POSTED 01/07/2018 10:48
It has been six days after Richard had left her battered and desecrated yet the storm in her body hadn't calmed. She was still burning with hatred, hurt and anger. It flooded her entire being. Swallowing hard, she fought the choking emotions and memories of excruciating pain threatening to cut off her ability to breathe, making her numb.
Squeezing her eyes tightly shut, she unsuccessfully tried to bolt out everything about that fateful day. The tears that stung her eyes could be denied no longer to flow. Flames of fury burned beneath her skin and her face turned the colour of raw liver. Clenching her fists and breathing in slow, deep breaths she quickly dabbed the tears off her face with a handkerchief.
She hadn't picked her sister or mother's call. Avoiding them was the best thing to do, so she thought. But her sister and mother had surprisingly showed up at her house, demanding to know why she avoided their calls.
She couldn't tell them what had happened between her and Richard. He had traveled out the next morning after he had used her for his pleasure.
She had rained curses on him but they were all met with an evil smile. His only response was that, he was out for a business proposal but would be back for her.
She desperately wished she could run away. But she couldn't run away from her home, her work, her family and loved ones. No. That would give him pleasure. She would rather stand tall than give in as he would expect her to.
She wandered through her house, her head filled with thoughts. Thoughts of Aiden suddenly assailed her mind, making her unable to focus on the prime thing which was how she would face Richard's father; her boss at work the next day. Aiden hadn't called her. Why should he after their last encounter? She had been very hard on him, taking out all of her frustrations on him. Yet he would have called if he still cared or maybe he had given up on her.
Trying to take her mind off him, she went to the kitchen to prepare a pot of herbal tea in an effort to relax and bring herself down from the heightening emotions plaguing her. After taking a cup of the tea she prepared, she went through the house to turn the lights out and to bolt the front door. She just wanted to go to bed, hug her pillow, take her mind off everything and sleep. Finally believing she could sleep, her eyelids fluttered close.
Olivia wore a sappy grin when she awoke. She was finally going to go back to her work. She had sent her boss a text before going to bed, informing him of her return and apologizing for not resuming when expected.
Forcing a smile on her face she walked out of the shade she stood in and crossed over to the other side of the road, covered a few blocks before arriving at the company she worked her ass out to build from scratch.
She had taken a cab because she didn't want anyone aware of her presence at work. Her high spirits had watered down immediately she sighted the building. She was nervous and not sure if she really wanted to see her boss after everything that had happened. He was, after all, Richard's father.
"Good morning, Ms. Olivia. Pleased to have you back." The receptionist greeted her warmly.
Olivia’s smile froze when she saw Aiden by the receptionist desk. Waves of disconcerting shock flooded her. She didn't expect to bump into him today of all days. Olivia thought she was dreaming, she wanted to pinch herself to be sure.
He was dressed in an exquisitely tailored dark suit with a dove gray pinstripe, and the clearly custom-made clothing showed off his athletic, broad-shouldered physique to perfection.
As the sexy, expensive cologne he wore wafted tantalizingly towards her nose, she wanted to do nothing but move closer and inhale his maleness for as long as possible. Heat flushed her face, spreading through her body like wildfire as she fought to keep a straight face without expressing any of the emotions that clouded her mind at the moment.
Aiden was knocked out of the blues when he saw Olivia. He had frequented The Woods Media in hopes of seeing her, but it seemed she was never going to come back until now. She looked gorgeous in the granite coloured tight-fitted knit dress she was wearing. And her eyes no less vibrant it took every ounce of strength and discipline in him to look outwardly cool.
"Is Mr. Woods in?"
"Yes. He is in and is expecting you, Ms. Olivia. Just go right in." Smiling broadly the receptionist went back to her work.
"Hi Aiden. Been a while. How have you been?"
"Yeah. I've been good. But it seems you've been off the face of the earth." He was trying to sound cool but his insides were screaming.
Olivia took a deep breath before answering him. "Well, I just wanted a break from everything surrounding me."
"Great! Including your sister and mum, right? I guess they no longer appeal to you as confidant and family."
"Not the most flattering thing to say but I'll pass," Olivia said crossly. "Tell me, what are you doing here, Aiden?" She continued, barely able to hold her temper in check.
"The last time I checked, I and your boss are business partners."
"Oh, please save me the crap."
"It's true. I thought you were about leaving to meet up with your boss," he said mockingly.
Not wanting to create a scene, she pasted on a smile. "True. Talk to you later."
As she moved away and down the hall, she met Austin on her way to her boss's office.
Austin greeted her warmly. “Olivia! I'm glad I ran into you. Was about going out."
"Hello, Austin. I've missed you. How have you been?"
"Fine. Work has been less fun without you around. So glad to have you back."
"Thanks, Austin." She smiled brightly as he patted her shoulders and left.
Olivia moved past her office further down the hall to her boss’ office, knocked once and walked in.
Mr. Woods was on the telephone when she opened the door. He glanced up querulously, but when he saw that his guest was Olivia, he smiled and motioned for her to sit down.
"Yes, yes, I'll get back to you on that next week. Surely. Thank you, yes. Goodbye." He hung up and stood up to greet her, a broad smile in place. "Hello Olivia. Sorry I couldn't reply your text message yesterday. Hope you're good?"
"It's okay. I wish I was fine." Her tone suddenly turned gray.
His smile faded. Sit down and tell me what's wrong?"
"Thanks, but I'll stand."
"If that's okay with you, fine."
"Your son is a jerk. And did it ever occur to you why I stayed off for another week?"
