I laugh, I don’t know why but I laugh at his words, at the ridiculousness of them.
He stares at me passively smirking, “I am glad you find it amusing, Leyla.”
I frown my mirth gone. “Seriously what do you want?”
“I told you…You.”
I glare at him, my expression telling him fully well that I have no time for his games.
Just as he is about to speak again, Jules makes an appearance with my lunch.
“Deli sandwich and chocolate muffin for you Miss Lev–” Jules chides in, handing me my plate, however she stops once she casts her eyes towards Matthew.
“Hi.” Matthew grins at her, a smile that doesn’t reach his eyes before he moves back to staring at me.
I ignore him as the hunger sets in and I give my full attention to my meal.
“H-hi,” She stutters and clears her throat. “What can I get you?”
I gape at her. This was a first. She never stutters or falters when it comes to customers.
I watch her stare nervously at him but the gleam I catch in her eyes, tell me fully well that she is attracted to him.
“I’ll have what she’s having.” Matthew answers her, glancing briefly at her before going back to staring me.
“I’m trying to eat.”
“Can you not stare at me,” I glare at him.
He chuckles and my glare increase.
“Why are you even here, Matthew, are you following me? Why is your agenda always to ruin my day?” I lose it.
He frowns in thin air, looking away.
“Can I ask you something?” He asks.
I huff in fury, “What?”
He looks back at me, and I catch something in his eyes, a distant refrained longing.
“If…if it had been me on that night you met my brother, would you have…” He doesn’t finish his sentence but I know exactly what he is referring to.
It is my turn to look away.
However, Jules appears again and I smile gratefully at her for her distraction.
I don’t answer him because he knows fully well what my answer will be?
In truth, I would have gone with whoever would have paid me afterwards.
“Thank you.” He smiles at Julie and I hear her inaudible gasp. If I weren’t so tuned out by anger for him, I think I would have found this amusing.
He eats his share as I finish mine and Julie reluctantly moves to serve another customer.
I feel bad, I should have made introductions.
I feel his burning stare at my face.
“Would you?” He asks again.
I look at him, trying to gauge his state of approach. What exactly is his game this time?
“What do you want me to say, Matthew?” I hiss at him.
“That yes, I would have? That yes, I would have went with any man that night? Is that what you want me to admit? That yes, I was so low and desperate I would consider prostitution!” My anger palpitates, and I don’t realize there are tears in my eyes until they dribble in my hand.
I stand up quickly avoiding his eyes, and slightly affronted look.
I storm away from him once I finish eating. I am about to walk out of the door when I walk right into a hard shoulder.
I look up and I am met with those snake-like yellowish brown eyes. The same eyes I saw that night at ‘Whore station’ corner.
I gasp, fiercely wiping my eyes and I am about to move away to make way for him when,
“Leyla!?” I will never forget that voice.
“Leyla? Oh my, it is you.” Sav screeches next to him and instantly she pulls me into a constricting hug! I smell her cheap perfume.
I barely manage to greet her when she’s off with her next sentence.
“Oh wow, look at you.” She twirls a strand of my hair and strokes the five hundred dollar satire lace dress I’m wearing.
“You look good!” Her eyes sparkle at me and I catch a hidden remark that says, how did she get this?
“Leyla? As in Monica’s distant cousin?” The skinny man with the yellow eyes speaks.
Sav smirks at me before she turns to him, “Yes Devon. Leyla.”
Devon only snorts and then casts those eerily looking eyes all over me, but before I could shiver coldly, I relax when I feel a familiar body hovering behind me.
“Mis-Leyla?” I hear Mitch’s concerned voice behind me.
I turn to him, with a reassuring smile on my face, but I know with my puffy eyes–from the earlier tears that escaped because of my stupid anger–that he is far from convinced.
“Well, well, if it isn’t the man himself.” Sav says near me, her eyebrows crooking up.
At first I am confused but then I realise that she must assume that Mitch is Jeremy, the man who whisked me away from that night.
Mitch frowns when she gazes at him.
“Leyla?” Julie is next me in an instant.
Her eyes cast worriedly at the obscenely over-dressed couple in front of me. Sav has on a corset which barely conceals her chest; black fashionable ripped stockings with her high booted stilettos. Her floor-length fur jacket only manages to hide most of her skin.
Devon, has on an gold suit which brings out his eyes and dark brown skin.
“Are you okay?” Julie asks me.
I only manage to nod at her.
Seeing them, Sav and him has brings in some unwanted memories.
“Well, Leyla enjoy him while he lasts.” Sav winks at me before pulling Devon towards the interior, away from all of us. Devon looks suspicious as he glances between me and Mitch. I also catch something in his eyes. Something I shouldn’t and that look chills me to the bone.
“Leyla? What’s going on?” Mathew asks.
Why is everyone calling my name today?
