“REIGH?” Denys asked with absolute surprise that caught everyone’s attention. With an unamused look, she snorted. “She’s the Reigh, right?
How did I not get the clue immediately?”
My stomach knotted sickly. I had to grit my teeth from throwing curses.
“Wait a minute, Skip.” Brett raised his hand to get my attention. His brows raised, tilting his head to the side.
With Brett’s curiosity, I knew I signed my death wish living in hell. I never lied to him. And I didn’t have much of a choice not to answer him if he was going to pry right in front of everyone.
“How did you know Reigh?” With a reddened face, he pinned me with a hard stare for what seemed like forever. He was losing his patience. His arms already crossed over his chest, and I couldn’t even open my mouth to answer him. “Nobody called her Reigh since grandma died.”
“We, I, uh,” I stupefied, lowering my gaze. Then I blinked, releasing a deep and painful breath.
Shit! This was going to be my end.
“What’s going on, Linton?” he chastised.
Suddenly, the silence laid heavy between us, and I felt suffocated. The room seemed turned into a box, and everyone in this room disappeared, leaving just me and Brett on this table. Sweat formed everywhere in my body as I pondered what I would say or where to start, but it seemed my brain was freezing as well.
My thought was interrupted when Denys said, “I should go, guys. Thanks for having me!” Then she just walked away, and I didn’t even have a gut to stop her.
Brett turned to his sister when he didn’t get an answer that he was expecting from me. “Are, is he—”
“Brett, man, stop asking questions, and let’s play this effing game.” Lorcan broke the tension. But Brett didn’t budge and continued staring at me then back to Arella.
Arella threw the cue on the table, causing to make a loud noise. “I don’t want to play anymore. I’m outta here!” She turned and walked away.
I shot him a penetrating gaze and threw my cue just like Arella did. “Since my partner is already left, I’m out as well!” With a quick-paced, I followed Arella outside the bar. I wasn’t expecting this to happen, and now I regretted bringing Denys to the game.
I apologized when I happened to blurt out Arella’s name whilst I was sleeping in Denys’ bed. I was dreaming of following Arella until she was just gone into the thick fog. I woke up Denys nudging me, saying I was yelling a named Reigh.
Arella strode through the alley, maybe searching for her car.
“Leave me alone, Skipper! You should have been following Denys and not me.” She was not searching for her car—she was hailing a cab.
“Arella, can you at least stop and talk to me.” Finally, I able to reach her arm.
She jerked away. “Don’t touch me, Skip! And I have nothing to say to you anymore. We said what we left unsaid. I don’t want another suspicion coming from Brett.”
“Why would he have suspicions? I don’t know Reigh is a big deal to your family. I’m sorry.”
She finally faced me. My heart stuttered when I saw her wet eyes, and it broke me not to comfort her. Since I came back, all I did was to make her sad.
“How did Denys know about Reigh, Skipper? How long have you known her?” She looked at me sharply, demanding an answer.
I let a brief silence stretched on. There was no reason for me to lie. “Let’s go somewhere, and I’ll tell you everything.”
She quickly asked, “What everything?”
“We tell everything that we should know.”
“I don’t think it’s a good idea, and I have nothing left to say.”
I stared at her intently. “I know you don’t trust me, but you happened to have a lot of things you’ve been hiding from me that I deserved to know.”
Her eyes widened. “I don’t know what are you talking about.”
I grabbed her hand and dragged her with me. She refused at first, but I didn’t let go of her hand until we reached my car.
Her phone buzzed. “This is probably Kat.”
“You’ll call her when you’re inside my car.” I opened the door for her, and thankfully, she willingly got inside.
After I buckled up, I revved the engine and drove away.
She was already checking her phone. “Brett.”
“Put it on speaker,” I said to her, keeping my eyes focused on the road.
She covered the phone with her hand. “What’s the deal with your bossiness?” Her voice was sharp as a razor.
Glancing at her, I ordered, “Just do it.”
“Fine, but you’ll tell me whatever he’s going to say to you, Arella.”
“Brett, sorry about—” she groaned.
“Will you please calm down. I’m with Skipper. I’m okay. I just need to cool off.” She listened to the other line, and I knew she was brassed off. “Jesus, Brett! I’m twenty-four!” Her breathing grew heavy as she continued listening and staring out the passenger window.
“Give me the phone, and let me talk to him.” I offered my hand, and she just glared at me. “Now, Arella!”
She startled in her seat, then handed me her phone. I regretted raising my voice at her. These things were not supposed to happen if it was not because of my stupidity in the first place.
