Five

She frowns in confusion. What did she do now? “You mean now?” she asks.

“Now!” he thunders and makes his way past her.

Her stomach growls aloud from emptiness, but she knows one need is higher than hers and Keenan, her boss’ need is more than her stomach’s.

So much for her lunch break.

Murmuring her complaints to herself, she follows him behind. Just like every time he came into her office and took her to lunch four years, the eyes of other colleagues trail and longer on them, especially on her. She tightens her hand on her pause and silently follows behind him like a sheep to the slaughter.

He enters his office and leaves the door open for her and Vary slows down in her walk, debating why he is choosing to treat her this way.

She has done nothing wrong yet and the heavy pounding of her heart shouted that something bad was about to happen.

Many thought rushes to the surface in an instant. Is he tired of her keeping his most hidden and bizarre secret? Is he finally going to do what he’s always wanted, kill her? Why does she have to have bad luck with everyone? She thought.

“Get in here!” Snaps Keenan with a stern voice, “Ms Klean or I’m going to have to drag out in myself.”

She doesn’t know if he plans on dragging her living or dead body into the office. Dead for sure if she pisses him off more than she already has.

But did she piss him off?

“Ms Klean...” he calls out in a warning voice from inside. She was pushing his limit with patience and today was not the day to be doing that.

“I’m coming in already.” She enters yell out, entering the office and closing the door, “Just so you know, if you’re tired of me keeping all your secrets, you don’t have to kill me you can just have my memory erased it’s called the advancement of science and technology or something like that, I don’t know saw something like that on YouTube the other day.”

Is she crying? Keenan asks himself as he watches her crumble before his eyes.

“Sit down, Vary!” he orders and when she does, he pulls out hands her his handkerchief. “no damn it! I will not kill you even though you make me want to every time.”

She wipes off the rest tears in her eyes, and still smiles even in her pathetic state, “Really? Okay.” she says through a small whimper.

Once the tears are out of her face, and her composure returns, she hands his handkerchief back to him, but he shakes his head silently, telling her to keep it.

Silence evade their midst and Vary keeps her eyes glued on her slightly shaking fingers, which it also forced Keenan to look at and for a weird reason he finds her tiny finger beautiful, but he pulls himself out before he wanders further with his thoughts.

“So, did you miss me?” he suddenly asks, straightening up in his seat.

“What?” she asks, a little startled by his question and when her eyes meet his, the look he has is the amused look on his face.

He shrugs casually, not finding anything confusing with his question he just asks, but then again, this is Varisha. “Did you miss me? It’s a simple question.”

She goes silent, not knowing how to answer him. She has Levi, her boyfriend whom she adores, and she finds him the man of her dream. They began dating two years ago after things had ended with Drew and, compared to Drew, Levi was an angel sent to her. He understood her and does everything to keep her happy and satisfy and Vary knows she can never ask for another.

She missed him; she isn’t so sure what exactly she misses thought, but she isn’t sure what he’s hoping to hear her say.

“Answer. The. Damn. Question. Vary. Did. You. Miss. Me?” he asks the third time and Vary knows he’s already getting pissed off.

She shakes her head, “No I don’t thi- think I mi-ssed yo -you.” she nervously stutters, tumbling over each word.

His signature look of amusement replaces the anger, and Vary wonders what the hell is so amusing. “You don’t think you miss me?” he asks in a sharp, laughing tone. “How do you think that?”

Vary’s cheeks heat of embarrassment and she shifts uncomfortably in her seat. “What do you want, Mr Hilton?” her voice is low, and a little intimidated.

He had done his possible best to make her feel awkward in the last couple of minutes that he’s appeared back into her life and she would give almost anything to be out of his presence now.

He rolls his seat lazily around. “I don’t know, but you always have a way of entertaining me.”

This hits a wrong spot in her and her brows rise immediately. “What is that supposed to mean?”

He sighs, “It’s been a long time and I’m a little bored, so entertain me like old times.”

She bites on her lower lips hardly so she can stop herself from throwing mean words at him. “I’m not a clown, Mr Hilton.”

But what she wants to say is, ‘I am not a clown, you arrogant piece of shit!’ She bites down on her tongue and keeps that sealed up.

If there was anything that Keenan’s company thought her four years ago, it was that she had little control over her thought to words process and most of the things she thought were silent were loud enough to be heard.

She wondered then why Alian never notice these traits in her, but realised it was because she didn’t hide her thoughts from her. She always blurted everything right out the way there were.

Ever since then, she’s been self-aware whenever she wanders into deep thought and makes sure she doesn’t blurt out anything randomly. She’s not perfect though, but she’s slowly getting there.

“No, you’re not, you are better,” he said, suppressing his laughter, and either he doesn’t see Vary growing red from anger or he just ignores it.

“I’m not doing this today and you know what? No, I didn’t miss you because I felt relieved in your absence. I could work without feeling the eyes of everyone else on me. You came into my office and dragged me to lunch almost every time and I know you didn’t care what your employee thought about you asking me out, but did you ever stop to wonder what that would feel like to me? I was made to look like the girl the boss experimented with and dumped and none of it was true and no one directly said it to my face, but I heard them say it every day I came to work. I acted like I didn’t care, but I did!”

