The Billionaire's Mask (mask #1)

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Chapter 8

 

ALAYNA


The awkwardness was undeniably in the air, the world seemed to take its time spinning and everything seemed to be in slow motion. Well, who would be feeling comfortable eating with a person whose attitude changes faster than the clock's hand ticks?

Surprisingly, the dinner went on smoothly... so far. As anxious as I always was, I couldn't help but wonder if he liked the food, and yet looking at how he emptied the bowl of soup, my anxiety decreases an inch.

I cleared my throat. I wanted to ask him why he asked me to eat with him. He doesn't socialize with people but he could actually eat with someone, comfortably, that was something to wonder. I was also thinking this might be the first time he shared tables with somebody.

"Stop staring."

"Oh, I'm sorry." I looked away quickly. I ate a spoonful of my food. "Uh, if you don't mind me asking—"

"I was also wondering why you still haven't," he said but continued to eat his food delightfully. I bit my lip. He really had a gorgeous pink lip. I swallowed. Too bad, he was wearing a mask. I searched for any mark of scar that might have slipped out a little but all I saw was his smooth pore-less face. Maybe he had hidden his scar faultlessly.

Or maybe not...I'm not even sure if he really has a scar there, and I'm just doing what he thought I love doing. Assuming. Geez, this is crazy.

"I told you to stop staring," he scowled.

I thought my heart just stopped beating. I gulped. "W-uh, why, uh, why umm..."

"Are you having defective speech right now?"

"Uh, Master, I was wondering why you asked me to eat with you," I said briskly then closed my eyes emphatically.

"Why do you ask?" he asked then ate another forkful of his beef.

"It's just... you know, uh... you don't go outside your room and never meet with other people and... I just noticed that you can eat comfortably with someone..." I pressed a hard line on my lips. I just can't stop myself from being so curious. "How can a person who seems to hate humans eat comfortably with a human?"

He laughed as if I just said something very funny. "I'm not sure if it's either funny or insulting that you're like describing a life of a beast," he commented with chuckles in between his chew.

Just because I used the word human?

"Well, to feed your curiosity, I eat with Oliver every single night, Miss Hart."

I gasped. "Oh, really?" I twitched my lips, still wondering. "But, isn't he a family? Of course...it's, um, perfectly fine to eat with someone you're related to. Right? I mean... I am not even your relative, so...it's still a wonder for me."

"Yes, that's also true. Can you please talk straight? My head is going to explode hearing you speak like that," he exhaled sharply. "I keep asking myself why I ever allowed you to invade my private life."

"Why do you keep saying that private life thing? I didn't know a bit about you." I shook my head in disbelief. "If I was going to get in your private life, this is not how it's supposed to be. It's not about eating together or getting inside your room. That's not private life!"

He smirked, "See? You can talk straightly. That's how who you are, nosy and presumptuous."

"Ugh! I really hate you!" I said tightly, clenching my fist under the table.

"You sounded and reminded me of my sister, that's probably why I still allow you to keep bugging me around. Elga was so much like you," he said.

I cleared my throat. "Really?" I muttered. Oh, so that's what he saw in me. He reminded me of his sister.

Just like a sister.

I felt a pang of pain inside my chest. Was I disappointed?

"It's her death anniversary today, and so was my mother's."

"Oh, I'm really sorry. I don't know. I'm being so nosy. Uh, is that why you asked me to eat with you? You miss your family?"

He nodded. "Yes."

"Oh God, I'm so stupid. I'm really sorry Mr. Peirce, I mean Master. It's really hard to call you Master."

"The dinner was great. Thank you, Miss Hart."

I grinned, "You're welcome. You know, Chef's duty."

"You can call me whatever you like."

"Thank you. But, uh, I'd rather call you Master. Madam Lennie might hear me calling you whatever I like."

"I'm not going to repeat myself."

"So... uh, if you need something you can just call me. Uh, and about the address, even though I still don't get why you refused," I paused, "But if you need it...just tell me."

"You're leaving?"

I jerked. Why was he so shocked? "Yeah, thank you for letting me share the meal with you and I'm sorry again about your Mom and sister."

He nodded. "Oh, sure. I'll leave the dishes with you," he said then grabbed a book on the tall table next to the couch.

I put everything back into the food trolley. I watched him as he relaxed, his legs crossed and his attention was given to the book alone. When I was finally done, I pushed the trolley then excused myself to him. He did not answer. I hesitated as I stop myself in front of the door, hoping for him to glance at my direction, but he didn't. I went out of the room quietly.



Ann Margarette

Edited: 05.09.2019

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