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Affliction – 4-7

by DuraLexSedLex

“Do you need help? I can send someone to—”

I motioned Adam to stop talking. I was so swamped! Never had I felt so alive for so long! For months, all I did was volunteer at the library. It was fun, alright. But that wasn’t my scene… Well, organizing a party wasn’t, either. But here, I felt the pressure. And Isomissed that!

I missed the pressure. The anxiety. Everything! God, I felt so alive!

“Seriously, I’m fine, Adam,” I reassured him.

“You sure?” he asked, reluctant. He looked around and there were number of people moving in the things I ordered for the party tonight. It was the first party that I organized so I had to go extra mile to make sure that this didn’t fail.

I was Bree Johnson, still. And failing wasn’t a part of my description.

‘Well, except for getting pregnant,’a small part of my brain whispered. But I quickly shook the thought away. I didn’t need to worry because Adam assured me that it was no problem. He didn’t marry me for the babies… for the little Adam and little Bree…

He’s not like most guys.

I had to remind myself over and over again.

I nodded at Adam.

“Yes, just go to your work. Party starts at 8, okay?” I said and then kissed him on the lips. He was about to deepen the kiss but there were just too many people around the house. It didn’t feel very sexy to be ogled at by these strangers.

“Call me if you need anything?”

I nodded again and tapped his butt.

“Now, go work and make more money,” I told him and he shook his head while smiling at me. After Adam left, I went back to thereal actionand directed the people. It was so chaotic but for some reasons, I loved it! The mansion felt so alive! There were too much energy and it was the first time it felt like this. It usually felt so dull in here. But now? It was different—the good kind of different.

The caterer arrived promptly and I just went over the menu again just to make sure that everything was perfect. I didn’t want to embarrass Adam in front of his colleague. Though I couldn’t care less about what these rich people thought about me, I cared for Adam. I didn’t want to cause him any shame. He was too good for that kind of scene.

By afternoon, I was assured that everything would be perfect. I just gave them one final direction before going to my room and resting. I took a quick nap because I felt too tired. I woke up a little after 6 and I quickly began fixing myself up. I wore a black dress that ended at the middle of my thighs. It was well-fitted but I still made sure that I looked decent. My husband was a very decent man so I shouldn’t be any less.

I curled the tip of my hair and applied light make-up. I went down and was relieved that everything was going as planned.

“The guests will arrive any minute now. Is the food ready?” I asked the headwaiter for tonight. She nodded. I thanked her and then went around. Everything looked perfect. The tables were ready and the tabletops were arranged to perfection. The wines and champagne were already chilled. Some of them were from my husband’s collection and he said it was fine. Some of them cost thousands of dollars and I just had to stop myself from thinking about that absurd amount of money for a bottle of wine or else I’d ruin the night.

The guests started arriving and I welcomed them. Tonight was the celebratory party for the successful opening of the latest hotel my husband built. It was in Las Vegas and I had no idea what it looked like. It was already being built even way before Adam proposed to me and now, it was finally done.

People started swarming but still, no Adam in sight. I already asked the people to start serving food.

To: Adam

Where are you?

I sent a text when his number could not be reached. Adam always had his phone with him. And his other phone was with his assistant. Always. But I decided to not focus on that thought. I still had a lot of guests to entertain.

“You’re Adam’s new wife, aren’t you?” the woman asked.

I nodded. What was I supposed to say, anyway?

She looked at me from my toe up to my head as if I were some specimen under her observation. I just tilted my chin. This didn’t work on me. My parents and siblings already did worse.

‘Maybe I should send them a thank you card because if not for them, I would have crumbled under this woman’s judging gaze,’I thought.

She looked displeased with what she saw.

“What’s your family business?”

“Both my parents are lawyers.”

“What’s the name of your firm?”

“Oh, no, they don’t have a firm. My Dad just made senior partner,” I told her casually though I knew I didn’t owe her any explanation about my family’s wealth—if ever we did possess any.

And from looking displeased, she now looked at me with disgust as if I just told her that I was a daughter of a drug dealer who raped babies in their sleep.

She wrinkled her nose and politely excused herself. I shook my head. People, really. They didn’t fail to amaze me.

This wasn’t my party but I was so thankful I thought of inviting Maya! I almost cried when I saw her!

“You’re late!” I exclaimed but kissed her cheek, nonetheless. She looked stunning in her red dress. “And look at you,” I said as I scanned her. “Dressed to impress, didn’t we?”

She cocked her eyebrows.

“You know me, always aiming to please,” she said with a laugh. “Anyway, tell Adam to introduce me to his hot billionaire friends, alright?” she said. “Where’s he, anyway?”

“He’s still not here,” I responded.

