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Exclusively Yours - Episode 40



Exclusively Yours - Episode 40

Subtitle; {Please, Love Me}

Riccardo's POV

"We have a celebrity guest to announce the winner. Can you guess who it is?" The overenthusiastic host of the nonsensical game show churned out. "She's a multi-talented person, an award-winning actress, singer, model, artist, author, and producer. Jade Rodriguez!"

Jade Rodriguez? Like, Jade Jade?

Just the mere mention of that woman's name ignited an unquenchable fíre of ràge within me that I just couldn't seem to douse.

She ascended the stage in a glistening dress with heavy makeup, presenting a facade of perfection. She was like a sñake, lurking in the grass, searching for her next victím to inject with her venom.

"Hello, it's been a while, hasn't it, friends?" Her eyes flicked from me to Axel and then to Asia, a radiant beam on her face. "I'm happy to be back."

I averted my gaze from her, craving any distraction before I did something rash. Fortunately, my wife, who was still upset with me, sat beside me, her eyes curious and questioning.

"Drama," her best friend—the one I actually liked and wouldn't mind talking to—decided it was the perfect time to voice her opinion.

She wasn't wrong. This was definitely drama. If Olivia thought Asia was bad, she was in for a surprise if she befriended Jade.

Ignoring the award ceremony wasn't a big deal; I did that at almost every party. What was a big deal was that Jade Rodriguez came to stand in front of my wife and me as we conversed over drinks.

"So, you must be Olivia."

I was perhaps the only one who caught the condescendiñg tone in her voice. I despísed her intensely.

"I am," my wife, Olivia, retorted. "And you are?"

Jade's face soured as she cocked her head to the side. "You were there when I was introduced, weren't you?"

"No, not really. I don't pay attention to unimportant things."

A smirk involuntarily tugged at the corners of my lips as I internally applauded Olivia's comebacks.

"Are you..."

"You can think whatever you want. I didn't call your name, did I?" Olivia interjected before Jade could finish her sentence. "And watch your tone and expression; there are cameras everywhere. Just one slip could ruin your entire career."

"Is that a threat?"

Olivia shook her head, a lazy smile playing on her lips. "Why do people keep asking me that? Of course not. Why would I threatén you? You're doing a good job of that already."

I saw her hand move, but before I could react, Jade had already picked up one of the numerous glasses of exotic drinks and pushed it into Olivia's face. A surge of hatréd and an overwhelming urge to hît a lady for the first time in my life surged through me, but Olivia beat me to it, glaring at her. 

Jade, holding her victimízed cheek, glared at my wife as if plotting a hundred ways to hàrm her and exclaimed, "How dare you slap me?!"

"How dare you ruín my dress?"

"That piece of tràsh," Jade scoffed mockingly. "Even the beggars on the streets could afford it."

"I'll have you know that this dress is one-of-a-kind globally. And as for the beggars, you seem to be well acquainted with them." Olivia retorted with equal fervor, then left.

"Ricky, look what—"

She began to say something, but when I raised my hand, effectively silencing her, I took a menacing step toward her, causing her to lean back. "The next time you pull a stunt like that, I swear I will make you regret it."

As I moved away in search of my wife, I noticed her entering a room and immediately followed her, locking the door behind us. Olivia turned to me, her dress stained with a red drink, her hair slightly damp, her expression tense.

"I don't like your friend," she said, turning to stare at her reflection in the mirror.

Attempting to lighten the mood, I teasingly asked, "Which one?"

"You know which one,"

"Um, not really."

Olivia's gaze hardened as she fixed her heated glare on my reflection and said nothing. Her silence prompted me to take a few steps toward her as she absently fixed her hair.

Shrugging off my suit jacket, I draped it over her shoulders and mentioned, "The car that will take us to the hotel will be here in about thirty minutes."

"I know. I was told," she replied curtly, avoiding my gaze.

"Jade isn't my friend. She never was."

"Who is she then? And why was she looking at you like you're a freshly baked cinnamon roll?"

I almost laughed at her emphasis, but the way her face was pinched in annoyance halted any of my foolishnéss. "I don't know what her problem is."

"Or maybe you're hiding it from me..."

