Chapter: 14

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RYLAN

It was one of the rare days when I felt that I would get a proper sleep. The endless meetings at the office today had truly and utterly exhausted me.
    
Walking inside my room, I dropped my suit jacket on the bed. I was unstrapping the watch when the sound of the bathroom door clicking open alarmed me.
    
A startled squeak followed.
    
The fact that Elena had moved in had flown out of my mind. I wasn't used to sharing space with anyone, much alone in my bedroom.
    
So it was weird seeing her standing in my room in nothing but a tiny towel that covered very less of those long pale legs.
    
Elena was fresh out of the shower. A water droplet from her sleek wet hair dripped onto the skin right above the swell of her breast. 
    
My mind wandered to places it shouldn't.
    
Like how one tug was all it would have taken to witness what was hidden beneath the towel.
    
Or how her soft skin would feel under my hands.
    
Fuck!
    
I felt all the blood rushing southwards. I needed a distraction. Fast.
    
Pulling my eyes away, I tried steering my attention to anything that might help me get my mind off the inappropriate thoughts but that was particularly difficult when the sweetness of the vanilla fragrance on Elena was all I could smell.
    
I thought I heard the door to the bathroom click shut at some time but I was too busy thinking about my grandmother's poodle. That little thing could shit!
    
Those are the rarest instances when I had regretted my decisions.
    
This was one such instance.
    
Not even a day in my apartment and she had thrown me back to my horny teenager days. I was visualizing dog shit to prevent myself from getting a raging hard on.
    
"What are you doing here?" Her voice broke through my chain of thoughts. This time when I looked, Elena had slipped into her pjs and something akin to disappointment spread through me.
    
"This is my room?" I was surprised that it sounded as nonchalant as I wanted it to.
    
Her brows dipped. "But you're not staying here right?"
    
"Wrong. I'm staying here." I took my tie off.
    
She looked startled, her voice came out almost panicky. "What? No! We can't be sharing a room!"
    
I let a faint smirk touch my lips.
    
"Why? Afraid that you won't want to hold up the one condition of no sex that you put forward?" Irritation drowned the earlier alarm in those bright blue orbs.
    
"Can you stop being so annoying for once?"
    
"What do you want to do? Sleep in separate bedrooms and risk everyone knowing that all this is a muse?" Elena glared at me, still searching for an appropriate reply but she knew I was right. It wasn't Stacey I was worried about. I had my staff to run their mouths and obviously there's Ava.
    
It took her a good few seconds before she heaved a sigh.
    
"Go to bed. I'll take the couch." I suggested which sounded more like an order before heading for a shower.
    
By the time I had stepped out of the bathroom, Elena was sitting on the couch. She sprang up as soon as I was in her eyesight.
    
"I'll take the couch." She offered.
    
"No."
    
"The couch is too small for you." She paused only to scrutinize my face. "Besides, you need some proper sleep. You look like shit."
    
"Thank you. Now go to bed." If there was something I hated more than tardiness was to repeat myself.
    
Elena sunk into deep contemplation before finally she came up with a solution, albeit, reluctantly.
    
"Fine! Then no one sleeps on the couch." I stilled. She couldn't be meaning what I thought she was—
    
"There's enough space for the both of us here." Even though the words came out much softer than her previous sentence, I clearly heard it.
    
I raised an eyebrow questionably.
   
"Not minutes ago you were freaking out at the thought of staying in the same room and now you're willing to share a bed, Love?"
    
Elena's face flushed at the tone in my words.
    
"Don't flatter yourself! It's just that I'd feel bad if you have to sleep on the couch in your own room." She muttered.
    
She was just being accommodating.
    
That's all it was. Right.
    
That wasn't too bad now that we would have to share an apartment and a bedroom for the next two years. I should be relieved. Except I wasn't.
    
I blamed the hint of displeasure on the dragged out conversation I would rather not engage in after a whole day of work.
    
"Sleep." I didn't look at Elena again. Having someone stay in my bedroom was hard enough. Sharing a bed could wait.
*****************"""*"""

Sleeping on that couch last night had left me with a stiff neck.

When I woke up, I had looked back at the bed only to find the bed made with no signs of Elena on it.
    
By the time I came downstairs, she was deeply engaged in some animated conversation with Ava.
    
Both of them were chatting and laughing and for a second there was this strange feeling…like I wanted to be a part of it.
    
I didn't.
    
I scoffed away the thought as soon as it came to me. I didn't want to be a part of anything that comprised Elena, at least not anything real.
    
She wasn't here to stay.
    
I cleared my throat to make my presence known.
    
"Good morning, Daddy!" Ava chirped.
    
"Good morning, sweetheart!" I kissed her cheek before taking a seat at the table.
    
My gaze strayed to Elena's face. I curtly nodded. She responded in a similar fashion.
    
It was a good thing that Stacey wasn't here to witness our very awkward greeting and I would very much like to take the liberty of thinking that Ava wasn't mature enough to notice.
    
"What are we doing today? Movies?" I asked indulgently. Ava deserved more of my time than I spent with her.
    
Work always kept me busy. Being a CEO of a successful business  wasn't a child's play. It came with responsibilities, a lot at that.
    
Sunday was an exception. This was one day in a week that I completely spent with Ava. Everyone in the office knew better than to disturb me today unless it's as important as it gets.
    
"No, mommy said that she will take me to see dogs." She said, bouncing out of excitement in her seat.
    
I stilled. Absolutely froze in my seat.
    
Were my ears playing tricks on me or did she actually say the word?
    
Complete silence blanketed us for two whole seconds as I sat comprehending how the word had so casually made its way into the conversation.
    
I lifted my eyes, ever so slowly and let them fall on Elena. She flinched before casting her eyes away.
    
Whatever look my eyes held had to go till Ava was here. She didn't deserve to see the ruthless version of me. I forced away every emotion from my face till it was utterly blank.
    
"Can you go to the room sweetheart? I need to talk to Elena." Stacey was there in a moment helping Ava out of her chair as if she had sensed the urgency of the situation.
    
I didn't meet her eyes or Ava's. My full attention was only on the squirming blonde seated in front of me.

 My full attention was only on the squirming blonde seated in front of me

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