Authors: Ashley Beale
Or I could apologize to Clarissa. That is what I need to do. I need to tell her how sorry I am about everything. Maybe she'll help me as well. I know I'd help her if the roles were reversed. I've been a selfish and horrible friend but I need her desperately right now.
The front door rattles. Blaise is home.
My stomach knots up. I feel like I'm going to be very sick.
I cover myself with the blankets, and pretend to be lost deep in sleep.
He makes noise in the living room before he slowly walks into the bedroom. I hear his feet creaking softly on the floor. He opens a drawer in his dresser softly. I peek out from one of my eyes to watch him, hoping he doesn't notice. It’s his bottom drawer, which he removes all his clothes from. I watch him hide a wad of cash in the bottom of the drawer before placing a wooden slab over the money.
It was a fake bottom. I didn't even notice it. He could have so many hidden compartments in his home I didn't find during my search. I hope none of those compartments contained a camera, or I will end up dead.
My eye snaps shut before he sees me. The drawer closes just as soft as it opens but I can still hear it. The bed dips next to me as he climbs in beside me. His hand runs through my hair, tucking strands behind my ear. "Baby," he whispers. "I'm home."
I don't want to wake from my fake sleep. I want to lay here until he gives up then I want to sneak out of his home. I can't run away though, because I know he'll find me. I've entrapped myself in this situation without ever meaning to. I'm lost, confused, and hopeless. This time it’s not in the romantic way.
Yawning, I stretch my arms out and peek an eye open to see Blaise. He smiles down at me as he continues running his fingers through my hair. I force myself to smile up at him, praying it seems real. It needs to seem real. I can't have him knowing I rummaged through his entire apartment.
I certainly can't let him know what I found.
"You must've been exhausted," he states.
I simply nod my head against the pillow.
"Well I rented us a movie. You can just lay there and cuddle with me. I also bought a few snacks to munch on during it. Maybe that'll keep you awake long enough for the movie to end."
The thought of staying here that long- long enough for a movie to play all the way through- makes me sick. Adding in the factors of everything I found brings me to my breaking point. I jump out of the bed so fast I nearly trip over the blankets hanging down the side of the bed. The bathroom isn't far, but I barely make it. Instead of using the toilet, I start tossing everything from my stomach into the sink.
Blaise rubs my back as more comes up.
He grabs me a wash cloth when it seems that I'm done and helps me wash my face. If I wasn't so terrified of him right now, I'd certainly be embarrassed. "Babe." He looks my face over. "You look horrible. You've been exhausted all week, right? You must be coming down with the flu or something."
He doesn't let me answer, instead he continues to ramble on like he is some kind of genius. It doesn't take one to realize that yes, I'm sick. However, it’s definitely not the flu. Its a little something called Blaise.
"Yeah, I'm sorry," I finally speak. "Maybe I should just go back to my dorm. I need to rest some more."
"No, stay here," he insists.
It’s hard to argue with him, especially when he puts on the facade of being a caring gentleman. I know he'll probably be persistent, but I can't stay here. I don't dare fall asleep around him. "No, really, I should head back. My dorm mate is gone for the weekend anyways, so it'll be nice and quiet for me. I don't want to be a nuisance. I have homework and stuff to get done too." I could probably make up another twenty excuses if needed.
Fortunately Blaise seems to give up. "Okay, babe. Are you sure?"
I smile at him. "Yeah. I think it'll be smarter. Plus, I don't want you to see me throw up more than you already have."
He runs his hand along my cheek. "I don't mind, I hope you know. I love you and will spend the rest of my life taking care of you if that is what you need."
More vomit threatens to rise but I'm able to swallow it back. "I know," I tell him, even though what I really know is how wonderful of a liar he truly is. "Thank you for everything. I'll call you tomorrow."
I grab my purse and allow him to kiss me goodbye. I want nothing more than to run to my car and get the hell out of dodge, but I know I have to keep it cool until I'm down the road.
