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Exclusively Yours - Episode 35



Exclusively Yours - Episode 35

Subtitle; {Please, Love Me}

Olivia's POV

Ever since I became an editor, I have attended many parties, events, and even galas. Each one of them has been anything but tiresome and exhausting, filled with pretentious people with whom I had to fake smiles and friendliness.


If I thought this one with Riccardo would be any different, I was wrong. It was the same as before—a boring and uneventful night until I excused myself before I stabbéd myself in the eye with broken glass.

"Olivia?" A strangely familiar voice called out my name as I stood in a corner, well hidden from view, resting my back against the wall while chatting with City and Axel. I stopped what I was doing on my phone to look around. "Olivia?"

My eyes finally met the approaching figure, and a smile stretched across my face. "Danny?"

"The one and only," he smiled so big I worried his lips would tear, but luckily they didn't. "It's been a long time since we last saw each other. How are you doing?"

"I'm great. And you?"

"Oh, I'm wonderful. I heard you're married, is that true?"

Although the court wedding was recorded by jobless media people and paparazzi, I still nodded my head. "Yes. I'm married to Riccardo Torrence. How about your wife?"

"She's doing great. Pregnant with our second child."

My friend, Daniel Morales, got married about four years ago to an Asian doctor. He is a figure skater who has represented America for ten years.

We met when we were registering for high school—even before I met Felicity—and became friends. But due to his already started career, we couldn't hang out much.

One moment, we were catching up on the happenings in our lives, and the next, Riccardo was being a jealous and possessive husband, which may or may not be as hot as héll. Before I could even fathom what was going on, I was saying words I never thought I would say or vowed not to say to Riccardo as he buried himself so deep inside me that I could barely breathe.

Being on cloud nine would be an understatement; I was beyond ecstatically euphoric.

Riccardo's pleased face and his black orbs stared up at me, gleaming with so much admiration I thought I would melt. My eyes dropped to his parted, heavy breathing lips as I remained straddled on him.

"Do you want to go home?" he asked, his chest rising and falling as he tried to regulate his breath.


That house is slowly but surely starting to feel a lot like home. 

Lifting my hand, I placed my palm on his thumping chest and used my other hand to brush the stray strands of hair from his face. "No. You were invited to the party and can't leave halfway."

I could have easily said the real truth, that I needed to put myself back together before driving back home in the same car with him.

I just had to gather and cage in all this weird and foreign mushy feeling and sensation bubbling inside me. All the butterflies because of his heart-fluttering words in my stomach had to be put on lockdown or killéd.


I clasped my palm over his mouth, silencing whatever words were about to come out. "I'm serious. I don't want to leave yet."

Riccardo's dark, black eyes bore into me in a frantic search, as if he was desperately trying to find a lie in them. "Are you sure? I really don't mind leaving. I didn't even want to come."

"I am sure."

He nodded once and made an attempt to readjust his body on the seat with me still on his lap, which ended with him thrusting his membér that was still inside me so deeply that it elicited a whimper and a gasp from my throat.

"I'm sorry, I may have forgotten that I was still inside you," his teasing words didn't escape me, nor did his mischievous smirk. "Can you lift yourself up, or do you need my help, Sunshine?"

I almost blushed, almost, but I didn't. I couldn't let him have any idea of his effect on me. Although I prevented my cheeks from turning crimson, I couldn't stop the butterflies in my stomach.

"Of course."

His smirk grew wider. "Just making sure."

Five minutes later, I was the only one in the car after I insisted Riccardo go back so I could touch up my makeup, which was half an excuse. Yes, I wanted to be away from him for a second, but I needed a touch-up.

My hand came to a halt as I went to apply lip gloss to my swollen lips; memories from a while ago flooded my mind like a broken dam, and a shiver ran through my veins.

And, just at the mere remembrance of it, my heart palpitations accelerated. Even though the AC was on, my body warmed up as if I were being lowered into a volcano about to erupt hot lava. 

What is happening to me? 

What is this feeling?

Do... do... do I... like Riccardo?




I do not like Riccardo. 


I couldn't.

I can't. 

This isn't even up for debate. I don't like Riccardo, and I can't like him, especially not when it has only been two months since he barged into my front door asking... no, orderiñg me to marry him. And especially not when it has only been three weeks of living in the same house as him. 

It is too fast. 