No one knew this, but our friendship wasn’t a healthy one and I kept your secrets and I didn’t tell a soul, not even to the Reverend Father during confession, and yet I felt like I could die for you desire. Well, you know what I did my job in your absence and put your stain behind me. The workers forgot after a year and when they saw how dedicated I was, they respected me and I didn’t feel intimidated by anyone and so I could work with a clear and straight head. Now you’re back all that is over because it’s been four years and you’re still the same, but I’ve changed and I don’t know the selfish joy you derive from teasing me and from making me feel insecure and uneasy, but I’m not getting it and I want it to stop. Mad may have bullied me four years ago, but at least with him I knew what to expect and you are a bigger bully than he would ever be. I do not care if you decide to fire me after this, but I dislike this game you are playing."

That is indeed a lot of anger piled up into a three minutes raging rant and she breathes down in relief as happiness floods her from the inside out, but as that settles she realises what it is she has just done. Did she just give her resignation speech or have her boss enough reason to fire her?

Her inside turns and a cold, painful feeling settles. As she pessimistically expects his next words...

He knows Vary is right, and even if he wants to deny it, it’s the truth. “I’m sorry Vary, I didn’t mean to put you through all that and now make you feel this way.” he sighs in remorse and a part of him feels very sad after hearing everything she’s said.

He was being selfish and inconsiderate, and she didn’t deserve that.

He bows his head quietly. His decision with Taylor surely still affects him, and he’s completely unstable. She has right. She’s changed from the young crazy lady he once knew into a blunt woman and she deserves respect for that. “I just feel I can be myself around you at work and I’m sorry if you find it uncomfortable,” he apologises again and this time he lifts his head and looks into her eyes to say the words.

She stares at him in awe, curious to know if he’s just playing with her as usual, but she sees no trace of humour in his eyes. “You can go now and I promise I’ll never bother you again.”

Her heart clenches hardly in her chest as she stares at him. Why was he so different now? Did she hurt him with her word? That’s not possible, and if she did, he deserved what he got. But she knows nothing she does can affect a man like Keenan.

He picks up his desk phone and presses the button on it. “Wait!” His blue eyes sweep over to her when she says this, and she bites down on her lower lips before asking. “What is wrong?”

His brow furrow together. “What’s wrong?” confused, he returns her question to her.

“There’s a reason you want me to entertain you, right? What is it?” she prods gently.

Here we go again! Why didn’t you just read psychology instead of hotel management?! Her inner mind yells at her.

“Nothing. You can go now,” he says in a dismissive tone, wiping hard on his mouth and trying to conceal his raging emotions.

Maybe she should have listened and left like he advised her to, but she knows she’s Varisha, and never drops a subject until it’s Klean. So she is stubborn.

“I can help,” she suggests, deliberately throwing herself into the lion’s den.

Who the hell do you think you are that you think you can be the one to help him? Her mind yells at her loudly.

She had learnt how not to overstep and how to mind her business since she was a child, so she does not know where she has tossed that training to.

“You can’t.” annoyance dawned on his voice as he gets up and walks to the window. “No one can.” He mumbles to himself and turned away from her. He didn’t want to continue the conversation, and even more with her.

The only one who could help him is Taylor, the woman he loves and waiting for her to choose him has been his greatest downfall and he didn’t want to let Varisha see the pain-filled look he was having on his face.

“Is it about the Lady, Ms Snowfall?” at this point she stops trying to stop herself from talking, her mouth seems disconnected from her brain.

His heart doubles a beat at her name. Of course, Vary knew who she was, hell after what went down four years ago, the entire world knew who owned his heart.

“Vary, don’t,” he warns her hard, but his voice is more pleading than commanding.

“Just tell me.” she snaps at him, tiring of his stubbornness already.

And he did everything that had happened in the last four years. He was in Italy until his return today. Vary can’t help pitying him even more after he finished telling her everything, although he’d strictly told her not to. She now understands why he had wanted a distraction three hours ago.

She couldn’t imagine what it must have felt like for him, loving someone completely and waiting for them to come around, and that never happens.

Her eyes drop sadly as she stares at him, and Keenan glares at her at once. “Don’t give me that look of pity, Vary, you know I hate it.”

She closes her eyes briefly, dragging in a deep breath, “I’m sorry, Mr Hilton.”

He rolls his eyes, knowing how the pity phrase goes. “I’m not sulking, am I?”

Yes, it’s obvious that you are, she says to herself, but when she looks up, she saw his raised brows. Oh, she didn’t say that out loud, did she? Her control isn’t perfect yet.

Instead of replying with his normal name-calling, he chuckles, “What do you expect? I broke things off with Taylor before coming here and that was three hours ago,” regret dawn on his voice, “now I’m regretting doing that.”

“Then go to her and tell her you don’t want to end it and say it like you mean it, demand to be heard.” Vary tells him reasonably.

He hisses and rubs his forehead profusely, “I’ve been telling her that for four fucking years,” he said through gritted teeth.

“Then let her be the one to figure that part out by herself.” She answers not knowing what else to say and she should have stopped at that, but she made matters worse by adding, “Any woman in her right senses would want to have a man like you.”

He says nothing for a while, just staring at her and then suddenly he asks, “Would you?”

Her cheeks heat of embarrassment, but more than anything she feels dumbfounded by his question and gives the best answer she can think of. “I might, but I already have a boyfriend.”

He bites down on his lips slowly and then the corner of his mouth curves up in a smile, which makes his face brighten up. “Good to know that.” he gets up and walks over to her before stretching his hand to her. She looks up at him with a questioning look and he smiles, “Let’s go eat, Ms Klean.”

With that, she gladly takes his hand and they both walk out of the office.

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