Chapter: 33

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RYLAN

I got into my car and followed Elena's car all the way to the apartment. She had gone up the elevator and I had taken the stairs. Fuck waiting.
    
"Elena stop!" She halted in her steps, threw her bag on the sofa and turned back.
    
"What, Rylan? What?" She asked, furious.
    
"We need to talk." I spoke every word clearly, calmly.
    
"We do? If you want it then it will happen. God forbid if you for once ask for my permission instead of giving out an order!" I pinched the bridge of my nose in frustration. The time I had spent with Elena had made me well acquainted with this one particular emotion.
    
I had to make this right. I needed to make this right and for that the bossy bastard in me needed to be checked. "I didn't mean it that way. It came out wrong."
    
"What is it that you didn't mean? Didn't you mean it when you said that you want to sign a contract? Didn't you mean it when you said that the kiss meant nothing, that the marriage meant nothing?" A look of vexation came upon her face.
    
"I made mistakes, plenty of them. Fuck! I know I have screwed up. I wish I hadn’t." I cringed at my own words. That definitely sounded convincing enough for her to jump straight into my arms! "Please, just give me another chance. I don't—I don’t want to get away from you."
    
She let out a shaky breath. “Why?” It was almost a whisper.
    
“I can’t.” I swallowed. “I’m addicted to you. To your soft laughs, the way your eyes crinkle when you smile, the way the tip of your ears turn red when you’re flustered, the smell of fucking vanilla lingering in my room right after you take a bath. I want all of it. Your presence consumes my whole fucking being.” The moment I stepped towards her she took one back. For a second only the sound of our heavy breathing filled the room. I tucked a few strands of those golden hair behind her ear before letting my palm rest against her cheek.
    
“Do you know how hard all these months have been for me? Staying away from you, being this close to you, yearning to touch you but not being able to? It’s been a fucking torture, Love.” Elena shivered as if from the brutal softness of my words. The very next moment she jerked away from me like I had suddenly caught fire.
    
"Just stop playing with me!" She raised a shaky finger.
    
"I am not playing with you. I am serious for God's sake! Just… just don't leave." I mumbled. She shook her head like she couldn't trust a word that came out of my mouth.
    
"I didn't want to. You pushed me away. Even after knowing that ours was a contractual marriage, I developed feelings for you. That kiss, I stupidly thought that it meant something to you but you made me realize my mistake. You made me feel like a fool. When I daydreamed that we had made some progress, you said that we should keep our distance, you just proved how much even the sight of me irritated you."

She looked breathless in anger. I felt the anguish , the pain seeping in. She was right. I had pushed her away but not because of what she thought. Irritation was the last word in my mind for her.
    
"You couldn’t have been more wrong, Love. The sight of you put me in a haze, it fucked with all my reason. That kiss meant a lot more than what I could ever express. It made me feel things. It woke unknown feelings inside me and I was scared of it. I was afraid to develop feelings for you." Elena looked shocked by my confession. Her mouth parted in disbelief, like she didn't believe her ears. But I had to say it, all of it that I had kept bottled.
    
"Even the thought of seeing you with a man that isn’t me fills me with this raw, unfiltered possessiveness. I wasn’t used to feeling like this. It was just a business deal, I wasn’t supposed to care, Elena. But I do. I care more than I had ever thought I was capable of. Seeing you hurting hurts me, more so if I’m the reason. Every time I said that it didn't matter, it mattered more than can be explained and these feelings were so strong that I wanted to run away from them." She looked on as I ranted, her eyes glossy with unshed tears.
    
"It hurt so bad every time I remembered that it would end in a divorce." I ran my hand through my hair and looked away in frustration.
    
"Do you know how much it hurt me?" I slowly looked up at her, the guilt consuming me. The tears now rolled down her cheeks as she stood there with a pained expression.
    
"I am sorry. I regret every fucking thing that I had done. I still don't know how to assess these feelings or how deep are the roots of it but I am tired of running away from them." I took slow steps and held her hand in mine.
    
"If I was a better man, I would have asked you to leave my ass and go ahead with your life. But I’m not a good man, Darling, I’m as selfish as it gets. And because I'm selfish, I’ll ask you for this one chance." She stared at me, unblinking.
    
"Kiss me." Her words made me go still.
    
That was for three complete seconds. The moment I realized that I wasn’t dreaming, my mouth came crashing down on hers. The kiss was soft yet rushed, gentle yet there was an air of urgency as if it was more important than the next breath. I poured everything in it, every bit of my feelings, establishing the spoken ones, conveying the unexpressed.

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