would you ever tell me about it?”
He then gently rubbed Angel’s cheek. His harsh look turned mellow, and his voice was full of concern as he said, “Angel, I worry about you. You know that, right? You can’t blame me for hating her, especially at what she had done to you. Just let me protect and take care of you.”
If this moment were any other moment, Angel would have embraced Aldrick right about now and sob bashfully against his chest. But she only felt very uneasy while her stomach lurch. Her feet and palms turned cold. Peering at Eric, whose face remained unremarkably blank, she sensed he became hostile towards Aldrick. And before she could say anything, he walked out of the room, slamming the door shut without a word.
Biting her lips, she stared at the tightly closed door while Aldrick’s face darkened upon seeing Angel was looking at the direction to where Eric had left.
Angel snapped out from her trance when she heard Aldrick’s voice, which held unconcealed jealousy. Forcing out a smile, she shook her head.
“Nothing . . . It’s just . . . I’m a little tired.”
Aldrick’s face softened. “Take some rest first. Don’t worry. I’ll stay by your side.”
As the day progressed and the shoot finally ended, Eric went back home. The women no longer pestered him when they noticed the detached and scary look on his face.
When he reached his rented apartment, it was already ten in the evening, yet he didn’t care how tired he was. In fact, he didn’t notice anything at all in the entire afternoon. He did his usual job like a robot, unfeeling and emotionless.
But now that he was alone inside his room, lying on his back against his bed, hands, and feet apart, with no more to distract himself –– he was . . .
This day was the worst day ever!
Firstly, he was forced to appear in front of everyone with nothing but a towel wrapped around his waist (though he had his boxers on), but in the end, all those things he did were useless! The director didn’t want him for the silly reason that he was too attractive than the male lead!
Thus, the one week break from work he was so looking forward to was going to be used to make up for the lost time!
It was not like he was hiding his looks. It just so happened in his high school years when his eyesight became terrible, and he had no time taking care of his appearance, especially cutting his hair, he realized after he wore glasses and his thick messy hair grew long, everyone left him alone. No women would trip on the sidewalk when they saw him. His locker no longer cramping with all kinds of things and letters. He was no longer threatened nor blackmailed by all sorts of people.
His life became peaceful!
He even changed his surname and transferred schools to escaped the chaotic life he had and started fresh.
*sigh . . .
Letting out a big breath of air, his irritation turned to fear and anxiousness when the image of Evangeline’s face appeared in his mind. Without thinking, he touched his lips, remembering that bittersweet memory. The pain from the impact of her teeth against his lips and the taste of his blood didn’t even register in his mind as all he thought was how soft and cold her lips were.
His hand traveled to his cheek, and his brows tightened when he felt an obstruction against his fingers. Without a second thought, he ripped the band-aids, not minding the pain which came after when some dried blood came off, causing the wound to bleed raw. He slowly traced his wound, a bitter smile appearing on his face. The injury, no doubt, would definitely leave a scar if not treated. Angel Lin gave him an ointment specifically so his wound wouldn’t scar, which he threw in the trash.
He didn’t mind it would scar. It was a reminder, a punishment to what he had done to her.
He threaded around her cautiously, being careful not to let her slip in his hands. He only pushed her away because his resolve always crumbled whenever she was around. Though he was always careful not to push her to her limit.
This day . . . is the worst . . .
He already made his choice. He thought he could make it up to her after he was done with his business. But clearly, it was wishful thinking on his part. The moment she left, his limbs turned numb while his body felt like it knew no warmth. He didn’t even know what he was doing anymore. Everything he was doing was useless. The goal which was in his mind since day one, the motivation which kept him going –– it all became meaningless to him.
His body was very heavy, like it didn’t want to do anything anymore. The present, tomorrow, the future, it all became a chore to him. Fear ate everything inside him. His mind was dominated with thoughts that by the time he finished his business, he had nowhere to return to.
He didn’t know when was it that Evangeline inched her way towards his heart and made a permanent residence there. He didn’t know when his life goal, his why, his purpose was replaced by the idea of being together with her every day.
No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t get rid of her image inside his head.
Like he was possessed, his hand inched to his bag and brought out a piece of dress. The dress she wore and didn’t bring with her when she left. The dress he, deny as he might, secretly stole from the dressing room.
Without thinking, he brought the dress to his nose. Inhaling her scent, his eyelids closed, imagining that she was beside him, comforting his dying heart.
. . . But it was no use.
He needed her here –– body and soul!
Scurrying out of bed, he grabbed his jacket and stormed to his bicycle with a paper bag in hand containing Evangeline’s dress. An excuse for him to see her.
However, the moment he arrived at her condo and came looking for her, his heart stopped beating while his eager and hopeful face slowly died.
“I’m sorry, Miss Heart left a moment ago with luggage in hand together with her pets. She said she would be having her two-month vacation.”
“Did she mention where she was going?” Eric asked. The flickering flames of hope persisted burning until it was utterly extinguished by the reception lady’s next words.
“I’m sorry she didn’t mention anything.”
“. . .”
Eric bit his lips. With slump shoulders and worn-out face, he got out from the lobby and walked towards his bicycle.
He was in a soulless state. Appearing lifeless, he sauntered on the paved pathway, dragging his bike while her voice kept ringing in his ear.
“That’s goodbye, Eric.”
Closing his eyes, he tried to calm his mind.
She will come back. She will. She must. It’s just going to be a two-month vacation. She will return. We still have school, after all.
He repeated this mantra to keep his body moving, for he was afraid if he didn’t, he wouldn’t move and just stand outside her condo. Waiting for her to return.
Would she still be the same when she returned? Will she still like me?
The scraping sound of tires against the paved floor made the passerby gazed at Eric’s direction. He didn’t care. Rather he felt that the world around him danced in a mind churning, stomach twisting way, which made him nauseous and dizzy.
He was paralyzed in place while constant streams of foggy air appeared before his parted lips. Whizzing sounds of his frantic breaths made him realized how scared he was at the thought that Evangeline, once returned, would no longer have any feelings for him.
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