His Lies; Her Confusion and the Complications
Lifting the Fog PART 1
AN for JANUARY 2015: A late but sincere holiday greetings to everyone. I took down this chapter because a part of it has been bothering me ( no negative feedbacks, it's just me) but because of all the merriment of the past months I didn't have the time to work around this chapyer so I'm posting it back for the man time lest it gets auto deleted by ffnet. ll be back for the next chapters soon. Thnaks
AN: Apologies. This chapter will be a bit rushed but I hope against all hopes that you won't find it lacking.
Initially, there were supposed to be only 14 chapters for this story but as you noticed we're on Chapter 14 and it's not yet the epilogue. And the conflict has just begun so... I have no idea how many chapters since most of them come out short. But like I mentioned before, this is all planned out 'till the end.
I had to chunk off a huge part of their 'blossoming relationship.' Seriously, it's huge. I almost mourned for those words/scenes I deleted especially those that I find cute but doesn't advance the plot. Consider this as a summary of their blissful moments.
Everything is in Serena's POV
Warning: will definitely have errors. I'm too busy with Part 2 and business to deal with it for now. Sorry.
Spending the weekends with Darien was not just because of their stupid bet. She was more than happy for the time she could spend with him but, of course, she need not tell him that choking on cinnamon wasn't really necessary.
True to his word, her pseudo husband exerted a lot of effort to make their weekends unforgettable, though in her mind she described every moment as haunting. She doubted she could ever forget even a second of it, in all actuality.
One weekend, they spent it at Shields Hotel. The ridiculously flower decorated, red carpeted, equipped with a musical ensemble welcome had her jaws dropping and her brows furrowing. For a moment she thought it was a conceited thing, even for the hotel owner, to be expecting such treatment every time he pays a branch a visit. But the way Darien introduced her and the way the employees regarded her that night made her realize it wasn't normally done. And that it was specifically done for her.
"Everyone, meet my boss, Serena Shields," he said as he snaked a possessive arm around her and pulled her shamelessly close to him. "That makes her the big boss here," he added in his usual cool voice but she could tell that even the hotel crew noticed the unusual twinkle in his eyes.
"Is this all a joke?" She asked when they were right in front the presidential suite which would be their room for the weekend. How could she not ask when it was her name engraved on the gold-plated sign?
"What? Naming the most expensive room of the hotel after you? Seems only fitting, since I owe everything to you," was his response.
Of course, she knew what he was talking about but before she could open her mouth to argue, he added, "Did you think that kind of sacrifice you made for me was easy to get over with? That it's something easily forgotten? Something you could just move on from?"
Her throat went dry and it took a while before she finally regained her composure. "Well, it's your hotel. You can name any room here as you pleased," she curtly replied. At least, that's what she stuck in her mind, too. Wasn't the phrase 'getting over with' enough to convince her that it was only done out of gratitude? He got over it. And it was just a token for the choice she made to give him up. A choice that was still not done haunting her, costing her so much. Until now.
Darien gave her a tour of what he stubbornly insisted as their hotel. He even insisted that everything he owns was rightfully hers.
"That's so much for someone who left you without a word."
"It will never be enough for someone who left for me without a choice. Just don't do it again. I hated myself for everything I didn't have before; don't make me hate myself for everything I have now."
He also did not pass up the opportunity to try and convince her, yet again, to help him manage his business instead of working for Alan. If she was correct, it would be the tenth time he brought that up after their brunch with Molly and her cousin.
A brunch that Molly claimed to be hilarious because of the way Darien had acted. Her best friend said that if Darien had his way, he would have tucked Serena under his shirt the whole time. At one point, she actually had to excuse herself and Darien for a stare down two blocks from the cafeteria.
"Can you tell me what that was for? Why did you have to ask Alan if he was fooling around under the pretense of marriage?" She asked breaking the silence but not the eye contact, her tone lacking its usual levity. "And did you really have to touch me from under the table, on broad daylight? Really, Darien? You can't keep your hands to yourself?
"I don't like the way he looks at you," he said, his jaw stiff, nose flaring. "And you were rather enjoying, don't deny it. That asshole—"
"Will you please stop calling people you barely even know names?" She interrupted but she was blushing, for he was right—she was indeed enjoying his touches earlier. But no way she would admit it and inflate his ego even more.
"You barely even know him yourself!"
"You're acting like a jealous husband."
"I am a jealous husband!"
"I think you're confusing me for someone else," she said, taking a deep steadying breath, "look, I don't want to fight over this. Just...let's work on something here, meet halfway. You don't have to worry about our agreement, I'd be available whenever you need me to be your pseudo wife," she pleaded. Not only because she wanted the job but because she was feeling particularly nauseous that morning and wanted to get over the meeting turned fiasco as soon as possible.
