Chapter 25

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My eyes were trained on Kerrick the whole time he was typing on his laptop, his calm expression leaving me in wonder. I was sitting adjacent from him, studying his every movement carefully just hoping he'd reveal something to me.

When his eyes caught my staring ones, I averted my gaze quickly and pretended I was looking at something else.

"You've been staring at me for a while." He finally said after an extended moment of silence.

"It's nothing." Heat flushed over my face, and I stared at my hands.

"Oh."

"I um," I started. "I was thinking about last night."

He closed his laptop and stared at me deeply and my face nearly melted from the amount of heat coloring it just because of his eyes. The atmosphere around us becoming a little awkward.

"What exactly?" He questioned.

"It was different."

He didn't look too surprised by my answer and in an odd way it was as if he knew I was going to say that.

I was so afraid, but somehow the way his fingers grazed my skin ignited my body. He was gentle with me and it hurt just like before but eventually my body started succumbing to pleasure and before I knew it I lost myself, utterly trembling with passion.

"That's how it's supposed to be." He gave me a soft, uncharacteristic smile, his eyes holding a little warmth. "The first time I slept with you would've been the same if you hadn't blacked out."

"It was your fault." I defended, heat flushing my cheeks as he smiled knowingly.

"How? It was barely a minute after I started when you fainted." He said casually. I almost fell from my seat in shock that he could speak about these things so easily without feeling embarrassed.

"Y-You lied to me, that's why I fainted. I was panicking because of that!" I sputtered, totally embarrassed that I was having a conversation like this with him.

"I didn't lie."

"Of course you did!" I shot back. "You told me you weren't going to be gentle."

"I never said that," he sighed and sat back in his seat. "You asked me if I would and I asked you why you wanted me to be."

My hand unclenched and I stared at him disbelievingly.

"You mean, you never wanted to hurt me?"

"No."

I wanted to believe him but too many things were holding me back. It was too hard to believe.

"You're lying."

"I'm not."

It was confusing for me to try and accept that but the night before was evidence that not everything was as it seemed. I didn't want to think about sleeping with him and I thought I would never be able to bring myself to do it again but here I was talking to him about sex as if it was nothing.

"Last night, um..." My eyes trailed off him nervously.

As husband and wife, it wasn't an odd deal that we slept together but personally I wasn't sure what it meant for us. Had we become closer?

I stared at my hands again, too afraid to voice my thoughts even though I didn't know why.

"Last night when I was with you," Kerrick spoke, his eyes taking in my image. "It's been a long time since I've felt like that."

My heart fluttered and I unexpectedly met his gaze, he seemed to understand what I was thinking because otherwise I was speechless. He then turned his focus back to his work again, discarding the subject we were talking about to focus on his task at hand.

Our relationship was insane and unpredictable but with every moment I grew more fascinated by him. How could he be so hot and cold all the time? How could he always change so easily?

When I stared into his eyes, there were so many things broken and scattered within his gaze. Things I couldn't see before because I was expecting him to be something he never was, constantly expecting him to change because I couldn't understand him and I still didn't.

I wanted to know why the world was so blank to him. Where had the color in his life gone? Could I unearth the good person he really was?

I stared at him again and saw how tired he looked, his movements were strained and forced but he was working continuously. Something was off about him recently but I wasn't sure what. He was working two - no three times harder and it was taking a toll on him.

Even when we slept together, right after he fell asleep on my chest before waking up a few hours later to start working again.

"Kerrick, why don't you take a break?"

"I can't."

"You can't just work-"

"I have to do this." He said cutting me off.

"Kerrick!"

He stared at me almost blankly before his eyes drifted to the pile of papers on his desk nearby.

"I have to beat him and get my father's company."

"Who?"

"Stephen."

Bile rose in my throat just from the mention of his name and I had to press my lips down to stop myself from scowling.

"What does he have to do with you and the company?"

"He and I are competing for it. My father hasn't decided yet on who he'll be handing it over to so until then I'll have to keep up my work."

"But Kerrick," I stopped him. "You're Charles son, so shouldn't you be his first choice?"

He zoned out for a moment before nodding slowly to me. "I hope so, but even though I'm his real son he has more of a preference for Stephan."

"Oh, I see." It was revolting to think anyone could have a preference for him but I didn't let my thoughts show. "At the party we went a while back when you punched him, did you get in trouble?"

"No," he sighed. "My father didn't allow him to press charges because since this is an important time in our company, he didn't want bad publicity going around."

"Oh, then that's good." I said with a sigh of relief.

"Delancy," I gazed into his eyes, the unpredictable nature of them shifting my attention. "I-"

"Don't lose." I spoke without hesitation, without fear. "Don't lose to him, if you believe this is what you want, keep fighting and don't give up. Especially against someone like Stephen."

Wonder painted his eyes and he stared at me like it was the first time he was ever seeing me.

"Yeah, I know." He answered, gloomily.

Even though I was speaking directly to him, my words were also aimed at myself.

Don't give up Delancy.

Don't give up on him.

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