"I am not keeping any secrets from you, Olivia," I snapped.

"First, it was Asia and now, it's Jade. Why don't you want to tell me what the héck is going on?!"

"You want to know?"

She nodded her head.

"It's stúpid."

"I'll be the judge of that," tucking her arms into the hands of the suit jacket, she wrapped it around her petite body and I smiled at how good she looks in my clothes. "Don't say it."

"Say what?"

She turned her front to me, her eyes running across my facial features. "That...that thing you're thinking."

"What do you know about what I'm thinking?" I mused, tilting my head to stare deeply into her dazzling eyes. She let out a shaky exhale, her chocolate brown eyes ping-ponging between my own eyes, as if in search of something. "You have that look again in your eyes."

Pánic instantly filled her eyes even as she tried her best to make it appear subtle. "What look?"

Allowing my hands to sneak around her waist, I spun her around to face the mirror. Her move was instantaneous, her gaze meeting mine in the mirror. "That look."

Olivia let out another shaky breath as I rested my head on her shoulder. I saw her swallow before her tongue darted out to wet her already glossed lips.

"I am ravenous for that look in your eyes, and it makes me unbelievably happy that it's because of me that you have that."

"And what makes you think it's because of you?"

"Isn't it?"

She kept quiet. Her head turned to face mine on her shoulder before quickly facing the mirror again. Olivia swallowed again, growing more nervous and red in her cheeks.

She is blushing. Blushing for me—because of me.

"You didn't answer my question."

"Why should I?"

"Because I need you to either deny or accept that I am responsible for that look in your eyes, Sunshine. Come on, tell me."

Olivia opened her mouth, moved it as if she said something, but it was so inaudible that even the oxygen around us didn't hear it. Then, she blinked twice, closed her eyes for five seconds, and when she finally opened them, it was gone like it never came.

She wiggled out of my hold, and her voice came out firmly. "I don't know what you are talking about."

Typical Olivia, denying the obvious.

If I hadn't taught myself self-restraint and self-control, or that I would take it easy with her and tread on her own pace, I would have grabbed her and yanked the truth from her pretty sweet mouth. But I didn't do that; instead, I nodded, letting it go.

"Let's go," she muttered.


The decision to finally tell Olivia what had transpired between Axel and me was excruciatiñgly agoniziñg. The most vexatióus part is that the whole thing is extremely senseless.

A trivial issue that could have been solved easily, but mummy's boy just had to ruín years of friendship over a stúpid matter.

And just when I thought everything was finally running on the right and stable track, tragical drama struck—whose name is Jade Rodriguez—again. I choose to call her that because it is quite evident it might make or break Olivia and my relationship.

"So, tell me." Olivia shifted on the bed in our hotel room, resting her hands on the throw pillow on her lap. Her hair up in a bun and her face clean and fresh, filled with anticipation.

"Asia, Axel, Beckett, Philip, and I were all best friends in high school. I was much closer to Axel than anyone else; I could even say that we were best friends. Everyone knew us as the inseparable duo, but they were so wrong. When a new girl was admitted to our school in a semester, things turned sour." I paused to notice the gleam in my wife's gaze as she grew more eager to hear more of my narration. I began again, "Axel fell in love. He had this huge crush on her..."

"Jade?" She interrupted, and I gave her a small nod.

I nodded my head. "He had a crush on Jade Rodriguez and was so scared and nervous to tell her because, in his mind, she was the most beautiful girl to exist. I persuaded him on many occasions to confess his feelings to her, but he just didn't listen. He watched her from the corners as she grew accustomed to the school and started making friends. He even hatéd Saturdays and Sundays because he didn't see her on those days. After a summer holiday, we came back to school, and he started to act like he finally had the courage to tell her, but something happened."

"What happened?"

"Sunshine, I'm getting there," I murmured, clearing my throat to prepare myself for the stupid part, "she came back with an agenda—to ruín us. The first day of school after summer holiday, she came to sit in our seat in the cafeteria and requested to sit with us. She even acted like she liked Axel, but oh, she didn't, not one bit. I noticed it and quickly told Axel. He thought I was jealous of him and their new forming relationship. He stopped talking to me for a few days, and when I got tired of the silent treatment, I apologized—which was dumb of me. Everything went smoothly for a total month until one day, I was told that a teacher requested my presence in a class. I went there, and only Jade was in, smiling at me with her sweet and sedúctive beam that everyone was fond of. I should have known something was up immediately, but I was stúpid. She...she..."