“Brett, man, your sister is safe with me. What’s wrong with you?” My chest heaved. My muscles tensed with anger.
I didn’t like him controlling Arella’s life. It was not her fault if her marriage had failed. It was her arsehole ex-husband who wanted to control her life. Even the colour of her dress to the water she drunk. Jesus Christ!
“You don’t know what she’d been through, Linton. I don’t want her getting hurt again.” I could tell by the tone of his voice he was enraged.
“What made you think I’m going to hurt her?”
“Didn’t you? Haven’t you? Do you think I was so dense not to notice how you were eye-fucking her? And the way she looked at you? Reigh, huh? I knew you have something up on your sleeves when you asked to play pool with me. During that dinner, that wasn’t your first time meeting my sister, was it, Linton?” His yell made me angrier.
“I don’t owe you any explanation, mate. You are maybe my best friend, but I’m not telling a shit! The way you asked me back there, it showed that you didn’t trust me. And one more thing, you’re not going to control Arella, and I’m not doing your shit anymore. If you want to stop your sister from getting hurt, stop controlling her. Her piece of bollocks of an ex-husband had been controlling her life, and she doesn’t need another one doing that to her!”
“How did you know?”
My head jerked to Arella with her eyes widened in shock.
“How did you fucking know?” Brett yelled in my ear as well.
I was torn between who should I answer first.
“People talk, haven’t yet it come to your senses, Rogue?”
“I want an answer, Linton!”
“I don’t tell you shit. Why don’t you try going to the library and gen up or just google it to find your answer?” I heard Arella chuckled with my sarcasm. “Arella is with me and don’t call her every second and ask her to stay the fuck away from me. She’s an adult for bleeding hell’s sake!” I hung up and gave the phone back to Arella.
“What do you know about my ex, Skipper?” she asked in a shaky low tone.
“Arella, we’ll talk when we get out of my car. I feel suffocated right now.” I stole a glance at her.
She didn’t pry anymore. A few minutes passed, the silence between was making me uneasy.
“I’m sorry for bringing Denys tonight. I shouldn’t have done that.”
“I don’t care who you date, Skipper.”
“Do you mean that?”
“Tell me why would I care?”
“Don’t lie, Arella. I hate liars. And for God’s sake, can we at least be honest with each other for just one night?” I parked my car in front of my apartment building. “Let’s go.”
“Where are we going?”
“My flat is on the tenth floor.”
She paused. Hesitation flashed on her face.
“We’re just gonna talk, Arella. I’ll keep my hands to myself, I promise. I’m not gonna touch you even if it kills me,” I hastily assured her.
She regarded me for a moment, then finally gave me an answer. “Okay.”
We reached my apartment silently. While I was fumbling for my keys, she asked, “What Denys knows about me?”
“I happened to dream of you while I was in her bed, happy?” I watched her reaction closely.
Instead of getting angry, she blushed, and there was a minuscule amount of humor in her eyes. A smile finally slipped from my lips then turned into a full-blown grin. “I might happen to yell your name. It was embarrassing calling other’s name in someone’s bed. I think I also imagined you while we—you know?” I shrugged, feeling my face heated.
“Having sex,” she mumbled, “Oh, my God, you’re insane.”
“I’m sorry if I’ll be brutally honest with you tonight. I don’t want to hide anything from you anymore. Have a seat and feel at home.” I threw the keys to the couch.”
“Wow! I never thought your apartment is gonna be... looked like this.” She looked around and saw nothing but a grey colored-wall and couch, white curtain, and charcoal-colored floor and half of this flat remained untouched.
Mum informed the interior designer what would complement my personality. The colour and the furniture were plain. She aforementioned you worked so hard to even forget to appreciate the beauty surrounds you anymore, Skipper. But this time, I thought my mother was wrong because I appreciated and fancied how beautiful Arella was, and I wanted to change this flat to homier if she wanted to visit me sometimes.
“I know. Mum said the same thing.” I broke out into a soft laugh. “Can I get you something to drink?”
“Do you have wine?” She smiled at me, though it didn’t reach her eyes, I was glad she did though.
“Mum has a wine cellar in her home, so I definitely have.”
“Thanks. I see you’re always prepared.”
I knew exactly what she meant. “I haven’t brought anyone here yet, Arella. If that’s what you’re implying. And not planning on bringing anyone soon.”
“Then, what am I doing here, Skipper?”
I took a step closer, meeting her gaze. “If it’s you, I don’t care about the bloody world.”