~Fire in her eyes and ice in her words, she chooses what you get~
CHAPTER FORTY SIX
Life has a cruel way of teaching lessons. One moment you are living in a castle built in clouds, the next, you are falling, falling, and then you are crashing against the concrete road, the collision leaving bruises all over your body. And then, you get a lifetime of trying to remove them, to make them disappear, but even if they fade away, their remnants are still there, reminding you time and again why you should keep your feet rooted to the land.
Scarlett had made that mistake.
She let herself fly high, spread her wings as wide as she could, and when her wings gave away, she fell hard. Without anyone waiting down there to catch her. For that, she hated herself.
She was happy that night, even after fighting with Ethan, she was happy, because at the time, Ethan was her wings. She had no idea a simple rejection could hurt this much, it felt like someone was constantly squeezing her heart with their bare hands, trying to wrench it out of her body.
She already knew that Sebastian was Ethan’s brother, and even after that, she was ready to give their relationship a chance. But Ethan on the hand… he was coward.
Scarlett had thought if Ethan ever come to know about the truth, he would be devastated, yes, but not end their relation even before it started. Not give up on her so easily.
After Ethan’s declaration, Scarlett had run out of his room, down the stairs and out of the house. She could see Sebastian lying in a pool of blood, but she had no time to react to that, because Ethan was hot on his heels, running after her to stop her from going.
He said he couldn’t let her go alone at that hour of night. He had said that he was worried something might happen to Scarlett, but how could she believe that?
So she ran without turning back even once. Ethan’s hand had reached her at one point, catching her wrist and stopping her from going further away. He said his driver would drop Scarlett and called him up, still keeping a tight grip on Scarlett’s wrist.
And all the while this happened, it didn’t escape Scarlett’s notice that Ethan hadn’t look at her even once. He avoided looking at her face, in her eyes, his body tense as he informed her that his driver should be there in a minute and that he would drop her safely to her apartment.
Scarlett refused to answer him. She was so angry at him, at herself, at everything. Her head was pounding, stomach twisting, her heart smacking against her ribs in agony and her eyes trying their hardest not to let a single tear escape. She wasn’t going to give Ethan the satisfaction of seeing her cry.
It was only when Scarlett reached home and was snuggled up in her bed did she let a single tear of sorrow escape her eye. She refused to spend her precious tears for a man who couldn’t accept her, she refused to be weak.
And then, as she laid in her bed all night awake, mulling over the events of that night, she realized that she had given Ethan power to hurt her. She realized that the one man had made her feel like the queen of the world and the slave of hell all in the same night.
She realized that in between s*x and fighting, she had lost a little of her heart to Ethan, and all he did was step on it, crushing it to pieces.
And for that, she hated Ethan.
But she was strong. She wasn't going to let this little heartbreak make her miserable again, she was going to crush the memories of that and throw them out of the window of her mind.
Scarlett gave herself two hours to be sad, two hours to cry over the fact that she lost something that could have been beautiful, and when the two hours were over, her mourning was too.
It was as if that night didn't happen at all, as if it was all just a lousy nightmare. Scarlett got two more days to avoid Ethan, but when Monday rolled over, she knew she had to face him, and she knew she was going to make sure Ethan knew that his rejection didn't affect her at all.
And that's why she was sitting in her chair outside Ethan's office, grinding her teeth n anger because Ethan had just called her in.
And all she could get out of her throat was a lousy squeak as a reply.
"It's okay, Scar. He is just your boss, he needs you to run his company, that's why he is calling you." She gave herself a little pep talk, preparing herself to ignore Ethan classily.
Then, she took a deep breath, pressed her lips together and stood up, sauntering in Ethan's office like the queen she was.
Her breath betrayed her when it hitched a little at the sight of Ethan sitting in his chair, furiously scribbling down something in his notebook. Scarlett walked up to his table, ready to finally face him—
"Take the first five files from E shelf and have reports on them ready by five."
Ethan ordered her like he would any other day, only this time, he didn't raise his head up to meet her eyes, or started scolding her for not knocking like he did every time she entered his office. This time, he just kept his eyes rooted firmly to his notebook, and his voice was little hard—a little harsh and rushed as if he wanted to get her out of his sight as soon as possible.
Well, if that didn't sting a bit.
Scarlett felt the hollow in her chest grow a little bigger, her stomach dropping a little lower at Ethan's dismissal to her.
But little did she know, just how hard it was to control his eyes from darting up to look at Scarlett's beautiful face for Ethan. Every ounce of self control he had in his body was putting a leash on him from giving into desire.
But as he heard Scarlett huffing out a yes and angrily stalk towards the shelf in his office, her heels stomping on the floor, Ethan couldn't help but steal a quick glance towards her.
And he felt as if his soul came back to his body when he could finally see Scarlett's face. Suddenly, he was awake and all freshened up. It felt like the light had come piercing through the darkness, the gloomy clouds that had been hovering over Ethan's world suddenly disappeared, giving way to the warm sunshine. Scarlett was that sunshine for him.
But behind that sun, there still was a big fat cloud of darkness lurking around, haunting Ethan. And as much as he wanted to, Ethan couldn't just un-know the fact that that dark cloud was his own brother.
His eyes dropped back to his notebook just as Scarlett grabbed the five files and turned back. He could feel Scarlett's anger in the loud clicking of her heels. All he had to do was shut his mind off, and just give in to his desire, all he had to do was to overlook the fact that Scarlett was once in love with Sebastian, all he had to do was to just forget the fact that it was his brother that had sold Scarlett to a s*x racket. All Ethan had to do was to get himself rid of the guilt of being the brother of Sebastian.
But as he lifted his eyes back up to Scarlett as she slammed the door of his office behind her, he knew he couldn't.
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