Chapter: 23

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I felt a gentle smack on my cheek which woke me up. Just my daughter probably on some adventure in her dreams. I chuckled at how adorable she looked with furrowed brows while sleeping.

As it seemed, I had fallen asleep in her room last night and my back could do with some stretching from being in that awkward angle. I was on the last stair when I heard some sounds. I quietly moved towards the kitchen which seemed to be the apparent source of sound.

There was someone in the kitchen. But the movements stilled, and there was complete silence for a few long seconds. The intruder probably had sensed that he wasn't the only one here.

"Who's there!?" I heard a voice laced with panic. Elena. I released a breath in part relief before something came flying towards me and hit me on the chest.

"Fuck!" I hissed.

"Rylan?" Her alarmed voice rang out. I switched the lights on before she could hit me in the face this time. There she was, standing in the middle of the kitchen with a fucking chopping knife in her hands.

"Oh ! I'm sorry. I just..." She trailed off, looking a bit embarrassed.

"You thought someone got into the house." I completed it for her before pointing at her hand. "Were you going to throw that too?"

"No, it was for if you would come closer." I raised a brow and she must have understood something was wrong with the statement. She rushed to correct it. "Not you! I meant the intruder." Ah! That's really assuring.

"Right." I sighed. "Would you mind putting that down, Love?" Elena followed my gaze and probably remembered that she was still gripping the knife. She kept it on the counter, the red color rising up her neck.

"Why did you come into your own kitchen like that, like a burglar?" I supposed that she was embarrassed and was deflecting because in no way could she think I was responsible for that.

"Really? I came to drink water. You were in the kitchen with the lights off in the middle of the night." She was flustered, almost red from the heat of it and that was honestly...cute.

"Yeah." Nodding she went to the fridge and pulled out a tub of ice cream.

"Are you having ice cream this late?" I asked as she got a spoon out.


"You want some?" She came and stood beside me. I shook my head and poured myself a glass of water.

"Try it." She shoved the tub in my face, receiving a blank stare in response.

"I promise ice cream tastes better at night." I pressed my lips in a thin line. She was annoying. Her smile morphed into a frown before she shrugged. "As you wish."

I looked as Elena"s lips closed around a spoonful of that chocolate frozen dessert. Remind me again, why was I here? To drink water? I was done with that. Then what

the fuck was I doing standing in the kitchen and watching Elena lick the spoon? Ways I knew to torture myself!

"Is this a regular thing? Eating ice cream past midnight." I asked the first thing that came to my mind just to distract myself from the direction my head was walking in. Well I could always turn back and go to my room! Apparently I wasn't doing the things I needed to.

"Whenever I feel happy..." She thrusted another spoon of it inside her mouth.

"Any particular reason behind this happiness right now."

"Or when I'm sad. You didn't let me finish." My forehead creased, only a bit.

"So you're sad right now?"

She stared at my face, confused, as if I asked her something really difficult. Ultimately she replied with a "No."

"I guess I just wanted some." She shrugged.

"Can I ask you something.?"

"You just did." She gave me an unimpressed stare. I motioned with my head to get on with it.

"So, uhm, you never speak about your mother." And just like that the easy air around us thickened with awkward tension. My whole form had gone rigid.

"What about her?" One could hear the stiffness in my voice, almost mechanical. "She's dead." Elena grimaced but checked herself from offering any sort of pity. The way I said it paired with absolute absence of any emotion whatsoever on my face must have warned her from doing so.

"Any fond memories you have with her. If you want to share that is." She hurried to the last sentence. I resisted the urge to scoff. Fond memories! There was none. I could tell her that but it would lead to a fresh set of questions which I was in no mood for.

"I don't" I turned around not realizing we were situated this close. My gaze dropped to her lips. There was ice cream smeared at the corner of her mouth. My hand on its accord made its way up to there. It's like I was stuck in a romantic movie scene; thick tension, dazed minds, long unwavering stares. I wiped the cream off with the pad of my thumb while her eyes flickered between my eyes and lips before she looked away.

I retracted my hand and cleared my throat. I'm sure she was thinking of ways to escape that awkward situation and I decided to put both of us out of the misery by walking out of the kitchen and straight towards the bedroom.

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