Chapter 33 - It's Official*

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*WARNING: Smut — This chapter contains explicit content and mature themes. Readers 18+ only!

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Text Message
Today 12:15 PM

Calm down, Richard. Please?

No.

Richard, please.

We'll talk about this later. You still far away?

Five minutes, maybe.

I'll order for you, ok?

Call me if you get lost.
Read 12:16 PM

"My, my. He is smitten!" Taron Egerton teased as he scanned the black leatherette menu. Only his eyebrows could be seen and the brim of his thinly-framed glasses. Though they were in public, Taron wasn't afraid to be heard. "Absolutely smitten!"

Richard swiped the screen on his phone upward and switched apps, returning to Instagram to browse the hashtag of his name. He wasn't in the habit of reading all what others had to say about him, but it was the photo, the one shot taken from afar of him and Mia sharing an intimate moment in a private garden, that was spoiling his mood. To some extent, it was also spoiling the mood of those around him.

Taron raised his head when he didn't get a response. He placed the menu on his empty plate and observed his co-star sneer at his cellphone, a scrunch in his eyebrow. There was also a shape to Richard's lip that Taron had never seen him do before, and that was his cue to throw in a few cents.

"Mate?" Taron said, his face full of concern. "You good?"

Richard released an exasperated sigh and stowed his phone away, conscious over the fact that he was in the company of someone else; and he didn't want to spread any more negative energy.

"Sorry. Some people just..." He clicked his tongue against the root of his mouth. "Frustrate me."

"Aw, that doesn't sound good at all. This the pap thing you were telling me about earlier?"

"It wasn't even a pap, know what I mean? Just some kid without much of a life, or manners, rather."

Richard slouched back in the leather chair, his shoulders wider than the furniture itself. He looked like a giant in distress, like one that had just gotten his sack of golden coins snatched away from a particular Jack. But there was no beanstalk in sight, not within a kilometer's radius either, so he remained gigantesque and distressed.

"I get that. No one gets used to it, really. No one," Taron reassured him. "How did Mia take it?"

"Not so well either. She was silent the rest of the night, but I reckon she's taking it better than I have, because she was in a normal mood this morning. Am I overreacting?"

Taron shook his head frantically. "Not at all. You're just being protective of your girl. Speaking of..." He peered over Richard's shoulder and smiled brightly at the brunette in approach. "Is that her?"

Richard glanced over his shoulder and got to his feet the moment he drew out the way Mia walked. Hips swaying, but not too much, not too wide beyond her natural width. She'd always have her head tilted downward a bit, but like her strut, not too much. Just enough to hide her cheeks behind some hair. That was the only way she felt comfortable.

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