My chest gives way and I release a long breath.
I have wanted to ask her out since I first saw her emerald bearing hazel eyes.
It would be a sin to forget those eyes.
To my frustration, an appropriate time never arose. And then she was gone.
I didn even have her second name. Hell knows that didn stop me from looking for her.
That night she changed everything.
Growing up, I was locked in the dark cellar for an hour for every moment I cried or showed what my father defined as weakness.
Affluence and our familys reputation was the only thing worth my time and energy.
I was taught that we were above foolish endeavours like love. Marriage is a calculated business transaction.
Much like my engagement to Rebecca Sharp. Her fathers engineering empire would concrete our place of dominance over the technological world.
Then Evelyn held my life in her hands as if caring for others was an instinct and not a choice.
Her small hand and soothing voice obliterated the dam guarding twenty-seven years of emotions.
Then she scolded me with a fiery passion only matched by her auburn hair. Tendrils escaping to frame her face.
She was right.
I was living for all of the wrong reasons.
Although, I probably wouldn have noticed the gun if I wasn constantly on edge. Silver linings.
A day after being discharged from hospital, I met with Rebecca.
She was horrified when I ended the engagement. Her blonde hair whipped around fiercely with her exaggerated movements. I thought she was going to pull a muscle.
It wasn as if we were in a relationship, it was purely transactional.
My shoulders actually sagged with relief when I left. Glad to be rid of her fake smiles and faker niceties.
Father had pushed past all of my security and offered to break down my door to talk sense into me when he got wind of the news.
He suggested I sleep with a few girls to get whatever nonsense was influencing me out of my system. He stormed out having reassured me that I only had a temporary grace period before my sanity had to return.
There was only one woman I was interested in.
And it was not the one I found wearing my ring tonight.
”This is my fiancé, Adrian Carter ” Rebecca superciliously introduced me to the ring of CEOs after catching my arm.
Wishing to avoid a show, I engaged in polite conversation before excusing us.
I marched us to an isolated table in the corner before facing her. A smug look of victory plastered across her face.
”What was that? ” I barely contained my outrage.
”Im simply keeping up appearances until you get over your little phase. ” She stated plainly.
”This is not a phase and we are not engaged! ” My pulse thrummed against my vocal chords.
Rebecca threw her hand against her chest as she forced a laugh. She wiggled the obscenely large engagement ring she had insisted upon.
”Take it off! ” Am I speaking another language? ”You can keep it, but we are not engaged and I never want to see that ring on your finger again! ”
That seemed to get the cogs working.
”Youll soon see you
e wrong! ” She defiantly drained the last of her champagne. ”When you come crawling back, Ill have you begging at my feet! ”
With one last disapproving look, she sends her glass hurtling to the ground before stalking away.
Guilt ridden whilst watching the waiting staff clearing up the glass, I tried to help. But I was quickly shooed away after cutting myself.
I couldn believe how my luck had changed when I saw Evelyn standing there. All five-foot-nothing of her.
Her warm smile such a startling contrast to my usual company.
I knew I couldn leave without being certain Id see her again.
I gently release her chin before the urge to press my lips against hers becomes irresistible.
No amount of imagination could compare to the true beauty that was hidden behind her facemask.
Her slim waist is lost in the oversized top. Yet the fabric still manages to snag against her chest.
”Whats your number? ” I ask. She responds by taking out her phone and passing it to me unlocked.
I input my details and send myself a text before handing it back. ”Are you free tomorrow? ”
”No, Im working. I have a day off on Tuesday… ” She studies her phone, ”I guess youll have work then though. ”
”Its okay, Ill ensure any meetings are scheduled around a long lunch. ” Anthony can handle the specifics. ”Ill send you the details of a nice place I know. ”
I first met Anthony at boarding school. A dependable force to be reckoned with, he has now settled into the role of being my right-hand man.
”Can I give you a lift home? I don mind waiting. ” Im staying here at the hotel tonight, but its no trouble to ensure she arrives home safely. Especially after how we met.
”Thank you, but Im okay! ” A blush creeps up her neck under my direct gaze. ”The tube will be faster than driving anyway ”
”Only if you insist, but text me when you get home. ” It makes me feel uneasy, but I need to respect her wishes.
”I promise. ” She smiles, getting to her feet.
I begrudgingly follow her to the door and wish her a goodnight.
Once back outside, I head to the bar.
”Where have you been hiding? ” Anthony comes waltzing over. ”I heard about what happened with the Ice Queen. ”
”I cut my hand on some of the glass and needed a plaster. ” I respond revealing my bandaged hand. ”Can you rearrange my meetings on Tuesday, Im going out for lunch. ”
”Damn, who patched you up…a model? ” He smirks playfully.
I slightly incline my head and raise an eyebrow whilst shrugging.
”No way! The paramedic? ” His sandy eyebrows shoot up and I struggle to hold back my laughter.
I chat to my friend for the rest of the evening. A new calm settling over me.
She has shown me a new world, now I want to do the same for her.
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