Aye~ Enjoy reading.
“You’re really lucky, cousin,” commented by Jerome.
Jeff gave him a glare. “Why did you say so?”
“Because of your fiancée, Ivy. She is a great find – beautiful, smart, but more than that, I think she really loves you, very much.”
Jeff had almost dropped the water pitcher he is holding onto the ground. He’s thinking that Ivy is probably also a good actress since she convinced his cousin that she loves Jeff.
“See, you will be marrying the person but your ears had still turned red because we’re discussing about her. You are so lucky to be in love,” Jerome teased him while not being conscious of his misinterpretation.
“I guess,” Jeff answered noncommittally. “But aren’t you also in love with Noelle?”
Jerome stared at him with seriousness. A long while passed before he started speaking again. “I still can’t understand why you’re acting cool even after all that happened, Jeff. You had a five year relationship with her. Everyone knows how much you loved and cared for Noelle. But when that happened… Damn! You don’t know how guilty I felt.”
“If you only knew, I still feel bad about it. But you, you only looked at the two of us and acted as if you felt nothing. Maybe I would have feel better if you got angry, you went wild and beat me. I was stupid. You were almost like a brother to me and yet, I betrayed you.”
This time, Jeff was the one who stared at his cousin. This is the first time that Jerome opened up his feelings after the discovery of Noelle’s pregnancy and that he was the father. Jeff still could remember that day. It was like the world crashed upon him when he learned the situation of the woman he was planning to marry and that the one who did that to him was the cousin closest to him. It’s funny how he had never suspected that something was going on between them.
That time, he steeled his heart and fought back the fury reigning to his chest. He already lost a lover. He couldn’t let his cousin and friend go.
It was ultimately very painful because he really cared about Noelle back then. And also, his pride suffered greatly. Maybe this is the reason why he’s refusing to talk about it, the reason why he’s being mad whenever it was being asked. The feeling he couldn’t let out is being touched upon.
However, for some reason, he’s starting to think that maybe losing his ex-lover also brought something good to him. Noelle said before, that mess only happened because he’s always been busy for work and Jerome was the only person next to her when she was feeling lonely. Jeff thought that was a complete bullshit. Even now, his opinion is still that.
It was the same spoiled brat crap which is currently destroying the marriage between her and Jerome. The issue is the lack of child in their family. Well, Noelle is like that. She’s always blaming other people or things for her own misery and inadequacy.
As for Jerome, he’s probably been in loved to her even before she became his lover. Jeff thinks that he only started courting her earlier than Jerome.
Jeff voiced that opinion out. “You have always loved Noelle. You only let her go to me because I courted her first. You stayed quiet because the two of us got together. However, I think you have loved her more even than I had done before.”
“I’m sorry. I have never apologized to you and meant it. I hurt you and yet, I was happy because I finally had her. But I am really sorry, Jeff.”
“It’s over, Jerome.” This time, all he had said came from his heart and not only an action brought by his pride. “She is all yours now.”
The man muttered with sadness. “I’m not sure about that.”
Jeff couldn’t reply because he forgot to warn his cousin before marrying Noelle. The girl would always run after what she thought she could not have. And now, to her eyes, Jeff is the one she couldn’t get.
Jeff shifted away his eyes towards the window and through that he saw Ivy. She was smiling. That is when he noticed how beautiful her smile is. He’s certain that he already noticed that the maiden possessed an unusual beauty. Hers is not like Noelle’s who was when seen for the first time, there’s no more to add on how beautiful the woman is.
What people would notice to Ivy at first glance is not beauty. One will notice first that her eyes shone with intelligence. And strength. After that people would slowly see the things which make her beautiful. Example of these are her smooth and calming way of speaking which highlights her witness and her frankness which will not be expected by anyone. Next is her long hair that framed a perfectly oval face…
“Hey, Cousin. Are you planning to melt your girlfriend down with your stares?” asked by Jerome.
Jeff was startled because his companion noticed who he’s looking at. He suddenly noticed that Ivy is talking to someone. And that no one aside from her is there.
“Wait, Jerome, can you please get the box of wine at the kitchen?” He requested before the other man noticed what he saw.
“What do you mean when you said ‘business’? asked by Luis to Ivy.
“We don’t have any real relationship. I’m only pretending to be his lover because his ex-girlfriend is here,” she explained.
“What about you? What will you get after this deal?”
“He will let me use this house.”
“Is that so? However, since you were children, the fate already made the two of you encounter each other in odd situations. Do you think it means nothing?”
“Why? Does it have to mean something?”
“Destiny,” he said.
Ivy went silent. She was a scholar of mathematics and logic. However, there were so many things revolving around her which have nothing to do with what she learned. She declared before, that everything can be explained by mathematics. But how would she calculate mathematically the presence of the person before her?
“He’s coming.” He said.