Once I'm out of sight, I grab my phone and dial Clarissa's number.
When she doesn't answer the phone, I leave a quick message, hoping she'll return my call. "Hey Clarissa. It's... me. I'm truly ashamed this is the first time I've called you in almost a month. I'm sorry. I'm sorry about everything. You were right. You're always right. I miss you. I love you. Please call me."
No words have ever been more sincere.
My phone rings
just after midnight. Clarissa's name lights up my screen. I've never been more thrilled to see her name.
She doesn't let me even greet her before she starts to speak. "This doesn't mean I forgive you. I just know you need me. Please tell me he hasn't hurt you. I'll kill him."
A tear runs down my cheek before I have the chance to say anything. "Not yet." I can barely say the words. My emotions have been spiraling out of control ever since I got home from Blaise's. If Tricia, my roommate, were here, she'd probably end up calling a psychiatric doctor.
The first thing I had done when I walked into my room was grabbed the picture frame holding a photo of Blaise and I, then chucked it into the trash. Then I grabbed a teddy bear he won me at the carnival and ripped its head off and screamed bloody murder. My neighbor to the dorm knocked on my door and I told her I stubbed my toe. I doubt she believed it, but she didn't question anything.
Wind rips through the phone so I know Clarissa is outside. She speaks to me still but it comes out a little muffled. "I'm on my way. Where are you?"
"At the dorm."
"Are you safe right now?"
"Yeah," I answer. Hopeful that it’s the truth.
It isn't even a half hour that Clarissa is knocking on the door to my dorm. I open the door and she pulls me into her, hugging me close. It doesn't feel like it’s been almost a month since I've seen her last but at the same time, it definitely feels like far too long.
She has me sit on the bed, and once I'm calmed down enough, she has me relay everything I know. We talk until the early morning hours about Blaise, Roman, the drugs, things I've possibly witnessed without realizing it, and so much more.
Finally she adds, "I think we need to sneak into his house."
"What?" She has obviously gone completely insane.
"Seriously. We need to find out what is in that drawer. Then we can bring all of our knowledge to the police. If he isn't behind bars, you're not safe."
Something tells me this isn't smart but I can't think of another justifiable way to escape Blaise.
"How am I going to get him to let you and me in his condo alone?"
She ponders on it for a minute. "Tell him you're feeling better and want to go for a swim. Make sure to mention that I’m with you, and that you want me to join. One of us will stay by the pool with him, the other one of us will go inside the condo and sneak into the drawer. You said you knew which one it was, right?"
"Yeah, it’s the bottom left one. Do you think it'll work?"
think it'll work? You know him a lot better than I do."
"I'll call him later, around ten, and see if he agrees to it."
"Then let’s get some sleep until then."
Clarissa and I both lay back in my bed, just like old times. A peacefulness falls over me before sleep finds its way to me.
I don't have
time to even call Blaise in the morning. Instead he is knocking on the door of my dorm room just hours after falling asleep. It's not even eight in the morning and I’m crawling out of bed to answer the door.
He holds a cappuccino in one hand and a bag from the cafe in the other. "Morning beautiful," he states. "Are you feeling better?"
If I had the energy, I would totally punch him in the face right now. Or not. I can definitely pretend to though. Even if he is being thoughtful.
"A little." It's close enough to the truth.
He peeks over my shoulder and I watch as his brows raise. His eyes dart back to me. I see the question in them. He wants to know when Clarissa made her way over- and why. If I were sick, it makes sense I'd come back and just sleep. Thankfully Clarissa and I have spent a million nights next to each other when sick, so it’s not hard to come up with a lie.
"I called Clarissa last night crying. I didn't want to be alone while being sick, but I felt like I would annoy you if I left your house then called you to come over. It was nice anyways, we made things right between us, finally."
Blaise seems to believe my story. Even if he doesn't believe it, he doesn't say anything.
"So what did you have planned for us today?" I pipe up, bringing the subject back to why he randomly showed up early this morning.
