Chapter 25

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I nervously sat infront of Niklaus as Sophia laid in a big chair with a IV attached to her arm. She had fallen asleep just a few minutes ago. Her body exhausted from the chemotherapy. Giovanni was waiting in the hospital cafeteria with Matteo and Victoria so the room wasn't overwhelmingly crowded.

"You can't take her from me." I heard Niklaus whisper harshly in my direction.

"I'm not taking her from you. She can go visit whenever and vice versa, Nico." I was trying to stay as calm as possible, avoiding conflict.

He chuckled coldly. "Right, so Giovanni can raise my daughter while I get visitation rights."

"Giovanni loves Sophia, but he's not trying to replace you."

"Of course he is. He's fucking taking everything from me." Rage flashing in his eyes, his hands balled into tight fists.

"Where is all this coming from, Nico?" My confusion clear in my voice.

"I can't fucking stand that he's taking you away from me, Cattleya."

My heart fluttered hearing his words, but I had to remind myself of the reality and suddenly I was angry. He's the one getting married in a few weeks, what did he expect me to do? Be his mistress for the rest of his life? Watch as he builds a family with Stephanie while I stand on the sidelines.

Fuck that!

"Nico, you're getting married in a few weeks. This jealousy has to stop."

"I don't fucking know how."

I stood to leave, trying to get away before my emotions got the best of me. As I was about to reach the door, Niklaus' arm reached out and grabbed me roughly, pulling me to him.

"If you going to start a life with him, then at least let me tell you how I feel." His voice was now soft as he looked deep into my eyes.

My heart was pounding in my chest, wanting so badly to hear his words, but it was pointless. All it would bring was doubt in my relationship with Giovanni, who has been nothing short of perfect with me. It would ignite a spark of hope that we could be together, as a family, but he's never even mentioned leaving Stephanie. My head was already in a frenzy and I hadn't even heard what he wanted to say.

"Don't. I don't want to hear it. Ever since I met you, I have felt everything for you, and not once have you been able to actually say how you feel about me. I mean, I get it, we were in a complicated situation, but I never knew how serious you were about me, about us... with Giovanni, it's different, he's not afraid to tell me exactly how much he loves me, I never have to second guess what I mean to him and that makes me so happy. I just want to be happy, Nico. So whatever you were going to say to me, please don't." The hurt in my voice was hard to cover up, and by the look in his eyes, he could hear it.

I watched through blurry eyes as a tear trailed down his pained face, full of regret. His grip on my arm loosened, falling limply to his side. I gathered all my strength and walked out of the room.

I needed to find Giovanni before my heart betrayed me and ran back to Niklaus, but I had to get myself under control first. I briskly walk to the first bathroom I see, brushing the traitorous tears off my cheeks. Relief washing over me when I notice it's empty.

I splash cold water on my face before staring in the mirror. My heart broke at my reflection, a sinking feeling traveling down my body. I studied my eyes, seeing them swirl with emotions my mind refused to acknowledge before. Realization slapping me hard as my red, teary eyes begged me to go to him. My body refusing to move, my mind triumphing over my heart. My reflection started yelling at me, fists banging on the mirror, pleading with me to just listen. I was horrified. I close my eyes, holding my hands over my ears to muffle the screams, shaking my head to stop the hallucination.

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