I ignore Matthew and turn to the nervous looking Julie whose lusting eyes are inwardly swooning at the sight of him.
“Julie, I have to go.” I tell her, moving to hug her.
“His name is Matthew and he’s Jeremy’s brother by the way,” I whisper to her for her ears only as I break away from embrace.
She has a blush on her face and her eyes are inquisitively asking me if her attraction for him is obvious.
I reluctantly nod at her, giving her a small smile.
She shakes her head blushing again, as she bides me adieu. I watch her glance briefly at Matthew before turning my gaze to Mitch.
“Are you okay?” He asks.
Seriously who else is going to ask me this question?
In truth, I am still trying to process the unexpected meeting I just had, as well as my earlier outburst at Matthew.
“Can you take me home?” I ignore his question.
“Of course.” He says as he leads me out of the door, out of Matthew’s pressing presence.
Once I am outside I falter for a moment. Home?
Have I just really referred Jeremy’s home as mine absentmindedly?
I mentally slap myself at how I am getting comfortable with this whole arrangement.
Yes I love him, so much in fact that he is home to me. But does he feel the same?
Does he even love me?
Here you go again. My inner voice chides in. He has repeatedly mention how you are the only one he wants.
Maybe it’s meeting Matthew and that unexpected encounter that has reminded me how I have come to know Jeremy in the first place. How all I have now is all because of him, all because I decided one night I will give myself to a stranger.
In truth, it has been the best decision I have ever made, it lead me to Jeremy.
I miss him now and I want his reassurance that he cares about me.
At this moment as Mitch leads us to the car, I realise all my fears.
Jeremy not wanting me anymore.
I can’t even begin to imagine the state I will be in if he decided to get rid of me. If I lose him.
The very thought is abhorrent and it chills me to the bone.
“Leyla…wait!” Matthew’s voice speaks behind us.
I look back to see him running after us.
“My answer is no.” He catches up to me and then looks at Mitch pressingly.
My guess is that he knows Mitch is security.
I realise that Mitch is hovering behind me, his guard up for the first time as he looks at Matthew.
“It’s okay Mitch; he is Mr Lawson’s brother.” I tell him.
He frowns momentarily and then shrugs as he moves away, giving us privacy.
Matthew is gazing intently at me and I frown.
He takes a huge breath. “My answer is no, I don’t want you to admit it, because you are not that. You are not a prostitute or any other profanities I have ever called you by.”
I gape at him. Have I heard him right?
What is this, an apology?
“Yes, this is an apology,” he answers and I realise I must’ve spoken my thought out loud.
“I am sorry for offending you, for accusing of all those things at the charity party but mostly for being inappropriate since the first time I met you.”
I gasp, completely rendered speechless.
“The truth is I wanted you. I wanted you for the first time I laid eyes on you in that apartment and you have tormented me since then.” His voice lowers at the end.
I frown at his accusation but inside I am reeling and still trying to process what he is telling me.
He wanted me? How? Why?
“I know my actions were uncalled for and well I was so caught with this …this… I longed to torment you too, I didn’t realise I was hurting you in the process and well…” He breathes.
“That day when Jerry came and I realised that he had you first…well I almost lost it. Why him again? Why was it always him that got to have everything… I realised that in order to stop this…this thing I had for you…” He flails his hand to his stomach.
“Well if felt good downgrading you, if felt better. But, I know deep inside I was only doing to make Jeremy think twice about you and to make him leave you so that….well so that you’d be mine instead… I know how selfish and childish this makes me sound. But at the time I wasn’t thinking… My thoughts were deranged whenever I was around you.”
He stops looking at me to see if I am still listening.
At this rate, my breath has been knocked out of me. I can’t comprehend… I am trying to understand what he is trying to tell me.
“Matthew I’m in love with your brother.” I tell him, confessing my feelings out loud for the first time even though he isn’t the person I want to confess them to.
It’s the only thing I can think of telling him…to make him understand that it would never happen between us.
He sighs, “I know.”
“You…know?” I am shocked.
He nods. “One look at you with him and no will doubt it.”
I twist my fingers together, trying to look for something to say to him, anything to say.
“Look, I’m sorry–”
He holds his hands up, “Stop right there….what are you apologising for? It’s me who is trying to apologise here.”
My lips twitch into small smile.
He moves closer to me takes my hand. “From now on, I will leave you alone. I know I shouldn’t even be having these feelings for you since…well you belong to my brother and I’ve hurt him before, many times with my actions. And it has taken me seeing you with him to make me realise this.”
He swallows. “In other words, even though I was blinded with my jealousy and self-arrogant pride, I realised how happy you made him. I mean, I’ve never seen him that happy in such a long time and it has mostly been my fault and selfish reasons…So, as well as an apology, I want to thank you also.”
I smile genuinely at him for the first time since I met him.
✍️To be continued ✍️
WOW…..Let hope for the best