Thankfully, Darien conceded but with the condition that the study sessions would be done on neutral grounds. Never at Alan's house which, much to her relief, Alan agreed to.
But not without a last say from the infuriating Darien: "And I'm not confusing you for anyone, my lovely wife, Serena."
She just shook her head muttering the word 'impossible' as she turned and walked back to the cafeteria.
"I miss teaching, the kids, Darien. And my study sessions with Sora, it's the closest thing I have now of those times I spent at Holmewood," she told him when they were finally lying on the hotel bed.
"I should apologize for taking you away from your life in London, but I won't. Of all the flaws in my plan, that's the only thing I'm damn certain was right. You belong here..." he said as he held her by her hips, lifting her to straddle him, "...with me."
She didn't answer, couldn't answer. She blamed it on the blissful position she was currently in, poised naked against his hard length. She stroked him and brushed the tip of his erection against her wet folds, teasing him as she rubbed herself against his hardness.
"Ride me. Now. I can't wait any longer, Serena."
He hissed as she sank down to impale herself on him. He cursed as they both watched his length slowly disappeared deep inside her. "Shit. You feel so damn good," he said, moaning as she began to surge forward, his thumb finding its way to her clit. She arched her back, the sensations of being filled by him and his unmerciful touch bringing her to the edge.
It was the sexiest thing to do, to watch as he trashed his head back, as he struggled to keep his eyes open and locked on hers, as his face contort with pleasure. Her heart jumped out of her chest every time he calls out her name.
That night, as she rode him to their blissful release, even how hard she tried, she couldn't push the confusion out of her mind.
Darien's actions for what she did for him ten years ago were easy to shrug off as a 'thank you.' But his sudden outbursts whenever she's close to someone else, specifically a male, were another thing. What happened when they met. Alan, apparently, was just the beginning.
She went down to the hotel's bar, after a vigorous lovemaking, enjoying the concoctions Matt, the bartender, so eagerly whipped for her when a man slid to the stool next to her. Even as she sipped on her drink and pretended to train her eyes on the wine rack, she could tell that the newcomer beside her had been ogling her, in a very crude and indecent way. She didn't bother to hide a cringe when the man cleared his throat and mumbled a "hi."
"I have to say it's my luck that a stunning woman could still be found alone in a hotel's bar these days," he said.
"I don't consider myself a lucky person for being spotted by a man who couldn't tell if a woman prefers her solitude."
"I'm Hiroki," he said, undaunted.
"I'm—" she was about to say she wasn't interested when Darien's angry voice boomed behind them.
"—married. She's married. So I suggest you stay the fuck away from my wife before I kick you out of our establishment!" he shouted, his eyes murderous. He turned to Matt, not sparing her a glance, "whatever my wife was having, send it to our room!"
They quickly returned to their suite before, according to Darien, he could commit a murder. The door had been barely even closed but he was already backing her against the wall. "Tell me you weren't about to give that motherfucker your name," he said, his voice so carefully restrained, hoarse. His whole body was trembling, pinned against hers for support and he struggled to even out his breathing to remain composed.
A stark contrast to the abrupt way he nudged her legs apart, brushed aside to the point of ripping her laced panties and rammed his rigid erection inside her when she didn't answer right away. "Answer me," he commanded. And then he pleaded, "Please, Serena. I'm close…so close to fucking losing my mind."
"I wasn't," she panted, holding on to his shoulders as he grabbed her thighs, wrapping her legs around him and pressing her more firmly against the wall as he moved inside her.
"Faster, Darien," she found herself saying before their lips crashed. He complied, groaning against her mouth as he slammed in and out of her, harder and faster. One hand reaching to work her aching nub. She was on her second orgasm when he joined her, calling out each other's name.
"Why didn't you just tell me you wanted to go to the bar?" He asked when the sensations ebbed, his voice now calmer, and his eyes regarding her with tenderness. "Next time, don't just leave while I'm asleep, okay?" His eyes as pleading as his voice. It was then that she realized that he wasn't mad at her; he was worried. "And I don't appreciate men hitting on my wife," that one was said with so much bitterness.
"I was feeling a bit restless; I thought a few drinks would help me get some sleep," she explained. "I didn't want to bother you; I know you're tired. I was having a good alone time with your accommodating staff when that Hiro—"
"No names, for my sanity's sake. I don't even want to put names on my head. Pictures were enough to destroy me." He said as if remembering something really horrible. He sighed. "How about I make love to you until you pass out?" He challenged her with a playful smirk, as she felt him twitch inside her.
Her question about pictures pushed at the back of her mind.
Eventually she gave up. The man was insatiable—they were insatiable. It was safe to say that after their arrangement, not one part of his house would be left chaste.
She didn't pass out that night, but she lost count of her orgasms. She fell asleep, cuddled in his warm embrace, contented, sated but more confused than ever.
And no matter how she refused to acknowledge it in her head—she was hopeful.
