AMARA tossed and turned on her bed. But no matter what position she lies on her bed, she could not sleep. Her mind was tired, thinking all day, and her body was exhausted. That should be enough to knock her down and have a good night’s sleep. But it didn’t help at all. Amara washed her palms over her face and groaned in frustration. Maybe the fact that she was staying at Rowen’s house affect her.
Maybe Rowen himself affects her…
She jumped out of bed and went to the minibar counter that divides the dining area and kitchen. Amara helped herself with liquor. Maybe if she got drunk, she would feel sleepy afterward. She sat on the stool and silently drank whiskey.
She was on her fifth serving when her ears heard footsteps going down the staircase. Of course, that would be Rowen. Amara’s heart started beating like a drum. She brought her palm on her chest and caressed it, hoping that it would help calm her.
And then the light spread all over the place.
“Hey,” said Rowen.
She turned to him. He was walking toward her. Amara turned her gaze again on her glass of whiskey. She flinched when she felt Rowen’s hand on her shoulder. His touch was electrifying. But to her amazement, those little volts of electricity that traveled all throughout her system tickled her.
‘Here you go again, Amara,’ she told herself.
Nothing changed to the way she reacts whenever Rowen was around. And now she thought how tormenting it could be now that they were living in the same roof. Amara must restrain her inner goddess to protect Rowen from danger.
“Can’t sleep?” Rowen asked as he pulled the stool next to her. He sat there, facing her. “`Still bothered?”
“Sort of…” Amara nodded slowly.
“Why?” He grabbed the bottle of whiskey and filled the glass.
She was about to get the glass, but Rowen got it first. He took a sip of whiskey. Amara turned to him with a knotted forehead. He filled it again; this time, Rowen pushed the glass toward her.
“Since that day, Ann Margaret scammed me, I could not get a decent sleep. I was bothered by a lot of things.” She took a big gulp of whiskey.
Rowen took the glass away from her, as well as the bottle of whiskey.
“Hey… why did you take it away? I am not done here,” she said.
“It’s enough, Amara. You’re drunk.”
“Drunk?” she drawled. “Who’s drunk? I am not drunk. If I am drunk, I’ll kiss you right now… lavishly. And I mean it!” She poked his chest. “Oh… When did your chest get this sturdy, Rowen?” She poked it again and again. “I wonder how it feels to lean against it at night.”
“Amara, stop.” Rowen caught her hand.
But there’s no way he could stop her now. She leaned her cheek against his chest. It was sturdy and warm, it made her feel better.
“Hmm… it feels great.”
He heaved a deep sigh. And if Amara’s ear wasn’t fooling her, Rowen’s heart suddenly changed its tempo. But still, she does not want to get high hopes. Liquor could manipulate someone’s feelings; it can cause confusion. Amara distanced herself from Rowen and looked at him in the eyes. His chinky eyes never lie to her. She could always see his emotions on them. But surprisingly, his eyes do not seem to show his feelings now. They were clouded, he was hiding it from her.
Amara heaved a deep sigh and slid down from the stool. She almost stumbles. If not for Rowen, she already kissed the tiled floor.
“See? I told you, you’re drunk,” he said.
Rowen left the stool to support her. He snaked an arm around her waist and put her arm around his shoulders. She looked at him with narrowed eyes. Of course, Rowen would not be so afraid if they were that close to each other. He has no romantic feelings for her, after all. All these years, he just saw her as a friend, almost a sister. It was a one-sided love. Sad, but that’s the reality of life. How she wished they have crossed each other’s path for a different reason.
Amara suddenly felt her eyes stings.
‘Ah, no! No, no, no, no way! Not this time…’
“Come, I’ll walk you back to your room,” said Rowen.
She moved away from him and stood straight to show him that she’s not drunk.
“You don’t have to do that. I’m fine, really. I can walk on my own.”
Rowen put his hands on his sides and looked at her as if he was ready to scold her. He opened his mouth and closed it again. It seemed that he changed his mind.
“Fine.” He pressed his lips together.
“Rowen…” she said.
“I’d like to add one house rule. Is it okay with you?”
He nodded. “What is it?”
“No touching.” His brows furrowed. “You can only touch me when your mother’s around.” She marched away from him.
“Well, that was not considered touching!” he yelled. “I just helped you out!”
She did not bother to look back. If only she was not feeling dizzy, she would run up the staircase to reach her room quickly.
ROWEN scoffed after Amara left. He could not believe what just happened. How can Amara change her mood just like that? Was she possessed or something? Or is it the alcohol talking?
Amara was indeed his best candidate to pose as his girlfriend because she was a long-time friend, and he was in love with him for the longest time. Yes, he admits that he was a jerk to took advantage of that. But what could he do about it if he was desperate for her help and vice versa?
He ran his fingers through his hair. If only his mother would stop bothering him to get a girlfriend.
Rowen flinched when something rubbed against her leg. When he looked down, he saw one of Amara’s cats. The cat looked up at him and meowed.
“Are you hungry? You want to pee? You want to poop? You want to play?” he asked consecutively.
He did not know the cat language. He was not sure which of which the cat wants.
The cat just rubbed its body against his legs as it paced back and forth. He realized that maybe what the cat wants was to be petted, so he picked him up and brought him to his arms.
But it seemed that the cat was a bit wary of him. It bit his hand and jumped off of him. The cat turned to him after it landed and hissed, then it ran upstairs.
“Dang, her cat was as moody as her.”
Rowen looked at his hand. Good thing, the bite did not make a cut.