Twisted (Chapter 2) By Faithlyn Williams
Olivia stared at the glowing numbers on her digital clock: 6:30 a.m. God! She was fucking late! How did that happen? She couldn't believe she slept that long. After Aiden had dropped her at her house, she was unable to sleep after the cold shower she had. Tossing on the bed for hours till she finally dosed off at 3 a.m. exact.
She quickly showered, dressed up and took her morning coffee. She liked it black. No cream, no sugar. It lifted her spirits every morning and gave her bubbling energy. She was running late so she couldn't fix something to eat. Out of the door, and off she went.
"I know, I'm sorry boss. Got caught up in traffic. I promise it won't repeat itself."
"It had better not. Come, we have work to do," her boss said as he led the way to his office.
Ethan Woods, her boss, owns the company she works for and as his manager, she handled every business matter concerning the company.
In the media business and in life, presentation trumped everything else and Olivia never underestimated the value of putting on a good show. Careful attention to every detail was the reason the company valued her ideas and opinions. Her efforts and dedication had earned her the position as the managing director, and her boss had appointed her as his personal assistant.
The work demanded her best and consumed her time. Though her salary was double and worth the time and effort she put in, it was what she loved doing. She was passionate about her job and it was very fulfilling for her.
After the meeting she had with her boss, she was on her way to her office to complete the task he had given her, when she met her colleague on the way.
"Saw the ratings, huh?" Austin murmured.
"Yeah, sure did." Low ratings irritated their boss.
He always made sure the best came out of his firm. He made sure his company was always on top of the current trend. Sensationalism was key, and if nothing newsworthy happened, it was their job to create something worth watching, and ensure that something had The Woods Media stamped on it.
Their main aim was in helping businesses and professionals build their media presence by offering them different advertisement game plan. From press releases, TV shows production, corporate video production and social media campaigns. Almost everything.
The media crew was in the middle of taping and she had to run things quickly and supervise their work.
"What's the segment?" she asked Austin as they walked on together.
He calmly responded, trying to keep up with her stride. "San Antonio Business Owners. We feature one a week. Local interest stuff. I'll get the scripts for you. Excuse me."
When she got to her office, surprisingly, there was a bunch of red beautiful rose flowers on her desk and a note that read: Fiery red spirit and beautiful, just like a rose. Dinner by 7pm.
How did he get into her office? It should be her assistant. He must have warmed his way into her assistant's heart just to get his way into her office. She could sense trouble from far and she sure didn't like it.
She flopped down on her seat as she proceeded to ring her assistant. "I want to see you in my office immediately."
"How did these get into my office?" she asked calmly as she scanned through the files on her desk without looking up.
Stammering through her answer, Bridget Summers tried to explain herself. "He said it was a surprise and that you love surprises. I didn't know it would be upsetting."
She didn't want to take her anger out on her assistant so she asked her to go back to her work. She opened her desk drawer and withdrew an envelope that contained some pictures she took with Aiden. Looking at them, she was lost in thoughts. Why did he have to come back? She had constructed her world perfectly with ease in his absence, now he was back, he wanted to destroy what it took her years to build.
She glanced down at her watch, she had an interview by 3:00pm and it was almost time. She put the envelope back into her drawer and stood up to leave the office. She stopped at the receptionist’s desk to give instructions. "See if you can reschedule the agency meeting for tomorrow.
"Problem?" Austin asked as he came around to give her the scripts.
"No," Olivia answered, “I've got an interview. Drop it on my desk. See you when I return." She winked at him and left.
Olivia contacted her boss as soon as she was done with the interview. He wanted her to meet some of his business associates that had just arrived town, so he asked her to close from work and head to his private suite. Couldn't he just go on with the meeting without involving her? She wasn't ready for any meeting. She had enough in one day. Well, what could she say, it was her job and she had to do it.
As she arrived at his suite, she rang the doorbell and unexpectedly came face to face with Aiden. She blinked rapidly to clear her vision in case it was a dream but it wasn't. No. She had to be dreaming. She bit her lips hard to be sure.
Fuck! That hurt. She licked her lower lip, it tasted blood.