And before she had even asked who the ghost was referring to, he already vanished. She looked back and saw that Jeff is approaching.
“Hi,” she greeted coldly. It was not because she does hate what happened yesterday but because she’s not sure where to place herself in his life.
“Have you been talking to someone?”
She wants to reply to him that she’s not his business, the same way he said yesterday. However, she recalled what had Luis said. She stiffened in place, thinking, what if she was fated for Jeff?
Ivy scolded herself. She should not be giving her heart a false hope. However, she can’t deny that there’s a part of her who wants to believe it after seeing how Jeffrey look at her right now.
She felt when his hand held her back, when he gently pulled her towards him and brushed his lips against her.
She was surprised. But she holds onto his shoulder and responded to his unexpected kiss. He tightened his embraced and then she felt when her chest knocks to his body.
And then she felt it again – the heat from him that was drawing her like magnet, the feeling that she may never be too close for it to be enough. She only realized it yesterday but she feels like she’s been in love with Jeff for so long. And with every breath they shared in this kiss, she was falling in love with him more.
Ivy heard some noised behind them which caused the kiss to end. Both of them eyed the perpetrator.
Noelle was standing on the entrance of the balcony. The woman was folding her arms in front of her chest and it’s like she didn’t feel any embarrassment when she watched the two of them kissed.
Ivy glanced at Jeff. Because he’s looking at his ex-girlfriend that’s why she understood what’s going on. Her cheeks started to burn.
How moronic was she!
She was thinking about love and romance while her kissing partner was only thinking of proving their relationship to his old flame. And when judged base on Noelle’s facial expression, their short play succeeded.
“I’m sorry, it seems I interrupted something,” said by the woman standing on the doorway.
“Right,” Jeff replied.
The man didn’t notice that only her pride is keeping Ivy beside him. She wished she won’t be involved in their mess because it’s obvious that they still haven’t resolved whatever issue they have.
“Actually, I’m looking for you. I have something to consult to you regarding the properties of my mom and dad which they want to build a mall with.”
That’s it! The girl was sly. Does Noelle plan to make a fool out of her? Noelle obviously had no idea how intelligent she was. Due to her annoyance, her alas came to mind. Since she’s his fake girlfriend, then she will act like one.
“Noelle, can you delay consulting Jeff to other date? He promised that he would not work this weekend for me. Right, sweetie?” She even leaned on her ‘lover’s shoulder.
Noelle gave Ivy a challenging glare while they are waiting for Jeff’s turn to say who he will side with. Ivy felt his hesitation. And because the confidence she’s been clutching on was thin, she started walking away from him.
The man grabbed her arm to stop her from leaving. “I’m sorry, Noelle. I did promise Ivy. Let’s talk at my office next week.”
Noelle pouted prettily. “Oh, so it’s like that. Fine, I’ll just go to your office next week.” The woman said and then left.
“What was that all about?” asked by Jeff when he and Ivy came inside the room.
“Which one?” she innocently inquired.
“You promised me this weekend, Sweetie?” he repeated the lines dropped by her earlier.
“It’s because… I… Well, if you hadn’t notice, I was being pushed against the wall by your beautiful ex. She’s acting as if she still owns you.”
He eyed her dangerously. She knew she crossed the boundary but was she the only one who did?
To be honest, her head is starting to heat up. She faced him and said, “And one more thing, I maybe should remind you that kissing was not part of our deal. You didn’t have to do that just to prove whatever you want to prove to you ex.”
His expression suddenly changed. “Did you think that I kissed you just because of that?”
“What do you want me to think aside from that?”
“That maybe I just wanted to kiss you.”
“Yeah, right,” she said with sarcasm before turning her back around. He suddenly barred her way and so she bumped into his chest. He was looking at her when she raised her head.
“Do you want me to prove how much I want to kiss you?”
“Jeff, please. I don’t know what kind of game you like to play. I thought you only make me your pseudo-fiancee because you don’t want to be pestered by your relatives on why you’re still not married. I’m not even informed that your cousin’s wife is your ex-girlfriend who obviously has the intention to chase after you. And now you’re telling me that the kiss was not part of the act? Do you know why they are treating me as a fine strategist?”
She paused for a moment to let him digest everything she is saying.
“I’m good because I never play any game without knowing the rules. This is why I will do my part on the deal, but I won’t play with you, Jeff Domingo.” She concluded her talk.
She went inside the bathroom because she has nowhere to go and knows no place aside from here where she wouldn’t see the face of Jeff. In other words, she hides inside there. She feels tired after all of those things.
She stayed in the bathroom for quite a while before she decided to come out. Ivy sighed in relief when she saw that Jeff was no longer in the room. She sat on the bed, finally remembering that after a couple of hours, the program for the formal dinner will start. She knows. People will look for her that’s why she has to prepare and doll herself up.