“Well, more time for the ladies then!” she chirped and then got two flutes of champagne for us. I listened to her stories but I didn’t drink much champagne. I was still the host, after all. And these people didn’t needdrunkardto be added on their list of why I wasn’t suited fortheAdam Walton.

I was in the midst of listening to one of Maya’s trysts when she stopped in the middle of talking.

“Look who just arrived,” she said, clearly displeased with what she was looking at. I turned around and there, I saw my husband with some brunette. I didn’t focus on the lady whose hand was touching the arm of my husband. My gaze didn’t falter even when I saw Adam laughing at whatever amusing thing the brunette had said.

“Do you know who’s that?” Maya asked.

I shook my head.

“Just text me if Adam messes with you. I’ll bring the tools to castrate him,” Maya said with stinky eye. I tried not to focus on the tone of her voice.

“Maybe she’s just a friend.”

“Friend my ass. I know a hoe when I see one. I know the moves, babe. Been there, done that, still doing it.”

I excused myself. I didn’t need Maya badmouthing Adam. I trusted Adam. He just wasn’t that kind of person. I had so much trust in him.

He was still busy talking to the brunette when I approached them. I had to call his name so that he’d notice that I was actually there. And upon seeing me, he detached the brunette from his arm and then kissed me on the lips.

“Sorry I’m late,” he said while his lips were still just an inch away from mine. “Just had to finish something and then I bumped into Lauren.” I looked at the brunette whose name was apparently Lauren. “Babe, this is Lauren, a close family friend. Lauren, this is Sabrina, my lovely wife.”

I offered my hand because I didn’t feel friendly enough to kiss her cheeks.

“Nice to meet you,” I said. I was a decent person. I gave everyone the benefit of the doubt—something my parents always taught me. Until proven guilty, everyone should be treated as innocent. Although I didn’t know if that should apply in real life—because the matters in court differ from matters in life.

Sometimes, instincts were always right.

“Likewise,” she said. “Well, anyway I should find my father. Nice to see you again, Adam,” she continued and then kissed my husband’s cheek. I didn’t want to be so distrusting but that kiss lingered longer than it should have had.

‘Get a grip, Bree,’I reminded myself.

When she left, I tried to calm myself down. I didn’t want to fight with Adam but I feeling annoyed could not be helped. He was an hour late—and it was his party!

“Something wrong, babe?” he asked me.

“Nothing,” I quickly replied. I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it. “Have you eaten?”

“Well, yeah. After seeing Lauren, she invited me to dinner and I just couldn’t say no,” he said. I didn’t know what to do. He didn’t seem like he was hiding anything… But something just didn’t sit well with me. “I hope these people didn’t give you a hard time?”

I smiled. “No. I was able to handle them,” I answered blandly. I just wanted to go to my room and sleep. This night was starting to wear me off.

Adam started mingling with the guests and I was just smiling here and there. I lost the appetite to entertain. I hated being like this. I was never the jealous type. I was always sure of myself—of who I was. My family, though they criticized me heavily, made sure that I knew what I want. That was why they didn’t try to stop me when I told them about my decision to marry Adam. They just avoided me. But they respected my decision, still.

But this? This was unlike me. I was never jealous. And I didn’t want to be jealous. I hated these negative thoughts circling my head.

“Well, Adam, my little girl told me about your mini reunion earlier. I hope that didn’t rekindle any old flame,” an old guy said without even looking at me.

“Dad,” Lauren said. “His wife’s here.”

The old guy laughed and then looked at me. “Dear, I’m sure she doesn’t mind. It’s no secret that you and Adam almost got married.” And then he laughed again.

My breathing hitched and I felt my heart beating rapidly against my chest. I wanted to excuse myself but I didn’t want to give them the satisfaction of seeing how affected I was.

But I was! I was affected!

Why wasn’t I aware that he almost married this Lauren?! I was his wife! Didn’t that extend the courtesy of being informed about past lovers? Especially this one who seemed still hung up on my husband?!

“Well, sir, that’s no problem. Bree knows how much I love her,” Adam said and then looked at me. He smiled at me but his forehead turned into a crease when he didn’t see me returning the smile. He quickly excused us.

Upon leaving the sight of his guests, I removed my shoes and walked towards our room. I didn’t even think of looking behind me even though I clearly heart Adam calling my name.

“Bree!”

I stopped in front of my dresser and removed my earrings. I tried to avoid his gaze at the mirror but he looked so confused. And I hated him for that! He didn’t even think about my feelings! I felt so embarrassed that I was the only one who wasn’t informed about his past with that woman! Had I known about that before, I would have had reacted better.

But I was freaking blindsided!

I was already starting to remove my make-up when he made me face him.