Okay, so a bite could actually hurt in a dream. She would go with that. She forced a smile as she walked past him, she could inhale the heady scent of him. Bold, clean and fresh, yet with a musky undertone.
Aiden clicked the door shut, grinning as he followed her into the room, carefully masking his surprise and delight in seeing her. He did not expect to see her here. She looked absolutely exquisite in her tailored suit, those well-built legs looked perfect in her black heels. "It's wonderful seeing you again, Liv” Aiden drawled as he gave her a devilish smile.
Glaring at him, she gave him a dumb stare as if he was acting like a silly child. "Same here, Aiden. You haven't changed. Still the old you."
"Never knew you guys know each other," her boss said looking at the both of them, slightly taken aback." Smiling, Aiden sat close to her, deliberately brushing his right thigh on hers.
"It's been a long time, Ethan. It's surprising she opted for business."
"Surprising you say. It goes same way for you," Olivia replied, obviously annoyed.
"We should begin the meeting now," her boss said, sensing the tension cracking between them.
There was a round of introduction before the meeting started. Olivia could feel Aiden's gaze on her, he made her feel self-conscious, she could barely concentrate. She was having a hard time faking focus and total control. Not even in her dreams did she expect Aiden to be one of her boss’ associates. Fate was being cruel to her.
"Aiden, I'd like you to keep in touch with Olivia daily, she'll be around anytime you need her to help you with any information and anytime you want to pass information to me.” Oh no! Did her boss just say that? Did he realize that he just handed her on a silver platter to the devil himself? Her day couldn't get any worse than this.
She seemed quite uncomfortable but it vanished immediately as it came, it left him wondering if he actually saw or imagined it. Aiden was as surprised as she was and glad as well at what her boss said. He couldn't get his eyes off her throughout the meeting and had simply lost the thread of conversation. Unadulterated need coiled in his loins, one he couldn't ignore. As she walked past him to get a document for her boss, her energy swept past him and prickled his skin, unnerving him for a moment.
"Can I have a word with you?” One brow quirked up as he asked. She refused to find it charming.
"Definitely Aiden," she replied icily.
He wanted her away from the suite and so much badly wished he had her in his arms right now. Smiling broadly, he excused himself as he made a move to the door and she followed him, understanding that they needed to speak discreetly.
"Why are you here?" She asked as she closed the door behind them.
"For business," he shrugged as he pulled her a little, away from the door to ensure nobody overhead them.
"Did you get my flowers?" He rasped as he touched her cheeks. His scent wrapped around her and she inhaled deeply, unable to stop herself. "Why are you doing this, Aiden?"
"I want to kiss you," he said huskily, ignoring her question, his lips just centimeters away from hers. "Are you going to let me?"
"No..." Olivia was aware her protest sounded half-hearted and she found herself unable to look away from those mesmerizing dark eyes.
"Say yes, Liv." He moved slightly, his lips a hot and brief caress against her cheek before he raised his head and looked at her once again, not touching her with anything but the intensity of his glittering gaze.
She couldn't breathe, couldn't move so much as a muscle, as she continued to be held captive by the intensity of those eyes. Much like a deer caught in the headlights of an incoming car or a freight train. Either of which is capable of flattening whatever stood in their way. Aiden was capable of crushing her resistance and in making her throw away everything important to the wind.
She drew in a shaky breath before stepping back and away from him and he looked away as they heard footsteps coming towards their direction.
"I believe you will be ready by 7pm," he stared long and hard at her, regretting that he had to leave her before which he was never going to do ever again.
Olivia gave a lightly dismissive laugh, "Why should I?"
"Because you should, Liv. I'll pick you up then." He left.
From the meeting back to her house, everything was blurry, she couldn't believe how her life had become a mess in a twinkle of an eye. She so much wished she was dreaming, and could just wake up now.
Olivia turned off the shower and stood for a moment in the warm steamy space, pulling herself together. She reached beyond the shower curtain surrounding the bathtub, caught a towel off the rack and wrapped it around herself. Everything was just happening in a blink and she desperately needed to be in control. She couldn't allow her body desires control her. She needed to be sane and focus, no distractions needed or allowed.
