“I won’t lie. I asked some questions, and it does seem Marshall made some pretty harsh comments about your performance yesterday.” Arielle paused. “What did happen yesterday, Seri?”

Seeing no point in lying, she said tonelessly, “Heartbreak, sensei. It got the better of me.” She closed her eyes. “I don’t understand why this is happening.” She had one bad day. Just one bad day – and now everything was falling apart.

“Can you think of any person who could be out to get you and pay for this kind of write-up?”

She thought about Fyodor.

“No.”

Arielle’s tone turned brisk. “If that’s the case, then it’s just plain bad luck. But we can and will weather this storm – as long as you don’t shit all over the place next week when rehearsals resume.”

“I promise.”

****

Vassi was alone when he woke up, and rolling to his back, he stared up at the unfamiliar ceiling of Davey’s bedroom and thought about what he should do.

Last night…had been more than everything he had dreamt of. When Seri had left him for Rockford, he had lived his life with a gnawing sense of emptiness, like the part that made him feel had gone missing.

Even just seeing her had made him feel more alive than he had been in the past two months. Nothing, however, could compare to having her back in his arms.

The way she kissed him—-

The way she arched her body against him—-

The way she cried out his name—-

Maybe it wasn’t love. Maybe it was just an unhealthy obsession. An addiction. Right now, only one thing was clear.

She couldn’t have responded to him the way she had last night if she hadn’t felt something for him.

And for that, he was willing to take a risk.

Dressing himself, he stepped out of the bedroom and found Seri seated alone in the kitchen with her back to him. When Vassi spied the tray of food on the table, his lips curved in a smile. “Should I go back so you can still serve me breakfast in bed?”

Jerking at the sound of Vassi’s voice, Seri hastily wiped the tears from her face.

Vassi frowned when Seri turned towards him. “You’ve been crying,” he said grimly. Crouching in front of her, he asked simply, “Why?”

She shook her head. “Nothing.”

“Seri.” He tipped her chin up, forcing her eyes to meet his. “I can only help you if you tell me—-”

“But that’s the thing, Vassi.” Seri’s lips curved in a smile that cost her everything. “I d-don’t need your help. I have Rockford, remember?”

Vassi’s voice was ominously soft as he asked, “What the fuck are you saying?”

The words almost made her flinch, but it was the way the light went out of his silver eyes that threatened her control.

I’m sorry, Vassi.

I love you, Vassi.

Hanging on to her smile, she managed to say lightly, “Did you think last night would change things?” She watched him slowly rise to his feet, and she forced herself to look up.

“Are you saying last night meant nothing?”

“It was great. It’s always great, but it doesn’t change a t-thing. I’m with Max—-”

“Don’t say that.” When Vassi suddenly grabbed her wrist and pulled her up, she tried wrenching out of his hold, but it only made his fingers tighten. “Why are you doing this?” he demanded tautly. “You couldn’t be with Max and respond to me the way you did last night—-”

She forced herself to shake her head. “Y-you misunderstand.”

He stilled.

“I’m not saying you’re wrong,” she whispered. “I’m saying you’re right. Last night couldn’t have happened – it couldn’t have been the way it was if you didn’t meant anything to me. And you do. That’s one of the things I realized when I was in Tokyo, Vassi. You will always mean something to me. But it doesn’t change a thing.”

“What,” he bit out, “doesn’t change?”

“The fact that I’m with Max.” And when his fingers loosened its grip, she knew she had finally made her point clear.

I love you, Vassi.

“I can’t be yours alone, Max. You m-might not have heard it, but my c-career’s suddenly going downhill. I need Max more than ever—-”

“Whatever he can afford, you know I can fucking afford—-”

“Can you really? Can you?” He might have loved her, but they both knew he loved and needed their family – no, his family – more. “C-can you afford losing Fyodor Grachyov’s love for me?”

And with those words, Seri expected it to be all over.

But it wasn’t.

“If I say I can?” Vassi’s silver eyes stared straight at hers.

Oh God.

“What will you do if I say I can?”

She dug her nails into her palm.

I love you, Vassi.

She said simply, “Then I’ll say thanks but no thanks.”

His face turned ashen, and she fought the urge to cry.

I love you, Vassi.

“I’m not willing to take the risk, Vassi.”

I love you, Vassi.

“I can’t. I don’t want to be poor again.” She stepped forward, reaching out to him, saying, “So can’t you just share me—-”


Tags: Marian Tee Erotic
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