The next morning, she woke up to a terrible headache which, in her assessment, had nothing to do with the drink she had the previous night. She barely even finished her first shot when Darien went ballistic.
He found her slumped on the bathroom floor, heaving the contents of her stomach. The way he regarded her with so much worry had instantly got her on the defensive mode that she blurted out, "I'm on the pill, Darien. Don't worry. I'm not that stupid."
But instead of the relief she was expecting from him, he looked more horrified. For whatever reason, her deranged mind and her weak body refused to deal with it at that moment.
He didn't say a word the whole time. He just held up her hair, rubbed her back and carried her to the bed as soon as she was sure she could throw up no more. "Stay here and rest. I'll order breakfast," he said as he turned to leave.
And just like her headache, the tension betwee n them because of what happened that morning slowly faded before the day ended. Much to her relief.
On another weekend, he took her to a beach at Okinawa prefecture. She was lying and enjoying the warmth of the sun when she felt his towering form hovering over her. "That's a poor excuse for a clothing, Love," he said, covering her with a blanket. "Why the hell are you only wearing tiny triangles?"
She couldn't help but giggle as she saw him furiously turning his head around, apparently checking the area if there was someone close enough to have seen her on 'tiny triangles.'
"You could easily be mistaken as my older brother by the way you act," she teased.
"Older brothers don't fuck the brains out of their sisters, Love. Neither do they make them come screaming their names. I'd willingly give anyone a good show to correct that assumption," he said as he lifted her to his arms. "Provided they never see any part of you."
"You have perverted tendencies; you know that, don't you?"
He just grinned. His eyes misted with undeniable mischief. Before she even realized his intent, she was already thrown into the water with Darien jumping right after her. His pervertedness, clearly has no boundaries, even under the water.
"What's Rei like?" She finally gathered the courage to ask as they sat near the shore watching the sunset. She was sitting between his open legs, his arms wrapped tightly around her.
Though she knew his answers would hurt, her intention wasn't just to inflict pain on her heart. She voiced out her reasons, even if he didn't ask her to, "you're a good man. You deserve a chance at your happiness and I will help you however I can. I just want to make sure she deserves you," she boldly said. At this point, she was already confident enough of their bond, friendship or whatever it is they have to say such things to him.
"I am already taking my chance at happiness and I'm actually rooting for forever. Just stick with me and you're doing more than just helping. And you deserve more than someone like me but no way would I allow that. Just the thought makes me murderous. I, on the other hand, will never deserve you."
"We're t alking about Rei," she clarified.
To her annoyance, he laughed, pulling her closer to him and resting his chin on her shoulders, "if you really want to know about Rei..." He paused, perhaps to think and she waited, but honestly, with no enthusiasm on her part. "I met her one night while I was delivering pizzas. She was drunk and it's safe to say that if not for me, she would've been...raped. Her grandfather, Kosuke Hino, funded for my college out of his gratitude. He even mentored me during my early days as a business man."
"Why did you cancel the engagement?"
"She said the same thing you said when you were at the presidential suite of Tokyo branch. Prior to that, she saw a photo of you on my office desk."
"Oh my god, Darien."
"Remember when I told you that we don't hide anything from each other?" He asked and she nodded, "I told her about you, told her that I care for her, more than the fact that I owe her grandfather...her family. But she wasn't... you. I'm not proud of what I did. I've hurt people, been hurting people because of my incapability to get over you...of us."
It wasn't a relief that she was not facing him. By the way his arms were wrapped around her, she was certain that Darien would have felt the hammering of her heart against her chest. "I think...I think I need to use the restroom," she said, scrambling to free herself from him. Surprisingly, he let her go easily as if he quite expected her reaction. She ran away without a word or even a second glance.
She ran away from his words that she didn't want to perceive as anything other than a fleeting recollection of their past—just nostalgia.
Memories triggered by their desire and lust for each other. Love and lust are two different things—a horse of a different colour, she berated herself.
She didn't want to, but she found herself crying on her way to the restroom. Her head was spinning, her whole body shaking and her stomach recoiled that she barely made it there when she started to throw up. Again.
True to his word, Darien Shields was slowly, little by little, deliberately and undeniably undoing her.
So undone to the point of confusion.
So confused to the point of fear.
So fearful to the point of hurting.
Hurting because she had no idea what Darien hoped to achieve by saying those things he said that never landed on deaf ears. By doing all those things he did that never went unnoticed by both her heart and mind.
Whatever for? Besides her torment?
She didn't come back to where she left him and pretended to be asleep that night, though she stayed wide awake and aware. Aware when Darien entered their designated room and watched her. Aware when he slid beside her under the covers and whispered her name softly. Aware when he spooned her close to him and hugged her rather tightly.
And very aware when he repeatedly whispered the words, "I love you, Serena."