He grins. "I was just going to lay low with you. Cuddle, movies, whatever you need to feel better."
"Sunshine and swimming?" I question it instead of requesting it.
"Anything for you, baby. But only if you really feel like your stomach can handle it today."
"With all the work I've done and sleep I've gotten this week, I think sunshine is exactly what I need."
He enters in the dorm behind me, closing the door with his foot. Blaise places the cappuccino and bag on my desk, then sits on Tricia's bed while I quickly grab clothes out of my dresser. Once I'm dressed and my hair is brushed, I wake Clarissa up.
She moan and groans as her body stretches out. "It’s ten already?" she wines.
"No, but Blaise is here. We're going to his house to go swimming today."
I don't miss the look Blaise gives me. He didn't know I was inviting Clarissa along with me. I ignore the look completely. There is no way I'm going to his house without Clarissa by my side.
Blaise insists I ride with him, and it's definitely hard to argue. Clarissa already has her car, so there really is no point for three of us to take our own vehicles. I ride with him but only for the sake that I know if I need to get out of there, Clarissa has her car.
In the car, Blaise reaches over and grabs my hand in his. "Are you sure you're feeling better?"
"I'm still a little tired," I tell him, "but I don't feel queasy anymore." When in fact, the closer we get to his house, the more I can feel my stomach turn. The only thing stopping me from tossing my cookies is that Clarissa is behind us. That and the fact that I need to find out more about Blaise so hopefully we can turn him in.
"So you and Clarissa are better, just like that?"
I hate the way he questions it but it makes sense. We haven't talked in so long and he has heard me vent about our fight on multiple occasions. He never was told the actual details behind our fight, for obvious reasons, but he knows enough. I guess I'd be skeptical too. Then again, females do work in mysterious ways like that.
"It was time," I tell him. It’s the truth. "I missed my best friend."
He squeezes my hand and looks over at me. "I thought I was your best friend."
"You're my best guy friend," I assure him. The way he assumes he is my best friend like that creeps me out. Sadly enough, if this were a week ago I would have found it completely endearing. Now I feel bugs crawling under my skin.
He doesn't say anything more but he doesn't need to, his face expression says it all. He honestly is annoyed about Clarissa being back in my life. Being the supportive, loving boyfriend he has pretended to be all this time, he should be grateful that we're getting along again. Or at least he should pretend to be grateful.
Blaise tells Clarissa and I to head out to the pool and that he'll be out soon. I can tell he is up to something, but I can't figure out exactly what. I'm nervous that he really did find out that I went through his things. Maybe he showed up early to lure me here to kill me. It’s the only thought that comes to mind.
"What do you think he is doing?" Clarissa asks.
She places her water bottle down on one of the patio tables and takes a chair next to it. I sit in the one opposite to hers so we can share the bottle of sunscreen. "I'm not sure. Plotting our murder?"
Clarissa gives a look of disgust. "Sadly, I wouldn't put it past him. Should you let Roman know about any of this? After all, he seems to know things. He did say he was going to protect you."
"Yes, the man who snuck into my room, stole my cell phone, watched me sleep, hid in my closet, and knew Blaise was dangerous is trying to protect me. I couldn't believe it even if I wanted to."
"You couldn't believe Blaise had an evil twin either."
I'm uncertain and I know my face lets her know that. I'm also beyond confused. I've never been put into a situation like this, nor have I met anyone that has been put into a dangerous position. I've heard of murders and rapists in newspapers, but things like don't happen to people like me. Those things are supposed to be stories. Things that terrify me but don't actually happen.
"Let’s figure out what is in that drawer first, then I'll talk to Roman. I'd rather not call him. I want to speak to him in person. I'll see him tomorrow at work."
She rubs her lips together while she thinks about it for a second. I see the moment she gives in. Clarissa lays back in the chair, sunglasses on, and absorbs the sunshine. It’s harder for me to relax but I do my best to join her in absorbing the vitamin D I've been losing out on.