"What's this all about? Your fiancé, my son, told me that you guys had agreed that you will be away for some months. So I hired another assistant to do your job.
"You hired another as your assistant? Without letting me know? I don't understand why you would do such without my input. I need you to reinstate me immediately."
"I can't do that, Olivia."
"It's my job you gave to another. That's not fair. I demand that you have whoever it is out," Olivia shouted.
"I am the CEO of Woods Media and you can't be yelling at me in my office. I decide who stays and who goes. You being my son's fiancé gives you no right to tell me what to do and what not to do." He shouted back.
Shocked at his words, Olivia took a seat then, but not consciously. The shock had weakened her knees, and she plopped down onto the chair. After gazing at him incredulously for several seconds, she laid both palms flat on his desk and leaned towards him.
"Why are you doing this, Mr. Woods?"
"You have to understand that..."
"The hell I should. You guys had this all planned and carved out," she rudely cut him off. He had infuriated her beyond comprehension. "I think I can muddle through this. You don't want me as your assistant and manager. That's great."
"That's not true, Olivia."
"Well, I'm afraid it is. I have worked in and for this company for long as I can remember. I've taken it to heights unimaginable but the reward I get is this. How sweet."
"The issue is complicated. I wish you could understand. I'll see if I could fix you somewhere else for the mean time."
"My, my, you're so accommodating. Well, it's not needed."
Burning with fury, she stood up and prepared to leave. "I understand the awkward position you're in at the moment, Mr. Woods. You can't imagine my level of understanding." she fixed him a deadly stare, when he looked away, she picked up her bag and walked out the door without looking back.
When she was finally out of the building, she regretted not driving down. The sun scorched her skin, she wanted to melt under its intensity. With a heavy sigh, she crossed two blocks to get a cab when she saw a familiar car slow to a stop near her. It was Aiden.
It was difficult for her to keep her cool. "What do you want?"
"Get in the car. You look burnt."
"No, thanks." She didn't want to be alone with him anywhere. Her life was already messed up and one time was surely enough for her.
"I insist, Liv. Please. We need to talk."
After a moment pause, she decided to get into the car. The sun wasn't friendly and she wasn't really ready to stay burnt for long."
"I thought I told you to stay away from me?"
"You told me to fuck off. You didn't need me in your life."
She bowed her head and winced as she recalled the things she said to him. "I don't think I phrased it quite that explicitly, but that was more or less what I meant. We are better off not being together."
Ignoring what she said, he said, "I'm hungry."
"I'm not hungry."
"You should know that I don't take no for an answer." He navigated his way down the road and within thirty minutes they were heading out to a secluded area after getting something to eat from KFC.
"I have to admit, the food is good and this place is really nice," Olivia said around a mouthful.
"Yeah, it is."
She smiled. He wasn't smiling. In fact, he was studying her intently. "What?" she asked uneasily.
He blinked himself out of his momentarily trance. "I was just thinking why you're covering up your worries. You're obviously troubled but trying to hide it."
True. Why did he have to read her so easily? "I'm perfectly alright."
"Really? I fail to see..."
"Nothing is wrong with me and I'll rather be glad if you shut the hell up," she interrupted in a raised voice.
Aiden made a sound of disgust. "You tell a lie so comfortably, someone would mistake you for an actress." His mocked tone aggravated her the more.
Pretending that he hadn't gotten to her, she forced a smile. "I'm really flattered, Aiden."
"Please spare me the crap. It's making me sick."
Angrily she said, "did you call me out here to insult me or to talk?"
"Well we are talking. Aren't we?" His tone of voice and solemn expression were warnings and she thought maybe it wasn't a good idea to have followed him.
"What is it you want to talk about?"
"What is it that you refuse to share?"
"Hold on, this isn't about me but you."
He placed his hands on the table and glowered at her. "Will you spill it out already!?"
"Give me a break.” Damned if she'd spill out anything to him. She didn't need him. He would only worsen things for her. Squaring her shoulders, she tossed her hair back and went on the offensive. "Look, Aiden, if you don't have anything important to say to me, spare me the trouble and take me home. I don't need you prying into my personal life. You have no rights to me."
"You think so?" He smiled as his eyes pinned her with greater intensity.
She took a deep breath, and hated that her voice sounded shaky as she answered him. "Yes."
Unable to stay under his scrutiny, she stood up abruptly and moved out to wait in his car.
After paying for the drinks, Aiden came out to meet her. "Why did you leave?"
"Because I can't stand you," she answered coldly.
Smiling broadly, he moved closer. "I wouldn't think so."
Narrowing her eyes, Olivia kept her arms crossed over her breasts in an attempt to dissuade him from inching closer to her. She suddenly was all too aware of her clothing. She felt bare to him. His gaze flickered to her exposed flesh, and it suddenly heated as though it were his hands touching her rather than his gaze. She flushed. Her nipples hardened, her stomach tightened; rippling in response to the hunger in his eyes. Her response to him was against her wish. It was frightening that he still had that hold over her.
"Stay away from me."
"Stay away from you?" He took her hands in his and crushed her body to his. Heat flushed her face, spreading through her body as his hand caressed her back and the other threading through her hair as he nuzzled against her ear and drew her head back for his kiss as his lips touched hers. Searing need flashed through him. He was shaking. Like a leaf in the storm.
Their lips clung together as they rubbed against each other. Their breathing grew heavier, the hunger rising. With her body arched back, her breasts pushed forward and high, and Aiden splayed his palms out; rolled his fingers over the sensitive skin.
Somehow he suddenly became aware of his surroundings and stopped abruptly.
Why did he stop? What the hell was wrong with him?
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