“Bree, babe, what’s wrong?” he asked while his hands were caressing my cheek.

“Nothing,” I dismissed. “Go down. Your guests are waiting.”

“Do you think I care about them more than I care about you? Come on, what’s wrong, babe?”

Not saying anything, I removed his hands from my face. “Nothing,” I repeated. “I just feel drained, that’s all.”

He didn’t buy it but he let me. I told him to go down and attend to his guests but he didn’t move.

“Just go,” I tiredly said.

“Bree—”

“Just go, Adam.”

As I watched his retreating back, my heart clenched. I hated doing this to him. I hated pushing him away. I hated fighting with him.

But I also hated this building feeling inside me.

The situation was only getting worse. For days, Adam had been trying to make me talk but I just closed off. I didn’t want to address the issue because I was embarrassed about telling him how jealous I actually was about this girl he used to date—whom he loved so much that he actually considered marrying her.

Suddenly, I wanted to know everything about them. Why did they break-up? How did they meet? Was he still in love with her?

I had all these questions inside my head! I felt like exploding!

But I knew Adam could only take so much pushing away. Because on the 7th day, he didn’t even try to engage me over breakfast. He just ate his food and told me he’d be going.

And then he was gone.

I felt really guilty. He didn’t do anything wrong. Did he? He just arrived late at the party, had dinner with thealmostMrs. Walton, and forgot to inform me that he’s still close to her.

There was no reason for me to feel upset.

Right, Bree. When did you become like this?

I hated this situation so I just decided to let go of whatever was eating me up. I decided to go visit Adam and bring him lunch. Maybe we would talk about his ex-fiance and these thoughts would go away. He would assure me that they’re done and it was nothing but friendly gesture.

And I just hoped that Lauren was already married. I just hated the thought of her still pining over him.

The cook prepared lunch for us while I was fixing myself. I decided to dress up today. I knew Adam loved my simplistic look but I always knew he really liked seeing me dolled up. He also told me he loved my neck—something about it being delectable. I didn’t understand why he had this thing about my neck but I decided to use it to my advantage. I pulled my hair up in a bun so that it’d highlight my neck.

After making sure that I was ready to go, I picked up the lunch and rode the car. Jess was religiously stalking behind me as I waited for the elevator to open. I rode the regular elevator because I didn’t feel entitled enough to use the private one. I didn’t also text Adam that I’d go because I wanted to surprise him.

And I wanted this silly fight to be over. We had been together for more than a year and we still had forever to go. I didn’t want to extend the bad times. I wanted to resume to my little happy life with Adam.

I smiled at his secretary.

“Where’s Adam?” I asked. I didn’t want to just barge in.

“He left.”

“Do you know when he’ll return?”

“I don’t know. He looks rather happy with the company of Ms. Du Pnt.”

I didn’t understand what she said but I told her that I would wait for Adam inside his office. I went inside while Jess stayed out. He knew I was safe inside. All the glass here was bulletproof and there was also a panic room built all for the billionaire’s safety. Though I was yet to ask what were the safety precautions for natural calamities such as earthquake.

There was a library in his office so I busied myself with books. I was so engrossed with reading that I didn’t notice that an hour already passed. And the food was already cold.

I went outside and saw Jess. He stood up upon seeing me.

“Just tell Adam I—” I stopped. Maybe I would just surprise him with dinner, instead. “No, thanks, anyway.”

Inside the car, I gave the food to Jess because it was such a waste. He accepted it without questions because he really didn’t talk until it’s necessary. I didn’t know if it was a part of his training being he was a former US Navy SEALs member. Or maybe because he just didn’t want to talk to me.

Back at the mansion, I decided to read books to pass time. I didn’t have library duty now. I didn’t have anything to do.

When my eyes were already hurting, I decided to just sleep. God, I was so bored! I forced myself to sleep and woke up just in time to prepare dinner. I helped the cook prepare though she told me to just rest. As if I needed more time to rest. All I did in this mansion was rest.

It was not that fun being so rich. Maybe that’s why rich people tend to hold all these events just to humor themselves. Because being rich was boring sometimes.

Especially when you’re someone like me who didn’t like spending money and was used to hustling.

My help in the kitchen was very minimal but I was proud with the end result! The beef bourguignon was cooked to perfection and the meat was so tender. I just had to pick the perfect red wine to go with it. And of course the perfect excuse to tell Adam why I had been such a bitch to him these past few days. I didn’t know if he would accept PMS as reason enough but that would do.

Or maybe the lingerie I picked just for this night would do the trick.

I felt hot thinking about the make-up sex Adam and I would have. God, I missed him so much! It was the longest time we didn’t had sex since we got married! We did it every night for so long. The longest before this fight was 3 days when he had to go to Asia for some meeting and I didn’t want to go with him because the flight was so long that I was drained just by thinking about it.