Nearly an hour later, Blaise finally joins us outdoors. He is dressed differently. More... professionally. "Hey," he states. "I actually got called into work."
"Oh. On a Sunday?" In the time I've known him, he has never had to work on a weekend. Maybe something for his uncle but not actually for work.
He shrugs while rolling the sleeves of his white pressed shirt. "Roman called. It’s an emergency. I'm not sure how long I'll be either. I'm sorry to cut this short."
I can't seem to believe him but I'm definitely not calling him out on his bullshit.
Clarissa speaks up. "I can bring her back to the dorm, but do you mind if I use your bathroom first?"
He sighs. "Hurry up. I need to lock up."
I know this means she is going to try to get into Blaise's bedroom. He turns to head into the condo behind her, so I do my best attempt at stopping him. "Is everything okay at the office? Do you think he'll need me too?"
Blaise gives me a small smile. "It's one of the behind the scene things. You'll be fine. Go enjoy your day with your friend."
It bugs me that he can't even say her name. He really dislikes her that much.
"Well if you're back early enough, do you want to hang out tonight?" I nearly cringe when those words leave my mouth, but I really need to distract him, just a little longer.
He walks back towards me and wraps his arms around my waist. "I would love to baby. I feel like I haven't had much time with you."
"Good." I slowly reach up and kiss his lips. I have to tell myself I'm doing this for a good cause or I might end up getting sick again. "We really haven't seen much of each other this week."
"Maybe we could change that."
"Oh yeah, how so?" I ask flirtatiously.
Blaise becomes slightly anxious before he speaks again. I already know I'm not going to like what comes out of his mouth. "You can move in with me."
My stomach turns rapidly. I'm honestly about to become sick again. "You want me... to move in... with you?"
The smile on Blaise's face disappears. "You're white as a ghost," he murmurs.
I have to think quickly to the situation. "I've never moved in with a guy before. It scares me."
Sweat drips down the back of my neck. The temperature of my body rises hastily. I didn't lie about any of that, I truly am terrified. Not about moving in with him, but that he thinks we're in it this deep. He isn't going to just let me go. Clarissa is right... until he is behind bars, I'm not safe. Even then I'm not so sure.
"I know, baby. I'm glad you never have. I like being your first. You’re only. It's just the start of a beautiful future together."
I have to force my body not to shake. My mind is erratic right now. I can't think... or breathe. "Can I... can I think on it?" I can't straight out say no and I most certainly am not agreeing to it. I just need to process things. I also need more time.
I truly hadn't seen before now how attached Blaise is to me.
Blaise runs his hand up and down my back. "I didn't mean to scare you. Of course you can think on it." He kisses my nose before backing away. "I really need to get to work though. Roman is going to have my ass if I don't get in there."
"I just need to grab this stuff," I tell him.
He helps me grab the stuff Clarissa and I brought down to the pool area, then together we head into his condo. My heart pounds harder and harder the closer we get to the door. Clarissa starts to walk out as Blaise walks in. "I was wondering what was taking so long," she jokes.
Blaise just looks at her and keeps walking. "I have to lock up. I'll meet you at the car." He looks over at me to inform me directly. I nod my head and walk out of the front door with Clarissa.
Her shoulders drop when she gets outside. She was holding her in breathe. I wasn't the only one terrified that means.
"Did you find anything?" I whisper behind her.
She looks over her shoulder at me and hisses for me to stay quiet.
I'm anxious to know what happened in there. I stand outside the car as Clarissa climbs in and turns the car on, rolling down the windows to cool off the inside. Blaise comes out seconds later and strolls down the walkway towards me.
"I'll call you when I get out beautiful." He pulls me in close before I have a chance to say anything back. He tongue dives into my mouth, giving me one extremely intense kiss. I wasn't expecting a kiss like this but I play into it, kissing him back but pulling away first.
"I'll talk to you then." I reach behind me and pull on the door of Clarissa's car. "Have fun at work."