Way, way, way too fast to start having feelings for him. 

What the f+ck is going on? 


Three hours later, Riccardo stepped hard on the brakes right in front of the house, and we both alighted from it. 

The event went well after the thing in the car, and he even received an award for America's youngest Architect. After socializing for another half-hour, he decided to leave. 

Now, I am desperately trying not to melt into a pool of emotions beside him as we walked into the mansion. 

"Are you okay?" His voice hit my ear closer than I thought it would, and I flinched at the impact. "You were silent the whole ride over." 

I shifted my gaze away from the heavy, dark, pregnant cloud to face him. I swallowed the huge lump in my throat when I opened my mouth, and words didn't come out. 

How am I supposed to say that I am scared of all the confusing feelings he makes me feel without making him think that I have feelings for him? Or better yet, how do I explain that I may also be terrified at the fact that it might rain tonight? 

Two ponderous thoughts were spiraling around in my head, making me feel a tad bit lightheaded. I stopped just right at the door as he punched in the passcode, waiting for my reply to his earlier question. 

"Fine. I'm fine. I just didn't feel like talking," I quickly said as soon as he pushed open the doors. 

He didn't seem to buy it, not even one bit. And the moment I stepped into the house, he held my wrist, automatically stopping any further movement from me. I paused and let out a silent exhale before turning to him, only to meet his inquisitive black orbs staring at me. 

"You don't look fine." 

That's because I am not!

"Jeez, thanks." I tried to turn it into a joke, and it might have worked because a low chuckle escaped from his mouth. 

Riccardo shook his head. "I didn't mean it like that. You are always fine, physically. But now, I'm asking about emotionally, Sunshine." 

My eyes wandered everywhere but his eyes because if I looked into those eyes, he would read me and know what is going on in my brain, and I don't want that happening anytime soon. 

"You think I am not emotionally fine?" I threw a manipulàtive question at him, desperately trying to divert the topic. 

"See? You're actively trying to change the subject, Olivia, and that just further proves my observation." His fist unfurled from around my wrist, and I might have let out a little, low whimper at the lost contact. "If you don't want to tell me what the matter is, then that's fine, but don't lie that there is nothing going on inside your head. And don't try to throw questions like that at me; I'm a better player at that game than you." 

"I don't know what you are talking about." 

"Well, I do." He snapped at me for the first time in a week, and it had me stumbling backward, surprised and startled. "I am sorry. I didn't mean to raise my voice." 

You know what? To héll with all these messed up, f+ckéd up, and irrelevant feelings I have for him. He doesn't deserve it, at least not from me. 

I decided internally not to say anything else to him and turned in the direction of the stairs, hoping to totally ignore and avoid him for tonight at the minimum. 

"You're being childish. I apologized." He said, effectively stopping me midway on the stairs. 

"And so?" I threw back with even more venom than I originally intended, and he looked at me like I had totally morphed into a fire-breathing creature. 

"Olivia," that voice he uses when he is enraged came out of his mouth, calm and easy like a summer breeze. "You're not going to upset me tonight because tonight was awesome, and since you have something bothering you and don't want to tell me, I'm going to leave you alone."

Before I could open my mouth to say something, he shook his head in disappointment and entered his office. 

Why do I feel bad? 

Why does it feel like my heart is being squeezed? 

What is wrong with me? 


My next train of thought was immediately cut short by the booming clap of thunder, rattling both the windows and my bones. Shivering on the stairs, I looked around the house before running all the way to my room. 

I am fine. 

I am fine. 

Fine. Fine. Fine. 

I'm okay. 

I'm okay. 

Maybe if I continue chanting the mantra in my head, the impending rain will stop. Or maybe it will just block out the downpour on the roof from my ears. 

My racing heart made me a trembling mess, and my eyes kept watering as I stripped off my dress, threw on a thick hoodie, and jumped on the bed under the duvet. 

I'm fine. 

I'm okay. 

My shuddering fingers searched for my necklace on my neck, and a sigh of somewhat relief escaped my mouth. I shut my eyes tight, forcing myself to sleep. 

"What's your name, little girl?" The policeman's unforgettable voice asked me as I stood in my tangled nightwear, with my hair in two pigtails, at the threshold of the house. 

His professionally practiced smile didn't even reach his tired eyes as he tried not to shiver in his wet uniform because of the heavy rain pouring from the sky. 