And this was already making me crazy with wanting!

He usually went home around after 5 so I was already on the edge of my toes when the clock stroke 5.

But minutes passed. An hour passed.

And another hour passed.

Still, no Adam.

I tried to save face. I tried to act like I was okay. All the maids were looking at me with pity and I didn’t need their pity.

“Just throw the food away—or eat it. I don’t care,” I said and then went up to my room and locked myself in. Tears started pooling. My chest felt heavy. I felt so bad and so mad at Adam. I knew I was at fault that I pushed him away but wasn’t I given the license to feel bad because I was jealous?

And he acted as if he wasn’t aware about what he did wrong! What would he feel if I arrived late on him because I ate lunch with my ex who was still hung up on me?!

Trying to sleep was a pathetic attempt to fool myself. I was worried sick. Adam still hadn’t contacted me and it was unlike him. Before, when he fight, no matter how nasty the fight was, he still managed to send me a text or anything just to assure me that he was fine.

Because he knew that I was worried.

Because damn it, I always cared about him.

It was almost midnight when he came home. I jerked from my sleep and sat on the edge of the bed.

“Hi,” he meekly said—as if I didn’t wait for him and as if I wasn’t worried about him.

“I waited for you,” I replied, hoping he’d explain himself to me. I didn’t want to ask. I didn’t want him to think that I was being unreasonable with him. I knew that even though we’re already married, we’re entitled to our privacy. I didn’t want to invade it so I was just hoping that he would be honest with me…

He nodded and he was taking off his tie.

“Yeah, I heard from my secretary.”

My heart throbbed when I heard him say that he didn’t even bother to contact me after learning that I went to see him. This wasn’t my Adam…

I kept my mum after that. I didn’t want to prolong the fight but I didn’t want to swallow what was left of my pride, either. I already did my part. He wasn’t stupid; I knew he knew that the reason why I went there was to make peace with him. I hated fighting with him. I hated sleeping knowing that we weren’t okay.

I hated this silence.

But I wouldn’t dumb myself further down.

Grabbing the robe, I went out and got myself some milk. There was a constricting pain inside my chest. I wanted to cry. I wanted to get mad at him but I knew that somehow, this was my doing… I pushed him away. He tried. He tried to reach out to me but I didn’t let him.

But was it too wrong to get hurt because he gave up too easily?

Because it felt like he gave up already.

When I was done with my milk, instead of going back to our room, I slept in the guest room. I just didn’t have the heart to sleep with him when we’re not okay. I didn’t have the energy to pretend that he wasn’t hurting me with every silence between us.

The next day, I didn’t even bother to join him for breakfast—and somehow, I knew that he didn’t eat breakfast because he wasthatannoyed with me. That he’d rather go to work with an empty stomach than to sit down for a breakfast with me. So I went down around 9 am and was startled when I saw him reading the newspaper in the living room.

I tried to act normal and tried to walk pass him but I didn’t even get to take the third step when he had me frozen on my spot.

“Finally,” he said, closing the newspaper and standing up. “I’m starting to feel really hungry.”

“Then eat,” I replied sharply.

He held my arm and traced tiny circles on it. “Letuseat.”

“I’m full.”

“Liar,” he called. “You didn’t eat dinner yesterday.”

“You don’t know that.”

He smiled—just a little. “But I know, babe. Let’s eat, alright?” he asked and then tugged me along until we were in the dining room and food were being served. He kept on putting food on my plate and ignoring every question I was throwing at him. “We’ll talk later. For now, eat,” he said.

True to his words, he didn’t answer any of my questions so I was forced to feed myself. And then, I realized how hungry I actually was. I didn’t eat anything yesterday because I was so disappointed at him. I couldn’t do anything when we’re fighting like this. It was making even breathing hard.

“Why are you here? Don’t you have work?”

“Work can wait. This? Us not talking? This can’t wait,” he said and looked me in the eye. “Bree, babe, even if we’re fighting—because of some reasons I do not know—please, eat.”

I didn’t reply.

“When you’re mad at me and wanted to kill me, still, please don’t starve yourself. I hate it.”

Finally, I nodded.

“Now, let’s talk,” he said when I was finally done eating everything he put on my plate. “Why were—ratherare—you mad at me? Did I do something wrong?”

I was breathing and thinking and hating everything at the same time. I didn’t know where to start or how to say it. Would he think that it was totally unfair of me to be mad at him for something that he did years ago—before he met me?

But was it totally my fault that I was so insecure because I wasn’t sure if he still had feelings for hisex?