Aiden was at her door few minutes before the time. The knock startled her out of her reverie. Oopsie! She wasn't prepared. She went to open the door for him as she tried to cook up an excuse.
"You're not dressed yet." He shook his head as he strode past Olivia into the sitting room, impressively handsome in a perfectly tailored black evening suit with a snowy white shirt and red silk bow-tie.
"Welcome to my humble abode," she said dryly, before following him through. "Make yourself at home," she continued as she crossed the room over to her bar and took out a bottle of Whiskey and poured it into a glass for him. Aiden softly murmured his thanks as he drained the glass and carefully placed it down on the table before straightening.
"What's in the box, Aiden?" She asked as she looked down at the box Aiden had dropped down onto the table when he first entered the house.
"It's something you will like," he assured her softly. "Why don’t you open it up and see?’
Olivia eyed the box as if it was a bomb about to go off, having no idea what could possibly be inside.
"Open it up, Liv," Aiden encouraged gruffly as he moved to sit down on the sofa close to her.
Staring at the box, her hands trembled a little. "Will you stop delaying and open the damned box, Liv?"
Olivia worried her bottom lip between her teeth as she opened the box and brought out the dress he got for her. "That’s for you to wear this evening, unless you already have something you would prefer."
A delicate blush warmed her cheeks. "No, this is beautiful, it's perfect. Thanks."
"You like it then?" He prompted huskily.
The material was softer and silkier than anything imaginable. "I love it," She replied with a smile that made her skin glow anew.
There was now a dull ache in his chest at the realization that he would do anything possible to make her happy always, to give her anything and everything she had ever wanted or desired. At the same time he knew that her fierce independence would no doubt compel her to refuse anything he had to offer.
"Get dressed, we are late."
As they strolled down to the car, Aiden told her a funny story about a loose dog wreaking havoc at one of his friend's news station studios and she laughed through the whole thing. Their hands brushed as he was about to open the door of his car and she pretended she didn’t notice, which was difficult considering that her pulse shot into the stratosphere by that very accidental touch.
"Exactly where are we headed?"
"You will see for yourself." He said quietly as he drove into a secluded area. He stopped as they reached a prosperous-looking tavern, filled with people and music.
“Come on,” he said gently. Pulling her gently out of the car, he took her inside, through the crowds to the bar, where he was greeted eagerly by the others.
“Are you going to play tonight, one of them asked?”
With a slight smile, he shook his head.
Confused she turned to look at him and quirked an eyebrow at him.
"I play a little guitar sometimes here when I wanna get away from the outside world." A grin flashed on his face and hit her with the force of a floodlight.
She fought a smile of her own and lost. “Quite interesting, you've never told me that."
He grimaced as he looked away. "I've learnt so many things in these past years, Liv."
Oh. Her curiosity piqued. She wanted to know what it was like for him over there, because it was hell for her when he left.
"Will you play for me?" Olivia requested as she ordered for drinks. "Something strong will do Ma," she told the owner of the place who had come immediately she had sighted Aiden Smith.
He was a very good customer and always took pleasure in entertaining the others who came to drink in her tavern too.
Aiden's gaze swept her with some of that heat in a pointed way she couldn’t pretend to miss. In the dark, quiet interior of the tavern it seemed no one else existed, only the both of them. Then he gave a small nod. He slowly took one of the guitars in his hands and there was a burst of cheers and applause. “This is just for you, Liv.”
Walking across the crowded tavern, past all the tables to the tiny stage, Aiden sat on a stool.
With his guitar in his lap, he said simply into the microphone, “This is for my woman."
He looked at her. “The woman I love.” Olivia's lips parted in a silent gasp. He shouldn't be saying that. But she couldn't say she wasn't his. She just sat down and listened. But in heart, she knew she belonged to him.
Exhaling, Aiden strummed the guitar, and in a low, husky voice began to sing. It sounded very old, and the lyrics burned to her soul. He was a good musician, she thought in amazement, really good, far better than she had expected.
The music was so heartbreaking and pure. Aiden stared at her from across the room and sang about a young boy who left his love for greener pastures. He regretted his decision but had no choice. After achieving his goals, he came back, wishing he could see the young girl again, wishing their love was strong enough to sustain them past the storms, wishing she will forgive him and take him back.
