Chapter: 19

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ELENA

I freed my hair from the numerous hair pins and watched as the curls cascaded down my shoulders. I took one long glance at myself in the full length mirror which immediately had me thinking back to the day I had.

Everything was literally perfect. Perfect venue, magnificent decor and the most beautiful wedding dress that had the most perfect fit. Every girl's dream wedding. Except it was far from a dream.

I sighed before my hands reached the zip at the back of the dress. I pulled it down only a few inches before I couldn't.

It. Was. Stuck.

Damn it!

No matter how much I struggled with it, it was all in vain. I closed my eyes in pure distress. Stacey wasn't here to help me. Even Ava was at her grandfather's place. That left me with...God! I couldn't imagine asking Rylan to help me with this. And the stunt he had pulled earlier made the situation all the more worse. Fuck, what option did I have!?

I wasted another five minutes trying before giving up and calling at his number.

"I assume you're dying and this call is to say goodbye." I was bothering him, he made it clear from the lack of enthusiasm in his words. He didn't sound angry either. Just indifferent.

I swallowed down my pride. "Can you come here? I need your help."

No response from the other side before the line went dead. He hung up on me. Why was I even surprised?

Before I could further curse him in my head, the door to the room opened and Rylan walked in. His sharp gaze fell on me and roamed the whole of me, almost as if he was checking for any sign of harm. He then proceeded to get a glance of the entire room before his eyes traveled back to my face.

Rylan raised a brow as I stood staring blankly. I wasn't expecting him to be here at all, let alone this fast. He wasn't in his bedroom when I had been upstairs to get my change. So I guessed he was in his study which was on this floor but still.

"You seem fine to me."

"I need help with this dress." He looked on, probably not catching. "The zip. It's stuck."

He stood unmoving for some time before advancing towards me. And there went my heart. Racing. Fast. Could it be because of the intensity storming in his eyes? I couldn't tell.

I turned around and watched in the mirror as he stopped right behind me.

"And yet you accuse me of trying to seduce you, Love." Rylan spoke, staring at where the dress was stuck. That darn nickname and that fucking accent! I could almost—wait. Did he just insinuate that I was trying to seduce him? That asshole!

"I would much rather have any other man do it for me."

He looked up in one swift moment, a hint of something dangerous swirling in those eyes.

"You would have another man take the wedding dress off you?" Rylan's voice held that undercurrent, the one that chills your bones. The question hung there as a moment filled with palpable tension passed between us. His reflection stared at mine like a predator, waiting for me to make one wrong move.

"Yes." Sense of self-preservation, I severely lacked it. "But you're the only one present here."

A slight twitch in his jaw and a certain darkness in his eyes. He was displeased, I got that much. But why? That was obviously a confusion.

"It's not like the wedding means anything." I felt the need to offer some sort of pacification, not sure if I was just making it worse. He couldn't be acting territorial of—

My thoughts took an abrupt halt the second his hand touched my back. The warmth from his hands seeped through the dress and into my skin. My breath hitched. Such an unhealthy reaction to the touch of a man I claimed to dislike.

I was acutely aware of every moment as he dragged his hand all the way down to the zip where it was stuck. One stretched second of silence and then the sound of fabric tearing.

I went absolutely still, processing what just happened.

He. Ripped. My. Dress.

"What the hell! Why would you do that?" I spun around, holding the dress or what was left of it in place.

"You asked me to help you out of the dress. Didn't actually mention how." Rylan thrust his hands in his pockets and stood calmly, not a hint of regret, nothing whatsoever. He had the audacity to look that fucking unbothered!

"Seriously? If I wanted you to tear it off, I could have done it myself."

He tilted his head to the side and observed me. "What does it matter? It's not like the wedding dress means anything."

I opened my mouth only to close it the very next moment. Rylan had shut me down using my own words. His eyes glinted with a hint of satisfaction.

"I liked the dress." That was the reason. Obviously. Then why did I find it hard to believe my own words?

"A new one will be there when we get back." I gritted my teeth in annoyance and looked away. Nothing was left to argue about. Of course the dress couldn't mean anything when the wedding meant nothing.

I heard the door close behind Rylan and another dreadful thought just resurfaced.

I was going to spend a week with that asshole in an unknown place. Well, Fuck. 

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