“Bree, please,” he breathed. “I hate fighting with you. Just tell me the goddamn reason and I’ll try to fix it. I’m not a mind reader. I can’t fix the problem if I don’t know the problem,” he said, exasperated.

He was patient. He waited for me. He waited until I was ready to tell him my problem.

“Why didn’t you tell me about Lauren?”

His brows were furrowed as if he didn’t understand why Lauren was being dragged into this conversation.

“What about her?” he asked, genuinely clueless.

“She’s your ex.”

“And so are Joana, Clary, and Isabelle yet you weren’t curious enough about them,” he said. “What’s happening, Bree?”

I sighed. I didn’t know why I was like this. Before we became serious, we already talked about past relationships and he already mentioned those girls but I was so self-assured that I didn’t manage to dig deeper. But things had been happening and suddenly, I felt insecure.

I felt so little. I felt so useless.

“You proposed to her. Before me.”

“That was years ago.”

“But you loved her enough to propose to her,” I said.

He looked at me as if finally understanding what was happening. He held my hand and softly caressed it.

“But I didn’t love her enough to push through with it,” he replied and that made me ask him why. “I was the one who backed out, Bree. I just didn’t see myself growing old with her.”

“You broke up with her?”

He nodded.

“I don’t do things half-assed, Sabrina Johnson-Walton. I didn’t marry her because I had reservations… And I marriedyoubecause I know you’re the one for me. When I proposed to you, I was sure you’re it.”

Tears started pooling again and I was sobbing like an idiot.

“I’m in for the long haul. I’m with you for as long as you want me.”

And then I was a crying mess.

“God, Bree, when will you ever realize how much love I have for you?”

My lids were about close because for the past few days, I didn’t get enough sleep. I tried sleeping but I just couldn’t because I was aware that we weren’t okay. I couldn’t pretend that I was okay. I didn’t wantthisto be about pretending that everything was fine when in fact, it was just the beginning of the end.

I had enough of those with my parents.

We weren’t stupid, my siblings and I. We all knew that the only reason our parents were staying together was because of us. They both didn’t want sole responsibility of raising kids so they’d rather stay in a cold and loveless marriage than to file a divorce and maybe take a chance in finding true love.

And I didn’t want that for me. Not for Adam and I.

“Babe, people are already sleeping but not you and I,” he said as his hands were finding their way towards my waist. He was gently caressing it but the feeling was electric. “Not you and I, babe,” he said and then dipped his head down and began sucking on my nipples.

The only thing I like about fighting with Adam?The make-up sex.It was a mind-blowing wild monkey sex.

When he finally got me worked up, he pulled away and stood in front of the bed. He was looking at me with such intensity that I was feeling the heat between my thighs.

God, I already want him inside me!

“One week, Bree. One fucking week,” he said as he began pulling his shirt off. He was just removing his clothes but it felt like he was giving me a strip tease. I was so hot for him that I just wanted to rip his clothes off and ride on him. And then I imagined tasting him and making him come with my tongue… just like how he did it to me.

I was so fucking turned on that every flex of his muscle, every little movement he did was making me ache with need.

And when he began pulling his pants down—very slowly—I growled and stood up and did it for him. He was laughing while I was trying my very best to remove that goddamn pants.

“In a hurry, aren’t we?” he said in between laughter but I was too busy to get him naked and in bed. And when I finally removed his pants, I found myself licking my lower lip. My heart was pounding so hard. God, it had been a week since I saw this! I held it and I heard him groan. “Shit,” he cursed under his breath.

I pushed him on the bed while my hand was still around his shaft. He was huge and every second later, it felt like it was getting bigger. The heat between my thighs was becoming more and more unbearable. I badly wanted him inside me but I wanted this to be special.

Stroking the head of his cock, I was able to feel his pre-cum.

“I’m sorry, okay?”

He groaned.

“You’re forgiven.” And then I earned another groan from him when I moved my hand up and down his cock. “Just don’t stop. Oh, God, don’t stop.”

His face was turning me on—so much that I felt like exploding just by looking at how much he was enjoying this. His reaction, his every moan was enough to push me to take him further. And so I did. I leaned in and felt his thickness around my mouth as I began to suck him dry. Hi hips began buckling as I rolled my tongue around him. I took him as far as I could. There was a burning sensation when he pulled my hair and I saw him watching me as I took him.

And God, it was so sexy! It was sexy how he was watching me taste every bit of him and I, seeing how crazy he was feeling because of this.

He guided my head up and down until I found him writhing inside me. I sucked all he had to offer and didn’t stop until he was done.

His breathing was deep and his eyes were close. I wiped my mouth and then slowly climbed beside him. And then he pulled me beside him and kissed the side of my head. “I fucking love you,” he said.

“I love you, too, so much.”