"Why? What happened?" My little voice broke out in a mutter, my heart already beating faster at the forthcoming bad news. 

I wasn't stúpid or naive. I have watched enough movies to know what was next. 

"Is there any adult inside?" He ignored my question, confirming my suspicion. 

Tears immediately filled my eyes as I shook my head, denying the glaringly bright and obvious unspoken truth. "No. What happened to my mummy? Where is my daddy? What happened? Tell me!" My voice cracked, and my body shook, not because of the cold but because of the screaming and cries from my mouth. 

"Little girl..." He breathed out, finding it hard to spit out the words. I waited impatiently for it. "Your parents are deád. Mr. and Mrs. Donovan were found deád on the road." 

"No. No. No. They are not deád. Mummy and Daddy can't leave me. They told me this morning that we will have a family movie night tonight, and I'm waiting for them. They are coming back very soon. They can't be deád." 

"Little girl..." 

"No! I said no! They are not deád! My parents are alive!" Tears blurred my vision completely, and my knees just couldn't keep me up. "No. No. They can not leave me. No. No. No. Mummy? Daddy?" 

More tears surged out like floodgates were going to town on my expense, and I just couldn't stop nor control it. The policeman didn't even bother to say or do anything to pacify me; perhaps he knew he couldn't. 

"No, no, no, no. They can't go. They can't leave me. No, no, no." I muttered more to myself than to him. "No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No." 

"Olivia?" From far, far, far away, I could hear a voice indistinctly calling out my name. "Olivia?" The voice tried again, but I couldn't fathom where it was coming from. "Sunshine?" And then, a sudden jerk, and I sprung up on my bed, shaking in a familiar, heated embrace. 

It was just a dream. 

Calm down. 

Although I told myself that, I couldn't stop my heart from thumping irregularly and rapidly against my ribcage. Neither could I stop the tears streaming down my face, fuzzing up my eyes. 

Just a dream. 

Snap out of it. 

I couldn't. 

How can I snap out of it when I can still hear the downpour on the ceiling and the haunting voice in my head? 

It is easier said than done. 

I don't know how long it took, but slowly, my heartbeat regulated itself as I breathed in the subtle scent of the person who was holding me tight in his arms, like I wouldn't run away or disappear. The person who didn't say anything, simply ran his fingers through my hair, breathing in sync with me.

I despíse the rain intensely, yet all my anímosity toward it couldn't prevent me from inhaling and relaxing into the scent of a stormy night on his shirt. It's his signature scent, and I find it appealing.

Reluctantly, I released myself from the embrace to gaze into his captivating eyes that I had grown accustomed to. Riccardo cradled my face in his hands, and I closed my eyes, savoring the warmth of his palms. Another tear escaped my eye as he wiped it away.

He's gentle and soft, yet quiet, understanding my silence.

"I'm fine." A blatant falsehood. A lie. 

"I know."

"I am truly okay."

"I'm not in denial."

A sob escaped my lips, and more tears flowed. I felt like a broken water tank in need of urgent repair.

"I'm a mess, aren't I?" 

Say yes. Please say yes. It will give me more reason to continue hating you and ignore my heart.

"I'm a mess too, Sunshine. That makes us a perfect match, don't you think?" His fingers tucked the wet strands of my hair behind my ear gently. Leaning in, instead of planting a customary kiss on my forehead, he surprised me.

His lips tenderly brushed against my eyelid, planting a kiss before moving to the other eye. We sat on my bed in a dimly lit room, only illuminated by a nightlight, as he kissed my tear-stained face, undoubtedly tasting my tears.

If his gesture was meant to halt my tears, it had the opposite effect. Yet, he continued to wipe them away each time.

He didn't say, "Don't cry, I'm here," or anything of the sort. He allowed me to cry, wiping my tears while gazing at me as if I were the most beautiful thing in the world.

I didn't feel beautiful at that moment.

"Would you like some water?" He inquired, searching my eyes for hidden emotions.


"What do you want?" His deep, calm voice hinted at a promise to fulfill any request.


I wanted him.

I craved him as much as I needed oxygen to survive. I longed for his embrace but didn't know how to ask for it.

"Noth—" Before I could finish my one-word response, he pulled me back into his arms. I swallowed hard, sighing deeply as I clung to him tightly.

I felt like he might win the bet sooner than I would.

TBC 📖✍️

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