Chapter 24- Perfect Strangers

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"From now on, we should interact professionally. We were just fooling around when we agreed to have a friendship. I don't think it's best we be friends anymore". His voice penetrating and monotonous.

I tried to release the shaky breaths yet they got the best of me. I was feeling as if the world was crashing and everything became suffocating.

"So you're telling me that out of all the time we spent together, now is when you'd listen and act like a professional?" I was angry and speaking in an undertone. This time, I stood and released the tension I had in my heart and mind.

"I have tried getting you off my mind yet you keep crawling back...you're like a leech, Damian Elliot Arcote!" I shouted and he stood, matching my stance. His dominance ranking higher than mine, of course, yet I was too angry to be belittled by him.

"Watch that tone of yours, Avelyn", he warned tonelessly.

"Don't you dare warn me, Damian. Not after everything you put me through...I just don't get it. Do you like seeing me in distress? Do you like seeing me unhappy? Do you like making me cry? What is it with you and the hot and cold behaviour?"

The tension in the air was as thick as custard. "I tried to tell you...I tried yet you blew me off as if I was nothing. You are the cause of my unhappiness and you are too- "

"Stop blaming me for your actions, Avelyn!" Damian shouted and I was silenced. The veins in his neck were protruding and I saw the angry little kid in those honey-hazel depths.

"My actions?" I asked almost breathless.

Damian releases a breath and punched the desk before turning away. I jumped in my spot when he punched the desk. I've never seen him this angry before but I knew I had too my anger pent up to back down.

"At the ball when we were dancing, you tortured me with your confession about your relationship with Draven and now you're doing the same...after everything, I have done. After confessing about my past, my background...my dark side to you. I revealed myself in ways I have never done before to you and you threw it at me like I was nothing...YOU, AVELYN PEREZ! YOU!" He shouts and points his finger at me.

"Damian, I treated you like you were nothing? I listened to you when you revealed yourself, I accepted you for who you were and who you are so I'm sorry if I didn't lick your shoes to make you feel appreciated. I did what a friend does and listened, commented where necessary and accepted you- "

"Don't give me that crap, Avelyn!" He clears the desk scattering all my files and throwing my laptop down. I gasped in shock and anger at his actions.

God help me not to throttle that neck of his!

"You! Ugh! I can't stand you...you drive me crazy", I gritted and paced up and down trying my best to hold it together.

"I drive you insane? Me? Are you out of your mind? I'm the one who had to listen to you talk like a lovesick puppy about Draven! I am the one who freaking cares about you and every time I try to show you how much I freaking love you, you run! You run and go to Draven Armstrong...you know; I don't get it. I am always here and he gets the credit! I understand you and he gets the credit! You know what, Avelyn, don't even bother coming back to work tomorrow because it seems like they've got you covered with the new contract and all".

He sighs before looking at me in the eyes. "Oh yeah, I knew. You're free to work with your boyfriend as of tomorrow".

"Damian- "

"Stop calling me- "

"Shut up, you, moron!" I shouted at the top of my lungs. Silence along with the shocked yet authoritative face of Damian welcomed me. "I have been trying to get at a point since the ball and you would never let me! I have been trying to confess and you keep running away like a silly girl! You want to fire me?! Well if you got everything off your chest then so shall I...I can't stand being in the same room with you, Damian, because of as much as you drive me insane, you bring me back to life. I have been battling with my feelings to not fall prey to your looks or ways or being and I have...I finally came to the point where I know how I feel about you and you shut me down...you shut me down, Damian".

He was about to speak but I held a hand up to stop him.

"I accepted Draven's proposal because I wasn't going to embarrass him in the presence of esteemed guests. I was not going to hurt him...he does not deserve me because he is better than me. I broke it off...I confessed what I truly feel for him and I'm in even more pain because I broke his heart. And now I'm here, professing my feelings for you and you're acting like the wounded puppy, so don't accuse me".

I stopped and caught my breath before looking away. "I love you, Damian Elliot Arcote and I am more than willing to leave if it means I have to suck up to your attitude all day. I'm not going to be hurt because my heart chose you over the choice my mind made".

With that being said, I picked up my handbag and made a move to the door when a hand caught my wrist. The sudden contact caused my heart to skip a beat, the choked up sensations convulsed and my breath hitched.

"Repeat that again, please", he said thickly.

I spun on my heels and faced him, folding my arms and angrily stared at his emotionless face. "Out of all I just said, you asked me to repeat myself?"

"No...just the part where you profess your feelings for me", Damian said calmly, slowly unfolding my arms and taking my handbag. I watched in a daze at his actions, reading and calculating his expression to try and decipher what was his next move.

"Do you honestly think it's doing you any good that I repeat myself? I hate repeating myself", I rambled angrily.

This time, Damian stood in front of me and was calmer than ever. "I have fallen for you, Avelyn Perez...I'm in love with you and I am asking if you love me too?"

I stood there. Breathless. My heartbeat was racing with Usain Bolt.

Damian loves me?

"You love me?" I asked in shock and awe. I was not expecting a confession from him.

The once cold honey-hazel orbs now were like a molten volcano. A small smile playing on his sensual lips and I knew in that moment, Damian Elliot Arcote was himself in my presence.

"Do you love me, Avy?" His voice weak. He sounded like a wounded man who sought a doctor, that one person who can save his life from misery.

"I do..." I smiled.

Nothing could take away the feelings I was experiencing. A rush of happiness, relief, anxiety...I was in an abyss of love and I never wanted to be saved...not by anyone but drown in the depths of whatever Damian and I were in.

I suddenly felt my body being crushed to a muscular frame and that warm sensation started spreading from the pit of my stomach to my arms and legs. I welcomed the embrace with much enthusiasm and poured my heart into it. I inhaled his signature scent and smiled genuinely for the first since I remember.

"I love you, Avelyn Perez", Damian whispered into my ear and embraced me once again.

Who thought after our first meeting, we'd end up falling for each other? Who thought I'd fall for the pig in my arms. But that was before I knew him before I judged him from the way he wanted the world to perceive him as. It was not my fault to judge him and it wasn't his fault to hide from the world.

"I love you too, Damian Elliot Arcote", I giggled, gently rising on my heels to whisper in his air due to our height difference.

Just as I opened my eyes from our embrace, I saw the floor...files and papers scattered and my laptop!

"Damian!" I shouted and glared at him. He cast a glance at the floor and sighed, somehow, I saw he was fighting a grin. "Sort those files out and have my desk the way you came in and saw it, now". With that being said, I walked out of my office.

I need some air...what the hell just happened?!

The reality was sinking in...everything else was slowly creeping its way to my brain for processing. I made my way to the car park and leaned against my car, allowing myself to catch a breath.

We're perfect strangers who fell in love...

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