That night didn’t end until we were both tired and worn out. Adam didn’t stop until I was begging him to let me sleep. And because he was the first to cum, he made it his personal mission to make me cum every chance he got. It was as if he felt bad for coming first because since we began having sex, he always see to it that I got off first.

It was sweet, but sometimes, I just wanted to make him happy. He didn’t have to make me come. Seeing his face when he’s coming was enough a payment for every gagging I felt while sucking him.

The morning came and I woke up next to an empty bed. I tried standing up but I felt very sore. I didn’t know what time I was able to finally sleep but I was sure that it was already morning when we stopped.

Adam was insatiable… and I loved attending to hisneeds.

I was about to grab the robe to cover my naked body when I noticed a note on the table. There was also a tray full of pancakes, bacon, platter of fresh fruits, and freshly squeezed orange juice.

Babe,

I love you. Eat your breakfast and go back to bed. I know you’re sore… and I am not even sorry about it. I love making you sore.

I didn’t wake you up because you looked so serene when you’re asleep. I’ll be home to you later and I’ll take you somewhere nice. For now, eat, sleep some more, and prepare because I’d take you again because you made me celibate for a week. Last night was fucking good but it wasn’t payment enough.

Will end this note with another I love you.

Adam

After finishing reading his note, I was smiling like a fool. Oh, Adam. What did I ever do to deserve him? He’s so much. And I loved every bit of him.

I followed his advice and stayed in bed after eating. Apparently, he also instructed the cook to prepare my favorite dish and to serve it in bed. He was serious about the bed rest, that one.

When afternoon rolled in, I was already feeling a bit better but the inside of my thighs still felt sore from all the pumping action it took last night. Later, I planned to take a warm and nice bath and maybe that would ease the pain. But for now, I grabbed my laptop and tried browsing the net.

I was never the one who was fond of sns but lately, I had been surprising myself. Boredom would really push you to do things you didn’t even imagine yourself doing.

I checked in on my Facebook account, pretended that I cared about the life of these people. Or maybe I did…a little.It was fun seeing them post statuses and pictures about their works. Some of my colleagues were beginning to build a name in the corporate world and I was happy for them. Surely that was also what I would have done given the chance.

But I was happy. With Adam. He was my happiness.

And then I was reminded of the result of the test! I hurriedly went to the bathroom and bathed myself. I just wore a simple white dress and paired it with one of those ridiculously expensive stilettos Adam’s personal shopper got me. I didn’t even look at the exact price when I noticed how many digits were in the tag.

I told Jess that I would go to the hospital. It was no use hiding from him because I already told Adam about it. I just asked Jess to not tell Adam yet because I planned on telling him about this later. He agreed and later on, I was already at the hospital.

“Hi,” I told the nurse. “I’m Sabrina Walton. I went here last time and I’m planning to get the results.”

The nurse told me to wait in the waiting area while she was calling Dr. Lacey, the one who attended to me the last time I was here. My heart was pumping wildly inside my chest while I was sitting there. Different possibilities swirled my mind.

What if I had a problem?

What if I couldn’t give Adam a baby?

A painful throb crossed my chest. I didn’t know how I’d survive this if something was wrong… I didn’t even want to think of what effect this might bring into my marriage. I knew Adam said that he’s okay with it… But for how long?

I knew lot of people. I knew lot of married people. Heck, when I was doing my intern in one of the firms, I had often encounter couples filing for a divorce because they couldn’t have a child. It’s a deal breaker—more so for Adam because who would inherit his legacy?

Greeting Dr. Lacey, I sat down uncomfortably while waiting for her to tell what was wrong with me. I braced myself for the different possibilities. I was preparing for the worst. I was already practicing how I would break the news to Adam…

So when she told me that I was fine, that I was healthy enough to carry a baby, a big smile broke on my face.

“So I’m fine?” she nodded. “Really?” She nodded again. She continued explaining the different ways I could do in order to speed up the process of getting pregnant and I was listening intently. I just really wanted this. Ever since I saw the kid at the mall, I couldn’t help but picture a happy family for Adam and I.

I knew we would make great parents.

With a smile on my face, I went home and waited for Adam. I asked the cook to prepare Adam’s favorite meal while I soak myself in a well-deserved bubble bath. I didn’t want to go somewhere. I wanted to stay in our house and celebrate. I already bought the prescribed drugs and some herbal tea I was supposed to drink in order to help me get pregnant.

I didn’t text him nor call him because I wanted to tell the good news personally. I knew we just fixed things up last night and we still hadn’t got the chance to properly address the issue but all was forgotten. Suddenly, I didn’t care about his ex anymore. Suddenly, I didn’t feel insecure anymore.