Love him again? Take him back? No! She couldn't do this. She couldn't breathe. She was choking on raw emotions. The walls of the tavern seemed as if they were going to close in on her. Rising unsteadily to her feet, she pushed through the tables and headed for the door. She flung it open and ran outside.
In the quiet night, she ran into the woods and fell back against a rough stone, shaking. She jumped and turned when she heard footsteps.
"Stay away from me Aiden!" she sobbed as she pounded on his chest with her fist when he tried to hold her close. "You never loved me. You left me."
He held her closer, his face blazing with emotion as he reached out to cup her cheek. “No, Liv. I never left you. I still loved you. From the moment we met you've been the only woman I've ever wanted. Even for the years we were apart, there was no one else for me. No one.”
"But I can't be with you Aiden. I love someone else now," she said softly.
Pulling her to himself, he traced his fingertips on her lower lips. "The way you tremble under my touch, the way your breath hitches when I pull you close, your eyes burn with desire; no one can make you feel half of what you feel for me."
A shudder tore up in her spine as an aching need surged through her core when he licked her earlobe. Staring up at him, Olivia could see the burning desire in his eyes and emptiness therein.
She so much wanted to run away and hide, but she couldn't escape from Aiden. Held there, captured between his hard body and the wood behind her, there was truly no escape. No escape from him, or from the arousal burning through her. She felt the blood rushing to every sensitive core of her, and then surging in excitement back to her heart, pounding as he gently bit her neck and rained kisses on it.
Resigned to the fact that the need was growing. Resigned to the fact that there was no need avoiding. Hell, she was weak under his ministrations and on the verge of begging him to take her there. Her heart was racing, her breathing uneven, she parted her lips as he lowered, his lips almost touching hers, so close she could feel the warmth of them. "I won't kiss you until I'm certain the sheer anticipation of it will drive you crazy, until I've wiped every memory of the man that is occupying your mind. Remember that you're mine, Liv, and no one else."
Olivia forced herself to drag in a deep breath. "I refuse to become a plaything that you choose to return to when it pleases you. You are a complication that I don't need in my life," she told him as she tried to inject some semblance of determination into her tone. She jerked away from him, breaking free from his hold with an ease that assured her he had simply let her go.
Stepping away from him, she told herself she was not going to get into the same situation with him ever again. "I'll wait for you at the car."
He watched as she left him and cursed himself. He needed to prove to her that his love was true and never wavered. He wasn't going to lose her to someone who didn't love her the way he did. Never.
He followed her back to the car and they drove back home in silence. Olivia hadn't imagined the situation with Aiden could worsen. Surely she would have a few days to settle her nerves, without Aiden's presence because she was going to inform her boss that she'd rather have him discuss business with Aiden directly than put her in the middle of everything.
Aiden pulled the car to a stop when they reached her apartment. He said nothing, he simply let the engine idle while he stared out the window. She held the door an extra moment before she opened the door and then turned back to look at him. "Aiden?"
He turned to look at her and wondered if their communication and love might be reestablished in time. Leaning over, he took her hand. Bringing it to his lips, he fervently kissed it. "I love you, Liv. Take care. Talk to you tomorrow."
Tears dripped down her face, knowing that she just couldn't take him back. It wasn't that easy. Even if she still loves him, it was complicated.
She nodded as she slipped her hands away from his. "Thanks for everything, the dress, the song, the wonderful time together. I enjoyed everything. Goodbye Aiden."
On impulse, she kissed him on the cheek and got out of the car. She turned back and waved at him as she wiped the tears off her face. He waved back and zoomed off. When she got to her doorstep, she tried to fish out her keys from her bag and tried to open the door when she noticed it was already opened. Who could have gotten into her house? No one had access to her house except Richard Woods, her fiancé and the only son of Ethan Woods, her boss.
She opened the door slowly, silently praying it wasn't a thief. Now she wished she had invited Aiden in. She gasped as she put on the lights, shocked to see Richard on her sofa.
"Hello Sweetheart. Surprised to see me?"
"What are you doing here? You didn't tell me you would be coming back," she replied.
"Why don't you tell me who that man is and why you kissed him?"