"She what, Riccardo?" More curiosity overwhelmed her eyes and her whole face as she chewed on her bottom lip.

"She kissed me. Her hands ran all over my body as she tried to unbutton my shirt, her lips were on mine. Before I could come out of my shock, I was punched by Axel who was so màd that he looked like he could múrder me. I tried and tried and tried to explain myself to him, even after I let him beàt me up into a pulp to vent his angér and frustrations out on me, he still refused to listen and believe me. He thought I kissed her and also thought that I liked her too. Our parents noticed our distance during a get-together we always had and tried to get us to spill whatever the problem was, we didn't. Axel, however, begged his mom to change schools, and when his mother told my mother about how he begged and cried, I only felt an immense amount of angér towards him, and slowly but surely, it turned into hàte. He let a girl get between our bond. Jade didn't ruín us, he did, and I will always loàthe him."

"I knew it had something to do with Jade immediately I saw her."

"That is because my wife is a smart woman."

Her lips wavered in a small smile before her face turned serious. "And why didn't you tell me all this time we've been together?"

"I didn't want to tarnish his image in your eyes. You love the guy, and I love you, so I avoided the topic."

"You shouldn't have. You said we tell each other everything."

"I know I said that, but..."

"No buts, Riccardo," she cut in. "What Axel did was wrong on many levels, but maybe you two can reconcile. What do you say?"


"Why not?"

"I hàte the guy."

"No, you do not. You are just añgry and have pent-up fúry you need to let go of..."

"It's not—"

"Don't interrupt me." With her palms clasped on my lips, she snapped with a frown. "I am not forcing you to talk to him or anything, just don't glare at him whenever you both meet. Or maybe, you could talk to him not for my sake but for past Riccardo and Axel who were once inseparable."

"I am sorry, but I will not. Axel behaved very stupídly and let a girl come in between our friendship that we thought would last a lifetime. We had so many plans for the future together, and he messed it all up. I can take all of those, but when he tried to make himself appear innocent in your presence, that is what I will not take. I didn't like Jade, and I still don't, but I love you with everything in me. If he tries any nonseñse, I'll ruin his life; I swear it."

"What makes you think I would let him try any nonseñse?"

"Because you trust him."

"Because I trust him doesn't mean I'm a foól. I won't let anyone, not Asia or Axel or even Jade, try any nonseñse with me. I choose my people wisely, and I chose Axel."

"What about me?" I inquired, about to change the topic to be all about us.

"I didn't have a choice. You basically barged into my life and..." 

"And?" I pressed.

Olivia beamed her bright smile, shook her head, and lay down on the bed, covering her body with the duvet.

"And what?" I insisted.

"And," she drawled out longer than necessary, "nothing."

"Not fair." I protested. 

"Life isn't fair." She quipped. 

"Mine is with you in it." I declared. 

"Go to sleep, Riccardo." She redirected 

"Can we cuddle?" I appealed. 



"No, and don't start with your 'pretty please with honey on top' stuff."

I chuckled, climbed onto the bed, and slipped under the duvet. Facing her, I traced my fingers on her cheeks, and her eyelids fluttered closed. "You are the most precious gift life has ever given me."

"Stop," Olivia whispered as if she didn't want anyone else to hear us.

Shifting closer to her, I also whispered, "Why?"

"It makes me feel weird."

"Weird good or weird bad?"

"Good. Definitely good," she murmured, her body inching closer to mine. Burying her head in the crook of my neck, she whispered in the lowest voice ever, "Extremely good."

Soon, her breathing slowed down, and I turned to my side to properly hold her body to mine. Our bodies meshed perfectly with each other, and when I placed a soft peck on her forehead, she sighed satisfactorily in her sleep. 

What does this mean?

Is this the beginning or the end of something in our relationship?

The most important question is: Why is Jade Rodriguez back in our lives?

TBC 📖✍️

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