Because I knew that once I got pregnant, everything would be smooth again.

“Where’s Adam?” I asked his secretary—the other one, not the bitchy one. I didn’t think I had the patience to talk to her right now. I had been waiting for Adam for hours yet he still hadn’t come home!

“His last meeting ended at 7:30, Mrs. Walton. He should have been home an hour ago,” the secretary explained. “Did you already call him in his personal number, Ma’am?” he asked but I didn’t answer. I thanked him and ended the call abruptly.

I didn’t call Adam’s personal number because I was hoping he’d come home… as he promised earlier. He said we’d talk. He said we’re okay. But why was he doing this to me again?

I quickly changed into pajamas and opened the TV. My mood to celebrate vanished into thin air.

And while I was browsing the channels, one news caught my attention.

‘Lauren Du Pnt, heiress to the Du Pnt Industries, was taken to a hospital when an attempted kidnapping was held earlier. The heiress was out having dinner with her ex-beau, the already married Adam Walton—when three unknown—’

I closed the television and asked the driver to bring me to Maya’s pad. I had enough.

Maya had been asking me about the reason why I was at her pad but I had been mum about it. She was my best friend and I loved her but I couldn’t talk about it just yet. Even I, myself, couldn’t understand what was going on.

Did Adam love me? Yes.

Did I love him? Of course.

Was I jealous? Hell yes!

She was his ex, for heaven’s sake! He almost married her! Once in his life, she was the love of his life. His life once revolved around her. Wasn’t that reason enough for me to feel this way? For me to feel threatened?

Or was I just being paranoid and irrational? I was already married to Adam but here was I, thinking about these things…

Maya ordered food for us and as we were waiting for the delivery, she cornered me. She worked in a firm and she knew how to make someone talk. And though I was better at her with this, she cracked me open.

“So, it’s about the ex?” she asked with her forehead creased. “Seriously, Bree?”

I didn’t understand why she was responding this way. She was my best friend! And I knew that entailed that she support me in whatever crazy decision I do and whatever stupid emotion I was feeling. I knew this because I did this. Maya was one crazy person and I had to go through all of her craziness throughout college.

“What? Aren’t I allowed to get jealous anymore?” I asked, my voice laced with slight annoyance. I knew this was crazy. So what if Adam was having dinner with his ex? So what if after our talk—after I admitted that I was jealous of his ex—he still had the gut to have dinner with her?

She shook her head.

“No. It’s just that you’ve always been so self-assured.”

I didn’t respond. I didn’t know what to respond.

“You’re your own person, Bree, and that’s what I admired the most about you. You didn’t take shit from anyone—though I still am not sure if it’s because you’re confident or you just grew numb because of your family. But either way, this,” she said and pointed at me, “this is not you, Bree.”

The silence grew. I hated it. I hated hearing the truth from her… I hated knowing that I was changing. That I was slowly becoming the person I thought I would never be.

I was never jealous.

I was never weak.

I was neverthis.

But somehow along the way, I was starting to become the person I never wanted to be. I was slowly becoming my own nightmare.

“Adam adores you. The man is crazy for you! If he could, he’d kiss the ground you walk on!”

“It’s not that…” I managed to find my voice despite every little prickling pain I was feeling in my heart.

“Then what?”

I drew a deep breath and looked at her. She was looking at me with utmost disappointment. And it freaking hurt.

“What if his feelings for her return?” I croaked, every word felt like a slice on my chest. I didn’t want to imagine Adam with someone else. God, it would kill me! I knew I used to think that it was impossible for someone to bethisin love with someone but Adam changed my perspective in life. He made me believe in love. He made me want to believe in forever.

He made methis.

He made mehis.

And I just didn’t want for this to be shattered.

“Come on, Bree…” she said, exasperatedly. “She’s the ex—past.”

“You didn’t see her. You didn’t see how she looks at him!” I said, my voice rising as memories of them together flashed inside my mind. I was so stupid to look her up the Internet.Lauren Du Pnt—the heiress, the ex fiance, the most sought after bachelorette across the states.

“So? What matters is how he looks at her. Did he look like he’s in love with her?” And I was silent for a moment. “See? You’re just being stupid, Bree,” she said and sighed. “Look, Adam’s the best thing that happened to you, remember? You said that to me once.”

I smiled bitterly at the thought.

“Don’t let that thing go, Bree,” she urged. “Not everyone gets to havethatthing.”

Maya hugged me after that and somehow, that made me feel better. Adam had always told me he loved me and I always believed him. I just didn’t know why this jealousy was eating me away. Maybe it was because deep inside my heart, I was an insecure girl. Maybe I wasn’t fine at all. Maybe my family really did a number on me and the ugly effects were just showing now.

God, I hated this.

I planned to stay the night because though my mind was a bit clear now, I didn’t want to go to an empty house. I called and was informed that Adam hadn’t come home yet. I had to lie to myself. I had to convince myself that that didn’t hurt.

I wanted to be understanding but it was so hard! It was like everything about that woman screamed chaos!

So I told Maya that I was staying for the night because I terribly missed her… which I did… but that wasn’t the sole reason. God, I hoped tomorrow, everything will be alright.

The next morning, I woke up early and called the driver to pick me up. When I arrived home, I saw Adam eating his breakfast.

“Good morning,” I greeted but I was met with stony silence. I leaned in and kissed him on the lips but he turned his face away. I felt a familiar pain in my chest but chose to ignore it.

That stung but I f ucking deserved it.

“I stayed with Maya,” I informed him. It was like being punched over and over again the way he was ignoring me. My lips started quivering but I tried to mask the pain. I didn’t want him to see me this way. I didn’t want him to see me slowly breaking because god, this hurt so much! Him ignoring me was slowly breaking me piece by piece and I was slowly becoming beyond repair.

For seconds, I just stared… and hoped… and prayed that he’d look my way.

But he didn’t.

So I stood up and began walking away because I could only take so much rejection from one person. I wanted to talk to him, I wanted to explain myself but I didn’t want to let myself be ignored and treated like a trash. I was better than that.

“That’s where you are good at.”

I halted from my walk when I heard Adam talk. His voice was icy cold and laced with anger.

“F ucking walking away every f ucking time.”

His every word pierced like a knife and it was hurting me so bad. I heaved a deep breath and reminded myself to be strong. I needed to be who I was before I met him. I needed to be strong because nobody else would stand up for me.

Because at the end of the day, I only got myself.

“Are you done?” I asked and tried to match his tone. I turned and measured his gaze. When he didn’t answer, I turned my back on him again and continued walking. I didn’t want to talk to him right now because we’d just end up fighting. And I was so tired of fighting with him. It was the same thing over and over again. It was so tiring!

I was already inside the room when I heard the door slammed behind me.

“What the hell’s your problem, Sabrina?!” he raised his voice.

I faced him.

“Myproblem?” I seethed.

“Your problem!” he shouted back. “I went home last night and found out that you’d stormed out!”

I raised my finger and pointed at him. “Why don’t you ask yourself that question, huh?!” I shouted and then pushed him away from me. “I already told you that I don’t like you going out with your freaking ex-fianc but what did you do?!”

He looked at me like he couldn’t believe what I was saying.

“For God’s sake, Bree! She was shot! What did you want me to do? Leave her and let her bleed to death?!”

“F ucking asshole! Don’t try to turn this to me! I don’t care if you take care of her but inform me! I’m your wife in case you forget!”

Anger was very evident in his eyes but I was sure I mirror his. I was livid right at the moment. I wanted to strangle him and send him back to that Lauren’s side! I wanted them to rot together in hell!

“God, Bree. Why are you being so difficult?”

My chest felt heavy and my eyes were stinging. I turned my back on him again. I didn’t want him to see me breaking. He was the only one who could break me this easy. He was the only one allowed to break me this bad.

I carefully wiped the tears before they even fall and got my purse.

“Where are you going?”

“Away from you,” I said and then walked out on him. He was stunned for a moment but when he realized how serious I was, he began chasing after me. He called my name but I wasn’t even trying to listen.

I was tired of his shits.

I was tired of this hot and cold.

I just wanted some peace.

“Bree,” he sighed my name.

“Start the car,” I told the driver. Adam told the driver not to. “I’ll f ucking walk if I have to, Adam. I just want you out of my sight.”

I could hear his heavy breathing and I could feel his annoyance down to my very core. We were both mad and we were both very frustrated. We were both at the height of our emotions and it wasn’t doing us any good.

We’d go head to head and no one would back down.

So I was leaving. Because I didn’t want to further the damage.

“I’ll leave,” he said. “Stay in our house, Bree.”

“So that you could go to your ex-lover?” I replied. “No, thanks.”

He cursed under his breath but I was already able to get inside the car before he could even reply. I started the engine and drove myself away. I had to calm myself down or else I’d crash myself to death. But freaking image of Adam and Lauren together was flooding my brain.

Screw them!

I ditched the car and then hailed a cab. I didn’t want him following me. I just wanted to be out of his freaking sight! I didn’t want to go to Maya’s place because he’d just follow me there so I searched for the nearest rest house and went there. I paid in cash—using myownmoney.

He and his fancyfriendsshould shove their money up their asses!

I knew it was unfair but I turned my phone off despite Adam calling me relentlessly. I just needed some time away from him.

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